Istanbul & Ancient Turkey
Travel with us to the city where east-meets-west on our guided holidays to Istanbul. All of our holidays to Istanbul include return flights, accommodation, all transfers and excursions with an expert, local guide, so the only thing to worry about is which of the city’s incredible sites to see first!
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is filled with a dizzying array of exotic sights, sounds and smells. One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar includes 4,000 shops and over 60 covered streets! The incredible market is filled with traditional clothing, housewares, jewellery, tea and spices and is a must-see for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Turkish culture. On our holidays to Istanbul, we’ll enjoy plenty of free time to browse the market at our leisure.
Built by the Ottoman’s between 1609 and 1616, the historic Blue Mosque is still used as a Muslim place of worship today. Though its named for its blue-tiled interior, this grand Mosque is also lit by blue lights in the evening. The Blue Mosque dominates the Istanbul skyline with 13 domes and 6 minarets and is a must-see when visiting the city. On our tours to Istanbul, we’ll get to see the structure up close with an expert, local guide to tell us about the history of this important monument.
Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia or Church of the Holy Wisdom is considered to be the most important Byzantine structure and one of the world’s most important monuments. The current structure was built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian I, but the original church at the site of Hagia Sophia was constructed by Constantine in 325 AD. No trip to Istanbul is complete without taking time to marvel at this incredible structure that has served as an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral, Roman Catholic Church and Ottoman Mosque.
Originally the main residence and administrative headquarters of Ottoman Sultans, this stunning palace was converted into a museum in 1924, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. On our trips to Istanbul, we’ll have the opportunity to visit Topkapi Palace in our free time. Here, we’ll stroll through the palace’s enchanting courtyards and pavilions, admire the jewels of the Ottoman Empire in the Treasury and explore the sprawling Harem, where Ottoman Emperors kept their many wives and children. The grounds also contain Byzantine churches, ornate staterooms and grand audience chambers.
Formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul has hosted Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Rulers throughout its history. These Empires may have come and gone but what has been left behind is a rich cultural diversity that has influenced every aspect of modern Istanbul. With all of this incredible heritage, it’s easy to see why Istanbul is a UNESCO World Heritage City. On our holidays to Istanbul, we’ll explore some of the city’s most famous sites including stunning Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar. We offer a variety of Istanbul holidays including a short City Break, ideal for exploring the must-see highlights, and a week-long trip including the most important destinations of Ancient Turkey. Our Greek Aisles Cruise also includes a stop in Istanbul and you can add Istanbul as a trip extension for some long-haul holidays like our trip to Jordan & the Holy Land.
Travel Department holidays include flights, transfers and hotel accommodation on bed and breakfast, half board or full board basis, and excursions as specified.
All items that are included are clearly stated in our documentation. Add-ons such as insurance, bags and single room supplements are mentioned separately. In some cases you may have to pay a local departure tax or local transport cost. This will be detailed in your documentation and our local guides will assist you with these. Tipping is not included in your holiday price and information regarding tipping will also be included with your travel documents.
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.
Deposit is required on booking and is dependent on your holiday type and starts at €100pp for city breaks. Full payment is due 10 weeks before departure hence if you book less than 10 weeks from departure full payment will be due when you book.
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
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.