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!!!
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!
Beautiful cruise on the Bosphorus and what a wonderful view on the Golden Horn! The bus that pick up at the hotel is on time. It was a great afternoon, I recommend.
Wish I could give two different ratings. Tour rates 4 stars. Guide Murat was excellent and what we saw of the tour was very good except for the unplanned stop at leather jacket showroom where they tried to sell very overpriced jackets.
Very disorganized office, stay away from them. Our hotel concierge called them the day before and confirmed an 8:30 hotel pickup for a 9:00 tour. We were ready at 8:20. At 8:55 the concierge called and was told the pickup would be in 5 minutes. At 9:20 the concierge called again and was told the pickup would be in 10 min. Pickup was at 9:30, and we arrived at the Egyptian Bazaar at 9:50. We missed a 40 min drive of the Golden Horn and the first 10 min of the 30 min Bazaar stop. No apologies were made, and nothing was offered to make up for what we missed, which was 1/6 of the tour after discounting the leather store and lunch.
Stay away from this tour operator. We also booked thru Viator another tour with a different tour operator, they were far more professional in how they were run.
This was a thoroughly disappointing tour. The coach tour of Golden Horn was no more than a couple sentences said on the way to the port. Pierre Loti has beautiful views, but we spent only 15 minutes at the cafe and more than an hour waiting for the entire group to descend on the two-minute cable car ride. I'd absolutely recommend taking a cruise or ferry on the Bosphorus, but you're better off arranging it yourself. The tour was also mostly spoken in Spanish, and the cruise was a mix of German, English, and Spanish, so I feel like I missed most of what was being said.
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