Tours and Tickets

Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour provided by Guided Istanbul Tours

Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour

Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour
5
Book in advance
from S$203.75 per group (up to 8)
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Regular temperature checks for staff
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
What you can expect during your visit
Regular temperature checks for staff
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks required for travellers in public areas
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
About
The bridge between east and west, Istanbul is a vibrant city with magnificent architecture and a rich history as the former capital of the Ottoman empire. Cover top sites like the Blue Mosque and the Spice Market on this action-packed guided trip, which offers 1-, 2-, or 3-day itineraries to best suit your schedule. Because it’s a private tour, you have plenty of time for questions along the way.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 7h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
German, Portuguese, English, Italian, French, Spanish
Know before you go
  • Duration: 7h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
German, Portuguese, English, Italian, French, Spanish
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
A comprehensive tour of Istanbul, with 1-, 2-, and 3-day options
Marvel at Ottoman sites like Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque
Shop like a local at the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar
Private tour means plenty of personal attention
What to expect
Day one begins with a visit to the Hagia Sophia, a 6th-century Byzantine cathedral adorned in spectacular gold mosaics. From there, cover attractions like the ancient Basilica Cistern in the heritage district of Sultanahmet, and learn how the Blue Mosque got its nickname. You also have time to explore the treasures of Topkapi Palace, once home to the Ottoman sultans and their famous harems. If you opt for a 2-day tour, begin with a visit to the bustling Spice Market, where you can haggle for saffron alongside shoppers. Cruise down the famous Bosphorus, where you might catch sight of river dolphins, explore the vibrant pedestrian street of Istiklal, and make a stop at Galata Tower, a medieval stone monument with incredible panoramas over the city. The third day covers the Suleymaniye Mosque, the most beautiful of the Ottoman mosques, as well as the Byzantine frescoes in Chora Church. You also enjoy sweeping city views on a cable car ride on Pierre Loti Hill.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 11522P1
Call 800-130-2207
Important information
Inclusions
Private tour • Professional local guide
Exclusions
Museum/Attraction Tickets • Transportation from/back to hotel and between sites (unless option selected) • Lunch • Gratitude (suggested) • Entry/Admission - Serefiye Sarnici • Entry/Admission - Topkapi Palace • Entry/Admission - Bosphorus Strait • Entry/Admission - Dolmabahce Palace • Entry/Admission - Galata Tower • Entry/Admission - Pierre Loti Tepesi • Entry/Admission - Rahmi M. Koc Museum
Duration
7h
Departure details
Traveller pickup is offered.
Tour guide meets you at central Istanbul hotels or port. If hotel is not centrally located, meeting point with tour guide is the front of Basilica Cistern Museum.
Ports:
Istanbul Cruise Port
Galataport İstanbul, Kılıçali Paşa Mah. Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. No: 8 İç Kapı No: 102, Kılıçali Paşa, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Galataport İstanbul Tanıtım Ofisi, Kemankeş Cd. No:65 Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, 34425, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Hotel pickup is offered. View the hotel list on our checkout page to see if yours is included among the pickup points.
Inclusions
Private tour • Professional local guide
Exclusions
Museum/Attraction Tickets • Transportation from/back to hotel and between sites (unless option selected) • Lunch • Gratitude (suggested) • Entry/Admission - Serefiye Sarnici • Entry/Admission - Topkapi Palace • Entry/Admission - Bosphorus Strait • Entry/Admission - Dolmabahce Palace • Entry/Admission - Galata Tower • Entry/Admission - Pierre Loti Tepesi • Entry/Admission - Rahmi M. Koc Museum
Departure details
Traveller pickup is offered.
Tour guide meets you at central Istanbul hotels or port. If hotel is not centrally located, meeting point with tour guide is the front of Basilica Cistern Museum.
Ports:
Istanbul Cruise Port
Galataport İstanbul, Kılıçali Paşa Mah. Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. No: 8 İç Kapı No: 102, Kılıçali Paşa, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Galataport İstanbul Tanıtım Ofisi, Kemankeş Cd. No:65 Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, 34425, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Hotel pickup is offered. View the hotel list on our checkout page to see if yours is included among the pickup points.
Duration
7h
Additional information
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays
Blue Mosque is closed until 2pm on Fridays
Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays
For multiple day booking, private van service will be advised according to your hotel location and size of the group
Dolmabahce Palace is closed on Mondays
Due to museum regulations, live guide service is not available at Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce Palace is closed on Nov 10. Due to commemoration ceremony
When booking the tour with van, if your hotel is located in Sultanahmet you will be steps away from the museums, so the van will not be used as much.
Galata Tower will be visited from outside as tour guides have no priority to skip the line due to Galata Tower regulations
Annual Closing Dates of all museums and bazaars in Istanbul in 2021 as follows; January 1-New Year. May 13/14/15-Ramadan Celebrations. July 20/21/22/23-Eid Celebrations. October 29-Republic Day.
Hagia Sophia will be closed for visit during praying time
Not wheelchair accessible
Stroller accessible
Near public transportation
Infant seats available
Families with young children will be accompanied by kid-friendly tour guide
For last minute bookings, tour starting time can be flexible.
Most travellers can participate
This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
Itinerary
  • You'll get picked up
    See Important Information for details
  • 1
    Sultanahmet District
    Stop: 7 hours
    See details
  • 2
    Hippodrome
    Stop: 15 minutes
    See details
  • 3
    German Fountain
    Stop: 10 minutes
    See details
  • 4
    Sultanahmet Square
    Stop: 15 minutes
    See details
  • 5
    Hagia Sophia
    Stop: 60 minutes
    See details
  • 6
    Sogukcesme Sokak
    Stop: 10 minutes
    See details
  • 7
    Blue Mosque
    Stop: 30 minutes
    See details
  • 8
    Serefiye Sarnici
    Stop: 30 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 9
    Topkapi Palace
    Stop: 2 hours - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 10
    Grand Bazaar
    Stop: 60 minutes
    See details
See 14 more stops
+
Popular mentions

