From Museums to Mosques, Istanbul’s Points of Interest Await Discovery

Experiences

rcBreakText rcBreakWhiteText

Located in the heart of the city, The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul offers enviable access to the city’s most compelling points of interest. Guests will find themselves just a 15-minute tram ride away from the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace, while sophisticated shopping is within walking distance. To go beyond sightseeing, however, the hotel offers a wide range of curated activities that allow an insider's experience of Istanbul. Choose from kid-friendly and indoor activities, as well as experiences like street-art and gastronomy tours, cocktail workshops in the Club Lounge, expeditions designed especially for children and more. Additionally, guests are invited to let the Ladies and Gentlemen of the hotel craft a customized itinerary just for them. With a history spanning 2,000 years and three major empires, Istanbul promises an unforgettable adventure, no matter how you explore it.

On-Site Outlets
A marble room with two fountains and a large round ?bed? in the middle

Spa Soul

Spa Soul features seven treatment rooms, a unique 17-metre indoor pool and authentic Turkish Hammam. It also features a unique couples-Hammam suite and enables its guests to share a quintessential memory of Turkey.

Phone:   +90 212-3344353
Everyday:
10:00 AM-10:00 PM
Appointment required

Spa and pool closure

Our hotel is undergoing renovations affecting some facilities. The indoor pool will be closed Feb 15 - Apr 20, 2024, and the Spa will be closed Mar 8 - Mar 15. Guests can use the Infinity Pool on The Roof. We apologize for any inconvenience.
A woman lying on her stomach and getting a massage

The Ritz-Carlton, Health Club

Fully equipped with state-of-the-art techno-gym fitness machines.

Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
Complimentary
Ritz Carlton Hotel image

Swimming

Indoor Pool

Mon-Sun : 6:30 AM-10:00 PM

Outdoor Terrace Infinity Pool (Seasonal)

Whirlpool

Istanbul’s Artisan Tradition

For centuries, Istanbul’s craftsmen, artists and architects have created beautiful works admired around the world. From soaring domes to hand-carved, inlaid furniture, explore the city’s grand treasures and learn about its long tradition of artistry and design.

From the Hagia Sophia to the Grand Bazaar, Discover Istanbul’s Attractions

Istanbul has long stood at the intersection between East and West, and at the heart of it all is The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul. Soaring above the city near the banks of the Bosphorus, this five-star hotel is just moments away from the Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar and Blue Mosque. Yet Istanbul pulses with new experiences as well. Whether you seek modern art or artisan crafts, this ancient city is layered with experiences awaiting your discovery.

Ayasofya/the Haghia Sophia

The ‘Shrine of Holy Wisdom’ the marvellous Byzantine basilica built in the 6th Century marks the true beginning of the golden age of Justinianus, the conqueror of Africa and Italy, who achieved lasting fame through the complete revision of all Roman law, resulting in what is known today as the Corpus Juris Civilis. The domed construction of the sanctuary is an architectural innovation; and was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, ‘Solomon, I have outdone thee!’. Mankind would have to wait for over a millennium before being able to build a cathedral that would surpass the gigantic size of Haghia Sophia. It was converted to a mosque following the Ottoman conquest of the city, by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453; so that the young Sultan could fulfill a divine premonition by the Holy Prophet Mohammad himself. In 1935 the building was converted into a museum by the executive order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Chora Church, (Kariye Müzesi)

The most interesting Byzantine church, after Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul. The importance of the church does not rest with the building itself, but the frescoes and the mosaics, which are superb and reflect the magnificent heritage of Byzantine Art. The Chora Church Museum is open every day from 9 am to 4:30 pm except Wednesday.

There are no remains left from the original church and the first form of the present structure dates back to 11C. Maria Doukaina, mother-in-law of Alexius Comnenos I, founded the church between 1077-1081. The church that exists today was constructed after two centuries, the walls were reverted with superb mosaics and a pareclession was added and decorated with beautiful frescoes. The founder of the church was Theodore Metochites. He was also an astronomer, poet, theologian and philosopher. He actually lived a very sad life, and after Palaeologus was replaced by another emperor, he was sent into exile. After he came back to Constantinople, he devoted himself to the church as a monk and subsequently died there. Early in the 16C, Attic Ali Pasha converted the church to a mosque and the mosaics were covered with plaster. In 1948, it was restored by the Byzantine Institute of America and opened as a museum in 1958.

