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Istanbul and Budapest - Lisa Zakrajcek






$ 3,200.00 (double / twin occupancy)


May 26, 2023 - Jun 05, 2023 


Istanbul: Memento Golden Horn
Budapest: Palazzo Zichy


5 nights in Istanbul
5 nights in Budapest
Daily breakfast and other meals as indicated
All entrance and public transport fees
Minivan where indicated
Private yacht with operator, coffee and snacks onboard
Private guide for all tours (indicated)
Entrace to Széchenyi Spa (no transfers)
Dinner with  folk performance and transfers in Istanbul
Gourmet lunch in Asian Market
Whirling dervishes show with transfes in Istanbul
Wine tasting and light lunch outside Budapest
Danube cruse with folk show (no transfers)
Airline tickets from Istanul to Budapest


Day 1  : Arrival in Istanbul

Arrive in Istanbul’s Istanbul Airport. Private transfer to Momento Golden Horn Hotel in private Mercedes Sprinter van.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 2  : Istanbul

Full-day sightseeing

Start your Istanbul adventure discovering the historic jewels of imperial Istanbul. With your private certified guide, stroll the heart of Old Town including the Hippodrome, visits to interiors of Hagia Sophia Cathedral, Blue Mosque, Underground Cistern and the Mosaic Museum. 

Spend your afternoon in the Topkapi Palace, seat of the Ottoman government and the home of the Sultans. Your tour will include the mysterious Harem, Treasury, Imperial Arms and Armors, Imperial Kitchens and the Sacred Relic exhibits. 

In the evening, dinner with folklore performance and roundtrip transfers.

Overnight in Istanbul (breakfast, dinner with performance)

Day 3  : Istanbul

Full-day sightseeing

Visit the Sirkeci Train station, or known as Istanbul Train Station which was the last stop of the famous Orient Express. Then, get to know the Sirkeci neighborhood, through the back streets. Walk to the Spice Market and narrow streets circling it. Here you will have chance to sample a great variety including spices, Turkish delights, sweets from all over Turkey, cheeses, yoghurts, Turkish deli products. 

Then, from the shores of the Golden Horn, take a ferry ride to Kadıköy on the Asian side of Istanbul. You will walk through the historical Kadıköy market, watch locals shopping for home and taste samples of local food. This market is one of İstanbul's most colorful, vibrant and accessible shopping spots.

Have a long lunch in a gourmet restaurant specializing in Southeastern Turkey (a.k.a. Upper Mesopotamia) and Mediterranean cuisine. They use original ingredients shipped freshly to Istanbul: aromatic red pepper, pistachios, chickpeas, olive oil and pomegranate molasses. You will enjoy a lunch served in samples and get chance to taste over 20 – 25 different dishes. Enjoy a Turkish coffee treat in a small street shop, taste a variety of traditional coffees.  Vegetarians are welcome as there are as many options for them to try. 

Overnight in Istanbul (breakfast, gourmet lunch)

Day 4  : Istanbul

Full-day sightseeing

Fresh in the morning, visit the Turkish-Islamic Arts museum for a fine collection.

Continue your day with the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent, the interior, terraces and the Mausoleum of Suleiman.

Then, walk to Grand Bazaar and the orient market quarter and discover the centuries old, labyrinth like streets. You will see the bazaars, markets, caravanserais and workshops, most of which have been continuously in business for centuries, to understand the complex social system and pillars that carried the Ottoman economy. During the walk, you will see the last adze handle maker of Istanbul, chat with marpuç (long mouth piece of waterpipe) makers, photograph gold mould makers, as well as coming across several other artisans. 

Overnight in Istanbul (breakfast)

Day 5  : Istanbul - Bosphorous Cruise

Full-day sightseeing by a private yacht on the Bosphorous

Day to enjoy Istanbul as Istanbulites do! Enjoy a private cruise on the Bosphorus with stops along. Your first visit will be the Dolmabahce Palace, the last Ottoman palace in Istanbul and Turkish counterpart for Versailles.

After visiting the palace, your private cruise will continue to Ortakoy by the Bosphorus Bridge, once the village settled by the non-Muslim residents of Istanbul, today is trendy with numerous cafes, boutiques and restaurants, the location where all locals want to be on a leisure day.  You can have lunch, and enjoy the hookah before getting back on the Bosphorus

In the afternoon, your yacht will continue cruising north, during which time you will see the uptown, and the palaces lining the Bosphorus. Cruise will end by the Rumeli Fortress, the 15th century Ottoman cut-throat fort, which awaits for your discovery.