5.0
863 reviews
Excellent
833
Very good
27
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Alvydas Barsteiga
1 contribution
Excellent
May 2021
The guide Sercan is perfect :) very empathetic, feels all his tourists needs and even without asking suggests itinerary amendments in order tourists feel satisfied 100%. Really warm and welcoming guide.
Written 10 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bojan ILIĆ
Smederevo, Serbia1 contribution
Thanks Ali and GIT!
May 2021 • Family
3-day Private Guided Tour Best of Istanbul is perfectly organized and guided. Despite the COVID19 restrictions, we managed to expirience all of the major Istanbul highlights. Our guide Ali was frendly, flexible, knowledgable and expirienced. Even though some attractions were suddenly closed, he suggested alternatives which were at least as exciting as the original tour plan. Thanks Ali and GIT!
Written 9 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Andrea
1 contribution
Super informative
Had a private one day tour today with Ozgur. He’s considerate, flexible, and super knowledgeable of the rich history behind the city. I would definitely recommend this tour and Ozgur to anyone who wants to know the best of Istanbul in a day.
Written 5 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mahmood1991
Nelson, UK2 contributions
Ask for Ozgur! (Oscar)
Apr 2021
I booked this tour for a large family group of about 10-12 people. I contacted the company via whatsapp to adjust the itinerary as I thought some of the children might get tired walking around for the whole tour which they had no problem with.

We were met by Oscar in the lobby of our hotel. He was very patient with us and really good with the children in the group throughout the whole tour!!!

Throughout the tour Oscar explained everything in detail and even stopped for questions, his English is great and I would definitely recommend booking him as you will miss out on so much information and history without a guide. We caught some of these places at quiet time due to Covid and were not stuck in any queues or rush. We got to visit all sites without any waiting around and got to enjoy each area!! I would definitely recommend visiting Topkapi palace and Aya Sofia! both very beautiful places with so much history!

At the end of the tour, Oscar added a few more stops when he realised we were not tired out - Thank you for this!! We finished the tour a little earlier so he was even willing to take us to another area if we were up for walking a little further out but by this time the group was ready for food! ( even though he would have waited for us to finish eating.)
I would definitely recommend asking for Oscar if you book this tour - he has a lot of knowledge of the history in Istanbul and was amazing with group!
Written 4 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hani J
1 contribution
What an amazing tour-guide - Burak!
Apr 2021
Burak was an excellent guide! Coming from the U.S we were hoping for a decent English speaking tour guide that could answer our questions and properly show us the history - Burak took it to the next level! Besides his excellent communication, his knowledge of the structures, history, and flexibility went far beyond our expectations. He even took us to locations that weren't on the itenarary - honestly a gem of a tour guide. Thanks Burak!
Written 23 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Seb
Arad, Romania4 contributions
Excellent guide
Good english, knowledgeable, friendly, 5 stars for Ozgur. He was flexible and adapted the program to weather, our personal preferences, etc. Next time will book him for food tasting tour!
Written 19 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hashem H
1 contribution
Excellent and super friendly guide!
Apr 2021 • Couples
Cigdem was excellent and super friendly! Very knowledgeable and well-informed. She picked us up on time, toured us the old city and gave us detailed information about the sites and monuments there, walked us through beautiful streets, gave us great recommendations for shopping and food and answered each and every question of ours patiently and passionately. Highly recommended, especially for history nerds like me :))
Written 16 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dominic Sheldon Z
65 contributions
MUST read TIPS for all tourists booking to prevent scams. Here’s what happened..
**Note:
The management handled the issues and complaints we had very nicely and provided a full refund without any extra friction. Had they not, I would have left a 1-star review. The tour guide Ceren is likely fired I think, but if not then you better be aware.

