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Onur - Private Guide in Istanbul

 Member Since 2022 

Heart of Istanbul Tour

Culture and History tour in Istanbul

Tour Price : $350-2350 Duration : 18 hours Languages: Turkish, English

The following narrative is written for all our guests to get a glimpse of what awaits in Istanbul.

If our 1-day Istanbul tour does not satisfy the travelers soul, you must take a journey with on a 3 day tour.  We call it The Heart of Turkey because once you complete this tour, Istanbul will capture your heart. From East to West and from North to South, this city embodies stories of the past, present and leaves you with the urge to return in the future. 

Day 1 Tour
Site visitation – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace.
9:00AM – You will be picked up at your hotel by our guide. Please make sure to inform us in advance where you plan to stay as we will need to schedule the time to pick you up. This 1-day tour in Istanbul will primarily be completed on foot, due to the close proximity of all the sites you will visit.
5:00PM – You will wrap up your tour and your guide will safely return you to your hotel.
Please note that we will be using public transit which is referred to as the tram. The ride is part of the experience so you can get a glimpse into the lives of the locals.
Day 2 Tour – Let’s Explore Some more 
9:00AM – Your guide and driver will meet you near  your hotel or at your hotel, depending on where you are staying.  Sites to visit today will include Pierre Loti Cable Car, Spice market, Bosphurus day cruise, Taksim square, and Dolmabahce Palace.
You will have an opportunity to grab a meal on the Bosphurus cruise. What way to enjoy the view with a bight to eat. I would suggest a nice cup of tea to go with your meal. If you prefer another option, please inform your guide as they have a number options to share with you. If you are looking for a snack later, don’t forget to try roasted walnuts, which can be found along any street.
5:00PM – You will wrap up your tour and your guide will safely return you to your hotel. This time by your private car or mini-bus (depending on the size of your group).
Please note that between sites, you will be transported in a vehicle provided.
Day 3 – The Journey comes to an end 
Balat and Fener District of Istanbul – The Colorful Story
I can not put into words what this day will bring. This area isn’t always featured in tours but its worth every penny, every minute and every step of your visit to Istanbul. This area hosts a church, synagogue and mosque. Let me take you on a short history and description of what this entails – the rest, I will leave it to your guide to explain and help explore.
Fener’s name stems from the Greek word Fanari meaning lantern, although in Turkish, it means lighthouse. This is a Greek neighborhood housing wealthy citizens for about 300 hundred years from the 17th to 20th centuries; therefore, holds valuable history and architecture.
The most notable fact about Fener is that it is the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the spiritual centre for the Greek Orthodox religion and known locally as Fener Rum Patrikhanesi. The Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchy Church also referred to as the Church of Saint George that opened in the 1600s still runs services. You will make a visit here.
The church also sits near to Phanar Greek Orthodox College, a fully functioning school that implements the Turkish curriculum and additional subjects such as the Greek language. This is done in order to respect the Greek roots of the area.
Next we head into Balat which encompasses the beautiful history of the Jewish people of the city. This indicates how diverse Istanbul is and what the locals continue to preserve as part of their magnificent history. You will visit the Ahrida (Ohrid) Synagogue which is one of the oldest synagogues in Istanbul dating back to 1430s. The history of this site is mind boggling, you will soon learn.
I would highly suggest to stop for lunch and try meatballs at Kofteci Arnavut. For my coffee lovers, I suggest heading over to Coffee Department and Forno. I personally can have a lahmacun and pide anytime of day. So grab some for a snack later, you will thank me later.
Another beauty that is considered a hidden gem is the colorful neighborhood in Balat. The area is filled with stunning multi-colored wooden houses and little cafes that instantly lift your spirit and give you a boost of joyful energy.
Remember to take a tone of pictures, because the memories wont be enough to hold onto this gem of an area. 

5:00PM – This will be the end of your 3-Day tour. You will wrap up your tour and your guide will safely return you to your hotel.

Additional information

Tour information:
Tour Price: $350-2350
Duration: 18 hours
Group Size: 2-24 tourists
Languages: Turkish, English
Tour package includes:
Airport Transfer :YES
Hotel pick-up:YES
Drop-off :YES
Tour Transportation (car, van, limo, boat, etc…):YES
Food and Drinks :NO
Other services (fees apply):
Attraction tickets (concerts, theater, museum, circus...) :YES
Translation services :NO
Reservations (hotels, restaurants, airline) :YES
Visa support :NO
Additional information:
This tour must be booked at least 7 days in advance of your travel date :YES
Tour groups must include a minimum of 2 passengers :YES
Tour prices are flexible and based on your requirements :YES
This Tour is Kid Friendly :YES