Istanbul is a city where the East meets the West. It is a dream destination for travel photography enthusiasts – a canvas of contrasting cultures, vibrant colors, and timeless architecture. Embark on a 3-day photography tour that captures the soul of this ancient city, framing moments that transcend time.
Delve into Istanbul’s rich tapestry, where each alley echoes with tales of ancient empires, and skylines narrate epochs gone by. On this 3-day photography journey through the Ottoman and Byzantine heritage, you’ll traverse from the awe-inspiring majesty of mosques like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque to the vibrant labyrinths of the Grand Bazaar, alive with hues and the hum of age-old commerce.
Our exploration continues beyond these landmarks. We’ll thread through the streets of Istanbul, capturing cityscapes where the contemporary meets the time-honored, pausing at iconic edifices such as the Galata Tower and the Maiden’s Tower.
The quaint Balat neighborhood further invites your lens. Here, a spectrum of colorful homes provides a captivating setting for street photography, and its history-rich streets, adorned with pastel facades, beckon with stories waiting to be captured.
The architecture in Istanbul comes in a variety of styles and you can practice various approaches to architecture photography including abstracts.
Whether you are a seasoned shutterbug or a novice with a newfound passion who loves to take stunning shots, this tour offers a kaleidoscope of moments, encapsulating the diverse essence of Istanbul in every frame. We guarantee that you will bring home photos of Istanbul you’ll be proud of.
This photography tour is intended as an extension of our Cappadocia photo tour.
If you cancel:
An additional cancellation fee of 150 EUR applies to cover the payment fees and our service fee.
We’ll pick you up from the airport around noon and head straight to your hotel in Sultanahmet for check-in. Once settled, we’ll grab lunch at a rooftop restaurant, giving you a first-hand view of the iconic Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia.
The afternoon is set for exploring. We’ll stroll through Sultanahmet Square, stopping by the German Fountain. Keep an eye out for local corn and ‘simit’ sellers – great for candid street shots. We’ll then visit the interiors of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, showcasing their architectural details.
Come evening, you’ll enjoy dinner at another rooftop location, providing a picturesque elevated view of the mosques during sunset and the blue hour.
Kick off your day with a sunrise shoot at the Galata Bridge, capturing the city as it awakens. You get to take amazing shots of Süleymaniye Mosque. With the morning light still gentle, we’ll head to Galata Tower in Beyoğlu (formerly Pera), offering photogenic panoramic views of sprawling Istanbul.
After soaking in the views, we’ll return to the hotel for a well-deserved breakfast and a brief rest.
By mid-morning, we’ll embark on a boat tour from Karaköy on the Golden Horn heading to the Balat neighborhood. Our first stop is the noteworthy Iron Church, followed by a visit to the iconic red Fener High School building.
Turkish lunch awaits at a rooftop restaurant in Balat, after which we’ll stroll through Balat’s streets. This area is a great opportunity for photographers who enjoy street photography for capturing candid moments and the neighborhood’s signature colorful houses.
As the day winds down, we’ll head back to the Galata Bridge for sunset. The bridge offers a unique perspective of the several mosques (e.g., New Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque) and the metro bridge during the golden hour and the blue hour.
Finally, we’ll wrap up the day with a delicious dinner in a Sultanahmet restaurant.
Begin your day with a sunrise session at the scenic Ortaköy Mosque with distant views of the Bosphorus Bridge that connects Europe and Asia. Post sunrise, we’ll explore Arnavutköy, less touristic part of the city, where colorful houses and narrow streets dominate the cityscape.
After this early start, we’ll return to the hotel for breakfast and rest. The mid-day is reserved for the Grand Bazaar in Eminönu, one of Istanbul’s busiest districts. Navigate its vibrant aisles, focusing on a spectrum of shops where Turks sell lanterns, carpets, and spices.
Late lunch is on Çamlıca Hill, one of the lesser visited parts of Istanbul, yet accompanied by sweeping city views. Post-lunch, take some time to photograph Istanbul from this unique vantage point.
