Balat
Tours

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Our most recommended Balat Tours

  • Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Highlights Tour

    1. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Highlights Tour

    Explore Istanbul according to your own interests on a tailor-made sightseeing tour. A licensed guide will meet you in your hotel or port and work with you to create an itinerary that suits you best, leaving you satisfied that you have seen all of Istanbul. Marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern on the first day. On day two, take the public ferry to Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. From here, visit Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and the spice market. Day three takes you on a walk through the streets of Fener-Balat neighboorhood. Enjoy a cable car ride and soak up views of Pierre Loti Hill, then visit Chora Church to see the mosaics and frescoes.

    Ayla hat uns pünktlich vom Hotel abgeholt und wir erlebten mit ihr den absolut schönsten Tag in Istanbul!! Sie hat ein unheimlich großes Wissen und kann dieses super interessant vermitteln. Wir können die Tour nur wärmstens weiterempfehlen! Vielen lieben Dank an Ayla!

  • Istanbul: Two Sides of The City Half-Day Bike Tour

    2. Istanbul: Two Sides of The City Half-Day Bike Tour

    Meet your tour guide in the historical neighborhood of Balat, in the European side of the city. Choose your bike for the day then board the public boat to Uskudar. From the boat, admire views of the city skyline and take photos of Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Maiden Tower, Süleymaniye Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, and more. Arrive in Uskudar, which is on the Asian side of the city, and admire the cultural influences that surround you. Hop on your bike and pedal to Fenerbahce Park, stopping along the way to take in the sights and listen to your guide share information about the area’s history and culture. Once you’ve worked up a sweat from the bike ride, enjoy a refreshing cup of Turkish tea or coffee at a local cafe and admire the view of Princes’ Islands while you relax. Jump back on your bike and pedal to Kadıköy Pier for a boat ride to Karakoy. Next, cross over the Golden Horn Bay via ...

    Ramo is a friendly guide who speaks English well. It was a bit scary cycling against heavy traffic but that is apparently ok in Turkey. Bikes were good and Ramo made sure we were comfortable.

  • Istanbul: Fener and Balat Small-Group Walking Tour

    3. Istanbul: Fener and Balat Small-Group Walking Tour

    Start your tour with a ferry ride along the Golden Horn from Karakoy to Ayvansaray, where you will see the skyline of Istanbul from this famous waterway onboard a local ferry. You can listen to your guide as they go over the history of Constantinople, the conquest by the Ottomans and the introduction of Jewish culture after 1492. Afterwards, visit the extraordinary church of Mary Blachernae, Ahrida Synagogue and walk the streets and markets of Balat through the splashes of color and the vibrancy of its street life. Experience the crisscross of washing lines on the crumbling buildings, and the labyrinth of cobblestone streets teeming with kids playing football. You will then end your tour in Fener after seeing the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate which houses a column which is believed to have been used for the binding and flogging of Jesus in Jerusalem. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Church...

    So glad we took that tour! It turned out, it was only the 3 of us with my wife and Adnan - our guide. It was a marvelous 3h experience. Adnan is extremely versed in the history and culture of Istanbul/Constantinople, and a great human being. The tour was a pleasure, and the tips we got from him about local restaurants and places to visit were priceless! Warmly recommend this tour to anybody who has checked out the main attractions in town and wants to experience its authentic and vibrant nature.

  • Istanbul: Jewish Heritage and Museum Full-Day Tour

    4. Istanbul: Jewish Heritage and Museum Full-Day Tour

    Explore the Jewish history of Istanbul on a full-day private tour with multilingual guide. You will be met off your cruise ship in Istanbul Port (or from your hotel on request), and transferred by Mercedes vehicle to the heart of the city. Go to the Balat district to see the Ahrida Synagogue, one of the oldest and most prominent of Istanbul’s synagogues. Visit the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Karaköy, built in response to an increase in the Jewish population in the Galata neighborhood. Continue to Ashkenazi Synagogue, the only active Ashkenazi synagogue in Istanbul open to visits. At the heart of Jewish Istanbul, in the old Galata district, you will visit the Jewish Museum, established in 2001 on the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Sephardic Jews to the Ottoman Empire. Remodeled in the former Zülfaris Synagogue, the museum features artifacts, relics, letters and torah scrolls that tell...

