Explore the Christian and Ottoman heritage of Istanbul (formerly Byzantium and Constantinople) including a Bosphorus cruise and visits to palaces, mosques, churches and bazaars, staying in historic hotels
Straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait, where the Rumeli and Anatolian fortresses guard the narrowest points of the 30km waterway, Istanbul wears its history like a string of pearls, each intriguing palace, castle, or place of worship leading to another; every century of its chequered past on display in its architecture; and all interlinked by the museums and galleries, tea gardens, tavernas, and Turkish coffeehouses of this heaving, hospitable, cosmopolitan city. Byzantine churches beg to be explored, for grandeur, fine frescoes, and mosaics. A multitude of magnificent mosques mark the sky with minarets and supply the city’s soundtrack of muezzin calls.
UNESCO World Heritage sites include the Roman Hippodrome, 6th-century Hagia Sophia, 16th-century Süleymaniye Mosque, the astonishing Basilica Cistern, and Topkapi Palace, now a museum, the former residence of Ottoman Sultans bringing opulence to a level rarely seen and holding holy relics of the Prophet Muhammad. Our daily guided tours visit all of these, along with the formidable Yedicule Fortress, enormous Dolmabahçe Palace, and Istanbul’s inimitable bazaars; and a Bosphorus cruise and rooftop dinner each offer a special experience.
- Cultural Short Break
- Jules Verne Sightseeing
- UNESCO: Historic Istanbul
- Local Expert Guide
Rooftop Dinner & Pera Palas
On Day 2 in Istanbul enjoy a welcome drink at the famous ‘Orient-Express’ bar of the historic Pera Palas Hotel built in 1892. To round off the tour, enjoy a farewell rooftop dinner in the popular Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, with spectacular panoramic views.