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“A new city, a new friend!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of My Local Guide Istanbul Tours

My Local Guide Istanbul Tours
Ranked #4 of 402 Tours in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: See the local places and local faces of Turkey with My Local Guide Istanbul. Istanbul is a melting pot of European and Asian influences, a mix of the traditional and modern worlds and the best way to explore the city is with My Local Guide Istanbul. Immerse yourself in the heart and soul of the only city in the world that crosses two continents. Walk in the mazes of local streets, visit hidden historic destinations, drink tea with the locals and taste the rich and flavoursome cuisine of the region. My Local Guide Istanbul, with five years experience in leading tours for english-speaking International travellers, offers tours designed and delivered by local people with a passion for Turkey and travel. We specialise in tours for the independent traveller who likes to walk side by side with the locals and explore places that are not easy to discover on your own.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A new city, a new friend!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012

I visited Istanbul in October 2012 with three friends. We wanted to visit all of the "must-see" attractions without the stress of figuring out directions and getting our information from audio headsets, and we wanted to get a bit off the beaten path from other tourists. We found Salih here on TripAdvisor, and from the very first email we exchanged, Salih lived up to every expectation and review. We arranged a private full-day tour for our first day in Istanbul, that included the Secrets of Istanbul activities, as well as a few other attractions. At all of the historic attractions (Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Cisterns, etc.), Salih took us to the perfect locations for observation and pictures, and gave a very balanced "talk" about the significance of everything we saw. After we checked all of these must-sees off our list, we got to the best part - the "experience" of Istanbul... the book bazaar, some side shopping streets, the nargile bar (hookah lounge), tea in the spice market, pomegranate orange juice, and lunch at a small place with anchovy sandwiches (and none of us "liked" anchovies before this!). We wouldn't have ventured to any of these places on our own, and this was definitely some of the highlights of our trip! All along the way, Salih pointed out other places he suggested visiting and gave us advice about shopping and eating in the days to come. By the end of the tour, we felt more like we had spent a day with a new local friend than with a tour guide! He ended our tour at Fuego, a restaurant owned by his friend, and we enjoyed some drinks and dinner together. When we were ready to head back to the hotel, Salih offered to walk the few blocks back with us to make sure we arrived safely.

A few days later, we thought our time in Istanbul was ending, but when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the US, the return flight home to NY for two of us was cancelled, and we found ourselves in Istanbul for an additional three days! After we accepted the fact we had 3 "bonus days" of vacation, we started brainstorming what to do, and the first thing we thought was to take another tour with Salih! We emailed him on Wednesday morning, and by Wednesday evening we were hanging out with Salih again for his Two Continents tour. We took the ferry to Asia, explored some markets, ate some very unique and delicious food at a well-known restaurant, spent some time in a game room learning how to play Okey (and tried some raki in the process), and then took the ferry back to Europe for the world's best baklava (and when they advertise it as such, it really is true!). We ended the evening again at the nargile bar with some tea. That "four hour tour" turned into more like 6 hours, and by the end of the evening, some of Salih's friends had joined us. Again, it felt like we had just spent an evening with an old friend. We shared several great conversations, many laughs, and learned so much about the culture and local experiences we never would have tried on our own. Salih even shared in some of our antics, like wearing big silly sunglasses for some pictures. During that second evening with Salih, we asked for a recommendation on doing a Turkish Bath the next day. He described a few options and gave us his opinion, and we agreed that we wanted to try it the following day. When I asked about how to make arrangements, Salih said not to worry, and he would call the next morning and make us appointments. Sure enough, while we were eating lunch the next day, we get a text from Salih with the details of our appointments that afternoon. It was greatly appreciated, and made for such a smooth and stress-free part of our vacation!

I can't describe enough how professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and trustworthy Salih is. I've traveled across Europe and South America, and Istanbul has become one of my favorite cities in the world, and I attribute a large portion of that to the experiences that Salih shared with us. I guarantee our trip wouldn't have included half of what we did without Salih's tours, and he helped open our eyes to an amazing culture. I want some of my friends to visit Istanbul, just so I can recommend Salih.... and if I ever find myself in or near Turkey again, Salih will be the first person I call.

Visited October 2012
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1 Thank Jen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Danish first
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  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“An exceptional tour and guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012

I'm so glad I found out about My Local Guide tours on Trip Advisor! From arranging the airport transfers to the solo Istanbul Heritage tour, Salih was great. (I didn't realize I was the only one on the tour and am surprised/happy he didn't cancel or reschedule.) We covered parts of Istanbul I wouldn't have found on my own or would have avoided because of the hilliness. Besides the amazing views, especially from Pierre Loti, what makes Salih's tours exceptional is that you leave Istanbul with a greater appreciation for the city and its heritage. Compared to other organized tours I took on this trip (and other trips for that matter), this tour was by far the most conversational, informative, relaxed, and enjoyable. I wish I had taken more My Local Guide tours. Highly recommend!!!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Carlan_Houston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Salih is an excellent tour guide!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2012

My daughter and I and a few other friends spent 12 hours with Salih. We started with The Secrets of Istanbul and ended with the Two Continents. It was a fantastic day and we learned so much about Istanbul and it's culture. We tried all kinds of food and drink. Salih speaks excellent English and explains things well. He is a very pleasant professional person. I would highly recommended Salih!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Abmp77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Definitely a great way to experience Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

Took two trips with Silah last weekend. Both trips were interesting and good fun. We saw far more of Istanbul than we would have done if we had just used the guide book and kept on the usual tourist routes. By the time we had finished we had been on buses, boats trams and cable cars as well as having walked most of the old town. If you have limited time or want to fit in as much as possible I would highly recommend a day or two with Silah.

Helpful?
1 Thank Bev W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic time in Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2012

My family and I recently organized for Salih to guide us around Istanbul for one and a half days when visiting Istanbul on a cruise. From the moment of our first communication with him to the actual time spent with him in Istanbul he was so enthusiastic, friendly and professional. Our group ranged in age from 17 to 76 and he was able to cater perfectly for the entire group. We organized a private tour which was a combination of three of Salih's tours plus he guided as through Haggis Sophia (which was awesome - we learnt so much so add if you have time!). We loved the Ottoman houses and the many local Istanbul places we visited from the taditional tourist sites to the markets (great food tasting), bakeries, turkish coffee house and awesome and very reasonably priced Restaurants. Walked heaps, laughed lots, learnt lots. Can't thank or recommend Salih enough.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank jprj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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