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Istanbul is a fascinating cosmopolitan city rich in history, resplendent with magnificent architecture and the epicenter of one of the world's great cuisines. Straddling two continents - Europe and Asia - the exotic former Constantinople artfully melds ancient traditions, pre-dating the Ottoman Empire, with the exciting new aspects of a modern Turkey. Visitors marvel at its mosques, museums, and palaces and of course the six-century-old Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. A visit to Istanbul equates to a veritable pilgrimage for foodies. It boasts a vibrant street food culture and stalls and vendors offer simits, boreks, doners, stuffed mussels - and for the adventurous, kokorec - a crusty sandwich of seasoned grilled lamb intestines. Quiet tea houses, lively cafes, fish dinners at waterfront hideaways and meze enjoyed with the country's signature anise flavored drink raki, in the raucously fun meyhane, are just some of the dining options. There are elegant old-world restaurants housed in historic buildings and former Ottoman-era mansions serving dishes that the Sultans once feasted on; and there are trendy eateries where chefs experiment with the new Anatolian cooking by skillfully adding ethnic influences.
Our Taste of Istanbul package delivers luxury accommodations in Beyoglu, the heart of Istanbul; guided access to the city's iconic sites; a cruise on the Bosphorus; culinary walking & tasting tours in Istanbul's historic neighborhoods; market visits; a hands-on cooking lesson combined with a home-hosted dinner; memorable dining experiences and much more. A personalized itinerary and an "insider's" list of restaurants will allow you free time to explore on your own and can be customized to suit your "taste."
- 4 Nights at 4-star luxury accommodations
- Private transfers airport-hotel-airport
- Guided Visit to the Spice Market
- Full day private guided tour of Istanbul's iconic sites: the Roman Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace Museum and the Grand Bazaar
- Guided excursion to Istanbul's Asian side (via ferry) including a visit to the country's largest market, lunch at Ciya
- Hands-on cooking lesson and a unique culinary experience with Selin
- Orientation and services of a professional guide on all tours and transfers
- Modern, spacious, air-conditioned vehicle for land transportation
- Admission fees to sights and museums listed
- Parking, ferry, tolls
- A list of recommended restaurants
- Tour de Forks bespoke travel services.