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Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch

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Istanbul, Turkey

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon6 hours 40 minutes to 7 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Regular temperature checks for staff
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Go back in time to the Byzantine times when Istanbul was Constantinople and enjoy an 8-hour small-group guided tour of monasteries and churches. On this tour, uncover the impressive history of Christian sanctuaries that peaked during the reign of the Byzantine Empire. Visit Kariye Museum, once Chora Church, and ogle its frescoes and mosaics. See mosques converted from churches such as Pammakaristos and Pantocrator. Immerse with your guide to discover the history of palatial remains plus enjoy lunch included on this tour. Numbers on this small-group tour are limited to 15 people for a more intimate experience.
  • Explore important religious buildings from the era of Constantinople
  • Visit Chora Church to see its magnificent Byzantine mosaics and frescoes
  • Enjoy a 2-course lunch at a local restaurant
  • Receive personalized attention on a small-group tour limited to 15 people

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

This classic sightseeing tour focuses on the city's centuries-old Byzantine and Ottoman heritage.
Saved to wishlist!
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Professional guide
Transport by air-conditioned minivan
Lunch
Gratuities
Drinks with lunch (available to purchase)

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Complimentary pick up and drop off from centrally located Istanbul hotels

Departure Time

9:00 AM
Meet your guide at your central Istanbul hotel and begin your Constantinople small-group guided tour in Istanbul. Buckle up in your air-conditioned minivan and head to the neighborhood of Sarachane located on the European side. As you cruise, travel back in time and hear Constantinople’s history when it was the lively capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

Arrive in Sarachane and take a walk through the carved remains of St Polyeuktos church. Learn how this church was built during the 6th century and was considered one of the most important Christian sanctuaries. Continue to the Church of Pantocrator and hear how this monastery church, built in the 12 century, was converted to a mosque. See its ancient cistern and gain insight into why this Byzantine landmark is so significant.  

Next, visit Fethiye Mosque formerly Pammakaristos Church and see its funerary chapel’s stunning array of Byzantine mosaics. After leaving this 12th century church with your guide, head to Istanbul’s eldest standing church, the Monastery Chapel of St John the Forerunner. Here, relax at a local eatery and savor a 2-course lunch usually consisting of soup or salad with a meat and eggplant entree.

After eating, make your way to Chora Church also known as the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora renown for its Byzantine era art. Enter with your guide and marvel at distinguished mosaics and detailed frescoes that exemplify Christ’s life.

Continue with a walk through the kingly Tekfur Palace (Palace of the Porphyrogenitus), home to royalty until the 15th century when the Ottoman Empire began its reign. Wander through archways, around courtyards, and admire the elegant façade. Then, listen as your guide creates an atmosphere of a place that was formerly known for houses, dungeons, and immense gardens. As your tour come to an end, hop back in your minivan and return to your hotel.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Chora Museum
Greek orthodox church, originally built in the early 4th century as part of a monastery complex outside the city walls of Constantinople
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Church of St Polyeuktos
Ancient Byzantine church in Constantinople, built by the noblewoman Anicia Juliana and dedicated to Saint Polyeuctus
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Tekfur Sarayi
13th-century Byzantine palace in the north-western part of the old city of Constantinople
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Zeyrek Mosque
Monastery of the Pantocrator is a significant mosque in Istanbul, made of two former Eastern Orthodox churches and a chapel.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Fethiye Muzesi (Pammakaristos Church)
The Pammakaristos Church was constructed in the early part of the 12th century
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Istanbul Walks

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch?
A:
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "It takes an excellent guide, and be prepared with your extended distance walking shoes." See review
  • "Not much remains intact, but if you enjoy history and wandering through the old streets to piece together the clues, it is a fun time." See review
  • "I highly recommend this tour if you have visited all the big attractions Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque etc and want something a little different." See review

Reviews

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star-5
12 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews
star-5
Cultural wow!
kingsongeo
, Feb 2020
Wow! Wow! And wow! This is one of the best experience to have in Istanbul. It takes an excellent guide, and be prepared with your extended distance walking shoes. Lutfallah, the guide, skillfully navigated the city. Superb!
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Thank you very much for your review. We are very glad that you are happy from our services. Regards
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Terrific!
Sightseer23937901646
, May 2019
We enjoyed this tour very much. Our guide Ilker was incredibly knowledgeable. His enthusiasm and warmth made this tour particularly memorable. We enjoyed a wonderful meal with Ilker at a restaurant in the Fatih district. He could not have chosen a better itinerary or restaurant.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Marvelous! Absolutely marveIous! I...
Mattias R
, Jun 2018
Marvelous! Absolutely marveIous! I was in luck since I was the only one having booked the tour that day. So a small-group tour turned into a private tour for me. And this tour was the highlight of my trip. After having experienced the big tourist attractions I wanted to find the hidden historical gems... and this tour did not disappoint! My tour guide was extremely friendly and he was also extremely knowledgable, and imparted the knowledge in really fun ways! I highly recommend this tour if you have visited all the big attractions Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque etc and want something a little different. Oh, and the lunch included? Absolutely fantastic! Normally an included lunch is fairly standard, more filling than anything, but this lunch was at a restaurant with home cooked anatolian food. One fair bit of warning for this tour though, there is much walking involved so if you are not prepared for that this tour might not be for you.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
My tour guide Serhat is very...
Gerchih C
, May 2018
My tour guide Serhat is very knowledgeable and friendly.
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star-5
Great tour guide. We were able to...
gigiwieringa
, Jan 2018
Great tour guide. We were able to see and experience the remaining gems of the old Byzantine Monasteries. Not much remains intact, but if you enjoy history and wandering through the old streets to piece together the clues, it is a fun time.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
My day with Ilker was the best part...
Brent G
, Dec 2017
My day with Ilker was the best part of my trip to Istanbul. He was very knowledgeable about Christian sites and history, but also took time to explain many Muslim traditions and practices as well. Overall I could not have had a better day. Thank you!
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star-5
Illcare (phonetic spelling), the...
Eugene O
, Aug 2017
Illcare (phonetic spelling), the Guide, was a very knowledgeable and friendly person who took his time to explain the background to each church, mosque or space we visited in a packed and thoroughly enjoyable itinerary. Thanks to the company "Istanbul Walks".
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
having already done the major sites...
Michael L
, Dec 2016
having already done the major sites in Istanbul i wanted something a little different and this tour did not disappoint - it did turn out to be a very small group tour - just me and the guide but that made it all the better - the guide was great well informed and it made a very interesting day - quite a bit of walking involved so best to be a little fit, lunch was ok nothing special but then I wasn't expecting a gourmet meal - a great way to get another perspective on Istanbul
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
This tour is outstanding. There...
Eben F
, May 2016
This tour is outstanding. There were only two of us and we got more detail and insight and sights than we had expected. While its a full day walking tour, it was pretty easy. The guide was very knowledgeable on history and we learned a lot including walking back streets off the beaten tourist routes and through some local market areas and several churches. A great experience that is well worth it to see the real Istanbul.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
This is a remarkable off the beaten...
Eben F
, Apr 2016
This is a remarkable off the beaten path tour of churches and mosque's from ancient times with remarkable paintings. Our guide, Ilker, is a knowledgeable and passionate about the history of the features of the walking tour, which go through some fascinating back streets of Istanbul. The lunch was excellent, more than we could eat. I suspect that most tourists who have never been to Istanbul want to see the more famous sites, which we had done before, but if time allows, this is a remarkable tour.
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Product code: 5744BYZANTINE

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