Culture Tours

Non Touristy Istanbul – Live Istanbul like a native (full day)

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We start our non touristy Istanbul tour with the conservative part of Istanbul, Eyup. After visiting the famous Eyup Mosque where is a holy visit site for Muslims. Then we take the cable car ride up the hill to Pierre Loti Hill, where the famous writer used to be inspired for his novels by the breathtaking view of Istanbul. We will then take drive to Asian side. First we will visit the Sakirin Mosque, the first ever mosque that is designed by a woman. Our lunch is special, in a very popular restaurant among locals cooking home made vegetable dishes daily; (30 to 40 cold served starters and 15 warm courses to choose from; but each is cooked to the exact high quality taste requirements of the Turks dining here) and these are displayed at warm and cold sections accordingly; and before giving your order a presentation on the selections will also be possible. After lunch, we will drive back to Europe, for a half hour concert of Mehter Band – Ottoman Military Band with their 50 performers in their Original Ottoman costumes with native Ottoman instruments at 3 oclock; the band influenced composers like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, or Mozart: The music called A la Turca originates from their music. The concert is in the Military Museum of the New Town, which houses superb collection of Ottoman arms, flags, banners, helmets, models and miniatures. We will end the day with a walk along Istiklal Street all the way to Tunel, visiting art galleries and cafes along the way.

Tour photos

Things to know

    • Dolmabahce Palace is closed on Mondays & Thursdays
    • Military Museum is closed on Mondays & Tuesdays
    • Closed museums will be replaced with a substitute

Do & Don't in Istanbul

  • +Watch a belly dancing show
  • +Try “kokorec” - a very much appreciated Turkish dish (google it before trying)
  • +Take a romantic ferry ride along Bosphorus
  • -Do not forget your passport anywhere
  • -Do not enter the houses with shoes
  • -Do not stick to one type of cuisine


Period 1 Pax 2 Pax 3 Pax 4 Pax 5 Pax 6 Pax
01.01.2016 31.12.2016 € 329 € 189 € 139 € 119 € 109 € 99

Tour Includes:

Pick-up & drop-off from/to your hotel or cruise ship

Entrance fees as per itinerary

Air-conditioned vehicle

Professional English speaking tour guide, fully licensed under the Tourism Ministry


  • I am back in Japan, and already want to go back to Istanbul. Thank you so much for the wonderful memories. Sayuki Schafer

  • I would like to thank you again Gursan, you truly made this a trip of a life time and opened so many doors. Take care my friend.
    David Tallentire

  • When we mentioned to longtime friends we were visiting Istanbul they told us our enjoyment would be increased substantially if we hired Trici as our guide.They told us the truth.When we contacted Trici she told us that she emphasized the art of Istanbul and we said we approved.She also told us the truth.What neither friends nor Trici told us was that she is a worldclass artist who devotes her art to capturing the obvious and the offbeat sides of that mysterious city.And that’s the truth.

    Ian D. Lanoff 


    I have never been to Istanbul, but I do have extremely vivid, colorful and imaginative images of Istanbul in my mind through the stunning art that Ms. Venola has drawn and the imaginative prose she has written during the years that she has lived there. She is a wonderful ambassador for your city.I can only say that I wish I -could- have the opportunity to have her lead me on a tour of Istanbul: I know it would be magical, thrilling, awe-inspiring. Truly a never-to-be-forgotten experience!

    Charles Richard Lester

    Los Angeles


    I can think of no better tour guide when visiting Istanbul than Trici Venola. Her passion for the city is only exceeded by her knowledge of it's history. The fact that she is an artist and an avid urban sketcher makes her insights that much more astute.

    Her warmth, compassion and humor make her a wonderful guide and  teacher. Trici knows Istanbul -- its nooks and crannies as well as its majestic sites-- better than most natives, much better!! I recommend her highly.

    Peter Hristoff

    Fine Artist and BFA Faculty, School of Visual Arts, NY, NY


    From "commando santas" rappelling down buildings around the city, to colorful mannikins, to workshops and alleys and a million cats, Trici Venola has an insiders awareness of a wonderful assortment of "off the tourist trail" discoveries to share.

    Ken Brown  NYC.


    Spending a day with Trici is like your best Indiana Jones fantasy come true! You duck behind a coke machine in a hole in the wall food store and there you have it, the OTHER cistern (that no one ever sees!) A guide will real passion and joy. The best knowledge I have found so far on Byzantium, Turkey and Istanbul. Not only that she is great fun!

    John D S Kelly NYC


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