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Best Tours Available in Istanbul in 2021 [with Tickets & Tips]

Best Tours Available in Istanbul

Istanbul is not the kind of city you visit without wondering about its history. Every corner of the city is filled with buildings with amazing architecture, places of worship from different kind, interesting museums and amazing houses from the ancient time.

That is why we highly recommend you to either participate to a group tour, or to get a private professional guide to discover all the wanders of Istanbul properly.

On this page, find our list of all the tours available in Istanbul and make your choice knowing what to expect. Also find a discounted link for each tour.

Enjoy town at the best price!

Audioguides in Istanbul

Get to know the city by yourself. Indeed, thanks to our audioguides of Istanbul, discover the city at your own pace, with a local guide in your mobile phone. How to do so?

  1. Download the YourMobileGuide App or go to Yourmobileguide.com and check our listing of available audioguides for Istanbul.
  2. Pick your favorite one and start exploring the details of what makes Istanbul a unique place: museums, streets, particular buildings and anecdotes.

As simple as that! You can even listen to the guides like podcasts from your couch wherever you are! For more information, ask us now!

A Local Guide in Your Pocket !

Your Mobile Guide Logo

Discover Istanbul at your own pace with our app. Benefit of city guides and discounted tickets.

1. Museum Tours

Istanbul is the kind of city with a museum for everything. Carpets, ottoman items, mosaics... Difficult to make a choice. Find below all the interesting museums you can visit with a guided tour or with audioguide.

Topkapı Palace Tour with an Official Guide

Topkapı Palace Tour with an Official Guide

Visit Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans and administration center of the Ottoman Empire with an expert guide. This is the most practical way to enter without waiting for ticket lines and also get to know the layout of the palace which has 4 courtyards and many sections. The official English-speaking tour guide will explain many details and facts about the palace and life in the palace for about 30 minutes. 

You will have unlimited time in the museum after the explanations of your guide to visit each section on your own. The Audio Guide is available in 9 languages that are: English, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese...

Topkapı Palace and Harem Tour

Topkapi Palace Tour with Harem Section in Istanbul

You can visit theTopkapi  Palace complex covering an extensive area together with a professional English speaking tour guide. This tour lasts about 90 minutes with interesting details and stories about the palace life. 

Harem as the most remarkable section of Topkapi Palace with no doubt is going to be the final gem of this tour which is hiding a lot of mysterious rooms and halls. Get to know the meaning of Harem, daily life of the people living in Harem, the function of the rooms and courtyards and many more from your guide.

Hagia Sophia Tour

Hagia Sophia with Guided Tour in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia is among the most prominent monuments in the world in terms of art and architectural history. It was described as the 8th wonder of the world by Philo of the East in the 6th century BC.

There is no doubt that this masterpiece is hiding lots of stories and details. The best way to discover them is to visit it with the company of an official tour guide. The tour will last about 30 minutes and after that you can stay inside as long as you wish.

Hagia Sophia Audio Guide is available in: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese

Dolmabahçe Palace Guided Highlights Tour & Audio Guide

Dolmabahçe Palace Guided Highlights Tour & Audio Guide

Dolmabahce Palace is an outstanding 19 century palace located right near the European side of Bosphorus. It was used as a residence by the last 6 Ottoman Sultans with 285 rooms, 44 halls, 68 toilets and 6 Turkish baths.

You get the privilige to enter without waiting for the ticket line and get your Audio Guide with the assistance of the guide. With your English speaking guide you can see the highlights in the garden and get historical information briefly about this palace for about 15 minutes. The Audio Guide works automatically inside the palace which will amaze you with rich decoration and details.

The Audio Guide is available in: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese

 

2. Bus & Boat Tour

Bus and Boat Tour Istanbul

What if we told you that it is possible to explore the city without getting tired? This tour is a combination of a bus trip along the major sightseeings and a pleasant Bosphorus Cruise.

Get the privilege of seeing the iconic structures of Istanbul from both land and sea one after another. After listening to the historical and cultural details of Istanbul by your tour guide on the bus, embark on a pleasant journey in the deep blue waters of the Bosphorus.

  • Departure Times: By Bus: 10:00 AM and 12:00 AM By Boat: 11:45 AM, 12:45 PM, 13:45 PM, 14:45 PM, 15:45 PM, 16:45 PM, 17:45 and 18:45
  • Tip: Please note that your ticket is valid for 2 days which means you can join both tours on the same day or do each in different days within your time limit.
  • Departure Point: Kabatas Pier, located across tram line T1 and funicular F1. Find the wooden structure just behind the red petrol station to meet with the IWC representative.
  • Ticket Price: 20 € (Get a special 5% discount from our website)

3. Bosphorus Tours

It is possible to find various tours for Bosphorus.You can enjoy a short or long ride, in the middle of the day or as the sun sets off, with public ferries or private boats for more intimate experience. Here is a list of them;

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show

Would you like to experience Turkish nightlife by watching traditional dance shows in 6 different categories? Feel the rhythm of the music by the magic of the magnificent bright lights of the Bosphorus.

