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Istanbul tours

Bosphorus Cruise

A trip to Istanbul is not complete without a Bosphorus cruise. Not only provides it a nice overview of the city, both the European and Asian shores of the famous waterway have a lot to offer – century old palaces and mansions galore.

There are several cruises you can take: a short one (to the second suspension bridge and back), a long one (all the way to the Black Sea and back), and a sunset tour in summertime.

The latter used to be my favorite, but became victim of its own success. These days I prefer to take the full Bosphorus day tour, or the shorter version if you are pressed for time

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Whirling Dervishes

It may look like a tourist attraction, but it’s an actual worship service of Mevlana’s followers. During the ceremony the Dervishes become a bridge between God and humans through a prayer-induced trance.

Although high on many visitor’s Istanbul to-do-list, people often had to skip it in the end because seats were sold out. Don’t make the same mistake and reserve your seats well in advance

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Hagia Sophia

Standing in the middle of the staggering spacious nave under the 43 meter wide dome 65 meters above your head defies belief – and physics for that matter. Climb up the spiral ramp to get to the gallery and gaze at the splendid Byzantine mosaics, including Christ flanked by Emperor Constantine IX and his wife Empress Zoe.This splendid church-turned-mosque-turned-museum is among the world’s greatest architectural achievements. After years of restoration works, the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) isfinally scaffolding free, enabling you to absorb its splendor as it was meant to be.

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Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayı) is rightfully a sight you can’t afford to miss while in Istanbul. This complex of kiosks and pavilions contained by four lush green courtyards is where generations of sultans had their principal residence for almost half a century.

Top attractions at Topkapi Palace are the Harem, an adorned ‘cage’ of the sultan’s women, the treasury storing the crown jewels (containing the famous Topkapi dagger), and the weapon’s room boosting the Ottoman’s fine craftsmanship even when it came to making swords and bows.

Also, don’t forget to walk all the way till the end for breathtaking views of the Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus and Golden Horn.

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Basilica Cistern

Istanbul is not only fascinating above ground, but also underground with the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan). This exquisite piece of Byzantine engineering is a spectacular underground cistern, once bringing drinking water with aqueducts from current Bulgaria to Istanbul.

With its dimmed light and classical music to the background sound of dripping water, some find it romantic while others experience it as slightly spooky.

Tread the walkways and watch the fish swim between the 336 columns that support the ceiling. Walk all the way to the end to see the Medusa head, placed upside down as the base of one of the columns

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Grand Bazaar

Bargain hunting at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Over 500 years old, but still one of the largest covered bazaars in the world. Its 60 streets contain no less than 5000 shops, 60 restaurants, 18 fountains, 12 mosques, and even a school.

This is not a tourist trap as some claim. Locals shop here every day, but odds are they’re better at bargaining than you are. The bazaar is very famous for its carpets, leather, ceramics, souvenirs and jewelry.

It’s hard not to get lost in this chaos, so try to remember where you entered before wandering around.

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Archaeology Museum

People often skip the Archaeology Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi), and that’s a pity. This is a real hidden Istanbul gem, displaying one of the world’s richest collections of classical antiquities.

Top attractions here are the marvelous sarcophagus of Alexander the Great depicting important phases of his life, the blue tiled Karaman Mihrab, the beautiful Tiled Pavilion, and the Treaty of Kadesh – the world’s earliest surviving peace treaty. Not an option with kids? Wait until they see the model Trojan Horse in the children’s section.

You can reach the Archaeology Museum by going left down the hill in Topkapi Palace’s first courtyard, or via Gülhane Park

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Süleymaniye Mosque

Instead of the iconic Blue Mosque, I prefer the less famous Süleymaniye Mosque. I think it’s the nicest and most impressive Istanbul mosque, and not invaded by thousands of tourists every day.

The Süleymaniye Mosque was designed by the famous architect Sinan for Süleyman the Magnificent, and is a great tribute to both. It’s actually much more than a place of worship. It’s a complex of buildings containing a hospital, a kitchen, a school, etc.

Don’t forget to visit the tombs of Süleyman and Roxalana behind the graveyard, the tomb of Sinan outside the complex, and eat kuru fasulye (haricot beans) in one of the many restaurants in the Alley of Addicts

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Chora Church / Kariye Museum

The Chora Church, Church of St Savior, or Kariye Museum is a bit off the beaten track, but well worth a visit. Located in Chora/Edirnekapi, next to the old city walls, it is one of the most amazing religious building Istanbul has to offer.

The walls and ceilings of this church are adorned with stunning Byzantine mosaics and fabulous frescoes. Some are considered as the most significant in the Christian world.

And while you’re there, enjoy the remains of the fifth century city walls and the wooden Ottoman houses.

