Guided tour

Istanbul: Home-Cooked Dinner with a Local Family

4.5 / 5

63 reviews

Istanbul: Home-Cooked Dinner with a Local Family

From US$ 53.33 per person

Enjoy Turkish hospitality at its best with a visit to a family in Sultanahmet for some delicious home cooking. After dinner you’ll take a stroll through the historic neighborhood with a local guide, sip tea, and play backgammon in an authentic teahouse.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
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Duration 3.5 hours
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  • Enjoy a meal with a local family in Istanbul
  • Learn about the cultural customs of Turkey
  • Try a Turkish waterpipe
  • Enjoy the national beverage in a teahouse
Full description
With your local guide you’ll wander through the streets of the historical Sultanahmet district on the way to visit a local family for a home-cooked dinner. The Turkish sense of hospitality is well known and tonight you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy it firsthand on this 3.5-hour tour. There is little English spoken but your bilingual guide is there to help with any awkward moments. You can chat informally with all members of the family and hear what it’s like to live in Turkey today, while enjoying a typical dinner with a local family. After feasting on the delicious food it’s time to take a stroll through the back streets. You’ll see lovely wooden houses in various states of repair, and get a sense of the communal life lived in Istanbul. Head to a local hangout to enjoy fabulous views of the Marmara Sea and spend the rest of the evening hanging out like an ordinary Turk! There may be a football match to enjoy on TV, and there will definitely be some games of backgammon underway. If you don’t know the rules or how to play, your guide will give you the lowdown. The nargile, or water pipe, is synonymous with Turkey. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to smoke one, tonight is your chance to have a go. Sit back, relax, and drink copious cups of tea as you learn about today’s Turkey and its people.
  • English-speaking guide
  • Dinner and drinks with a local family
  • Stroll through Sultanahmet backstreets
  • Play a game of backgammon
  • Tea
  • Enjoy a nargile water pipe
  • Extra drinks at teahouse
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • All participants who are over 18 years old must present proof of full vaccination. Participants aged 6-17 must present either proof of full vaccination, proof of Covid-19 infection in the past 9 months, or a negative PCR or lateral flow Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before the activity starts

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Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Pudding Shop (Lale Restaurant) Divanyolu Caddesi No:12 Sultanahmet 34400 Fatih/Istanbul Turkey

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Important information

Know before you go

  • Children’s prices apply for children between 6 and 11 years of age.
  • Please be aware that the standard of dress throughout Turkey is conservative. To respect this and for your own comfort we recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Turkish people do not wear shoes within the home so we suggest that you wear easy slip-on shoes.
  • The weather in Istanbul is highly variable depending on the time of year. Winters can be freezing cold and summers can be extremely hot and humid (June, July, and August). Please note that short shorts for both men and women are not acceptable nor are tank or singlet tops.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 63 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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This tour was a high point of my trip to Istanbul, exceeding all expectations. The tour of the Sultanahmet area was very informative, and our tour guide was fun, friendly, and knowledgeable. The family dinner was authentic and delicious, and our host was very gracious, answering all of our questions about life in Istanbul. Finally, the trip to the local tea house was a blast, and was also a great opportunity to further discuss Turkish life, culture, and politics with our guide.

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November 8, 2018

Great experience!

I would recommend this activity in a way to get to know local people as well as contribute and help host family. We have really enjoyed our dinner and after tea and hookah session. Our guide had an excellent English and knowledge about local life and culture. I would recommend this if you are visiting Istanbul for sure!

July 5, 2018

Great way to get familiar with Turkish culture

Our guide Suleyman was very friendly. We were a big group of 11 people and we learned a lot from him. Dinner at family's place was cozy, while game and water pipe at a tea house was fun. A price is a bit high, but all in all great experience.

January 8, 2018

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Product ID: 4541