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Best of Turkey 13 day tour

For those who have taken the Best of Turkey 13 day tour, what sites would you have liked to see (or maybe did on your own) but were not included on the tour.
The tour does cover a lot in the city but I am sure there are some sites are worth seeing if one is coming a day or two early to Istanbul.
Thank you.

Posted by
257 posts

The tour doesn't cover much in Istanbul. For suggestions, look at the Istanbul Tour itinerary. And the Istanbul guidebook. I suggest getting the guidebook from your local library for early planning. You will get the guidebook in your tour packet from RS.

I had a cancelled tour in 2020, and have signed up for 2022. In 2020, included in the tour was the Turkey museum pass which was (is?) good for 15 days, so would still be valid after the Best of Turkey tour. Therefore I was arriving only 1 day pretour and staying several days after in Istanbul, using the museum pass as well as doing other sights. I haven't contacted the office yet to see if museum pass situation is the same as 2020.

Posted by
1851 posts

We arrived in Istanbul a couple days before the tour and went to the archeological museum and the Basilica Cistern. The archeological museum was so good that we visited it twice pre and post tour as there is so much to see there. We also went to see a whirling dervish performance although we had an opportunity to see one in Cappadocia. We also visited the Suleiman mosque that wasn’t on the tour.

Posted by
866 posts

Galata tower! Not on the tour, and the view is SO worth it! Go when it opens, or slightly before. The line gets long quickly.

Really, that whole area—from Taxim going down the hill on Istiklal—doesn't get much attention on the tour, but is worth exploring. I actually stayed in a hotel there for the 5 days I spent before joining the tour.

Posted by
163 posts

The Galata Tower is definitely a must see! Get there a half hour before opening so you don’t have to wait in line. There is a restaurant at the top, reservations required. Great restaurant. There is also a casual Café which is very nice for sitting down for a cup of tea or a cold beverage.

Posted by
2142 posts

We arrived 4 days early for this tour and toured different artsy neighborhoods and also, Istiklali Street and Taksim square with a friend of a friend who lives there. We were interested in various churches and saw Chora Church, a very old church with wonderful mosaics, also an Orthodox Church. Toured the Archeology Museum which was under renovation in 2018, don’t know if it’s completed yet. Visited the Blue Mosque which was being renovated and not entirely open to the public. I read about the Princes Island but we didn’t go there, it sounded interesting though. This is a fascinating tour, enjoy!

Posted by
2142 posts

The Archeological Museum in Ankara will knock your socks off! I think this is the main reason Ankara is on the tour, not really, as we visited Ataturk’s Mausoleum, too. But, I could have spent hours in that museum. It won a prize for being the best museum in Europe early in the 2000’s.