Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Istanbul Tour with Bosphorus Cruise and Dolmabahce Palace. 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.
Our guide was very experienced and had a lot of knowledge . We went to some lovely sites and had a great time
This tour was excellent, we enjoyed every minute of it. We were picked up right on time at the Hilton Hotel and we loved seeing all the sights. We will choose Viator every time we travel. Thank you for making our travel experience in Istanbul so easy and wonderful.
This tour was amazing! We had a wonderful day with an extremely helpful tour guide who waited for us when we were late for the bus, helped us with small issues, and showed care and concern for all the fellow tourists. Moreover, the cruise was the highlight of the day, followed by the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace. Excellent work Plan Tours!
I love the tour, it was very informative. We had a very good guide and I forgot this name now, but he knew his stuff. The only part of the tour I would substitute is the Leather Factory Tour. I believe we could have visited another area in place of that, then after lunch if we choose to get something there, we can. Overall I loved it, I am planning to return and this time take a tour of the mosques, Vasilica Cistern, and might do some balloon rides.
We had a great trip, everything was ok. It will be perfect if you will change the restaurant for the lunch. The tour guide was excellent!!!
We booked this two days ahead while already in Istanbul to fill up an otherwise open Monday. When we found out that Dolmabahce Palace was closed on Monday, we contacted Viator and were able to change it Sunday instead - Thanks. Note to Viator, don't sell this tour on Mon/Thur when the Palace is closed.
Here is your day:
Pickup in shuttle van in the morning. Taken to muster point where a number of tours then reassemble and depart on two decker tour buses (open upstairs).
First stop is the spice bazaar. You're given about 45mins to stroll around. Once you've been in the first shop or two, it's more of the same.
Next up is the 90 min Bosphorus cruise. Hopefully you'll have a fine day where you can enjoy the terrific sightseeing up one side and down the other. The boat was clean, open and offered great views.
After that, you're taken to a "leather demonstration". This is no more than a cheesy leather jacket fashion show, after which, you're hustled to their showroom where 50% discounts off inflated prices are offered. We chose to sit outside in the sun instead.
Conveniently, the lunch restaurant is next door. Lunch is simple and everyone else in the restaurant is doing exactly what you are - taking a break from their tour.
After lunch is the Palace. This is truly a highlight of the day (along with the cruise) as you gaze in awe at the amazing splendor that rivals anything in the world.
When you reassemble after some free time in the palace gardens, it's off to a trip over the Bosphorus Bridge, then on to a snack restaurant that overlooks back to the European side. There were no available tables or chairs for our tour, so everyone just milled around for 45 mins.
You are then dropped back at your hotel around 6p.
This is a good way to do both the cruise and the palace, along with some guided narration. The leather demonstration was meaningless and if you don't want to make the trip to the Asian side, you can always leave the tour after the palace.
The tour was great and the guide knowledgeable and easy to understand. He also had a nice loud voice. I learned a lot and would recommend the tour.
However: I had a problem on return to my hotel. The driver of the bus had me get off the bus (late at night and I'm 75 years old) and walk to the hotel. I was willing to do that, but found I was in the wrong neighborhood. To make this short: someone helped me at another hotel with the same name, called a taxi, and the taxi, first took me to the second hotel with the same name. I finally made it back to the hotel very late...long day. I have asked that the taxi trip from one wrong hotel to the next be reimbursed. it took 27 lira's, but I want 25 returned to my credit card account. I gave him a 2 lira tip. I have explained this to the company and was told they are 'researching' it. So there you have my review: the good and the not so good. Where is the return of the taxi fair?????
This tour would be highly recommended if the following issues are corrected:
- The group was not only English speaking and first guide (Mr. Ali) was speaking in various languages for all the tourists, this resulted in passing by some landmarks and getting the explanation in your comprehensible language after the landmark has been passed by.
- The visit to the leather jacket shop was not on the itinerary and we did not pay for that, nor we wanted it, it was a complete waste of our paid time.
- The visit to the Dolmabache palace was not complete because we did not see the whole palace, although the guide was really good (Mr. Emre) we did not visit the harem section of the palace, the time wasted in the leather shop could be used for the harem section.
I was expecting a small group tour, but unfortunately it turned out to be 50-60 people on the bus (few people joined in for the afternoon part of the tour). Bosphorus cruise and Dolmabahce Palace were the highlights of the day. "Leather demonstration" was an absolute waste of time. The food at the restaurant next door to the leather shop was very ordinary. Although we were picked up from our hotels in Sultanahmet we were dropped off at a central location in Sultanahmet. Our tour guide was great, but he decided to speak German to four German tourists in our group. At every location we visited he gave information in both German and English, which was a bit of a time waster for most of us.
This tour was nice however we were very disappointed in the tour guid as he was rude sometimes when he was asked a question. Further he wasted our time by combining our tour in English and German at the same tour. Many of us were very frustrated at the Dulmapasha Palace as he took twice as long