10 best excursions in Istanbul
Istanbul is a big and multifaceted city, which is difficult to understand on your own. If you want to make friends with the city and understand it better, take a tour. I have chosen 10 of the best, in my opinion, excursions in Russian that will help to see Istanbul from different sides and learn its history, culture and traditions.
Discount on tours
When we travel, we buy excursions on the Tripster site – there is a huge selection and real reviews of tourists, so it’s easy to choose a good guide and an interesting program. Plus, you’ll get a ₽500 discount on your first tour by registering at this link.
See the classic sites
This group tour in Istanbul in Russian is very popular with tourists because it allows you to see the most iconic sights at once and get an overall impression. If you want a closer acquaintance with the city, it is worth taking another tour. In general, it is good for those who are in Istanbul for the first time and for a short period.
Цена . Экскурсия стоит €30 за человека. Уточнить цену >>
Polina: “Mahmut is a great guide and a great narrator! Six hours flew by like 5 minutes. So many places, information and soulfulness. My mom and I are very grateful for the wonderful tour! We recommend it to everyone).”
– €190 for 1-4 people. – €38 per person. – €160 per person.
Hagia Sophia (Hagia Sophia).
Learn the secrets of Istanbul
This tour in Russian is very popular with tourists because the guide introduces the milestones of Istanbul’s history – and more – in a lively and interesting way. On the tour you will see not only the top places, but also peek into the hookah garden, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and see the colorful carpets in the museum.
The walking tour is designed for 4 hours, so you will not go inside the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, you will see only the outside. Its advantage is that it is held in a small group of up to 10 people and is very inexpensive. Suitable for those who are first time in Istanbul and want to get a comprehensive view of the city and its history.
Цена . В 2022 году экскурсия по Стамбулу стоит всего €20 за человека. Уточнить цену >>
Reviews of tourists. Surprisingly, this tour has almost no negative reviews – everyone is happy with the guides, the content of the stories and the organization.
Anna : “It was like we walked with an old friend through his favorite places to his incredibly interesting stories! Very heartwarming and caring. Maya is an incredible guide with soul and meaning. Thank you so much!”
– €150 for 1-4 people. – €140 for 1-4 people.
Carpets, fixtures and ceilings are the main beauty in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Few people leave Istanbul without buying a signature Turkish fixture
Follow unknown paths
If you have been to Istanbul more than once or twice and have seen everything that is usually included in the guidebooks, I suggest you get to know its non-tourist face. I think that’s the most interesting part of getting to know the city! We usually explore such places on our own when we travel, but it’s more interesting with a guide.
In this heartwarming tour of Istanbul, guide Maria will take you on routes unknown to most tourists and show you art galleries, bazaars, craft shops, antique shops, hammams, and homemade bakeries. Along the way you can buy inexpensive antiques, antiques, ceramics, or paintings.
The tour is a 3.5-hour walk, so wear comfortable shoes.
Цена за экскурсию — €88 на 1-2 человек. Уточнить цену >>
Svetlana: “The tour helped us understand this great city, to see and feel its rhythm and real daily life. We walked unexplored tourist trails through different neighborhoods, which have their own face and way of life.
– €100 for 1-3 people. – €250 for 1-4 people. – €125 for 1-4 people.
Selecting masks in an antique shop in Istanbul. It’s a hobby of ours to collect masks from different countries as we travel around the world.
Seeing the underside of Istanbul.
What I love most about ancient cities is not the polished tourist neighborhoods, but the old, dilapidated, authentic neighborhoods. Curiously enough, over time they become bohemian – artists, writers, and craftsmen move there. This original tour in Russian will introduce you to such colorful suburbs of Istanbul. You will walk through the old neighborhoods of Balat and Fener, where the ruins of Byzantine buildings and ancient temples are preserved. Look at the street vendors, Muslim fundamentalists, look into the cozy cafes, handmade and vintage stores. The walk lasts 3 hours.
Цена . Экскурсия стоит €119 за 1-3 участников. Уточнить цену >>
Tourist Reviews. This tour has the highest rating, and all tourists are delighted. Take it, you will not go wrong!
Sergey: “Great tour! We either didn’t get to these places ourselves, or if we had, we wouldn’t have seen half of everything interesting there. That said, Galina doesn’t just tell a memorized speech about a particular place, but knows a lot about Turkey and shares that knowledge.”
– €100 for 1-3 people. – €88 for 1-2 people.
View from the terrace of our apartment in one of the non-tourist areas of Istanbul.
Sailing on a boat on a hot day is a damn sight – the breeze is refreshing, and you can drink hot tea on the deck and admire the views. It’s a sin not to swim! Take a tour of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus to see Beylerbeyi Palace, Suleyman Mosque, Rumeli Hisar Fortress and Maiden Tower from the water and listen to curious stories. The tour lasts for 3 hours.
