Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire

4 Reviews

  • Location: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
  • Tour code: 5828BYZANTIUMHIST
Discover the splendor of Byzantine Istanbul, the ancient city of Constantinople, on this fascinating 3-hour history tour led by an expert guide. The empire that kick-started Christianity in Turkey (around 330 AD) spawned a rich legacy of religious monuments and architecture, and you’ll see the best examples of these on your tour. Visit a shrine to the Holy Virgin at the Church of St Mary of Blachernae, explore the ruins of ancient Blachernae Palace, walk around the Walls of Constantinople, and more!

Highlights

  • Hotel pickup included
  • Ideal choice for families
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Instant Confirmation
Start your tour with a hotel pickup, or alternatively, meet your guide near Istanbul’s Yenikapi neighborhood, and then travel by luxury coach along the shoreline of the Golden Horn -- the Bosphorus Strait’s natural bay that was an important international shipping harbor during the Byzantine era.

Stop in the Greek neighborhood of Fener at the Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate – an intriguing church compound where the ceremonial head of the Greek Orthodox Church is based. Visit the Church of St George (the site’s main church) and see its Byzantine patriarchal throne, dripping with opulent ornamentation.

Continue to the historical neighborhood of Ayvansaray, known in Byzantine days as Blachernae, to see the Church of St Mary of Blachernae – one of Istanbul’s best-known Eastern Orthodox churches. While its exterior is nothing to shout about, the church itself is highly significant to the country’s Eastern Orthodox community with its much-celebrated status as a shrine to the Holy Virgin. Head inside to see a holy water spring.

Visit the Western District next, to see Chora Church, a spectacular Byzantine monastery. While exploring with your guide, admire its stunning mosaics that depict the life of Christ and marvel at the equally elaborate frescoes, painted in intricate detail that was way ahead of other Byzantine artwork.

Return to Ayvansaray to explore the ancient site of Blachernae Palace, and while the site is now more ‘rubble’ than palace, its ruins provide an inspiring sense of its former glory. See the outside of Anemas Dungeons, learning how it was once a terrifying Byzantine prison, and then see the exterior of Tekfur Palace (or Palace of Constantine Porphyrogenitus to give it its due) – the only surviving building of Blachernae Palace.

Finish with a walk around the Walls of Constantinople, seeing the remains of the ancient city’s old towers and gates, and then end your tour in the Sultanahmet district in the center of town.

Schedule details

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Departure Dates:
Departure Point:
Your centrally located Istanbul hotel (Europe only), or in front of Bodos Balık Restaurant in Istanbul
Departure Time:
2pm

Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 - 60 minutes prior to this time

Return Details:
Concludes in the Sultanahmet neighborhood

Pricing information

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Pricing information

Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire

Istanbul city walls

Inclusions:
  • Hotel pickup
  • Professional guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned coach
Exclusions:
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel drop-off
Additional Information:
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A moderate amount of walking is involved
  • Not wheelchair accessible
Voucher Info:
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Local Operator Information:
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.

Traveler Reviews

Reviewed by: Ilias A, September 2014

The tour was great! The staff was knowledgable and took us to so many places I wouldn't had been able to find on my own. I recommend the tour for art historians and also for many Greeks who want to discover the beauty and history of the Byzantine Empire

Reviewed by: Klaus Jurgen W, June 2013

enjoyed

From $38.95

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Tour code: 5828BYZANTIUMHIST