Make sure that one of your day trips from Istanbul involves a visit to Troy, where there are 4,000 years of history waiting to be discovered. Immerse yourself in the world of the legends of the Spartans at the city of Homer’s Iliad. Enjoy guided tours that will tell you everything there is to know about the ancient city of Troy.
While Istanbul has its own culture and history, it doesn’t quite compete with Troy when it comes to detailing some of the most dramatic moments from our past, many of which are still widely debated. A day trip from Istanbul to Troy is your chance to learn about the Trojan War - which is described in legendary Greek tales.
How to get to Troy from Istanbul, and how long does it take?
Troy is around 440km from Istanbul. Head to Canakkale which is the nearest town to Troy. It takes around one hour and 15 minutes by plane or at least 4 to 5 hours by car/minibus. From there, reach Troy by car/minibus for the last 30 km.
Flying is the most popular method for getting from Istanbul to Troy, as it's the quickest form of transport.
How much do excursions from Istanbul to Troy cost?
The majority of day trips from Istanbul to Troy include transport in the form of a coach ride, with some options also including a ferry ride the Dardanelle Straits. Day trips typically cost in the region of €100 and a tour guide who will detail the ancient history behind the city of Troy. You can also travel by plane, but those tours are more expensive.
Private options are also available and often include the Anzac secrets of Gallipoli along the way. Expect to pay around €290 for a private tour, which also includes private transfer.
If you feel like extending your day trip into an overnight stay, there are many popular two-day tours available. The majority of these tours combine a trip to Troy with other local historical landmarks, such as Gallipoli. Overnight tours cost in the region of €270.
When is the best time to visit Troy?
April to June and September to early November are the best times to visit Troy. This is when the weather is pleasant without being too hot. During the summer months, Turkey can see temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s, while the winter can be harsh with temperatures in the minus.
What will you see and do during your day trip from Istanbul to Troy?
The Trojan Horse is a famous story from the Trojan War, where the Greeks used a hollow wooden statue in the form of a horse to enter the independent city of Troy. The horse was the primary reason they won the war, as it allowed them to gain entry to the city after they failed to breach the walls. Visitors to Troy can see a replica of the Trojan Horse, take pictures and climb to the top of the structure.
Wall of Troy
Troy is now an archaeological site that also has UNESCO World Heritage status. The Wall of Troy can be found in the remains of the city and stands at an impressive 5m thick and 8m high. It’s constructed from large limestone blocks and includes several towers. This wall was the primary defence against the Trojans during the Trojan War.
Temple of Athena
Much of the ancient city of Troy is left in ruins now. However, with the help of a tour guide, your day trip from Istanbul to Troy will let your imagination run wild as you wander around the fascinating ruins that once stood strong. One of those ruins is The Temple of Athena, which was likely dedicated to the Sun God, Athena.
Tower of Troy
Today, Troy is labelled with roman numerals that reveal the nine different cities found since its extravasation in the late nineteen hundreds. VI is most likely the site where Homer’s Trojan War took place, with the Tower of Troy playing an important lookout role during the war. Visitors of Troy can walk around all nine cities as part of their trip and see landmarks like the Tower of Troy.
VI is where the Palace Complex likely stood, in what is one of the largest areas of Troy. In fact, it’s thought that up to 10,000 people lived here at one time, with the palace taking its role as a prominent landmark in this ancient city. Today a two-story wall remains and is thought to be the where the Palace Complex stood.
Megaron House (Houses of Troy)
Megaron is the name given to the houses that once sat within the city walls. Today, visitors can make out the stone foundations of these megarons, which means a building with a porch. Your guide - or audiotape - will detail all of the history surrounding the everyday houses and locals in the ancient city of troy.
Trench of Schliemann
Heinrich Schliemann was one of the most important archaeologists and vital to discovering the works of Homer. He was a primary archaeological excavator of Hisarlik, which is now presumed to be the site of Troy. The Trench of Schliemann represents the area where he dug an enormous trench, which came about because of his initial lack of education in archaeology.
Scaean Gate (death of Achilles)
Part of the 4,500-plus walls of Troy II, the Scaean Gate is notable for being the death of Achilles - the greatest of all the Greek warriors. Visitors will be able to see the ramp that once entered the gateway and tunnel under a large tower.
A museum recently opened in Troy which houses artefacts from the site as well as Trojan treasures from the nine cities of Troy. Visitors can explore the museum and discover little bits of history, such as displays taken from archaeologist finds.
While the ancient city of Troy will be your primary destination on a day trip from Istanbul, the waterfront town of Eceabat provides a change of scenery. The quaint town is notable for its proximity to the main Gallipoli battlefields. The main square features a selection of restaurants and hotels.
- If you are really into history, make sure to reserve a guided tour to enjoy the visit to this world-famous archaeological site
- Don't forget to bring a camera to capture some of these wonders.