Istanbul Private Guides/Hotels

Feb 21st, 2008, 07:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 26
Istanbul Private Guides/Hotels

Wanted: Private Guides: Istanbul and Kudasi

We are taking Oceania cruise Aug 2008. Itinerary includes Istanbul and Kudasi as well as Greek Islands. I have added on time in Istanbul. (See below)

I want to arrange guides for tours of Istanbul and perhaps Kudasi. We are not really into shopping (but want to do some in Istanbul.) Reports of Kudasi are not too flattering - Maybe that should be a ship day.

I have been doing a lot of reading on Istanbul and want to see as much as possible without overload. I havenít gotten a good feel for what exhibits, if any, are well marked in English or what the walking distances are, the terrain (hilly etc) or how hard it is to get from one to another.

Also need advice for Istanbul hotels less than 4 Seasons cost, but still luxurious. We want an elevator/air conditioning/restaurant so that leaves out some of the charming smaller ones. A pool would be a plus, but not necessary.

Suggestions or experiences anyone?

Day 1 Fly to Istanbul
Day 2 Istanbul hotel
Day 3 Istanbul Hotel
Day 4 Istanbul Board ship 3pm/overnight Istanbul
Day 5 Istanbul Depart 11pm
Day 6 Cruise Dardenelles
Day 7-21 are in the Islands, Dubrovnik, Saranda, ending in Athens.
SheilaOB is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:34 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 85
Dear Sheila,

Mr Noyan Erdem is the sort of guide you are looking for in Istanbul. You can contact him on +90-532-291 59 65.

I hope he is not engaged during the days you are in Istanbul. Please check it out with him.

With all good wishes
Feb 22nd, 2008, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 587

I will be in Kusadasi If you write your arrival date I may be your tour guide with my AC car.

Have a nice trip in Turkey

Sinan Akdeniz
sinan is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
you don't need a private guide in istanbul for one day. for kusadasi, yes, but not istanbul. we spent a week in istanbul for our honeymoon 8 yrs ago and then took a similar 2-wk cruise out of istanbul and kusadasi was one of the ports.

for istanbul - there is so much to see and do that you really need to narrow it down to a couple of things you want to see, then just use the tour available (if there is one - some are self guided and yes, the biggies are in english). I'd suggest, in this order:
1. Topkapi Palace - they have guides here
2. The Grand Bazaar - amazing shopping
3. Blue Mosque - also have guides i think.
4. Haghia Sophia - but no guides and nothing in English here except some brochures i think - still amazing.
5. The underground cisterns - very cool.

You can't possible do all of these in one day - but it looks like you have an extra half day too.

For hotels, we stayed in two:
1. Pera Palace - the hotel for the Orient Express customers - fun to stay in but not great location and very old building obviously.
2. Miramar Hotel in Taksim square - modern, new hotel in the shopping district - had american-type cafe in the lobby for american coffee lovers.

one tip: we didn't buy much in turkey cause we didn't want to carry it around on the end of our trip and saved our purchases for the latter part. big mistake - everything is really inexpensive in turkey, so spend your money there!
lambd is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 06:04 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,900
I stayed at the Marmara Pera across the street from Pera Palace, on my last trip. (I also stayed at Four Seasons on the same trip..)

Marmara Pera is a solid modern hotel with a rooftop pool and a reputedly good restaurant. I recommend it if you want to stay in the "new" part of town; it has easy access to sights in the old city by taxi and you will be much better situated for dining if you base in the new part of town..

It is, however, not charming. More of a contemporary business-type hotel (with an unusual purple color scheme in the guest rooms!!) I chose it for location and was pleased. Ask for a sea view room on a high floor..these face the Old City and the mosques illuminated at night..

ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
sjj is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 08:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 26
Iambd, Thanks all for your suggestions. I have more than 1 day in Istanbul which is why I was thinking about getting a guide. We get there on Day 2 which is pretty much a wash except for a nap and dinner what with the jet lag, but we have all of days 3,4,5 excepting getting our luggage onto the ship on day 4 to sight see. We have gotten private guides in other cities and found it saves a lot of time if getting lost is not an affordable luxury, often cuts out admission/ticket lines, and we see things we want rather than what a company wants, we can change itineraries at the drop of a hat and we get an insider's expertise on the area. Any other hints, now that you know I have more time there?
SheilaOB is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
I can highly recommend a private guide we used for walking tours in Istanbul. His name is: Harun Yonugut, and he can be reached on his cell at: +90-212-638-07-95-96. There's also a GSM number on his card which is: +90-542-611-62-08.

Harun has been in business over 20 years, and we really enjoyed our days with him.

Kusadisi wasn't that interesting, but Ephesus certainly was, and you could easily get there from Kusadisi. We hired a private guide/driver from Anker Travel, based in Kusadisi for a trip there. It was a great day!
Weadles is offline  

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