Join a home cooked experience in Istanbul, discovering some simple local food with your hosts and spending some time in a tea house – just like the locals do.. Most tours will leave you lost trying to explore the Hagia Sophia on your own – here you’ll take a guided tour through the hidden tales of this magnificent one-of-a-kind monument.. Get lost in the labyrinth of the Grand Bazaar, passing by the myriad traders who sell their wares in this expansive space. How good are your haggling skills?.
Get a true taste of Istanbul – a city resplendent, enduring and diverse, truly forging itself as the world’s most spectacular intersection of cultures, cuisine and continents. Embark on a Short Break Adventure to get an essential Istanbul experience – exploring the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar. You’ll also get under the skin of the place, eating with a local family, sharing tea and nargile and finding spots hidden from the tourist eye.
Breakfast Included: 2 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 1
Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Istanbul, the only city in the world to straddle two continents. It’s no surprise that this vast metropolis is home to a beguiling mix of different cultures and traditions, blending the influences of both east and west. Your Short Break Adventure begins in the late afternoon where you’ll join the Home Cooked Istanbul Urban Adventure, spending the evening mingling with the locals and enjoying some delicious food. Wander through the streets in the Sultanahmet district, and en route, meet a local family and sit together for a traditional meal. After you’ve eaten as much as you can handle, head to a local hangout to enjoy some killer views of the Marmara Sea. Find a comfortable spot to watch games of football, strike up conversation with the locals or get involved in a backgammon game. All of that people watching – you must be thirsty. Continue on to a local tea house for a drink and to partake in some nargile (also known as waterpipe or hookah) smoking. Sit back, relax and enjoy – you’ll be puffing like a local in no time. If you’re feeling like kicking on, your group leader will be able to recommend some hidden gems, but after your tea and nargile, you’re free to do as you please, or simply head back to your hotel.
Do you think you can conquer Istanbul in one day? Well, wonder no more with an Istanbul Conquered Urban Adventure today. Ready? Let’s go. Begin with a dose of Hagia Sophia. This masterpiece of Byzantine architecture stands tall and proud in downtown Istanbul, holding within its walls more than 1500 years of Turkish history. This beautiful site is also somewhat of a chameleon — it has lived its long life as a church, a mosque, and now as a museum, and you may even recognise it from movies like From Russia With Love or Taken 2. Head across the plaza towards the jewel in the Istanbul crown: Sultan Ahmet I’s Blue Mosque. It is one of the most striking sights in Istanbul, with its blue-tiled walls, 260 windows, and six minarets – don’t forget to ask your guide the significance of those six spires. After checking out the ancient Hippodrome, take a break at a hidden café nearby for lunch, cracking jokes with locals and learn about daily life in Istanbul. Once you’re refuelled, continue on to Topkapi Palace, which overlooks the mighty Bosphorus strait, and gives an insight into the stories of the sultans who have lived here in centuries past. Now, time for a treat – head over to the Grand Bazaar to explore some of the 3000 shops, meeting the local characters and perfecting your haggling game. Stop in for a true Turkish coffee and shop the afternoon away. This evening, continue your own exploration of the city, perhaps heading to a harbourside seafood restaurant.
Your Istanbul Short Break will come to end after breakfast this morning, however that doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you’d like to continue soaking up all that Istanbul has to offer, why not spend an extra night or two here? If you wish to do so, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability).