Insider's Guide to Istanbul

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Amanda W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

This tour was great. The guide was really pleasant and knew his stuff. Got to try many different food establishments. Great night out. Would highly recommend.

Ihab United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2016

A great way to see Istanbul off the beaten path. our guide was so enthusiastic, he made the tour so much fun

Suzanne C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

Really amazing night and very glad we did this tour! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and spoke prefect English and it was great that we ended up with a private tour! Would recommend this tour to anyone who wants a taste of the real Turkey.

Rick T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

It was a wonderful experience in tasting Turkish delicacies and drinks at various cafes in the heart of vibrant Taksim Square. The tour guide was very informative and outgoing. A great way to sample the wonderful foods and drinks of Turkey. My wife and I enjoyed it immensely.

Oliver

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

This tour really does depend on the types of guests that join you - as they can either make it or break it! Thankfully the group on my food tour had to urgently leave shortly after it had started, leaving me to have an exclusive one-on-one private food tour with my guide. As a result, it was brilliant! The variety food you'll experience along with the various establishments throughout Taksim provides for a great overview of the country's food and culture. With a very informative guide, I was able to sample local delicacies I normally wouldn't eat, along with Turkish beer and authentic coffee! Highly recommend...but book as a group you will have more fun!.

Kenneth L. H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

This was one of the of our whole stay in Istanbul. We had two terrific young male guides with only four Americans on this adventure. The food was excellent and had a full variety...but the tripe soup took some getting used to! WE loved being out amongst the locals and going to the game room complete with the tea drinks was also unforgettable. Thank you for a wonderful experience and one definitely worth every penny!

Suzie K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

Absolutely loved the tour, excellent food well apart from the tripe soup! our favourite part was playing okey in the men's club, such a non touristy experience.....we searched istanbul until we found a boxed set to take home!

philip cooper C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

great Guide
Food not so good
Avoid the seafood i.e. mussels
i suffered the next day

Ruperto

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

Good tour to taste local food at local joints. Our favorite was the tribe soup...it's a little lamby, but with some garlic and chili and vinegar, it's all good...

Shelly Y USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

Absolutely outstanding tour! Would do it again in a heartbeat. Our tour guide was nice and patient with our questions. Save your appetite, there is a great deal of food on this one :)

Andrew F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

This was a really fun and interesting tour. I don't remember our guide's name but she was very well-spoken and interesting, and we had a chance to try some truly local foods that I would very likely not have sampled on my own. The tour was well-paced and we visited some truly local restaurants/cafes as well as the famous Cicek Pasaji. It was also interesting walking along Istiklal Street at nighttime and seeing all the foot traffic. This was a great tour and I highly recommend it.

Kathleen.polly

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

This was a fun way to experience Turkish food and culture. We were picked up at our hotel and shuttled to Independence Street. We were only a group of 5, which was just right. We started at a place where the men go and play the game Okay. We learned how to play, plus were given a little bit of strategy by some locals. From then on we went to various restaurants and sampled lots of different foods. Kabobs, mussels, trip end of course raki. The tour didn't finish until well after midnight. Fun was had by all!

Tanya S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This was one of my favorite tours yet. Yuke was our tour guide; she was friendly, warm, and all around fantastic. She provided great insight into the Turkish culture, while we walked around Taksim square and the surrounding area. We got to experience great Turkish cuisine and tried traditional food that we would never have tried on our own. We LOVED this tour and would highly recommend it to anyone who has an open mind and wants to truly experience the city and its culture.

Leonid B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2014

Very very tasty

Margaret D USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

One of the best tours I have taken. My guide was excellent and I got to see places that few tourists get to see and to try new Turkish foods. I very much recommend this tour.

Edward K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

This is the first tour I did on the same day that I flew in. The tour guide: Serhat Kalay is an awesome tour guide. First you are picked up at your hotel and taken over the Galata bridge to Taksim square. He then takes you around mainly on Independence street. You dodge in and out finding gems of restaurants and local places, sampling all types of foods everything from street vendors to awesome grills. tasted everything from street chestnuts and oysters to grilled kebabs and local rakun drink that tastes like ouzo. Must try the tripe soup! Highly Recommend!

Jay M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2014

Yuke (and your brother), thanks for the tour and showing me great Turkish hospitality. I pretty much enjoyed everything I ate and drank. Along with the historical and social commentary behind the food and areas we walked through, I appreciated the candid and unscripted discussions throughout the night. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone. For me, it was a great intro into the Turkish culture.

Randa M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

I highly recommed this tour if you like to try new dishs. We went to like 5 different restaurants, a bakery, and 2 coffee shop. Our tour guide was Uuke Celik a young lady full of energy. She made the trip amazing :)

ppete

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2013

What a terrific was to get into a city. Guide fantastic and such a great variety pack into one night. A must do.

Kelly

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

Sharp, well-informed, spunky guide took me to a variety of food and historical places. Lots of walking involved along uneven pavement... so if you're not comfortable walking briskly on cobblestones you should give this a pass. Otherwise, I highly recommend this fun and informative tour.

kazianna78

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2013

We booked this for our first night in Istanbul, hoping it would be a good way to familiarize ourselves with the city while also taking care of dinner. The tour accomplished both objectives, and then some!

It was so much more fun than we had expected. Our guide Selma did a great job of making the evening enjoyable for us and the other couple on the tour.

In addition to getting a tour of the Beyoglu nightlife, we got a tile game lesson in a traditional tea house, a charcoal grilled kebab on a hidden rooftop terrace, kokorec with hot peppers, melons and fresh cheese as we were serenaded with live gypsy music, and topped off the evening with tripe soup at a streetside table.

The food was great, but what made the tour special was the experiences. I don't think we could have found some of these places and experiences on our own, especially not the first night.

I highly recommend this tour.

Karl G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2013

This was a fun way to be introduced to Istanbul and a great wait to experience some new culinary delights in a new city. The guide was very dedicated, professional and was proud to share her culture. Will definitely recommend to others. Great job!

Peggy B USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2013

The guide was very knowledgeable. Excellent English and a very fun evening. A must do.

Blanca United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2013

This tour was a great oportunity to get to know more about Turkish cuisine and try a few things out. We were taken to a few hidden spots where there were mainly locals, which we really enjoyed. We also had some Turkish coffee and the typical liquor, raki. The live music was great too, very authentic!

Paul K

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

Guide was articulate in English and while the food portion of the tour was enjoyable, his observations on the cultural and political were more interesting.

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