This is such a unique experience appealing both to the eye and stomach. The feast of taste starts with delicious appetizers with a wide variety, and a main course with 3 options follows. The grand finale will be with the world famous mixed Turkish deserts and seasonal fruits.

Unforgettable experience to do with family and friends. Here are some details :

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure Times: Everyday at 20:00
  • Departure Point: Kabatas Dentur Pier (see location map) Cruise & Show

Hop On Hop Off Bosphorus Tour

Hop On Hop Off Bosphorus Tour in Istanbul

Let's say your explorer spirit wants to get to know the most popular districts of the city and you only have one day to do that. That's why we offer you Hop On Hop Off Bosphorus Tour as the fastest and most convenient option to visit Istanbul. 

You can wander as much as you want at each stop at your own pace. It is possible to enjoy the unique Bosphorus view with countless historical monuments and mansions with the advantage of Hop On & Hop Off as much as you want for 1 day. 

Hop-on Hop-off Stops: Kabatas (starting point), Emirgan, Kucuksu, Beylerbeyi, Besiktas, and back to Kabatas

Tour Duration: You can Hop on and off as many times as you like within a day. If you never leave the boat, the round trip will take about 100 minutes from the start to the end.

  • Departure Times: 11:45 12:45 13:45 14:45 15:45 16:45 17:45 18:45
  • Departure Point: Kabatas Dentur Avrasya Pier
  • Ticket Price: 12 € (Get a special 5% discount from our website)

Bosphorus Cruise (90 minutes) with Audio Guide

Bosphorus Cruise (90 minutes) with Audio Guide

Set off for an exciting and relaxing journey in the company of famous seagulls of Istanbul in the blue waters of the Bosphorus.

The 90 minutes cruise will make your day as you watch the most beautiful palaces, structures and mansions of the Asian and European coasts and listen the stories with the Audioguide available in 9 different languages. 

Inclusions: Ticket for 90 minute Bosphorus Cruise , A bottle of water or juice, Audio Guide for the Smartphone in English, German, French, Russian, Italian, Polish, Arabic, Chinese and Turkish.

  • Departure Times: 11:45 12:45 13:45 14:45 15:45 16:45 17:45 18:45
  • Departure Point: Kabatas Pier, located across tram line T1 and funicular F1. *Find the wooden structure just behind the red petrol station to meet with the IWC representative.
  • Ticket Price: 10 € (Get a special 5% discount from our website)

Princes' Island Round-Trip with an Audio Guide

Princes' Island Round-Trip in Istanbul

Embark on the ferry to Princes'Island from the Kabatas Pier to get the biggest of the 9 islands, Buyukada. The journey takes about 75 minutes as you may listen the historical background and interesting facts about these mysterious islands.

Get away from the hustle and bustle ofthe city and forget about the traffic for a day. There are many ways to discover the island. Whether you prefer an electric minibus, rental bike or walking, we are sure that you will have an amazing day.

Get the advantage of the fast track entry to the ferry with your round-trip ticket. The Audio Guide is available for both IOS and Android in 10 languages.

  • Inclusions: Round-Trip ferry ticket and 30 min. Sightseeing tour
  • Departure Times: 10:40 AM and 13:40 PM
  • Departure Point: Go to Kabatas Pier and find the wooden DENTUR stand of IWC with the red labels to meet with the Marine Officer.
  • Ticket Price: 8 € (Get a special 5% discount from our website)

Golden Horn & Bosphorus Cruise

Golden Horn & Bosphorus Cruise

We recommend this trip especially for the visitors with limited time in Istanbul. Get a real sense of the city while taking the most amazing photos during the journey.

This is a relaxing and nice opportunity to see the major landmarks on the Asian and European side. The boat passes near the Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress and Beylerbeyi Palace.

It is possible to view the Historical Peninsula where the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque are located by the boat. The English speaking tour guide will be with you the whole time. Here some more details :

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Departure Times: 12:30, 16:00 and 19:00
  • Departure Point: Find the white buffet kiosk just opposite the Hagia Sophia and you'll see the Grand Boat Line sign there. The tour guide will take you to the boat with 15 minutes walk. The boat departs from Eminönü pier.
  • Ticket Price: 15 € (Get a special 5% discount from our website)

4. Yacht Tours

Bosphorus Luxury Yacht Tour

Bosphorus Luxury Yacht Tour

What about a 2 hour adventure on shimmery Bosphorus, with a luxurious private yacht? This option is the top-notch experience in Istanbul to share with your loved ones. It will definitely be on the top of your list of unforgettable memories in Istanbul!

Your experienced guide will tell stories about the landmarks and Bosphorus from a historian's line of sight. Getting to know a lot about the surroundings, you'll be amazed by the iconic monuments such as Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, Beylerbeyi Palace, nostalgic waterfront districts and mansions and many other...

With a free Wi-Fi on the yacht, you can share the best shots on Bosphorus with the world instantly. This trip also includes some treats like a delicious wine, Turkish tea, coffee or other soft drinks to live the joy to the fullest.

