This is an opportunity to discover the European side of Istanbul. You will visit the magnificent Dolmabahçe Palace and take some fresh air in the lush Yıldız Royal Garden. After having our lunch at a local restaurant, we will continue our tour with a boat trip on the Bosphorus, followed by a visit to the Pierre Loti Hill - via a cable car - to enjoy the landscape of Istanbul, and then drive along the Golden Horn to reach the Byzantine City walls.
Dolmabahçe Palace: Commisioned by Sultan Abdulmejid in the middle of the 19th century, Dolmabahçe Palace represents an oriental style combined with western architectural elements. It was designed by Garabet Balyan, a master architect of European forms and styles. The palace is a sumptuous creation consisting of 285 rooms, four grand salons, six galleries and six hamams (Turkish baths). The palace retains all of its original ornate furniture and lavish decorations with silk carpets and curtains.
Shopping tip: Turkey has some of the best leather manufacturers in the world and we offer you a chance to see how different leather products are crafted. You will have the opportunity to buy leather accessories at reasonable prices.
We will have our lunch at a fabulous fish and seafood restaurant.
Bosphorus cruise: This is a unique boat tour, on which you can experience the transition of cultures between the continents of Europe and Asia. You will have you the chance to take photographs of marble palaces and historic buildings, and may be surprised by the wooden Ottoman villas, nestling between more modern residential buildings.
Rumeli Fortress: (View from the boat - No interior visit) This citadel was constructed in just four months by Mehmet the Conqueror in preparation for the seventh and final Ottoman siege of the Byzantine capital city of Constantinople. In conjunction with the Anatolia Fortress on the opposite side of the Bosphorus, they were able to cut off all Black Sea traffic in and out of the city.
Leander’s Tower (View from the boat - No Interior Visit) The tower, also known as the Maiden’s tower, was built by Ibrahim Paşa in 1719 over the remains of a fortress built by Mehmet the Conqueror. There has been a construction on the small islet since 408 B.C., having been destroyed and reconstructed many times through the ages. Strategically located at the mouth of the Bosphorus, the tower, one of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks, has been used as a watchtower and as a lighthouse. It is currently a panoramic restaurant and tea lounge.
Cable Car & Pierre Loti Hill: Pierre Loti, with its magnificent views of the Golden Horn and Istanbul skyline, is well worth a visit. It is also a perfect opportunity to enjoy the Cable Car ride as it travels over Eyup cemetery and adjacent cafes, then takes you up to the unique viewpoint.
Golden Horn: The Golden Horn estuary separates the modern business district and the historic peninsula of the Old City, both on the European side of the Bosphorus. Where the Golden horn meets the Bosphorus, it forms a natural harbour which is now traversed by a number of bridges and a regular ferry service. Widest at the entrance to the Bosphorus, it is 8km in length.
Byzantine City Walls: Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985, the city walls are one of the most important historical constructions of Istanbul. The impressive walls were built to defend Constantinople from invasion and are a magnificent testimony to Byzantine military architectural prowess.
Full-Day Dolmabahce Palace & Bosphorus Cruise
Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 30 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability