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Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire

star-37 Reviews
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Fatih, Turkey
Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire

Select Date and Travelers

Number of travelers
4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children7 Children8 Children9 Children0 Infants1 Infant2 Infants3 Infants4 Infants5 Infants6 Infants7 Infants8 Infants9 Infants
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon3 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 3 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Realize the true impact of the Byzantine Empire on Turkey during this 3-hour guided history of Constantinople tour in Istanbul. Step back in time almost 1700 years and discover how Istanbul’s famous religious architecture and monuments took shape during this age of Christianity. Explore prime examples such as the Holy Virgin at the Church of St Mary of Blachernae, the Walls of Constantinople, and the ruins of Blachernae Palace. The legacy created by the Byzantine empire is uncovered on this tour.
  • Discover the ancient city of Constantinople and learn about the city’s significant early Christian sites
  • Visit the Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate in Fener, home to the ceremonial head of the Greek Orthodox church
  • See a shrine to the Holy Virgin at the Church of St Mary of Blachernae
  • Explore the ruins of ancient Blachernae Palace and see Anemas Dungeons
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Hotel pickup
Professional guide
Air-conditioned vehicle
All Fees and Taxes
Food and drinks
Hotel drop-off

Departure Point

Sultan Ahmet, Küçük Ayasofya Cd. No:14, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

Please be ready in front of Tamara Restaurant at 13:15 and look for blue and white Midibus/Minivan with the logo of Plan Tours and Gray Line

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Meet your guide at your hotel for pickup or in the Istanbul neighborhood of Yenikapi for your Constantinople history tour. Buckle up in your luxurious coach for a cruise around the Golden Horn. Learn how this natural bay links with the Bosphorus Strait and created a once prominent shipping harbor for Byzantine trade.

Next, admire the Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate in the Greek district of Fener. Gain insight about the liturgical leader of the Greek Orthodox Church who is based here. Closeby, see Church of St George (the site’s primary church) and observe the elegantly decorated Byzantine patriarchal seat.

Drive on to the district of Ayvansaray, formerly called Blachernae during Byzantine times, and observe the historical Eastern Orthodox church – Church of St Mary of Blachernae. While this church’s architecture is not a typical beauty, its significance in the Eastern Orthodox Community is important since the shrine of the Holy Virgin is worshipped within. With your guide enter the church and gaze over the holy water spring. 

Onwards to another important Byzantine monastery in the Western district. Stop and visit the beautiful Chora Church and relish its fresco painted walls. Hear from your guide how the details were far beyond the rest of Byzantine artwork. Then, marvel at the vibrant mosaics within that create an entrancing ambiance. 

Loop back to Ayvansaray and uncover the history within the venerable Blachernae Palace. Observe the ruins of this once grand palace and soak in the greatness that once thrived here. Let your imagination soak up frightful feeling as you observe the Byzantine prison exterior known as the Anemas Dungeons. Then, see the outside of the Tekfur Palace (or spend time at Palace of Constantine Porphyrogenitus) – the Blachernae Palace’s last remaining building.

Finally, promenade beside the Walls of Constantinople, and enjoy the ruins of this old city’s gates and towers. After a day becoming a Byzantine history buff, hop back on your coach and head to the center of the Sultanahmet neighborhood where your tour ends.
Itinerary
Pass By:  
Halic
Natural naval harbour of the Byzantines named as Golden Horn because of its hornlike shape and golden reflection of the glittering waves under sunshine when viewed from the hill tops.
Stop At:  
Cathedral Church of St George
Visit the Patriarchate at Fener which is the seat of Orthodox Christianity since Constantine The Great’ s declaration of Christianity as the religion of Roman Empire.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Walls of Constantinople (Istanbul City Walls)
Byzantine City Walls surrounded the Acropolis of Byzantium with 22 kms. long fortification with 96 towers and 9 main gates dating back to the 5th century.
Stop At:  
Fener Rum Ortodoks Patrikhanesi Kutuphanesi
Visit the Patriarchate at Fener which is the seat of Orthodox Christianity since Constantine The Great’ s declaration of Christianity as the religion of Roman Empire.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Tekfur Sarayi
Tekfur Palace (from outside) built in the 12th century adjacent to the city walls. The only surviving pavillion of the Blachernae Palace.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Chora Museum
St. Savior in Chora (Kariye Museum), originally a Byzantine monastery with fantastic mosaics and frescoes portraying scenes from the bible, the life and miracles of Jesus.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Please note: When reconfirming your booking, your local supplier will advise you on alternative meeting points for hotels which are not accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Plan Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Semi Private - Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire.

Reviews

3.0
star-3
7 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews
star-3
Interesting tour. It was nice to get...
Leah
, May 2015
Interesting tour. It was nice to get out to other neighbourhoods during our stay. The Chora church was beautiful, definitely worth seeing. Our tour was much shorter than the advertised duration however and it would've been nice to have the extra time to explore.
star-1
This tour was ok - a good supplement to...
CarrieAnn G
, Mar 2015
This tour was ok - a good supplement to the other main tours if you have more days. I would recommend doing the others first.
star-3
This was good as far as it went but it...
Anne M
, Nov 2014
This was good as far as it went but it was a very short tour i.e under 2 hours total [ although the hotel transfer was 90 minutes each way]. It was very interesting to visit the lovely Chorea Monastary and 2 Orthodox churches. However that was it. I had mainly booked the tour to be able to actually walk about on the walls of Constantinople but we had no more than a quick glimpse as we drove past on the bus so that was disappointing. Many of the people on the bus had also been on a tour in the morning and were not that mobile and the weather was not great so possibly the tour was shorter than usual.
star-5
The tour was great! The staff was...
Ilias A
, Sep 2014
The tour was great! The staff was knowledgable and took us to so many places I wouldn't had been able to find on my own. I recommend the tour for art historians and also for many Greeks who want to discover the beauty and history of the Byzantine Empire
star-4
very well organized and presented...
Milorad_V
, Aug 2014
very well organized and presented history of the Byzantine Empire
star-2
I was so disappointed to discover that...
kitkatkate
, Apr 2013
I was so disappointed to discover that 2 of the 5 places we were supposed to visit were closed for renovations (and will be for the next few months), so we just stopped in front of them in the bus. If they know you can't go to all the places they should either discount the trip or replace them with something else.
star-4
Interessante tour door het oude...
Robert
, Sep 2014
Interessante tour door het oude Byzantijnse verleden. Er zijn nog veel bezienswaardigheden waarvan sommige gedeeltelijk zijn gerestaureerd op een manier zodat het historische aanblik behouden blijft. De gids sprak rustig en goed Engels. Een leuke afwisseling om naast de moskeeën en paleizen welke we de andere dagen reeds gezien hadden nu ook enkele kerken te zien kregen. Toevallig was er nog een plechtigheid waarvan ik zeer genoten heb.

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