  • Departure Times: At noon from 12am-2 pm (12:00-14:00) or at sunset from 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm (18:30-20:30)
  • Departure Point: Kabatas Pier across the tram line T1 and funicular F1 (close to Dolmabahce Palace).
  • Ticket Price: 44 € (Our website visitors will get 5% discount)

5. Walking Tours

Istanbul Top Spots Tour

Istanbul Top Spots Walking Tour

A real chance to see many sights of the city on the same day. The 6 hour tour is including 3 different routes from Historical Peninsula to Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and Galata neighbourhood.

1st Route: The Old City Sultanahmet to the Grand Bazaar

Start the day by visiting the most remarkable sights in the Old Town including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and first courtyard of the Topkapi Palace. This will be a great start to get the historical background of this unique city.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Departure: 10:00 AM
  • Meeting Poing: At the Hürrem Sultan Hamam, across Hagia Sophia

2nd Route: Grand Bazaar, Rooftops and the Spice Market

Visit two historical covered markets too feel the nostalgia, imagine the daily life of Ottomans. Take amazing photos from the rooftops , try out local tastes on your way. Get a chance to discover Turkish hand made souveneirs, handicrafts, jewelry as well as herbs ,delights and spices...

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Departure: 12:30 PM
  • Departure Point: Çemberlitaş, the Column of Costantine the Great, across from the entrance of the Grand Bazaar
  • Tip: You can continiue the final tour for Galata the next available day in case you feel tired.

Last Route: Tunnel Square, Taksim, Dervish Lodge and Galata Tower

Galata Tower was also called as the Genoese Tower used by the Genoese colony in Constantinople in the 13th century. The traces of the European communities lived in the 19th century in Grand Rue de Pera can be seen in today’s İstiklal Square. 

Istiklal Street is among the busiest locations in Istanbul with many shops, Art Nouveuau and Neo Classical buildings, historical passages, churches, markets, bars and cafés. 

Learn about the historical background of this area where you will see amazing details at every corner from your guide. 

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Departure Times: 15:00 PM
  • Departure Point: At the exit gate of the funicular at Tunnel Square

Galata Tower Ticket & Tour

Taksim and Galata Walking Tour in Istanbul

Galata Tower is the pearl of Golden Horn which offers amazing view of Istanbul from its terrace. Your guide will tell about the tower as well as the monuments around you as you get to the balconies at the top floor.

Capture amazing shots from here. The tour follows with old streets of this neighborhood which was occupied by the Genoese colony once. Take a one way ride with the world’s second subway to get Istiklal Street. Here you’ll see colorfull shops, amazing 19th century buildings reflecting the European effects of the time, many eateries, passages and galleries. You are free to stay here to discover more at the end of the tour.

Istanbul Blue Mosque and Sultanahmet Square Tour

Istanbul Blue Mosque and Sultanahmet Square

This tour is a great introduction especially if its your first time in Istanbul. You can get to know about the area called with the name of the mosque as "Sultanahmet Square”. Hear the stories of some of the oldest monuments in the city located in the Hippodrome Square nad more from your local expert tour guide. The tour takes about 45 minutes which lasts at the courtyard of the Blue Mosque. 

Blue Mosque is officially named as Sultan Ahmed Mosque as it was commissioned by Sultan Ahmed I in 17th century by Sedefkar Mehmed Agha. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How much is a private tour in istanbul?

It depends on what you want to see and for how long. You can request a price from a local agency for specially planned tours. However, with special Istanbul Welcome Cards covering the most preferred places, you also have the opportunity to visit the most important museums with expert guides. These packages will not only save you time, but also provide you with the opportunity to benefit from guidance services at very affordable prices. 

do you need a tour guide in istanbul?

Yes, because the most practical way to understand Istanbul, which is full of historical buildings, is to have an expert guide. Although it is possible to obtain historical information with the help of books, professional tour guides are the people who will best summarize all the information for you and answer your questions. Due to its crowdedness and dense structure, Istanbul is not an easy city to visit. It will be very advantageous to have a guide with you, who can help you and give advice about the city in every sense. Plus, with a licensed tour guide, you will have a priority for the entrances of the museums because the guides can skip the ticket lines which can be very dense at times.

Tip: Please check if your guide is licenced. To be a tour guide in Turkey, people need to be graduated from Tourism Guidance department of universities and give specific exams on language and others.

what tours can you do in istanbul?

The best place to start understanding the deep history of the city is the Sultanahmet area. You can start your Istanbul tour with a full-day tour of the Historical Peninsula, which includes Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Byzantine cisterns, Blue mosque and hippodrome square.

Another must-do attraction in Istanbul is the Bosphorus Cruise. The most enjoyable way to discover the historical palaces and luxury mansions of Istanbul from the sea.

How many days do you need to tour istanbul?

There are many things to do in such a big city. Although, you can see most of the top attractions if you stay 4 days in Istanbul including the Sultanahmet Area, Taksim and Galata and Bosphorus Cruise.

Contact us for more information

You want more information about one of these tours of Istanbul? Or you would prefer a special private tour of Istanbul? Fill in this form and ask us anything. We will get back at you in less than 24H.

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