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food • 8 days, 7 nights

Istanbul: Exploring the Tastes of Two Continents

food • 8 days, 7 nights

Istanbul: Exploring the Tastes of Two Continents

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  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
  • Travel Style
    Urban Exploration
from $3,620 USD per person
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Trip Overview

For millennia, Istanbul has been at the junction of a vast web of geographies with distinct cultural identities, landscapes, and, of course, cuisines. These disparate influences form the great gastronomic mosaic that is modern-day Istanbul cuisine—which is so much more than“Turkish food.” Question the origin of any dish in a typical neighborhood restaurant and you’ll find yourself falling down a rabbit hole that may lead to Albania, or maybe over the peaks of the Caucasus to Chechnya. On this week-long journey in collaboration with Culinary Backstreets, we’ll study the city of Istanbul through its kitchens, using the simple ritual of a tea break to access ancient crafts still alive today. We’ll cross the Bosphorus, visiting food bazaars on both continents, eating in private homes along the way. We’ll also witness cooking demonstrations in working restaurants and have a hands-on lesson in a private home. It will be a week of constant collision and confluence between the many cultural currents that make Istanbul so unique.

Our partner, Culinary Backstreets: In order to create and curate this unique experience, we’ve partnered closely with Culinary Backstreets, a global guide to local eats that publishes restaurant reviews and features on local culinary culture. They bring these stories to life on culinary tours and special events, offered in 12 cities around the world, and have extensive international experience with all things gastronomical.

  • Culinary workshops
  • Meals in private homes
  • Market tours and tastings
  • Local perspectives


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
Culinary Backstreets
In Partnership with Culinary Backstreets

Additional Info


The cost of this trip is $3,280, based on double occupancy. 

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room: You’ll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender. 

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $520. When booking, please select the single room package option.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking three to five miles over the course of each day and remaining on their feet for long periods of time. Keep in mind that Istanbul is a bustling and crowded place.

Arrival & Departure

You should plan to arrive anytime by 3 p.m. on Day 1 and depart anytime on the morning of Day 8. We’re happy to book extra nights for you at the group's hotel and provide suggestions for things to do and see in the city on your own.

  • Accommodation throughout the trip at comfortable boutique hotels.
  • All meals described in the itinerary.
  • Transportation throughout the trip, including in a private coach for visits outside the center city. Travel within the city will be by foot and public transportation.
  • Experienced local guides to accompany you for the duration of the trip, as well as special guests throughout.
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers, excited to explore all that Istanbul has to offer!
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue.
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences.
  • Transportation and flights to and from Istanbul.
  • Airport transfers (recommendations for travel between the airport and our accommodations will be provided).
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages.
  • Applying for a Turkish visa, if applicable.
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Trip FAQ

Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated, though in most cases ingredients can’t be substituted or omitted from particular dishes. Vegan options are challenging to come by, but if you’re willing to be flexible and miss out on some of the tastings, then you’re more than welcome to join. If you have a particular food allergy or intolerance, please contact us to find out if this is the right trip for you.

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Upcoming Departures

  • Jun 14–Jun 21, 2021
    from $3,620
Want to take this trip privately?
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