Exploring Istanbul

The stunning Blue Mosque seen in your cooking vacation in TurkeyJourney to one of the world’s iconic cities on this culinary vacation to Turkey. Istanbul, known throughout earlier centuries as Constantinople, is a city of contrasts. It is quite literally where east meets west, where Europe transitions to Asia in the Bosphorus Strait. Istanbul straddles not only two continents, but different cultures and religions as well.

During your culinary vacation in Turkey, you will experience first hand the richness of Istanbul’s history, which runs back well over two thousand years, including a millennium and a half as an imperial capital. Its position between the Mediterranean and Black Seas, its position on the Silk road, and its strategic control of rail networks made it historically one of the most important cities in the world. You can see traces of this fascinating and grand history everywhere during your Turkey culinary vacation, especially in the city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and around the city’s natural harbor, known as the Golden Horn.

During its years as Constantinople and head of the Byzantine Empire, the city was a center of culture and Christianity, resulting in the construction of many churches, including one of its iconic buildings, the Hagia Sophia. With the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans and transition to the Ottoman Empire the Hagia Sophia was converted into an imperial mosque – perfectly symbolizing the cultural diversity and tensions that permeate the city to this day. During the centuries of Ottoman rule, many of Istanbul’s famous mosques were built, including the famed Sultan Ahmed Mosque (more commonly referred to as the Blue Mosque).

The gastronomy of Turkey is quintessentially Mediterranean and draws on the flavors of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Central Asia, making it a vastly rich and flavorful cuisine. Of course, the specifics of Turkish gastronomy varies region to region, but some staples are stews, fish, kababs, tons of vegetables, and the use of olive oil. You will explore all of these and more during your culinary vacation in Turkey, and will learn the secrets of preparing Turkish food during your cooking class.

So journey with TIK to Istanbul for culinary vacation in Turkey and experience one of the world’s most fascinating destinations!

If you want a longer trip to Turkey, check out our Cuisine of Sultans 6-night itinerary. And keep in mind, the 3-night Istanbul stay can be easily combined with other culinary tours to Turkey, Greece, and more.

Trip Details

Your culinary vacation in Istanbul will include one hands-on Turkish cooking lesson featuring local Turkish cuisine made with incredible fresh ingredients and fragrant spices.


The stunning Blue Mosque seen in your cooking vacation in Turkey

Day One

  • Transfer from Istanbul airport to your accommodations .
  • Welcome dinner tonight at one of Istanbul’s fine restaurants (beverages paid locally).

Doner Kebab on a street food tour in Turkey

Day Two

  • After breakfast, head out to explore the old center of Istanbul, including the Basilica of St. Sophia, which has inspired religious sentiment for over fifteen hundred years, the Hippodrome, the Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque. Time to stop for lunch (paid locally) during the tour.
  • Dinner tonight at one of Istanbul’s fine restaurants (beverages paid locally).

Spice market in Istanbul visited on your culinary tour of Turkey

Day Three

  • After breakfast head to the spice bazaar, where you will enjoy the sights and scents of this fabulous market, then take a cruise on the Bosphorus, from which you will see the Dolmabahce Palace as well as the Beylerbeyi Palace, a nineteenth-century palace on the Asian side of Istanbul.
  • Next, head to your cooking class, with lunch to follow.
  • After lunch, experience a workshop on fine Turkish carpets.
  • Dinner tonight at one of Istanbul’s fine restaurants (beverages paid locally).

View of the Bosphorus on your culinary tour of Turkey

Day Four

  • After breakfast transfer to the airport.

Trip Details

Included in the 3-Night Trip


3 nights accommodation in a centrally located 4* hotel

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 1 lunch
  • 3 Dinners

Classes & Instructors

Your culinary vacation in Istanbul will include one hands-on Turkish cooking lesson featuring local Turkish cuisine made with incredible fresh ingredients and fragrant spices.


  • Escorted tour of Istanbul on day two
  • Visit of the spice bazaar
  • Bosphorus cruise
  • Turkish carpet workshop

Transfer Details

  • Arrival and departure transfers from Istanbul airport


  • Entrance fees
  • English-speaking professional guide
  • Transportation in modern air-conditioned vehicle

Not Included

  • Beverages during meals (these are paid locally)
  • Customary tips for the tour guide, the driver and the chefs of cooking classes. (Suggested amounts: $10 per day for tour guide, $7 per day for driver, $15 per person per class for cooking lessons).

Accommodation Information

The Yasmak Sultan is a modern 4* hotel in the center of Istanbul. Its recently renovated rooms include a spacious layout, en suite bath, modern decor, room safe, minibar, air conditioning, coffee/tea maker, and hair dryers. The hotel also features a spa, fitness center, indoor swimming pool, Turkish bath, sauna, and a wonderful rooftop restaurant. (If unavailable a comparable hotel will be proposed.)



Pricing & Tour Dates

Sample* Pricing:

3-night Program

US$2075 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$390 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

Pricing for 2024 is pending, please inquire.

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Please note: additional pricing may apply during holidays and congresses.

Group of 4 or more? Please inquire for special pricing.

Interested in a longer tour? Let us know!

Tour Dates

Available year round for a minimum of 2 people.

Please inquire for availability. 


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We Can Help Plan It All

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We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

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