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Golden Horn Walking Tour

ROUTE: Golden Horn by coach - Eyüp Sultan Mosque - Pierre Loti Hill - Ayvansaray by coach - Blaherna Palace (only from the outside), Holy Spring and Church - Fener by coach - St. Stephen Bulgarian Church - Greek Orthodox Patriarchate - Eminönü by coach - Rüstem Paşa Mosque - Spice Bazaar

Haliç - Altın Boynuz (Golden Horn)

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Golden Horn is an inlet, whose shape resembles the horns of a stag. It's name is inspired from the sun which reflects on the water, giving it a golden shade. The Golden Horn divides the European part of Istanbul, providing one of the best natural harbours in the world.


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Eyüp is a historic district located a little futher up along the Golden Horn. It is located outside the Istanbul city walls. Due to its position, the Eyüp area has been widely used as a place of burial. There are several Christian churches and cemeteries as well as a large Muslim cemetery in the area.

Eyüp Sultan Mosque

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The great Mosque of Eyüp lies outside the city walls, near the Golden Horn, in the Eyüp district. It was the first mosque built after the Ottoman conquest of the city. Aba Ayyub (Eyüp)’s grave lies beside the mosque. Many pilgrims come to the Tomb of Eyüp in the hope that their prayers will be granted.

Pierre Loti Hill


Pierre Loti Hill overlooks the Golden Horn and offers one of the best views of the area. On the hill, there is a famous coffee house which is a major tourist attraction. It receives its name from the French writer Pierre Loti (real name Julien Viaud), who frequently visited the hill.


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Ayvansaray lies between the southern parts of the Golden Horn and the part of the city walls called the Blachernae section. The Palace of Blachernae (only from the outside), Atik Mustafa Pasa Mosque, which was formerly an Orthodox church and the Church of St. Mary Blachernae, which contains a holy spring, can be found in this area.

Fener (Phanarion) and Balat

Fener Wikipedia link

Balat Wikipedia link

The Fener and Balat districts lie midway up the Golden Horn. Here beautiful historic wooden houses, churches, and synagogues, dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times can be seen. Byzantine palaces, city walls, store houses, Ottoman pavilions, castles, kitchens to distribute food to the poor, Turkish-baths and religious houses can still be found near the shore. There are deep sloping streets in Fener, which is on one of seven hills of Istanbul.

St. Stephen Bulgarian Church

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The St. Stephan Bulgarian Orthodox Church is located in Fener, on the coast of the Golden Horn. It is famous for being made of cast iron and is one of the prefabricated iron churches of the 19th century.

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate

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The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, built during the Byzantian rule, is located in the Fener district . Currently, Bartholomew I is the Patriarch of the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.


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Eminönü, which is built on the area where the old capital of the Byzantian Empire was located, is a district of Istanbul . Many of the historic tourist attractions, such as the Topkapı Palace, the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Blue Mosque, overlook this part of town. The Galata Bridge crosses over the Golden Horn into Eminönü.

Rüstem Paşa Mosque

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The Rüstem Pasha Mosque, another skilful accomplishment of the famous architect Sinan, was built in 1561 by order of Rüstem Paşa, Grand Vizier and son-in-law of Süleyman the Magnificient. Exquisite İznik tiles panel the small and superbly proportioned interior.

Spice Bazaar

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The Mısır Çarşısı also known as the Spice Bazaar is located next to the New Mosque at Eminönü.  It's one of the oldest bazaars in Istanbul and is the second largest covered bazaar after the Grand Bazaar. The enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice fill the air.

Approximate price: 16 Euros per person