Est. 1985
Request Brochures Brochures

Istanbul – City of the World’s Desire

  • The Blue Mosque, Istanbul © Turkish Culture and Tourism Office

5 day tour
Prices on request

Visit Istanbul, the City of the World's Desire!

Once you have visited Istanbul, you’ll soon understand how it has come to be known by this. This exciting city is awash with fascinating architecture, incredible art galleries and an abundance of culinary delights. Divided in two by the Bosphorus, Istanbul is unique in that it straddles the continents of Europe and Asia and it has cultural fruits descending on this city of demarcation.

This vibrant metropolis amasses a population of around 15 million of people, attracting visitors mainly due to the city’s extraordinary history. Founded by the Ancient Greeks, settlers and conquerors alike, have come to call this city their home. Whether it be called Byzantium, Constantinople or Istanbul, the supreme status of this city has been confirmed by being made the Capital of three great Empires. All of which, have left their mark on this culturally diverse city. Conquering armies are often known for ransacking city’s however, many of the churches and palaces have been left untouched and have the wonderful mosaics and frescoes from the Byzantine era. Their successors, the Ottomans, instead of replacing these buildings, they began an ambitious building program that resulted in decorative and outstanding mosques thus creating a melting pot of cultural gems and making for one of the world’s great skylines. Today, the Turks have continued the Ottomans ambitions and the impressive array of galleries, museums and festivals are there for all to enjoy.

This city is truly remarkable and well worth a visit. It is home to a vibrant, inclusive and expanding community, a population who reflect their city melding tradition and modernity in their everyday lives. Why not spend some time experiencing the local delicacies by visiting some the following: çay bahçesis (tea gardens), kahvehans (coffeehouses), meyhanes (Turkish taverns) and kebapçıs (kebap restaurants) – and these will be a highlight of your visit.


Dates throughout 2021

Suggested itinerary by air

Day 1

Depart the UK

Fly directly from your chosen airport to Istanbul where you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2

Highlights of Istanbul – Sightseeing Tour

After breakfast, we take a guided sightseeing tour of the city starting with the Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races and the centre of Byzantine civil life. Possibly one of the most famous sites in the city is the Blue Mosque which attracts many visitors due to its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles. In the afternoon, we will visit the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Afterwards, we will visit the Grand Bazaar; a labyrinth of streets and passages consisting of more than 4000 shops selling a variety of local products.

Day 3

Optional Bosphorus Excursion

Today, you can spend your day at leisure, further exploring the city of Istanbul. Alternatively, why not take an optional excursion by boat along the Bosphorus which is lined with marble palaces, fortresses and fishing villages.

Day 4

Optional Excursion – Bursa

Take an optional excursion to Bursa, which was the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire and home to the city’s famous Grand Mosque built in 1399.

Day 5

Return to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Hotel suggestions are available on request.

You may also be interested in:

Classical Turkey – From Istanbul to Ephesus

Amazing Athens

All Roads Lead to Rome

5 day tour
2021 dates  Prices available on request
All prices are per person based on sharing a double or twin room and with one free place in a single room, based on a minimum 25 full fare paying passengers. Prices do not include UK coach hire or travel insurance. Dates are subject to availability. Smaller groups can be quoted for on request. Greatdays Holidays Limited is a member of ABTA (Y0380) which means you have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. Greatdays Holidays Limited has an ATOL licence (4279) and all of our air package tours are protected under this licence. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Civil Aviation Authority will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any monies you have paid to us for an advance booking. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this tour are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: Our website policy is to use only copyright free images or images which have been authorised to us for free use by the owner. If you consider an image to be unauthorised or to be your property, please contact us immediately and if invalid we will have the image removed. If your image requires crediting or is missing a copyright statement then we will be pleased to add this to the webpage, contact us at

Send an Enquiry

Greatdays Wholesale

Greatdays offer a trade only booking service for coach and tour operators or professional group travel organisers and we can provide single or multiple elements of a holiday.

Read more


Greatdays Holidays

Greatdays are able to offer a complete tailor-made booking service for group travel organisers with the help of one of our friendly consultants to assist you through the booking process.

Read more