Istanbul: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
- Duration options: 1 - 3 days
- Optional audio guide
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The tour itself was adequate in its duration, organization and quality of transporation (buses, boat and drivers).We enjoyed it. However, there was an incident on the boat that I would like to mention. During the cruise, a guy working on the boat came out and handed to all the travellers some simple cheese toast sandwiches and orange juice. He never asked if we wanted them or not but just handed them to us promptly without saying anything. We all assumed that was a courtesy of the tour operator. Then 20-30 minutes later, he comes back to collect money. When I complained that he was supposed to say the sandwiches were actually for sale and give us choice if we wanted to purchase them or not, not just trick us into unwantedly buying something that wasn’t even worth the money he was asking for, there was no apology, no explanation, no shame whatsoever. He was just impatiently insisting on the money. It’s not even about the money but about principle and we all felt we were extortioned.
ONDER (guide) arrived in good time to meet me. I was the only one on this tour, which meant that I had a private tour. This tour was excellent, both in terms of content and because of Onder - he was highly knowledgeable, generous with his time, highly considerate, and enthusiastic in a low-key way. He showed me everything there was to see, and more, and went out of his way to make this a highly memorable experience in a variety of ways. Nothing was too much trouble for him, and it felt as though I was with a friend. I was particularly delighted about two things: (1) that we were able to enter the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and (2) that we had an iconic dish (balik ekmek) that was on my personal wish list, but I had the pleasure of having it with Onder. Excellent tour, excellent compassionate, knowledgeable guide. Special.
Great tour. Our guide was very good. The downside is that since we were on the 'boat tour' which anyone can go, it was kind of redundant having a guide for this. It was loud and almost impossible to hear our guide anyway. It was also difficult to find a spot on the rail to take pictures of the sights. However, overall, I am glad we did this as Pierre Loti Hill is probably not a place we would have gone on our own, and the water cruise was very relaxing and gives a different perspective of the city.
All was very nice, guide picked me up from the hotel, then we went to boat trip for 1,5 hour, she was highlighting all historical buildings, told legends and explained all very clear. Once we finished with boat, we went to Pier Loti hill, had tea in beautiful historic cafe, then move down from hill by cable car, and they dropped me to my hotel. Very nice guide, good tour, good transportation.
Hey - what's happening probably sums up most of the experience. Traffic impacted on start time. Pick up from hotel 13h for 14h tour that didn't start until 1430 and then rush to boat trip which must have been curtailed. Little atmosphere on boat cruise and problems with P.A system too loud, crackling or not working. Staff being more proactive would have been positive.