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Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace is just fascinating. A few facts to demonstrate my point here. The palace is huge — 600 meters in length — containing no less than 285 rooms and 43 salons. It was built in 1856 by Sultan Abdüi Mecit, basically to prove that the declining Ottoman Empire was doing just fine, whereas the construction resulted in exactly the opposite.

Nevertheless, no expenses were spared, proof of which the excessive use of gold leaf, crystal and marble. Obvious key features are the Baccarat crystal staircase, the main bathroom, and the ceremonial hall with its 4.5 ton chandelier. Just seeing the latter is impressive!

After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, Atatürk adopted the palace as its home, and died there November 10, 1938 at 09:05. As a tribute, all clocks in the palace show that time

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Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is one of the best spots in town to get a 360 panoramic view of Istanbul. On a bright day you can even spot the Princes’ Islands from this 60 meter high tower. There is also a restaurant/cafe at the ninth floor, but feel free to skip that entirely.

Instead, walk around in the cozy streets of Galata surrounding the tower and have a drink or some food on one of the many terraces. Not only will you enjoy it much more, you’ll also get a much better deal

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Bebek and Ortaköy

Bebek and — to a lesser extend — Ortaköy are two village by the Bosphorus worth visiting, yet lesser known among tourists.

Bebek is a lively, green and wealthy neighborhood by the Bosphorus. It’s well known and frequently visited by locals during the weekends. It’s a local all-time favorite to have a (late) breakfast with a stunning view followed by a nice stroll on the boardwalk, topped with a drink in one of the many cafes. Other come later, and enjoy the buzzing nightlife.

If you took a Bosphorus tour, it’s hard to miss Ortaköy. Its cozy mosque by the shore just before the first bridge stands out. Another thing that draws a lot of attention is the Sunday crafts market, as well as the many car-free cobblestone streets filled with restaurants and cafes.

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Istanbul’s Nightlife

Istanbul’s nightlife can compete with the rest of the world. Whether you want to enjoy a (local) live performance while sipping on your favorite drink, attend concerts of current and past world stars, or dance the night away in open-air venues by the Bosphorus or while enjoying a rooftop 360 view, Istanbul has it all

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REAL STATE

 

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some important and interesting informations about istanbul

Istanbul Turkey, the Gateway City betwean Europe & Asia

Get to know Istanbul city like a local, with your personal local guide

At sporttoa.ir we provide a platform for local guides in Istanbul. All are well edjucated, have deep local knowledge of this great city and speak your language fluently, to offer you their services as your local Istanbul guide. No matter if you visite Istanbul as a tourist, on business or if you have just moved here, local guides will show you all aspects of this City with true local insight.

If you are interested in Turkish sites and specifically Istanbul Museums, Art, Arcitectural Gems, History or Shopping, local guides will take you to the right places and with their knowledge will be able to give you all the background information you desire.

If you love shopping and bargening ask your Guide to take you to Istanbuls many Bazaars for that special souvenier you’ve been looking for.

If it is the local cuisine you are interested in, your personal guides will take you where you will find what you hunger for, from “hole in the wall” eateries, local streetfood specials to the finest restaurants Istanbul has to offer.

If it is the Istanbul nightlife you hanker for, your personal guide will know all the “Inn Places” from Pubs to Clubs and Bars.

Get to know Istanbul with a personal local guide and enjoy the best, Istanbul has to offer!

Tour leader

 

 

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 **Tour guide with ten years experience and Fluent English, German, Turkish and Farsi** 

(Half Day Morning – if Group Scheduled tour required – Available between 9 am to 1 pm)
(Half Day Morning or Half Day Afternoon – if Private tour required) 

Tour Highlights: 

Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Caferaga Madrasa/Art workshop visit (Handicraft courses – Popular Turkish art of Marbling(Ebru), jewelry, porcelain, calligraphy, ceramics, stained glass)

Blue Mosque, completed in 1616, it is a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance. The mosque was a part of a complex also including, tombs, fountains, kitchens and a bath. The blue Iznik tiles covering the walls have given the mosque its popular name, Blue Mosque.

Roman Hippodrome, being used as an arena for chariot races, athletic activities and rebellions in Byzantium era…

Hagia Sophia… is a great architectural beauty and an important monument both for Byzantine and for Ottoman Empires. One of the most impressive architectural samples of Byzantium era.

Cafer Aga Madrasa, offers handicraft courses; including the popular Turkish Art of Marbling(Ebru), painting, jewelry, porcelain, calligraphy, ceramics, stained glass…

At the end of the tour, you will be transferred to the port to embark your ship (or to your hotel)

Upon request; tour can be personalized as per your desire