We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

backpackers travel istanbul

Which Istanbul hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
1 post
19 reviews
Save Topic
backpackers travel istanbul

We recently returned from a trip to Turkey. Many of our arrangements were made through Backpacker Travel in Istanbul, which came highly recommended by Turkey Travel Planner, a very useful website for the budget traveller. While much of TTP's advice was excellent, we would like to temper their recommendation of Backpacker Travel. They did come through on the promised arrangements -- hotels, tours, transfers, ... at the most reasonable price, which is, ultimately what we opted for. However, the flip side was:

1. poor responsiveness to emails and phone calls.

2. no sense at any point during the trip that they had any interest in how things were going, and when things went poorly, no sense that they had any interest in addressing the problem either by compensating us or by making sure the next person didn't face the same issues. I should say that this was in contrast with almost all other tourist outlets that we interacted with -- including the hotels, local travel/tour agencies that they connected us with all of us were extraordinarily helpful and hospitable.

This wasn't just a problem over email, the same applied even when we visited their office in Istanbul. They made clear by their attitude that they were our booking agents, with no real interest in offering hospitality.

I note that very similar comments were posted on this forum in 2009. You should know that they have not changed their approach. But maybe this impersonal touch is how they keep costs down.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
14,122 posts
243 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

Backpackers obtain customers through aggressive pursuit of customer recommendations on this forum as well as other travel sites. In all fairness most of the positive reviews we read of Backpackers seem legitimate. I do not know how a business can force a customer to write a good review if he/she had a bad experience.

Nonetheless, we do not really have the sensation that we have a balanced view of experiences guests have with this company. It is disappointing to read that you did not have a hospitable experience. I cannot excuse this based on maintaining low prices. A smile, a statement of concern about your experience, and few minutes of advice cost the business nothing while enhancing the experience for guests.

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
36,265 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

gstarkman, Thank you very much for a candid and balanced evaluation of backpackers travel. It is most useful to forum members in choosing their travel and transfer companies.

enigma...

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

November 4, 2011. We used Backpackers to transfer from Ataturk Airport to our hotel in Sultanhamet, Istanbul. Excellent service - on time and organized. Great driver - not much English, but willing to teach us Turkish. Helped with bags at the hotel. 20 euros for two in a comfortable mini-van.

Some delays in responding to emails, but overall, a good experience.

Dubai
3 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

I booked my airport transfer last November 18 from Ataturk to Sultanahmet and was satisfied with the service. At the last minute a day before our flight, I read a negative review about this company saying they dont show up on time and would fill out the mini van with passengers before leaving the airport contrary to what they are advertising in the internet that this is a private shuttle service. In my experience, this company lived up to what they have promised - a private shuttle service for your own to be there on time of your arrival and to take you immediately to your hotel as soon as you meet with the driver. When we arrive at the airport, we immediately located them when I read my name on the plate, our arrival was immediately coordinated and we were assisted all throughout the time until we were handed over to our chauffeur. The Mercedes van was clean and we had it all to ourselves, the chauffeur very courteous and polite and carried our bags to our hotel. With this experience, my fear was unfounded which is why I sent them another email to book for my return transfer when we leave Turkey. My email was immediately attended to and our driver was right on the dot when he picked us up at Sultanahmet. The chauffeur offered us something to drink when we got on in the van, he was clean, properly uniformed, polite and courteous. Euros 20 is certainly the best value for money for the airport transfer. When we come back to Turkey, we will sure get them again.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1 post
12 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

We booked Backpackers for our airport transfers, a full-day walking tour of Old Istanbul, and the Bosphorous Cruise/Spice Market tour. At all times they were punctual, friendly, accommodating and resourceful. Our tour groups were small, which was GREAT, and the guide was very knowledgeable and excellent. All of our dealings with them were seamless and working with them really made our trip to Istanbul a great pleasure. I would recommend their services in a heartbeat.

Burnham-on-Crouch...
Level Contributor
12 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

My wife an I travelled to Istanbul for a short break at the end of March 2012.

As always I checked Trip advisor and discounted the reviews that didn't seem reliable.

