Eurasian DiscoveryThis tour includes two full-day tours conducted over your two-days visit in Istanbul. Your program covers the major highlights as well as Aisan side experience over two days for you to enjoy the city.
Mosque of Sultan Ahmed I, otherwise known as The Blue Mosque, is renowned for its architectural harmony, proportion and elegance, is unique as it is the only original mosque in the world with six minarets. Breathtaking stained-glass windows and graceful arabesques decorate this mighty structure.
St. Sophia Museum which originated as a church in 360 AD under Constantine. Hagia Sophia was converted into a Mosque when the city was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453 by Sultan Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Today the Museum is considered the most important Byzantine monument in the world.
Topkapi Palace is a great walled complex hugging the shores of the Bosporus and Golden Horn and it was once the residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Mehmet II built the palace-city, home for three centuries of Sultans, in the mid-1400s as a summer palace. Topkapi was enlarged by Suleiman the Magnificent into the Sultan’s principal residence and with the successive Sultans grew into a great complex of buildings set in lovely gardens. A series of courtyards connect various buildings which now house an astonishing collection of Chinese porcelain, treasures, the Topkapi dagger and the celebrated Topkapi Diamond plus much more. Then, visit the Harem section of the Palace. The harem was strictly closed to outsiders, and it became the subject of many stories over the centuries. It is up to the imagination of the visitor to recreate the colorful and lively old days in the now empty rooms. Palace museum visit will be followed by lunch with meat specialities.
Spice Market, where you will see and smell the exotic products of mystical Istanbul. You will have free time to explore the bazaar before returning to the ship.Cruise along the shoreline of Bosphorus, the narrow waterway, which joins the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. You’ll see picturesque villas and villages, admire the shoreline of beautiful mosques, lavish palaces and decadent villas. You’ll have views of the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Beylerbeyi Palace and the few remaining towers of the Anadolu Hisar. Passing beneath the great Bosphorus Bridge, one of the world’s largest suspension bridges, you are rewarded with the sight of curving domes and rising minarets, wrapped in a hazy veil. Once you disembark the boat in Asian side, you will start your panoramic tour in another continent, while being in the same city.
Beylerbeyi Palace, summer residence of the sultans, is located at Beylerbeyi neighborhood on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus. It was ordered by the sultan Abdulaziz and built between 1861-1865 by head architects Sarkis Balyan and Agop Balyan, imperial architects of Armenian origins, in French neo-baroque style with a traditional Ottoman house plan. Palace museum visit will be followed by lunch with fish specialities.
Finally you will visit one of the most colorful sites of Istanbul; the Grand Bazaar. The Bazaar is composed of two sections; the covered part and the modern part. The covered part is a whole quarter on its own and is surrounded by a wall which can be entered through eleven gates. The maze of streets and lanes are one of the greatest sights in the city, where various trades such as carpets, jewelry, leather goods, silver; varieties of souvenirs, textile, antiques, and home textile are segregated into particular sections of the bazaar. You will have the chance to explore the exotic atmosphere of the covered part for a brief period of time. You will also have the opportunity to visit the open and modern section of the Grand Bazaar which offers the best artworks and most reliable shopping. During your time in the Grand Bazaar, you will be taken for a presentation on the unique art of Turkish carpets and you will have time to shop.

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