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Picking up tours outside major sites?

NYC, NY
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Picking up tours outside major sites?

I remember in Rome last summer there would be a bunch of tour groups offering tours, for example, right outside the Forum gates, and you were able to just pay and join and/or meet back in 30 minutes or so. Is there anything like that around the major sites in Istanbul or do you have to call a company and arrange for a tour?

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1. Re: Picking up tours outside major sites?

Hi Annemarie: while they might be people outside major sites offering to take you around it is best to rely on a tour company. Istanbul is also a good place to go about without a guide just with a guidebook. Lonely Planet is a good one to use. The sites in Sultanahmet are quite close together and all you have to do is make a plan, read up on the site and you're in business. Topkapi Palace has an audio guided tour that you take yourself for some small fee. Happy Travel, LemonLady

Southern Highlands...
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2. Re: Picking up tours outside major sites?

As lemonlady saıd I have used the lonely planet guıde ın most of the sıtes and have had no problems. I used the audıo guıde ın the palace. There seemed to be some guıdes outsıde the place but no one outsıde the blue mosque or other places. Istanbul ıs really easy to get around by yourself just do a bıt of readıng and you wıll be fıne

3. Re: Picking up tours outside major sites?

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Paris, France
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4. Re: Picking up tours outside major sites?

I just got back from Istanbul. When we went to see the Agia Sofia there was a guy just in front of the line to buy tickets who asked us if we wanted a private tour, 40lira for two people. We politely refused. Then while we were waiting in line another tour guide offered us 10lira each. She already had 4 people with her so we accepted. Normally I don't have the tour guide, but this was a place I had heard a lot about and I wanted to get the maximum value out of the visit, so I would say it was really worth while having the tour guide. She made the tour last at least an hour, maybe more and I think by the time we were done I knew at least five times more than i would have known if I just relied on Lonely Planet.

Kayakoy, Turkey
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5. Re: Picking up tours outside major sites?

Hi Annmarie,

I have 2 exemples here to give. One was in Kaymakli in Cappedocia. A guide came to us and wanted to take us around in the underground city. We accepted and it was big fun. He had a really good story and he told us much about the history. The more to our fun, he was almost a midget, and running through these very low corridors connecting the rooms and the levels.

Always ask for identity though!

The other exemple I saw while lining up in front of Topkapi Palace last year. The queue was very long....

Then I saw guides who offered tours for a group or evern private, which also meant you did not need to wait in the line. They arranged also the entry tickets and there you go! A bit more expensive of course. We did not take this optione here because I was with our guest who did not understand Turkish nor English, so it would be useless.

Good luck!

6. Re: Picking up tours outside major sites?

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