22 days in Istanbul, Athens & Rome Itinerary

22 days in Istanbul, Athens & Rome Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Istanbul, Athens & Rome Itinerary

Start: Cape Town, South Africa
Fly:  15​h
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 5 nights
Fly:  5​h
2
Athens, Greece
— 6 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
3
Rome, Italy
— 8 nights
Fly:  17​h 30​min
End: Cape Town, South Africa

5
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and Basilica Cistern. Get some historical perspective at Sultan Ahmed Mosque and Galata Tower. And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Suleymaniye Cami , get engrossed in the history at Topkapi Palace, get to know the fascinating history of Sultanahmet District, and steep yourself in history at Historic Areas of Istanbul.

For photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Istanbul itinerary planner.

Cape Town, South Africa to Istanbul is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. Traveling from Cape Town to Istanbul, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In June, Istanbul is a bit warmer than Cape Town - with highs of 30°C and lows of 20°C. On the 27th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Athens.

Things to do in Istanbul

Outdoors Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jun 21 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Basilica Cistern ©
Basilica Cistern

6
nights
Athens, Greece

Athens ©
One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Family-friendly places like Acropolis of Athens and Glyfada Beach will thrill your kids. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Acropolis Museum and National Archaeological Museum. Take a break from Athens with a short trip to Vouliagmeni Beach in Vouliagmeni, about 38 minutes away. There's much more to do: take a stroll through Plaka, delve into the distant past at Theater of Dionysus, explore the striking landscape at Areopagus, and appreciate the history behind Temple of Olympian Zeus.

To see maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Athens trip planner .

You can fly from Istanbul to Athens in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern European Time (EET) to Eastern European Time (EET) is minus 1 hour. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Istanbul in June: high temperatures in Athens hover around 35°C and lows are around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Rome.

Things to do in Athens

Outdoors Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Glyfada Beach, Vouliagmeni Beach
Find places to stay Jun 27 — Jul 3:
Highlights from your plan
Acropolis Museum ©
Acropolis Museum
Acropolis of Athens ©
Acropolis of Athens
Plaka ©
Plaka

8
nights
Rome, Italy

Rome ©
Aptly nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever.
Step out of the city life by going to Catacombe di San Callisto and V Lounge Beach Club. Popular historic sites such as Colosseum and Piazza Navona are in your itinerary. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rome: Tivoli (Villa d'Este & Villa Adriana) and Sabbianera Super Beach (in Anguillara Sabazia). There's still lots to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Peter's Basilica, explore the ancient world of Pantheon, don't miss a visit to Roman Forum, and explore the world behind art at Galleria Borghese.

To find reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Rome trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Athens to Rome takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. The time zone difference when traveling from Athens to Rome is minus 1 hour. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Athens in July since evenings lows in Rome dip to 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Rome

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Vatican City, Tivoli, Sabbianera Super Beach
Find places to stay Jul 3 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
St. Peter's Basilica ©
St. Peter's Basilica
Colosseum ©
Colosseum
Pantheon ©
Pantheon

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