Christmas Tour Istanbul – Once In a Year
It’s time for our every special tour in Istanbul. This tour runs every year only once on Christmas Eve. Istanbul may not be on forefront of many peoples mind when it comes to a Christmas vacation destination but we’ll just convince you otherwise with our Christmas tour Istanbul.
This tour is an opportunity to delve into the very diverse history of the city from Constantinople to Istanbul covering numerous Christians communities who thrived in the region for centuries. While Greek Orthodox is the best known; there are also Catholic,Armenians, Georgians, Bulgarians and Syrian Orthodox who still speak the language of Jesus Christ, the Aramaic.
As locals we don’t celebrate a religious Christmas but Istanbul is still more than alive for the festive period. There’ll be decorations, Christmas trees and lights aplenty all along the streets – the city looks incredible lit up and you’ll really be able to feel the atmosphere all around you. While the locals may be fixed on New Years, there’ll be plenty of organised Christmas activities by the active ex-pat community.
Our Christmas tour Istanbul focuses on the churches around Beyoglu mainly along Istiklal.
One of the city’s largest Roman Catholic churches, St. Antoine Church, is definitely one of the most beautiful places to celebrate Christmas. On December 24th, the service begins at 8PM with hymns followed by a celebration of Jesus’ birth at 9PM.
We always include the Crimean Memorial Church (before St.Antoine’s), a lovely Anglican church hidden behind a veil of thick trees. One of the few Anglican churches in the city, Crimean holds a Christmas service on December 24th at 7:30PM.
Our next stop is the friendly Dutch Chapel which is the Union Church of Istanbul. It’s a tiny brick chapel from the 19th century by the side of the Dutch Consulate. The Union Church is an international and interdenominational Protestant church, claimed to be the oldest congregation of its type anywhere in the world. One of it’s founders was Cyrus Hamlin.
Our Christmas Istanbul tour ends at Surp Hovhan Vosgeperan Armenian Catholic Church which is an impressive building from early 19th Century.
Christmas tour Istanbul gives you the chance to observe the diverse congregation of Istanbul and their interactions. You can watch children happily dressed in Red Santa outfits and hats. People are excited – as anywhere else- to be together in such a joyous holiday. Everyone is welcome.
As we walk, you’ll have information on any other historical building you feel like having a look at. You can choose to have an exclusive access to a private tour or join a small group. There will be a max of 8 people so the experience of Christmas tour Istanbul is always intimate.
This tour runs on 24th of December with 12 people and costs 80Euros per person.