Midday arrival into Istanbul where we will be met by your guide and driver. Your driver will be waiting for you just outside of Customs, after you pick up your luggage. Transfer to your hotel in the center of the city.
Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, played for centuries a major part in world politics, first as the capital of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, then as the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the most powerful Islamic empire in the world. Nowadays, Istanbul's Asian side is filled with Western-style sprawling suburbs, while its European side is a wonderland of mosques, magnificent palaces, and crowded bazaars.
This afternoon your guide will take you to visit the 17th century Spice Market also called the Egyptian Bazaar, because in the 17th Century it was built with money paid as duty on Egyptian import goods. From medieval times, spices were an important and expensive part of Oriental cooking and they gradually became the bazaar’s main focus, taking advantage of Istanbul’s strategic position on the main trade route between the East and Europe. Here you can still sense the atmosphere of a bygone era.
Following the market experience, continue on to the Galata district where the Genoese, Venetians and the Jewish Society of Old Constantinople used to live.
Next, your guide will take you to Eminou to board your private boat. The best way to take in some of the most interesting sights in Turkey is to take this private boat cruise up the Bosphorus. You will depart from Eminonu and sail up the Bosphorus toward the Black Sea, allowing you to see all the interesting structures along this historic waterway.
This is one of the most unforgettable excursions between two continents, Europe & Asia. The cruise takes you along the latest palaces of Ottomans, The Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi, as well as 19th and 20th century, beautiful wooden kiosks, mansions and modern villas, which form the elegant section of the city. Enjoy the scenery.
You will end your Bosphorus boat cruise on the Asian side where you will be met by your vehicle and driver for a brief exploration tour of Istanbul’s Asian part.