Istanbul also offers a wide array of regional and specialty Turkish dishes. Here are a few that you should definitely sample, many of which can be found on the street or on a Turkish food tour . Kebabs - Do Turkish kebabs really need an ... 

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Mark P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

I cannot recommend this tour enough. I took the opportunity to schedule a two-day city tour of Istanbul with MetinYilmaz. The first day was a traditional day of touring the major sites of Istanbul, although we did deviate happily a few times to explore and do some things that were unique. The second day had us do some more traditional sites Spice Market, Palace, Bosphorus River Tour, but we again went off the schedule to explore some great eateries and sights as well.

Metin was an absolute joy to be around during our tour. His command of the city, as well as his obvious love in what he does as a guide, was the highlight of our trip. One thing I am glad we did was to ask him where we might eat that he loves and dines at frequently, and not the traditional tourist dining options. I am so glad we did. We had some of the best food in out trip as a result.

My recommendation to potential tourists would be to know what you absolutely want to do, but then work with Metin to do some things off the beaten path which will only enrich your experience and give you a true taste of Istanbul.

We had such a wonderful time with Metin. I would definitely recommend my friends to book with him should they visit the city. Without a doubt, I would do it again the next time I travel to Istanbul.

Doing what: Best of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

Andrew B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

I cannot recommend this tour highly enough! I was greeted by our guide for the day, Tibet, on time and with a smile which assured me that I was in for a good day! What Tibet doesn't know about the history of Istanbul isn't worth knowing. Her portrayal of the historical facts of all the sites we visited was delivered with a genuine passion and kept the group interested throughout. The sites we went to were relevant and appropriate to the historical tour we were on. Normally when food is included in the cost it is normally very basic, however the restaurant we had out lunch in was lovely. The food was delicious and the manager very chatty without being intrusive. Tibet managed the timings perfectly allowing enough time to go off on our own and explore. My only wish is that perhaps we spent a little less time being sold rugs allowing for more time in the Bazaar. That said, I still managed to haggle my way to a bargain in the underground market!

If this is your first or hundredth time in Istanbul, I would encourage you to take this tour as you will not be disappointed. I am off to Marrakech in September so will be on the hunt for a Tibet there too!

Andrew Burden

Doing what: Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia

Timothy Alan H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Our reception at the Istanbul airport could not have gone better. Our guide quickly gathered us up and took us to our very comfortable lodging. That evening he introduced us to Turkish everyday food. The first evening became the standard for the rest of the trip. That high standard of care continued during the entire trip. The lodging and the food far exceeded expectations. One evening we even got to relax at an outdoor thermal hot spring located at the hotel. The freshness, quality, and variety of each meal was an added bonus.
I have a B.S. in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology. The sites that we visited were classics of the Bronze and Iron Ages. The Greek and Roman ruins and restorations were among the finest I have seen. Our guide was very knowledgeable on the history and details of each site. The visit to Troy was one of the highlights of the tour. I had prepared for the trip and found our guide supplemented my basic knowledge. I was able to get a feel for the time and people who had lived then and there. I am also a retired military officer and at no time did I feel anxious about my security during the entire visit.

Doing what: 10 Day Private The Best of Turkey Tour

Timothy Alan H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Our reception at the Istanbul airport could not have gone better. Our guide quickly gathered us up and took us to our very comfortable lodging. That evening he introduced us to Turkish everyday food. The first evening became the standard for the rest of the trip. That high standard of care continued during the entire trip. The lodging and the food far exceeded expectations. One evening we even got to relax at an outdoor thermal hot spring located at the hotel. The freshness, quality, and variety of each meal was an added bonus.
I have a B.S. in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology. The sites that we visited were classics of the Bronze and Iron Ages. The Greek and Roman ruins and restorations were among the finest I have seen. Our guide was very knowledgeable on the history and details of each site. The visit to Troy was one of the highlights of the tour. I had prepared for the trip and found our guide supplemented my basic knowledge. I was able to get a feel for the time and people who had lived then and there. I am also a retired military officer and at no time did I feel anxious about my security during the entire visit.

Doing what: 10 Day Private The Best of Turkey Tour

Melinda V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2016

My tour guide Sylevie was wonderful! She knew her history like the back of her hands. My mom and I enjoyed this tour. The food was amazing. If you're visiting Istanbul,make sure you book this trip.

