Balat is a historically Jewish neighborhood on the shores of the Golden Horn in Istanbul. While a significant Jewish population existed in the area since Byzantine times, the community grew substantially as Jews were evicted from Spain in 1492.   ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

The guide was very knowledgable about the various locations. She was professional and friendly. The Dolmabahce Palace must be seen to be believed. Gorgeous European Palace! Greek Orthodox Church and Pasha Mosque were also beautiful. Enjoyed this tour immensely.

Doing what: Istanbul Small-Group Tour Including Dolmabahce Palace and Luxury Transport

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

The best half day tour I have ever taken anywhere in the world. The palace was spectacular. A
balanced tour including a mosque, church and Istanbul's Museum of modern art. Our tour guide was exceptional. This tour takes you to Istanbul's hidden secrets.

Doing what: Istanbul Small-Group Tour Including Dolmabahce Palace and Luxury Transport

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

The tour guide arrived early and she spoke very good clear English. She was very informative touring the Palace and afterwards since we were the only 2 in group we got to choose where we wanted to go for the next 2 hours. One of the highlights was the Spice Market and she made very good recommendations. When the tour was over she took us to the rail and helped us get on the correct one. She made the tour

Doing what: Istanbul Small-Group Tour Including Dolmabahce Palace and Luxury Transport

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

It turned out that this tour was just us and our guide. Our guide was very accommodating, knowledgeable of the places we visited and toured, and very pleasant.

Doing what: Istanbul Small-Group Tour Including Dolmabahce Palace and Luxury Transport

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

Very interesting and we enjoyed it a lot. It would have been even better if the guide was Jewish or knew more personally about the Jewish community, past and present, but he still did a very good job. It was great having an air conditioned car to take us around.

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2014

Very well organised and will recommend your company to anyone who is thinking of going on a guided tour
The guide and driver were first class. Lawrence kraft

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2014

The tour was very nice and well organized. The Egyptian market was really interesting and colorful. The cruise on the Bosphorus was beautiful. Unfortunately, the weather was not very good on the day that we have done it and so the view from the boat was not optimal, but we were lucky enough to see dolphins and so we were very happy anyway.

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

Very interesting tour. Guide excellent. Highly recommended

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

Our guide was brilliant, and the driver was polite and efficient. We could not have asked for a better introduction to Istanbul's Jewish Quarter. We loved Istanbul and are hoping to return again soon.

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

time was sufficient. Tours in the spice bazar was limited but worth the time spent on the Bosphorus

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

Pauline D
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

Brilliant weather for a great trip to the Spice Market and the Bosphorus Cruise. The courier was extremely knowledgeable and very interesting about the history of Istanbul. The Spice Market is absolutely brilliant, for us, better than the Grand Bazaar! This was followed by a trip over the river to the Asian side of Istanbul to join a boat cruise up the Bosphorus. The boat was not overcrowded so we were able to move around easily plus enjoy a drink from the cafeteria. The commentary was very interesting, explaining about the Golden Horn and pointing out the famous Palaces and Castles.
On our return to the European side of Istanbul we left the coach at the Spice Market and spent the rest of the afternoon browsing and purchasing teas, nougat, turkish delight and many spices. Excellent!!!

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

Picked up at time arranged at city hotel and taken on the tour. The tour was well organised and guides excellent.

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

We took this tour because we wanted to visit synagogues and we knew the security issues make it difficult to arrange. Apart from anything else the synagogues are not obvious even when you are standing in front of them. You need to take your passport to gain entry to the Sephardi synagogue.We saw two synagogues and the Jewish Museum; the large Sephardi synagogue (Etz hachaim) at Oberoy was particularly impressive and the museum was fascinating. Our guide (who was not Jewish) was most helpful; the minibus was comfortable and carefully driven. A very worthwhile morning and we would thoroughly recommend the tour.

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

Pick up was late but understandable due to the heavy traffic. The cruise sightseeing was breath taking and the weather was gorgeous.

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

Istanbul was a fabulous experience. Though this was only a half day tour, the guides showed us so much. They were excellent, very organized and with congenial attitudes. The boat was great as were the coaches.

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2013

I loved this tour. The tour bus picked me up from my hotel on-time and the tour guide was wonderful. He allowed us plenty of time to take pictures and the overall tour was an A+.

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2013

We loved it! The boat trip was excellent.

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2012

Our guide was wonderful. He wqs very warm and inviting. It would have been better, however, if a representative from each of the synagogues we visited had been able to tell us something about the congregation and not merely ask for a donation. Speaking with a congregant would have greatly added to our understanding of the Istanbul Jewish community - their customs, issues, etc. This, however, was not the fault of our guide.

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2011

FIrst I want to give the highest praise for our delightful,knowledgeable helpful, sweet, chic,friendly tour guide, Mine pronounced Meenay (hope her name is correct) This is a must see for anyone interested in Jewish Heritage. Our tour was half a day and fine for us.we had read of one dissatisfied traveller's opinion and were concerned. We were so interested in the three Synagogues we saw. Each with a different story. at Neve Shalom the Rabbi himself met with us. The tour for two was so well organized with our guide and driver. I don't know how much you want to read but The tour as set is wonderful and then we were given options of certain sites to see. A tour is a must as it is difficult to get from one area to another unless someone really directs you and takes you. It was surprising to learn that the Neve Shalom Synagogue ( I am pretty sure that is the one) does not have dues but is supported by contributions. Mine told us a great deal of information about the Jewish Community (24,000 Jews) and 16 active Synagogues as well as about Istanbul itself especially since we had just arrived the day before. Be prepared to do some walking on cobblestone streets...some of the fun about this through streets with much to see en route.
THe security is very tight as we appreciated and as it is necessary so plan ahead to send your passport information at least a week or more ahead of your tour.
Marcia and Richard Schaefer Delmar (near Albany) New York

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2015

Tour interesting. Guide knew his history of Istanbul. Knew a lot about the synagogues etc, but was not Jewish so perhaps we missed some of what life inTurkey was like before and after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2015

It was good. The tour guide spoke more Spanish than English

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

Good value. Guide was reasonably well-informed though he recommended spending some time at Taksim Square (the actual ending point of the tour) which proved to offer very little. Boat ride was fun. Bus tour of Golden Horn informational. The highlight, however, was the stop at the spice market!

Doing what: Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

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