ISTANBUL – where east meets west

A few days staying in this wonderful old city at one of the restored Ottoman houses (now private hotels) will enable you to visit some of the world’s greatest museums and buildings. It is just a few minutes walk from some of these hotels in the old city to the Topkapi museum, once home to the Ottoman Sultans and housing a magnificent collection of jewels, artefacts and Chinese porcelain.  Or you might choose to stay at one of the hotels on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, which is closer to Sabiha Gokcen international airport.  From here, you will be within easy reach of the Beylebeyi palace which was used as a summer residence by the Ottoman sultans.   Staying in the old city will bring you within walking distance of the the 5th century cathedral St Sophia, now a mosque; the Blue Mosque with its six minarets and blue Iznik tiles, a Byzantine cistern, numerous museums and, of course, the Grand Bazaar with its myriad streets of endless shops. Foodies will find a diverse and fantastic range of restaurants throughout the old and new city. Lastly and not to be missed is a trip up the Bosphorus on a ferry or private motor boat for a marvellous view of the Istanbul skyline.

You could combine a few days in Istanbul with a gulet holiday on the south west coast, click here for more details about private boat charter or extend a tailor-made tour of other regions of this fascinating country.

Bosphorus WaterfrontHaghia Sophia

(Example Programme)

Day 1

Arrival at Istanbul at the new Sabiha Gokcen airport. Private transfer to your hotel. Time to explore the area close to your hotel.

Day 2

0930 Full day walking tour of the old city starting with the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia and a Byzantine Cistern. After a lunch break, visit the Suleymaniye Mosque by minibus and then walk through the streets to the Egyptian Spice Market – time for a bit of shopping in this fascinating quarter. Excellent stalls for those nuts and treats. 

Day 3

0900 Tour of Topkapi Palace, the Treasury and Harem. (Half Day tour)
Afternoon free for shopping in the Grand Bazaar, a visit to the Archaeology or other Museums, or you might want to take a tram ride to view more of the city. Your guide can advise you on locations and other ideas.

Day 4

0900 Full day tour – option 1 Bosphorus by private boat – Asian shore
Depart hotel by private mini bus for a drive through the city, over the Bosphorus bridge to the Uskudar district on the Asian side to visit the Beylerbeyi Palace, the Summer palace of the Ottoman Sultans on the Bosphorus shore. Then on to the Kucuksu Pavilion, an ornate Ottoman Hunting Lodge used for entertaining. You then cross the second Bosphorus bridge to Sariyer and visit the private Sadberk Hanim Museum. After a lunch stop on the waterfront, you will board a private boat for a cruise down the Bosphorus passing by 19/20th Century wooden kiosks, mansions, and modern villas and the last palaces built by the Ottomans such as Dolmabahce, then drive back to your hotel.

Day 5

Free day with time to explore more of the city OR private transfer to Sabiha Gokcen airport for your return flight or onward flight to Bodrum.

This programme will vary depending on the location of your hotel.

Kucuksu PavilionBlue MosqueSunset over  the Bosphorus

Flights are available from most European Cities to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and from the UK you can fly from Birmingham, Manchester, Gatwick, Edinburgh and London Heathrow.

HOTELS – there are numerous hotels to choose from in the old city, from restored Ottoman houses, (boutique) to 5* de-luxe hotels, plus a wide range of categories in the Taksim, Galata districts and along the Bosphorus shore.

FOR A QUOTATION and more tailor-made itineraries, email [email protected] or click here to fill out our contact form.

A price will be calculated to include the guided tours, admissions to all museums and buildings, transport where required, service charges and Turkish VAT when the dates and number travelling are confirmed.

Please note meals, snacks and drinks are not included in our Istanbul prices, to allow flexibility on choice of food and restaurants. Some restaurant suggestions can be made by Jenny Day who knows the city well.

All tours are accompanied by an English speaking licensed guide.



DayDreams Travel offers gulet holidays, both private charters and cabins only, on a diverse range of gulets from low budget to luxury and superior deluxe gulets, with numerous flexible itineraries along the Turkish coastline and Greek Dodecanese islands.

DayDreams Travel was founded by Jenny Day in 1987 following a corporate weekend to Istanbul for 100 clients from her London based PR consultancy. Using her expert organisational skills she went on to organise several  gulet charters. They were so successful the word spread and her dream of offering a special style of holiday to a wider audience become a reality.


“What a fantastic time we had in Istanbul last week.  Your organisation was superb, especially Gokcen Art who was truly wonderful as our guide, taking us around not just to the major sites, but also to little quirky things.  Going the extra mile if you like.  We shall not forget her kindness and almost encylopaedic knowledge!  Oh and thank you for the bottle of wine you sent via the hotel.  An unforgettable honeymoon.  Best Wishes Russell Smith”  Mr Smith and his wife travelled to Istanbul on May 5-9, 2015.

 “I was travelling for a few days and I asked DayDreams if they could put together an Istanbul itinerary for me from start to finish.  It turned out to be perfect.  I was very pleased with everything they arranged particularly liked the guide in Istanbul”  Nikki Parker from London travelled in June 2014 


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+44 (0) 1884 840786

By email :

[email protected]

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