Discover Istanbul: its history and culinary culture
Istanbul, the former capital of three Empires, and today the economic and cultural engine of the region, is enigmatic and fascinating. It is a crossroads between East and West, modernity and tradition, Christianity and Islam, but also a gastronomic crossroads where flavors and spices intersect and mix. Turkey’s gastronomy is an unmissable wealth of Turkish and Istanbul heritage, with its many centuries-old Mediterranean and Eastern influences, offering a wide choice of dishes in its cuisine. The city itself is not uniform and each neighborhood stands out for its lifestyle, its dress codes, and its architecture. The city itself is not uniform and each neighborhood stands out for its lifestyle, its dress codes, and its architecture. We offer you a glimpse, for a weekend, of this organized and bewitching chaos.
DAY 1 – Arrival at Istanbul Airport and private transfer service
A vehicle with a private driver will meet you at the airport (Istanbul International Airport or Sabiha Gökçen Airport) to take you to your hotel or apartment where you will be staying during your trip.
DAY 2 – Visit of the classics in the Sultanahmet district
Istanbul is a millenary city that has been the capital city of three empires: the Byzantine Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. This tour is a one-day guided visit to discover this fascinating heritage.
The day will start by visiting the emblematic monument of Istanbul: the Sainte-Sophie Basilica, built in the 6th century. We will then visit the Basilica Cistern, a mythic and spellbinding place that was used as a water tank by the city but also as a James Bond movie set. After this, we offer you a small coffee break on a panoramic terrace where you will be able to enjoy an amazing view over the whole city and its monuments. You will then visit the sumptuous Blue Mosque, named after the fabulous blue stove tiles from Iznik covering the inside. Then, we will go around the Grand Bazaar to have lunch in a local restaurant (the lunch is included in the price).
During the second part of the day, we will visit the Grand Bazaar and its hans (small workshops) built-in 1455, which, with its 4000 shops, was the trade center of Constantinople. You will also discover the Suleymaniye Mosque, the biggest imperial mosque of Istanbul, built by the architect Sinan (the Ottoman Leonardo Da Vinci) under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificient.
After a small cafe with a magnificent view of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus, and the city, you will end the day with the spice market or Egyptian market which is located in the Eminönü district, below the Suleymaniye Mosque. The Egyptian Bazaar was built by the Venetians in 1663 with the money collected with taxes from Cairo, hence the name of Egyptian Bazaar. The Egyptian Bazaar is also called the spice market for the multitude of spice choices found inside.
DAY 3 – Culinary and cultural walk on two continents
You will live a typical day in Istanbul and discover two iconic and bustling districts at the heart of two continents. The first district, Beşiktas, is located on the European side of Istanbul. This district is residential, family, and student-oriented, and it is a very lively place.
Structured as a tiny village, its narrow streets are full of life. Its shops, restaurants, bars, and terraces are never empty. Beşiktas is well-known for its street food, ever-present in each of the numerous shops that we will find all our walk long. It is a perfect occasion to taste some local dishes!
Then comes the Üsküdar district on the Asian side, at the other side of the Bosphorus. Another atmosphere, another mood: Üsküdar is one of the oldest districts of Istanbul, very family-oriented but also a little conservative. During the day, it comes alive thanks to its local market where you can find tourists but also locals.
DAY 4 – Private airport transfer and departure
A vehicle with a private driver will transfer you from your hotel or apartment to the departure airport (Istanbul International Airport or Sabiha Gökçen Airport).
OUR SUGGESTIONS TO PERFECT THIS TRIP
SMALL GROUP APERITIF CRUISE ON THE BOSPHORUS: Embark in a small group with the Too Istanbul team on a private boat for a 3-hour cruise between Europe and Asia. An unmissable moment to experience at sunset by sharing an aperitif of local products while discovering the history and anecdotes of a thousand-year-old city, as well as its topicality in the company of a passionate guide. Get to know more
PRIVATE CRUISE ON THE BOSPHORUS: A boat trip to Istanbul is an unforgettable moment. Sail the waves of the Bosphorus in the company of an experienced crew and get a closer look at the two mythical suspension bridges of the megalopolis, the historic buildings, and the luxurious wooden houses, remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Get to know more
MASSAGE IN THE HÜRREM SULTAN HAMMAM: Turkish baths remain a strong image for travelers and a unique experience. Indulge in a 45-minute massage at the Hürrem Sultan hammam, a 16th-century gem, located between the Blue Mosque, the ancient Hagia Sophia, and the Temple of Zeus. Get to know more
WINE TASTING IN BEYOĞLU, IN THE HEART OF ISTANBUL: Shiraz, Narince, Emir, Öküzgözü and many others… Let yourself be tempted by a break in one of the wine cellars of Beyoğlu, in the heart of Istanbul, to taste Turkish wines with very varied grape varieties from different regions of Turkey and discover the modern face of this wine country. Get to know more
What awaits you during this stay:
The budget may vary depending on the type of visit chosen. Indeed, we offer this program of visits with small groups or privatized. The average budget per person for this weekend is €210 for group visits, and €345 for private visits. Private boat rental and airport transfer rates do not affect additional guests who wish to travel with you (valid for a limited number of people). Our team will offer you a quote according to a personalized program.
The price does include:
- – Airport transfers
- – Program visits and activities
- – Transport as part of visits
- – Tickets to the monuments
- – Lunch on the visit to Sultanahmet
- – Tastings of local specialties during the culinary and cultural tour on two continents
- – The services of the English-speaking guides who will accompany you during the visits
The price does not include:
- – Tickets for your international and domestic flights
- – Accommodation (on request only)
- – Drinks and personal expenses
- – Insurance
YOUR PERSONAL TRIP
This travel proposal is 100% customizable according to your desires. You can change the length of stay, accommodation, activities, and services. Our team will accompany you to organize your perfect trip!
HOTELS & CONCIERGE SERVICE
We offer you to book your accommodation at the best offers on a selection of hotels in Istanbul according to your desires, your needs, and your budget.
Our selection offers different types of hotels including major international hotel chains such as Park Hyatt Istanbul, JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus, palaces along the Bosphorus such as Çirağan Palace Kempinski, Four Seasons Bosphorus, or even the more intimate boutique hotels, such as the House Hotel Karaköy, the Georges Hotel Galata, and the trendy and sophisticated DNA, including the Soho House Istanbul among others. Let us know your criteria, and we will send you an offer according to your desires for a successful trip.
You want an address for a restaurant, expert advice when traveling and shopping in the city, or have a specific request for us, make a request for our English-speaking concierge service. This service can be contacted every day during your stay.
BOOK YOUR TRIP!
Our team will customize your request for a tailor-made trip.