ISTANBUL FOR HISTORY LOVERS

Istanbul, the city on the seven hills  is not only considered by the medieval poets  as the apple of the eye of all the cities. Unbroken she pulls the people in her spell like a mirage  at the intersection point of Orient and the Occident.  The historical Istanbul at the point between the Golden Horn, the Marmara Sea and Bosphorus seems definetly like no other metropols  as it combines East and West in a synthesis  , as Goethe in “West-Eastern Diwan” meant : “He who knows himself and others , Here will also see, That the East and West, like brothers, Parted ne’er shall be.”

1. Day Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to the hotel

2. Day The Hippodrome, Haghia Sophia Museum ,Blue Mosque, Archeological Museum

3. Day Topkapi Palace, The Spice Bazaar, Pammakaristos Church, Chora Church and Pera quarter

4. Day Grand Bazaar, Suleymaniye Mosque, and Bosphorus Boat trip

5. Day Return flight from Istanbul

-4 nights accomodation in 3* and 4 * hotels

-Bed and Breakfast (Breakfast only)

- Professional English speaking tour guide on tours

-Airport transfers

-All museum and entrance fees

Day 1 Arrival Istanbul

Flight to Istanbul. Our proficent tour guide will be waiting for you at the airport with your ride to the hotel.

Day 2 The Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Archeological Museum

The morning starts with a glance at the history. The history of Istanbul begins around 660 B.C when greek settlers established Byzantium on the European side of the Bosphorus. The city was developed and extended during the reign of the emperor Constantin in 330 AD and took the name from him.

Our city walk leads us next to the Hippodrome, which used to be the heart of the city’s civil activities. Propaganda activities, rebellions, fighting's and eventually chariot races took place in this area.The column from Delphi here is the most famous one among the three momument of honour of late antiquity.

Hagia Sophia, one of the important symbols of Istanbul, means “Holy Wisdom” in greek language. From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. After the conquest of the city in 1453 by the Turks it was converted to a mosque and hence the city’s name Konstantinopolis changed to Istanbul.

Neighbouring the Hagia Sophia the Sultan Ahmet Mosque stands opposite to Hagia Sophia recognized with its six minarettes. It is known as Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It reflects the endphase of the ottoman style.

In the afternoon we will visit the Archeological Museum and you will enjoy the prominent findings from Turkey such as the hititte cuneiforms and the so called Alexander Sarchophagus.

Day 3 Topkapi Palace, The Spice Bazaar, Pammakaristos Church, Chora Church and Pera quarter

The Topkapi Palace is the epitome of the Orient, it was home to the many important characters from the Ottoman history. Topkapi Palace was the administrative, educational and art center of the Empire for nearly four hundred years since Mehmed the Conqueror until Sultan Abdulmecid who is the thirty first Sultan.

At the end of the detailed visit of the Palace we leave the Topkapi by looking at the attractive view over the city.

In the afternoon we will be visiting the Chora church which was converted into a museum in 1945. The mosaics and frescoes in the Chora are the most beautiful examples dating from the last period of the Byzantine painting (14th century).

Pammakaristos Church was one of the most famous byzantine churches of Konstantinopolis. After the conquest it was used initially as the seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and afterwards converted into a mosque. It has the largest amount of Byzantine mosaics in Istanbul after the Hagia Sophia and Chora Church.

From here we go to the Pera quarter which was characterized in the 19th century through Venetian, Genoese and French culture and has been once upon a time the classy and sophisticated part of the city.Today , Istanbul’s modern life’s heart beats on the Istiklal Street ,between Galata tower and Taksim square.

Day 4 Grand Bazaar, Suleymaniye Mosque, and Bosphorus Boat trip

Today we enter into the one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, Grand Bazaar. It is like a charming labyrinth of the covered streets and passages with more than 3.000 shops.

The Süleymaniye Mosque was built on the order of Sultan Süleyman (Süleyman the Magnificent) and it is considered as the major work of Sinan the Architect.

The day will continue with a Bosphorus boat trip where you can enjoy the most beautiful view of Istanbul. You will enjoy the the Bosphorus breeze while having the look at the Dolmabahce Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, small wooden hosues and imposing villas.

At the last night of your trip in Istanbul, the unique city between Europe and Asia, you have the option to enjoy a typical turkish restaurant and try the turksih specialities.

Day 5 Return flight from Istanbul

Farewell from Istanbul , the city on the two continents and return flight.