Tours and Tickets
Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul
5

Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul

By Real Istanbul Tours
Recommended by 97% of travelers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Istanbul is one of the world’s most spectacular cities, a former Ottoman and Byzantine capital that’s now a vibrant modern metropolis. Most visitors stick to well-trodden highlights, but you’ll visit under-the-radar sights and hear illuminating commentary during this in-depth tour—while still ticking off the city’s top historical attractions. You’ll haggle for spices, chug a cup of Turkish coffee, and sail the Bosphorus, leaving all the navigation to your guide. 
from
$98.76
per adult (price varies by group size)
from
$98.76
per adult (price varies by group size)

Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 6-75, max of 10 per group
Duration: 7h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
English

Highlights
  • In-depth, off-the-beaten-track tour of Istanbul
  • Tick off the main sights and also explore under-the-radar neighborhoods
  • Get a rare peek at Old Greek and Jewish quarters, plus Istanbul University
  • Perfect for first-time visitors or anyone wanting a deeper cultural exploration

  • Light refreshment
  • Practice of hookah at favorite local hangout
  • Professional guide
  • Public transportation; ferry and bus
  • Lunch
  • Entry/Admission - Serefiye Sarnici
What's not included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Drinks

Begin your tour at the Hippodrome, where thousands of spectators once marveled at chariot games. Your day includes travels on foot and public transportation, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Travel from ancient to medieval eras with stops at the Serefiye Cistern and the Grand Bazaar, where you can take a Turkish coffee break and haggle for souvenirs in over 4,000 different shops. Next, you’ll head to Istanbul University and an old book market, and then get a peek at Suleymaniye, considered the loveliest of the Ottoman-era mosques. After a stop at the cavernous Spice Market, veer off the tourist track in the city's Old Greek and Jewish neighborhoods, where you’ll see centuries-old wooden mansions. Finally, get views of Istanbul from the water with a scenic ferry ride across the river.

Departure details
  • Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant, Alemdar, Divan Yolu Cd. No:6, 34400 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant - For further explanation perhaps use the Sultanahmet tram stop as a reference. The restaurant is located on the street where the tram lines run through Sultanahmet, approximately 1-minute walk from the Sultanahmet tram stop
Return details
  • Karaköy Pier, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mah, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Rıhtım Cd. No:13, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey It ends near Galata Bridge and Karakoy Tram Station and your guide can explain how to go back to the hotel.

  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 23067P2

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Meeting point is Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant to departure the walking tour
  • Minimum capacity is 2 persons. We reserve the right to cancel a tour due to insufficient reservations. We will do all we can to reschedule your tour or a refund will be provided.
  • A maximum of 10 people per booking
  • Our tours are done by public transportation and walking so if you have any serious mobility issues, we advise you to book a private tour
  • Parents of children under 6 years are advised to book a private tour
  • On Religious Fests Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar are closed; May 2nd, 3rd, 4th, July 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th in 2022
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

Which attractions will I visit with Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul?
How much is Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul?
Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul price starts from $98.99. Discover and book Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul on Tripadvisor
What is the Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul cancellation policy?
Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul on Tripadvisor
Which company provides Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul?
Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul is hosted by Real Istanbul Tours. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Real Istanbul Tours on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul on Tripadvisor

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 23067P2

Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant
    Alemdar, Divan Yolu Cd. No:6, 34400 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
    Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant - For further explanation perhaps use the Sultanahmet tram stop as a reference. The restaurant is located on the street where the tram lines run through Sultanahmet, approximately 1-minute walk from the Sultanahmet tram stop
    See address & details
  • 1
    Serefiye Sarnici
    Stop: 20 minutes - Admission included
    See details
    Pass by
    Kapali Carsi
  • 2
    Corlulu Ali Pasa Medresesi
    Stop: 25 minutes
    See details
    Pass by
    Istanbul Universitesi Rektorlugu
  • 3
    Suleymaniye Mosque
    Stop: 25 minutes
    See details
  • 4
    Sahaflar Carsisi
    Stop: 5 minutes
    See details
  • 5
    Misir Carsisi (Spice Market)
    Stop: 25 minutes
    See details
  • 6
    Balat & Fener Tour
    Stop: 50 minutes
    See details
  • 7
    Cathedral Church of St George
    Stop: 20 minutes
    See details
  • You'll end at
    Karaköy Pier
    Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mah, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Rıhtım Cd. No:13, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
    It ends near Galata Bridge and Karakoy Tram Station and your guide can explain how to go back to the hotel.
    See address & details
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About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