The mosaics in Chora Museum date back to the14th Century and are divided into 4 parts, those on the nave, outer narthex entrance, inner narthex and frescoes in the pareclession (funerary chapel).

Ekav / Education, Culture and Research Foundation

EKAV / Education, Culture and Research Foundation has started its operations on November 23rd, 1991, with the aim of carrying the concept of art to a wider area, and giving support to young artists of the future.

The Ekavart Gallery is a non-profit establishment under EKAV. The system work with donations. All the income earned through various activities is granted students as scholarships who are receiving art education, to support the artists of the future. Our Gallery is located in Süzer Plaza, under the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

The Ekavart Gallery aims at improving the quality of life in general and at the level of social consciousness within the general population through combining the language of art and esthetic values. Ever since the opening of the Gallery, solo and mixed exhibitions that included the works of the masters of Turkish art as well as the works of the younger generations, personal development seminars, signing days, workshops, concerts have been conducted there.

Istanbul Modern Museum

The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art is the first private museum in Turkey to exhibit modern and contemporary art collections and was founded in 2004.

Contact: 90 212 334-7300

Miniatürk

Miniatürk exhibits 105 miniature models of the most prominent monumental works reflecting the heritage of Turkey.

Contact: 90 212 222-2882

Ortakoy

Surely one of Istanbul’s loveliest seaside suburbs, Ortakoy, with its narrow cobbled streets, fine food and spectacular location under the Bosphorus Bridge- the first bridge to connect the European side of Istanbul to Asia- makes for a lovely day trip. Each Sunday, a large open air arts and craft market takes.

Distance: 10 minutes

Pera Museum

Contact: 90 212 334-9900

Rahmi M. Koç Museum

The Rahmi M. Koç Museum is the first major museum in Turkey dedicated to the history of transportation, industry and communications.

Contact: 90 212 334-7300

Sakip Sabanci Museum

The historical mansion and new gallery annex are now a museum hosting national and foreign exhibitions.

Contact: 90 212 277-2200

The Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum proudly displays more than 60,000 Greco-Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Anatolian antiquities.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Discover Where East Meets West

Before it was Istanbul, the city on the Bosphorus was known as Byzantium, and then Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Uncovering this city that bridges Europe and Asia offers unlimited opportunities that The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul can arrange through private and guided tours to its most revered cultural and historical attractions.

Guest Activities

There is no one way to experience Istanbul. Some may be here to tour art museums and search for antiquities, while others may wish to spend their time tasting their way through Turkish culinary traditions. Whatever your interests, the Ladies and Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul have crafted walking tours and itineraries to fulfill every traveler’s curiosity. It would be our pleasure to assist your needs, please directly contact with us (rc.istrz.concierge@ritzcarlton.com) for more details about the tours in the city.

Istanbul in One Day (8 Hours)

From the soaring grandeur of the Hagia Sophia and exquisite ceramic tiles of the Blue Mosque to the atmospheric ‘sunken palace’ with its mysterious Medusa heads and the world’s largest covered markets, this tour takes place in Istanbul’s biggest sights and goes beyond them to show the participants the bustling energy of the city’s tea gardens, bazaars, and traditional workshops.

Places visited include Blue Mosque, Hippodrome Square, Hagia Sophia Museum, Underground Cistern, Grand Bazaar.

Istanbul off the Beaten Path (8 Hours)

On this specially curated tour, we will pay visit to Fener and Balat neighbourhoods where one can still admire rows of traditional houses painted in a dizzying  array of bright colors, life continuing in a way that hasn’t change for undreds of years,  little known churches, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, women gathering for tea on their patios, kids kicking balls around the streets, men playing cards in coffee-houses and last but  not least  some of the very best Istanbul views.

