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Private Guide in Istanbul

Oguz Kosebalaban - Private Guide in Istanbul

 Member Since 2007 

Cultural Fun tours of Istanbul

Private tour in Istanbul

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  Below are some of the reknowned Istanbul highlights : The rates of the tours begin from 100_ , and varies depending on your transportation needs .

  Istiklal Street
  Known for its special architecture and complexity of the people on the street make this a dynamic part of the city to become familiar with the faces of modern Istanbul during a lunch break.

  TOPKAPI PALACE 
  The imperial Palace of the Ottomans Topkapi Palace: hub of the Ottoman universe (complete sightseeing tour: allow for S day). After conquering Constantinople, Mehmet II chose the smartest spot in town as his home. At the tip of the peninsula on which Constantinople was located, washed by the waves of the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara, he built his Topkapi Palace subdivided into four courtyards. It wasn't just his home, however. This is where the strings of world history were being pulled: the business of the empire was done, the Ottoman bureaucracy was educated, and the sultan's elite troops, the janissaries, housed (first courtyard). By the way, from this first courtyard one path towards ( the direction of the street car street ) north takes you to the Archaelogical museum .
  And being less than careful in the second courtyard could actually cost you your head. If you were only waiting to see the sultan about something (third courtyard), you'd better watch which queue you were in - the sultan's executioners were also housed here, ready to fulfil their master's wishes. And, if you thought you could catch a glimpse of what was going on in the harem (Buy a separate ticket, well worth the visit!), you'd be very wrong.
  The harem, well-guarded by the sultan's mother, could be entered by only one man - the sultan himself (as you can well imagine, eunuchs could come and go as they pleased). Tour in Ankara. From the early 16th century, when the brothers of the heir to the throne were no longer being sent straight back to meet their maker, they were also allowed to live in the harem. ( in a cosy cell ) And if now, like the sultan in former times, you feel like taking a break and a cup of coffee, go on to the fourth courtyard, a large garden with pavilions and an unforgettable view of the entrance to the Bosphorus Harem and Topkapi palace, treasury ticket, hectic ticket booth locations info :
  Harem : (most tours don't include it. It's considered as a seperate museum in the palace. You can see a long line of visitors to buy a ticket(Tickets are 8$ approx - 10 new lira )
  You need to purchase seperate tickets also for the jewellery section at the ticket booth, before stepping into the palace at the same booth where you get your palace entrance ticket.
  The Harem tickets are sold inside the palace, in front of the entrance of the Harem. The tours are every two hours or so. But the harem girls you are viewing in these pictures will not be around, their strike is still going on. Late afternoon by 3.30 pm the palace is more peaceful (cruiseship groups are gone )


  THE BOSPHORUS CRUISE
 
  If Mythology refers to it, there is something special about it : This is mentioned twice ! : Jason and the Argonats crossing the clashing rocks ( Bosphorus Straits must be an earth quake faultline - hence ; "clashing rocks" ), its relation to Io, the mistress of Zeus, giving it the name Bosphorus, meaning the passage of the heifer) Not to forget Persian King Darius crossing his army on a bridge made up of boats anchored next to one another. 2 impressive suspension bridges, palatial houses on both sides, Ottoman Palaces (Dolmabahce, Beylerbeyi, Ciragan ), Castles (Rumeli and Anadolu Castles ), mosques, forests etc. This is the most prestigious place (and the most expensive ) for residence in all of Turkey. Unfortunately the packed city lines ferry offers very limited area at the outer areas of its decks and because of the small charge (5 $ approx. one way ) it is packed . So take your ferry from Ortakoy district, join the locals, though the music is just slightly loud.

  SAINT SOPHIA CHURCH 
  The Byzantine Cathedral, the Church of the Divine Wisdom, with its bright red brickwork and its four minarets.Emperor Justinian's dream was chiselled out of stone in record time - 5 years and 10 months! On 27 December in 537 AD, he was able to consecrate his building, antiquity's largest Christian church. Today's landmark was also greatly appreciated by Mehmet II. After conquering Constantinople, he declared the church the Sultan's Mosque. And this destiny is easily visible on a tour (9:30 am - 5:00 pm Tuesday to Sunday; admission about EUR 5).

  THE BASILICA CISTERN
  Was the set of the Bond movie - From Russia with Love, showing Mr. Bond escaping from one building to another by sailing on a little boat in the cistern. Built by Byzantine Emperor who is also the comissioner of Saint Sophia. Ottomans did not like water which was not running . As an example an Ottoman practice was pouring to get rid of all stored water in one house when somebody died ( probably in time they learnt this water could be dangerous to their health, carrying what we call germs, microbic elements etc. today ), Anyway, with over 300 columns this is like a sunken palace, and named so as a result by the Turks - Yerebatan Sarayi.

  OTTOMAN MILITARY BAND
  This unique performance adds a thrill to a visit to Istanbul, and takes the visitor's Ottoman experience to the zenith. It comes with a slide presentation including their influence to classical comnposers like Mosart and Beethoven. They became the origin of Ala Turca music. Over 60 members in original Ottoman costumes & armour.

