From Roman-era plumbing to Byzantine mosaics and Ottoman harems, Istanbul has centuries of history to share. After touring the mosques and palaces, be sure to relax at one of the famous Turkish hammams.
Day 1: Istanbul Tours
If time is tight, focus on Istanbul's Big Four: Topkapi Palace, Haga Sophia, the Blue Mosque and shopping at the Grand Bazaar. Or get your bearings on the 90-minute Istanbul City Tour, hopping on and off at several stops, before taking a half-day tour highlighting an aspect of Istanbul's millennia of history. Compare the city's European and Asian faces on the Istanbul Two Continents Tour, or focus on the city's Ottoman past on an Ottoman Relics Tour taking in Topkapi Palace, Rustem Pasha Mosque and the Grand Bazaar.
Day 2: The Personal Touch
Having covered your major
bases on day one, this is a day to get under the city's skin. The
private tour of the Egypitan Bazaar and cruise on the Bosphorus combines
shopping for spices with beautiful views from the water. The private
tour of Haga Sophia and Grand Bazaar blends history and shopping at two
of Istanbul's most famous sites. And in the evening, when the city's
mosques and monuments are floodlit, take a private tour of Istanbul by
night and stay on for a Turkish dinner and floorshow with belly dancers!
Day 3: Day Trips from Istanbul
a ferry up the Bosphorus to the mouth of the Black Sea. For students of
war history, the beaches of Gallipoli are within reach on the Gallipoli
Day Trip . You also have the option to spend a leisurely free afternoon
in Canakkale. The Burse Day Trip takes you to a traditional Ottoman
city that's also the birthplace of modern Turkish culture.