The medieval Galata Tower adds a fairytale element to the hilly Beyoğlu district, on the north side of the Golden Horn. Capped with a conical tiled steeple and gold finial, the 67 meter (220 foot) stone tower was built by the Genoese in 1348.  ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

This tour was so fantastic! From meeting us in a huge gold mini van at the port where our cruise ended, to bringing us to our hotel afterwards, it was luxurious and showed great hospitality. Our guide had arranged for us in advance to visit inside two synagogues and with all the security it is clear we could not have done this on our own. She knew quite a lot about the history of Jews in the Ottoman Empire and had spent a few months on a kibbutz in Israel. She knew her stuff. We started with a visit to Galata tower, which was beyond what was advertised. That gave us a terrific orientation to Istanbul. We saw five synagogues all together in real working class neighborhoods, and we felt like the only tourists on the street. It was so special! We stopped for coffee in a neighborhood shop that had so much character. It was really a remarkable experience, worth very penny!

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
July 2014

The tour started at Rumeli Hisan fortress we cruised up to Anadolu Kavagi where we were given the option of either swimming of the boat or a hike up to the castle but not both. I asked if were going into the Black Sea and I was told that he did not have the authority to go any further so even though weather conditions were fine they had no intention of going to Poyrazkoy. We decided to hike up to the castle where at least we could view the Black Sea. We did not go any where near the golden Horn so we could not see the Galata tower as described in your literature. We were offered wine on the return leg in a way that we thought it was complimentary but of course they charged 15 lira for a small glass of cheap wine. The food at lunch time was fine but there was no afternoon snacks apart from a slice of melon. The weather was great!!!

Doing what: Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Half-Day Cruise from Istanbul

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