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“The best tour of Istanbul you can imagine...a must do.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Istanbul Custom Tours-Private Day Tours

Istanbul Custom Tours-Private Day Tours
Ranked #5 of 402 Tours in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The best tour of Istanbul you can imagine...a must do.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

The best single tour I have ever had in any city... Aykut was the difference-maker. He is knowledgeable, incredibly congenial, patient, funny, and so passionate. We loved every minute of our tour with Aykut. We learned about the histories of the Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern....the list goes on. He went out of his way to show us his favorite baklava spot (our request) and was more than happy to answer any questions on cultural differences. I could not put a higher/ better recommendation out for Aykut (in fact, I am joining Trip Advisor today because my boyfriend found him through the website and I am so impressed by him that I am excited to see what else I can find here), and if any family member ever visits he will be on the not-to-be-missed-list.

Visited August 2012
6 Thank Alison H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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315 reviews from our community

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Defiance, Ohio
Level Contributor
46 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Outstanding Tour of Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

We arrived in Instabul on Thursday afternoon, prior to leaving on a cruise on Saturday afternoon. Before leaving on the trip, I reviewed TripAdvisor for possibilities of a tour guide for Friday. We tend to use tour guides either for us or for a small group. They tend to know the directions and, above all, have information at hand that would take me a lot of research and time to find. In Turkey, professional tour guides have a 3 to 4 year course with examinations and certifications, and Istanbul Custom Tours uses these professionals. Arrangements were made over the internet--very easy. We were met at our hotel by our guide, Nesime, who had a car and driver waiting. We toured the Old City--Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkaki Palace--and got a wealth of information and all our questions answered. I was concerned that this was Friday, which is the main prayer day in Islamic countries and was also in the midst of Ramadan. Nesi very efficiently worked around this, taking advantage of the customs for our education. The Grand Bazaar was saved for the end of the tour, which is what we wanted. We were more interested in the sites and the customs than in shopping. Although I have to admit that we did do a little shopping! Nesi also gave us instructions on the behavior in a Turkish Bath, which we took on Saturday morning before leaving on Saturday afternoon. Her information was very helpful as we had not done the Turkish Bath before.

This was a very easy and simple tour to arrange via the internet. Aykut is prompt and thorough in communicating. Our guide, Nesi, was on time, well prepared, well educated, and a delight to be with. In addition, the tour was a third of the price offered by the cruise line. The tour was just me, my wife, and Nesi. Despite all the sites we saw on the cruise, we both felt our tour in Istanbul was the #1 highlight of our holiday.

Visited August 2012
8 Thank William R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing and Affordable!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2012

My wife and I were on our honeymoon and we spent the last part of our trip in Istanbul. We found this service on trip advisor and since we only had limited time in Istanbul, we figured we would give it a chance. We could not have been happier with this private tour!!!! We highly recommend this tour to anybody else who is searching for a tour. The price is incredibly reasonable and we don't think it's possible to give a better tour. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and told both funny and educational stories. We were met at our hotel by our guide, and a car was already waiting for us. We were able to see the beautiful city of Istanbul in a limited amount of time, while learning about the history of Istanbul throughout the years. We did not have to wait in any long lines and were able to visit many historical sites. If you find yourself in a position like us, and you stumble upon our review, do what we did....book this tour!!! We promise you that you will not be disappointed and you will have the absolute day of your life! Thank you again!

Visited August 2012
2 Thank jeff L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Istanbul with Aykut”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2012

We were fortunate to be paired with Aykut Ayik during our all too brief stay in Istanbul - through Aykut's enthusiastic eyes, we fell in love with this beautiful city. Aykut met us that morning at our hotel, a friendly face on a grey day. Knowing we didn't have much time and wanted to see a lot, he outlined an ambitious schedule but assured us to let him know if we needed to deviate during the day. His plans to cover the highlights of Istanbul worked out beautifully - he revealed to us the heart of the places we wanted to see, learned about them from his passionate knowledge, and enjoyed time to wander when he gave us space to just take in the experiences. He has an amazing intuition for how much to talk about the place, and when to just let us drink it in. He took us to a fabulous spot for lunch, and brought the waiters over to sign my journal - a fun moment for all of us! Above and beyond, he carried our packages, umbrellas and spirits! By the end of a happy day, we felt more like we were with family than a tour guide. I would highly recommend spending time with Aykut if you really want to embrace Istanbul!

Visited September 2011
4 Thank Pamela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Knowledgeable Guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

Aykut is a very nice guide. He is knowledgeable and fun to tour with. He doesn't only give you the facts, but makes you laugh with fun stories. I bring a lot of distinguished guests from Chicago for many years and most of the time I went to tours in Istanbul with Aykut. I never saw any of my guests to get bored with him or complained about him. Everybody liked him and I think he deserves credit for his job!

Mevlut Hilmi Cinar
Associate Director
Niagara Foundation Chicago

Visited March 2012
2 Thank MevlutHilmiCinar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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