Цена . Экскурсия стоит €25 за человека. Уточнить цену >>
Natalia : “The tour is 10 out of 10. Comfortable, informative, very welcoming and professional. The information is given easily and interestingly, on board will take care of your comfort, water tea and fruit. You are welcomed and at the same time very informative. One of the best excursions I have been on.
– €119 for 1-3 people. – €50 for 1-2 people.
My brother and I took a boat trip to Istanbul.
Sailing on the Bosphorus
Take a romantic yacht cruise on the Bosphorus and see the city from the water. On a luxury yacht you can organize a holiday or dinner, or you can just sail around and admire the panoramas of the European and Asian parts of Istanbul while listening to legends about the Ottoman Empire.
Цена . Экскурсия на малой яхте до 12 человек стоит €200. Уточнить цену >>
Olga: “It’s a pleasure to listen to Kurban! He seemed to be present at the historical events he was telling us about. The guide speaks freely on any topic, politics, history, social life, traditions! It’s amazing, but even our children asked questions and listened with interest!”
– €385 per boat, up to 10 people. – €340 for 1-10 people.
View from the Asian to the European part of Istanbul across the Bosphorus Strait.
Taste Istanbul’s street food
In my opinion, it is only after trying a lot of national dishes that you can say for sure that you have embraced the local culture. The street food in Istanbul is so diverse and delicious that it is impossible not to try it! During the tour, which lasts 3.5 hours, you will discover the gastronomic masterpieces of Turkey. Taste a wet burger, fish kebab, stuffed mussels, the most delicious doner shawarma and other Istanbul delicacies! Find out where to eat tasty and inexpensive food in Istanbul.
Цена . Экскурсия стоит €125 за 1-4 человек. Уточнить цену >>
Natalia : “The fact that you have to come to this tour hungry – that’s for sure! A lot of interesting things about the normal life of Istanbul people, Christina showed the places where the locals eat. We specially booked this excursion on the first day in the city, so that then all the next days to eat in inexpensive and very tasty establishments.”
– €125 for 1-4 people. – €94 for 1-2 people.
Istanbul seems to be imbued with the aroma of roasted chestnuts. There are many such stalls in the city. Simit is Istanbul’s main street food. Locals snack on simit on the go.
Explore the Prince’s Islands
I think the Prince’s Islands are a good idea to diversify your vacation in Istanbul and take a cheap ferry ride at the same time. We sailed there for a day to admire the villas, walk among the pine trees, breathe the clean sea air and see the spectacular abandoned orphanage. We advise you too! Learn about the best beaches in Istanbul.
You can easily go to the islands on your own – you just need to buy tickets for the ferry at the ticket office.
Цена . Экскурсия стоит €125 для 1-3 человек. Уточнить цену >>
Tourist reviews. There are many excursions to the Prince Islands, but tourists choose this one – a photo walk to the blooming island of Büyükada.
Mark : “It was a wonderful walk! Vladislav is a very interesting, positive person, a great storyteller. Everything turned out just fine.
Our trip to the Prince Islands. There are many beautiful villas and mansions in the Prince Islands.
Relax in the thermal waters
If you’re tired of walking around the city, especially in the heat, I suggest a trip to the Jalova resort – you’re sure to relax properly there! The thermal resort is located in a picturesque mountain gorge on the opposite shore of the Sea of Marmara. In ancient times the Ottoman sultans appreciated the virtues of the hot springs of Yalova and founded their baths there.
The trip takes two hours by ferry one way. The trip takes all day from 7:00 to 18:00. You will swim in the outdoor pools, bask in the hammam and admire the rare plants at the local arboretum.
Цена . В 2022 году экскурсия из Стамбула в Ялову стоит €40. В цену включен обед, пользование бассейнами, банями, трансфер и услуги русскоязычного гида. Уточнить цену >>
Tourist feedback. Basically everyone is happy, because it greatly diversifies the holiday. But there are some disadvantages – quite a long road steals hours that tourists would like to spend in the thermae.
Alexei: “Great trip to the thermae: steamed in the hammam, heated by a sulfuric spring, swam in the pool, then there was a walk and a great lunch! The only minus was the very long drive and not enough time in the thermae, at least another 1-1.5 hours on top. Otherwise, it was great.”
Go to romantic Cappadocia
It is not easy to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul on your own, so many tourists prefer to see this wonderful place as part of a tour. I understand them perfectly – during a short trip you don’t want to bother, it’s much easier to buy an all-inclusive tour. This tour is just that: you will leave for 2 days and you do not need to plan anything, because the tickets, hotel, shuttle service, tours, 2 dinners and 1 breakfast are already included in the price.
Цена. €345 за человека. Уточнить цену >>
Maria : “I highly recommend this tour to everyone who wants to see Göreme and has no time. Especially I want to appreciate the work of Tatiana, her professionalism is 100%.
