Jewish Heritage

Jewish Heritage

MT-13 - Jewish Heritage

Half Day - Possible on private basis only

Enjoy a day at the jewish sights of Istanbul, where the Judeo heart of Turkish history beats.


We begin our tour of Istanbul’s Jewish heritage with a visit to Istanbul’s Galata district and the city’s Ashkenazi Synagogue. Built in 1900 by Austrian Jews, it is the only active Ashkenazi synagogue in the city. From there, we will take a short walk to the Neve Shalom Synagogue, built by two young Turkish-Jewish architects to meet the demands of the growing Jewish population of the neighborhood in 1930. Afterwards, we will visit the Jewish Museum of Turkey, located in the former Zulfaris Synagogue, built by Italian Jews in the 15th century during the rule of the Republic of Genoa in the Galata neighborhood as a semi-autonomous compound. Next, we will take a walk along the impressive Golden Horn to the Balat quarter, once the most important Jewish quarter in Istanbul, as evidenced by the magnificent architecture of its Jewish houses and the Ahrida, the oldest synagogue in Istanbul. First built in the 1400s, the building has been extensively restored and reflects architectural styles from various eras. It houses an immaculate collection of carved wooden furniture, including a pulpit that resembles the prow of a ship, a possible reference to Noah’s Ark. For lunch, we will enjoy authentic Turkish cuisine in the charming Bosphorus village of Ortaköy. After lunch, we will take a stroll through the village, which features an attractive combination of well-preserved historic wooden houses and charming local boutiques. Ortakoy’s Jewish roots will be explored with a visit to the Etz Ahayim Synagogue, rebuilt in 1941 after a fire, within sight of the iconic Bosphorus Bridge.

Special Terms for This Tour:

  • This tour does not include lunch
  • Daily except Fridays & Saturdays

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