This is a great itinerary for those who have four days in Istanbul.
This private tour takes you to the must-see sights of historical Istanbul as well as the local gems of the modern city.
Your private professional tour guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel every morning and take you to different parts of town.
We recommend exploring the modern side of the city with panoramic views on the first day to orient yourself better. Finest way to orient yourself is to go on the private yacht tour along the Bosphorus. This is the most relaxing and informative way to learn about Istanbul. Your guide will tell you all about the city during this yacht tour as you take photographs of the beautiful monuments and houses along the Bosphorus.
Following the yacht tour, you will explore the modern face of the city where you will be walking around the most picturesque neighborhoods along the Bosphorus as well as the up-and-coming ones around Taksim Square & Galata neigbhorhoods. You will have a chance to appreciate the antique stores around Çukurcuma, visit the first museum dedicated to a novel (Museum of Innocence) and wander among the designer stores of Galata neighborhood.
On the following days, you will visit the must-see sights like Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Grand Bazaar in the historical peninsula and appreciate the most beautiful examples of Byzantine mosaics at Chora Museum.
Here is a possible breakdown of your four days in Istanbul:
MODERN ISTANBUL DAY:
Galata Tower: Finest panoramic view of the city
Galata Neighborhood: Historical neighborhood that has been gentrified with youngsters and designer stores
Private yacht tour: Best way to start exploring Istanbul is from the water
Bebek neighborhood: Upscale, residential neighborhood by the Bosphorus
Arnavutkoy neighborhood: Picturesque neighborhood with historical wooden houses and narrow streets
Ortakoy neighborhood: Picturesque neighborhood with a monumental mosque by the water
Taksim Square: So called ‘center of the city’, famous with the ‘Statue of Independence’
Cukurcuma neighborhood: Up and coming neighborhood with historical buildings & antique stores
Museum of Innocence: First museum in the world that is dedicated to a novel
Salt Beyoğlu: contemporary art gallery
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HISTORICAL PENINSULA, PART I:
Hippodrome: Former city center where the Byzantines had horse races and games
Blue Mosque: Famous 17th century mosque with beautiful blue Iznik tiles
Hagia Sophia: Once the biggest church in the world, Hagia Sophia has been the cathedral of the Byzantines, imperial mosque of the Ottomans and now is a museum
Underground Cistern: Biggest and best preserved underground cistern of the Byzantines where they stored water for emergencies
Grand Bazaar: First shopping mall of the world, built in the 15th century, the bazaar is the biggest covered one in the world. Here is where the locals buy gold and silver jewellery, rugs, leather goods and more.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HISTORICAL PENINSULA, PART II:
Topkapı Palace: 15th century palace of the Ottomans. Seat of the council hall and house of the royal family
Spice Market: 17th century market place with spices, Turkish delight, dried fruits, herbal teas and more
Rustempasa Mosque: Tiny 16th century mosque with beautiful Iznik tiles
OFF-THE-BEATEN TRACK HISTORICAL PENINSULA & A FINE PRIVATE MUSEUM:
Rahmi Koc Museum: Private museum of Koc family with a rich collection of transportation history (classical American cars, 19th century train wagons and more)
Fener & Balat Neighborhoods: Former Greek & Jewish neighborhoods of the city
Chora Museum: Finest Byzantine mosaics in the city from the 14th century
Suleymaniye Mosque: Biggest mosque in the city, built for the longest ruling Sultan Suleyman the Magnificient, by the finest Ottoman architect, Sinan