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“Unique, unforgettable travel experience; not for everyone”
Review of The Other Tour

The Other Tour
Ranked #46 of 415 Tours in Istanbul
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Other Tour offers unique one day cultural experiences in Istanbul. Our mission is to provide curious, open minded travelers with the opportunity to discover how Turkish people live and thrive in Istanbul. Away from typical tourist attractions, we dive deep into Istanbul (a city of over 16 million people) to immerse ourselves in the lives of local residents. During this guided adventure our Turkish neighbors open their hearts and homes to us, sharing with us their customs and traditions.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed January 26, 2013

I found The Other Tour when I was looking for an option to spend a day during a stopover in Istanbul. I had planned to cover the major historic sites on my own, so I looked for something different that would allow me to learn more about the Turkish people and their culture.

My tour day started pretty rocky. I got a call from Fethi about an hour before the scheduled meeting time to notify me that other participants for the day had cancelled out, so since I was the only one left, the tour might have to be cancelled. After a brief discussion, Fethi asked me if I would be interested in an adjusted tour day that starts later, if he could work something out. I didn't have any other plans, so I agreed with it.

We started the tour at noon (instead of 9:30 am), and it turned out that Fethi managed to get a Russian family (a couple with their 2-year old daughter) to also join the tour. It's among the smallest groups that they had for a tour, but it ended up to be a more personal, and very rich experience.

If you're looking for tourist sites or simply being a passive participant in a tour, The Other Tour would not be the right choice for you. Requiring audience participation is an understatement, as Fethi expects you to be engaged in discussions about various topics throughout the day. You also need to be open minded as you will not only meet a guide who has very strong opinions on some matters (but wants to hear your thoughts as well), but also other tour participants who might come from different cultures / background. In a way, the experience you will get depends on who you meet in your group.

The actual details of the tour is perhaps best left to be discovered when you go. But in general think of it as going around Istanbul with a local friend who shows you his hometown, neighborhoods, and the people and places in his life that represents the culture he lives in. By the end of the tour, you will get a view into a daily life in Istanbul beyond what you see in the touristy or commercial areas. And perhaps like our group you will learn more and be able to exchange ideas and cultural experiences with others you meet in the group, and even make some new friends.

8  Thank rsetia67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 - 217 of 539 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2013

If you are the type of traveler who can see all the "tourist attractions" on your own, but would like to see and experience things you can not do on your own, this is your tour. Have an entire day full of delicious foods without having to point at pictures or take risks. "See" the city as it has evolved historically right up thru how it functions today. Learn and discuss as much as you can process in a 12 hour period, you will be exhausted from all you have experienced, but be exhilarated and unable to sleep. If you are in Istanbul for two weeks, you will experience more in this one day than the rest of your trip. If like me, you are only there briefly, this will provide the crash course of everything you ever wanted to know about Istanbul, that you didn't know you wanted to know. There is much to be learned, and many ideas to be shared. I found the tour by luck, take my advice, take this tour, if you do, I congratulate you.

7  Thank Ctheworld35883
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

This was a eye opening experience. I had so much fun getting to know Istanbul's culture and history. I also really enjoyed the group dynamic, I met some amazing people!

4  Thank Erin O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

From the moment you are picked up in the bus, Fethi makes you feel like he is showing you his city as a friend, not just another faceless person on a tour. He and his family welcome you into their home and show you Istanbul as you would never be otherwise able to experience. We learnt a lot, laughed a lot and crawled home at 3 am after finishing the night with a great Turkish meal, music, dancing and too much raki! I cannot speak highly enough of this tour. If you have a sense of adventure and a sense of humour, you will love this tour. If you don't , I would suggest you book something else

3  Thank Greg C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

I was in Europe for 16 days and this was hands down the best day of my trip. Fethi's personality, view of the sociological and political situation in Turkey, as well as his story telling made this day fantastic (His English is more refined than your average American). Do not expect a foreseeable parade of the typical tourist sites. For your own sake as well as the the other tour members, be ready to step out of your comfort zone. The pleasant adventure soon became an inspirational life experience and the premium paid for this tour is completely worth it for yourself as well as those it benefits.

5  Thank PatOflah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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