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“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.”
Review of The Other Tour

The Other Tour
Ranked #61 of 511 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 August 22, 2014

After bumbling through Istanbul for several days on our own, my two compatriots and I were ready to be watched over for a day - to not follow maps that were patently, woefully inaccurate, to not sweat through the day’s clothing by 10 AM, to actually learn something about the beautiful city in which we found ourselves. With almost presciently perfect timing on our part, our reservation with The Other Tour was to be our final day in Istanbul before our travels took us elsewhere. We had all agreed that we hoped others were on the tour - but not too many others, and not too weird, and not too boring - and at 9AM when we all met, we were ecstatic to find that we were joined by two easy new friends to spend the day with. Granted, The Other Tour could not have predicated or planned for how well our personalities would jive, so I can’t grant you boys credit for that, but it does attract a certain type.

I am not going to say much about the actual experience, because it is best entered into with no expectations. That is not because such expectations would be disappointed; no, far, far from that. I say this because life generally is best met with no expectations - when you pretend to know what you’ll find, you miss the beauty and subtleties that surround the edges. That is what this experience does - and yes it is an experience, not a tour. With deft, often surprising, often provocative hands is how you are guided through the day with The Other Tour - perfectly coordinated, through no apparent coordination, equal parts challenging, educational, consciously indulgent and sensitively attuned to the misperceptions we, as outsiders, have about this place. It is, make no mistake, a day of contradictions, and they have done a beautiful job of weaving together those contradictions that are inherent in any city with such a long, violent, culturally important history.

By the end, it will have been a day like no other - to quote our guide, it will be like “we are cousins and I teach you human stuff” (yes, Fethi, that is a direct quote. I wrote it down). You’ll have that weird, novel closeness that comes from perfect strangers experiencing something unknown together, and you’ll be better for it.

I’m aware none of the above is practically very helpful. A few specifics that may steer you well: don’t expect to be sober all day (come on kids, you’re on vacation). Don’t expect to go hungry (worth the five stars alone, if you ask me). Don’t expect to just sit back and absorb (get engaged, folks). Be game (my day, by the end, had taken a number of unexpected turns).

Don’t look at my review for guidance - you know whether you want to do this or not. For you who do, I envy you the chance to do it over again, for the first time.

Date of experience: July 2014
4  Thank faracest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 - 63 of 542 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2014

The Other Tour is an exceptional experience. It's a dip into real life that doesn't take itself seriously, but still shows respect for the people of Istanbul--especially those who do not live next to the Blue Mosque. Two friends and I did the tour and enjoyed an exceptionally beautiful day and rich experience, taking home fantastic memories and new friends. The tour is laid out in such a way that it becomes completely natural to get very close to the other participants and the fantastic guides so you really feel close at the end of the day.

I especially enjoyed the private boat ride on the Bosphorus. I highly recommend this tour and feel lucky to have experienced it.

Date of experience: June 2014
3  Thank Wanderlust_ioanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2014

It is hard to add to the positive reviews that have been submitted here. Such a great way to interact with the culture and the city. It was fascinating, challenging, stimulating, hilarious, relaxing, provocative, lovely. Thanks to your family/team for providing such a wonderful experience. My daughter and I agreed that it was the perfect way to end our week in Istanbul and get us dreaming of a return. Doug and Lucy

Date of experience: June 2014
6  Thank Doug K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2014

The Other Tour is more than a tour. I was suprised when I saw team of the tour. They are so funny, knowledge and smart. Lunch was perfect! It was the best food in Turkey. Thank you guys. .

Date of experience: August 2014
4  Thank iteamo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 31, 2014 via mobile

The Other Tour shatters stereotypes by presenting another perspective to take on Istanbul and Turkey in a perfectly irreverent and thought-provoking way.

It takes you out of your comfort zone with a mindful and intellectual approach that helps you experience the city's rhythm in a much more personal level which is what really differs about this memorable adventure.

This may be a once in a life time opportunity to really get into the soul of Istanbul and its unique presence on our planet. I couldn't respect or recommend Fethi's The Other Tout any more highly. It's a true gift to both Istanbul and curious travelers wanting to explore it thoroughly and passionately.

8  Thank oksana k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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