Guided tour

Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

4.8 / 5

31 reviews

Activity provider: My Local Guide Istanbul

Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

Activity provider: My Local Guide Istanbul

From US$ 81.51 per person

Discover the secrets of Istanbul and experience the lifestyle of locals on this unique walking tour with accompany of the local expert.

About this activity

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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 5 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Explore the hidden streets of old Istanbul with a knowledgeable local guide
  • Learn about Islam and Turkish culture and the modernization of Turkey
  • Visit the Blue Mosque and the Suleymaniye Mosque complex
  • Visit the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market and learn the local art of bargaining
  • Relax and drink çay from a tulip glass and try nargile in cafés where locals congregate
Full description
Your half day guided walk begins in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll head to the Blue Mosque, where you’ll admire the 6 minarets and stunning tiles that were made in Iznik, the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire. Next your guide will tell you about Hagia Sophia and the Roxana Baths ( outer visit ) before continuing on to the ancient Hippodrome. Hear about the famous obelisk that was shipped from Egypt to the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in 4 century A.D. Walk along the ancient roadway past the Ottoman Sultans, mausoleum and then make your way to the Grand Bazaar. Marvel at the labyrinth of streets lined with textiles and most every other kind of product as well! You can learn the local art of bargaining here. Have a break at 300 years old former Medressa ( religious school) which serve as a cafe today and have break with trying a Shisha and see how the local get socialize. Enjoy Turkish tea ( Çay ) from the tulip shaped glass or a cup of Turkish coffee while your guide tell you the story why the Turkish coffee leaves a memory of forty years. Enjoy a stroll to the nearby Sahaflar Book Market, where books were printed for the first time during the Ottoman era. Learn about Islam and its holy book, the Koran. On the way to the Suleymaniye complex you’ll pass by the spectacular façade of Istanbul University and enter the Cagaloglu district, which is a shopping hub for locals that’s far from the main tourist attractions. Once you reach the Suleymaniye complex you’ll see the Turkish bath, the library, the madrasah, eateries, and the grand Suleymaniye Mosque that dominates the skyline along the Golden Horn. Learn about the history of the Mosque, named after the most famous and powerful of sultans, Suleyman the Magnificent. Your guide knows a great hidden teahouse here where you can drink çay (tea) and try a nargile (water pipe) with its intoxicating aroma and fruity flavors. After the break, you’ll continue on through the hidden streets of Istanbul. See local markets where products are made on site. Visit the hidden Rustem Pasha Mosque and admire its lovely tiles. Then it will be time to taste some baklava, a delicious Turkish dessert. Explore the spice market and see a mountain of Turkish spices, Turkish delight, and local handicrafts. From the Spice Bazaar you’ll take a walk so that you can appreciate the views of the picturesque Galata Bridge. Finally it’s time to relax for a delicious lunch of local specialties. After lunch your guide can tell you how to get back to your hotel and give you some advice on other things to do in your free time.
  • English-speaking licensed local guide
  • Lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Glass of çay and a nargile in the secret tea garden
  • Börek ( pastry ) tasting
  • Turkish delight tasting
  • Soft drinks and tea/ coffee with lunch.
  • Hotel pick up. This tour starts from our meeting point and ends at the Spice bazaar.
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Travel to the Sultanahmet Tram Station. From the tram station, walk down the hill on the right side of the road toward to the little mosque Firuz ağa. Take the first right onto the Hippodrome (square). You will see the green-domed fountain in front of you.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • Pets

Know before you go

  • This tour involves entering mosques. Both men and women are required to dress appropriately by ensuring that their shoulders and knees are covered. Women will need to cover their heads. Scarves are available at the mosque, but feel free to bring your own. In addition, for your convenience it is best to wear shoes that are easy to remove.
  • Please note you will not be entering the Hagia Sophia Museum, but will be able to visit it in your free time.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 31 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Absolutely loved the tour. Super informative and knowledgeable guide named Onder. Explained so many important historical spots but also significant historical events in Istanbul. The Turkish treats, tea and pipe were fantastic. We felt very safe and comfortable with Onder. Lunch was wonderful and authentic. Very positive and memorable day.

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January 17, 2023

We had a great guide (Önder) who made this tour a real experience with a lot of knowledge but also passion. We saw and walked through corners, alleys and squares that we would never have got there on our own (keyword: "little blue mosque"). Definitely a big recommendation, which is rounded off by visiting local coffee houses/restaurants, where there was a small introduction to Turkish specialties. A round thing, gladly again with this guide!

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October 26, 2022

We did this tour with Onder today and had a fantastic time! Our group was the only one on the tour so Onder really tailored it for us. We felt like we got to see a great deal of the old city for only a half day, especially a beautiful mosque that we would never have known to visit otherwise. We got to try some great teas, boreks, turkish delight, and kebab lunch and learned a lot about the history of the city. The pace was great and Onder was extremely kind, friendly, and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend if you're visiting Istanbul!

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June 25, 2022

Product ID: 45408