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Private Istanbul Jewish Heritage Day Tour

Tour Category Sephardic Heritage Tour
Duration Full Day 08:30 – 17:00

Jewish Community Sites:
Neve Shalom Synagogue
Ahrida Synagogue
Ashkenaz Synagoue
Jewish Museum (formerly known as Zulfaris Synagogue)
Jewish Quarter of Balat
Golden Horn
Beyoglu & Pera
Galata Quarter
Galata Tower

Description The following Jewish sites are of greatest significance to the history of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who arrived in the Ottoman Empire during and after 1492, and to the present day community life of their descendants. Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II granted these Jews (with their European scientific and economic knowledge) to take refuge in the Ottoman Empire and allowed them to live on the banks of the Golden Horn.

Pick up from your Hotel or Cruise Port, and proceed to the downtown Beyoglu & Pera and take a stroll down to Istiklal Avenue to Galata Quarter, which has been a  Jewish community neighborhood for centuries with many synagogues and bustling street life. There we visit the Ashkenaz Synagogue built in 1900 by Austrian Jews that serves the community of European Jews. En route, see the cosmopolitan nature of the city passing historic diplomatic posts, handsome old houses, fashionable boutiques and cafes. Stop-off at Galata Tower, once the high-point of the Genovese fortified town, from which there are spectacular views over the city. Short walk to visit the Neve Shalom Synagogue, built by two young Turkish-Jewish architects to meet the demands of the growing Jewish population in 1930 and  the largest Sephardic modern synagogue in the city center to the strong Jewish community. Afterward, visit the Jewish Musuem of Turkey in the area, formerly Zulfaris Synagogue, constructed by Italian Jews in the 15th century, during the Republic of Geoa’s rule of the Galata district as a semi-autonomous precinct. In the afternoon, visit the western shore of the Golden Horn to take a stroll through the atmospheric old streets in the Jewish quarter of Balat, where many Jewish immigrants settled to help repopulate the city under Sultan Beyazit II. Today the Star of David can be seen on the facades of some buildings. Finally, visit the Ottoman Baroque style Ahrida Synagogue, generally perceived as the most beautiful synagogue with beautiful furnishings, including the bema (pulpit) shaped like the prow of a ship. At the end of the Jewish Heritage Tour transfer back to your Hotel or Cruise Ship Port in Karakoy.


  • Pick up & Drop off  from Hotel/Cruise Port
  • English Speaking Tour Guide
  • Transportation in A/C & non-smoking vehicle
  • Entrance permissions and fees to the sites and museums
  • Lunch
  • Local Taxes and Service Charge


  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to the Driver and Guide
  • Beverages with Lunch

  Visiting Synagogues in Istanbul;
* Special entry permission and prior reservation are required at least 24 hours before visiting, that will be arranged by Edition Travel.
* You need to provide your full passport details by e-mail or fax at the time of booking. This information is required in order to obtain permission to enter the Synagogues. You are also required to fill in a form upon arrival at the Neve Shalom Synagogue. Durations are dependent on times arranged by  the Chief Rabbinate.
* Visitors are required to carry their passport for security checks during the visit to the all Synagogues.