After you meet your guide in the Sultanhamet district, head by foot to your local family’s home for your small-group food and culture tour in Istanbul. Savor an evening to learn about the heritage of Turkish cuisine and, of course, fill your belly with plenty of home-style delights.
Arrive and meet your hosts as you absorb the delectable smells emanating from the kitchen. The meal of the night will vary depending on available ingredients, but prepare for a 3-course dinner that will leave you satiated. A typical appetizer is a thin soup called çorba (usually prepared using lentils) and a classic entree is minced meat and eggplant served with a side salad and rice. Since Turks have a soft spot for sweets, save room for dessert which includes tasty pastries served with mint tea.
During dining, enjoy casual conversation about a typical day in the life of an Istanbulite. Then, learn more about the food you’re eating as your bilingual guide helps translate with your friendly hosts. After experiencing warm Turkish hospitality, savor the waning moments as you bid farewell to your hosts.
Next, step outside into the evening air for a walk along the lesser known streets of Istanbul where tourists are few and far between. Cruise through neighborhoods with elegant wooden homes and learn about the diverse cultures that led Istanbul to be named the city of a thousand faces. Hear how Turks, Armenians, and Greeks all converged here making this a true east meets west Cosmopolitan city.
Continue to a local joint to meet some cool locals and gaze out over the Marmara Sea. Here, delve into Turkey’s sporty culture and see televised football games and people playing backgammon. Perhaps challenge a local to a backgammon match. The last highlight of the day is a Turkish staple: sipping strong tea and experiencing a rich puff from the shisha pipe. From here you can request from your guide directions back to your hotel or any other location you wish to go.
Intrepid Urban Adventures Istanbul