  • Istanbul: Guided Off-the-Beaten-Path Experience

    5. Istanbul: Guided Off-the-Beaten-Path Experience

    Your experience will begin with the ancient Hippodrome, where thousands of spectators were entertained and kept happy by the chariot races. Whilst there you will witness a cistern which was recently discovered in 2010, and you can navigate through the labyrinth of streets and passages that are home to more than 4,000 shops, which is known as the Grand Bazaar. You will soon take a break to experience traditional Turkish tea or coffee and a popular Turkish pastry called borek, all while enjoying the ancient practice of hookah at a favorite local hangout. Following that you'll visit Istanbul’s largest mosque, titled the Suleymaniye Mosque. It is an Ottoman Imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, and is breathtaking due to both its size and interior beauty. From the mosque you will visit a Spice Bazaar which is full of colors and the powerful aromas of exotic spices...

    Our guide was excellent, very friendly, knowledgeable and informative. Istanbul amazed us, definitely a must in to do list, we will come back. Thank you Ouz

  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise & Two Continents Tour with Lunch

    6. Bosphorus Boat Cruise & Two Continents Tour with Lunch

    From the Golden Horn to the arm of the Boshorous you will experience the beautiful sights of the historical peninsula which separates the old and new parts of Istanbul. You will be a part of history as you take an in-depth look at the residential areas for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-Muslim minorities. Get a true sense of the history behind the Balat and the Metal Church. Stop at the sights of St. Stephen the Bulgarian, and get a glimpse of what life was really like at the Jewish Hospital. You can take a break from the historic sights by taking a stroll along the Byzantine City Walls. Another charming feature of the tour is the array of colorful shops that you will see at the Spice Bazaar. We'll make a stop at the stalls selling fruits, vegetables and flowers. After enjoying the variety of shops, the tour takes you to the Bosphorus Cruise and through the waterway sepa...

  • Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise and Golden Horn Bus Tour

    7. Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise and Golden Horn Bus Tour

    Enjoy a Bosphorus cruise through the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia, with a possibility to take photographs of marble palaces and ancient wooden villas of Ottoman architecture besides modern residential and luxurious apartments. See the Rumeli Fortress from the boat, a historical armament built by the Conqueror to control and protect the Bosphorus. It is a unique example of military architecture. Visit the Golden Horn by bus, the arm of the Bosphorus and a natural harbor of the historical peninsula separating the old and new parts of Istanbul where the first colonies settled during the Byzantine Empire. This was a residential area for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders, and other non-Muslim minorities. Drive along the traces of history in Balat and view the Bulgarian St Stephen Church, the Jewish Hospital (Or-Ahayim), the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate, and the 22-k...

    The Bosphorus cruise, somewhat surprised about the "non existing:" Pierre Loti house

  • Istanbul: Morning Bosphorus Cruise

    8. Istanbul: Morning Bosphorus Cruise

    From the Golden Horn to the arm of the Boshorous you will experience the beautiful sights of the historical peninsula which separates the old and new parts of Istanbul. You will be a part of history as you take an in-depth look at the residential areas for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-Muslim minorities. Get a true sense of the history behind the Balat and the Metal Church. Stop at the sights of St. Stephen the Bulgarian, and get a glimpse of what life was really like at the Jewish Hospital. You can take a break from the historic sights by taking a stroll along the Byzantine City Walls. Another charming feature of the tour is the array of colorful shops that you will see at the Spice Bazaar. We'll make a stop at the stalls selling fruits, vegetables and flowers. After enjoying the variety of shops, the tour takes you to the Bosphorus Cruise and through the waterway sepa...

