Start your experience with a hotel pickup from your centrally located Istanbul hotel. Settle in your comfortable coach and listen to intriguing tales about Istanbul on your way to the Spice Bazaar.
Here, roam around the stalls piled with colorful spices, fruits, and nuts, and soak up the aromas. Discover more about the bazaar from your guide and perhaps sample some of the treats on offer. Then, walk to nearby Rustem Pasha Mosque, to marvel at this diminutive building, whose walls are laden in exquisite blue Iznik tiles.
Next, board your sightseeing boat and sail the Golden horn, the inlet dividing European Istanbul in two, to see landmarks such as the Aynalkavak Palace and Galata Tower. Take photos as your boat then cruises along the Bosphorus strait past some of Istanbul's greatest sights. Marvel at the Bosphorus bridge, Dolmabahe Palace and Rumeli Fortress, and admire the elaborate mansions and mosques on the Asian shores.
Around midday, leave your boat on the Asian side and savor an included 3-course lunch at a Bosphorus-side restaurant, accompanied by drinks (own expense). See the itinerary for a sample menu.
Continue by coach to Camlica Hill, Istanbul's highest point, for spectacular views over the city. Next, cross the Bosphorus Bridge for a guided visit around the Dolmabahe Palace, the former home of the Ottoman sultans. Witness its sumptuous chambers and Crystal Staircase and Medhal Hall all ostentatious displays of the sultans' imperial wealth.
Afterward, return to your coach and finish your tour with a hotel drop-off.