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Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul
"Our tour begins at the ancient Hippodrome where thousands of spectators were entertained and kept happy by the chariot races. The historic Sultanhamet Mosque or now known as the Blue Mosque due to its magnificent interior filled with blue Iznik tiles is 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 Grand Bazaar you will have a chance to 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. You will then make your way to one of immediately you feel the energy 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 religion this church has been the location of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and is recognized as the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Religion. Your day concludes with an old world cultural experience like no other city has to offer. Your churches and synagogues that date back to the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Further to witnessing the local's life thereYou end the tour with a ferry back to Eminonu
From EUR70.00
 
Dinner Cruise On The Bosphorus
"Start your evening with pick up from your hotel before heading to the port to embark on our 3.5-hour evening Bosphorus cruise from Istanbul. Watch the sun set over the Bosphorus Strait and cruise under Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. See Istanbul’s illuminat your experience finishes with drop off at your Istanbul hotel.""""Spend your evening in Istanbul cruising around the beautiful Bosphorus Strait while enjoying dinner and an Anatolian folklore show with belly dancing. Gliding through the water your boat follows a route that includes views of Istanbul’s top attractions – all enchantingly illuminated at night. Cruise past the Blue Mosque and Faith Sultan Mehmet Bridge while eating drinking and enjoying the show!"title=Highlights&1=Enjoy+a+romantic+night+including+dinner&2=Dinner+included&3=Free+drinks+included&4=Hotel+pickup+included
From $50.00
 
"Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Grand Bazaar
"Istanbul Uncovered with Grand Bazaar Suleymaniye Mosque Sultanahmet backstreets and great views of the city""Get the most out of Istanbul in the company of an expert local guide. As we tour Istanbul your guide will point out places to get the best local snacks and coffee as well as show you the main points of interest along the way.You'll start this Istanbul walking tour by exploring Istanbul’s ancient Hippodrome. Following this we’ll make our way to Divanyolu
From EUR27.00

Carpets Tips (4)

Tugra: High Quality, Handmade Carpets

We were invited (read: lured) to Turga on our way to check out the Arasta Bazaar by a very nice and friendly man, Mehmet. I think I'll save the details for a travelogue. But rest assured if you want to ensure that what you are spending big bucks for are high quality, hand-crafted Turkish rugs then do yourself a favor and at least stop in and talk to Yusef Hurma, the president and owner of Turga. He will explain, over a never-ending service of hot tea, the differences in carpet construction materials, regional variations, historical significance, etc. And unless you're already well-versed in Turkish rug variations, you are likely to see many types of designs that you don't see in shops in the U.S. He definitely understands and caters to customers who don't want to see or purchase the same type of rugs one can get at home, although he has rugs along the more familiar designs as well.

Yusef gave us a great deal on three carpets and threw in free shipping because he routinely ships in bulk to the U.S. He speaks perfect English and makes a trip to the U.S. once or twice a year to meet privately with past clients and potential new ones that his current clients refer to him.

Buyer's Confidence: There were a couple of times within the Grand Bazaar in speaking with shopkeepers that our carpet purchases became a topic of conversation. When asked where we bought them from and what we paid, the shopkeepers in each case nodded their heads and agreed that Yusef only deals with high quality goods and that we had paid a more than fair price. Can't beat that!

What to buy High quality Turkish carpets and kilims

What to pay Varies but be sure to bargain hard!

Hopkid's Profile Photo
Hopkid
Apr 04, 2011

carpets: Nuruosmaniye door

Hi
Try to find the nuruosmaniye door of the grand bazaar
on the way to the entrance you can find many reputable carpet shops
all you need is to ask the certificate and this shops are able to
provide a certificate for the carpets
good luck

traveloturc's Profile Photo
traveloturc
Mar 19, 2008

carpets: Don't be Afraid

Any carpet shop near the Arasta Bazaar will have someone standing outside to lure you in with an offer of tea or even wine. If you aren't interested don't be afraid to politely turn them down. On the other hand if you are interested in learning more about carpets before actually buying one do take them up on the tea and you will be regailed with more information than you thought possible. They will take out every carpet in the store and lay them before you and tell you what it is made of, how many knots per square inch, etc. If you express a liking for any they will remember which ones and pull them back out later. Do not feel pressured into buying if you don't want to. This is their job and they are happy to do it since there are many carpet shops and the competition is high. The stores all seem to know one another since after I had made a selection and actually bought a carpet, they all seemed to know about it and I wasn't bothered again.

What to pay Bargain bargain bargain. I was advised to offer half of the price they originally ask and work from there. I bought a lovely wool/cotton living room sized carpet for 900.00 U.S. and I know the same carpet would cost $3,000.-$4,000. at home.

authoress's Profile Photo
authoress
Jan 05, 2008

carpets: Take your time

The most important tip I cold give is to take your time. There are so many carpets and shops, that you should look around before you buy. It is worth to talk to the sellers, and compare what they tell you about the types of carpets etc.
It is difficult to say what a good price would be - rather decide what the specific carpet is worth for you, and what you would pay for such a carpet.

PierreZA's Profile Photo
PierreZA
May 06, 2007
 
 
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"STROLLING THROUGH ISTANBUL"
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