Free tour

Istanbul Essentials Tour: A Captivating free walking tour of Istanbul

Duration: 3h
Languages: English
Guru: Mertcan
Quality Verified Registered on April 01, 2023

Hello, I'm Mertcan, a licensed and independent tourist guide from Istanbul. My passion for traveling and exploring new cities has taken me to many different places, but there's nothing quite like guiding tours in my home city of Istanbul. When I guide tours, I take great care to make them as engaging and informative as possible. I understand that visitors to Istanbul may have limited time to see everything, which is why I keep my tours short and packed with interesting information. I focus on the main points of the city's history and culture, giving visitors the chance to explore further on their own if they wish. I limit my tours to 12 people in order to ensure I can attend to each person individually. As a guide, I strive to create a personalized experience for each of my visitors. Whether you're a solo traveler, a family with kids, or a group of friends, I will tailor my tours to suit your needs and interests. I'm also happy to share insider tips and recommendations for other places to visit or things to do in Istanbul, so you can make the most of your time in this incredible city. So if you're looking for a knowledgeable and friendly guide to show you around Istanbul, look no further than me. Join me on a journey through the city's rich history and vibrant culture, and let's create unforgettable memories together :)

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  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

Ready to explore the ancient city of Istanbul like never before? Join me on a tour that takes you through the heart of the city, from iconic landmarks like Haghia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern to must-visit spots like the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar.

We will also visit the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts to talk about the foundations of the old Hippodrome, as well as the Palace Mosaics exhibit. Relax in the verdant Gülhane Park and discover the vibrant neighborhood of Eminönü.

Book now for an unforgettable journey through Istanbul's rich history and culture!

We'll be taking a tour to see only the exteriors of these places, while I provide information about each location. This will give you the opportunity to visit them at your own pace in the future with your MuseumPass!

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    Binbirdirek, German Fountain, At Meyd...
    Binbirdirek, German Fountain, At Meydanı Cd, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye
    View on map

    I will be in front of the German Fountain (Alman Çeşmesi). You can recognize me by my purple umbrella.

  • 1
    Outside visit
    Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain

    The German Fountain (also known as the Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain) is a beautiful and historic fountain located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was a gift from the German Kaiser Wilhelm II to the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, and was built between 1897 and 1900.

  • 2
    Outside visit
    Haghia Sophia

    The Hagia Sophia is a historic and architectural landmark located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was originally built as a cathedral by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in 537 AD, and served as the largest cathedral in the world for almost a thousand years. After the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque, and served as such for almost 500 years.

  • 3
    Outside visit
    Basilica Cistern

    The Basilica Cistern is an ancient underground water storage system located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was built in the 6th century during the Byzantine era, and was used to store water for the nearby Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings in the area.

  • 4
    Outside visit
    Hippodrome of Constantinople / Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

    The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a public entertainment and sporting arena located in the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). It was built in the 3rd century AD, and was used for chariot racing, athletic contests, and other events.

  • 5
    Outside visit
    Great Palace Mosaics Museum

    The Great Palace Mosaics Museum showcases a collection of ancient mosaics from the Byzantine era. The mosaics were originally part of the Great Palace of Constantinople, which was the primary residence of the Byzantine emperors.

  • 6
    Outside visit
    Gülhane Park / Istanbul Archeology Museums

    The Istanbul Archaeology Museums is a complex of three museums that houses a vast collection of ancient artifacts and treasures from various civilizations.

  • 7
    Outside visit
    Sirkeci Train Station

    Here is the last stop for the Orient Express!

  • 8
    Outside visit

    We will walk through the Sirkeci district, to the Spice Bazaar in Eminönü.

  • 9
    Outside visit
    Grand Bazaar

    Here, our journey comes to an unforgettable finale, as we explore the labyrinthine alleyways and bustling markets of one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets.

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

9 ratings
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1 star
Agie 12 Jun 2023

We had a great walking tour with M! Istanbul is all uphills and downhills, we sure experienced that!! It was one of the best walking tours we ever had. Mertcan is very knowledgeable on city's Byzantine and Ottoman past and he is a very friendly person. He is also very easy to talk to. We would definitely take the other tours he is offering next time.
Pam 07 Jun 2023

I recently had the pleasure of joining Mertcan's tour of Istanbul's main attractions, and I must say it was an exceptional experience that left me completely enamoured by this magnificent city. From the moment the tour began, Mertcan's enthusiasm and deep knowledge of Istanbul's history and culture shone through. His passion for the city was infectious, and he effortlessly transported us back in time with his captivating storytelling.
Bernardo 30 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in group - May 2023
Mertcan is a really nice guy, he shared with us the history of the main places as we expected, he was open for questions and pretty nice answering all of them. He spent a bit more time than expected, definelty 100% recommended.
Giovanni 29 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in family - May 2023
Grande, grandissimo! Abbiamo partecipato al tour di Mertkan come famiglia e ci siamo divertiti moltissimo. Egli conosce molto bene la storia della città ed è molto interessato a raccontarla. È anche gentile e amichevole, ci ha detto che possiamo chiamarlo in qualsiasi momento se abbiamo domande. Consiglio vivamente il tour di Mertkan!!
Dmitry 13 Apr 2023

Я очень благодарен нашему туристическому гиду за интересную и познавательную экскурсию. Он профессионально рассказывал о истории Византии, что было очень важным для меня, так как я всегда интересовался этой темой. Гид был очень дружелюбным и внимательным к нашим потребностям, а также был готов ответить на все наши вопросы. Я бы определенно рекомендовал его как туристического гида для всех, кто посещает этот регион. Спасибо еще раз за замечательную экскурсию!
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Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Suitable for carrying pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
A minimum of 5 people is required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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