Things to do in
Üsküdar

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Üsküdar: Our most recommended tours and activities

Istanbul: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

1. Istanbul: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

See all the sights of Istanbul on this hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Choose between flexible Classic and Premium tickets. Save money with a family ticket and take the kids to child-friendly sites such as the Dolphinarium or the Miniatürk model village, where Turkey’s most important monuments are recreated in miniature. You will have access to 2 routes. Buses come regularly and frequently on both routes. Informative recorded commentary is available in 8 different languages, including English, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Complimentary earphones are provided. Jump off at any of the stops on the Red Route and see architecture from the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Cross the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia to see the Beylerbeyi Palace and watch all the activity of the Bosphorus Straits. Marvel at the old city wall of Constantinople and the Roman Aqueduct on the Golden Horn/Blue Route, which also includes the iconic Blue Mosque. The City Tour (Red) Route: • Sultanahmet Square • Galata Bridge • Tophane • Port • Dolmabahçe • Naval Museum • Beylerbeyi Palace • Akaretler / W Hotel • Taksim Square • Egyptian Spice Bazaar Golden Horn/Blue Route: • Sultanahmet Square • Galata Bridge • Patriarchate • Cable Car • Dolphinarium • Miniatürk • Transport Museum / Rahmi Koç Museum • Egyptian Spice Bazaar

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Istanbul: Bosphorus Boat Tour with Local Guide

2. Istanbul: Bosphorus Boat Tour with Local Guide

From the central meeting point in Sultanahmet, you will be transferred to the boat dock to embark on a cruise along the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus Strait connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea and separates Europe and Asia, making Istanbul one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the only one built astride two continents. The cruise will afford you the unique opportunity to view both sides of the city. During this cruise, your guide will provide commentary and answer questions as you admire sights like Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Ciragan Palace and Rumeli Fortress as well as the ancient wooden villas, bridges and maritime landscapes. After the Bosphorus cruise, transfer to the original meeting point.

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Bosphorus Cruise and Dolmabahçe Palace Tour Full Day

3. Bosphorus Cruise and Dolmabahçe Palace Tour Full Day

Embark on a journey of historical discovery with this one-day tour of Bosphorus and Dolmabahce Place. Experience the majesty of one of the grandest palaces on earth, as well as first-hand history and culture of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. Start your tour with a narrated walk through the Spice Bazaar of Istanbul. Then take a leisurely 90-minute cruise, fully narrated by a professional tour guide. From here you can see the city from the unique point of view of the Bosphorus and get perfect photo opportunities with such landmarks as Leanders Tower and Rumell Hisari Fortress. After a relaxing lunch, you will move on to Dolmabahce Palace. With 285 rooms, 6 baths (hamam), 68 toilets and a ceiling made of 14 tons of gold, this is truly a sight to behold. With strong French influences as well as the richness of the East, this is a must-see on any tour. Expert guides will take you through the most fascinating aspects of the palace, and answer any questions you may have on 19th century Ottoman history. Enjoy a journey of discovery through the stories, myths and great works of art related to this special place. Including religious sites such as Dolmabahce Mosque, this one day tour covers the full range of culture, history, and art of Istanbul in a relaxed, informative environment.

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Istanbul Highlights: Two Continents Half-Day Tour

4. Istanbul Highlights: Two Continents Half-Day Tour

Tell your friends you’ve been to Asia and Europe in one day by joining us on a guided tour of Istanbul’s most historic sites. Led by an expert guide, you’ll visit the impressive Dolmabahçe Palace, the official home of Ottoman Sultans. Built by two famous Ottoman architects, the palace houses a museum-worthy collection of European furniture, art and antiquities. Then it’s off to the Bosphorus Bridge, which straddles the narrow waterway that separates Europe and Asia. Once you’ve crossed the bridge it’s time to head to Camlica HIll, which offers dramatic, panoramic views of the city from almost 300 meters above sea level. Please note, on Mondays and Thursdays the palace is closed, so the tour will make three different stops: Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Tomb, Pierre Loti Coffee House and Miniatürk park.

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

5. 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 the Metro Bridge then head back towards the tour’s meeting point in Balat. Tours usually finish around 1PM, depending on the group’s cycling tempo. Afterwards, spend the day exploring the vibrant streets of Balat at your own leisure, and enjoy some fresh, local cuisine from one of the many street-side food vendors.

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Istanbul: Dolmabahce Palace, Spice Bazaar & Bosphorus Cruise

6. Istanbul: Dolmabahce Palace, Spice Bazaar & Bosphorus Cruise

After being picked up from your hotel, set off on a full-day tour of Istanbul. Begin with a cruise along the Bosphorus River and admire the shoreline of one of the most beautiful cities in the world built astride 2 continents. The cruise will afford you the unique opportunity to view both sides of the city. Next, disembark in Sultanahmet and take a stroll through the Spice Bazaar. Marvel at the colorful array of market stalls selling fruits, vegetables, and flowers. After enjoying the variety of shops, cross over the bridge and head to Camlica Hill which offers panoramic views of the city from almost 300 m above sea level. Make a stop at the Dolmabahce Palace, the official home of Ottoman Sultans. Learn about how the palace was built by 2 famous Ottoman architects. Discover a museum-worthy collection of European furniture, art, and antiquities housed in the palace. Finally, take a look at the stunning city walls built by the Romans to surround and defend the city. 

