İstanbul City Tours

İstanbul, with its 8,500 years of history, is one of the most prestigious capitals of the ancient and modern world. The city was the capital of three empires: Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. Few cities in the world hold such an amazing array of treasures, from man-made ones and those collected or built by the world's three greatest empires, to treasures created by nature like the beautiful Bosphorus.

Would you like to discover Istanbul a bit more? We have identified a few city tours that may be of interest to you. These daily tours will be available in the online registration system.

Tours are organized by: Reservivo

  • Atatürk Mah. Sedef Cad., Ata 2-1 No:3/221 Atasehir – İstanbul - Türkiye
  • Phone: 0850 532 7266
  • For further information and reservations you may contact: melekgozubuyuk@reservivo.com
General Information and Conditions
  • Tours start from the Bahçeşehir University. Guests should be ready in front of the tour desk at 08:15 for morning tours a0nd at 13:15 for afternoon tours.
  • Tour fees include A/C transportation, guidance in English, entrance fees and mentioned meals/drinks.
  • 30% discount for children below the age 7, free for the ages of 0-2.
  • No smoking on our tours but all tours make frequent stops.
  • Cancellation is not possible in the last 24 hours. There will be no refund for any unused portion of any tour program.
  • Congress Secretariat reserves the right to alter, postpone or cancel the tour without prior notice due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Congress Secretariat disclaims any responsibility and shall not pay any indemnity or reimbursement in the event that certain museums or monuments included in the program could not be visited with any reason beyond control.
  • Congress Secretariat will be under no obligation or liability in case the Bosphorus Tour is to be made, by any reason, with Maritime Lines boat instead of private motorboat of Congress Secretariat.
  • Congress Secretariat is not responsible for any loss or theft of personal belongings during the tour.
  • Guests are to be promptly on time at the meeting points given by the tour guide. Tours will proceed without waiting the delayer.
  • Tour programs and prices may change without prior notice. Any increase in museum entrance fees will be reflected in the prices.
Places Below Are Closed on Certain Days
  • Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia can be visited from outside on Friday mornings because of noon prayer.
  • Grand Covered Bazaar on Sunday will be replaced with authentic shops.
  • Topkapı Palace on Tuesday will be replaced with Tour to Byzantium.
  • Dolmabahçe Palace on Monday will be replaced with Eyüp + Pierre Loti Coffee House + Miniatürk.
TOUR 1 - İSTANBUL CLASSICS - Half Day Morning Tour (Euro 45.- / per person)

Tour of "Sultan Ahmet Center", the heart of the "Old City" from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled.

The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque (Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi), once the Church of Divine Wisdom, with its innovative architecture, rich history, religious significance and extraordinary characteristics has been fighting against time for centuries, was the largest Eastern Roman Church in İstanbul. Constructed three times in the same location, it is the world’s oldest and fastest-completed cathedral.

Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. (Visit is not possible on Friday because of crowded noon prayer).

Then visit to Yerebatan Sarayi (meaning Sunken Palace) or Yerebatan Sarnici (Sunken Cistern), this underground water cistern was the major water reservoir of Constantinople. The water was transported from the Belgrade Forest by the immense Byzantine aqueducts (Valens Aqueducts).

It was built during the reign of Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century but greatly enlarged by Justinian in 537 AD, and used as water storage for the Great Palace during Byzantine times and for the Topkapi PalaceTopkapi Palace under the Ottomans.

Hippodrome, center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating the Hippodrome.

Grand Covered Bazaar, most attractive shopping center and the biggest "souk" in the world with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leatherware and souvenir. (Art demonstration of handmade Turkish carpets upon request).

TOUR 2 - İSTANBUL CLASSICS - Half Day Afternoon Tour (Euro 45.- / per person)

Tour of "Sultan Ahmet Center", the heart of the "Old City" from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled.

The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque (Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi), once the Church of Divine Wisdom, with its innovative architecture, rich history, religious significance and extraordinary characteristics has been fighting against time for centuries, was the largest Eastern Roman Church in İstanbul. Constructed three times in the same location, it is the world’s oldest and fastest-completed cathedral.

Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. (Visit is not possible on Friday because of crowded noon prayer).

Then visit to Yerebatan Sarayi (meaning Sunken Palace) or Yerebatan Sarnici (Sunken Cistern), this underground water cistern was the major water reservoir of Constantinople. The water was transported from the Belgrade Forest by the immense Byzantine aqueducts (Valens Aqueducts).

It was built during the reign of Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century but greatly enlarged by Justinian in 537 AD, and used as water storage for the Great Palace during Byzantine times and for the Topkapi PalaceTopkapi Palace under the Ottomans.

Hippodrome, center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating the Hippodrome.

Grand Covered Bazaar, most attractive shopping center and the biggest "souk" in the world with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leatherware and souvenir. (Art demonstration of handmade Turkish carpets upon request).

TOUR 3 - OTTOMAN RELICS - Half Day Afternoon Tour (Euro 55.- / per person)

Topkapı Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans exhibiting imperial treasury, sacred Islamic relics of Prophet Mohammed, kitchen, Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy section etc. Live guide commentary is not allowed in special sections. (Harem is not included in the program)

The Hagia Irene located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace is the oldest church of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine). It was also the second largest church in İstanbul after Hagia Sophia. It’s a typical Byzantine structure with its materials and architecture, was built on the site of an old temple in 330.

Sultan Tombs, there are five tombs of Ottoman Sultans within the graveyard at Hagia Sophia. The ceramic panels are the most beautiful examples of the 16th century with purple, red, green and blue flower motives. Prince robes and a small piece from the Kaaba covers are displayed on the sarcophaguses.

TOUR 4 - BYZANTINE & OTTOMAN RELICS (Combination of Tours 1/2 & 3) - Full Day Tour (Euro 80.- / per person; lunch is not included)

Tour of "Sultan Ahmet Center", the heart of the "Old City" from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled.

The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque (Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi), once the Church of Divine Wisdom, with its innovative architecture, rich history, religious significance and extraordinary characteristics has been fighting against time for centuries, was the largest Eastern Roman Church in İstanbul. Constructed three times in the same location, it is the world’s oldest and fastest-completed cathedral.

Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. (Visit is not possible on Friday because of crowded noon prayer).

Then visit to Yerebatan Sarayi (meaning Sunken Palace) or Yerebatan Sarnici (Sunken Cistern), this underground water cistern was the major water reservoir of Constantinople. The water was transported from the Belgrade Forest by the immense Byzantine aqueducts (Valens Aqueducts).

It was built during the reign of Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century but greatly enlarged by Justinian in 537 AD, and used as water storage for the Great Palace during Byzantine times and for the Topkapi PalaceTopkapi Palace under the Ottomans.

Hippodrome, center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating the Hippodrome.

Grand Covered Bazaar, most attractive shopping center and the biggest "souk" in the world with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leatherware and souvenir. (Art demonstration of handmade Turkish carpets upon request).

Lunch at a Turkish Restaurant.

Topkapı Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans exhibiting imperial treasury, sacred Islamic relics of Prophet Mohammed, kitchen, Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy section etc. Live guide commentary is not allowed in special sections. (Harem is not included in the program)

The Hagia Irene located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace is the oldest church of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine). It was also the second largest church in İstanbul after Hagia Sophia. It’s a typical Byzantine structure with its materials and architecture, was built on the site of an old temple in 330.

Sultan Tombs, there are five tombs of Ottoman Sultans within the graveyard at Hagia Sophia. The ceramic panels are the most beautiful examples of the 16th century with purple, red, green and blue flower motives. Prince robes and a small piece from the Kaaba covers are displayed on the sarcophaguses.

TOUR 5 - DOLMABAHÇE PALACE & TWO CONTINENTS (from Europe to Asia) - Half Day Afternoon Tour (Euro 30.- / per person)

Dolmabahçe Palace, recent residence for Ottoman Sultans built by two Ottoman architects Karabet and Nikogos Balyan on a 110.000 m² area and served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. Famous with great collection of European antiquity, furniture and 4.5 tons chandelier, the palace has 285 rooms and 46 halls.

Bosphorus Bridge, unique chance to step from one continent (Europe) to another (Asia) in 2 minutes.

Çamlıca Hill, famous for its widest bird’s eye panoramic view of İstanbul from Marmara Sea to the Black Sea, gives a chance to see the Bosphorus and Golden Horn from one of the best point of the highest and most appealing places of the city.

TOUR 6 - JEWISH HERITAGE / Full Day or Half Day Morning Tour (except Saturday & Sunday) (Euro 25.- / per person)

The Story of Turkish Jews who were deported from Spain in 1492, now living in Türkiye for more than 500 years in peace & harmony.

Start after breakfast for a tour in Galata, the centuries-old Jewish neighbourhood with its famous tower built by the Genoese. Visit to Neve Shalom Synagogue or Ashkenaz Synagogue (upon availability).

Drive to Balat along the Golden Horn, residential area of the Ottoman Jews where the “Star of David” still appears on the facades of some buildings. Visit to Ahrida Synagogue, built in the 15th century and from outside Jewish Hospital (Or-Ahayim).

Visit to Zülfaris Jewish Museum of the Quincentennial Foundation and the “Oldies House” at Hasköy.

The Jewish Cemetery where the martyrs of Neve Shalom are buried. Stop at Ortaköy, first disembark point of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain by the religious disturbance of the Spanish King and the Queen, desperate on the ships in the middle of the sea, not being accepted by any European country except the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid Khan the Second who welcomed them offering a safe and peaceful life. Last visit to Etz Ahayim Synagogue in Ortaköy.

TOUR 7 - IN TRACE OF CHRISTIANITY / Full Day or Half Day Morning/Afternoon Tours (Euro 35.- / per person)

The Patriarchate at Fener, by the Golden Horn, is the heart of Orthodox Christianity. After Constantine the Great's declaration of Christianity as the religion of Roman Empire, the capital was moved from Rome to Byzantium. With the conquest (1453) of Ottoman Empire, the seat of Patriarchate remained in İstanbul.

Church of Panagia of Blachernae, the best known and most celebrated shrine of the Holy Virgin located near Golden Horn, famed with the hagiasma (fountain of holy water), good to cure health problems, and the Hagion Lousma (sacred bath) good to clean the soul where the emperor also came to purify himself.

St. Savior in Chora (Kariye Museum), originally a Byzantine monastery, dedicated to Jesus Christ the Savior, survived with fantastic mosaics and frescoes, portraying scenes from the Bible, the life and miracles of Jesus.

Pantocrator (Zeyrek Mosque), the monastic complex was one of the largest and best organized of the Byzantine period, comprising two churches and a funerary chapel, baths, a hospice for the aged, a hospital and a medical school, a hostel for travellers and a library. (from outside)

Church of St. Mary Pammacaristos (Fethiye Mosque), built in the 11th century by John Comnenus, displaying the aesthetic refinement attained to Paleologan Age, originally belonged to a convent of nuns. Housed the Patriarchate for a while after the conquest. (from outside) (closed on Wednesdays)

Zoodochos Pege at Balıklı, dedicated to the Mother of God at Pege, with an underground cistern, full of gold fishes related to a well-known miracle, and the fountain of holy water.

St. Sergius & Bacchus, a landmark in Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture. Today it is known as the "Little Hagia Sophia” because its general plan is a precursor of the Hagia Sophia. (from outside)

Hagia Eirene, the old patriarchal church with its impressive size stands next to Hagia Sophia. (from outside)

Hagia Sophia, for many centuries was the largest church of Christendom, dedicated to Divine Wisdom, an attribute of Christ. Hagia Sophia played an important role as emperors were crowned and many victories were celebrated in this remarkable building.