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Ask for Emre as your guide and you will not be disappointed. He has a university education in history and speaks great English. He was the best guide Ive ever had on a tour and I am a person who gets city tours in every city I stay in. Highly recommend this tour for simplicity and time. Wish Id booked a longer one! But I believe any tour with Emre would be packed full of great information.
We started off with a rather long drive from our hotel pick up to the Egyptian Spice Market. During the drive Emre told us everything about what we were seeing. Neighborhoods, ancient buildings, how the citizens function and gave many helpful pointers - which you need in Istanbul.
It is typical for tours here to take you to a handicraft expert or a reputable vendor and the stop in the spice market was a few minutes to use the WC as well as a fun introduction to a vendor here. Theres no particular pressure to buy but we did since we wanted to anyway. Saved time. The vendor was so charismatic and fun. It was great fun trying so many traditional treats and the tea he made us was delicious.
Moved on to the boat - I believe a sight seeing ferry - it is two level. There is a WC. The top level was semi covered which worked well for the cold wind and the need for Photos. They sell snacks but you can get Turkish tea or coffee which is lovely. The views were amazing and the informations day background history and context about what we were seeing was just so valuable! Wish we could have Emre on all our tours!
We took the half day Bosphorus cruise and it was all that it promised to be. The guides - both of them - could explain the history of all the monuments which we passed. The ride was comfortable, with enough space to move around and watch both sides. Great trip.
It is quite a complete tour, with overviews of the main spots in the city, along with lots of information both historical and current. The cruise trip is beautiful, I recommend it. However, I do not recommend making any purchases on the quick visit to the Spice Bazaar Egyptian Bazaar since you can find much better prices outside.
This tour is mostly useful for a first view of the city, early in your trip.
Good Tour Guide
Excellent views of European and Asian Sides
The van tour of the Golden Horn was a tour of the congested highways of Istanbul. We didnt leave the car once. It would of been good if we had planned photo opportunities.
This tour also ran an hour late which i was only informed by our guide once we were on the boat on the Bosphoros. I had my flight home booked in the afternoon. Since it ran overtime, it caused me a lot of stress to get to the airport on time.
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