The Other Tour Istanbul 2023 Itinerary

On her 12th year anniversary The Other Tour tweaks the itinerary for 2023 and onwards. As a professional local licensed tour guide from Istanbul, I am excited to unveil the new and improved itinerary for The Other Tour in 2023. My name is Rubil Gündüz, and I have recently taken over the tour from its previous owner/guide Fethi Karatas. I am thrilled to share with you the total rebranding and updating of the itinerary.

The Other Tour is an off the path tour that is meant to challenge ideas and foster discussion, while at the same time, be incredibly casual, intimate, and educational. Our itinerary offers a full day of immersion into the local life of Istanbul with a wide range of activities such as a boat cruise on the Bosphorus, neighborhood visits, lunch at home, school visits, local street markets, board games at local cafes, Turkish bath experience and dinner. No other tour even comes close to the versatility and richness – and now we’re doing all these activities on and around the Bosphorus! That’s the tweak to our itinerary as of this year that we are very excited about.
A visionary concept lies at the heart of our updated itinerary: all the diverse and captivating activities we offer will now revolve around the mesmerizing Bosphorus, with our private boat serving as our home base for the entire day.



The Other Tour has always been about showcasing the lesser-known neighborhoods, local street markets, and hidden gems of Istanbul. With the new itinerary, we are taking it to the next level. We will be using a private boat as our main means of transportation to explore the Bosphorus. The strait that connects Europe and Asia is not only one of the most important waterways in the world but also a breathtakingly beautiful setting that provides an entirely new perspective on Istanbul.

All the various activities will now take place around the Bosphorus, with the private boat serving as our base for the day. Instead of driving around the city, we will be cruising along the Bosphorus, stopping at different neighborhoods (rich and poor), and getting off the boat to walk around and explore. This unique concept will allow us to experience the diversity, culture, and history of Istanbul from a whole new perspective.


The Other Tour takes off at 9am and officially finishes late in the evening at around 10pm, but in all honesty, it usually goes longer than that.

We don’t believe in a step-by-step itinerary but we meet the tour participants in front of the Clock Tower at Dolmabahce Palace. That is the only pre-determined set item on the itinerary – the rest is a bunch of amazing activities that may switch in order.

During the tour, we will spend time at local schools, interact with the children, and occasionally even take part in their lessons. We will also visit untraveled neighborhoods that contain more diversity than any other city in this corner of the world. The local street markets are teeming with fresh produce, people, and color that bring our cameras to life and get our stomachs rumbling. We will walk through vibrant, exotic, poverty-stricken neighborhoods, experiencing the rich culture and history that makes Istanbul such a unique and fascinating city.

An authentic, home-cooked lunch at a real Turkish household in a district that millions of people call home. Most participants remember this part of the day as their favorite! Occasionally, some pick the board-game-playing-session in a local cafe 🙂

Of course, no trip to Istanbul would be complete without experiencing a Turkish bath. We will not only experience the traditional Turkish bath but also feel fresh, look good, and get a massage. It’s the perfect way to unwind and relax after a day of exploring.

Parent with their kids enjoying an apple tea after the Turkish bath (The Other Tour 2016)

In the evening, we will dine with traditional Turkish music and maybe even some dancing at an authentic meyhane – a traditional Turkish tavern. This will be the perfect way to end our day-long journey along the Bosphorus.

The cost of participation for the new itinerary will be 300€ per person, which includes all activities, transportation, and meals. At the end of the day, we will take you back to your hotel, ensuring your safety and comfort until the end of the tour.

Lunch at home is one of the highlights of the day.

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 300 Euros per person.

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!


Group Size

The group sizes range from 2-18 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 Clocktower of Dolmabahce Palace is our meeting point.

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.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of our mission?

To create a more connected, understanding, enjoyable and harmonious world. Travel is key to our mission. Travel is about more than just going to places. It is about people’s minds, hearts and souls. Travel is raising your head and really looking at the sky. Travel is action. Travel is understanding. Travel is knowing your neighbor. Travel is love. Travel is moving forwards. Travel can be through time, feelings, emotions, words, science. Travel has no limits. The question is: where do you want to travel? We want to travel in the best possible world. That is what we will try to create.

Can/Should children come on the tour?

Yes, absolutely. They usually love it more than the adults!

Is there anything we should bring such as bathes or towels for the Turkish bath?

Everything will be provided, you don’t have to bring anything but your smile. However, bringing swim gear is recommended for female participants. You may bring spare clothes for dinner. You will have the chance to change in your room in the Turkish bath.

I am a vegetarian. Would it be problem?

Absolutely not! Our lunch in a Turkish home and dinner at the restaurant will have abundant food for vegeterians. We are very confident about the food! :)

How much will it cost? And can I get a discount?

You need to bring 200€ cash with you PER PERSON. This amount is to pay for all the expenses of the day (Yes, we do a lot of expensive stuff during the course of 14 hours!). It goes like this: everybody brings money and pays for the expenses all together. And sorry but there can’t be any discount either. No deposit required though.

I'm a little shy to take a Turkish bath. Is it possible to avoid this part of the tour?

Yes, absolutely. Many participants in the past have skipped the Turkish bath and we have always managed to replace that hour with a fun activity such as exploring the neighborhood and having pre-dinner drinks in a bar nearby.

In visiting the school, are they in need of supplies? Maybe I can fit something into my luggage! 🙂

They don’t really need anything. So please don’t be bothered. But if you really really want to, past experience tells us that the kids at school mostly enjoy picture books and interesting CDs and DVDs.

Does the tour get canceled when it rains?

No, the rain got nothing on us! And statistical reality is: on day of this tour, it usually is perfect weather! Weird.

The Other Tours




Contact us for bookings by emailing us at [email protected]