The 7 Most Affordable Tours in Istanbul 2023

Top 3 affordable tours we recommend:

#1 Best Overall: Private Istanbul Old City Full-Day Tour

Discover the heart of Turkey’s cultural and historical heritage with this private, full-day tour through Istanbul’s Old City at an affordable price. Journey back in time as you traverse Hippodrome Square, once the bustling hub of Roman chariot races. Marvel at the architectural masterpiece of St. Sophia, which stands as a testament to the city’s vibrant past. Revel in the luxury of the Blue Mosque, home to intricately designed tiles and mosaics that embody the spirit of Islamic art. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys of the Grand Bazaar, a treasure trove of traditional handicrafts, vibrant textiles, and aromatic spices. Conclude your exploration at the magnificent Topkapi Palace, an emblem of Ottoman luxury, with its imperial relics, sacred artifacts, and exquisite artwork. 

Why Join This Tour?

  • Historical Immersion: Walk through the pages of history as you visit iconic sites like Hippodrome Square, St. Sophia, and Topkapi Palace, immersing yourself in the grandeur of bygone empires.
  • Architectural Marvels: Be awed by the striking architectural designs of the Blue Mosque and St. Sophia, a perfect blend of Byzantine and Ottoman styles.
  • Cultural Insight: Delve into the rich Turkish culture as you browse the bustling lanes of the Grand Bazaar, famed for its traditional crafts, vibrant textiles, and aromatic spices.
  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from the insights of a professional art historian guide who provides comprehensive and engaging narrations, enriching your understanding of Istanbul’s historic tapestry.
  • Comfort and Convenience: Enjoy the luxury of a private tour with the convenience of hotel pick-up and drop-off included, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
  • Bespoke Experience: With a private tour, tailor the day to your preferences and pace, offering a personalized touch to your journey through time.

This journey explores Istanbul’s illustrious past, painted through the city’s magnificent monuments and rich traditions. The inclusion of hotel pick-up and drop-off, along with the luxury of a tailored private tour, makes this the ideal way to delve into the heart of Istanbul. So, step into the past, uncover hidden gems, and leave with a newfound appreciation for this city’s enduring allure.

#2 Navigate Two Continents: A Luxury Yacht Cruise on the Bosphorus

Journey into an exquisite experience with the Bosphorus Yacht Cruise which features a delightful stopover on the Asian side of Istanbul. Available for either a morning or afternoon departure, this distinctive tour allows you to discover the city’s most stunning waterfront sights aboard the elegant Sunset Bosphorus yacht. Covering must-see locations such as bridges, palaces, the Maiden’s Tower, and the Rumeli Fortress, this trip takes you on a captivating round-trip. The voyage becomes more exceptional with a pause in the characterful Kanlıca neighborhood, renowned for its authentic Turkish coffee and snacks. The addition of onboard Wi-Fi lets you share your moments as they unfold, keeping you connected throughout the journey.

Why Join This Tour?

  • Panoramic Sightseeing: Enjoy an unparalleled view of Istanbul’s stunning waterfront sights, including iconic bridges, palaces, the Maiden’s Tower, and the Rumeli Fortress.
  • Luxury Cruising: Experience the beauty of the Bosphorus aboard the Sunset Bosphorus yacht, offering both comfort and sophistication.
  • Unique Stopover: The tour includes a pause in Kanlıca, a charming neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul known for its traditional Turkish delights.
  • Turkish Culinary Experience: Sip on authentic Turkish coffee and taste local snacks, adding a gastronomic dimension to your voyage.
  • Stay Connected: The provision of onboard Wi-Fi lets you share your travel experiences in real time and stay in touch without worrying about roaming charges.
  • Flexible Timing: With the choice between a morning or afternoon tour, you can select the option that best fits your schedule and preferences.

The Bosphorus Yacht Cruise, with a stopover on the Asian Side, offers a remarkable blend of sightseeing, luxury cruising, cultural immersion, and digital convenience. It provides an opportunity to witness the best of Istanbul from a unique vantage point and take a delightful pause in the traditional neighborhood of Kanlıca. With the flexibility of choosing between a morning or afternoon session and the added benefit of onboard Wi-Fi, this tour enhances your sightseeing experience. It ensures that you stay connected with your loved ones as you make unforgettable memories.