Is my experience the norm amongst all tour guides at this company? Probably not (at least I hope). I don’t want this review to affect all the honest, hard-working, smart and kind tour guides who are working with this business. I am sure there are wonderful guides associated with this company. I just wish we had gotten one of them. One bad apple shouldn’t ruin the rest.

Should you still book this tour? Yes, because honestly if you book through another company, you are probably just as likely to encounter these issues. To give Ceren credit, she knew her history, BUT here is what you need to be VERY careful about when you book with ANY guide, through this company, or any other one.

Also the management was very respectful, kind and apologetic!**

Here’s what happened:

We had high expectations due to all the fantastic reviews. We were fine paying a higher price for a private tour with a well-reviewed company in order to have a professional tour guide and avoid all of the common tourist traps where the guide spends half the time trying to take you to their friends’ shops for their sales commission in order to rip tourists off.

Unfortunately, this is EXACTLY what happened. Our worst nightmare came true about the tour, and after a very nice informative 90 minutes, the tourist traps began.

Tour Guide:

First Tourist Trap:
“Do you like ceramics and pottery?” I know a company that makes high quality ceramics that the government regulates the pricing of, so the prices are fixed and excellent quality.

She proceeded to bring us to a 30 minute demonstration of some guy making a clay pot in a private room. It was an extended sales pitch saying how good their products were. Then they proceed to try to sell us their pots. A small ceramic pot was $470 USD. Of course this is the normal government regulated pricing so it must be accurate and not a tourist trap! (sarcasm...)

Later I found out from our hotel’s boutique at the Four Seasons Hotel the real prices of the exact same ceramics (10x cheaper) unsurprisingly. It was a total lie from our tour guide as well as the store.

Second Tourist Trap:
“Let’s tour the Grand Bazaar”
Ceren proceeds to take us to the Grand Bazaar which is definitely cool, except she explained almost nothing and took us straight to one of the 100 same nut, spice and dried fruit shops. She said it was her friend’s store who never rips off people, it’s the best deal.

He is a nice guy, proceeds to give us a ton of samples. I didn’t suspect that much at this time honestly. I felt bad to not purchase anything due to his generosity (which is normal for someone who has empathy) and decided to buy some things such as some tea, spice, pistachios.

At the time of checkout, somehow my few items amounted to $220 USD which I was a bit shocked at, but the shop owner already swiped my credit card and my “trustworthy” tour guide had said so much how they’re super honest so I figured it was OK... until I thought about it a little more and tried to do the math.

Long story short, the shop when we weren’t looking, added extra weight to what we were buying, and tared the scales incorrectly so essentially something that weighed 300 grams was charged to us at 1 kilogram (1000g). 

He did this for every item, so what should have been perhaps $70 was 3X the price ($220). I was pissed off when I discovered it and caught him red handed. I yelled at them, told them to refund everything and then give Ceren an earful because I had trusted her (as I trusted this tour company and all the 5 star reviews).

Only later the next day when I saw some shops on the street, did I realize that in addition to charging 3x the price by completely lying, they also marked up everything by 10X. For e.g., Dried Prunes are normally 34 Turkish Lira per Kilo, and at the shop it was 340 Turkish Lira per Kilo!

3rd Tourist Trap:
Well I think you readers get the point now. But she actually had the heart to try to take us to another Rug Maker’s shop (who was disappointed when we said we aren’t interested) and then a jewelry shop, and then every other shop that her “friends” aka “commission business partners” had.

I told her to end the tour, and cancel everything else.

LONG STORY SHORT (TLDR;)

We paid $150/per day rate to do a 90 min tour, and then get dragged onto 2 hours of glorified sales pitches and scam artists. Exactly what you want to AVOID by booking with this tour company! We ended booking the next day through our hotel with literally the most amazing tour guide ever through the Four Seasons.

He cared about us, he was honest, he showed us how amazing Turkish people can be and how thoughtful as well. He thought of the small details to make us have an amazing time, AND there is ZERO tourist traps, ZERO mention of anything that would take away from knowing the real local history and culture.

I still recommend this company above others, but you need to be aware of all the scams out there and the places that your tour guide will likely take you. It is possible we got very unlucky with Ceren, because it‘s the worst when your tour guide is in on it as well. The scammers are insanely good at scamming so if you aren’t super aware of what’s going on, you will get scammed for sure.

For management, in my opinion you should have every single one of your guides tell your tourists to be careful and only take them to shops if they request it explicitly. They never should be trying to pitch guests to go to shops out of the blue.

Good luck and enjoy Istanbul.
Written 15 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear Dom Zhai, We are devastated to hear that we could not meet your expectations regarding your experience with our company. We value every opinion of our guests and would like to clarify the incident from our aspect. First of all, we, as the company do not cooperate or have a partnership with the stores that you have been or any others. We strictly warn our guides not to take the guests to shops or persuade them to buy any items unless asked for. This is our company policy from the very beginning and clearly what makes us the number 1 tour operator in Istanbul among the others. We want to underline that never had any complaints regarding this issue from our guests till today, this was the main reason that your complaint has shocked us. The unpleasant experience that you had in Grand Bazaar is worrisome for sure, we believe that your tour guide could have handled the situation a lot more efficiently. Still, we have the impression that one or few of the store's staff is responsible for the unacceptable incident. The prices in Grand Bazaar are significantly higher than any store on the street due to the quality of the products and the way that they market them. This is, unfortunately, a fact. The other thing we want to mention is the perspective that you gained after speaking to the concierge of your hotel. Frankly, they lead you to the idea that the only purpose of your tour guide was to scam you which sounds a bit inconceivable from our point of view as we have a long history with her and we had never had such feedback from our guests. This is a common process managed by the hotel staff to propose their services instead, which they do the exact thing that we are blamed. We also think that she should have not let the incident in Grand Bazaar happen, she is responsible for the trouble but we simply can not accuse her of the price of some pot whose features are unknown. We want to thank you for letting us know about your dissatisfaction and the happenings that you encountered. We will consider all stated facts and will correct the things that ruined your experience. Next time, If you will travel to Istanbul again, we will be more than happy to provide you a better and pleasant service.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alexis C
1 contribution
Istanbul expert
Apr 2021 • Friends
Cigdem was full of knowledge about Istanbul and the world writ large. You are in good hands going on a tour with her.
Written 9 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sanna Fakher
Istanbul, Turkey1 contribution
'Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 day Private Tour'
I booked this tour at the last minute before returning to my country and I am glad that I did. Duygu was my guide and I chose this after reading a review from another tourist. I didn't tell the company about the guide but I was hoping that they would send someone like Duygu. Little did I know that Duygu would be taking me around. She has a plethora of knowledge about the history of Istanbul and other areas of Turkey. She knows the best food places if you want to try authentic Turkish cuisine and the most reliable shops for shopping. I'm going back with great memories. Please ask for Duygu when you book a trip.
Written 8 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 691
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Guided Istanbul Tours
michaelzX71IY
michaelzX71IY
00
Great tour with Sergio
Sergio was an amazing guy, showed me and my girlfriend beautiful places in Istanbul. He also spoke english very wel
b_anara_90
b_anara_90
00
Tour with Oscar
We spent lovely two days with Oscar and enjoyed every moment. We started with the old city and visited the sights t
wasimy2021
wasimy2021
00
Perfect day in Istanbul
It was perfect. Everything was so good. Mr. Ugur Kilerci was full of knowledge and was very active. Love the whole
valentinav9611
valentinav9611
00
10/10
It was an amazing experience, our guida was Ozgur (Oscar) was knowledgeable, kind and patient . I would totally rec
HMTravel1
HMTravel1
00
Great Custom Tour
I used Guided Istanbul Tours for a private, customized, 9-day tour. Mehmet handled the pre-arrival planning. We ha
Soichiro888
Soichiro888
00
Amazing Tour with Metin
It was a great experience and I learned a lot. Metin was able to share so much information and it shows how knowled
27alexf
27alexf
00
Ozgur tour (July/ August)
An excellent tour. Ozgur is a superb guide: friendly, knowledgable and couldn’t do more to provide an excellent (an
raskim
raskim
00
Great day out
Just come back from a great day spent with our excellent guide Sercan. Was worried the tour may not take place with
Paula B
Paula B
00
Love Istanbul
Had a private tour of the Historic Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Sistern and the souk. If you've been to a souk befor
habarz
habarz
00
Spent a lovely day with Sercan
Friends and I decided to attend this tour after checking the reviews and we are not mistaken as we had a fantastic
CMO888
CMO888
00
Excellent Tour
My partner and I booked a one day private tour with ‘Guided Istanbul Tours’. Our tour guide (Sercan) was knowledga
SameerMulani
SameerMulani
00
Best Day tour with Mustafa
Mustafa is a fantastic guide and I am so happy that I got such a talented tour guide. He is professional with excel
Icioi I
Icioi I
00
Very interesting tour with a very interesting guide
We did the tour duringthe second last day of the year and we find tge guide very prepared and cute..
MarthaElcasino
MarthaElcasino
00
Awesome Tour in Istanbul
I had a wonderful one-day private tour of some of the beautiful historical places in Istanbul with my guide, Ugur.
deerroam
deerroam
00
Great day tour
This is the second time that I booked a group day tour with this company for my colleagues visiting the city. Melis
Frequently Asked Questions about Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour