The Turkey - Istanbul Untour
Istanbul combines the exotic flavors of Asia with the familiarity of Europe. Meander the narrow streets of its ancient core, filled with some of the world’s finest mosques. Lose yourself in its sprawling bazaar and spice market. Take in views of the Bosphorus Strait or cross to the modern Galata district for art galleries, boutiques, and trendy restaurants. Enjoy full Untours hospitality.
Stay in a vacation apartment in the heart of the city.
Sights to see: The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Chora Church, and Istiklal Street, plus boat rides to Asia and the Prince’s Islands.
Other Region Information
WHAT TO DO ON YOUR ISTANBUL VACATIONSightseeing starts in the ancient Sultanahmet district, with a visit to the impressive Blue Mosque. The call to prayer fills the air, pulling you onward to the stunning Süleymaniye Mosque. The Hagia Sophia is a church turned mosque turned museum, revealing the city’s deep layers of history. The Hippodrome is a center of civic life dating back to Byzantium. See lovely Byzantine mosaics in the Chora Church. Or tour the opulent Topkapi Palace, home to the ruling Ottoman Empire and much storied history. The Archeology Museum houses more historic treasures. The Grand Bazaar is a fun stop. Shop for spices, pottery or even a rug. Or zip north on the tram to the Galata area, named for its landmark tower, and filled with stylish boutiques and fine restaurants. Stroll the modern Istiklal Caddesi, the new town’s main street, lined with shops and cafes, a perfect place to people watch. Be sure to visit a sema ceremony to watch Whirling Dervishes dancing out their devotion.
Off-the beaten track treasures that can’t be beat: Another Istanbul exists, just beyond the historic sites. Meander the narrow streets on the outer edges of Sultanahmet and witness a vivid local street life. Visit a fruit juice stand or stop to drink some tea. Escape to a hamam; these traditional Turkish baths are a soothing respite from sightseeing. Explore the Tophane neighborhood, home to Istanbul’s contemporary art scene and the recently opened Istanbul Modern museum. Fans of the author Orhan Pamuk can visit the Museum of Innocence, a quirky collection based on his novel. Or visit the Ataturk Museum for a better understanding of the beloved leader and father of modern, secular Turkey. Hop on a boat! Buy a sandwich from one of the floating fish vendors while you wait to board. Cross the Bosporus to Kadiköy, a bustling residential neighborhood of shops, cafes, and restaurants on the Asian side of Istanbul. Visit the Princes’ Islands on a day trip, or enjoy the city lights on a nighttime cruise on the Bosporus.
Those interested in seeing Turkey’s interior can book excursions with our help to visit places like Iznik, the country’s pottery capital, the rocky landscape of Cappadocia, or archeological sites like Ephesus.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THIS UNTOUR?
The Turkey - Istanbul Untour Includes:
- One or two weeks in a personally selected, centrally located apartment in the heart of Istanbul.
- Suggestions for booking your international flight from the U.S. to Istanbul, or we can purchase tickets on your behalf. (Click for more information on Untours' air policies.)
- Transfer by private driver from the Istanbul airport to your new Untours home, and transport back to the airport on your departure.
- Istanbul Card with credit for approximately 20 rides per week included.
- An orientation with our local on-site staff. This will include information on the public transit system and practical advice for sightseeing, tours, and reservations.
- Local maps and literature, plus a guidebook for Istanbul.
- A local cultural activity such as a guided tour of an historical site or a boat cruise on the Bosphorus.
- Use of an Untours cell phone while on location.
- A stash of groceries upon your arrival, so you don’t need to shop right away.
- Pre-trip planning advice from our staff, available by phone or email right up until you leave.
- Ongoing support via telephone with our local representative. Help available when you need it.
Here's what our customers say about how much there is to do in Istanbul:"Istanbul is truly one of the great world cities. We had two wonderful weeks strolling the streets and byways, dropping into shops and mosques, cafes and major attractions. The people are welcoming and friendly, going out of their way to see we caught the right bus or help us decipher a map. I miss the Call to Prayer as they issue live from the 212 mosques within the walls of the old city." - Joan Kelday
"For me, Istanbul was a fascinating place to see the intersection of European secular culture and the rich Islamic heritage of the Middle East. The art, architecture, music and food were new to me and provided delightful surprises. I was continually impressed with the warmth of the Turkish people. I already look forward to my return." - Brian Taussig-Lux, Untours General Manager
"So much to see, so little time. Traveling as a single female felt comfortable from the start. Turkish food is colorful and delicious, and so is the tea. Good walking shoes are a must. Don't miss a visit to a Turkish bath!" - Cathrin Baumbach, Untours staff
Find your perfect Istanbul tour and your perfect vacation rental, in one package - on one of our unforgettable Istanbul Untours!