  ST. SAVIOUR IN CHORA CHURCH 
  You will appreciate Byzantine art at its peak with the mosaics and fresqoes decorating all of the walls of the church, giving completer life cycles of Mary and Christ (Mary's childhood details are breathtaking, unknown to westerners - bases on Apocriphal work of St. James )

  BLUE MOSQUE & SULEYMANIYE MOSQUE 
  These are the top two Imperial mosques of ISTANBUL. My photo with the bird below shows Suleymaniye Mosque from Asaitic Istanbul. The Blue Mosque is exceptional in more ways than one. Being the only mosque with six minarets and thus seen to rival the Great Mosque in Mecca, the latter had an extra one added - after all, Mecca is Mecca! The cost of building the Blue Mosque was exceptional too: it turned into a black hole for the public purse.
  In retrospect, the horrendous costs did pay off, though. Excursion with private guide in Ankara. So: dress appropriately, you are entering a mosque, after all ( if you're not wearing something suitable, you can rent a scarf or a shawl for a small fee. NB: no entry at prayer times; tourists enter through a separate gate, shoes off, and - wow!
Once inside, the visitor is greeted with true cascades of light and colour: blue tiles, huge candelabras, and 260 windows, most of them stained glass (actually reproductions, but no less grandiose than the originals), make for an unrivalled impression. And, with the mosque not only being a place of worship, but also a social institution, it was also provided with a soup kitchen, a hammam for the bath on holy Fridays, and shops.

  ASIATIC ( and non-touristy ) ISTANBUL
  Asiatic Istanbul is undeservingly ignored although it is special as partly seen in Bond Movie - The World is not Enough - towards the end of the movie, just of the Asiatic Shire of Istanbul is this islet on which stands the Maiden's Castle. The coastal line facing it is also across the old town but hey, you will take the ferry almost across the Spice Market in the old town and on the ferry great photo oppurtunity, once the ferry ride is over, walk towards the Maiden's Castle for 10 minutes, discover the fisherman's shelter, and superb Istanbul photos for contests and to capture hearts and then after sunset take the same ferry back.
  Would you like to be the only tourists in a local vegetable and fish marketplace and then have lunch at a restaurant, where the grand grand father of the owner was THE COOK OF THE OTTOMAN PALACE!!! ( impressive selections, ... ) Followed by a drive through the top residential areas and scenic Bosphorus driveway

  Shopping at the Grand or the Egyptian Bazaar.

  TURKISH AND ISLAMIC ARTS MUSEUM - great collection
  THE HOUSE OF MR. SABANCI 
  This is one of the two top wealthy Turkish families, their palatial house is just converted into a private museum; what a priviledge to see it . Mr . Sabanci is an art collector, and his Calligrapy collection went around the world. The family at one point was in Fortune 500 listing .

  THE ARCHAELOGICAL MUSEUM 
  includes unique artefacts like Alexander the great Sarcophagus. One of the most important archaelogical museums of the world.

  STREET CAR RIDE ON ISTIKLAL STREET 
  Fanciest walking street of Istanbul with late 19th century Italian architecture. Cafes, bars, window shopping, people watching. Famous Pera Palas Hotel can be included. ( ts photo is at the top of this information article.

  PRINCE ISLANDS & CART RIDE ON THE GRAND ISLAND 
  For Istanbul visitors staying 4 days or more. - Istanbul - the Byzantine Constantinople Istanbul was the capital city of three empires : Ottoman, Byzantine, and Roman Empires, and she was ruled over 120 kings, emperors and sultans. The impressive Bosphorus Straits of Istanbul with so many palaces and mansions built along is admired highly by the visitors on a fancy 2 hour cruise.
This is also the site of the 'Clashing Rocks' in the Mythology, through which 'Jason & The Argounats' were trying to pass. Many visitors come back to Istanbul in winter for a weeks' stay to enjoy more in depth. Active churches, and Synagogues as well as the mosques attract visitors at religiously significant days, like feasts, or Christmas. 
 
  Special Istanbul visits in short : Topkapi & Dolmabahce Palace, The Blue Mosque, The Grand Ottoman Military Band of the Ottomans, Saint Sophia Church & Basilica Cistern of the Byzantines, An unforgettable Bosphorus Straits Cruise, Shopping at the Grand or the Egyptian Bazaar. 

  If you are interested in a private tour of Istanbul or Turkey please use this form below to contact me. I look forward to being your guide to magical Turkey.

Additional information

Tour information:
Tour package includes:
Airport Transfer :NO
Hotel pick-up:NO
Drop-off :NO
Tour Transportation (car, van, limo, boat, etc):NO
Food and Drinks :NO
Other services (fees apply):
Attraction tickets (concerts, theater, museum, circus...) :NO
Translation services :NO
Reservations (hotels, restaurants, airline) :NO
Visa support :NO
Additional information:
This tour must be booked at least 7 days in advance of your travel date :NO
Tour groups must include a minimum of 2 passengers :NO
Tour prices are flexible and based on your requirements :NO