Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and perhaps the only city shared by two continents (Asia and Europe). Famous for its vibrant culture, breathtaking architecture, and natural beauty, Istanbul is a charming city perfect for tourists and history lovers!
Are you planning on visiting Istanbul soon? It might not be the most popular travel hotspot in the last decade. Still, it indeed is growing in popularity today.
What better way to know a city than to join a guided tour? Explore the enchanting beauty of Istanbul with the local guide and learn more about the city's rich culture and history.
We've found some of the best walking tours in Istanbul that you should definitely join while you're there. Check out our list of some of the best Istanbul walking tours:
Top Walking Tours in Istanbul
Discover the natural, historical, and mysterious Istanbul through some of their best walking tours. Find the best one that suits your travel style and budget:
Topkapi Palace Free Tour
This one-hour free tour will let you explore the famous Topkapi Palace. Once the Ottoman Sultan's administrative headquarters and main residence until the mid 19th century, the Topkapi Place is now one of the most famous museums in the city. According to history, the Topkapi Palace was where the Sultan and his beautiful concubines lived and worked between the 15th and 19th centuries.
The tour includes exploring the various rooms and sections in the palace, including The Church of Santa Irene, the harem, the Imperial treasury, weapon collection, and many more. Your guide will also share fun stories about the daily life of Sultans during the Ottoman Period.
Note: Tickets for admission to the palace are required to join this tour.
The Antique Gems of Istanbul Tour
Visit Istanbul's local neighborhoods filled with bazaars in this 4-hour Istanbul private walking tour! Hosted by WithLocals' local host Diana, the private tour will take you on a shopping tour through Istanbul. Through this tour, you'll be able to purchase authentic Turkish handicrafts, textiles, and jewelry!
On this tour, you'll also experience the hustle and bustle of the Turkish market. If you're short on time, this tour will be perfect for you. Diana's private tour usually starts around 11 in the morning since shops are generally fully open.
Extras: If you have special items you want to find, you can connect with Diana to organize a shopping tour especially for you.
Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia Tour
Are you interested in calligraphy, architecture, and Islam art? We've got just the perfect walking tour for you: Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia Tour.
In this 3-hour tour, you will enjoy the beauty of Islam and Greek Orthodox architecture. With a small group of travelers plus your guide, you'll get an inclusive entrance to the famous Blue Mosque.
The Blue Mosque is one of the most photographed monuments in the city. Here you'll find the most intricate tile work and stained glass you'll ever see in your life. You'll also get to learn about Sultan Ahmet's legacy as your guide talks about his rule and political strength during his reign.
After exploring the Blue Mosque, your guide will take you to visit Hagia Sophia. Considered the world's oldest and fastest-completed cathedral, Hagia Sophia is an architectural marvel. But what makes it unique is its fascinating history. Once a church, Hagia Sophia was made into a mosque and embodied Byzantine architecture. From originally being a cathedral, it existed as a mosque during the Ottoman Period.
Note: This tour is available in two languages: English and German.
Galata Tower Ticket and Tour
See all of Istanbul from the Galata tower—the best point of view in the city! The Galata tower was originally a watchtower and part of the Walls of Galata. For centuries, this huge tower has been watching the city. Your guide will share stories and legends of the tower, so make sure to listen well as you'll probably learn a lot! Today, the Galata Tower is a museum and historical symbol of Istanbul.
Aside from visiting the tower, this walking tour also includes strolling through Istanbul's most historic neighborhood. You'll get to visit the famous Pera district and see the luxury hotels that were once the residence of royalties and renowned writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie.
This tour will also take you to Istanbul's most well-known street, Istiklal Avenue. Here you'll find dozens of shops and restaurants that sell local Turkish goods and authentic Turkish food. Plus, you'll enjoy a ride on Istanbul's second oldest subway.
Note: This tour fee already includes the tower entrance fee.
Other Great Walking Tours
Istanbul Sightseeing Walking Tour - Enjoy a 3-hour walking tour to see Istanbul's most famous landmarks with a small group. You will pass by (but not go inside) Istanbul's best attractions, such as the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and the Hippodrome.
Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum Guided Tour - This one-hour tour will take you inside the famous Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. You'll get to see a fantastic collection of artifacts from different Islamic countries.
Istanbul: Walking Tour in the Grand Bazaar - Available only every Monday, this 4-hour walking tour will take you to Istanbul's famous Grand Bazaar. Here you'll find more than 4000 shops selling all kinds of goods—from leather and sweets to some of the best spices and artistic pottery!
Beyond Old Town: Discover European Karaköy and Asian Kadıköy - Discover the old town of Istanbul in this 3-hour walking tour. This tour will expose you to real Istanbul local life. You'll get to see famous local eateries, fish markets, and pubs in the area!
Heading to Istanbul? Plan Your Trip With Pilot
Whether you're visiting Istanbul for the first time or have been to the city several times, planning your trip ahead of time will make the experience smooth and stress-free.
If you're looking for a travel planner, why not check out Pilot?