This tour is for anyone interested in experiencing the local’s life and culture, everyday life, traditional foods and the multicultural history of the city.

Delicious Istanbul (6 Hours)

From traditional bakeries to kebap houses, fine dining restaurants to local eateries, the guests are introduced to a wide range of unforgettable culinary experiences. Delicious Istanbul Tour starts with breakfast (around 9am-9.30am), followed by on-the- go bites and drinks and finishes after lunch.

This tour is for foodies who want to get beyond the Turkish restaurants and eat what the locals eat; basically sample the best Turkish food.

The price includes private professional guidance and all the food, bites and drinks on the tour itinerary; meanwhile excludes transportation (unless otherwise mentioned).

Magnificent Ottomans (8 Hours)

We will explore the Ottoman heritage and stories of Istanbul on this exquisite itinerary that involves unique examples of Ottoman architecture such as imperial palaces, mosques, bazaars, tombs, bridges, fountains, hamams, pavilions and even a medieval production facility.

Places visited include Topkapı Palace, Istanbul Library, Süleymaniye Mosque, Spice Bazaar, New Mosque Tombs Section, Tophane Kasrı, Tophane Fountain, Tophane-i Amire. (Some of the monuments are visited from outside)

This tour is for anyone that wants to learn about one of the world’s most intriguing empires. By focusing on one (lengthy) era of Istanbul’s history, we go beyond the sights to introduce you to an important part of Istanbul’s multilayered past.

Istanbul for Kids and Family

We start our day at Rahmi Koç Museum, a place full of “boy’s toys” from old submarines, to classic cars, to early aviation; Koc Museum is a very special Istanbul museum. Dedicated to transport, industry and communications and housed in industrial buildings on the banks of Golden Horn, it’s a great option for adults and children alike.

Among the child friendly activities you can do at the museum there is the colorful mathematics world, science and technology workshop, discovery sphere, submarine visit, Golden Horn boat tours, nostalgic railway journey and much more.

Our day continues with a visit to Miniaturk where one can discover Turkey’s most spectacular landmarks and monuments in a small open-air park. From Bosphorus Bridge to the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, historical Turkish baths to famous train stations a huge amount of small replica models are available here. Miniaturk is a fun and educating attraction both for kids and adults.

Like a Local (8 Hours)

The day begins with the exploration of the heart of the city: Taksim Square, Gezi Park and İstiklal Avenue. Next, you will see the artsy, bohemian neighborhoods of İstanbul. We will then stroll around the small streets of Karaköy, the new ‘in’ area full of coffeehouses, specialty and design boutiques along with historical buildings. We will take the traditional ferry across the Bosphorus strait to the Asian side of Istanbul.

The residential district of Kadıköy will be our next area of discovery. After a great local lunch, we will take a different ferry route to travel back to the European neighborhood of Beşiktaş, where we will visit local markets and the museum of National Paintings (or alternatively the Maritime Museum).

This is a mainly walking tour with the addition of two ferry rides that cost around 3 Euros/ person. Museum entrance fees cost around 5 Euros / person.

Neighborhoods visited: Taksim, Beyoğlu, Karaköy, Kadıköy, Beşiktaş

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
The Turkish Trio: Coffee, Tea and Delights (6 Hours)

First visit will be to the house of the most famous Turkish coffee producer in Eminönü. In this historic district, you will briefly watch how traditional coffee is made and will also visit the mouth - watering sweet shops of the old city. Next stop will be the neighborhood of Fener, where you will sip some great Turkish coffee: traditionally cooked and served.

A stroll around the old coffeehouses of Balat will be of special interest for those interested in backgammon. Our lunch at the local’s favorite family-owned meatball joint will be followed by some tea-tasting. The day will end at the third wave coffee shops of Karaköy, the new ‘in’ neighborhood for the city’s bohemian crowds.

