Istanbul City Break
- Discover the city where East meets West on this 4-night guided holiday to Istanbul.
- Stay in Istanbul’s city centre for easy access to all of the city’s most fascinating highlights.
- Experience the European & Asian sides of Istanbul on two half day guided city tours.
- Enjoy plenty of free time to explore this historic city, with tips from our local guide.
Book Your Trip From €1288pp
Book Your Trip From €1029pp
Your Escorted Istanbul City Break Holiday
Join us on an unforgettable 4-night city break holiday as we immerse ourselves in the history and culture of Istanbul. Because the city bridges the continents of Asia and Europe, Istanbul has been hugely influential throughout the centuries as a key stronghold for the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Empires may have come and gone but what’s been left behind is a richly diverse culture that’s evident in the city’s everyday life. On this holiday to Istanbul, we’ll explore the city’s Asian and European sides on two half day guided tours with an expert, local guide. We’ll also enjoy plenty of free time to discover the city’s array of important historical sites, wander its colourful markets or just relax with a steaming cup of Turkish coffee while taking in the atmosphere of this impressive city.
- 2024 Itinerary varies from 2023
- 2024 Includes a visit inside the historical St Sophia Mosque, instead of Topkapi Palace, giving more time to enjoy exploring Topkapi Palace at your own pace, on your day of leisure.
Activity Level: Leisurely
Travel to Istanbul Türkiye (Turkey)
Arrive in Istanbul
On arrival in Istanbul Türkiye (Turkey), we meet our local representative and transfer to our hotel.
Experience Istanbul on a Guided City Tour
Discover Istanbul City including
Lets discover more of this vibrant and bustling city!
After breakfast we set out on a morning city tour of Istanbul, which will include visits to the Blue Mosque and St. Sophia Mosque (viewed from the outside), the Egyptian Obelisks, the Roman Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace (Topkapi included for 2023 tours only).
We finish our tour at a Turkish art centre, where traditional arts are taught and exhibited, followed by a refreshing cup of tea or coffee at a local café (included).
This lively city is a perfect combination of modern and ancient, displaying a range of architecture from majestic skyscrapers to historic mosques, temples and churches. The afternoon will be at leisure, to relax and get to know our surroundings or uncover more of Istanbul's fascinating treasures. Our expert guide will be happy to suggest places of interest.
Please note: St Sophia is no longer be a museum. It has now been converted to a Mosque. During times of prayer it may not be possible to visit the inside, should you wish to visit the inside in your free time.
*In order to preserve the beauty and integrity of the iconic Blue Mosque, restoration work is ongoing at this site. Some phases of the restoration involve scaffolding; thus a clear view of the entire Mosque may not be possible.
Please note: 2024 Includes a visit inside the historical St Sophia Mosque, instead of Topkapi Palace, giving more time to enjoy exploring Topkapi Palace at your own pace, on your day of leisure.
Istanbul - Asian Side Guided Excursion
Explore the Asian Side of Istanbul
Lets see more of Istanbul!
After breakfast, we leave the European side of Istanbul and set off on a half day guided city tour of the Asian side. We enjoy a guided excursion to Camlica Hill, with panoramic views over Istanbul and a visit to the opulent summer residence of the Ottoman Sultan, Beylebeyi Palace. Step back in time and discover the wealth and lavishness of a summer home to the Sultans (entrance is included).
Uncover More of Istanbul at Leisure
The afternoon will be at leisure. Our expert guide will be happy to tell us of further places of interest, like a cruise down the Bosphorus, or the Spice market, Istanbul is a big city and there is lots to see.
See More of Istanbul at Leisure - Optional Excursion
Explore Istanbul at Leisure
Today is free to explore at our own pace. Perhaps take in some of the sites like the Underground Cistern, a fascinating network of water channels and ornamental pillars, dating back to Roman times. Shop till you drop in one of the many trendy shops or in one of the ancient Bazaars; uncover more of Istanbul’s history with a visit to the iconic Galata Tower for that Instagram shot; or savour the moment sitting in a café with some wonderful Turkish delights while sipping a hot strong Turkish coffee or tea (Turkiye has the highest per capita consumption of tea in the world)!
Optional Guided Excursion - Hagia Sophia & Grand Bazaar
Enjoy a half day guided old city tour and visit Hagia Sophia, one of the world’s greatest marvels of architecture and an important monument for both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Hagia Sofia was once a church, later a museum and today it is a mosque. Also included on today’s half day tour is a visit to the Grand Bazaar (covered), one of the oldest and largest markets in the world. The Grand Bazaar was constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. In this fascinating labyrinth of streets and passageways there are more than 4000 shops where you can find carpets, spices, jewellery and much more. (Please note the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays).Our expert guide can book this locally for you, minimum numbers are required for the tour to operate.
Optional Guided Excursion - Golden Horn, Spice Market & Cruise on the Bosphorus
Enjoy a panoramic tour of the old city walls on the way to the Golden Horn, a natural second harbour and inlet that separates the European shore into two. Also included is a visit to the Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar) where we can enjoy the aromas of various spices and teas. After this, enjoy a cruise down the Bosphorus by boat or ferry, cruising between the two continents of Asia and Europe, passing some beautiful landmarks along the way! Please note there are mobile steps to board and disembark the boat or ferry, hence this excursion may not be suitable for customers with restricted mobility.
Minimum numbers are required for this tour to operate
Return Home from Istanbul
Depart Istanbul Turkey
Today we say goodbye to Turkey after exploring this fascinating and captivating ancient city with new friends and memorable moments.
We transfer by coach to Istanbul Airport for the flight home, with guide assistance.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a Visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.
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Check out the five reasons why you should go on a city break with the Travel Department.