Off The Beaten Path Of Real Istanbul Tour

Get an in-depth look into what Istanbul is really about. We have designed this unique Istanbul walking tour to introduce our guests to real Istanbul. An alternative tour to see a different side of Istanbul, the secret of Istanbul.

Duration : 6 Hours

Group Size : 2-12 people

Starts : 9 am


  • Full day off-the-beaten-path Istanbul walking tour.
  • Feel Istanbul just like a local on a walking tour of Istanbul with using ferry and bus like locals.
  • Visit some top attractions in Istanbul like Grand Bazaar, Corlulu Ali Pasha Madrasah, Suleymaniye Mosque, Spice Bazaar
  • Visit St. George Church ( Ecumenical Patriarchate Church ) in Fener district near the Golden Horn
  • Hear the history of Greeks and Jewish people in Istanbul in the Fener and Balat district


Our tour begins at the ancient Hippodrome where thousands of spectators were entertained and kept happy by the chariot races.
A secret cistern by Roman Empire to stand against long sieges next in our journey.
Following the cistern, we will navigate through the labyrinth of streets and passages that are home to more than 3000 shops known as the Grand Bazaar. Make sure you have practiced your bartering skills!
After looking at Grand Bazaar, we will have a rest and you will get to experience traditional Turkish tea or coffee and a popular Turkish pastry called “borek” all while enjoying the ancient practice of hookah at a favorite local hangout.
We will then make our way to one of Istanbul’s oldest markets- the Old Book Bazaar Sahaflar Çarşısı; located on the site of the Byzantine Empire’s book and paper market. We continue the academic theme with a tour of the campus of Istanbul University.
Our next stop in our journey is Istanbul’s largest mosque- Suleymaniye Mosque; an Ottoman Imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul. This mosque is breathtaking due to the size and not to mention its interior beauty.
Get ready for your senses to be enticed during our visit to the Spice Bazaar. Upon entering the bazaar, immediately you feel the electricity in the air. Your senses will be filled with bright colors and powerful aromas of the exotic spices that will surround you.
Istanbul is a city that has a rich religious history and now is composed of many different religions. Our next stop will be the Church of St. George. Since the 1600s, this church has been the location of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and is recognized as the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Religion.
Our day concludes with an old-world cultural experience like no other city has to offer! Our tour of the Old Greek and Jewish District (Fener- Balat) will make you feel as if you have stepped back in time. The neighborhood is full of historic wooden mansions, churches, and synagogues that date back to the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
We have personally designed this tour for our guests to really get into the crevices of our great city. Your day will be filled with abundant information, fascinating stories, and experiences that you could not have with any other tour guide company!
Tour Style: Walking tour of Istanbul, off the beaten path Istanbul tour, daily Istanbul tours, small group tour of Istanbul, Secret of Istanbul tour
Appeal To: To all people who would like to see Real Istanbul, like to explore the city on walking tours, photographers, off the beaten path lovers. The people who would like to see Old greek and Jewish districts in Istanbul, Fener, and Balat tour.
Please Note: Regular group tours only happen in English, this tour can be customized as private for your party in English and Spanish languages

What is included

  • Licensed tour guiding
  • Pastry, kebab, tea, Turkish coffee, shisha ( not possible during covid restrictions )
  • Entrance fees
  • Sampling Baklava and Turkish Delights
  • Public transportation during the tour ( bus and ferry ride )
  • Lunch ( will be complimentary if we have more than 2 people )
  • Gratuities to the tour guide


Group tour happens only in English language and this tour can be customized as private in the Spanish language too
We don't cover Hagia Sophia as we try to focus on more off the beaten path areas. Hagia Sophia is a mosque and now free to enter.
Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant, 1 minute walking distance from the Sultanahmet tram station.
Yes you can book this tour as private, please contact us via email or Whatsapp +905417692277
We recommend having pants or full-length skirts or dresses, with long sleeves. You should also have a scarf to cover your head. Please note: most mosques have clothes to cover and it is free of charge at entrances.

Meeting point

Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant at Sultanahmet


Leave a review

12 May 2021 - 11:50

Tripadvisor User Richard

I have been to Istanbul several times so wanted to see how the locals live and areas not usually seen by tourists. Yunus was my outstanding guide who communicated very well ahead of the visit. Even though only two had bought the tour, he did not cancel. He is very informative with deep knowledge of the history and culture of each place visited. At two places along the tour, we enjoyed Turkish coffee and pastries. He was amenable to suggestions. The other person on the tour was anxious to see the Galata Tower so we ended up there with a long line. The ferry ride provided beautiful views of the city. The back streets climbing up the hills of Istanbul was probably my favorite part of the tour where we saw children playing, laundry drying, and heard more about the differences of cultures. The U.S. President was making big decisions about Turkey when I was there so we had interesting political discussions. If you have already seen everything in Istanbul, take this tour. Be sure that you are in good physical condition because I ended up walking about 9 miles including getting to the start of the tour and back to the hotel.

12 May 2021 - 11:12

Tripadvisor User Philipp

Literally one of the best tours of my life. Specifically wanna highlight Abdullah, the extremely educated, kind, and interesting guide... an incredible man overall! higly recommend. Thank you for everything!

12 May 2021 - 11:10

Tripadvisor User YYL

Highly recommended! Trustworthy agency for sure! Ask for Emir Sagir to be your guide if possible but I do believe the rest of the team is as good as him (came across his colleagues along the way and they all seem nice). You'll get a local friend rather than just a guide! He is friendly, open-minded, professional at the same time. Always attentive to your needs and try his best to arrange things you would like for you! And this tour specifically is for travel lovers - if you're looking for some interesting history, stories, cultures about Istanbul and Turkey, rather than cliche big names! Of getting the taste of Turkish tea, coffee, and delights! - Emir kept feeding me along the way literally! Because of this great experience, I booked another two-day private trip with Emir without any hesitation and left it to him to decide the itinerary for me (only mentioned a bit what I'd like to do). He is not the only tour guide I tried in Istanbul - trust this tells you how amazing he is!

12 May 2021 - 11:06

Tripadvisor User ChristineN

We reached out to Real Istanbul Tours at the last minute and they responded promptly via email. The next morning, we met up with Apo, our tour guide, and right off the bat, he greeted us graciously. Sometimes, you can just tell when someone loves his job and is as excited as you are. He was full of energy which helped us kick start the day. It just so happened that we were the only ones on the tour and therefore, we got the private tour treatment! Apo speaks English fluently and is extremely knowledgeable about all the sites we visited and encouraged us to ask questions, which added to the pleasant experience of not feeling rushed to move from one site to another. We asked for a few tea breaks that weren't on the itinerary and Apo happily agreed without hesitation. The tour ended up going past the scheduled ending time by 2 hours but Apo never complained and kept reiterating that as long as his guests are satisfied, he is too. We were so impressed with the customer service that we booked him again for another walking tour the following day. The service on the 2nd day was just as great as the 1st day. We felt that we gained a friend with Apo. Thank you so much for your hospitality!