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“Home cooked Istanbul-A real local experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Istanbul Urban Adventures

Istanbul Urban Adventures
Emekyemez Mahallesi, Okcumusa Caddesi Sahlan Han No:34 Kat:2 | Karakoy, Istanbul 12325432, Turkey (Sultanahmet - Old City)
+90 532 641 2822
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Ranked #41 of 543 Activities in Istanbul
Type: Tours, Adventure
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Owner description: Istanbul Urban Adventures offers unique and authentic day tours around Istanbul. They range from 2 hour to 1 day adventures and uncover back streets, hidden gems, and fascinating sights. Step into the lives of locals, find out what makes the city tick, and get acquainted with the local food, culture, and traditions of Istanbul. A local expert guide will provide the knowledge and lead you through a fantastic urban experience.
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Home cooked Istanbul-A real local experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

As a solo traveller in Istanbul, I wanted a way to experience the local culture and Urban adventures home cooked Istanbul provided a great opportunity that I would have never experienced on my own. Semih was an excellent guide telling us about Istanbul as we walked to a local family's house for dinner. We were welcomed by the family and able to talk to them about their life in Istanbul. Semih provided excellent interpretation and helped answer all out questions. They cooked a delicious dinner for is with plenty of food. After dinner, Semih walked us to a local cafe where we enjoyed tea, water pipe, and the local past time, backgammon. We got to talk to Semih and learn more about Turkey while I beat him in backgammon. Home cooked Istanbul is a great opportunity to really learn about the culture and life of people in Istanbul. And with a small tour group, we got all our questioned answered, learned a lot, ate some great food and really enjoyed a nice relaxing evening. Thank you Semih, for a wonderful experience in Istanbul!

Visited July 2013
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192 reviews from our community

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Toronto, Canada
1 review
“Incredible Experience in Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

My son's and I were recently on a cruise that included a couple of days in Istanbul. By far the best experience of our entire trip was spending the evening with Semih and our host family sharing a dinner, talking (with Semih providing interpretation), and wandering through one of the neighbourhood's around the Little Ayasofya.

I enjoy travel, but haven't done alot of it, and what I like most is being able to spend some time in one place, walk it's streets, start to feel it's bones and get even a small sense of what the place may really be like. Try to form some kind of connection. With a cruise providing you maybe a day in any port this is incredibly difficult to do, however this evening really made that happen for me, and I think my kids.

The original itinerary called for going to a family home for dinner and then out to a tea shop for tea, backgammon and waterpipe. As it was Ramadan the order was reversed so that, after meeting at the Urban Adventures office near the Hippodrome, we proceded to a tea house, with Semih providing us with lots of information along the way, both historical and current. We arrived at the tea house where we sat, enjoyed tea, smoked from the water pipes and learned to play backgammon. A very relaxing start to the evening, and a lot of fun. From there we went to our host families home for dinner, learning along the way from Semih abit about the community, and current day Istanbul and Turkey. We were greated warmly by the host family, her children, neighbour, and neighbours children. We were brought into their home and seated in a common area and chatted for a bit and then the best food of the entire trip was served and we all enjoyed our dinner together while continuing to ask and answer questions. Semih had told us that any question was an okay question, so it lead to a great conversation and the opportunity for myself and my kids to learn a little about life in Turkey. Dinner was concluded with tea, and after a bit more conversation we said our farewells, having already, very sincerely been told that we were welcome to visit them any time. Amazing. From there we were back out into the night and Semih very happily got us on our tram and headed in the right direction. He happened to be going the same way so we continued to chat and he made sure we didn't miss our stop.

Truly an incredible experience and opportunity that I would recommend to anyone wanting to really get a taste of this marvelous city. Thanks Semih.

Visited July 2013
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Warsaw, Poland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great way to get under the skin of the city!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

I joined Semih on Old& New Istanbul and Home Cooked Istanbul Urban Adventures and both were truly excellent! (If I had more time I would certainly joined him for the other Urban Adventures as well!)
On the Hidden Istanbul tour we explored Taksim area and explored many of its gems…hidden streets as well as some key landmarks and we heard plenty of interesting facts along the way as well as tried typical Turkish coffee which was then followed by a session with a fortune teller. The tour was interesting, fun and interactive. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to get under the skin of the city.
During the Home Cooked Istanbul tour we had a chance to join a local family for dinner and to join the locals for a popular pastime activities: playing backgammon and smoking water pipe. Again it was great way to get a glimpse into local reality and Semih was very happy to answer all our questions and tell us some more interesting stories about life in Istanbul and Turkey in general.
I highly recommend Istanbul Urban Adventures and Semih! Thank you for showing me your city and a great time! I would never be able to see so much of Istanbul in the limited time that I had if not for the tours!

Visited July 2013
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
“Amazing experience in Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

As first time lone traveler to Istanbul, making the decision to do a two day tour with Urban Adventures resulted in an amazing experience. Semih was a brilliant guide, and showed me an Istanbul that I would have never have discovered on my own. Together we saw all the amazing sights, the Aya Sophia, Blue Mosque, Spice Market, Grand Bazaar, as well as other things that I would have never thought of doing. We had dinner with a local family and got to practice my Turkish much to the delight of my young hosts, after which we sat overlooking the Bosporus, drinking tea, eating cherries and playing backgammon.

Semih also showed me the wonderful district of Taksim and Beyoglu where the highlight of my trip was having my fortune told and then having a traditional Turkish bath in a 15th Century Hamam.

Istanbul blew my mind and Semih blew away all my concerns about being a lone female traveler in Turkey. In the light of the Taksim Square protests, Semih was a wonderful guide, and never once did I feel unsafe. I would strongly recommend Semih as a guide, he is kind, knowledgeable and knows Istanbul’s secrets inside out. He will show you the most amazing time and experiences that you will never forget.

Visited June 2013
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Seattle, Washington
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Hidden Istanbul worth finding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

We scheduled the Hidden Istanbul tour at a friend's recommendation and were not disappointed. Having a guide for Aya Sophia was invaluable, and Semih's knowledge of the sites we visited was impressive. He tailored our tour to our interests and time constraints as we squeezed it in just before catching our flight home. We made one stop at a spice shop in the Grand Bazaar but did not feel pressured to buy. Much appreciated. The teenagers enjoyed the tour as much as the parents. Semih did a great job.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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