Tour of Istanbul

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<p>Have built in free day in Istanbul. Need recommendations for tour companies for day tour of Istanbul for next summer. Thanks. Larry </p>

We just used Rick Steve's book on Istanbul and public transport and had a great day.

You don't really need a tour. The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Topkopi Palace are all in the same part of the Old City. All three worth seeing. Take the trolly to the Grand Bazaar or Spice Market, and end the day with a Turkish bath. Enjoy!

I suggest touring on your own. We were there for 3 days a couple of years ago and hired a private tour guide for 1 day. What a waste of money! She took us to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia and then left us to tour alone while she smoked with other guides. She took us to a leather shop and carpet store even though we told her we were not interested. She had hoped we would by and she would get a kickback. Our hotel was close to the major attractions and we could walk to the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul was worth seeing and doing so on our own was fine.

Thanks for all the good info. After doing some checking ( especially Rick Steve's book ), will tour on my own. Hotel is not far from main, tourist, sites and I only have 1 full day. So, thanks for the good info.

My company is sending me to Istanbul in a few months. I am frantically searching for must see places so my trip there though for business can still have some pleasure. Hope you'd let me know the top spots
thanks

I like using Bitinya Tours (www.bitinya.com) when visiting Turkey and have posted about them before. They have also received good review on tripadvisor.com:
www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293974-d1736757-Reviews-Bitinya_T...
They can do everything, from daytours in Istanbul to arranging trip to off-the-beaten track Turkey.

In the same vicinity of the Grand Mosque are the Underground Cisterns (sewers) -- don't miss it. This is walking distance from the Grand Baazar.
When we were in Istanbul last (our 3rd time), when we came out of the Blue Mosque, we stopped 2 policemen and asked them for recommendations for lunch -- nothing fancy. They directed us to a little place just opposite the square -- no idea of the name, but the meal with only locals in the place was excellent and a bargain. Come out of the restaurant, turn left, and you'll go past the Grand Cisterns -- and continue on that same street and you'll arrive at the GB.
We'll be going back to Turkey in May for a Grand European Tour -- redoing Istanbul again!!!