Neighborhoods visited:  Eminönü, Fener, Balat, Karaköy

Museum Tour (6 Hours)

We will first visit Istanbul Archaeological Museum complex which is one of the most beautiful museums of Istanbul, which actually consists of three museums: the Archaeology Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum, and the Islamic Art Museum (also known as the Tiled Kiosk Museum). From the Assyrian, Hittite, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations. Our second stop will be the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (Türk ve Islam Eserleri  Müzesi) which provides a fascinating insight into the complexity and depth of these traditional arts. The museum features fine examples of calligraphy in Islamic art, Islamic art paintings, Islamic abstract art and contemporary Islamic art.

Art and Antiques Hunt (6 Hours)

In this day, we will be exploring the famous antique quartier of Çukurcuma and the hidden vintage gems of Galatasaray that include old record shops, books, clothing and accessories. We will enrich our day by visiting the contemporary art museums and galleries of Beyoğlu such as Pera Museum and Istanbul Modern.

Neighborhoods visited: Cihangir, Çukurcuma, Galatasaray, Şişhane

Glamorous Bosphorus (2 Hours Private Yacht Cruise)

On this two hours private cruise, we use a luxury motorboat to take us from the southern part of the Bosphorus Strait all the way to the north, discovering different neighborhoods (that were once former fishing villages) along the way. During the yacht cruise, the private tour guide shows and explains the most interesting landmarks, monuments and neighbourhoods along the Bosphorus shores. The timing of the tour is flexible and can be determined by the hotel guest.

This tour is for anyone that is tired of walking around the city and would like to see it from a new glamorous perspective.

Upon request, food and alcoholic beverages can be served on board for an extra cost - to be paid cash on board. Tea, coffee and water are complimentary.|
 

There are three different variations of Glamorous Bosphorus:

  • Turkish Breakfast Cruise (2 hours): Enjoy a delicious Turkish breakfast in between two continents. A typical breakfast menu will be Turkish cheese, olives, tomatoes and cucumber, honey and clotted cream (bal & kaymak), simit, tea and Turkish coffee.

  • Sunset Cocktail Cruise (2 hours): Sip your drinks while cruising through the enchanting shores of Bosphorus Strait. Please keep in mind that you can end your cruise in one of those fancy Bosphorus restaurants located by the shores of the water.

  • Dinner on-board (2 hours): A great dinner experience on-board while you admire the city from the water. You can choose among the fish or meat menus.

Istanbul Photo Walks (6 Hours)

Starting from Istiklal Avenue and going down the hill towards Galata Tower and Karaköy our photography walk lasts about six hours. Strolling through the narrow-side streets off Istiklal Avenue we will be discovering and shooting in the most vibrant and picturesque neighborhoods of Istanbul. Before we start our photo walk we offer a short introduction to basic photography (for beginners only) and a briefing on the photo-walk by your photography guide.

Our photography guides are not only expert photographers but are also incredibly knowledgeable about the city too  and will help you get beyond the image.

The route is decided upon the specific interests of the participants (local portraits, authentic architecture, city views, monuments, etc.

This tour is for anyone who is interested in taking photos in a city like Istanbul and learning new tricks of street photography.

Yacht Cruise to the Princes’ Islands (7 Hours)

On this tour, we cruise towards Princes’ Islands; an archipelago of nine islands very close to each other. Your local guide will introduce you the islands as you stroll through them. While cruising to the islands, you will watch the minarets of old Ottoman mosques on the historical peninsula shrink into the distance as we glide towards the Princes' Islands. With great views of Istanbul from the water, seagulls, frequent dolphin sightings, the sound of the wind and of course the sunset, this is a truly unique experience.

You’ll also have a chance to see the car-free leafy oases that are the Princes’ Islands, lined with grand Ottoman mansions and stunning architecture - you’ll feel like you’ve sailed back  in time. These beautiful wooded islands are completely car-free, home to a friendly community and steeped in Byzantine and Ottoman history.

You will have amazing photo opportunities in this tour, so make sure to bring your camera.

This tour is for anyone that wants  to make the most of beautiful weather and leave the city behind.

