Istanbul, Turkey

Art and Antiques of Istanbul

with Leila&emrah

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2 reviews

Style: Intellectual

We are ephemera and art collectors in Istanbul and we know where to go for art and antiques. Come with us to explore the secret treasures in the back street auction houses and second-hand booksellers of Istanbul. No one should go home with cheap Chinese made souvenirs from this ancient city. Join us as we explore the weekly auctions and antique stores, hunting for treasures that the modern world can't provide. We will help you bid on the items of your choice, and get the best deal possible, to bring home memories and one-of-a-kind books and pottery or carpets that any collector would treasure.

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per person
for 7 hours

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Your Insider

Emrah and I met in Istanbul a five years ago. We are both writers and avid antique collectors and bonded over his spoon collection. We enjoy the odd treasure hunt. During the weekdays, I work as a lecturer at one of the top universities in the country and Emrah works in corporate communications for a private firm. On the weekends, however, we both love exploring the old Turkey, and the historic items that are available in this fascinating city of Istanbul. Emrah is a published author and a collector of old newspapers, postcards and 18th and 19th century documents. I have an affinity for old buttons and tapestries. We aren't "tour guides" per se. We live here, we love it, and we'd love to share it with you. Full profile

2 Reviews

Antonina G.

We very much enjoyed our day of walking, talking and shopping with Emrah. His extensive knowledge of Istanbul's history, culture and day-to-day life are only exceeded by his ability to communicate them. His English is perfect and his presentation skills make time pass quickly. Emrah will leave you feeling good with shopping bags in hand, a head full of new knowledge and a warm feeling in your heart for Emrah and Istanbul. We would recommend that any visitor to Istanbul plan to spend a day with Emrah.

Jeff A.

My day with Emrah and Leila was perfect. I had already seen the major historical sites on previous visits to Istanbul and was hankering for this tour as advertised, a behind the scenes eclectic journey through antique shops, used book stores, cafes, and even one of the great flea markets of the world, accompanied by two incredibly personable and generous Istanbul insiders. Our day together was one delightful surprise after another, far surpassing any expectation I had. From the moment we met, they took incredible care of me, ensuring that we had the best outing possible. Upon our first meeting, Emrah shared several amazing scrapbooks that he had created from his personal collection of historical documents and photographs. What a great way to start! We first hit the Istanbul antique flea market, which left me slack-jawed with amazement at the incredible offerings (including museum quality Islamic and Christian relics from the region at incredible prices). This actually was a fantastic cultural experience unto itself and a true counterpoint to the frenetic Grand Bazaar experience that most tourists have. We then spent much of our time in the Kadikoy District on the Asian side of Istanbul, visiting antique shops and used book stores, checking out the copious street art, and enjoying an delicious seafood lunch at one of Emrah’s favorite restaurants. All the while, they shared their local insights and experiences, and provided ongoing translation for me with store owners and shopkeepers, ultimately helping negotiate very fair prices. Our day ended with an unforgettable ferry ride back to the European side of the city at dusk. This was one of the best travel experiences that I have ever had in my life. This is the real-world Istanbul tour that I wish I had taken years ago. I can’t recommend this tour enough!!

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