We go to Üsküdar to photograph the Maiden’s Tower as it’s one of the best places to watch sunset in Istanbul. Capture its silhouette against the sun, with distant mosques forming a serene backdrop. The scene comes alive when the lights on the Maiden’s Tower illuminate the structure.
Conclude your day with a dinner in a Sultanahmet restaurant.
Our photography tour ends, and after breakfast, you can catch your flight home and contemplate on your experience in the Byzantine and Ottoman empire.
Please note the itinerary is subject to change, primarily due to changing weather conditions. We will do our best so you have an enjoyable experience and can get the best pictures possible, even if it means changing the plan.
You will likely fly to the Atatürk Istanbul Airport (IST) with the rest of the group following from Cappadocia. We will arrange an airport transfer from the airport to the hotel in Sultanahmet and also the transfer to the airport before your departure.
Jan is an award-winning landscape and travel photographer and guide based in the Czech Republic. Jan regularly runs photography tours in Prague and the United States and more adventurous photo expeditions in places like Peru. Jan’s instruction on multi-day tours focuses on training each participant to see hidden compositions. Jan’s goal is to ensure each participant comes to understand composition and exposure, yielding more desirable results.
Ferda is an organizer and photographer from Cappadocia; however, she organizes photography tours throughout Turkey. She has more than five years of experience in tourism and photography trips. Photography is mostly a hobby of hers until it comes to horses! Her main field is equine photography. She founded Cappadocia Equine, which offers equine photo tours and horseback riding tours in the Cappadocia area.
Adem is a professional photographer from Turkey, and he has been photographing for more than ten years. He has several prizes in local and global landscape photography contests, and he also filmed various documentaries for some leading TV channels in Turkey. He always believes that a good photo doesn’t need any Photoshop! That’s why he is good at finding the best angles and frames!
"I recently took a photographic trip to Capadoccia with Jan Miřacký with whom had the pleasure of doing a photo tour of Prague recently.
We focused mainly in Capadoccia, and secondarily in Istanbul via an extension. The experiences I had were phenomenal. I was a little concerned about the balloon ride, as I had never done one, but I flew many times in small four seater planes. The ride was so smooth and the operators so skilled that it was a total pleasure, including the flawless landing. Of course the pictures of the balloon ride were incredible, from the preparation of the balloons and the view itself from aloft.
Another unforgettable experience was the Salt Lake. I got incredible pics of the mirror-like lake, the horses and the model. The reflections are such that the horizon becomes blurred so it seems like a continuous background with the reddish hue of the sunset.
There were many more such experiences including the pottery demonstration with the smoke machine. We were dead tired towards the end, because we crammed so many things in just a few days, but the experience was incredible. I have also to mention the people that were incredible helpful at all times, from the hotel personnel to the tour guides.
In mid-September, Istanbul experiences the tail end of its summer season, with temperatures becoming milder as autumn approaches. Mornings typically start around 15-18°C (59-64°F) and can warm up to daytime highs of 20-25°C (68-77°F). Evenings might be slightly cooler, so it’s advisable to have layers. Rain can be sporadic, so packing a compact umbrella or a raincoat might be handy.
For women planning to enter mosques, it’s essential to dress modestly. This typically means wearing long skirts or pants, a top with sleeves, and a scarf or shawl to cover the head. Carrying a lightweight scarf in your bag is a practical approach, ensuring you’re always ready to step into these sacred spaces respectfully.
Yes, non-photographers are also welcome. The tour price for non-photographers is the same as for photographers.
Istanbul tells stories of a big city with rich history and in three days, we cannot fit everything in the itinerary. There are attractions such as the Ottoman treasure named Topkapi Palace, Spice Market, Basilica Cisterns, Taksim Square and streets of Istiklal, that simply didn’t make it in our itinerary for various reason. Our itinerary is balanced so you can photograph a variety of subjects. Consider spending an extra day to visit some of the attractions not included in our program.