The culinary and cultural highlights of Istanbul will be revealed on this superb city break. View the priceless treasures of the Topkapi Palace and admire the striking architecture of the Blue Mosque. Visit markets where the locals haggle amid piles of the freshest produce and barter for fragrant tea and spices in the heady atmosphere of the spice bazaar. Sample typical specialities of the city on a walking tour and learn to cook classic Turkish dishes with local chefs.
View more climate information & imperial units
Fly from London Heathrow to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines. On arrival, transfer to the Celal Sultan Hotel for a 4-night stay. (N)
On a morning tour of the city visit Hagia Sofia, built as a church in the sixth century, the exquisite Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome, formerly the sporting and social centre of Constantinople and then round of the morning with a visit to the Grand Bazaar. This afternoon, visit magnificent Topkapi Palace and some of the treasures within before a tour of the underground cisterns that originally provided a water filtration system to the palace. Dinner this evening is at Restaurant Hamdi. Try the house meze and typical kebabs, and enjoy the splendid views out to the Golden Horn. (B, D)
Meet your cookery tutor this morning and take a walk through the famous fish market, Balik Pazari, located in the Beyoglu district. Sample some of the Turkish street food on offer and take in the sights and sounds of this area of the city. Wander along the famous Cicek Pasaji (flower passage) where locals come to dine on pan fried mussels washed down with local wine, beer or Turkish raki. The dishes you will prepare at the cookery class will typically include a starter (meze), main course, and dessert. Enjoy the dishes you have prepared for lunch. This afternoon, visit the impressive Galata Tower, which was originally made out of wood by the Byzantium Emperor Anastasius in 507 under the name Lighthouse Tower. The tower is nearly 70 metres high and in later years was restored using medieval stone by the Genoese and renamed the Tower of Christ. Today the nine-storey structure dominates the skyline and offers panoramic views over the city’s historic peninsula (B, L)
Visit the spice bazaar this morning. In existence since the 17th century this is the place to purchase dried fruits, dates, spices and nuts. Later, visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque renowned for its exquisite Iznik tiles, all set in a variety of beautiful floral and geometric designs. A final stop will be made at a family-run pastry shop which has been in operation since 1871. Sample feather light borek accompanied by Turkish tea. The balance of the day is at leisure. Ask your guide for shopping recommendations, he can tell you where
to purchase the finest Turkish delight, superb baklava and the very best Turkish coffee. For excellent views take the ferry ride along the Golden Horn and if you have a love of art, head for the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. The views over the Boshphorus from the museum restaurant are superb. A sunset drink overlooking Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque from the terrace of the Four Seasons may be expensive but it is certainly a memorable experience. (B)
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to London. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals
The Celal Sultan Hotel, situated in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district, offers comfortable accommodation and panoramic views of the Bosphorus and Hagia Sofia. The property provides a great base in the old city centre, with many historical attractions such as the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque within easy walking distance.
Features: 55 rooms, restaurant, lobby bar, outdoor terrace, Wi-Fi, complimentary afternoon refreshments.
Room amenities: Television, air conditioning, hot drinks, minibar,...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
MIT2016: 4 Nights
Istanbul, capital of the great Ottoman Empire, enjoyed more than four centuries of...