Here is a general idea of the sorts of activities, sights and experiences that they can expect over the course of the day.
The Other Tour officially takes off at 9am. We meet the tour participants in front of the Clock Tower at Dolmabahce Palace with a private van (that’s just how we roll) a few minutes before departure time. There will be a morning stop for some Turkish coffee, so don’t arrive late because you wanted to gulp one more down in anticipation for the day. In all honesty, there will be multiple opportunities for Turkish coffee, you’ll be a Turkish coffee expert by the end of the tour – just another cool perk offered by The Other Tour.
A private (we always feel the need to italicize the word private, I don’t know why) boat cruise on the Bosphorus, which just so happens to be one of the world’s, and history’s, most important and influential waterways. Strolls through neighborhoods that boast some of the highest populations of billionaires of any city in the world. An authentic, home-cooked lunch at a real Turkish household in a district that millions of people call home. Local markets teaming with fresh produce, people and color that bring our cameras to life and get our stomachs rumbling. Walks through vibrant, exotic, untraveledneighborhoods.We spend time at any one of a number of local schools, interacting with the children and occasionally even taking part in their lessons.
We see the city from multiple angles, not just conceptually, but visually. Different heights and vantage points fill us with wonder, enlightening our senses and reaffirming our appreciation for Istanbul. Our brains, churning with new ideas, thoughts and propositions all day, are truly put to the test at a local cafe where we engage in friendly competition (that doesn’t mean you don’t try to win) by playing traditional Turkish board games. Cleanliness is important, as is feeling fresh, looking good and getting massages, so we manage to cover all 4 bases at a Turkish bath.
In the evening we eat, drink, socialize and dance at an authentic meyhane – you’ll learn what this is once you join us ;). Finally, after party or no, we take you home, as in to your hotel. You are our responsibility from the moment we meet up at 9am to the time that you arrive back at your hotel – or even until you’re tucked safely away in your bed.
Istanbul is where east meets west, where traditional thought meets progressive vision, where Islamic culture meets western culture. It is a city with no identity, precisely because it has so many contrasting ones. It is a city of not just one heart, but multiple souls.
The Other Tour presents these different aspects, embraces the diversity and allows you to add to it. It is the inconsistency, the contradictions, that make Istanbul such a majestic place. You can expect to fully experience that with us.
The cost of the tour is 200 Euros per person.
The price of the tour aside, you will not need to pay for anything all day long. All food/beverages/snacks/etc are provided by us. The cost of the tour must be paid in Euros, Dollars or Turkish Liras.
Please note: We do not ask for any prepayment or deposit. It is therefore our sincere request that, if you confirm your participation in the tour, you show up on the day of the tour at the designated meeting point.
The Other Tour regularly takes place only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as group tours. However, you may book for everyday of the year! (This began in March 2016)
Aside from getting to the meeting point (talked about in more detail below) daylong transportation with an excellent private vehicle is provided. We take a private boat cruise up the Bosphorus, eat a home-cooked meal at Fethi’s house, go to a local school, walk through a traditional market, go to a Turkish bath, play a Turkish board game, explore the rich and poor areas of the city, wander around the back streets of incredibly vibrant, diverse and colorful neighborhoods and go to an amazing Turkish restaurant with live Turkish music, delicious food and limitless drinks. On top of all this Fethi Karatas will be your guide and will do their best to provide you with education, cool stories, laughs, songs, joy, questions, answers, dances and anything else your imagination might be able to conjure up!
At the end of the day we will personally drop you off at your hotels with our private vehicle.
What to Bring
We recommend checking the weather report and choosing your outfit accordingly. No special clothing is required at any point during the day. Ladies may wish to bring bathing suits for the Turkish bath though by no means is it a requirement. You may also wish to bring fancier clothes to change into for the dinner. Other than that, be sure to have some comfortable shoes for walking/standing in over the course of the day. And get your dancing shoes on for the music at the end of the day!
The group sizes range from 2-8 people.
Morning Meeting Point
The meet up location is the main gate of DOLMABAHCE PALACE (you will see the clock tower). It is located a few miles north of the Galata Bridge on the European side of the Bosphorus and is very easy to get to. The following this link will show you a picture of the clock tower we meet in front of.
The easiest way of getting there is by taxi. If you are staying in a hotel in the Old Town, the fare should be between 10 and 15 Turkish Lira (5-6 Euros). You may ask your reception to arrange a taxi for you at 8:40am. Even though it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get there, you can never be too cautious in this city due to the unpredictability of its traffic. If you are staying near the Taksim area, it is even closer. We recommend you leaving the hotel at 8:30am.
We would appreciate it if you could provide us with your cell phone number (if you have one) so that we can call you in case we can’t find you at the clock tower of the Dolmabahce Palace at the specified time. We apologize for this inconvenience, but we are confident that it will allow everything to run a bit smoother.
What we have created is much better described as an EXPERIENCE. It can be challenging not just physically (due to the roughly 3 hours of walking) but also mentally. We expect our participants to be open, engaging and curious. It is our expectation that every participant brings energy to the table (preferably the positive form) and a desire to get to know not only the city and it’s people, but the other tour participants. Please take the time to read the recommended blog posts and go though some of the past reviews and descriptions.