Travel back to city by a private vehicle. 

Overnight in Istanbul (breakfast)

Day 6  : Istanbul - Budapest

Private transfer in Mercedes Sprinter van (16 seats) from Momento Golden Horn Hotel to Istanbul Airport in private. 

Turkish Airlines flight #1037 leaves Istanbul at 6:36 pm and arrives in Budapest at 7:35 pm.

Upon arrival transfer to hotel Palazzo Zichy in Budapest.

Overnight in Budapest (B)

Day 7  : Budapest

6-hour sightseeing with minivan

Today you will see and visit the most prominent sights on the Buda side of Budapest.

You will drive to the top of Gellért Hill to enjoy the most breathtaking views of the city. The Liberation Monument, an iconic communist-era memorial, can also be found here. We will stop by the Gellért spa lobby to admire the excellent example of outstanding art nouveau architecture and to learn more about Hungarian spa culture. Visit the Cave Church, set up in a natural cave, unlike most Catholic churches.

Continue to Budapest's oldest area, the castle district, spanning back to the Middle Ages. You can walk through the cobblestoned alleyways, narrow patios, and peaceful sidewalks, as well as see Matthias Church and the Fishermen's Bastion, which has a lovely observation terrace. This neighborhood also features the spectacular Royal Palace, which now houses various museums.

The second half of the day is dedicated to the Communist past of Hungary. During the tour, you will see the unique collection of communist statues at Memento Park outside of Budapest that are examples of social realism art. You will also see places related to the failed 1956 uprising, a desperate attempt to break free from communism. The freedom fighters couldn't be honored until the dictatorship ended in 1989. You will also visit a variety of memorial sites. You will be able to learn firsthand from your guide about what it was like to live under communism, and how much has changed since its fall.

In the afternoon Danube cruise with dinner and folk performance (no transport)

Overnight in Budapest (breakfast).

Day 8  : Budapest

Half-day sightseeing, Széchenyi Spa in the afternoon.

This tour will take you to the most notable landmarks on the Pest side of the capital.
This side of the city is still a reflection of the golden age and prosperous times, that Hungary experienced between 1867 and 1918, as part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

We will drive to Heroes' Square, and learn about Hungarian history in a nutshell by viewing the monuments of the most important historical personalities.

Later, we pay a visit to St. Stephen Basilica, Budapest's largest and most beautiful church. Walk around the administrative district, view many memorials from World War II, the 1956 anti-communist revolt, and the cold war, and see the amazing and stunning Hungarian Houses of Parliament.

In the afternoon, you can stroll through City Park, visit Széchenyi Spa, and view Vajdahunyad Castle, which was built for the World's Fair in 1896.

Return to the hotel on your own.

Overnight in Budapest (breakfast)

Day 9  : Budapest

Half-day tour with minivan to a winery

Learn more about Hungarian customs while enjoying some tasty regional wine!

Free time in the morning to visit the market.

Afternoon - tour to a  small family owned winery just outside of Budapest in the picturesque village of Etyek. During the trip, you will learn everything there is to know about the area, the many varieties of grapes, the winemaking phases and processes from the most authentic source, the winemaker himself. The wine tasting includes six distinct local wines as well as a sampling of a Hungarian cold plate (ham, sausage, liver pate, egg-cream, vegetables, bread, etc.). The outstanding quality of the wines will make you appreciate Hungary's traditional wine culture!

Overnight in Budapest (breakfast, wine tasting and appetizers, dinner cruise)

Day 10  : Budapest - Danube Bend

Full-day sightseeing by minivan

Today we travel north of Budapest along the Danube River . Our first stop is Esztergom, the ecclesiastical hub of Hungary and home to the country's largest Roman Catholic church. Slovakia is already on the other side of the river.

After viewing this beautiful structure, the journey continues to Visegrád, which was once a royal home and features the ruins of a 13th century stronghold. You can also enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the Danube River while discovering more about the rich history of the area.

The final stop is Szentendre, a charming baroque artists' village with  a unique architectural style and atmosphere due to the large number of Serbian refugees who settled here in the 17th century. At the turn of the century, it was also the home and workshop for hundreds of artists. It is famous for its colorful buildings, small cobblestoned streets and patios, antique shops, museums, and cafés. It's also a nice area to go shopping and have lunch.

Overnight in Budapest (breakfast)

Day 11  : Departure from Budapest

Transfer to the airport (breakfast)