"There God, man, nature and art have together created and placed the most marvelous view that the human eye can contemplate on earth."

 

French poet Lamartine's words are a fitting tribute to this unique city, rising from the sparkling waters of the Bosphorus into a striking skyline of domes and minarets, bridging the continents of Europe and Asia and linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean through the Sea of Marmara. Below you will discover some of the gems of this glorious city that endlessly enchant its visitors.

 

Istanbul is situated on the north western part of Turkey and is the largest city of the country. Even though the capital is Ankara, Istanbul is the centre of economy, culture, history and also politics.

Turkey Map - Examplar Travel Services

Istanbul

We design "your time" in Istanbul!

 

Time, is the most valuable treasure one can possess. Every minute of ones life is priceless and worth more than the treasures of the world. We, proudly are aware of this reality and consider our private tours in Istanbul as memorable moments that you will rave about for many years.

 

As a boutique travel agency our main goal is to find out the individual needs and desires of guests and design tailor made itineraries and services.  We focus on making every minute of your stay in Istanbul satisfactory, enjoyable and unforgettable.

 

Our special tailor made itineraries can be arranged for couple of days in Istanbul and for cruise ship passengers who only have one or two days in the city. Even for the shortest time of stay we may arrange the private tours in Istanbul in most effective ways. Just let us know your needs and let us take care the rest for you.

 

Below you will find information about some main historical sites of Istanbul that can be included into private tours but remember: Istanbul has a lot to offer: Nature, history (Byzantine History, Ottoman History, Jewish History, culinary experiences, religious heritage (Islam, Christianity, Judaism), architecture, art, culture etc.

Hagia Sophia

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The immortal Basilica of St. Sophia, now called the Ayasofya Museum, is unquestionably one of the finest buildings of all time. Built as a testament of faith by Constance, the son of Constantine the Great, in the 4th century, the original building burned down sometime during the 5th century. A second structure built in its place by Theodosius II also burned in 532 and was finally reconstructed by Justinian between 532 and 537. Its immense dome soars 55 meters (180 feet) above the ground and its diameter spans 31 meters (102 feet). Panels of intricate Byzantine mosaics fill the space between the domes with images of early Christian saints. It remained the largest cathedral on earth for about 1000 years.

Topkapi Palace & Harem

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On a spit of land at the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn stands the regal Topkapi Palace, the maze of buildings at the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. In these opulent surroundings the sultans and their court lived and governed the second largest empire of all time. A magnificent wooded garden fills the outer, or first, courtyard. On the right of the second courtyard, shaded by cypress and plane trees, stand the palace kitchens, now galleries exhibiting the imperial collection of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain. To the left the Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives, concubines and children of the sultan, entices visitors with the endless intrigues of centuries.

Underground Cistern

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Near St. Sophia is the sixth century Byzantine cistern known as the Yerebatan Sarayi or Sunken Palace. 336 massive Corinthian columns support the immense chamber's fine brick vaulting and stand in a depth of water that stretches for miles underground.

 

This was built in 536 AD by the great emperor Justinianus as one of the water storage of the city. The columns were brought from Roman temples from different parts of the empire. Today it is open as a museum and its breathtaking ambience will make your stay a little more memorable.

Blue Mosque

Facing St. Sophia stands the supremely elegant, six minaret imperial Sultan Ahmet Mosque.

 

This iconic mosque was between 1609 and 1616 by the architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga, the apprentice of the great architect Mimar Sinan.

 

The building is more familiarly known as the Blue Mosque because its interior gleams with a magnificent panelling of blue and white Iznik (Nicea) tiles. It is also the first mosque with six minarets of the Ottomans.

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Dolmabahce Palace

Built in the mid-19th century by Sultan Abdul Mecid I, the facade of Dolmabahçe Palace stretches for 600 meters on the European shores of the Bosphorus.

 

The vast reception salon, with 56 columns and a huge crystal chandelier weighing four and a half tons and lit by 750 lights- a gift of Queen Victoria- never fails to astonish visitors.

 

At one time, birds from all over the world were kept in the Bird Pavilion for the delight of the palace's privileged residents. Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, died in Dolmabahçe on the tenth of November, 1938.

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Byzantine Hippodrome

The word Hippodrome comes from 2 Greek words: hippos ('ιππος), which means horse and dromos (δρομος), that means way.

 

The history of the hippodrome goes back to the times when this area was called Byzantium before it became the capital of the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in 203 AD came to Byzantium to suppress the rebellion against the empire and he almost burned down the whole town. Then he built a hippodrome.

 

The faith of this little town had changed after Constantine the Great was crowned as the new emperor of the Roman Empire.

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Grand Bazaar

With its 500 years of history the Grand Bazaar never cease to amaze people.

 

Like a gigantic labyrinth the Grand Bazaar has been announced to be the most visited tourist attraction and the annual number of the visitors is about 92 million. The Grand Bazaar is covering over 60 streets and about 4000 shops.

