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The best guided tours and excursions to do in Istanbul

Istanbul is a very special city and usually falls in love with anyone who visits it. In addition to touring the city and getting lost in its streets, enjoying the markets and getting to know the most incredible places in the city on your own, you can add guided visits, tours and excursions. Near Istanbul there are many interesting places and the best option to get to know them is with an excursion.

To get to know Istanbul and its surroundings, I recommend a minimum of 3 nights. If you want to add more destinations to your trip, do not miss Cappadocia, one of the most incredible places in Turkey.

In this post I talk about the best excursions to do from Istanbul.


Guided tour of Istanbul

There are so many places to visit in Istanbul. Some of the most essential are Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, the Grand Bazaar, the Galata Bridge, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome of Constantinople or the Suleiman Mosque, among many others.

The best way to get to know the city is by taking a guided tour. You have many options, from free tours, to private and personalized tours… some of the best options are:

Bosphorus Cruise, Istanbul

It is probably the most popular activity to do in Istanbul and it has a great reason. The beauty of Istanbul sailing on the river is tripled by a thousand. If Istanbul already seemed like a beautiful city, going on a cruise gives you the opportunity to see it from another point of view. You will have unique views of the Maiden's Tower, located near the shore of the Asian side, the Küçüksu Palace and the Anatolian Fortress, the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Ortaköy Mosque and the Rumeli Hisarı Fortress…

You have many cruise options. From 1 hour and a half to 5 hours. In addition, you can do cruises with dinner, shows... here are some of the best options:

Topkapi Palace Guided Tour, Istanbul

Topkapi Palace was the residence of the Ottoman sultans who ruled from 1465 to 1853. It is one of the essential places to see in Istanbul.

From the outside the palace is already impressive, but once you enter you will realize the luxury and immensity of the place. Among the rooms that are visited are the Harem, with more than 400 rooms decorated with tiles in which the Sultan lived with his women and hundreds of slaves, and the garden. You will be able to see the 88 carat spoon diamond and the topkapi dagger, which is the most expensive weapon in the world.

Guided tour of the Asian side of Istanbul and Eyup

Istanbul is a city between continents. And you can see its European and Asian character marked throughout the city. One of the visits that you cannot miss is the Beylerbeyi Palace, one of the city's architectural icons that was the summer residence of Sultan Abdülaziz, and the Suleiman Mosque, on the European side, which is one of the most important in the city.


Excursion to Cappadocia, an essential thing to do in Istanbul

Cappadocia is a destination in Turkey that is worth knowing for several days. There are so many places to see in Cappadocia. You cannot forget to take a balloon ride, go trekking through its deserts with the most curious rock formations, visit the Göreme Open Air Museum, the Uçhisar Castle, the Pasabag Valley, the Kaymakli Underground City or Love Valley. …

If you want to add Cappadocia to your trip to Turkey and visit the place for several days, do not miss these articles that can help you organize your trip:

If you don't feel like organizing your trip to Cappadocia on your own, you have several packages that include transport, guide, accommodation... you won't have to worry about a thing and you will be able to get to know one of the most incredible places in Turkey, even in the world. Some packages include several other destinations in Turkey.

Ephesus, one of the best excursions to do from Istanbul

Ephesus is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Asia Minor, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Among the most important places to see are the archaeological site of the Biblioteca de Celso, where you will arrive after touring the Avenida de los Curetes and passing through the Puerta de Hércules. Other highlights include the Great Theater and the Odeon, the Fountain of Trajan, the Temple of Domitian, the gate of Mazaeus and Mithridates, the Agora of Commerce and the Temple of Trajan.

It is somewhat far from Istanbul, about 5 hours and a half by car. It is advisable to rent a car and spend a couple of days in the area, but if you prefer, there are options to go by bus or with organized tours. And finally, you can also visit the city with an internal flight.

Prince Islands tour from Istanbul

Located 20 kilometers from the center of Istanbul, are the Prince Islands, a great option to disconnect a little from so many visits and the hustle and bustle of the city. They are an archipelago of 8 small islands.

You can reach the four main islands (Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kinaliadatienes) by ferry from Kabatas Pier (every hour to hour and a half during the year and in summer it is usually every 30 minutes).



I hope you enjoy your trip to Turkey very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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