Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
We had a great great time! Abdullah was a really nice, relaxed, and knowledgeable tour guide. We happened to be a very mixed group with people from India, Brazil, Nigeria and us from Honduras. Delicious food and would highly recommend it!
Our guide was wonderful. His knowledge of the subject matter was impressive and he was easy to understand.
Great tour if you have very little time in Istanbul and want to see the major sites in Sultanhamet in one day. Our guide was very good, had all the answers to our questions and really knew his history of all the major sites.Made the history come to life. Lunch was very nice at a restaurant within walking distance of our hotel. It is a long day so be prepared to be on your feet for most of the day but it is not strenuous at all. Highly recommend this tour.
The guide was amazing, she was knowledgeable and friendly, always a smile and went beyond where most guides go to explain the history, politics and religion of each location in a friendly and easy to understand manner. I would take another tour with her again when I go back to Turkey.
This tour was wonderful led by a very lovely, informative and professional guide named Yuke. Yuke led our small group of five in and out of the major Istanbul sites displaying her love and enthusiasm for this wonderful city. She provided us with historical information as well as her own insights. Her dialogue was not a memorized set of facts it was a conversation with us, always welcoming our questions and input. The restaurant she took us to for lunch had a wonderful view and delicious food. This tour was terrific.
This was probably the best tour of the ones I did on my trip to Istanbul and Athens. Our tour guide was beyond friendly and excited about showing us all of the cool sites that we were going to see in our full day. The small group walking tour was great because it was limited to a certain number of people so it was easier to follow and listen to our guide with no problems at all. We got to see and tour the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and the Topkapi Palace. The tour also included lunch at a great restaurant in the middle of the day. Our guide was very friendly and very gracious and warm with all of our questions and observations on the trip, even helping to take photos for people who wanted to remember the amazing sites that we were visiting. I have done a number of Viator tours and this one was probably the best one because the guide was so great. She really had a great deal of knowledge to past and when I even brought up a story that another guide had mentioned, she didn't shoot my story down but rather seemed genuinely interested in learning this new information and excited to research it as she might have learned something new herself. I would say that if you go to Istanbul you absolutely must do this tour because it covers four of the most visited sites in Istanbul in great detail and its so helpful to have someone showing you around and explaining what it is you are looking at, especially in the Topkapi Palace which has so many parts and rooms and things to look at. I would highly recommend this tour and hopefully you end up with the great tour guide that we had.
This tour was sensational. Our guide Yuke was so knowledgeable and took such time and care to explain and show everything to us. I would highly recommend doing this tour!
I really enjoyed this tour, which was the perfect introduction to Istanbul, including all the top attractions which can´t be missed! I was really impressed by the Blue Mosque, it was probably my favourite. And Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia were also definitely worth seeing. The guide was really knowledgable and made the tour and explanations very interesting. We were in a very small group, which was great as it almost felt private! Really recommend this tour!
Informative and professional guide. But the hotel pick up is a bit tricky as they do not contact you real time after booking
The tour did not go to the Grand Bazaar as advertised, but went to a carpet shop instead. Aside from that it had a very knowledgable and nice tour guide. Lunch was very good and they even had a vegetarian option.
Highly recommended, in all aspects: the OMG sights, interesting information, organization, lunch (yummo!) not to mention the LOVELY guide who was engaged and passionate about the history, art and culture - a perfect intro to Istanbul.
A great day spent with a very knowledgeable and fun guide! Amazing places visited and enjoyed learning about these very special and significant sights. Big thanks to Istanbul Walking Tours
The sites on the tour was really amazing. I enjoyed them a lot, and our guide knew a lot about the different locations and the history around them. The Grand Bazaar do not need to be on the tour, however, it is too little time to look around. I would have preferred it if it was not a part of the experience.
The lunch was all right. Not a culinary treat, but tasted good. I reccomend that you have With you a little snack or two, and a waterbottle.
There were a lot of walking, so I am glad I had my sneakers on. The only problematic part for me was finding a toilet/short breaks. Because of the heat, I had to drink a lot of water.
Great guide saw all the sites and you get to skip the long lines.
This tour gave us a look at all the must-sees - and it was great not to have to buy tickets for each separate place we visited. Wear comfortable shoes, take a scarf to cover your head if you're a woman, and enjoy the day.
Our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable and the sights were fantastic. This was a great way to see the main sights of Istanbul.
Was very good a bit costly. The guide 'yuke' was excellent as a guide.
The tour guide was very knowledgeable and the tour covers the main sites in Istanbul. Too much info given at each stop leaving many in the group saying how bored they were. Would be better if guide shared info when walking to the sites. Also skip little Sophia mosque when closed. Felt pointless.
The subject antiquities were great. However the Tour Guide had communication problems, both with no radio headphones leaving the group with hearing problems and her English communication skills could have been better. Her knowledge was obviously there.
Further we were not advised when booking that Topkapi Palace was not available on our tour day. We should have been provided with entry tickets for another day, but had to travel there again on our own at our own expense on another day, which is not very attentive or professional for Viator.
To add further issues, when visiting a Carper/Rug premises, the issue of purchasing should not be part of the tour, but scheduled for after the event, as this absorbed our afternoon, so much so that our tour was shorter. We had to attend the sites again on our own. So much promised by Viator but so little delivered! This was disappointing for our entire group, given the subject sites were noteworthy.
I booked a full day trip. However I left after lunch. I would definitely recommend to do every thing by your own. Just get the headphones guide is better. This company misleaded me. They said online tour including Topkapi. Which it was the main attraction I was going to see. However it was closed.
I was happy to join a group for the visit of those stunning sites. But:
Hagia Sophia was closed. Actually there is always one site closed depending on the day. This should be shared!
It was then not a walking tour... We were taking a bus several times.
The food was really poor... For that price -
Our guide was friendly but the tour was badly organised, and there were huge numbers of people - about 30 at one point during the day! This is not what I would call a 'small' group. Lunch was pretty average, in a bland international hotel. The stop over in a carpet shop was not ideal.
The worst part about this trip was the harassment from the company Viator after it occurred. I've tried on numerous occasions to unsubscribe from their mailing list, but I get spam emails from them every couple of weeks. I would strongly encourage everyone NOT to purchase any trips from Viator.
All of these sites are worth visiting, but this particular tour on the day we did it was doomed from the start. There were at least three problems. Firstly we were an hour late getting started because the pickups from the hotels were late. They blamed traffic but they have to factor that in. Secondly the group was much too big. It was at least 20 people, and to me small group means no more than 12 (ideally 8 to 10). Thirdly some people who had booked the tour complained about the amount of walking (even though it was described as a walking tour!), and some people went missing from the group a couple of times, so we all waited while the guide looked for them. The guide worked hard to make it a good experience and arranged for a bus to help cover the movement between sites more quickly and catch up time but she was always struggling to recover the lost time. There is a lot of ground to cover so be prepared for the walking required. Our visit to the Grand Bazaar was extremely short (only 10 minutes), but I don't know if that is usual or because of the other problems. If you plan on making this your visit to the Grand Bazaar, then I suggest you think again. Hard to grade this tour because of the problems, some caused by the company and others by people who had booked the tour. I think they should include the Basilica Cistern on this tour, and exclude the Grand Bazaar which really needs quite a lot of time to wander at your own leisure. Fortunately we were in Istanbul for several days so were able to do them all, but for someone on limited time, this would have been a disappointing experience.