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“Great personalized tour of Istanbul”

Arif Yasa - Private Tours
Ranked #8 of 78 Food & Drink in Istanbul
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Authentic high quality private and small group tours focusing on history,culture and food in Istanbul and Turkey to experience real Turkey by experienced, qualified and enthusiastic tour guides and travel specialists. Arif Yasa has got 18 years experience of organizing and leading tours in Istanbul and all around Turkey.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

A group of 6 had 1-1/2 days off a cruise ship, and we wanted to see as much as possible in this short time. Arif made that happen! He met us early to help beat the crowds to the Topkapi Palace, and we really enjoyed traveling around Istanbul "like a local". We used the train, ferries, and even a local bus which Arif paid for and made sure we all kept together. Arif got us to the historical sites and gave us informative overviews. The Hagia Sofia was the highlight. We had lunch at a local restaurant, late afternoon refreshments in a local place we would have never found, hot tea as we sat along the river and watched the sunset over the city, and a late fish dinner sitting at a sidewalk table with hundreds of people with a band playing music for us. All were excellent, and we enjoyed that Arif ate with us so we could learn more about Turkey. We didn't get back to the cruise ship until after 11 pm. The next morning we visited the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market and were glad to have Arif so we didn't waste anytime getting lost. 5 star visit in Istanbul!!

2  Thank GrapeEscapeTeam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"day tour"
in 21 reviews
in 52 reviews
"blue mosque"
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"short hour"
in 2 reviews
"great guide"
in 7 reviews
"key sites"
in 2 reviews
"historical facts"
in 2 reviews
"amazing city"
in 5 reviews
"major sites"
in 5 reviews
"bosphorus cruise"
in 4 reviews
"hagia sofia"
in 5 reviews
in 17 reviews
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120 - 124 of 187 reviews

Reviewed June 13, 2013

I had great communication from Erkan as we planned our customized tour of Istanbul for 4 adults. He responded promptly to all of my emails and made great suggestions to make our trip wonderful...and we weren't disappointed. Selcuk Eracun, our guide, met us at our hotel and gave us a fabulous full-day tour of Istanbul. He was so knowledgeable about each of the places we visited! And having a driver and van waiting to pick us up after our time at each location really helped us to maximize our time. We were supposed to check into our cruise ship that day, so we were even able to take our luggage with us on the van and were dropped off at the Karakoy Cuise Ship Terminal at the end of the day! The next day we had a half-day private tour of the Topkapi Palace and Harem which were absolutely packed with tourists! It was wonderful to not have to wait in line to get tickets and to have someone show us the important places while navigating us through the crowds. We loved our time in Istanbul and feel that we saw so much more than we would have been able to see on our own...and for a very reasonable price. We never felt rushed, and Selcuk's vast knowledge of his city made our time very special!

6  Thank teacherkh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

My family spent a week in Istanbul and decided to look for a private guide. Arif came highly recommended and did not disappoint. Even on short notice, everything was organized quickly and we enjoyed a wonderful day together seeing the main sites around Istanbul. We enjoyed chatting just as much about the incredible history of Istanbul as we did about many other topics, of which Arif is also very well informed.

Bottom line, if you are in Istanbul and want a friendly, organized and well-informed guide who will make your trip worthwhile, you can't go wrong with Arif!

3  Thank pimpvache
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

We recently holidayed in Istanbul for 5 days at the end of a cruise. We wanted to get the most out of our time in Istanbul and decided to use a private tour guide. We chose Arif Yasa (mytouristanbul.com) based on Trip Advisor reviews, contacted Arif by email a couple of months ahead and made our plans. Those plans changed a number of times which Arif was very accommodating of.

We ended up booking 4 tours; Imperial Heritage, an Ephesus day tour, Crafts and Bazaars and Walking Istanbul in 2 continents. Just before arriving in Istanbul we decided to cancel the last tour to give us some leisure / shopping time. Again, this was no problem for Arif.

The tours were excellent. Arif included all the key sites and attractions you would want to see in Istanbul. The only places we did not see were those closed for renovation. He organized the walks to work around the tour bus crowds as much as possible, suggested a schedule to avoid closing days for places we wanted to se, gave us as much free time as we wanted and was extremely knowledgeable in Istanbul and Turkey’s history. Lunches were arranged at good local restaurants where we were the only tourists present.

The day tour of Ephesus included pick up / drop off at our hotel, flights and a local guide and driver in Ephesus. The guide Arif arranged in Ephesus, Ugur Yavuzturk, was also excellent.

Arif provided exactly what we were hoping for on the tours and we thoroughly enjoyed them. Highly recommend anyone considering a visit to Istanbul consider a private tour with Arif.

Thank you Arif for making our limited time in Istanbul so enjoyable!

4  Thank Canucks-down-under
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 22, 2013

We had a party of 8 that toured the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market for only 60 euro per person. Arif met us at our cruise ship entrance gate. We walked about .40 miles to the tram and rode it to the heart of the old city. Entrance fees were included for all attractions. Lunch was on our own.
Arif speaks excellent English and is extremely knowledgeable on Turkish history and its culture.
Many of the attractions are extremely busy. He analyzes the lines and determines the order of the attractions we will see. He minimized our waiting time to enable us to spend more time in the attraction. He constantly adjusted his pace to make sure our group stayed together. He did an outstanding job.
Our cruise ship offered this same tour (over 1.5 days) with lunch, for $159. You do get bused, with about 50 people, close to the old city before you have to walk. Walk about 1 mile more and save big $$, with a far better tour guide.

6  Thank DaleandMary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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