Flavours of the Old City Tour
8 reasons to book this experience
What you can expect
You can take your time eating your kahvaltı and sipping your çay the way that Turks do.
Following your breakfast, you will start exploring some of the oldest streets in Istanbul, beginning at the Spice Market and embarking along your journey toward the Grand Bazaar. Along the way, we taste döner kebab and künefe, fresh off the traditional wood-fired barbeque and bound to be one of your favourites. Then, make a small rest stop for Turkish coffee inside a historic 300-year-old Ottoman Han.
Once we arrive at the Grand Bazaar, we will wander some of the area’s most authentic streets before climbing up to the impressive gardens of Süleymaniye Mosque. (Note: we do not enter inside the mosque) After enjoying the panoramic Bosphorus views from atop one of Istanbul’s seven hills, you will sit down to enjoy one of Turkey’s most traditional dishes at a 100-year-old restaurant.
You’ll feast your tastebuds on local favourites like kokoreç (we’ll tell you what that is later) and beyran çorbası from the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants adored by locals. As you wander the historic back streets, you’ll experience more than 15 different food tastings during your day.
Finally, your tour will finish amidst 1600-year-old Roman aqueducts with a traditional Anatolian-style lunch – prepared just the way central Anatolians have enjoyed it for generations. Immersing yourself into the authentic tastes of Turkey is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip and a memory to look back on for a long time.
A day spent exploring Flavours of the Old City is sure to surprise and delight your taste buds and unearth the local charms of Istanbul’s Old City.
Market-sourced Turkish Breakfast
You will start your morning as locals do – at the Spice Bazaar gathering an assortment of Turkish breakfast items, including cheeses, buffalo cream, olives and simit. You’ll sit down at a local tea house to enjoy your kahvaltı with a glass of freshly-brewed Turkish çay and menemen (Turkish scrambled eggs). Your guide will share stories about culture and daily life while you’ll wonder if this could be your favourite breakfast ever.
Streets of the Old City & Grand Bazaar
Your guide will take you on an exploration through the backstreets surrounding the Grand Bazaar, of one of the world’s oldest and most significant markets. You will eat your way through the narrow laneways where the local tradesmen ensure only the most delicious restaurants survive. The panoramic view of the city from the garden of Suleymaniye Mosque will be your reward for climbing one of Istanbul’s seven hills and ascending many winding staircases. A dish of the locals’ all-time favourite foods, kuru fasulye (beans cooked in tomato paste) will be a welcome treat for your hungry tummy.
Translated as Womens’ Market; here you’ll find traditional butchers, kebab restaurants, spice, cheese and honey shops all surrounded by 1600-year-old Roman aqueducts. Kadınlar Pazarı is one of the very few ethnic open-air markets in Istanbul and is the perfect escape for carnivorous foodies. You will embark on a short market orientation before sitting down for a vast late lunch. Your journey ends with a spread of 4 main courses (you must try the famous büryan – pit-roasted lamb), 3 side dishes and 2 desserts!