1- What is istanbulite.com?
istanbulite.com is a travel agency based in Istanbul, specializing in custom-made private tours & concierge services in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German.
2- What is a custom-made private tour?
A custom-made private tour is designed depending on your specific interest areas and needs.
You will be discovering Istanbul with your own private professional tour guide, luxury vehicle and professional driver.
3- How can I customize my own private tour?
I. Filter your search among the sight categories, and start adding sights or tours to your cart. You can either create your own itinerary or simply choose from our recommended tours. (5 sights per day is recommended)
II. Select your tour dates, fill out the form and submit your tour request.
III. Depending on your selections an itinerary will be scheduled specific for your party and within 36 hours you will receive an e-mail regarding the tour program and payment options.
4- What is the benefit of booking a custom-made private tour?
With a custom-made private tour;
- Design your own Istanbul experience with istanbulite know-how
- Experience Istanbul accompanied by knowledgeable & up-to-date professional tour guides in luxury and comfort & do as istanbulites do
- Benefit from the concierge services
- Spend your time efficiently
- Have priority in museum entrances (no waiting in ticket lines)
- Have flexibility, opportunities to reschedule your itinerary during the tour
5- What does the concierge service provide me?
Concierge service provides 24/7 assistance to you regarding restaurant, night club and shopping recommendations & reservations either prior or during your visit.
6- In which languages does istanbulite.com offer guiding services?
English, Spanish, Portuguese and German
For any other languages please contact email@example.com
7- How long does one full-day private tour last?
One full-day private tour lasts approximately 6-8 hours
8- When should I make the reservation?
Making your reservation 3 weeks in advance is recommended. Especially in the high season (May to November) demand is almost triple, we tend to be overbooked.
9- How does the payment method work?
We request you to pay 30% of the total amount to confirm your reservation prior to your arrival. Remaining 70% would be charged on the 1st day of the tour either in cash or credit card.
You can either pay via Paypal, IBAN Wire Transfer or mail order.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
10- What is the cancellation policy of istanbulite.com?
30% penalty would be applied in case the reservation is cancelled within 72 hours prior to the departure time. For reservations that are cancelled before 72hours, the whole amount will be refunded.
11- What should I wear to visit the historical peninsula (Sultanahmet area)?
There is no specific dress code, however we recommend you to wear comfortable shoes since you would be walking during your visit in Sultanahmet.
(For the handicapped traveler, minimum walking required tours can be arranged)
Following the confirmation of your reservation, you will be informed about this issue depending on your itinerary.
12- What are the rules and regulations regarding entrance to the mosques?
Shoes are taken off prior to entrance of the mosques.
Carrying a pair of socks with you is recommended in case of hygenic concerns.
Shoulders and legs should be covered and hats should be taken off prior to entrance.
13- Can I take pictures and film everywhere?
Taking pictures and filming is allowed almost in every sight including the mosques.
Flash is not permitted at some sections, you will be informed by your guide when this is the case.
To use tripod, you would need special permission from the authorities in the museums.
14- Do I need reservations for lunch during the tour?
Your guide would recommend you a variety of restaurants and make reservations during the tour, if needed. If you have a special diet, the restaurants can be arranged prior to your visit as well.
15- Do I need reservations for dinner?
Istanbul is a very dynamic city, restaurants and night clubs would be busy Thursday through Sunday.
Reservations are recommended for dinner in fine dining restaurants, especially on the weekends.
Most kitchens are open till 10pm, some fine dining restaurants have two different seatings such as 8-10pm and 10-12am. Our concierge service would recommend various restaurants and make your reservation.
17- What is the time zone of Istanbul?
There is one time zone used in all of Turkey, it is GMT +2.
16- What is the official language in Turkey?
Turkish is the official language in Turkey.
More and more people among the young generation speak English.
18- What is the best time to visit Istanbul?
May and September are the best times to visit the city due to weather conditions.
19- What are the weather conditions like in Istanbul?
While it can get very warm and humid during the summer, winters are windy and rainy. It snows in the city almost every year for a week or two.
Late spring (april & may) and early fall (september & october) are the nicest times in the city.
20- What’s the monetary unit used in Turkey?
The official currency used in Turkey is Turkish Lira (TL)
1, 5, 10, 25, 50 kuruş (cents) and 1 TL (Lira) coins & 5, 10, 20, 50 ,100 and 200 banknotes are available.
21- Can I spend € or $ in Istanbul?
Some restaurants, cafes and shops accept EUR and USD, especially around Sultanahmet and Grand Bazaar.
Yet official entities such as museums and public transportation ticket boots exclusively accept TL.
22- What is the tipping habit in Istanbul?
Tip is paid in cash in Turkey and it is between 10 to 20% depending on your satisfaction.
Some establishments would include the 10% in the bill as ‘service’, make sure you ask if it is already included in the bill.
23- Is Istanbul a safe city?
Istanbul is a safe city compared to the other metropolitan cities of her size. Majority of the crime we come across in Istanbul consists of petty crime such as pick-pocketing.
25-How many cruise ship ports are there in Istanbul?
There are two cruise ship ports, right next to each other, on the European side.
Salı Pazarı Passenger Terminal and Karaköy Yolcu Limanı Passenger Terminal.
24- How many international airports are there in Istanbul?
There are two international airports in Istanbul, located on different sides of the city.
Ataturk International Airport (IST) - located on the European side
Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) - located on the Asian side
26- When do I need to be at the airport and how long does it take to arrive?
For international flights one needs to be at the airport 2 hours prior to the flight.
From the city center, Taksim, it is approximately 45 minutes/1 hour to Atatürk Airport and 1hour/75 minutes to SAW.
Departure time would be rescheduled at rush hour period.
27- What are the public transportation options available?
Buses, tram, subway, ferries and funicular is available as public transportation.
You might find it helpful to use the tram or the public ferry during your stay in Istanbul.
Tram, metro and funicular time schedules:
06:00 to 00:00 everyday
Ticket fee: 2 TL (per journey)
28- What time is the rush hour?
Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city with over 15 million population.
Between 8-10am & 5-8pm are considered to be rush hours, however traffic is one of the most unpredictable phenomenon in the city.
29- What’s the most common working hour in Istanbul?
Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday is the official weekend.
Friday is a working day.
30-What are the working hours of the pharmacies?
Most commonly pharmacies are open between 9am to 6pm.
They are closed on Sunday, there is one that is on attendance in each neighborhood.
31- How to dial a local phone?
Country code of Turkey is 90.
Istanbul is divided into two main districts, European and Asian (Anatolian) side.
The city code for Europe is 212 and for Asia it is 216
For instance to dial a number on the Asian side from the European side, you need to dial 0216 first and follow it with the 7 digit phone number.
In case of calling from your mobile, make sure you dial the country code prior to the city code.