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Istanbul in December 2018 - private guides or other ideas

I will be in Istanbul in December 2018 for two days - my second trip; On the first trip, I saw most of the popular day trip sights (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, etc.) , and this time, I'm interested to find a private guide who can take me to museums, architectural gems or other historical sights off that are must sees. Does anyone have private guide recommendations? Also, is it practical to see Gallipoli peninsula in one day?

Posted by
4867 posts

The RS tours to Turkey use SRM Travel as the local tour guide, and they are excellent. Here is the info:
http://www.srmtravel.com/IST-Tours.html

Personally though, I don't think you necessarily need guides just to see museums. Most (although not all) interesting museums in Istanbul are packed into the compact Sultanahmet district and easily accessible by foot (other museums are accessible by tram). Here are the museums I really enjoyed:

  • Topkapi Palace (it took me almost all day to see)
  • Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
  • Archeological Museum, including the lovely Tiled Kiosk
  • Great Palace Mosaic Museum (very close to Arasta Bazaar, which is also very interesting)
  • Dolmabahçe Palace (along the Bosphorus, beautiful setting)
  • Istanbul Modern Museum
Posted by
11846 posts

Agnes is spot on. I wasn't very impressed by the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum but the Dolmabahçe Palace was great (get there when they open!). I haven't been to the Istanbul Modern Museum. I would add the Süleymaniye Mosque, a gem.

I used the RS self-guided walking tour - excellent.

Posted by
4867 posts

Also, is it practical to see Gallipoli peninsula in one day?

No, definitely not. It's too far. With only two days, I would spend them in Istanbul. Do check out other mosques as well so you have a sense of comparison - Rüstem Pasha, Süleymaniye Mosque, etc.