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Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Dolmabahce & Bosphorus Cruise

7. Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Dolmabahce & Bosphorus Cruise

Get a comprehensive overview of Istanbul on this full-day tour of the city by coach, boat, and cable car. Perfect for those who aim to get a sense of what makes Istanbul unique, this full-day exploration gives a varied tour of the city. It will reveal a mixture of Eastern and European influences that makes the city so unique. First, get picked up from your hotel by bus and driven along the length of the Golden Horn, the historic water that divides Istanbul. Take in the sites of the historic city center and the main port, dating back to the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. Then, travel to the top of Pierre Loti Hill by cable car, and admire panoramic views of the city as you drink coffee at the famous Pierre Loti Café, named after the French novelist who spent much of his time there.  Next, experience the splendor of Istanbul from the water. In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus and take in the grand spectacle of the city’s houses and palaces from the river. Finally, enjoy a tour of Dolmabahce Palace, home to the last of the Ottoman Sultans. Admire one of the most glamorous palaces in the world, once the administrative heart of the Ottoman Empire.

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Istanbul: Full-Day Golden Horn & Bosphorus Tour

8. Istanbul: Full-Day Golden Horn & Bosphorus Tour

Begin this full-day excursion with a stroll around Pierre Loti Hill. Hop-on a cable car and let it take you to another world where the ancient Byzantine walls of Constantinople, the Chora Church and the Castle of Seven Towers await. Learn about the history of this centuries-old metropolis and how it functioned as both the capital of the eastern Roman Empire and as the head of the Ottoman Empire.  Then, board the boat and cruise around the Bosphorus Strait which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea and separates Europe and Asia, making Istanbul one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the only one built astride two continents. This romantic cruise along the Bosphorus will allow you to admire the Dolmabahce Plalace, the Beylerbeyi Palace, the Ciragan Palace and the Rumeli Fortress, ancient wooden villas, bridges and all the wonderful and unique maritime landscapes.

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Istanbul: Full-Day Bosphorus Cruise and Shopping Tour

9. Istanbul: Full-Day Bosphorus Cruise and Shopping Tour

Experience the vibrancy of Turkey’s largest city on a combined full-day cruise of the Bosphorus and shopping tour, and discover the world’s only city to straddle 2 continents. Following a pick-up from your hotel at 8:30, visit the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, where the air is filled with the aroma of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme, and every other conceivable herb and spice. Then climb aboard for your Bosphorus cruise and see old wooden villas, marble palaces, historic fortresses, and small fishing villages along the shore. Pass the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, and the parks and imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace. Continue to Ciragan Palace to marvel at the marble façade facing the water. Arrive at Ortakoy, where a vast number of artists gather every Sunday to display their work along the street. Pass Rumeli Fortress. built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452, and completed in just 4 months to control the infamous Bosphorus passage. Next, see the summer residence of the Ottoman sultans at Beylerbeyi Palace, featuring original antique furniture, magnificent gardens, and a historic harem. Cruise under the Bosphorus Bridge for a unique chance to step from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe). Go to the highest point of Istanbul at Camlica Hill. Once at the top, admire the panorama of Istanbul and Bosporus from the landscaped Ottoman gardens. Then, it’s time to shop, and watch traditional silk weaving skills of Turkish women at the carpet weaving courses provided by The Ministry of National Education. You will get the opportunity to see and buy jewelry, handicrafts, modern leatherwear, and more.

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Bosphorus Boat Cruise & Two Continents Tour with Lunch

10. 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 separating the two continents, Europe and Asia. Marble palaces, ancient wooden villas and the sights of the luxurious residential apartments provide the perfect photo opportunity. From here it is on to Rumell Fortress by boat, where the historical armament can be viewed clearly from the boat. The armament is a unique example of military architecture, and was built by the conqueror to control and protect the Bosphorus. If time permits, the tour will also take you on to visit a leather showroom. Lunch. Tell your friends you’ve been to Asia and Europe in one day by joining us on a guided tour of Istanbul’s most historic sites. Led by an expert guide, you’ll visit the impressive Dolmabahçe Palace, the official home of Ottoman Sultans. Built by two famous Ottoman architects, the palace houses a museum-worthy collection of European furniture, art and antiquities. Then it’s off to the Bosphorus Bridge, which straddles the narrow waterway that separates Europe and Asia. Once you’ve crossed the bridge it’s time to head to Camlica HIll, which offers dramatic, panoramic views of the city from almost 300 meters above sea level. Please note, on Mondays and Thursdays the palace is closed, so the tour will make three different stops: Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Tomb, Pierre Loti Coffee House and Miniatürk park.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Üsküdar

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What people are saying about Üsküdar

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 881 reviews

Spent a great day with a wonderful and informative guide named Furkan. Took a cruise along the incredible Bosphorus and tried some traditional dishes on the Asian side. Then finished up with a palace tour to see how the Sultans lived in the 19th century.

Great experience. Our guide Mevhibe was very friendly, gave really fascinating details about the places we visited and also gave us great insight into some of the Turkish traditions, culture etc. Highly recommend.

It was very good experience exploring Istanbul on bike I get even more than expected Mr can (the guide ) Is very professional so informative and nice person I really enjoyed the tour 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!

It was a amazing experience. The boat goes around Sultanahmet and golden horn It was slow and close to thinks I wanted to see. Thank you very much