Doing what: Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia

Ammara M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

It was one of the best tours we have ever taken. Everything was well organised and we didn't have to worry for a single thing right from when we were picked from our hotel at Istanbul till we were dropped at the Kayseri airport back on the second day.
The tour guide UNLUER KOCAN was an amazing guide. He was so informative , sweet and courteous and we enjoyed his company. He used the time in the most efficient way to show us the most and in the best possible way. He gave detail information regarding anything we want to know about that place and Turkish specialities in general.
The stay was so comfortable , food was delicious and balloon ride was definitely one of the main highlights that should not be missed.
Overall this tour was definitely a 10 on 10 experience and it someone is reading this review to consider this tour I will say GO FOR IT and you won't regret your choice.

Doing what: 2-Day Cappadocia Tour with Optional Hot Air Balloon Ride

Tiffany S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Istanbul is fantastic! Truly, there are many sights to see, many mouth watering foods to taste, and a dizzy amount of items calling you to buy them. It can be slightly daunting. Where should you go? What should you eat? Where are the best places to buy quality goods?

Instead of running around town, frantic to fit everything in, with the guided day tour, Ahmet took me around to the all the major old town attractions the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Bascilia Cistern, various monuments, and of course the Grand Bazaar.

We set out from my hotel, early, and at a leisurely pace, beating the crowds. Ahmet brought the various places to life with the rich history of area. I had ample time to roam around taking pictures, and soaking in the history and culture.

Ever patient, Ahmet guided me through the bazaar, making sure I knew how to get around, and get out. He was also able give me recommendations on where i could find higher quality items.

All in all, it was a wonderful day, well worth the price, with wonderful company.

Doing what: Best of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

Edward D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

Very good tour! The food was great and the tour well laid out. It was a very busy day, but I would never have been able to do it all alone. The tour guide was very knowledgeable on all subjects and had an interest in our group. Highly recommend this for anyone wanting to get a packed day of Istanbul.

Doing what: Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia

Martin W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

This tour was excellent, we got to see a lot more than anticipated. The tour collected us right on time, there was 8 of us on the tour all Aussies, we all had a great 2 days. We changed hotels when we returned to Istanbul, they were able to drop us at the new hotel at the airport, with no problems. We can recommend this company 110, the hotel was great, the food included in the tour was good as well.

Doing what: 2-Day Small-Group Troy and Gallipoli Tour from Istanbul

donald r

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

A wonderful experience with a very friendly and informative guide. The dinner host was very hospitable and the food was simple but delicious! My fellow tourists were also a great bunch. Sadly I fell prey to scam artists whilst in Istanbul and lost a considerable amount of money. I would recommend that visitors to Istanbul only use reputable tour agencies such as Viator.

Doing what: Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home

Anthony Prowling

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

Wow! This was one of our highlights in Istanbul. The small group worked well, the guide was fantastic and knew his stuff! The food tasting experience exceeded all expectations. Definitely a five star rating for this tour! Well done!

Doing what: Private Istanbul Food Walking Tour of Kadikoy

Arpana P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

Originally we were going to see all the sights independently, but we were so glad we booked this tour. We had a fantastic guide and got a taste of all the main sights of Istanbul with some time to look around, we also did not have to queue up with others and passed the long line of people waiting to get in. We crammed in quite a lot and therefore saved a lot of time. The lunch was not extravagant, but pretty plain but then most of the foods in Istanbul is...but healthy! Be prepared to walk a lot - Well worth the money.

Doing what: Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia

Oliver

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

Being the only one on this tour, my guide Tolga as well as my host family made me feel extremely welcome indeed. This is a fantastic way to be able to meet with locals, learn about their customs, enjoy traditional Turkish food, and revel in the culture of it all. I highly recommend this food and cultural tour to anyone visiting Istanbul...

Doing what: Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home

jenny.morison

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

Tour was fantastic, great balloon ride, accommodation and food. 4 am start in Istanbul, too early. The only issue is to make sure you have booked your return flight from Cappadocia- this tour would be better if it was included as many people had no idea they had no return flight to Istanbul until they got to Cappadocia-

Doing what: 2-Day Cappadocia Tour with Optional Hot Air Balloon Ride

Silvia L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

The Tour was beautiful! Me and my boyfriend we both liked it very much. The crew members were very nice and helpful. The guide was also very nice and knew a lot about the History of Istanbul, without ever being boring. The wind was a little cold, but the place where we stopped to swim, had almost no wind and we could dive in the Water without really getting cold. The food was also very good. The only thing that we didn't found that went well was the pick up to return to the Hotel. The day before they warned us that they couldn't take us back to the Hotel, but they would take us to Taksim square or else where. When we got out from the boat there was noone waiting for us. The guide was already gone and we wen't on foot till Taksim square, where we took the Metro back to the Hotel. Still the trip was worth it.

