ISTANBUL TOURS: ULTIMATE TOP 5

A list of the top-5 guided tours of Istanbul.

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There are currently more than 2900 different travel agencies in Istanbul, and if you go to any of their offices or websites to request a guided city tour of Istanbul, they will be more than happy to sell you one. Most of them don’t organize their own tours of course. There are only a handful of tour companies in Istanbul that offer inventive itineraries with original guides. Here is our Top 5 Istanbul Tours.

THE OTHER TOUR

Yes, the obvious choice! 🙂 Since 2011, The Other Tour has been skipping typical sightseeing routes and offers a unique culture tour in Istanbul; particularly for those who are looking for something more in depth and involving. The Other Tour is more accurately described as an experience, or even an adventure. Both rich as well as less-fortunate neighborhoods are discovered during the day.

Among other things, The Other Tour daily Istanbul tours include the following: a boat cruise on the Bosphorus, a quick stop on the Asian side of Istanbul to taste some local yoghurt, a visit to a local neighborhood marketplace where vendors sell their freshest vegetables and fruit where locals shop for the whole week, the lunch (which is the highlight of the day for most people) is served in the tour guide’s mother’s house, a board game with locals is played in a non-touristy neighborhood, a scrub and massage in a 537 year-old Turkish Bath and an evening dinner in a restaurant with live traditional Turkish music that makes people jump and dance throughout the evening.

It is certainly one of the best Istanbul tours, if not the best!istanbul tours

ISTANBUL EATS CULINARY BACKSTREET WALKS

We may even call this one the legendary ‘alternative‘ adventure in all of Istanbul tours that is much more exciting than many other ‘professional‘, albeit conventional, tours. They have a few different itineraries and options but the idea remains the same: getting you to taste the most delicious local food in the city. These guys and gals have found the perfect spots in and around the Old Town and Beyoglu area for you to do little bits of tasting at each one of them. Their guides are also top-notch! They are friendly and sincere. They don’t follow the usual tour-guide routine, they are more like friends showing you around and filling your belly! 🙂

A half-day or full-day Istanbul city tour is a good way to get your bearings and a sense of the city’s geography. -Tom Broshanan (turkeytravelplanner.com)

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OFF THE BEATEN TRACK & ISTANBUL TASTES

One of the most unique and refreshing itineraries of all Istanbul tours was created by Bitinya Tours. They have what they call ‘Off the beaten track tour of Istanbul’ and they do a great job at executing it. Bitinya Tour is a company that doesn’t necessarily focus their operations on individual clients. They are more concerned with organizing group tours and events around the country. However, ‘Off the beaten track’ is their special product and they do it very nicely and not for a high cost. Minimum 2 people, maximum 6 people, the small groups make it possible for the tour to use local transportation like buses, minibuses and ferries to get around the city. You move like a local and you feel like a local! Check them out, they deserve to be on this Top 5 Istanbul Tours special.

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DAILY ISTANBUL TOURS

We really think you don’t NEED guided tours in Istanbul unless you WANT TO! But we can’t post this list without TripAdvisor’s current No.1 tour company in Istanbul. They mostly do traditional Old City guided tours and they are very good at it! (Judging by more than 900 customer reviews) Tours in Istanbul aren’t generally that impressive but if you want a guided tour for the main monuments like Haghia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, etc. have no worries and book Istanbul Daily Tours, they offer some of the best Istanbul Tours. keyword: istanbul tours

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ISTANBUL PHOTO TOURS

Here is another one of the best ‘alternative‘ tour experiences among all Istanbul tours. This one is for those who do not come to Istanbul just for vacation. And for those who want to make this trip very special and memorable.

“Since it is not exactly for beginners you are expected to know how to use your camera.

Although a 2 hours crash course on photography before the tour is possible. If you would like to take your photography and communication skills to the next step this is a great opportunity to learn about the city and locals, country and its people.


2016 UPDATE

Hey everyone. Since we first put together this list back in 2013, there have been new Istanbul tours joining the market and we felt some of them are really worth updating this useful post. So here are some new Istanbul sightseeing tour companies:

Looking to have some fun with some new friends? Ready to do some bar-hopping and enjoying lots of shots. Well, this tour concept is a good idea in every major city but this event already became one of the most recommendable Istanbul tours. keyword: best istanbul tours


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