Off the beaten path “Fener & Balat Tour” suits the best to travelers who prefer to see non-touristic spots and to experience local life in the back streets of Istanbul. In this culture orientated tour, you will be winding in hilly back streets of Fener, where we first visit Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and see colorful Greek & Ottoman Houses. Further to witnessing the local’s life there, we will visit Chora Church Museum which is famed of mastering frescos and mosaics. It is located nearby to Theodosius’s City Walls. After short walk along on city walls, we will hop on a public bus to Eyüp district where the Holiest muslim shrine in the city and Pier Lotti Hill located. If you have net 4/5 hours at least between the flights, it is possible to cover many of the sites in below written schedule.
For more information, you can check the details of the tour below or you can send an e-mail directly to us or complete the contact form.
Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Church
The Church of St. George in Fener, it is the ultimate seat of Greek Orthodox patriarchate since 1600s after it was moved to multiple areas following the Ottoman conquest in 1453. It houses iconostasis, fragment of the Pillar of the Flagellation, precious relics and coffins of some influential martyred saints.
Fener Red School
Named after its red fire bricks, the school is one of few functioning Greek Schools in the city. The eagle style plan is prominent mark left from Greek community on hill above Golden Horn.
Fener & Balat Houses
Once a core area of the Greeks, Armenians and Jews, Fener and Balat are resided by mainly middle-class Turkish families that immigrated from Anatolia after the population the minorities has dropped drastically after 1950s. The site is listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List
Though it is situated by Roman City walls, it was called “Chora”, which means “outside of walls”, proves that the existence of the church predates the Wall of Theodosius The Great. The current structure presents the best examples of late byzantine mosaic arts, mostly from apocryphal gospels.
Roman City walls
The Wall of Theodosius The Great, built to protect the capital of Roman Empire from persistent attacks, surrounds the old city from the Sea of Marmara to Golden Horn 20 km long in total.
It is named after a companion of Islam Prophet Muhammad,who came in an attempt to conquer Constantinople with Islamic army in 7 C. and allegedly buried here. One of the most visited shrine in the city and it attracts muslim visitors from all over the world.
Pier Lotti Hill
The hill , Famous French writer, Pier Loti’s favorite tea house overlooking golden horn located where he used to write his poems and books, attracts landscape fans and romantic couples. Cable Car ride is a bonus.
Golden Horn Ferry Ride
Zig- zaging in Golden Horn Cruise gives a comprensive layout and understanding of European side. it is a relaxing and smooth ride.
Once you meet your guide in the scheduled meeting point, you will head to Fener district from the Eminonu bus station by Galata Bridge. Before the tour begin at Fener, you will walk along the coast of Golden Horn to learn about the stories of Constantinople and Ottomans. From there, you will walk inland slightly to Fener to visit the Church of St. George, which is the ultimate seat of Greek Orthodox patriarchate since 1600s after it was moved to multiple areas following the Ottoman conquest in 1453. It houses iconostasis, fragment of the Pillar of the Flagellation, precious relics and coffins of some influential martyred saints. Then tour continues up the steep hill to Fener Orthodox College or Red School, named after its red fire bricks, which is one of few functioning Greek Schools in the city. The eagle style plan is prominent mark left from Greek community on hill above Golden Horn. Head back down the hill winding in back streets of Fener, where once a core area of the Greeks, Armenians and Jews lived. Fener and Balat houses are resided by mainly middle-class Turkish families that immigrated from Anatolia and listed in Unesco heritage list. From there head up to the Chora Museum to see some the best examples of late byzantine mosaic arts, mostly from apocryphal gospels. Next you will climb up onto a section of the Theodosian Walls (old city walls of Constantinople) in Edirnekapi. From the bus station nearby, you will head to Eyüp district, which we walk trough a shrine where muslims perform their religion and pray devoutly to God. In short walk from the shrine, you will catch the Cable Car , the best and easiest way to mount up the Pierre Lotti Hill. Overlooking terrace on hill gives a magnificent view to city and perfect excuse to have a glass of tea. Finally, you will hop on the ferry on the peaceful waters of Golden Horn. After arrived to Eminonu, you will drop off back to the meeting point.
Private tour by a local experienced professional tour guide
Public transportation costs
A glass of Turkish tea or Coffee in a historical tea house.
Meals & Drinks
Private Transfers Costs
Payment & Cancellation Policy
To secure your booking, 50 Euros need to be settled via paypal account which will be sent after availability confirmation. Upon receiving upfront payment, the confirmation e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address. Please inform us once you have proceed to payment so that we can confirm as soon as possible.Cancellations made up to 3 days before the booked tour date are refunded.
Istanbul Layover Tours uses public transportation unless private vehicle is requested
Tour schedule is flexible and can be altered up to traveler’s request and day of holidays
Tour duration is 4 hours for Half Day Tours and 8 Hours for Full Day Tours
Moderate distance of walking must be expected