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“Home Cooked Istanbul was a real find” 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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$32*
and up
Ranked #42 of 542 Activities in Istanbul
Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
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.
Eugene
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Home Cooked Istanbul was a real find”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Urban Adventures Home Cooked tour gave me the only opportunity I had in 4 weeks of travel to be invited into a Turkish family's home and to enjoy a meal with a family including children who helped serve and other members of the extended family that stopped by. The meal was simple and delicious. We were seated on cushions and food was served on a cloth spread on the floor. Our guide, Semih, translated so communication flowed easily.and I felt a real bond with these gentle people.
After our visit with the family, Semih took us (a Canadian couple and myself ), to a cafe where we were introduced to the game of backgammon and the nargile water pipe. Being non-smoker, I was dubious about trying the pipe, but surprisingly for me, it turned out to be a rather pleasant experience.
Tours like the ones Urban Adventures offers open us up to cultural experiences that are hard to find. My highest recommendation.

Visited September 2013
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188 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Adelaide, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Spice Market/ Food Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

Semih was a great gide with a very good command of English. He introduced us to traders within and outside the market and explained the Historical and Cultural aspects of the foods and market.We tasted and tried different delicacies. Worth doing this tour early in your stay in Istanbul as great advice on where to eat, what to eat and places to see. It was great fun as we saw the humour of the traders!!!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
“Wonderful experience with a local family in Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

I can't recommend this tour enough. This was the one of the first things I did when I got to Istanbul.

We first met Semih at the local Urban Adventures office is Istanbul. It was myself, Semih, and a couple from Germany. From what I understand, Semih likes to keep the groups small for this tour, which is great. We first went to the family's home for a meal. A real home cooked meal, this is a first for any tour for myself. They made all sorts of traditional foods like red lentil soup, dolmas, and so on, finishing off with Turkish tea. All the food was great. Semih translated for us, which was really helpful.

We then went to a local hookah bar to try a hookah and play some backgammon. The hookah bar had a nice view of the Bosphorus and we chatted and played for about an hour and a half if memory serves right. This was a lot of fun too, capped off a great night.

I learned later that the tour is there for the benefit of the families that cooked the meals and let us spend time with them for the evening, which is really wonderful. I mentioned that I was surprised they don't mention that in the tour itinerary, and I made sure to tip extra.

All in all, a great experience, one that I'm still remembering.

Semih is a great tour guide too, I can't forget to mention that.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Don't think, just book it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013 via mobile

The istanbul urban adventure tour was fantastic! A really special experience to be able to eat and chat with a traditional Turkish family. And just as fun at the water pipe bar! Our guide even taught us how to play back gamon like the locals. Semih, our guide, was the best guide yet in my travels. Super friendly, funny, knowledgeable and helpful. Is a real treat to have a local turk being able to show you around. This tour is a must!!!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Great local insight to life (and food) in Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

Did the Picnic tour with Semih through the Spice Markets, surrounding streets and finishing at parklands outside of Topai Palace. I was the only person on the tour, so had a very personalised experience - Semih was very friendly and talkative so didn't feel awkward at any stage.
Tour started in the Spice Market where Semih was able to explain all the different foods and spices and how they are used in Turkish cooking. At no stage did I feel pressured to buy anything from any of the vendors we visited. From there we wandered through the shops and stalls in the streets surrounding the Spice Market sampling foods and buying stuff for the picnic. Highlight was the small meatball vendor down a side alley that has a very unique style when it comes to serving his customers!
From there we walked to the park outside of Topkapi Palace and enjoyed the foods Semih had purchased during the tour and had a great chat about life in Instanbul and Australia (very much a two way conversation and learning experience).
The whole tour was relaxed and very informative - I'd definitely recommend it anyone.

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

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