Doing what: Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Day Cruise from Istanbul

Carlene F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Had a great tour guide who took us to delicious food places. She was personable and interested in showing us the food delights in Istanbul.

Doing what: Istanbul Evening Food Walking Tour

Robert D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Panoramic views, good food, enough narration...plus a stop at a charming village on the Bosphorus...all add up to an entertaining and satisfying afternoon. Istanbul is still one of the greatest cities in the world, and this tour goes a long way toward explaining why that is. The crew of the boat was very competent and friendly, and the chef came to each table to explain what he had prepared which was delicious. You shouldn't miss this excursion.

Doing what: Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Half-Day Cruise from Istanbul

Ranjit B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

This tour was absolutely amazing! We got to see pretty much all the key highlights of Istanbul in one day. Guneysp?, our tour guide was so awesome, very friendly, outgoing and knows the city inside and out. The restaurant they took us for lunch was soooo good, in fact we went back for lunch couple of days after. The variety of food was great, we got to have a taste all the different kinds of Turkish food. The vendors they took us to at the grand bazaar were great, especially at the spice bazaar, we bought so many spices! It can be overwhelming in the bazaar with all the shops and people but the tour guides made us feel very comfortable the whole time. They gave us tips on what to do and answered all of our questions. The cruise was fantastic, took us along the Bospherous. We did the tour on the first full day that we got to Instanbul, which was the best decision we made because it allowed us to get familiar with the city and how to get around. Highly recommend this tour to anybody! On our whole Trip visited Italy as well, this Istanbul Tour was our favorite by far!

Doing what: Small-Group Istanbul Tour: Skip-the-Line Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern, Bosphorus Cruise, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar

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!

Doing what: Istanbul by Night: Turkish Food Tour

Cheryl H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Fast and furious one day to see the best of Istanbul...this tour does it!Fabulous guide,locations,food and information.Thanks Viatiour.

Doing what: Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia

Anika D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

This is one of the highlights of my trips to Istanbul! I'm a foodie so I thoroughly enjoyed all the tastings. The restaurant we visited for lunch had actually been recommended by a Turkish friend prior to my trip. She said it was a must visit and I agree. Very authentic and tasty. Also, the baklava was the best I've ever tasted in my life! The tour guide was also very knowledgable and friendly. I cannot say enough good things about this tour. If you are a foodie this tour is for you! I will say that the tour seems a bit pricey, because the tastings don't cost very much, but I enjoyed the tour so much that I didn't mind the price.

Doing what: Istanbul Food Walking Tour of Kadikoy with Breakfast

Shanthini D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

The sightseeing with Omar as our tour guide was excellent. Omar was very informative and entertaining. The tour kept to time and was very professionally arranged. We had enough time to explore the attractions without being rushed. We would love to do it again and recommend to anyone who likes to tour Istanbul's highlights in one day.
The dinner show was very good. The entertainment provided was excellent . The host who came on for the final act was very good and kept the party going to a very exiting tempo. It is unfortunate we didnt get his name.However the dining area was a little too cramped with all tables being placed too near where the waiters had hardly any roomto move about. Would have preferred a bigger dining area. The food provided and the show was good value for money.

Doing what: Istanbul Super Saver: City Sightseeing Tour plus Turkish Dinner and Show

William K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

The lady did a fantastic job of providing good local food and a comfortable setting in very humble living environment. Be prepared to sit on the floor!
The guide was a nice guy but was tired and did not provide a very good tour on the way to the apartment for the dinner. All in all, if one wants to see how the average person lives in Istanbul, this is highly recommendable experience.

Doing what: Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home

Amy M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

We had a great day with our private tour guide. He was very knowledgeable about all the places we went on the tour and about the history of Istanbul and Turkey. He was very friendly and we enjoyed the tour very much. We really liked visiting the historical sights in Istanbul and the food was very good in the restaurant where we stopped for lunch. In short, it was a very enjoyable day and the guide was great!

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

Anders B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This was perfect for us. The company picked us up as scheduled and got us back to our hotel as promised. Because the driving in Istanbul is fast and furious and there is a lot of gridlock, we had to walk a couple of blocks to meet the driver (someone came to the hotel and walked with us) and walk a couple of blocks back on the return trip. This wasn't a problem for us but may be for those who have difficulty walking. Otherwise the tour was good, food was great (!) and the guide and assistants friendly and knowledgeable. Thanks to them and to Viator for providing this service.

Doing what: Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Half-Day Cruise from Istanbul

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