ISTANBUL at its BEST (3)

DAY 1  - ISTANBUL

UTS Representative will meet you at the gate of the plane (with a sign reading your names) and you will be assisted during the passport formalities and escorted through the customs. There will be no lines except for the luggage. (EX: TBA)

And at the exit gate of the customs, United Travel’s officially licensed English Speaking representative will meet you to escort you to your hotel.  

DAY 2  - ISTANBUL

Your private guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel at 9 am for your private sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

You will then board a Private Boat for a cruise on the Bosphorus against the majestic skyline of Istanbul. Your private boat will cruise along the romantic Bosphorus visiting both the Europe Side and the Asia Side of Istanbul by the shores of local fishing villages, en route when it is possible to take memorable photos of the fascinating environments including the 15th century Rumelihisarı Fortress, the Summer Palaces of Lady Ottoman Sultans, and the historical Wooden Houses (Yalis) of famous Turkish families.

You will then continue to the Old Town of Istanbul to visit the World famous Hagia Sophia which is one of the most extraordinary constructions in the history of architecture. The awesome building inspired countless generations by its colossal definition of what the ideal interior space in a domed basilica should be and with its innovations in weight-support and construction techniques.

Lunch will be served at one of UTS’s recommended local/select restaurants close to the sights, at your own cost.

Your private tour will start with a visit to 6th century Underground Cistern- perhaps the most unusual structure in Istanbul, exhibits the engineering marvels that solved water supply problems. Originally, Constantine built this vast underground space in the early-4C as the water reservoir for the Imperial Palace, and it was later enlarged under Justinian in 532.

The last visit will be to the Spice Market- for a “true taste” of culture mosaics in Istanbul! Originally devoted to spices and herbs, it now sells a great variety of goods in 88 vaulted rooms. You enter from a large city square and see before you a lengthy, tunnel-like building with 19 stalls on each side. At the end, the 'tunnel' turns left 90 degrees where an even longer building stretches away, containing the other 50 stalls.

At the end of the tour, you will be escorted to your hotel by 4:30 pm.


DAY 3 - ISTANBUL

Your private guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel at 9 am for another private sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

Your private tour will start with a visit to Topkapi Palace- which was the center of Ottoman government and the court, the Turks ruled most of Europe and the Middle East from here. Covering the prime property on the peninsula, the court-defined grounds of the Palace express in the architectural sense the Ottoman ideal of the perfect life balanced between its formative components. Explore the Harem Section, breath-taking grounds, domes, porticos, terraces and great halls of the Palace, marvel at its exhibits of costumes, Chinaware, jewels and manuscripts, gaze at its marble and tile covered walls, royal chambers and gardens of tulips and roses, its views of the Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. 

Lunch will be served at one of UTS’s recommended local/select restaurants close to the sights, at your own cost.

Next visits will be to the Roman Hippodrome and Blue Mosque- the masterpiece of 17th century Ottoman Architecture, famous for its unique handmade original Iznik Tiles impressing the guests with their rich dominant blue colors and oriental patterns. They have become collectors’ items today, auctioned at celebrated houses like the Sotheby’s.

The last visit of the day will be to the Grand Covered Bazaar. No bazaar, however, is more dazzling than the Grand Covered Bazaar, built in 1461 and in service ever since.  Along with magnificent mosque complexes, the mother of all bazaars was a monument to the ‘Rise of Istanbul’- the great master plan of the Turks for the rejuvenation and reanimation of an old imperial capital. It contains 3,500 shops employing more than 20,000 people all under one roof. Everything imaginable is for sale, gold and silver jewelry, rugs, carpets, antiques, tiles, leather, souvenirs, but just seeing and experiencing this mother of all bazaars is worth the trip.

At the end of the tour, you will be escorted to your hotel by 4:30 pm.


DAY 4 - ISTANBUL

You will be met by your dedicated guide at the lobby of your hotel at 9 am for another private sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

Your private tour will start with a visit to Dolmabahce Palace- the largest and the finest example of Ottoman Baroque   Architecture, a monument to the Ottomans’ westernization process in the 19th century. The Ottoman response to the overwhelming changes in the post-renaissance world was rapid westernization, initiated in the imperial lifestyle at first that gave way to the creation of a series of baroque-style European-fashion palaces on the shores of the Bosphorus.

You will continue to Modern part of the City and visit Taksim Square. Then, walk the “Istiklal Street” which is closed to traffic except the trams where you can explore many shops and book stores and enjoy a tram ride. You will then visit the Galata Tower which was built in 1303 by immigrants from Genoa, Italy. While sipping your Turkish coffee, you will be amazed with the spectacular view of the Golden Horn and the old buildings located on its shores.

At the end of the tour, you will be transferred to Istanbul Cruise Pier to board on your ship by 1 pm. 

To book this tour, please contact UTS – Turkey Team

Best Season: 12 Months
Along: 4 Days
Price: USD