Asmundur_Helgason
Asmundur_Helgason
00
Great tour - all you need to see in 4 hours!
Advertised as a small group tour, but due to my wife being sick I was the only guest on this tour. Yasin, my guide,
mps01k
mps01k
00
Nice sightseeing tour
We had a great time, tour guide was very informative and showed us around. We were a little late but he was waiting
philmU393AS
philmU393AS
00
A city break enjoying the culture, food and people.
Lots of good quality fresh food at very reasonable prices. Not focusing on an alcohol culture. Lots to see and do.
CheJ192
CheJ192
00
Private full day tour
This was a perfect option for me and my wife because we didn't want to take a group tour. Our guide was friendly, i
vasiboys
vasiboys
00
Wonderful for starting your Istanbul journey
Excellent and professional service and tour schedule was accommodated to your needs and to avoid crowds. Covered so
80jordane
80jordane
00
Too expensive
Our guide was on time and very informative but I just think it’s too expensive for what is provided. Most of the bu
rmlermle2
rmlermle2
00
Excellent Tour for Cruise Ship Passengers or anyone with Limited Time to see Istanbul
What a great tour! Salih met us at the exit from the cruise terminal and guided us to the tourist area using the lo
Daryl D
Daryl D
00
Better to Tour Istanbul with a Historian
This is a must for first timers in Istanbul! We appreciated Sultanahmet and Grand Bazaar more because a historian a
lilylover63
lilylover63
00
Great Food Tour
My friend and I booked the private food tour so we could move at our own pace without holding up a group. We really
daniellelG4
daniellelG4
00
Great starter for your foodie adventures
We had an amazing time learning about the local cuisine on our food tour. Our guide Cumali was very fun, energeti
Francesca C
Francesca C
00
More than expected
Tour "off the beaten" is definitely worth it. You can experience a different view of Istanbul. The guide was really
Q4264HCbridgetm
Q4264HCbridgetm
00
Tour
I found the tour really interesting and fun. A great way to see the best sights. Very knowledgeable guide. Thanks
nicolecB6922IT
nicolecB6922IT
00
The full package
Professional and trustworthy tour guide. Right balance of friendly/informative. Will not disappoint!
934krystynam
934krystynam
00
Funny and insightful
Amir was really knowledgeable. Myself and my friends wanted to get a deeper understanding of Istanbul and booked on
ehlershardie
ehlershardie
00
Not worth the price!!!
Really not good for the price! The guide knew a lot of history but we thought it would be more of a walking tour. B
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
98 reviews
Excellent
94
Very good
2
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Liban S
1 contribution
Nov 2021 • Solo
This tour was such a different and enjoyable experience. The tour is a walking tour so be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes.

We're to start!

My Tour quite Abdul was great. He truly made the experience feel as if I was walking around the town with a good friend.

We started at one of the many roman cistines in the old part of Sultan area and walked around afterwards to the Grand Bazaar were went off the man path and enjoyed a more relaxed experience away from the crowds. Followed by a visit to a hidden cafe to enjoy some tea and turkish coffee with the locals.

Afterwards we went to an old book market located close to a grand mosque and University and from there we took in some more great sites include a panoramic view of the city from back of another grand mosque. We stopped briefly for lunch and made our way afterwards by bus to the old Jewish and Greek areas of istanbul before finishing the day with a ferry ride across the bosphorus to Kariakoy.

