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“Day tour with Istanbulite, sinan” 5 of 5 stars
Review of istanbulite - Private Day Tours

istanbulite - Private Day Tours
Halaskargazi Cad. No:1 Kat:4, Istanbul 34373, Turkey
+90 537 346 6020
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Ranked #34 of 543 Activities in Istanbul
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Owner description: We are a travel agency, specializing exclusively in private guided tours in Istanbul. We are passionate about Istanbul and that is why we do what we do.
Petaluma, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Day tour with Istanbulite, sinan”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We had an absolutely fabulous time with Sinan. The kids liked him. Sinan took us on a day tour of the city including a fabulous lunch. The lunch was local food in a very elegant setting. We saw all the sights we wanted to and in a timely fashion. Sinanthropus was relatable, personable, very current and comfortable to spend the day with. Would highly recommend sinan nd his company.mwe also used his associate Gulden for Ephesus and she was also Fantastic. Would go back to Turkey and tour with them again.

Visited August 2013
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69 reviews from our community

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Falls Church, VA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Excellent Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

Eda provided an excellent tour of the city including current events and transitions that Istanbul is going through. We saw a different areas of the city beyond the Sultanahmet including many non-tourist areas. A world-class city shown by someone who really knows the city and is passionate about the challenges of urbanism and the massive changes that the city has undergone in a short period of time. Well worth it!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Like having best friends in Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

What can I say? From the moment we got onto Istanbulite's website we knew they were different. Their website is user friendly and allows you to create your own tour as if choosing selections from a restaurant menu. As soon as we submitted our request, Eda contacted us. We had very specific requests and we were not your run-of-the-mill tourists. Eda and Sinan went above and beyond. We met up with Sinan who within minutes became our "oldest" friend in Istanbul. He toured us around, we had lunch together, drinks on rooftops and were all so disappointed to see the day end. Sinan and his sister Eda run a 5 star operation with a real authentic feel. You will get a true immersion into the Istanbulite lifestyle. There is no one like them.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pacific Palisades
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“This was the Closest Thing to Having Good Friends Show You Their City”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

Went traveled to Istanbul enroute to Africa via Turkish Airlines, so had the benefit of spending a few days in the city each way. We spent the first few days of our journey on the Bosphorus side and on the return trip we stayed in Sultanahmet (the Old City). We arrived in Istanbul on June 25th, the week after the start of the demonstrations. I am so thankful we didn't cancel our plans. We got an insiders education into what was really going on in a way the news media could never explain fully, yet we always felt extremely safe. We easily avoided Taksim Square and stayed abreast of daily developments. The benefit of visiting Istanbul then as now, is that there are no lines anywhere. I was there last year and it was nowhere near the experience I had this time in terms of access to the great historical sites. Having great private guides was critical, too.

Day 1 - Sinan Sokman, the handsome, charming, well educated and well spoken 26 year old co-founder met us at the Ciragan Palace Hotel on the Bosphorus where we were ensconced and escorted us to the hotel dock where a private yacht was waiting to take us on a tour of the Bosphorus. As we cruised up the European shore he told us the history of Istanbul and the importance of the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus Strait as well as pointing out the magnificent homes and nightclubs along the European side. Then we cruised over to the Asian side and disembarked. Sinan walked us through beautiful old neighborhoods with narrow cobbled tree lined streets, filled with picturesque homes and sidewalk cafes. We visited the home of Ottoman style culinary instructor and historian Petek, who served us the perfect cup of Turkish coffee and read the ground beans at the bottom of my daughter's cup. Petek offers cooking classes in her home, and I would love to take one next time in Istanbul. Sinan then took us for lunch at a traditional restaurant on a colorful and busy walking street, where we had the opportunity to sample traditional Turkish cuisine. At the end of the day, a car was waiting to take us back over the bridge to the European side if the Bosphorous and our hotel.

Day 2 -our guide today was Memduh. He accompanied us to The Istanbul Contemporary Museum, where we rented head sets and walked through the modern art museum pretty much on our own. For this activity we really only needed a driver, but not a guide. The art collection was very good and there is a lovely cafe with a terrace overlooking the Bosphorus. Next we went to The Jewish Museum, which we would have had difficulty finding on our own. Our guide had only superficial knowledge of the Jewish History of Istanbul, and the museum was a tiny re-purposed synagogue with no guides or headsets. Fortunately there were explanations in English on the displays. Our third stop was the Galata neighborhood, which is young and hip with a lot of boutiques, cafes, bars, and walking streets. We ate lunch at a trendy cafe, then walked to another area called Istiklal, a huge busy walking street. Our last stop of the day was the studio of a paper marbeling artist who taught us the technique and then gave us each a chance to create our own work. If you choose to do this, remember to request an apron. I got splattered with paint, but it was a fun departure from the daily tours and a great way to explore our inner artist and push us outside our comfort zones.

Day 3 - We spent the day with Sinan, who picked us up at our hotel, the Four Seasons Sultanahmet in a Mercedes with a driver, and we headed out to visit Suleymaniye Mosque, which is magnificent, and in my opinion trumps the Blue Mosque. Then we visited Topkapi Palace. You really need a full day for these two sites. The grounds of Topkapi alone (I know you really want to see the 10 karat diamonds and emeralds) are well worth it the visit. The restaurant overlooks the Bosphorus and is fabulous. Later that day we went with Sinan to Mustafa to load up on Turkish Delights and Baklava and stopped for coffee at a local popular bakery for the best chocolate souffle I have ever had! It's OK, we walked it off.

Day 4 - Eda Sokman, Sinan's beautiful, intelligent and delightful sister and co-founder of Istanbulite Tours met us at The Four Seasons, again with a car and driver and we headed out for a day of "shop till you drop" at The Grand Bazaar. The beauty of this is that we could load up on stuff, take it to our car waiting nearby and head back for more shopping. What did we buy? Handbags (the leather and workmanship is very high quality) and lots of fabulous scarves. Eda knows where to take you and encourages you to bargain.

Cost of Days 2, 3, and 4 - $1,900.00 US included, guide, car and driver, but excluded entry fees, meals, and purchases. Be aware that prices are quoted to you in Euros not in Turkish Lira...

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great tour, great communication, great guides, great trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

We used Istanbulite for a family trip of 11 in July 2013. We had 2 seniors, and 5 kids (aged 3-11) with us for two 1/2 day tours and a full day tour.

Our guide in IST was Sinan, who knew his stuff, was flexible with the planning and showed us things we wouldn't have seen with out him (e.g. the rooftop tour). What was best was that he was very responsive via email before our trip and during our trip. This allowed us to stay pretty flexible and adjust the 3 days of private touring as we went along.

The variety of the trip was good too: a small "hole in the wall" place had the best meatballs on our whole trip. However, he also picked an upscale spot for lunch on Day 2 that was also good. All the hot tourist sites, plus a few spots tourists wouldn't find.

The private boat tour was well worth the upcharge.

Lastly, we also used Istanbulite for a day trip to Ephesus. Same experience - they were great.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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