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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!
Our Guide Lila was fantastic. super cute, energetic, knowledgable about the Taksim area. She took us to some very good local eateries including the best baklava and coffee. We really enjoyed it.
Margaret D USA
Great tour guide and a great tour to food places few tourists would find without this guide.
This was excellent. It was more than just food culture. It was Turkish culture and food. The guide was excellent. We learned so much about the culture and history and how they are expressed today through food, family and life in general. My daughters said it was the best of the 2 tours that we took because we were able to get out and interact with "real" people and not just other tourists and the local salesmen.
We really enjoyed the tour and thought the guide was good. It was more a cultural tour than a food tour. We visited 4 churches, all different and interesting. We had lunch which was great and tasted some Turkish delight. Based on the description we thought there would be more opportunity to taste a variety of foods.
The walk through all the back streets and lanes took us to parts we would not otherwise have visited and was very interesting.
We had been given poor advice and it took us longer to reach the starting point but we were grateful the guide waited for us.
Our guide Sevilay was knowledgeable about Turkish history and showed us many interesting sights . We loved sampling local food.
Prezzman United Arab Emirates
Our tour guide, Mehmet, was a young local lad - knowledgeable and well spoken. The tour takes you down Istikhlal street up to the Galata Tower and back. Since my family were the only ones for the tour, our tour was hassle free. Our guide was informative and recommended places to shop or dine where you could get the best quality or price. Note that the walk down Istikhlal street is fine, but coming back up could be slightly difficult as it is on an incline.
If you are not comfortable traveling on your own and exploring new places, this would be a good tour to get you familiarized with one of the most popular areas of Istanbul, where you can come back and explore on your own pace after the tour. If you are OK exploring places on your own, then I would give this tour a miss.
Sharon Z Australia
Guide was knowledgeable, we were given an incorrect start time so arrive one hour early.... Our problem but we did not read that we had to buy any samples sp she took us to places, explained the food then onto the next place. The odd thing was when we went back to those same places every single store gave us a sample when we asked! We had been on an amazing food tour in Paris and expected the same. Tour lasted a bare two hours, not the 3 to 4.
Robyn C Australia
Certainly not the best food tour we have done. Did not get to taste a lot of Turkish food. Did lot of walking through different districts but did not learn much of the Turkish culture. Disappointed
Although the walking tour of the Taksim area was perfectly pleasant, it was not the food tour I was anticipating. My first clue was that the tour was scheduled for 8:30 on Sunday morning when the majority of restaurants and shops are closed
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