Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Princes’ Island Tour from Istanbul: Buyukada. 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.
The whole tour was great. We were picked up from our hotel on time and transferred to the port where we will take a ferry going to Buyukada. The place was very nice, had to ride a horse carriage as cars are not allowed in the Island. Milto, where we had our lunch , served very good food. We totally enjoyed Prince's Island.
Will recommend this to my colleagues.
The tour was well organized the pick-up, lunch and the activities were perfect. I strongly recommend viator for any traveler who just loves to travel in ease.
Love it, and I did not want to go back to the hotel. I wish I can have a home over there. A Must go place. Lunch was choice of grilled fish or chicken an okay lunch.
I was worried after reading reviews on this trip, as I had already booked the trip. However it was great. The horse and carriage ride went for 30 minutes, the lunch was tasty, an entree of dips and nibbles, followed by fish fillets, lightly battered (just fillets, not the head or tail of the fish). The island was very interesting and beautiful by the water, it had a laid back, holiday feel. The only thing is, there is 2 hours of free time, so plan for something. They have bikes for hire, or you could go for a swim.
After walking around Istanbul for two days, this tour was an enjoyable respite. It also showed us a different facet of Turkish life from the mainland. The boat trip over and back also enabled us to see the shoreline of both parts of Istanbul. Guide was helpful. The food was good. Well worth the cost.
This place is worth the visit but never try it if the temperature exceeds 23 C. We were toasted under the sun waiting for our turn of the horse cart. It was a nice experience to see the island form the horse cart.
The restaurant chosen by the company was good.
However, I don't think visiting this place requires a tour.
It was interesting....... But our guide did not offer much history. The horse and buggy ride was sad due to the conditions of the horses. They are somewhat abused and malnourished. We met a nice lady in Starbucks who really explained the history of the island.
The transportation back and forth from hotel was great). The knowledge and humor of the guide was great. I think he made this trip interesting). The history and experience from trip, is priceless). Lunch was healthy but so-so for the best fish in Istanbul, I will let you judge.
Great relaxing day in a lovely area. The phaeton ride was a great experience.
The tour to Princes' Island was a great experience. The guide is very well informed. However, I was not happy with the time I was picked up from my hotel. They told me to wait at the hotel lobby at 8 am. After waiting for 10 minutes, I rang up the agent and they told me that someone is on the way to pick me up. I rang them again at 8:30 and 8:45 am and again I was told that their representative is on the way. Someone finally came at 9 am. They should have told me that the time for pick-up is 9am instead of letting me wait for an hour.
Overall the trip was good
This is a good day out to see something different outside of the main city centre. Not much to do but if you feel like relaxing on one of the beaches go for it. they are spectacular.
Hotel pickup and drop off was good, but then we had to wait quite a while to get out ( small ) group together. Unfortunately the weather wasn't good the day we went on this tour - it would have been great on a warm sunny day. Lunch was good and there was lots of free time.
I enjoyed the tour but it was much shorter than described. The online tour information says that it is 8 hours long and starts at 9am. Our tour group didn't arrive at the ferry to Princes' Island until 10am. It took an hour to get to the island, and had to catch the return ferry at 2.30pm, so we were on the island only 3.5 hours at the most. Lunch was included and it was very good. The horse cart ride seemed rushed but it was generally ok. On the bus back to our hotel, the tour guide twice mentioned tipping, and I thought this was inappropriate. We were given minimal information about the history of the island.
Some of my friends did this trip in the summer and loved it; we went in the spring and were a bit disappointed. The gardens were disheveled; the houses were unpainted; it was a bit run down. The carriage ride was about 15 minutes long, and the horses were in a huge hurry. It wasn't the leisurely ride we were expecting. Lunch was tasty, but be warned - the sea bass comes with the head on, like it came right out of the ocean. I couldn't really handle it, but it tasted good.
United States of ...
It was so crowd on the boat, Gosh! Nothing really on the island to see. But restaurant visit was good. On the way back boat was over crowd even more, people was standing 1 hour and half. Rediculese ! Not woth it.
This was one of the most disappointing tour of our visit . We were looking forward to it, but it failed in lots of ways. Firstly the guide was neither entertaining, nor knowledgeable. He hardly spoke at all. In fact he only spoke for about 15 minis and that was it for the entire day. We wondered around the island without any tour information. The lunch was also very mediocre, and lots of people complained about it. Not one to moan much, I had to write this review, because Viator must review the tour company providing this service in istanbul. For the money being charged , the standard is very poor. Especially as most of the Viator tours we have been on in other countries have been very good.
the tour was great, but again there is an issue of informing of arrival timings to the customers, Viator tour could service its customers with high efficience if customers can be contacted by the guide upon arrival at pick up location so that at least they can be informed, instead of just waiting and wondering whether they had missed the tour.
This tour did not include everything that was indicated in the description. To give you a summary: we left one hour later from Istanbul, arrived on the island at about 10:30 am, waited for 45 minutes for the horse drawn carriage (like all the people who did not pay for a tour), then went for lunch and had about one hour max. to walk through the island. No swimming, no beach. If I went there by myself, I would have spent maybe 50 $ to get there with my family and visit the island. Very disappointing.
The carridge ride was so fast that we thought it was a race or something. It was such in a hurry that we did not really able to enjoy the scenery from top of the hill. The tour needs to inform them to take it easy and allow the guests to stop for photos. Lunch was ok.
felt tour guide just there no passion in what he was doing. had bad carriage ride unit 121. Ran the horses the whole way and then left us off two blocks from the end of the ride. felt lunch not that good. tour needs a bit more points of interest added to it.
The Princes Islands are just too crowded during the summer for us to enjoy our trip.
The hotel pick-up was not "dedicated" and we were picked up from our hotel, brought to a "hub" on the south side of the city, put on another bus, and then taken to the jetty on the north (Eminonu) side of the city.
The ferry ride itself turned out to be the best part of the tour.
Once the ferry reaches Buyukada it was a long wait for the carriage ride as literally hundreds of tourists from a few tour groups queue for the line of carriages. It was hot, the place was smelling of horse manure, and the horses and drivers looked overworked. Everything had a rushed feel and it wasn't a relaxed day on a quiet island as expected. We ended up giving up the ride, took a walk on our own, and getting our own lunch and ferry back to Istanbul.
I don't think it's the fault of the tour operator or the guides, just a function of a tourist attraction being over-subscribed. Perhaps an alternative like a bicycle or a walking tour can be offered in the future?
For a peaceful Island this was anything but. Very crowded and noisy both on the boat and the island. Boat owner too pushy and noisy trying to sell items. Lunch poor. Guide spoke very poor English and difficult to understand. I cannot recommend this tour.
United Arab Emirates
Though the Princes' island tour was good, we have found that Viator was charging us at least 5 times more charges than it would take normally after reaching Istanbul. I am not sure Viator guys would be bold enough to allow me to post this review.