In no particular order (because where’s the fun in that?) these are a few of the experiences that you will have the pleasure of participating in. A private (we always feel the need to italicize the word private, I don’t know why) boat cruise on the Bosphorus, which just so happens to be one of the world’s, and history’s, most important and influential waterways. Strolls through neighborhoods that are both untraveled and contain more diversity than any other city in the world.
An authentic, home-cooked lunch at a real Turkish household in a district that millions of people call home. Local markets teaming with fresh produce, people and color that bring our cameras to life and get our stomachs rumbling. Walks through vibrant, exotic, poverty-stricken neighborhoods.
We spend time at any one of a number of local schools, interacting with the children and occasionally even taking part in their lessons. We see the city from multiple angles, not just conceptually, but visually. Different heights and vantage points fill us with wonder, enlightening our senses and reaffirming our appreciation for Istanbul. Our brains, churning with new ideas, thoughts and propositions all day, are truly put to the test at a local cafe where we engage in friendly competition (that doesn’t mean you don’t try to win) by playing traditional Turkish board games.
Cleanliness is important, as is feeling fresh, looking good and getting massages, so we manage to cover all 4 bases at a Turkish bath.
At the end of the day, yes, I’m going to knowingly give this portion of the tour away, we eat, drink, socialize and dance at an authentic meyhane – you’ll learn what this is once you join us ;). Finally, after party or no, we take you home, as in to your hotel. You are our responsibility from the moment we meet up at 9am to the time that you arrive back at your hotel – or even until you’re tucked safely away in your bed, depending on your preferences ;)Istanbul is where east meets west, where traditional thought meets progressive vision, where Islamic culture meets western culture. It is a city with no identity, precisely because it has so many contrasting ones. It is a city of not just one heart, but multiple souls.
The Other Tour presents these different aspects, embraces the diversity and allows you to add to it. It is the inconsistency, the contradictions, that make Istanbul such a majestic place. You can expect to fully experience that on the tour.
The cost of the tour is now 150 Euros per person. (It was 200 Euros for years but due the recent changes in exchange rates, we went for a discount.)
The price of the tour aside, you will not need to pay for anything all day long.
At the end of the day we will personally drop you off at your hotels with our private vehicle.
What to Bring
We recommend checking the weather report and choosing your outfit accordingly. No special clothing is required at any point during the day. Ladies may wish to bring bathing suits for the Turkish bath though by no means is it a requirement. You may also wish to bring fancier clothes to change into for the dinner. Other than that, be sure to have some comfortable shoes for walking/standing in over the course of the day. And get your dancing shoes on for the music at the end of the day!
The group sizes range from 2-8 people.
Morning Meeting Point
The meet up location is the main gate of DOLMABAHCE PALACE (you will see the clock tower). It is located a few miles north of the Galata Bridge on the European side of the Bosphorus and is very easy to get to. The following this link will show you a picture of the clock tower we meet in front of.
The easiest way of getting there is by taxi. If you are staying in a hotel in the Old Town, the fare should be between 10 and 15 Turkish Lira (5-6 Euros). You may ask your reception to arrange a taxi for you at 8:40am. Even though it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get there, you can never be too cautious in this city due to the unpredictability of its traffic. If you are staying near the Taksim area, it is even closer. We recommend you leaving the hotel at 8:30am.
What we have created is much better described as an EXPERIENCE. It can be challenging not just physically (due to the roughly 3 hours of walking) but also mentally. We expect our participants to be open, engaging and curious. It is our expectation that every participant brings energy to the table (preferably the positive form) and a desire to get to know not only the city and it’s people, but the other tour participants. Please take the time to read the recommended blog posts and go though some of the past reviews and descriptions.