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Private Jewish Heritage Of Istanbul

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The Jewish community in Istanbul has a fascinating history, and you'll learn all about it on this exclusive private tour.

Private Jewish Heritage of Istanbul

Currently, only two percent of Istanbul's population is Jewish. The importance of their cultural heritage is much larger, and this Istanbul private tour is the perfect opportunity to learn all about it. Visit historic locations, observe important monuments, and stop at a fascinating museum. This private tour of Istanbul's Jewish history is ideal for history lovers, photographers, and anyone searching for a captivating cultural experience. Designed specifically to be enjoyed privately, this Istanbul tour offers a truly personalized day in Turkey.

Begin your Istanbul private tour with a short comfortable drive to Balat, a traditional Jewish quarter in Istanbul's Faith district. Once there, you'll observe the Ahrida Synagogue, the oldest of Istanbul's synagogues. Dating back to the 15th century, the striking building has an impressive Baroque architectural design. Another highlight in Balat is the Or-Ayahim Hospital, a beautiful historic landmark you'll also observe from the outside.

Continue your Istanbul private tour to Galata, a historic neighborhood on the northern shore of the Golden Horn. In the 11th century, this scenic quarter housed Constantinople's Jewish community, functioning today as home to several famous landmarks. First is the Neva Shalom Synagogue, whose name means "Oasis of Peace." Built to accommodate an increasing Jewish population in the late 1930s, the synagogue was built over the ruins of a former Jewish primary school. The second notable highlight is the Ashkenazi Synagogue, currently the only active Ashkenazi synagogue open to visits and prayers in Istanbul.

The last stop on your Istanbul private tour is The 500 Year Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews. This cultural center was built over the grounds of a former synagogue in the 19th century to inform people about Jewish traditions and history in Turkey. This picturesque museum is divided into three sections. The main section highlights Jewish culture and its integration with Turkish society. Paintings, photographs, and other stunning works of Jewish art can be seen in the Gallery section. Finally, the ethnography section contains articles and artifacts depicting Jewish traditions from a chronologically historical perspective.

Your Istanbul private tour of Istanbul's Jewish heritage ends with a comfortable drive back to your port. Please note: the standard of dress throughout Turkey is conservative. Modest clothing covering your shoulders and knees is required. Short shorts and sleeveless shirts (for both men and women) are not acceptable. All facilities except for the museum may only be viewed from outside.

About Shore Excursions Group
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Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memorie ...
from $33.00 (USD)
Per Person
Tour Type
Group Size
Activity Type(s)
Cultural, Scenic
Tour Duration
4 Hours
Activity Level
Tour Leaves From
Cruise Ship Terminal
Food/Beverage Provided
Not Included. Beverages and snacks are available for purchase.
Special Instructions
Comfortable lightweight seasonal clothing. Good quality sunglasses are advised, and photo-chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles. Please be aware that the standard of dress throughout Turkey is conservative. We recommend modest clothing to respect this fact; clothing that covers your shoulders and knees is required. Please note that short shorts for both men and women are not acceptable nor are tank or singlet tops.
Must be able to get in/out of vehicle and walk about 1 mile. Not wheelchair accessible.