We created a unique tour that will showcase the best of Istanbul, highlighting famous sites of this magical city as featured in the films, shows, and books that it has inspired.
From action packed “James Bond” scenes to thrillers such as Agatha Christie’s Murder On the Orient Express, and from contemporary TV mysteries such as The Gift to soap operas that have been popularized across many continents – Istanbul has been a favorite setting for movies, television shows, and books from around the world!
It’s no surprise. Spanning two continents, Istanbul is the literal intersection of East and West, the venue of many civilizations, cultures, and historical events across centuries. With breathtaking natural scenery and incredible architecture, Istanbul is a perfect place to film….and to visit!
- Visit the historic center of Sultanahmet. En route, pass by the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, Yeni Cami (New Valide Mosque) and perhaps take a peek at the old Deutsche Orientbank building where one of the opening scenes from Skyfall was filmed
- Walk around Topkapi Palace, home to Ottoman Sultans for over 500 years, where one can find amazing history, intrigue, and mystery. Each section of the palace is interesting, especially the Harem which was home to the many wives and concubines of the Ottoman rulers, as depicted in the popular Netflix Series The Magnificent Century. You will focus your time at the Palace’s Treasury Section to view the emerald-encrusted dagger of Sultan Mahmut I, featured in the movie Topkapi.
- Tour the Hagia Sophia, one of the grandest cathedrals that was first used as a church, then as a mosque, later as a museum, and is now back in use as a mosque. The vivid scenes from the movie From Russia With Love filmed here would be familiar to fans.
- See the Underground Cistern, also known as Basilica Cistern, recently reopened after a lengthy restoration. This stunning location, with its mysterious Medusa carvings, is featured in one of the most dramatic scenes of The Inferno, as well as in From Russia With Love.
- No trip to Istanbul is complete without a memorable meal. You will have lunch at the historic Pandeli Restaurant, which has hosted heads of state and celebrities from Queen Elizabeth II and Audrey Hepburn to Sean Connery, Robert de Niro and Sarah Jessica Parker, among many other luminaries. Family owned for over three generations, the menu at Pandeli will include some of the famous dishes of Turkish cuisine.
- Visit the old Covered Bazaar, or Grand Bazaar, one of the largest malls in the world, still bustling after these hundreds of years. A must-see place for every traveler, the Grand Bazaar is home to over 4,000 shops (including 2,000 jewelry shops) located under hundreds of domes. From The International to Argo to the Taken franchise, many movies have had prominent scenes shot at or on top of the Grand Bazaar – including motorcycle chases and rooftop showdowns.
- Sail on the Bosphorus Straits aboard your private yacht. Cruising on the waterway that separates Asia and Europe, you’ll experience the beauty and romance of the city from a different vantage point, perhaps catching a glimpse of the historic Sirkeci Train Terminal (the European Rail Terminus of Istanbul) at a distance, and Maiden’s Tower (site of the climactic scene of The World Is Not Enough) at closer proximity. As you sail by palaces and historic mansions, domes and minarets, modern skyscrapers and charming neighborhoods and having a glass of wine, you’ll understand what truly makes Istanbul’s visual landscape so vibrant and unique!
Whether you are in Istanbul for several days or just taking stopping off as a port of call while on a cruise, we can tailor this or any of or other Istanbul City Tour Itineraries to suit your unique interests.
To learn more see our “teaser” video below.
To book this tour, or other itineraries in Istanbul or other parts of Turkey, please contact us.