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Tour Type
City tour
Group Capacity
35 Person
Tour Guide
1 Person

This tour requires a minimum four (4) of travelers ,if not reach that number of pax you’ll be offered a different fee.

Discover the rich Jewish heritage of one of the world's most culturally diverse cities on this full-day private tour of Istanbul. Follow the Jewish Way of Istanbul from the old Jewish quarter of Galata with a private gui

İstanbul / Türkiye

Jewish Heritage Tour

Package Details

jewish heritage tour

Discover the rich Jewish heritage of one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities on this full-day private tour of Istanbul. Accompanied by a private guide, follow Istanbul’s Jewish Route through the old Jewish quarter of Galata; visit the Ahrida and Etz Ahayi synagogues; stop by the Jewish Cemetery; and tour the Jewish Museum.

  • Full-day private tour of Istanbul’s Jewish Route
  • Explore the old Jewish quarter of Galata on a guided walking tour
  • Visit the Jewish Museum, the Jewish Cemetery, and Etz Ahayi synagogue
  • Learn more about Istanbul’s fascinating Jewish heritage from an expert guide
  • This private tour can be customized to your interests and ensures you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide

What To Expect 

Meet your private guide and driver at your central Istanbul hotel, and set out to explore Istanbul’s most prominent Jewish sites. The first stop is Galata, one of Istanbul’s oldest neighborhoods, and the heart of the city’s Jewish district. As you stroll around the historic district, stop to admire the landmark Galata Tower, and visit the Neva Shalom Synagogue or Ashkenaz Synagogue (depending on opening times).

Galata Tower 

(Pass By) The Romanesque style tower was built as Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. Galata Tower was the tallest building in Istanbul at 219.5 ft (66.9 m) when it was built in 1348. It was built to replace the old Tower of Galata, an original Byzantine tower named Megalos Pyrgos (English: Great Tower) which controlled the northern end of the massive sea chain that closed the entrance to the Golden Horn. That tower was on a different site and was largely destroyed in 1203, during the Fourth Crusade of 1202–1204. The upper section of the tower with the conical cap was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires. Galata Tower with its previous conical roof, depicted in a painting by Ivan Aivazovsky in 1846. The previous conical roof was destroyed by a storm in 1875. The current roof was built during restoration works between 1965 and 1967.

Neve Shalom Synagogue

Neve Shalom Synagogue It is known as the "Oasis of Peace" or "Valley of Peace". It is a synagogue located in Karaköy district of Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. The synagogue was built in the late 1930s in response to the growing Jewish population in the old Galata district (now surrounded by the Beyoğlu district). In 1949, a Jewish primary school was demolished for this purpose, and a synagogue was built on the ruins. Construction was completed in 1951. Its architects were young Turkish Jews Elyo Ventura and Bernar Motola. The opening of the synagogue was on Sunday, March 25, 1951 (17 Adar 5711 according to the Hebrew calendar), the Chief Rabbi of Turkey at the time, Rav. Rafael David Saban. Neve Shalom is the center of Istanbul and the largest Sephardic synagogue, and is especially open for Sabbaths, Eid-al-Adha, Bar Mitzvahs, funerals and weddings.

Ashkenazi Synagogue of Istanbul

The Ashkenazi Synagogue is an Ashkenazi synagogue located near the Galata Tower in Karaköy neighborhood of Beyoğlu in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the only currently active Ashkenazi synagogue in Istanbul open to visits and prayers. The synagogue was founded by Jews of Austrian origin in 1900. It is also the last remaining synagogue from a total of three built by Ashkenazim, as the population of Ashkenazi Jews accounts for 4 percent of the total Jewish population of Turkey. Visits to the synagogue can be made during weekday mornings and for Shabbat services on Saturday mornings. The synagogue holds weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and other religious ceremonies in the Ashkenazi tradition. 


The Golden Horn is a small estuary created by two rivers that flow into the Bosporus. From one side of the Golden Horn to the other extend traditional Jewish neighborhoods that arose beginning at the time of Jewish settlement in Istanbul in the Byzantine period. Even at the beginning of the twentieth century more than half the population of the Balat was Jewish, although many were already leaving the cramped houses of this humid district for the “European city”. The neighborhoods of the Balat, on the right bank, and of Hasköy, on the other side of the river, have remained vibrant and rather exotic in memories of Istanbul -places where Ladino was spoken and one lived according to the rhythms of Jewish festivals and the Shabbat. The names of synagogues, many of which have since disappeared, recall the Sepharad that everyone keeps close to their hearts (Gerouche-Castile -the exiles of Castile-Catalan, Aragon, Portugal, Senioria…).

Ahrida Synagogue

It was built by Romaniotes (Macedonian Jews), dating back to the 1430s, from the city of Ohrid (called 'Ahrid' in Greek) in what was then the Ottoman Empire and is now North Macedonia. Neve Shalom is said to have moved to Constantinople more than 550 years ago. Sephardi Jews arrived in the Ottoman Empire from the Iberian peninsula beginning in 1492, and soon were a larger group of Jews in population than the Romaniotes. The Romaniotes of Istanbul, as in many communities, including Thessaloniki became assimilated into the Sephardic culture and adopted the Sephardic liturgy as well as the language of the Sephardim, Judesmo. The synagogue building, one of the two ancient synagogues in Istanbul's Golden Horn, was renovated in 1992 by the Quincentennial Foundation, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of Sephardic Jews' arrival in the Ottoman Empire. Ahrida Synagogue is known for its boat-shaped tevah (the reading platform, known in Ashkenazi communities as a bimah).

The Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews

 Jewish Museum of Turkey (officially Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews; Turkish: 500. Yıl Vakfı Türk Musevileri Müzesi) is a cultural center established by the Quincentennial Foundation to inform the society of the traditions and history of Turkish Jewry. It was inaugurated on November 25, 2001. The Quincentennial Foundation was established in 1989 by 113 Turkish citizens, Jews and Muslims alike, to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Sephardim to the Ottoman Empire. The idea of a museum was proposed by Naim Güleryüz who is now its curator and the foundation was financed by the prominent Jewish Kamhi family.

Ahayim Synagogue 

The Etz Ahayim Synagogue  also known as the Ortaköy Synagogue, is synagogue located in Ortaköy, Istanbul, Turkey, on the coast near the right leg of Bosphorus Bridge. The synagogue was totally destroyed by fire in 1941 with only the marble Aron Kodesh remaining intact. The synagogue was subsequently rebuilt.

Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
Destination İstanbul / Türkiye
Departure Time 1 January 2023 -
Return Time 1 January 2024 -
  • Private transportation
  • Profesional licenced guide
  • Lunch
  • Tickets
  • All unspecified expenses
air-conditioned luxury vehicles Travel


Accommodation 5.0
Transportation 5.0
Comfort 5.0
Hospitality 5.0
Food 5.0
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