After pickup from your central Istanbul hotel, travel by air-conditioned coach to Çamlıca Hill on the city’s Asian side. On route, listen as your guide shares stories about Istanbul’s long history from its Roman days to its time under Ottoman rule.
Drive up the hill and admire the unbroken views from the 879-foot-high (268-meter) summit. Look out over the Bosphorus Bridge and Bosphorus Strait, and cast your eyes over the Golden Horn inlet framed by the domes and minarets of the old city.
Then, drive across the Bosphorus Bridge — the vast suspension bridge that spans the Bosphorus Straits and links Europe and Asia.
Absorb the views as you cross, and then visit the Dolmabahçe Palace, the magnificent sultans’ palace on the European-side waterfront.
Learn how it was one of the last palaces of the Ottoman era, and behold its ornate façade as your guide explains its mixture of Ottoman and neoclassical styling. Then, enjoy a guided tour of the lavish apartments and halls. Hear about the rulers who resided here and gaze in awe at the sumptuous rooms aglitter with chandeliers, gold, silk and marble.
View highlights such as the Medhal Hall and Crystal Staircase, and learn about Mustafa Atatürk, Turkey’s first president, who used the Dolmabahçe. Learn how he died here in 1938, and how his bedroom clock remains permanently fixed at 9:05am, the time of his death.
Having explored the palace, return to your coach and end your experience with a hotel drop-off.
Please note: the Dolmabahçe Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays, when your visit will be substituted with a visit to the Chora Museum.