If you want to really discover and get to know Istanbul and then spend a day on the Circle Istanbul tour!

This tour was exactly what we were looking for – a way to explore and experience the “real” city beyond the tourist attractions. We interacted with locals in various culturally and ethnically distinct neighborhoods (places probably not found in official guidebooks) and tasted amazing and interesting foods. By the end of the day we felt like we had a “real feeling” for one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

My husband and I were part of a group of 10 on a Sunday tour. Our guide Polat was outstanding and I can’t say enough about how great he is at his job, this guy wrote the book! Istanbul is his city and he knows it (and it seems everyone in it) like the back of his hand. He was friendly, had great communication skills and was very passionate about making sure everyone in the group was enjoying themselves and having amazing experience. If we stopped to sample a local food he watched each person’s face to see if they were enjoying it. If you did, here’s some more. If you weren’t sure, he would give you something else to try. On one of our stops a member of our group asked the waiter for some milk for her tea and mentioned she really can’t enjoy her tea without milk. When the waiter said they didn’t have milk, Polat disappeared for a minute then reappeared with a little container of milk from a nearby store.
My recommendations:
1.Put on your nikes and just do it! After a couple of weeks to absorb our amazing 2 weeks in Europe I finally asked my husband what he felt was the highlight of our trip, he said this day was it.
2. Wear comfortable shoes, there is a lot of walking (although you will be traveling by van also and there a tons of stops along the way)
3. Definitely take the full tour because the Turkish bath is an AWESOME experience, not to be missed! We were a little hesitant at first but it felt soo refreshed afterwards, and you skin was so soft it felt like a baby’s behind!

Thank you Circle Istanbul, I’m pretty sure in years to come when we look back on our trip to Venice, Greece and Turkey we will think of what we saw, smelled, heard, felt, ate and drank on this day.