Balloon flights in Cappadocia are organized all year round. Photo: @daniilvnoutchkov / unsplash.com.
Tips for excursions in Istanbul in 2022
Istanbul is a crowded city with heavy traffic. Keep in mind that the bus may get stuck in traffic during the trip, so take a supply of drinking water and a light snack on the way.
Most tours in Russian in Istanbul are not held daily, but 2-3 times a week. To choose a convenient day, look at the schedule on the website of the organizer or find a schedule in the travel agency.
Group tours with a typical program is cheaper. If you want to get an unusual impression of Istanbul and walk through non-tourist areas with an experienced guide, take a guided tour.
Sometimes groups are combined and the tour is carried out not for the 12-15 announced participants, but for 30 tourists. In high season, the group size can be up to 45 people. In a large crowd is not all good to hear, so try to stay close to the guide or choose those excursions, which use headphones.
Do not spend money on excursions to Miniaturk Park, Istanbul Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Vialand amusement park and TurquaZoo. Istanbul has well-developed public transport – all the entertainment centers you can easily get on your own.
Many of Istanbul’s streets have cobblestones, and you can walk up and down them. Wear loose-fitting sports shoes and comfortable clothes when sightseeing.
We found 529 excursions in Istanbul in Russian with the current schedule for September and October 2022. Prices for fascinating walks with a guide from 10 euros. Choose a route, read descriptions and book tours in Turkey online.
We offer you a fascinating tour of Istanbul, during which you will not only see the most important sights of the city…
The historic market, antiques, artists’ street and Ottoman cuisine are the most unexpected areas of the city.
Visit 6 districts, see many “faces” of Istanbul, understand its inhabitants and become on “first-name terms” with the city.
Istanbul is a complex city with a multi-layered culture and at the same time typical life rhythm of a modern metropolis.
Walk in the footsteps of the series, see the main architectural monuments and immerse yourself in an oriental fairy tale.
Attractions in and around Istanbul
The Bosphorus Strait is a busy waterway separating the European part of Turkey from the Asian part. It allows the free passage of ships from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Istanbul stands on both sides of the strait. Parts of the city are connected by three beautiful bridges.
Gulhane Park was part of the outer gardens of Topkapi Palace until the beginning of the 20th century. After the establishment of presidential rule, the area of the luxurious gardens was transferred to public use.
The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet) was built in 1626. Its walls are made of valuable marble and in the decoration were used blue tiles which are traditional for Islam and which gave the mosque its name. The natural light through 260 windows is supplemented with the light from candle chandeliers.
Hagia Sophia Cathedral
History of Hagia Sophia Cathedral dates back to the Byzantine Empire. Until 1479 it was an Orthodox church, after the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks it became the Hagia Sophia Mosque and in 1935 was designated a museum.
The Galata Tower is a historical symbol of Istanbul, towering 60 meters above the city. In the 5th century the structure was wooden, but in the middle of the 14th century it was rebuilt in stone. The last large-scale restoration of the tower survived in 1967 and it gained the status of an entertainment and museum facility with an observation deck and a restaurant with national cuisine.
The Prince Islands are a small archipelago in the Sea of Marmara consisting of nine islands. In ancient times they were used as a place of exile for nobles undesirable to the rulers of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a favorite vacation spot for the inhabitants of Istanbul.
Tourist reviews of popular excursions
Thank you Vladimir for the informative tour and for getting to know a part of European Istanbul! Vladimir was a wonderful narrator and a very knowledgeable person! A hospitable host, treating us to tea and local specialties. Thank you!
I liked Nargiz very much! She told us everything in detail, took us through the whole story of the sultans and showed us all the delicious places! Passed all the spirit of Istanbul. We will be glad to have a similar excursion on our return! Told us even the places we had not been to! She helped us with our shopping.
Thanks to Olesya for the wonderful excursion! We found out about Kadıköy’s history, walked along its lovely streets and tasted its unique desserts. We also visited places which we couldn’t have found without Olesya. We recommend her very much! We will remember our time with pleasure!
Thank you very much! Excellent tour: interesting, informative, fun, not difficult. Even adapted to our interests. We really liked it!
It was like 6 hours flew by in a blink, everything was very informative and not boring. Nargiz showed us places which you can’t read about in guidebooks. From buying a subway card to getting the best coffee in town, she told us all the details of local life and everyday little things! Thank you so much! We will be back and will recommend you!
Really enjoyed our tour! Christina is a very nice girl! Absolutely no stressful walk, very beautiful locations! Everything on the level! Definitely recommend!
We aggregate Russian speaking tours of tour operators, travel agencies and private guides in Istanbul. We compare similar excursion programs by reviews, rating, cost and recommend the best of proposals.