 

It was the trading centre during the Ottomans for centuries and today it remains its importance.

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Private Bosphorus Cruise

The Bosphorus strait was shaped about 6000 - 7000 years ago and  connected the Aegean Seas and Black Sea through Marmara Sea. The name Bosphorus (Βόσπορος) comes from ancient Greek meaning oxen passage according to an ancient Greek myth.

 

Today the Bosphorus is adorned with beautiful Ottoman Palaces, Yalis (old wooden houses by the Bosphorus), fortresses built by the Ottomans and beautiful summer houses. The Bosphorus cruise is always one the highlights in Istanbul.

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Archaeological Museum

Being one of the few imperial museums the Archaeological Museum contains wonderful pieces from the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Hittites, Egyptian, Phoenician, ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine etc. civilizations.

 

The original Kadesh treaty, which is the earliest know treaty on earth, the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, about 4500 years old tablets with different subjects will give you a taste of the core of our world today and will give you a better idea of what is achieved by civilizations through millenniums.

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Suleymaniye Mosque

The cascading domes and four slender minarets of the Süleymaniye Mosque dominate the skyline on the Golden Horn's west bank. Considered the most beautiful of all imperial mosques in Istanbul, it was built between 1550 and 1557 by Sinan, the renowned architect of the Ottoman golden age.

 

On the crest of a hill, the building is conspicuous for its great size, emphasized by the four minarets that rise from each corner of the courtyard. Inside, the mihrab (prayer niche) and the mimber (pulpit) are of finely carved white marble; shafts of light filter through the fine stained glass windows and fall on the stone floor below.

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Spice Market

This 16th century market is another place that never cease to amaze its visitors. From the entrance you will start to smell the high quality spices and coffees.

 

While the Grand Bazaar is mostly has shops with jewellery, carpets, scarves, souvenirs the Spice Market focuses on food and spices.

 

If you wish to experience local shopping and test your bargaining skills as you do in the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market will be the right address for you.

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For more information about our private tours in Istanbul please contact us.

© Examplar Travel Services 2016 | Anna & Isak Eskinazi Ltd. |

Nisantasi Ihlamuryolu Guney Ap. No: 83 D: 3 34365 Sisli Istanbul | Designed by Umit Yildirim

Turkey Map - Examplar Travel Services
Turkey Map - Examplar Travel Services
Turkey Map - Examplar Travel Services

The immortal Basilica of St. Sophia, now called the Ayasofya Museum, is unquestionably one of the finest buildings of all time.

 

Built as a testament of faith by Constance, the son of Constantine the Great, in the 4th century, the original building burned down sometime during the 5th century.

 

A second structure built in its place by Theodosius II also burned in 532 and was finally reconstructed by Justinian between 532 and 537. Its immense dome soars 55 meters (180 feet) above the ground and its diameter spans 31 meters (102 feet).

 

Panels of intricate Byzantine mosaics fill the space between the domes with images of early Christian saints. It remained the largest cathedral on earth for about 1000 years.

On a spit of land at the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn stands the regal Topkapi Palace, the maze of buildings at the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries.

 

In these opulent surroundings the sultans and their court lived and governed the second largest empire of all time. A magnificent wooded garden fills the outer, or first, courtyard.

 

On the right of the second courtyard, shaded by cypress and plane trees, stand the palace kitchens, now galleries exhibiting the imperial collection of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain.

 

To the left the Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives, concubines and children of the sultan, entices visitors with the endless intrigues of centuries.

Near St. Sophia is the sixth century Byzantine cistern known as the Yerebatan Sarayi or Sunken Palace. 336 massive Corinthian columns support the immense chamber's fine brick vaulting and stand in a depth of water that stretches for miles underground.

 

This was built in 536 AD by the great emperor Justinianus as one of the water storage of the city. The columns were brought from Roman temples from different parts of the empire. Today it is open as a museum and its breathtaking ambience will make your stay a little more memorable.

For more information about our private tours

in Istanbul please contact us.

© Examplar Travel Services 2016 | Anna & Isak Eskinazi Ltd. |

Nisantasi Ihlamuryolu Guney Ap. No: 83 D: 3 34365 Sisli Istanbul | Designed by Umit Yildirim

© Examplar Travel Services 2016 |

Anna & Isak Eskinazi Ltd. |

Nisantasi Ihlamuryolu Guney Ap. No: 83 D: 3

34365 Sisli Istanbul | Designed by Umit Yildirim

Turkey Map - Examplar Travel Services
Turkey Map - Examplar Travel Services

© Examplar Travel Services 2016 |

Anna & Isak Eskinazi Ltd. |

Nisantasi Ihlamuryolu Guney Ap. No: 83 D: 3

34365 Sisli Istanbul | Designed by Umit Yildirim