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7 Days in Instanbul - feedback from those who've been on tour


I'm planning on signing up for the Istanbul tour in 2015, but can't seem to locate the tour feedback forum that used to be on the site. You could go directly to a feedback listing/postings on certain tours, but it seems as though that is no longer on the site (or you have to scroll through all tours to find something). So, I would love to hear from people who've been on this tour -- what you experience was.
Thank you!
P.S. I've been on a RS tour before so know the general set up, so if there's anything particular about this tour you wanted to share, I'd love to hear it!

Posted by
25 posts

Aahhh...that's the ticket! Thank you very much for your prompt reply. Just what I was looking for.

Posted by
2532 posts

Sadly, the "Reviews" are but a faint shadow of their prior form.

Posted by
8885 posts

If the reviews are in sad shape then I'll step up here and say I LOVED the RS 7 day tour of Istanbul I took 3 years ago.
Mert was our guide. He was stellar. Knowledgeable, funny. Proud of his country and heritage. Stayed at the Sumengen Hotel. Wonderful. Was sharing a room so got one on the top floors with windows opening up onto a view of the Bosphorus. Yes, we could hear adjacent trains, but like the call to prayer neither was disturbing. Ensuite Room had a couch, desk, two beds, plenty of closet space, shower and huge soaking tub. Small TV which was never turned on. Beds might have been a little hard but after long days seeing the sights and having a few Efes Pilsners at the tiny outdoor cafe a block from the hotel, slept like a baby. Plenty of time to explore on your own and with the group. My favorite day was when Mert took us to a nearly vacant building where we climbed out onto the roof and enjoyed an amazing 360 view of Istanbul. Tea was also served to us up there. Memorable moment. I also loved seeing the Chora Church and then walking from there through off -the -beaten-path surrounding neighborhoods. One morning on my own I found and explored the Orient Express train station. Also in the Spice Market I discovered a wonderful hidden cafe that was up a flight of steep stairs. Best lentil soup EVER!!! Could I find it again? Maybe, after hours of trying to remember where it was, but I'd be okay with that. I prefer to wander when I travel, in hopes for moments of discovery such as that cafe. Book the tour. Well, worth it. Such an intriguing city.

Posted by
25 posts

Wonderful! Thank you very much, Claudia.
And Bruce, check out the link where the Reviews are now housed (see comment by RS web team above) -- in a different place than years ago, but they're there.


Posted by
559 posts

Hi RM,

I went on this tour in July 2012. It was amazing! I also stayed at the Hotel Sumengen, which is only a 5 minute walk to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia ( I will admit- kind of hard to find for my taxi driver - there is a small bazaar next to the two mosques called "Arasta Bazaar". Down the hill, about a 1 minute walk behind the bazaar is the hotel).

About the tour itself - there were two VERY heavy duty walking days in a row with this tour, near the beginning of the week. More so than on the other 3 RS tours I've taken. It's not hard walking, but long. It will help that you're going on March, not July though, so that's good. You do have some free time later in the week to do whatever you want. I'd like to go back and spend more time on the Asian side, which I only got to on the day we had a group dinner over there. You may want to check it out too - less tourists (again, going in March will help with that anyway I assume).

The sites were really cool! Our guide was Yaren, who works for a company that contracts with RS. She was awesome! VERY knowledgeable and very friendly!! Make sure to spend some time on Istiklal Caddesi ( a pedestrian street with shopping/restaurants, etc). I'm pretty sure that the tour goes here, but I went separately with a Turkish friend too. Down at the far end is the hotel (forget the name) and train station where the Orient Express would originate. I didn't get time, but some tourmates went to the Hotel for tea and had a great time.

Have fun! Istanbul is HUGE, but lots of fun!!!