Underground Istanbul – What Lies Beneath – Secret Istanbul – Tour in English with Serif Yenen

Sultanahmet (0)
  • İstanbul Kültür Gezileri
  • Fotoğraf
  • Müze Girişi
  • Kulaklık
  • Turist Rehberi
  • Yöresel Lezzetler
  • Yürüyüş


Underground Istanbul – Secret Istanbul – What Lies Beneath – Tour in English with Serif Yenen

Istanbul, as the capital of three great empires – the Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman – has a very diverse and rich history. As one of the most unique cities in the world, we are privileged to live here and have much to discover.

But over the centuries, sometimes out of ignorance or lack of appreciation, sometimes in haste or to meet urgent needs, newer buildings have been built over older ones. Today, as we go back and investigate more, and in the course of recent construction projects, new discoveries are being made constantly, and long-lost traces of previous occupants of the city are being uncovered. History is being re-written.

This tour will surprise even long-time residents of İstanbul with many unknown and unexpected ruins beneath the city. In the company of Şerif Yenen, a prominent tour guide from İstanbul, you can experience the feeling of discovery and privilege of seeing many artefacts, which millions of people living here ‘above ground’ are unfamiliar with.

The program will include visits to several cisterns, churches, palace ruins, some sub-structures, storage rooms and vaulted rooms. Some of the places visited will be the places, which are normally not open to the public.


  • The tour will start from Sultanahmet at 09.30 a.m. and end in Laleli around 4.00 p.m. – meeting place details to be provided to registrants later.
  • Orientation to the Byzantine and Ottoman eras at a cafe
  • Kuçük Ayasofya Street Ruins
  • Nakkas Cistern
  • Hippodrome
  • Ruins of the Byzantine Great Palace
  • Lunch at a restaurant (lokanta) with good local food
  • Theodosius (Serefiye) Cistern
  • Scenic Terrace around the Grand Bazaar

Who is Şerif Yenen?

Şerif Yenen (born 17 May 1963) is a Turkish travel specialist, travel writer, tourist guide and travel film-maker. He gives Anatolian Civilisations and Tourist Guiding lessons as a part-time instructor at the Bilgi University. He wrote “Turkish Odyssey” in English, the “first guidebook of Turkey ever written by a Turk”. He is the producer, director and writer of Istanbul Unveiled, an awards-winning travel documentary with eight international awards.

Yenen gives lectures in the US and Turkey about travel in Turkey, Turkish history and culture. The majority of his lectures are in academic communities. His guidebooks are used as textbooks or are on suggested reading lists at various universities, and his articles and columns are published in international magazines and national newspapers. He teaches Cultural Heritage of Turkey and Anatolian Civilisations at the Bilgi and Bosphorus Universities.

You can read more about him at Wikipedia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Şerif_Yenen)


  • The tour will be conducted in English.
  • This is a small-group tour and we recommend that you make your reservation as early as possible.
  • The professional tour guide of this tour is Serif Yenen.
  • Sometimes it may not be possible to enter some of the places as they are privately owned or for restoration purposes. In such cases, the commentary will be done from outside.
  • For more than 10 participants, headsets will be provided.
  • This tour is organised by A-level travel company Serif Yenen Travel licenced by Ministry of Culture and Tourism (License No: 8860)


What is Included in the Price:

  • Entrance charges,
  • Tea or coffee,
  • Informative pamphlets and maps,
  • If the number of participants is more than 10, tour guide audio system (headsets).

What is NOT Included in the Price:

  • This is a walking tour and no transportation is included.
  • Lunch
  • Personal expenses


  • To join this tour an online reservation is required
  • Choose the number of participants and then click “Satın Al” button.
  • You can pay with your credit card or make bank transfer.
  • Full payment is required to complete the reservation.
  • For your queries, you can send an e-mail to info@serifyenen.com or call Serif at his mobile number: 0533-591 1303.

Cancellation Policy

  • If your cruise ship does not dock in the agreed port and changes its route, you will get full refund.
  • If you cancel up to 15 days before the tour, you will get full refund, only if you paid by check; you will get 95% refund for your payment, if you paid by credit card. This fee reflects only our costs of administering a reservation, and is not intended to be punitive in any way.
  • For cancellations between 15-3 days before the trip, 35% of the total fee will be kept, and for cancellations 72 hours or less prior to the scheduled date of departure, there will be no refund.