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“Excellent guide!”

Mahir Birecikligil Tour Guide
Ranked #124 of 407 Tours in Istanbul
Attraction details
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent guide!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

Mahir is an excellent and knowledgeable guide. He obviously loves introducing Istanbul to visitors. I would highly recommend him. He was able to communicate well with all of us - ages ranging from 10 to 70. He covered all of the sites we had asked to see but also included two places he thought the young ones would especially enjoy. His choices were good, and we all enjoyed them.
Istanbul was everyone's favorite stop on our trip. I'm sure that Mahir is partially responsible for that.

Visited December 2012
Thank Carol Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Diego
1 review
“Highly Recommended”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

First off I highly suggest hiring a guide while you are in Turkey ESPECIALLY when visiting the tourist attractions because it is a bit difficult to get around if you don't speak Turkish and because they know the where, what, and how to get things done. Now if you do hire a guide then make sure it is Mahir!

I found Mahir's information from a website while researching our trip to Turkey. I contacted him via e-mail and he was very responsive. Even though I only gave him a few days notice of the dates we needed he was still very helpful and accommodating. I did not hesitate to I book his guiding services for 3 days, 2 of which required trips out of Istanbul.

The first day we planned to visit Topkapi, Agia Sofia, and the blue mosque. Mahir was unable to meet us but he did send a VERY knowledgeable and responsible guide to fill in for him. I was very happy to see that the replacement guide met and exceeded our expectations. Mahir did meet with us at the end of the day to see if everything went well which was a nice touch.

The 2 trips with Mahir that were outside of Istanbul went very smoothly. He provided the mini-bus and driver and made sure all ferry tickets were taken care of ahead of time. He is a very respectful, classy, and knowledgeable guide who made sure that my family and I traveled in comfort and was flexible as he tried to meet all of our needs. He makes sure to cater the trip to your liking while making sure you do not miss out on any important sights.

We decided we would like a guide for the rest of the days we spent there and even though Mahir was unavailable he was more than happy to recommend and arrange for someone else to show us around. He even managed to get us reservations to see Dolmabhce at the last minute!

If you want a classy, fun, and informative guided experience in Turkey do not hesitate to contact Mahir!

Visited September 2012
Thank Jamileh3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2012

Our first visit to Istanbul. We went to the Tapkapi Palace with Mahir. He has great depth of knowledge, a perfect command of multiple languages and it is evident that he thoroughly enjoys what he does. He brought the sultans back to life by his descriptions and was able to answer all of our questions. We will absolutely call Mahir in advance of our next trip to Istanbul.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
1 review
“Tourist guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2012

Mahir was an outstanding guide. He is very knowledgeable and his English is very good.
My wife and I give him our highest recommendation.

Visited October 2012
Thank Joan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“The Doyen of Guides - Outstanding”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2012

I booked Mahir by email, which was really easy as he is well travelled and speaks excellent English. Mahir is an official guide of Istanbul and seems to have stayed in many countries and has a great range of vocabulary, stories and history to impart.

There were four adults, none of whom had ever visited Istanbul, let alone Turkey so we were keen to get the best and most from our 5 day visit and boy did Mahir deliver, bypassing the tourist queues, finding toilets and giving us loads of advice on our first full day.

No payment is required until you have completed the tour with him and we had no problem in giving Mahir our hard earned cash for an excellent day in the city.

Mahir met us at our hotel (Hotellino; more reviews on this excellent hotel elsewhere) in the old city, Sultanahmet at 9am for an all day walking tour as Istanbul is very accessible by foot and took us on our tour at our pace.

Mahir made sure that we were all ok, stopping for coffee\tea\water breaks as well as taking us to a superb lunch spot, which we would have never, ever found on our own. Whilst the more cynical of us may suspect some collusion in the shops, stalls and stops he took us to, we were never disappointed in any of them and at no time was there any lack of respect.

We got to Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, the Spice Bazaar, the German Fountain, the Needle and the Hippodrome, as well as walking many streets and stopping at shops and stalls, plus the ones we wished to browse in. Mahir also gave us lots of other ideas and information on means of travel, eating and drinking in Istanbul and we did take up the Bosphorous Cruise suggestion, which is well worth the effort. Mahir also booked us a reserved time to visit the Dolmabahce Palace on the north side, which again saved us loads of time.

So although we were in this fabulous city for 5 days and we had the benefit of Mahir on our first full day we still have lots that we want to return for and I would have no qualms about re-booking Mahir when we do get back to Istanbul.

Visited September 2012
Thank FoodCultureFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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