This section is designed to accommodate the traveling interests of first-time visitors with limited time as well as those with a bit more flexibility in their schedules, or repeat guests to Istanbul. You might consider the walking tour of Galata as the logical end to a stroll down Istiklal Caddesi, which is for all intents and purposes the outer fringes of the old neighborhood of Galata. As Ottoman Istanbul's original melting pot, Galata is a hybrid mosaic of the various components of Levantine commerce. The second tour is a whimsical walk through the streets of the Historic Peninsula. A mainstream walking tour of these neighborhoods seemed beside the point, given that you can't swing a cat without grazing a monumental open-air artifact. Instead, this tour weaves you through streets you may have overlooked, so that on your way to visiting the Byzantine cisterns, vaulted crypts, and ancient foundations of Istanbul underground, it will be possible to hone in on the main attractions as well. Finally, I've created a tour for those interested in going off the proverbial beaten path. While the neighborhoods of Balat and Fener, along the Golden Horn, were built by the Byzantines, traipsed over by the Crusaders, and reinvented by Greeks, Jews, and Ottomans, for decades these narrow streets crumbled into obscurity. Only in recent years has local government and even UNESCO taken interest in the significant cultural and historical sites that compose the walls, floors, markets, and backdrop of today's working-class Muslim neighborhood. On this tour you'll see all the extremes of Istanbul's historic sites: from exquisitely preserved gilded churches and tiled mosques, to restoration works in progress, to piles of rubble left from a glorious past.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.