We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Like everyone else says, book this tour!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Circle Istanbul

Circle Istanbul
Inonu Mah, Akkarga Sokak No: 32-4, Istanbul 34100, Turkey
+90 877 424 8282
Improve this listing
Ranked #9 of 542 Activities in Istanbul
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Circle Istanbul is a 360° look at the world’s most complex city, seen from the sidewalks, cafes, hilltops, and doorsteps. Expect to spend your day away from the tour buses, museums, crowds and souvenir shops - we'd rather show you the ENTIRE city as the locals see it! Allow us to present our Istanbul, the real Istanbul.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Like everyone else says, book this tour!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We booked Circle Istanbul as a private tour for two, as our itinerary didn't allow us to go on a regularly scheduled tour day. Email contact with Cenan was very quick, easy and professional and gave us a good impression even before we arrived in Istanbul.

Our guide, Polat, picked us up at our hotel and we spent the day walking, talking and eating. The eating - there is not a more unique perspective that you can get from a city than through its food. Finding yourself on a side street in a neighbourhood without any other foreigners in a shop that sells only things that are pickled (cabbage, plums, garlic, carrots, you name it) - that's not something you do every day! The Turkish coffee, baklava, the lamb intestines, the freshly shucked mussels, the giant baked potato and (the highlight) the fish sandwich cart next to the Golden Horn. I could go on, but all of this food talk is making me hungry.

It might seem like an expensive tour when you book, but trust me, there is so much value. We didn't have to open our wallets all day, everything was taken care of from transportation (taxi, tram, whatever we needed) to all the food we could possibly try, to the cruise on the Bosphorous with a beer or two.

There are four things to keep in mind when booking this tour:
Don't have a big breakfast, you'll regret it, you'll probably skip dinner as well.
Wear the most comfortable shoes you have, the day is spent on your feet.
Try everything, and if you are a vegetarian, don't worry - you will have more than enough things to eat :)
Do this first thing when you arrive in Istanbul - we didn't and regretted not being able to go back and eat at some of the great spots and visit some of the things we found that day.

Highly enjoyable and we'd do it again if we have the chance to return.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

143 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A Must Do.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

If you want to get a feel of the real Istanbul this is a must. Polat is fantastic, his knowledge and easy manner made a great day, nothing was to much trouble for him. Lots of walking, talking, seeing, learning and eating. Exploring out of the way places and seeing how the locals live really bought the city alive. We were very lucky in that there were only two of us with Polat on the day which certainly made the day a very personal experience, thanks Polat.
David P
Melbourne, Australia.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“best ever tour of Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Not someone to have ever taken part in an organised a tour, this one was exceptional.
On Circle Istanbul tour I have seen parts of Istanbul that I would have never discovered on my own.

I have found out how people live and feel in this great city, again no guide books are going to tell you that.

You are going to walk a lot, eat weird stuff and make friends - on my tour it was only 9 people - nice!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The real Istanbul!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

On this tour you experience the real Istanbul, see it, hear it, taste it! We are so glad we included this tour as part of 3 days in Istanbul. We learnt so much about the city and its diversity, got to taste the most incredible food (in particular chocolate brownie baklava, yum!) and venture into fascinating neighbourhoods we never would have explored on our own. We had such a fun day with Polat, he was a terrific guide, so knowledgeable and informative, he made the day so enjoyable! Thanks Circle Istanbul for such a well organised authentic experience!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“One of the most memerable parts of our trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

I recently returned from an amazing trip to Turkey with my family. We were there in late July and early August. There was 8 of us in our group. We used Medhills travel to plan our whole trip. They were absolutely fantastic! Medhills set us up with Ozcan Davascan as a personal tour guide for the time we were in Istanbul. He was absolutely fabulous! Oz was also our guide for the Circle Istanbul Tour. This tour was amazing.The tour shows you the real Istanbul, not all the touristy things. We went to places that we never would have seen otherwise. We got to try so many different types of food, the lamb intestines were way better than I ever could have imagined. Got to shop in local markets, cruise the Bosphorus, visit a Turkish bath, have a memorable slow dinner full of great food and conversation. We got to see the contrast that is everywhere in Istanbul. From odd and new, modern and traditional, rich and poor, even seeing an orthodox Muslim area with a Catholic school at the end of the street. Seeing all of this opened our eyes and gave us experiences that we will never ever forget.

The Circle Istanbul website says " Do you crave experiences?" and that is exactly what you get with this tour. I am so happy that we did this! I hope that they can expand to do a Circle Turkey tour in the future as this one is so great.

Oz also added a whole new dimension to our trip. Our time with him was like hanging out with a friend opposed to a tour guide. He was so helpful and friendly. He made us come out of our shells and experience everything Istanbul and he had to offer us. He is by far the best tour guide I have ever had the pleasure of travelling with.

Oz and the Circle Istanbul tour took our trip from great to absolutely amazing and unforgettable. We are so lucky to have had this experience as a family. I will be going back to Turkey again very soon and doing the Circle Istanbul tour again. You will not regent your experience on this tour. It adds so much to your trip as a whole.

Thank you to Oz, Medhills Travel and Circle Istanbul!

Kathleen, Vernice, Jill, Patty, Lisa, Daniel, Connor and Alex. Your Canadian family.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Circle Istanbul also viewed


Been to Circle Istanbul? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Circle Istanbul, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.