There are coaches that offer transfers to Istanbul from the airport but these don't stop in the old city and would require tram or taxi to get to the hotels. On our first day in a new city after an early start and a 4 hr flight we decided to get a taxi/minibus to take us directly to the hotel.

Even though Backpackers had some terrible reviews few of them seemed to come from credible travellers who had submitted balanced reviews of places in different countries so we booked our airport shuttle with backpackers.

We were met at the airport by a young man who spoke good English and then switched to Chinese and French to greet others.

We walked about 30 yards and were shown into a comfortable minibus ( we were the only passengers) where we were taken to our hotel.

On the return journey our hotel received a phone call from the company apologising that the minibus was stuck in traffic ( on occupational hazard in old Istanbul) and informing us that it would be 5 minutes late. The minibus duly arrived and got us to the airport in plenty of time for our flight.

Both drivers were smartly dressed and polite. Both minibuses were clean. On both occasions we were the only passengers.

The on-line booking was easy and efficient.

We also pre booked some ours with this company but there was no attempt whatsoever to sell us any more tours and no mention of the tours that we had booked.

When I return I will no doubt use Backpackers again for airport transfer.

We took two half day walking tours of Old Istanbul and a half day coach tour to the Golden Horn. All of the tours were excellent with an intinary that picked out the places that we wanted to see with expert comment on the history of the places and a commentary on peoples lives in modern Turkey which was equally interesting. All entrance fees were included which made the tours great value and it was really good to go straight to the front of the very long queues at some of the palaces.

Once again there was no attempt made to sell any more of the tours or evening activities offered by the firm.

As with the airport transfer I will use this firm again when we return to Istanbul.

And by the way-Istanbul is a really fantastic city to visit-If you haven't been then you must go.

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
36,265 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

marsh-land, thanks for a detailed review of Backpackers tours and shuttle services. Come again.

enigma...

Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
5 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

I would like to let you know that we were VERY, VERY HAPPY with BACKPACKER TRAVEL AND TOUR'S services!!!! We were worried about some of the reviews they received on Trip Advisor (about transfer pick ups being absent, or that they solicit ads, etc) that I had to send Enigma2007 a message to ask if we should go ahead and book tours with them. I am happy to report that we were very pleasantly surprised that everything went smoothly!!! We feel like they bent over backwards to meet our every need and we truly appreciate that!

All the pick ups were prompt and on time, their tour guides were pleasing and efficient. Their vans were clean and comfortable. The drivers were all very pleasant and their tour prices were very reasonable.

The tour they booked for us to Ephesus/Izmir was perfect too. The hotel we chose (Swissotel) even

gave us 2 rooms (we thought we would just be sharing 1 room) and even upgraded the rooms to suites (with clubroom access!!!) so we had 2 suites for just the 3 of us! Yes, we were absolutely happy!

The driver and the tour guide (from Ramtours) in Izmir were the best. Kerem was very pleasant and accomodating. We had some time left over after the tour so he took us to St. John's Basilica which wasn't part of the tour (we just had to pay for the entrance fees) before bringing us back to the airport.

We were very, very happy that we booked with their company and we highly recommend them to everyone! And NO, this review was not solicited! I feel they've received some bad press when they were absolutely professional and efficient.

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
36,265 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

iamjmc, Thanks for your review of Backpackers travel. We will make a note of this very positive recommendation.

enigma...

Sydney
Level Contributor
2 posts
132 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: backpackers travel istanbul

Just wanted to add our Backpackers Travel experience.

We generally don't use travel agencies or go on tours. We went on only one tour in three months of travelling through Africa.

We thought it would be easier to attend the Anzac Day dawn service at Gallipoli with a tour and gave Backpackers Travel a try.

They were very responsive and accommodating during the planning stages, so no complaints there.

I think my biggest problem with the place is that they don't actually run the tours, they are just a broker. They don't make this clear.

In a way criticizing the tour operators is missing the mark because they are separate companies. You just hope that Backpackers are choosing good ones for you. Knowing this I probably wouldn't use them again as they add very little value.

In fact they cheekily charged us US$80 for bus tickets onward from Gallipoli which differed from the standard itinerary. The actual value of the tickets was half that amount.

The tour we had with TJ was good but credit goes to TJ for that. Backpackers Travel did not add anything to the experience.

Cheers,

Dave