This was a very thorough tour. We got to see a lot and learn a lot. Our guide was very pleasant. The lunch was just ok.
I had a fantastic day while on this tour-Gulay my tour guide was great,got to see all the major sights,and a tasty lunch in-between,I would highly recommend this tour
Great tour, great tour guide. Tour guide is knowlegable.
excellent way to see the main tourist sites of Istanbul in a day. Very good guide and generally well organized and well timed tour. Very nice lunch also.
It was perfect ,we had an excellent guide Mr. Omar , we skipped all of the long lines for tickets , lot of walking though and if dolmah basha was added to it instead of the carpit factory it would be the best day trip online.
guide was exceptionally good and most informative. Shame everywhere was so busy, missed many of the museum exhibits due to the crowds.
Very helpful guide but tour not improved by heavy rain all day, which is always a possibility at end October.
We started off a bit unsure about this tour as we weren't actually given any information about what was happening until we got to lunch in Gallipoli and met our tour guide. Up until then we were simply picked up and driven down there with some stops along the way. But once the actual tour part of the day kicked off it was great! Our tour guide was full of information about both the ANZAC and Turkish sides of the Gallipoli battles, and the next day was also very informative about Troy. The accommodation overnight was fantastic, and included meals were delicious. The bonus Istanbul tour was a great way to to all the key sights in one day. This is a great tour if you're short on time in Turkey and want to see some highlights.
Excellent introduction. Left me motivated to go back and explore further.
Very knowledgeable tour guide and nice that the tour was a small group! Excellent lunch as well. I was glad that I had the guide to go around the different stops and give a bit of background on each place before letting us explore and take pictures on our own. All of the places we went were VERY crowded, even though end of October was supposed to be a lower tourist season...
Did not enjoy the stop off at a rug sales place, because I had just had the same experience on the day tour to Ephesus that I did the day before, with the same tour company. There was a lot of pressure to buy, even though the rugs are incredibly expensive (I'm sure they're worth it, they are beautiful handcrafted pieces, but it's not what I came to Turkey for!)
We had no time to research or prepare for our visit to Istanbul so booked this tour. It was good insofar as we skipped the entrance lines, and we learned a little about the places we visited from the guide, having had no time to read up on them beforehand. However there were a few negatives. It took a long time from our morning hotel pick up in the new city to get to the start of the tour - 1 and 1/2 hour in the morning due to long pick-up stops, and 2 hours to get home in the evening due to the horrendous traffic. It would have been much better and quicker for us to make our own way to a central starting location. Also, the guide was extremely pleasant and friendly but really only told us the basic information on each site, and regrettably due to his accent/tone of voice we could not understand a lot of what he was saying. The lunch was adequate, nice restaurant but fairly uninspiring food. We did not enjoy the "shopping" stops at the carpet store/china store, particularly the hard-sell at the extremely expensive carpet shop. The itinerary did not mention shop visits so we were not expecting this.
I was VERY disappointed with this tour.
The guide was terrible - not able to provide much information at all about any of the locations we visited. We were pulling teeth for him to give us background and history on the places we visited. Moreover, he seemed very disinterested in leading a tour in general. So much so that my friends and I, as well as other members of the group, had to tend to two elderly group members who had also booked the tour. The guide would be blocks ahead of the group and even seemed frustrated when people stopped to take pictures. We had to institute our own water breaks as well.
Hagia Sophia is always closed on Mondays but this was not communicated to us when booking this tour for a Monday. The replacement for Hagia Sophia was the Basilica Cistern. While we were RUSHED through the sites we paid to see, things moved very leisurely during not one, but TWO sales pitch stops. One was a rug store, where we had to sit and endure (waste) a full hour of sales pitches on overpriced rugs. The other was a 30-minute sales pitch at a ceramics store.
The "3-course lunch" did not add anything to the day, whatsoever. It was a touristy restaurant and any beverages, including water, were extra.
As far as this being a bus tour, every stop on the tour was in walking distance. The bus picked us up 2 blocks away from our hotel, dropped us off at 9:30am and then came to pick us up from the rug store around 2:00pm. Dropped us off at the Grand Bazaar and then came back to take us back to our hotel.
Like I said, very disappointed with this tour, especially considering the high cost ($80US). It was overpriced for what really was an independent walk through the city. If you go to the Blue Mosque at 9am then go straight to Topkapi Palace, there won't be any lines to wait in that a tour guide will help you skip. Save your money and go to all of these places on your own - you'll have a better experience.
Great tour...knowledgeable and courteous guide, Zachary. Great driver, especially considering driving and parking conditions!!!
I have joined this tour twice with different guides. Our guide on this trip was a wealth of information, not only about the places we visited, but also about the ciity, Turkey and tukish politics. Fantastic to be able to skip all the lines to get into places. The lunch was good and we had a nice chat with the rest of the group. I will really recommend this tour.
Great way to experience the most popular sites of Istanbul.
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