A Spa Retreat Built on the Healing Traditions of Istanbul

Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul strives to take guests on a healing journey, starting from within. The spa’s centerpiece is a hammam, modeled after the 16th-century Turkish baths of Roxelana and offering separate areas for ladies and gentlemen as well as a couple’s suite. The menu also features results-driven treatments including facials, massages and body treatments. In the summer, guests enjoy a breathtaking infinity pool, in addition access to an indoor pool under a ceiling of twinkling lights, a soaking tub (28°C), sauna, steam room and fitness center.

The Secrets of Argan

90-minute getaway to the heart of Morocco combining a mineral clay scrub and a massage applied with Argan butter that makes the skin softer with its subtle scents.

A woman lying on her stomach and getting a massage

Welcome to the new gym experience at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul. The new center is fully equipped with state-of-the-art Techno-gym fitness machines.

The fitness center is available for in-house guests and the members. Training sessions can be held under a supervision of a Complete Body personal trainer for an additional charge. For achieving mental and spiritual bliss guests are invited to combine training sessions with massages and body wraps.

  • State-of-the-art fitness studio with Techno-gym equipment.

  • Personalized holistic programs by certified trainers aimed to create one complete body.


Aqua Facilities 
  • Indoor swimming pool (28°C)

  • Resting pool*

  • Sunbathing terrace*

* Above facilities are open for guests between 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. for summer months from June until September.

* Children between the age of 6-18 years can enjoy the indoor swimming pool from 9 a.m. to 5: p.m. daily with their parents or legal guardians only.  Our outdoor infinity pool is available during the summer period, please note that children under 12 years are not allowed to use infinity pool.

Pilates Reformer

This class is limited to two guests, so it is like having a semi-private session. The reformer provides finely tuned exercise resistance that allows one to work very precisely to develop good alignment, core strength, and flexibility. Guests must make a reservation for this class through the spa concierge. Not only hotel guests can take advantage of this unique offer, Istanbulites are also warmly welcome to participate.

At The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul, we have the delight of offering the truly exclusive Charme d’Orient treatments and products. These highly efficacious treatments have the suitability for all skins, specifically those concerned with premature aging and environmental stress.

For your convenience, we have compiled answers to common questions you may find helpful in choosing the types of treatment that best meet your individual needs or desires.

Is there a minimum age for enjoying spa services?
Minors may use the swimming pool when accompanied by their parents or a legal guardian between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • The age for the fitness center is 16

  • Minors of all ages may not use spa facilities (e.g., lockers, whirlpools, saunas)

  • Minors aged 15 and younger may receive manicures and pedicures when accompanied by a legal guardian

  • No Treatments on minors can be given in guest rooms or private rooms even with a legal guardian present

  • Massage is for those aged 18 and over

  • Facials for those aged 18 and over

What if I am late for my appointment?
Arriving late will simply limit the time for your treatment, thus lessening its effectiveness and your pleasure. Your treatment will end on time so that the next guest is not delayed. The full value of the treatment will be applied.

What is the cancellation policy?
hould you wish to change or cancel your spa reservation please do provide us with a minimum of 6 hours’ notice to avoid a 100% cancellation charge.
For all cancellations taking place 8 hours or earlier, prior to the scheduled treatment, no cancellation fee is applied.

  • 50% of the total treatment cost is to be charged as cancellation fee, if the treatment is cancelled between 6-8 hours before the scheduled time

  • The total treatment cost is to be charged as cancellation fee if the treatment is cancelled less than 6 hours before the scheduled time.

What about payment for spa services?
We accept all major credit cards and cash. If you are a guest of the hotel you may also charge Spa Services to your room.

What about gratuities?
Gratuities are not included in the spa treatment prices. They are a matter of personal discretion.

What is VAT?
18% VAT is included in the spa treatment prices.

Ritz Kids

Perfect for guests traveling to Istanbul with kids, The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul welcomes its youngest visitors with personalized amenities and family-friendly activities. Children are treated to special check-in and turndown experiences, while organic children's menu options are offered at each restaurant. The hotel's Ritz Kids program, meanwhile, captures imaginations with tailored excursions to Istanbul’s most colorful attractions.

Kid's Playground

Planning Your Trip

Planning your trip to Istanbul.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image

More Activities and Local Partners