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Neve Shalom Synagogue

Neve Shalom Synagogue: Our most recommended tours and activities

Istanbul: Jewish District 3-Hour Walking Tour

1. Istanbul: Jewish District 3-Hour Walking Tour

Istanbul has had a vibrant Jewish community for more than 1,000 years. After the Turkish conquest of Istanbul, Sultan Mehmet II encouraged immigration to repopulate the city. Over half a million Jews persecuted in Spain and Portugal were encouraged to establish themselves within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire. In Istanbul, the new immigrants settled mostly near Galata – a quarter on the northern bank of the Golden Horn – where a Jewish community had existed since the early days of the Ottoman Era in Istanbul. On this tour, you'll walk around Galata, exploring its intriguing streets full of colorful life. The tour includes synagogues, the Jewish Museum, Jewish Apartments, the amazing story of Abraham Kamondo, and other Jewish heritage sites. Monday – Friday:  Jewish Museum, Ashkenazi Synagogue, Schneidertemple Synagogue, and outer visits to Georgian Synagogue, Neve Shalom Synagogue, Italian Synagogue, Jewish Apartments, Kamondo Buildings.

Istanbul: Jewish Heritage and Museum Full-Day Tour

2. 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 the story of the Jews in Istanbul and Anatolia. There will also be time to see the former mosque and Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia, now considered one of the world’s architectural masterpieces. End in the Grand Bazaar, and bargain for handmade carpets, jewelry and leather souvenirs before your transfer back to the port (or your hotel on request).

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What people are saying about Neve Shalom Synagogue

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 17 reviews

Very informative and interesting tour Our guide was very proficient in English, knowledgeable about the history and customs. He was able to answer all our questions and was patient while we went through the museum and gift shop. The only complaint was that when I called to inquire about the transportation I was told we would be picked up at the hotel and dropped off after the tour . We were picked up in time but after the tour we were told we would have to find our own transportation back to the hotel. That was somewhat a challenge. Our guide said he would talk to the company in the US because return transportation was not included as part of the tour. I would highly recommend this tour!

Highly recommended!

The walk leads around the Galatian Tower to former and current facilities of the Jewish community in Istanbul: synagogues, schools, private and commercial buildings are on the program. The long and exciting history of Judaism in Istanbul is vividly presented. We were able to follow the English explanations well. Conclusion: highly recommended not only for those interested in Judaism, but also if you want to experience the city away from the big tourist crowds.

Insight into Jewish Istanbul

Our guide was very knowledgable and good company. Despite some steep walking it was manageable. The time went quickly as we visited synagogues and learnt about the Jewish community in Istanbul past and present. We would thoroughly recommend this tour if you want to find out more about this fascinating city.

Although we got off to a late start, the tour was terrific. Guide informative, personable and very accommodating…to the point of continuing the visit the following murning. Thank you for amazing tour.

Ilker was an excellent, very well-informed and highly motivated guide.

Even though I turned out to be the only person who signed up for Jew Istanbul that day, Ilker gave me the full program, with attention to my interests. It was a most excellent morning for me.