Definitely a must do whilst in Istanbul.
Written November 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Grant13
Berowra Heights, Australia442 contributions
What a fantastic tour, our guide was great, easy to chat to, full of interesting information and pretty laid back.
There were only two of us on this tour with our guide and when we agreed we would like to eat like a local he found a great street restaurant where we had an excellent kebab sitting on stools by the roadside. We also had tea in a quiet cafe in a hidden laneway with some locals, it was a truly authentic experience.
The places we saw were not on any of the main tourist site tours which was just what I was after as I had seen all the main attractions.
This tour is really worthwhile
Written May 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ChristineN
7 contributions
Oct 2020
We reached out to Real Istanbul Tours at the last minute and they responded promptly via email. The next morning, we met up with Apo, our tour guide and right off the bat, he greeted us graciously. Sometimes, you can just tell when someone loves his job and is as excited as you are. He was full of energy which helped us kick start the day. It just so happened that we were the only ones on the tour and therefore, we got the private tour treatment! Apo speaks English fluently and is extremely knowledgeable about all the sites we visited and encouraged us to ask questions, which added to the pleasant experience of not feeling rushed to move from one site to another. We asked for a few tea breaks that weren't on the itinerary and Apo happily agreed without hesitation. The tour ended up going past the scheduled ending time by 2 hours but Apo never complained and kept reiterating that as long as his guests are satisfied, he is too. We were so impressed with his customer service that we booked him again for another walking tour the following day. The service on the 2nd day was just as great as the 1st day. We felt that we gained a friend with Apo. Thank you so much for your hospitality!
Written November 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dillon W
7 contributions
Jan 2022
I had an amazing time today taking this tour with the guide Salih. It was a fun, casual, and informative tour that went at a reasonable pace. Salih made my day and being the only guest it truly felt like I was exploring the town with a good friend. He was clearly enthusiastic about this country's history which made the tour more meaningful. The mosques we had a chance to visit were also beyond stunning. He then had me try my first Borek which was very tasty! If you are looking to explore this fascinating city's history, take these tours.

Also ask Salih about his Balik Durum recommendation, you will not be disappointed!!!
Written January 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kathryn H
Huddersfield, UK6 contributions
Mar 2020
My friend and I took this tour on our first day in Istanbul and it was a great introduction Rasul our guide was very informative and knowledgeable. During the tour we learned a great deal about the history of lstabul and the very diverse cultures past and present. Our guide was able to give us some very useful tips about other places to visit during our stay
We travelled by bus and ferry which got us around this vast city and helped us get to grips with the excellent public transport system. Mostly we walked which was great as we got to experience the different sights, sounds and smells of the city.
We would highly recommend this tour
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

N T
London, UK56 contributions
Oct 2022 • Solo
That tour gave me an opportunity to learn about the living city and those nice little things I will remember. I am very happy that I did it. It perfectly complemented the standard full day historical Istanbul tour (from another company, but I guess the program for the standard highlights tour is more or less the same)
Written November 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Roman J
Toronto, Canada8 contributions
Oct 2021
The tour was the best we have been on in a long time. It was the best part of our visit to Istanbul. Our tour guide Yunus Emre was phenomenal. His passion for history is contagious; he will make you fall in love with Istanbul and want to come back to see the rest of Turkey. Emre will provide you with an amazing experience, where you will get to know the gorgeous unknown parts of Istanbul. He will make you feel like one of the locals, tell you stories you couldn't find in any of the guidebooks while sipping on Turkish coffee or sampling the most delicious kebab or baklava from a local vendor on a side of a street. Simply an amazing experience.
Written November 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Noah
6 contributions
Feb 2022 • Solo
A wonderful historical and cultural tour with Salih. I cannot thank Salih enough for providing such an incredible experience for my first tour in Istanbul. Salih was extremely kind, knowledgeable, and showed great passion for providing a truly off the beaten path tour of Istanbul. This tour is a great way to see some of the locations one might miss on the more main-stream tours of the tourist centers. You will enjoy spots known primarily to locals and have a chance to learn more of the history and culture during the tour. I am also very pleased to hear that this tour company treats its tour guides very well and is more interested in providing enriching experiences for travelers as opposed to making great profits. A highly recommended experience. Thank you Salih!

Also, Borek is BAE. Try it.
Written February 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark D
Como, Australia16 contributions
Burak is an amazing guide with amazing knowledge of the history of Istanbul. His enthusiasm and knowledge are only matched by his willingness to adapt to his customers' wishes. On our tour, the other guests did not show up. We had already extensively toured the Byzantine Cistern, Hagia Sofia mosque and the Grand Bazaar, all major and important locations. Burak modified his tour for us and we went to other locations, including the Topkapi Palace, so we saw more of Istanbul and the result was probably one of the best historical tours we have been on. I thoroughly recommend Real Istanbul Tours and Burak as a tour guide in Istanbul.
Written September 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

flowergirl
7 contributions
Apr 2021
My mom and I really enjoyed the city tour with Apo. He is an excellent guide, very knowledgable and you would definitely learn a lot from him about the city and its history. We visited places that you wouldn't know or even be able to find on your own. It was very relaxed and flexible. Do not hesitated to book this tour you will be very happy you did!
Written April 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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2023 Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul