Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is rich in historical and artistic resources, explore the top 15 things to do in private Istanbul tours. It offer's such a beautiful diversity that even if you were in a position to read volumes of books about the city nothing would beat an Istanbul guided private tour. It is the only way to explore the one city that lies in two continents, however desirable it may be to run through one of the comprehensive guides of the city, better to book a private tour to make your visit more enjoyable.
Istanbul is the only city in the world astride two continents Asia on the East and Europe on the west, situated at the entrance of the Bosphorus linking Marmara to the Black Sea.
Although no longer the capital city, Istanbul is still, however, the most important social, intellectual, as well as commercial and industrial centre and also an incomparable heaven for tourist.
Without a doubt, Istanbul is the only city in the world which combines its incomparable natural beauty with intact masterpieces of many different civilizations. The private Istanbul tours are organised to show you the most relevant and accessible sights first so that you can see as much as possible in even a short time. But if you have a week, you should be able to see just about everything described here. Read More...
On Private Sightseeing Tour in Istanbul see the Amazing Maiden Tower
On Private Sightseeing Tour in Istanbul see the Amazing Maiden Tower at the opening of the Bosphorus said to have been built in the time of Constantine this is a must see tour. Also called the "Leander Tower", the legend of the tower is known around the world and refers to Constantine and his daughter.
Emperor Constantine had a beautiful girl, and a sorcerer told the emperor that his daughter would die from a snake bite. To save his daughter from her unfortunate destiny, the emperor built this tower in the middle of the sea, and his daughter started living there.
One day, a basket of grapes was sent to the tower, inside of which a snake crawled out and killed the girl, the prophecy had been fulfilled, and from that day the tower came to be known as the "Maiden's Tower" and one of the best highlights on a private tour of Istanbul Turkey.
Top 15 Things to See and Do in Istanbul
On a guided private tour of Hagia Sophia Church appreciate the architects' genius and enter church slowly take it all in as you look through the emperor's Imperial Door into the sanctuary. There's a unique lodge for the Sultan where he could enter and leave without being seen. The mihrab is not centered in the apse because it must point directly toward Mecca, imagine what it must have been like with all of the glass oil lamps lit around the dome.
Inside you'll see that the Blue Mosque gets its name from over 21,000 pieces of faience covering the walls. The many windows, painting on the ceiling, and the colour of the tiles give the mosque an airy quality that's ruined only partially by the massive pillars the architect found necessary to hold up the dome. For women whose clothing doesn't meet strict standards, there are robes available at the entrance, free of charge.
Across the street from Hagia Sophia, under a little park on Divan Yolu, is the Cistern Basilica (Yerebatan Saray in Turkish the Sunken Palace). On a guided private tour you can walk downstairs and out onto a platform that is built above the water. The views from the platform are unique but the scenic views are amazing, and a must see on any sightseeing tour.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar Istanbul is a little city inside the city proper. The number of streets and alleyways are countless with fountains, masjids (small mosques), food stalls, street traders and everything else to serve the daily needs of those that spend all day there. A Grand Bazaar guided private tour shopping trip is a unique experience and a must-do when you are in Istanbul.
The Dolmabahçe Palace previously owned by the heir to the throne has now been converted into a museum with magnificent paintings and statues. Take a sightseeing private tour of the Palace and as you walk throughout the halls, see the paintings of noted artists on exhibition brought home by Sultan Abdülaziz on one of his trips to Europe. Also noted for the place where Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, died here in 1938.
Istanbul Archaeology Museum
The Istanbul Archaeology Museum guided private tour will take you through this amazing museum; divided into three main departments; The Tiled Pavilion (Çinili Köşk), The Museum of the Ancient Orient (Eski Şark Eserler Müzesi) and The Archaeology Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi). Home to the palace collections collected during the late 19th century by the museum director and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey.
The Galata Tower was used by as a lookout for Galata and Istanbul to prevent the entry of the fleet to the Golden Horn. Today, the Galata Tower is viewed as a typical spy-tower from the Middle Ages. Climb to the upper floors, and you can see the spectacular views of the Golden Horn and the city of Istanbul, perfect Galata private tours are freely available. There is a restaurant and a nightclub frequented by tourists and the Istanbul society.
Süleymaniye Mosque on a guided private tour is one of the most beautiful mosques in Islamic culture. It was built by Mimar Sinan for Kanunî Sultan Süleyman during the years 1550 to 1557. It is a triumph for Mimar Sinan, the great Turkish architect, due to its location since the city takes its silhouette from this mosque. The charm of the interior planning and the elegance of the exterior design is breathtaking.
Hippodrome of Constantinople
See the Hippodrome on private tour it is one of the oldest built in the city, dating from before the time of Constantine. The first object you pass is a fountain pre-Hagia Sophia send by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Next, one of the most interesting decorations in the Hippodrome, an obelisk dating from the 15th century B.C., initially from Egypt, brought to Constantinople by the Emperor Theodosius has his figure carved on the pedestal.
The beautiful Church of the Holy Savior (Chora Church) sightseeing guided private tour is one of the most unique Byzantine churches in modern day history. Built in the 5th century, as part of a monastery complex that stood outside the old city walls of Constantinople hence the Church was named "Chora" which loosely translates to the word "outside". See the gorgeous mosaics and frescoes that represents the best of the Palaeogian Renaissance.
The Maiden Tower is said to have been built in the time of Constantine, also called the "Leander Tower", take a guided private tour and learn about the famous legend of the tower. The Legend goes that Emperor Constantine had a beautiful baby girl, and a sorcerer told the emperor that his daughter would die from a snake bite. To save his daughter the emperor built the tower in the middle of the sea which became known as the "Maiden's Tower".
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
The Turkish and Islamic Works Museum is one of the only Turkish museums specifically covering Turkish and Islamic works of art only. Sightseeing guided private tours of the Museum are very informative and a fun day out. One exhibition hall is home to the largest and richest collection of carpet art in the world from prayer rugs to hand stitched prints this is a must see on any private tour to Istanbul.
Pierre Loti Tepesi
Take a guiding sightseeing private tour and see the best view of the Golden Horn Istanbul by cable car. From Ayub Mosque to the top of the hill the panoramic views are spectacular. With an excellent coffee shop and an outdoor relaxation area, you can't go to Istanbul without visiting Pierre Loti. It is also a super place to have Turkish tea and watch the amazing sunsets.
On a private tour of the famous Istanbul spice bazaar constructed in the sixteen hundred's, you will see the amazing multicoloured spices displayed alongside many other unique Turkish food stalls. The market has a lot to offer tourists from fantastic street food to honey, caviar, dried fruits and nuts. Have some fun with the vendors about the prices and sample everything on offer your taste buds won't know what hit them.
Travel Tips for Istanbul
Best Time To Visit
You can travel to Turkey at any time of the year due to the great annual climate and of course high season is best due to the hot temperatures, however, travelling out of season is still a good time to visit the many historical sites around the country. It can be chilly and a little wet from January to the start of April, but it is tolerable. Flights are cheaper out of the summer season as is the accommodation and private tours so pre-book if you can.
Turkey is the ideal holiday to suit any budget! The flights can be reasonable, and you can visit turkey any time of the year! The currency is Turkish Lira, but they accept all currencies so don't worry. You are best changing money in Turkey as you get a better rate than you would do back home. The bars and restaurants great, they cater for all pallets and are extremely reasonable. If you love shopping, you can get fantastic bargains.
Know Before Visiting
Turkey is a very diverse country, and the locals are most welcoming and very helpful, you will fall in love with the magic in this country, and will keep coming back for more. If you like to shop and get a bargain, then this is the place for you; haggling is part of the culture so have fun but do not go crazy take around 30% off their asking price! The buses are frequent and cheap, and meters are fitted in all taxi's.
The weather is super for most of the year, and the winters are not very cold. From May to November the weather is fantastic, but from July until September it is scorching with temperatures rising to 45 degrees. There is air conditioning everywhere so if you do not want to lie on a beach; there is so much to do and see here you will have a fabulous time.