On this tour you’ll be picked up at your Istanbul hotel and head out on a drive along the Golden Horn, an arm of the Bosphorus and a natural harbor for the historical peninsula separating the old and new parts of Istanbul. The Golden Horn is a branch of the Bosphorus River that forms a natural harbor, and also separates the old part of Istanbul (Sultanahmet) from the new (Beyoglu).
Explore this residential area for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders, and other non-Muslim minorities during the Byzantine Empire. See traces of history at Balat and see the Metal Church of St. Stephen, the Bulgarian Jewish Hospital (Or-Ahayim), Fener Orthodox Patriarchate, and the 22-kilometer-long walls of the old city of Constantinopolis. Built by Constantine the Great and expanded by Emperor Theodosios in the 4th century A.D. these stone walls protected the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for 900 years and were the strongest fortification of the Middle Ages.
Visit Eyup Sultan Mosque where the revered Ayyub al-Ansari Mausoleum is located and attracts Muslim pilgrims. The Eyup Sultan Complex, located in the middle of the city, gave its own name to its district It is one of the most prominent complexes experiencing a stream of sightseers visiting Istanbul. The name of the complex comes from Eyup el-Ensari, a host of the Prophet (pbuh), who participated in pincer movement of Istanbul by the Umayyad army and was martyred in the area of the present mıosque. The construction of the complex was initiated by building a tomb on the location he had already been buried. According to rumors, Aksemseddin, a teacher of Sultan Mehmed II, had a dream in which he saw the place where the blessed person was buried upon which Sultan Mehmed II had initially began building a tomb. The complex, which consists of a mosque, a tomb, a madrasa, (religious school) and a Turkish bath, took its first shape in the year 1459, during which the mosque’s construction began.
Then take the cable car up to the coffee house on Pierre Loti Hill, and enjoy some free time to take in the view of the Golden Hornestuary below. Named after the well-known French novelist Pierre Loti, this hill offers perfect views of the Golden Horn. It’s also home to a famous café that bears the same name. Loti lived in Istanbul for many years and was a big fan of the city. The café is a meeting point for lovers and couples, and has featured in many Turkish romance films.
Continue a short distance to Eminonu Pier where you transfer to a ferry for a 1.5-hour cruise along the Bosphorus River. See the Asianand European continents on either side of the river along with several Ottoman palaces, ancient fortresses and examples of typical Ottoman architecture. During the tour you’ll also see the Imperial Gardens of Royal Yildiz Palace, the Bosphorus Bridge connecting the Asian and European continents, and the Beylerbeyi Palace from the ferry.
End of the tour you’ll be transferred back to your hotel.
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