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The guida was excellent!!
Great and a must
Beautiful places in a beautiful city
Picked up from my hotel in Galata at 08:30, and visits commenced with Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace then lunch. After lunch, Basilica Cistern, carpet weaving demonstration and finally the Grand Bazaar. All walking apart from pick-up and drop off but distances were barely noticeable as everything is close by. This is a quick and easy way of getting to see the main sites in a short time period and it was great to have someone to answer questions. Our guide, Hakan Adagüme was very knowledgeable, friendly, not pushy and was able to give added value on wider issues, where to get the best kebabs. His advice on some overly promoted restaurants that are ranked highly on Trip Adviser, which don't match the experience was useful and matched with other feedback I received during my short trip - probably better to seek local advice before booking a restaurant based on the Trip Adviser rankings. The mezze at the lunch included in the price were good and main dish was ok, but it wouldn't rank highly in a city with some great culinary establishments.
The Turkish delight I purchased in the Grand Bazaar was not cheap at TKL 80 but the quality is exceptional and nothing like the Turkish delight that I've had in the UK - well worth what I paid.
First I would like to say thank you to our guide Sevilay Tokmak. My husband and I had a tour on the 1st of January on Sunday and we were the only tourists.
The culture and food tour is absolutely worth visiting! It shows the hidden face of Istanbul. The tour takes place in Taxim area, you will find a lot of small local cafes, old churches, tiny shops. Sevilay shows the other side of Istanbul, not such majestic, but very local and nice. We've visited many old churches of different confessions, in one of them Sevilay asked a guy to open the church for us. We ate some local food and tried the ayran drink in small cafe. We ate deserts in a place so loved by people that they protested against closing it. We walked in small narrow streets looking at old houses, every with it's own history. We went through small stores with scarfs, soap and different other stuff. Visited a cafe which served only Turkish coffee, and Sevilay told my fortune by coffee grounds. It was not like a tour, but like you are walking with a friend. In the end she advised us several places to eat and drink, and all her advices were 100 helpful.
Again, thank you guys!
Doing what: Istanbul Food and Culture Walking Tour
I think best guide person with detail knowledge with best timing .
Ufchoudhary United States of ...
Worth the price
The Istanbul in one day tour by Hakan Adagume was amazing: first the comfortable mini-bus came to us and brought us to Hippodrome, there Hakan told us about the plans about the sights we were going to visit and we've got a short lecture about the history of Turkey and that particular area of Istanbul. Then we've visited a Blue Mosque, Topkapi palace and Cistern Basilica. Hakan told us many facts from history. Then we had a luch included, very nice, we've tried some Turkish cuisine. After this we've visited carpet factory and Grand Bazaar. The last one is located on huge territory and the buildings are pretty old and nice looking, but there is chaos. Everyone wants you to buy something. And we are not good at negotiation. A small advice about spices. I think the prices are lower on Spice Market which is also very old and interesting, but is not included in this particular tour. So just visit it before buying spices on Grand Bazaar. And try to not buy everything around, be attentive about the prices.
Anyway after the whole day tour we were completely exhausted and mini-bus brought us home. The Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays, so Hakan gave us the tickets to let us visit it next day and gave us short information about it. In general I liked the tour. I liked that we talked not only about the history, but about different stuff, like families, common problems, jobs, hobbies, anything. I liked Hakan's English, it was easy to understand him. Anyway, I advice to visit this tour.
Started in a dull way but ended up with a blast.
I had a wonderful day on this tour, I felt like we saw so much. It felt like we spent a lot of time waiting for the bus to pick other people up or drop them off though because the full day tour was combined with the half day tour. I was afraid the cruise would be too cold in the winter but it was quite spacious and warm on the below deck and you could just go to the open upper deck intermittently to take all the pictures you wanted. I really enjoyed to Dolmabahce Palace, it was absolutely beautiful and I absolutely recommend it if you are visiting Istanbul.
Excellent tour guide
Louis B USA
Louis B USA
Great tour. Everything crammed in.
We loved our tour of the Istanbul sites and in particular, our guide. She was fabulous, so helpful and responsive.
This was the best thing I could have done in the limited time I had in the city. Our Turkish guide, with good English, was very knowledgeable and led us through the various Empires layered upon each other. Being a small group was friendly, and felt very safe. We had a relaxed lunchtime with interesting discussion. Plenty of time in the market and loads of walking on a very cold day. I ended up having a much deeper feeling for Islam, the magnificent buildings, and the history of this great city.It should be mentioned in the blurb that this tour involves a fair bit of walking.
I felt that we had the perfect amount of time to see everything that was included in the tour. The sights were all amazing of course and the included lunch was of very good quality.
Really enjoyed the tour got to see the high lights of Istanbul and the tour guide was knowledgeable about the historic sites. The only thing I didn't really enjoy was visiting the Turkish Carpet shop. It was interesting to see how they are made by hand but also felt pressured to purchase something by the sale's team. Also when the guide took us to the grand bazaar he recommend certain shops for us to buy gifts etc, As tourist's we put a lot of trust in the hand of the guide. I do believe he was showing us good quality shops to buy things from, however the cynic in me believes he only recommended shops of people he had acquaintance with. However I was happy with the items purchased.
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