A colorful backstreet walk

Join us on March 8th wandering through some busy colorful backstreets ... a stunning view, a 16th cent. tiled mosque and much more. Time to observe and soak up the atmosphere... 


An old synagogue rediscovered

Early one morning in the old Jewish quarter of Balat, a Synagogue has been brought back to life. It is such a pleasure to the senses to see an untouched building, not ruined by "restoration" in it's true form.

Pera Palace's closed doors...

Sneaking into the ballroom of Pera Palace for a quick shot with 4 lovely Irish sisters... 

New Graffiti Tour in Kadikoy!

A memorable day today, empty streets in Kadikoy and a really fun group.

Pat Yale following Gertude Bell's travels in Istanbul

Recently I had the honor of accompanying Pat Yale, up to my favorite rooftop. Pat Yale is the author of Istanbul: The Ultimate Guide and winner of the Cornucopia Magazine "Ancient and Modern Prize for Original Research" for 
 her newest travel and book project following Gertrude Bell's pre-First World War travels around Turkey.

Grand Bazaar Rooftops Aug.25th

This very popular photography walk brings you through the back streets of the 500 year old Grand Bazaar past the touristy clutter and into the areas where time stands still. We go through it’s narrow passages, a labyrinth of streets, onto its varied rooftops and into it's dignified Byzantine Caravansaries, where we visit Armenian silversmiths and Kurdish textile wholesalers.  

A delight for the eyes. Onto the rooftops, we get varied views of this wonderful city with all its contrasting light and colors, domes, skyscrapers, seas and bridges.  

From the crowds to oases of silence.

At the end there is an optional lunch in a local restaurant from the southeastern city of Mardin or a simple tea and Turkish pastry on the way. 

Fee : 20 Euro / per person

Please contact me for details. info@alternativecitytours.com

Photograph the Asian Side of Istanbul

The Asian Side: Murals and Markets
Aug.17th meeting point: Kadikoy, Besiktas pier

After a short visit to central Kadikoy with it's fish market and the small Armenian chapel, we will cross over to the other side of the tracks to photograph Yeldegirmen. This neighborhood is very interesting, scattered through the small sleepy red light district are wonderful wall paintings the size of whole buildings and as we walk on we will see a sudden change in atmosphere. A stop in a lovely Syrian/French artists cafe and through the newly gentrified streets discovering wall murals painted by International artists. 
Lunch in a local eatery and back through to Moda via the antique market, where the city council is sponsoring another group of artists and work in the making...
Please email me for details and confirmation : info@alternativecitytours.com

Bayram Photography walk in Eyup and Uskudar

The Sweets Holiday

Friday July 17th 13:30 
Meeting point : Karakoy pier Ziraat Bank

A boat ride up the Golden Horn to one of the most sacred Islamic sites, Eyup Sultan Mosque complex where we can take advantage of the afternoon light and the ceremonial atmosphere. Children dressed up in their new clothes, families out enjoying the end of Ramadan, this is one of the most important holidays in Islam. 
A walk through the cemetery and a tea at the Pier Loti cafe, named after the French writer and traveler. We will then go back onto the ferry to the other end of the line to Uskudar, another religiously conservative neighborhood for a stroll through the beautiful Mimar Sinan mosques and it's back streets, a pudding in the famous Ottoman Kanat Lokantasi and back to the port. Ladies, please don't forget your scarves and no shorts or short skirts. Thanks.

Rainy Kadikoy - Kuzguncuk Tour

What a great surprise to have so many people out it the rain. Really fun day, thanks for coming! 

Photo: Louise Jago Kutluca

Sunday morning : Photographing "The Wrinkles of the City"

May 31st. 
Meeting Place: Karakoy Halic Pier. 09:30 am 

The map has come out! Join me in finding them all! At the same time we can enjoy photographing the city on a Sunday morning, For more info on his project, see http://www.jr-art.net/jr

We meet in Taksim sq. in front of the metro at 10.am and start in Tarlabasi where there are 2. Then down to Karakoy and onto the ferry up the Golden Horn where we can see a few in the shipyards and over to Balat and Fener. 
Lunch at the end in a local eatery in Fener.

Found on our Golden Horn walk today...

"In the streets of Balat Neighberhood, Istanbul - Wrinkles of the City project paints a picture of the twentiethcentury by exploring the lives of those who witnessed their cities become scarred by the course of history, economic growth and socio-cultural changes. Its goal was for the elderly’s personal stories to symbolically confront the walls of their city, and for the city and its inhabitants to confront their wrinkles and the stories of their elderly..." JR 

A walk through Galata, a ferry up the Golden Horn and down to Fener/Balat...

Friday, May 22nd

Meeting place: Galata tower

Starting at the sq. under the tower, we will visit the Rustem Pasa Caravansaray built by Mimar Sinan, and we will move on down the back streets on to the Russian orthadox church hidden away in an apt. building in Karakoy . We will then catch the ferry that zig zags up the Golden Horn and wandering through characteristic streets in the process of great transformation, we will visit the Byzantine church of Mary of the Mongols and the Greek Patriarch. On the way we will stop for lunch in a local restaurant.

Please bring your cameras and wear comfy shoes.

Beyond the Bazaar

May 4th Meeting point: Beyazit tram stop
We will start at the second hand book Bazaar, and through some caravansaries onto a spectacular rooftop to observe the morning light over the Bosphorus. 
A walk through the Universities' back streets and a visit to the Kalenderhane mosque, originally a 7th century Byzantine church with beautiful colored marble panels: Continuing through the picturesque neighborhood of Vefa we make a stop at the perfectly preserved historical cafe, over to the Valans Aquaduct where men sit under it's arches sipping tea, we finish this part walking through the meat market street and with a short taxi ride to the Greek Patriarch, Lunch in the quaint Forno restaurant of Fener and up to the Greek Orthodox church of Mary of the Mongols which is back to back with the wonderful Red Greek school.