Type: Culture, Free Time, History, Shopping
Length: 8 Hours
Walking: Difficult - uneven surfaces
Mobility: Folding wheelchair OK, some sites may be inaccessible (advance notice required)
Guide: Licensed Guide
Istanbul Shore Excursion
- This shore trip is designed for those who wish to compare historic Istanbul with the vibrant center of modern Istanbul. You might be surprised at how cosmopolitan and European Istanbul feels.
After meeting your driver and licensed guide, you drive over the Galata Bridge and into the heart of the old city. Your first stop is the Topkapi Palace Museum. The Palace was the seat of the Ottoman Empire for almost four centuries. You will walk through the courtyards of the Palace, view the Chimneys of the Royal kitchens, the Ceremonial Halls, Throne Room, see the Costumes of the Sultans, the Treasury of the Ottoman Empire, the Library, Pavilions and more.
Next you visit the Grand Bazaar, where handicrafts from all over Turkey is displayed in 4.000 shops and stores. Enjoy shopping within this bustling maze of glittering jewels, sweet scents, radiant carpets and shining brass and copper.
A lunch break is provided for you to enjoy a typical Turkish meal (not included).
Later today you drive to Taksim Square, a modern area of Istanbul. You'll walk the main pedestrian street of Istiklal Caddesi and see the 19th century buildings, consulates, Designer Shops, restaurants, small snack bars, cinemas and even Starbucks. End your tour at Pera Palas Hotel, a late 19th century hotel built for the use of Orient Express passengers. Pera Palas is legendary and has been frequented by well-known highly placed figures of the world such as: Agatha Christie, Edward VIII of England, Ataturk, Jacqueline Kennedy, Cicero and many more.
At the end of the tour, your driver will bring you back to the pier in Istanbul.
Tips on visiting Turkey:
- Shoes must be removed to enter a Mosque, and you may be required to carry them with you in a plastic bag during your visit. We suggest bringing socks to slip on if you are not wearing them. Women should carry a scarf because they may be asked to cover their heads. Bare shoulders, shorts, and dresses above the knee are not allowed. Please come prepared, or you may be turned away.
- If additional time is available during your tour, many guides will ask if you are interested in seeing how Turkish carpets are made or if you wish to shop. These free demonstrations are very interesting and quite informative, but they are also a selling opportunity. Decide on your interest and tell your tour guide clearly whether shopping interests you or not. You should never feel obligated to make a purchase on any tour.
Turkish Entry VISA
- The Turkish government requires overnight visitors to obtain an entry VISA. However those who are visiting the country by cruise ship are exempt from this entry requirement. No entry Visa is required for a shore excursion, however an entry Visa is required if your cruise starts in Istanbul. Entry Visas must be obtained via an online application and payment system. After submitting your details and payment you must print your e-visa to show Customs and Immigration officials upon arrival. The cost is $20 USD.For more details you can visit www.evisa.gov.tr