  • Istanbul Heritage: 5-Hour Tour on Foot, by Ferry & More

    9. Istanbul Heritage: 5-Hour Tour on Foot, by Ferry & More

    Meet your guide at the Fuego Café and Restaurant in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll take the local tram to Eminönü Harbor and begin a 5-hour excursion into Istanbul’s heritage. Travel by public bus to the colorful Fener/Balat district, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and at one time home to Istanbul’s Ottoman Orthodox and Jewish residents. See traces of Ottoman life, including wooden houses, mosques, churches, and synagogues, standing together and demonstrating the multicultural and religious ways of the Ottoman Empire. After walking along the cobblestoned streets of the Fener/Balat World Heritage area, you’ll continue along the historic Byzantine city walls that date to the 4th century A.D. and the time of Constantine the Great. Visit the historic Eyüp mosque complex, a sacred area where pilgrims come to visit the mosques and th...

    ONDER (guide) arrived in good time to meet me. I was the only one on this tour, which meant that I had a private tour. This tour was excellent, both in terms of content and because of Onder - he was highly knowledgeable, generous with his time, highly considerate, and enthusiastic in a low-key way. He showed me everything there was to see, and more, and went out of his way to make this a highly memorable experience in a variety of ways. Nothing was too much trouble for him, and it felt as though I was with a friend. I was particularly delighted about two things: (1) that we were able to enter the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and (2) that we had an iconic dish (balik ekmek) that was on my personal wish list, but I had the pleasure of having it with Onder. Excellent tour, excellent compassionate, knowledgeable guide. Special.

  • Istanbul: Old City Half-Day Bike Tour

    10. Istanbul: Old City Half-Day Bike Tour

    Explore Istanbul by bike and see some of the most beautiful sights of the city while burning off some calories. You will ride your bike through palaces, mosques, churches, parks, and the most characteristic districts of historic Istanbul, and including Eminönü. Depart from Balat, ride to Eminönü and admire the Galata Bridge, New Mosque, and Spice Bazaar. Look across the Golden Horn to the district of Beyoglu. Ride along the waterfront to Gülhane Park, an oasis of peace extending over the slope of Topkapı Palace. Leaving the park, catch a glimpse of the former gate of the Grand Vizier's residence. Take a short ride to Sultanahmet Park and see the city’s iconic St. Sophia and Blue Mosque. Run the full lap of the Hippodrome, just like the Roman horse-chariots used to, and admire the obelisks that dominate the street. Pass through its imposing gates of Topkapı Palace, the magnificent reside...

Other Sightseeing Options in Balat

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What people are saying about Balat

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 200 reviews

Our guide was punctual, flexible, polite, knowledgeable w good command of English. We discussed my wishes before the trip and he was able to show us everything. We went to see Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topika Palace first courtyard, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Galata Bridge, Galata Tower, and a few sights along the Main Street leading to Taksim Square. It was interesting to see the old and the new parts of Istanbul. We did a lot of walking, along w tram and metro. My kids who are teenagers got a bit bored half way. This is my first private tour, it delivered my expectation as i only had one day. However compared to free guided tour guides which i had quite a few tours with in various cities, I have to say the free guides are more animated and have a lot more interesting stories to keep the group excited and concentrated at all time. Cost aside, take a private guide if you want a customized tour w lot of personal attention. Go w the free tour if you want more animation.

Actually, I live in Istanbul:) And I already visited Fener and Balat many times. I booked this tour for my 12-year-old nephew who lives in Dubai. He loves taking this kind of tour. Although I thought that I know those neighborhoods as a local man, I understand I didn't know :) Many thanks to our guide Mr. Cetin for his excellent knowledge. And thanks to Ms. Arzu for her good communication.

Amazing walk off the beaten track through Balat neighborhood. Sabih was showing us the most amazing places such as synagogues, churches and the patriarch of Greek Orthodoxy. All COVID conform. Highly recommended!!

It's really a fabulous activity. You get to really experience the thrum of Istanbul from East to West. A must do for anyone with an elevated sense of adventure and To see things differently!

Amazing trip, amazing people, amazing city. Nothing to add. Must do in Istanbul if you are not pregnant or an old person (P.S.: Don't forget to take enough sunscreen)