For the true essence of Turkish heritage, eat like a local and explore the streets of Sultanahmet during this guided small-group Istanbul food and culture tour. Step inside a local’s home to meet the family and enjoy an evening experience of Turkish hospitality. The 4-hour night begins with a 3-course dinner of traditional dishes and concludes with an expedition into the backstreets of Istanbul. You’ll witness a backgammon or football game along the way and even have a chance to take a puff from the shisha pipe. People are limited to 12 on this tour, so you can receive more personalized attention from your guide.
4-hour Turkish food and culture tour with an expert local guide
Visit a typical Turkish family home in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet neighborhood
Feast on a 3-course home-cooked meal while chatting with friendly hosts
Learn about the city’s cosmopolitan culture while exploring the backstreets
Take part in popular Turkish pastimes: football, backgammon, drinking tea or smoking a shisha pipe!
Small-group tour with a maximum of 12 people ensures personalized attention
Why Travelers Choose This Tour
Experience local hospitality with a Turkish family on this small-group tour—and munch on home-cooked local treats.
After you meet your guide in the Sultanhamet district, head by foot to your local family’s home for your small-group food and culture tour in Istanbul. Savor an evening to learn about the heritage of Turkish cuisine and, of course, fill your belly with plenty of home-style delights. Arrive and meet your hosts as you absorb the delectable smells emanating from the kitchen. The meal of the night will vary depending on available ingredients, but prepare for a 3-course dinner that will leave you satiated. A typical appetizer is a thin soup called çorba (usually prepared using lentils) and a classic entree is minced meat and eggplant served with a side salad and rice. Since Turks have a soft spot for sweets, save room for dessert which includes tasty pastries served with mint tea. During dining, enjoy casual conversation about a typical day in the life of an Istanbulite. Then, learn more about the food you’re eating as your bilingual guide helps translate with your friendly hosts. After experiencing warm Turkish hospitality, savor the waning moments as you bid farewell to your hosts. Next, step outside into the evening air for a walk along the lesser known streets of Istanbul where tourists are few and far between. Cruise through neighborhoods with elegant wooden homes and learn about the diverse cultures that led Istanbul to be named the city of a thousand faces. Hear how Turks, Armenians, and Greeks all converged here making this a true east meets west Cosmopolitan city. Continue to a local joint to meet some cool locals and gaze out over the Marmara Sea. Here, delve into Turkey’s sporty culture and see televised football games and people playing backgammon. Perhaps challenge a local to a backgammon match. The last highlight of the day is a Turkish staple: sipping strong tea and experiencing a rich puff from the shisha pipe. From here you can request from your guide directions back to your hotel or any other location you wish to go.
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Please be aware that the standard of dress through out Turkey is conservative. To respect this and for your own comfort we recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees for both women and men. Turkish people do not wear shoes within the home so we suggest easy slip on shoes be worn. The weather in Istanbul is highly variable depending on the time of year. Winters range from freezing cold to extremely hot and humid in summer (June, July and August).
This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
Maximum group size is 12.
If you cancel within 3 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel at least 4 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
This is a tour that you must take if you want to see and experience real Istanbul. Our guide Ayse was perfect. Huge knowledge and understanding of culture. Our little group was very interesting. Family where we had dinner was perfect. We really felt like we came to friends for dinner. This was for sure highlight of our visit to Istanbul.
Idea is great tourist attraction but there is a room for substantial improvement by the organiser. Firstly except the mother the host family though present in the apartment neither joined the dinner nor discussion which negate the slogan of dine with local family . Secondly due to space constraints in the apartment though we were only two seating for dining was on the floor which was bit uncomfortable and without prior disclosure. Thirdly the so called three course dinner was served in one go and was cold and blew average quality. Lastly it is too pricey even giving the margin that idea is to support the chosen family with additional income. However since share of the family in the price appeared to be nominal therefore gave them gift/tip wroth 75 TL.
It was amazing to visit the family, sit, chat and dine. to my luck there was only 1 more person who signed up for this trip and he did not show up. so it was only me !! the host Seray was a very nice and humble lady and i met her daughter and a few relatives. it was like you are visiting your own family. we spoke about each other, shared stories and had a lot of fun. special thanks to my guide Tolga who is such a nice and knowledgable person. he helped not only translate but also told me a lot about turkish history. ask for him if you are planning this tour. i highly recommend.
A nice experience. We were a group of 6. The guide escorted us to a family house. A woman - lower middle class- lives there with her 3 kids and her husband. We enjoyed the traditional meal in a local house as well as the conversation. However, the conversation was more among us the visitors than with the woman and her kids due to language barriers. Overall a good experience.
This was the one thing we did that made the trip worth all the cultural shock that followed in the shops and on the streets. Do bring a gift for the family. We were remiss in this. Our guide was more than just helpful. He followed up on suggestions for navigating our way for our extended stay in the tourist and shopping locations throughout the city. The food was thoughtful and the family kind and welcoming. As two women traveling alone it was a wonderful introduction to Istanbul. Our guide pointed out the best locations for photographs, Bosphorus rides, local foods, and unlike the remainder of our stay, we felt safe and confident exploring the quaint cobblestone streets with this knowledgeable, conscientious guide. Thank you, Süleyman Erköse!
this tour was eye opening, and such a cultural experience. the host family was probably one of the sweetest families I have ever met. We got to eat in her home, met her children, and learned about her lifestyle and what a day in the life entails.
We LOVED this.
We only had an overnight stop in Istanbul and this was a perfect choice for dinner. The host family was gracious and the guide was like a friend. He also walked with us around the Hippodrome and showed us the outside of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia while sharing historical information with us. This part of the tour was more of a bonus, as this could be done without a guide, but the traditional Turkish dinner in the home of a local Kurdish family was really special.
The tour was very good. We arrived at our host's home to a very warm welcome. The food especially the lentil soup was amazing. The conversations with our guide about Turkey were very illuminating as well.