Istanbul Culture Family Itinerary
As the former capital of three great empires, Istanbul offers a plethora of wonders, many just a few minutes’ walk from Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet. Our spacious, cheerfully painted neoclassical Hotel is your ideal home base for exploring the city where East meets West.
The following is a sample itinerary for a family. For further details, please speak to the Concierge, who is more than happy to help personalise your visit.
A greeter will meet you at the airport with a personalised welcome amenity for your young ones and will drive you to the Hotel. Take in the city during the 30-minute ride. Once you reach the Hotel, relax in your room or revitalise with a massage.
Day 1 – Within the Old City
Introduce yourself to Turkish history and culture via the Blue Mosque and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.
- Have a delicious breakfast in Seasons before starting your day in the Old City. Then, take a stroll to one of Istanbul’s most beautiful and well-known buildings.
- Learn Istanbul’s unique history through the resplendent, 17th-century Sultanahmet Mosque, which combines elements of classical Byzantine and Ottoman architecture.
- Gaze in wonder at the more than 20,000 handmade tiles that compose the mosque’s ornate walls and ceiling. The cobalt tiles lend the building its nickname: the Blue Mosque.
- Take the short walk from the Blue Mosque to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, housed in a beautifully restored 16th-century palace.
- Continue your Turkish education by touring some of the museum’s splendid collections, ranging from the earliest period of Islam to modern times.
- Have Lunch in Hamdi Restaurant in Eminonu – a great place to have Turkish kebabs. You must try the Baklava together with a Turkish coffee.
- Right next to the restaurant, peruse the Egyptian Bazaar, sometimes referred to as the Spice Market, for spices from Arabia, India and the Far East.
- Finish your day at elegant Mikla Restaurant in Pera, where your delicious meal will be complemented by stunning views of Istanbul.
Day 2 – Imperial Istanbul
Start your day by visiting the Dolmabahce Palace and then the fashionable area of Nisantasi.
- Have a fun breakfast in bed ordered through In-Room Dining.
- Next, embark on your trip to Dolmabahce. The magnificent waterfront Dolmabahce Palace, built in 1855, contains 285 rooms.
- Get the kids’ imaginations going as you wonder at some of the palace’s highlights, which include the throne room, its four-tonne crystal chandelier and the crystal staircase.
- After the visit, a very short ride will bring you to fashionable Nisantasi. Have lunch at Beymen Brasserie, a place to see and be seen amongst Turkish jet-setters.
- Spend your afternoon strolling through the streets of the Nisantasi and Macka areas, which are chock full of stylish boutiques featuring a wide range of international brands.
- While you are window shopping, stop in at some of the trendy studios and contemporary art galleries.
- Dine at Ulus 29, just a little way up the coast on Ulus Park. Try the Turkish pizza while soaking in the beautiful atmosphere and breathtaking views of Istanbul.
Day 3 – Old Pera
You cannot leave Istanbul without experiencing the 19th-century charm of Beyoglu, also known as Pera, which is home to many of the city’s cultural institutions.
- Indulge in a rich breakfast at Aqua at nearby Four Seasons at the Bosphorus.
- Then, take the short drive to Beyoglu, which is on the other side of the Golden Horn. Its location gives Beyoglu its other name:
- Stop in at the Pera Museum to see its superb Kutah tile and Oriental painting collections. The architecturally significant building also houses a cultural centre.
- Have lunch right next door at the Istanbul Culinary Institute – a great opportunity to savour Turkish cuisine on the lighter side. All meals are healthy and delicious.
- Still in Pera, walk to Cukurcuma, the city’s antique district and the ultimate souvenir shop, selling everything from glass and porcelain to Ottoman screens and chandeliers.
- Head back to the Hotel to relax and get ready for dinner at X Restaurant, located on the top floor of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.
- Savour your last night in Istanbul with top-notch service and views overlooking the Golden Horn.