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FlavoursOf Istanbul Culinary Tour

Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Highlights: Roman Hippodrome and Obelisk, Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque), Hagia Sophia Basilica, Lunch at Hamdi Restaurant, Spice Bazaar, YeniCamii, Taksim, Fish Market, Nevizade Street.
Operates: Maximum of 8 guests - Guaranteed daily departure from all Istanbul city hotels & cruise port.
Price: 109.99 Euro p/p (Small group guided culinary tour).

After pick up from hotel or Istanbul port, we will drive to the old part of Istanbul (historical peninsula). There we will visit the most prominent landmarks of 3 Empires once hosted by this city: ancient Roman Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia Basilica.

Roman Hippodrome and Obelisk: The ancient Hippodrome is an enormous public entertainment arena that once seated as many as 100.000 zealous fans witnessing chariot races, executions, and mock battles. Once the center of Byzantine civic life, it is still decorated by the Egyptian Obelisk, the Bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.

Blue Mosque: Built between 1609 and 1616, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque is more familiarly known as the Blue Mosque because its interior gleams with magnificent panels of blue and white 17th Century Iznik tiles. After visiting Blue Mosque, we will stop for a short break to taste traditional Turkish tea in a charming garden.
Gourmet Details: Tea consuming is the essential part of daily life in Turkey. Almost everywhere you go you will be offered a glass of tea. Tea is prepared by brewing it in boiling water and serving it in delicate, small, clear glasses to show the deep red color and to transmit the heat to the hand. If you wish you can also taste the most common tea snack – simit. Simit is a pastry similar to bagel, and covered with sesame seeds. Turkish people also prefer to eat simit with cream cheese for breakfast, especially if they have to eat breakfast at working place.

Hagia Sophia Basilica: Built by Byzantine Emperor Constantine in the fourth century and reconstructed by Justinian in 537 A.D., this was the greatest church in Christendom for a thousand years, and remains an architectural masterpiece to this day. The Ottomans converted the basilica to a mosque in the 15th century, but today the Hagia Sophia serves as a public museum, known for its majestic serenity and fine Byzantine mosaics. Upon the end of this visit we will drive to down to the shore of Golden Horn Bay for lunch at Hamdi Restaurant.
Gourmet Details: Hamdi Restaurant, located on the top floor of historical building, overlooking Golden Horn Bay, specializes in kebabs, or charcoal grills, one of the most famous constituents of Turkish cuisine. Here we will taste special traditional bread, served as a starter with special "tulum" cheese and butter; miniature lahmacun (also known as “Turkish pizza”); fresh salad and of course tasty kebabs (varieties available).

After we finish our lunch, we will walk to near-by historical Spice Market. Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar) was built in 1664 as a part of the YeniCami complex, which is located next to it. Shops sold only spices during Ottoman period. Today, along with spice shops, there are as well as the ones selling dried fruit, borek (traditional pastry), basket work, jewelry, haberdashery, drapery, and suchlike. The bazaar has an “L” shape and six gates.

In the early afternoon you will leave historical part of the city and transfer to Taksim – modern city center. Here you will walk along Istiklal Street, main pedestrian street of the area. You will head to Fish Market, to participate in tasting safari.
Gourmet Details: Fish Market is a covered alley, connected to historical Flower Passage. Before it served as fresh fish market for residents of the area – here is where the name comes from. Nowadays you can still find fish stalls towards the end of the alley, but the Istiklal entrance to the market is occupied with small fast food shops. We will choose among numerous varieties of authentic fast food preferred by local residents – midyetava (fried mussels on a stick), kumpir (oven-baked potatoes with different fillings), mercimekkofte (mashed red lentil balls wrapped in a lettuce leaf), and many other types of Turkish appetizers - meze.

We will also stroll through adjacent Nevizade Street, famous for its pubs and taverns. In the evening this street is packed with locals: Istanbul people meet here to chat over a glass of beer or to enjoy freshly prepared mezes with raki – traditional Turkish spirit with anise flavor.

After the tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel or Istanbul cruise port.

Why Tour Istanbul With Us?
* Special designed day trips/excursions with best price guarantee.
* Professional & reliable travel services.
* Informative, responsible & specialist tour guides.
* 24/7 Local support.
* Accredited by Association of Turkish Travel Agencies for Istanbul & Turkey. License No. A-7639 Alazmu

Best Price Guarantee:
* If you book one of our Istanbul tours or attractions, and then you find the same product for the same date on an other website, at a lower price..we'll refund you the difference!!

Please take note of the following:
* We aim to respond to all travel requests within 12 hours.
* Hagia Sophia Museum is closed on Monday, replaced with Galata Tower.

Included services for this Istanbul Culinary tour:
* Pick up & drop off from Istanbul hotels (on European side of Istanbul only) & Istanbul cruise port.
* Transportation with tram.
* Professional tour guide licensed by the Ministry of Tourism.
* All entrance fees to the archaeological sites and museums.
* Lunch with a tasting menu consisting of 10+ dishes - drinks extra.
* Local taxes.