#3 Unraveling Ottoman Splendors: Exclusive Topkapi Palace and Harem Guided Tour

Dive into the luxury of Istanbul’s royal past with the Topkapi Palace and Harem guided tour. This enriching journey offers skip-the-line tickets, ensuring you bypass the bustling crowds and gain direct entry into the grandeur of yesteryears. Meander through the lavishly decorated courts of the Topkapi Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans, soaking in the timeless art and architecture. Follow the footsteps of sultans, queens, and concubines in the mysterious world of the Harem, a city within the city. With an expert guide on hand to narrate fascinating tales of the palace’s history, this tour provides an insider’s view of the luxurious lifestyle of the Ottoman Empire’s elite.

Why Join This Tour?

  • Fast-track Access: Skip-the-line tickets bypass the long queues, providing direct entry into the historic sites.
  • Royal Extravagance: Traverse the ostentatious courts of the Topkapi Palace, witnessing the grandeur of Ottoman royalty first-hand.
  • Insider’s Glimpse: Explore the enigmatic Harem, gaining insights into the secretive yet intriguing world of the sultans’ private quarters.
  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from a knowledgeable guide who can explain the palace’s history, architecture, and artifacts in-depth.
  • Historical Exploration: Discover the artifacts, treasures, and relics of the Ottoman era, offering a deep dive into the cultural heritage of Turkey.
  • Stunning Views: Savor panoramic views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus Strait from the palace’s high vantage point.

The Topkapi Palace and Harem guided tour is an unmissable journey into the heart of Istanbul’s majestic past. With exclusive, skip-the-line access and an expert guide to illuminate the historical and cultural narratives of the palace and its fascinating Harem, you’re in for an insightful and immersive experience. So step beyond the walls of the Topkapi Palace, delve into the secrets of the Harem and take away with you an understanding of a bygone era that continues to shape the cultural fabric of Istanbul.

#4 Best Guided Tour: Sunset Cruise on Yacht Istanbul Bosphorus

This intimate, small-group tour is your ticket to a tranquil yet thrilling exploration of Istanbul’s iconic landmarks. Sail past the splendid Dolmabahce Palace, the magnificent Bosphorus Bridge, the imposing Rumeli Fortress, the quaint Kucuksu Pavilion, and many more impressive sights. The tour also includes delectable onboard treats like a variety of canapes, snacks, and a glass of wine to enhance your cruising experience. Your voyage is complete with the insightful commentary of a live guide, who will share these landmarks’ fascinating histories and stories, offering an immersive experience of Istanbul’s cultural richness. 

  • Unparalleled Views: Experience the breathtaking views of Istanbul’s skyline and iconic landmarks, illuminated against the setting sun.
  • Luxury Experience: Savor the yacht’s luxurious environment, perfect for casual sightseeing and special occasions.
  • Personalized Service: With a small-group setting, enjoy personalized attention from the onboard crew, making your experience truly memorable.
  • Culinary Treats: Enjoy an array of delectable canapes, snacks, and a glass of wine, enhancing the overall experience.
  • Photogenic Scenes: Capture amazing pictures as you sail past renowned sights such as Dolmabahce Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress, and Kucuksu Pavilion.
  • Insightful Guidance: Benefit from the live guide which provides engaging and informative commentary about the landmarks and their histories.
  • Avoiding Crowds: Enjoy these sights away from the bustling streets and crowded tourist spots, providing a peaceful and unique perspective of Istanbul.
  • Mesmerizing Sunset: Witness the magical moment when the sun sets over Istanbul, making the city’s architecture sparkle even more.

With the combination of spectacular sunset views, personalized services, delicious treats, and a peaceful environment away from the crowds, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable journey. This tour gives you a different perspective of Istanbul, allowing you to appreciate the city’s beauty and history from a fresh vantage point. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking to indulge in a luxury experience, this sunset cruise has something for everyone. So, join us for an evening of elegance and enchantment aboard our luxury yacht.

#5 Explore the Heart of Istanbul: A Private, Guided Journey Through Time

Discover the timeless allure of Istanbul’s most significant sites with our full-day, private guided tour. This custom tour caters to your interests and ensures a uniquely personalized exploration of the city’s must-see landmarks. Start your journey at the historic Hippodrome, imagining the roar of charioteers and Roman soldiers that once filled the arena. Then, marvel at the awe-inspiring architecture of the Blue Mosque with its cascading tiles. Feel the whispers of courtiers and sultans within the opulent chambers of Topkapi Palace before standing beneath the stunning murals and towering minarets of Hagia Sophia. Conclude your cultural immersion with a visit to the bustling Grand Bazaar, where our insider tips will guide you to the best spots for carpets, handicrafts, and local souvenirs.

