We will have an 8h 15m layover in Istanbul in early May. We don't get in until 4:50pm, so one of the Turkish Airlines free tours won't work for us. Would it be possible for us to hire a guide for a 3 hour tour of the city? If so, do you have any recommendations for a reputable person? Thanks much!!!!
I don't know what you're really going to be able to see in that time. You'll be out of the airport at 5:30 or 6:00. The sun sets at about 7:00 in early May. So, I don't know...I get your desire to see a little of Istanbul as it's really an interesting city, but I don't know how much you'll get out of the tour. But here's a reputable company that will work with you to arrange a private pick up, drive around the city and return to the airport. http://www.efenditravel.com
SRM Travel works with the Rick Steves tour - look them up. Also if you do nothing else, at least do a Turkish Bath - some are even open until midnight - it's a great cultural experience. Istiklal Cadessi (Street) in the New District (by Taksim) will be lively late at night - the Old District, not so much.
Thank you Valerie. The tour company you recommended may be an option for us. They offer a chauffeur service for a limited amount of time that would drive us around, stop wherever we want, and drive us back to the airport for a fixed fee. Appreciate your help!!!
I just spent two days with Sema from Couture Travel, and it was the highlight of my visit to Turkey. She whispered in my ear the history of the sites we visited, told me just where to stand to get a good photo, knew delicious restaurants and was a genuine Turkish Delight. An amazing and delightful person, I would recommend this service without hesitation.