Guided tour

Istanbul: Fener/Balat Walking Tour, Pierre Loti Hill & Ferry

4.9 / 5

31 reviews

Activity provider: My Local Guide Istanbul
Guided tour

Istanbul: Fener/Balat Walking Tour, Pierre Loti Hill & Ferry

Activity provider: My Local Guide Istanbul
Likely to sell out

From US$ 80.70 per person

Likely to sell out

Explore the historic outer western area of Istanbul away from typical tourist routes. Experience the local culture and lifestyle, admire centuries-old Ottoman buildings, and cruise on the Golden Horn.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 5 hours
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Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
Small group
Limited to 10 participants


  • Explore the Fener/Balat district and admire Ottoman houses, churches, mosques, and synagogues
  • Take a cable car up to historic Pierre Loti Café and take in the spectacular views of Istanbul
  • Enjoy a ferry ride on the waters of the Golden Horn, the world’s longest natural harbor
Full description
Meet your guide at the Itimat Fabrika Satis yero/magazasi at the the entry gate of the Spice Market in the heart of Istanbul. From here you’ll take the local bus to Fener to discover Istanbul’s heritage. Travel by public bus to the colorful Fener/Balat district, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and at one time home to Istanbul’s Ottoman Orthodox and Jewish residents. See traces of Ottoman life, including wooden houses, mosques, churches, and synagogues, standing together and demonstrating the multicultural and religious ways of the Ottoman Empire. After walking along the cobblestoned streets of the Fener/Balat World Heritage area, you’ll continue along the historic Byzantine city walls that date to the 4th century A.D. and the time of Constantine the Great. See the exterior of the historic Eyüp mosque complex, a sacred area where pilgrims come to visit the mosques and the tombs of Muslim saints. From here you’ll take a short cable car ride up to the famous Pierre Loti Café, a popular meeting point for locals.

Enjoy stunning panoramic views of Istanbul while sipping a drink in one of the cafés where French Poet Pierre Loti was inspired to write Aziyade, part biography and part love story about his escapades in Istanbul in the late 1800s. Walk back down to Eyüp to catch the local ferry for a cruise on the blue waters of the Golden Horn. See Ottoman houses, shipyards, the old and new Galata bridges, Ataturk Bridge, ancient city walls, mosques, churches, and other historic and modern sites. You’ll disembark at Karaköy Harbor, where the tour ends.

  • English-speaking local guide
  • Golden Horn ferry ride
  • A çay tea
  • Turkish coffee or soft drink at the panoramic Pierre Loti Café
  • Public ferry fare back to Karaköy
  • Extra drinks
  • Gratuities
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments
  • Wheelchair users

Select participants and date



Meeting point

The meeting point is outside the entry gate of the Spice Market/Egyptian Bazzar in front of the dairy shop named "Itimat Satış Mağazası". The guide meet you there.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • Pets
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 31 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Service
  • Organization

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Amazing experience! Highly recommended tour for everyone who wants to “meet” bit of real Istanbul! Fener is absolutely beautiful and rides on public transport makes the tour interesting! My only regret is that we did not take cable car ride to the Pierre Loti Café due to the long queue but on the other hand walking through the cemetery was historically interesting! Thanks to our amazing guide Salih we will not forget this day! Thanks

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March 25, 2023

Onder was a fantastic guide. He had a wealth of knowledge about not only Istanbul but also other points of interest in Turkey. In excellent English he generously shared stories along every step of the way and expanded our understanding of this magical city. Onder was also extremely kind and patient with us, adapting to our interests and pace. At the end of the tour we were rushing to get to another appointment, and he calmly and confidently led us there through a frantic rush hour Istanbul. We’d highly recommend booking Onder as a guide and would love to sign up for another tour with him in the future.

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March 25, 2023

ONDER (guide) arrived in good time to meet me. I was the only one on this tour, which meant that I had a private tour. This tour was excellent, both in terms of content and because of Onder - he was highly knowledgeable, generous with his time, highly considerate, and enthusiastic in a low-key way. He showed me everything there was to see, and more, and went out of his way to make this a highly memorable experience in a variety of ways. Nothing was too much trouble for him, and it felt as though I was with a friend. I was particularly delighted about two things: (1) that we were able to enter the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and (2) that we had an iconic dish (balik ekmek) that was on my personal wish list, but I had the pleasure of having it with Onder. Excellent tour, excellent compassionate, knowledgeable guide. Special.

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March 25, 2023

Product ID: 45417