Why join this tour?

  • Personalized Itinerary: Customize your tour to focus on the landmarks that interest you the most, ensuring a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.
  • Rich History: Trace the steps of charioteers at the Hippodrome and hear the whispers of sultans in Topkapi Palace, immersing yourself in Istanbul’s vibrant past.
  • Architectural Wonders: Witness the city’s architectural marvels, from the awe-inspiring Blue Mosque to the resplendent murals and minarets of Hagia Sophia.
  • Shopping Experience: Get exclusive insider tips at the Grand Bazaar to discover the best deals on carpets, handicrafts, and unique local souvenirs.
  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from the insightful commentary of your private guide, ensuring you grasp the depth of the city’s historical and cultural significance.
  • Privacy and Comfort: Enjoy the exclusivity of a private tour, which provides a comfortable and focused journey through Istanbul’s treasures.

From the ancient echoes of the Hippodrome to the bustling activity of the Grand Bazaar, every moment on this tour promises a fascinating insight into Istanbul’s past and present. This tour is perfect for travelers seeking an intimate, informed, and customizable experience. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of Istanbul’s enduring charm and a collection of unforgettable memories.

#6 Gateway to Istanbul: Private Tour From Cruise Ship/ Hotel

Enjoy a seamless journey through Istanbul’s most notable landmarks with our private tour, starting right from your cruise ship or hotel. This convenient and comprehensive tour ensures you experience the city’s iconic sites without the stress of navigation or the fear of missing out. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you will delve into the fascinating history of attractions such as Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome. The tour covers a broad range of the city’s must-sees, uncovering details often overlooked when exploring alone.

Why Join this tour?

  • Hassle-free Experience: Starting from your cruise ship or hotel, our tour ensures a smooth and effortless sightseeing journey.
  • Expert Guidance: A knowledgeable guide enhances your understanding of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Visit Istanbul’s top landmarks, from the magnificent Hagia Sophia to the bustling Grand Bazaar, ensuring a well-rounded experience.
  • Unrevealed Details: Discover the hidden stories and fascinating details of Istanbul’s landmarks that you might miss when exploring alone.
  • Time Efficiency: Cover many must-see sights in just one day, maximizing your time in Istanbul.
  • Personalized Service: Enjoy the comfort and personalized attention of a private tour.

 With an experienced guide, you’ll uncover the fascinating stories of Istanbul’s top attractions. This tour not only assures convenience starting right from your accommodation or port of call but also provides a comprehensive understanding of Istanbul’s most notable landmarks. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or a first-time visitor, this tour promises a memorable and enriching experience, leaving you with a deeper appreciation of Istanbul’s remarkable heritage.

#7 Best Istanbul Lunch Cruise: Long Circle Bosphorus up to the Black Sea

Experience the wonder of Istanbul from a unique perspective with our Long Circle Bosphorus Cruise up to the Black Sea. This mid-day tour not only offers a scenic journey along the Bosphorus Strait, but it also extends your exploration to the mysterious Black Sea. With a delicious lunch served on board, you can enjoy regional delicacies while taking in the stunning views. The cruise passes by some of Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks, offering unparalleled photo opportunities and a chance to gain insight into the city’s rich history and culture.

Why join this tour?

  • Scenic Route: Experience the beauty of Istanbul and the mystique of the Black Sea from the best vantage point—a luxury cruise ship.
  • Culinary Delights: Savour a delicious lunch with fresh, regional ingredients, adding a gourmet touch to your sightseeing.
  • Iconic Landmarks: Catch sight of some of Istanbul’s most famous attractions, providing perfect photo opportunities.
  • Unique Perspective: Get a different perspective on the city, away from the bustling crowds, allowing for a serene exploration.
  • Comprehensive Journey: The long circle cruise covers a significant area, allowing you to experience more of Istanbul and the Black Sea.
  • Educational Experience: Learn about the history, culture, and significance of the sights you pass by, enhancing your understanding of Istanbul and its surroundings.

By combining culinary delights with mesmerizing views and historical insights, this tour provides a comprehensive and enjoyable exploration of Istanbul and the Black Sea. It allows you to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, offering a serene yet engaging experience. Whether you’re a food lover, a history enthusiast, or a passionate traveler, this tour caters to a variety of interests. Join us for a journey that will awaken your senses and leave you with lasting memories of Istanbul’s stunning landscapes.