How it works:
- Unofficial guides will offer to help you skip the queue if you sign up for an expensive private tour with them.
- First, they will overcharge you on entrance tickets.
- Next, tour quality is likely to be low as such guides are not trained and are incentivized to finish the “tour” quickly so they can pick up other tourists.
- After the “tour”, they may also bring you to a carpet shop where they get a cut.
Places to beware:
- Istanbul: Hagia Sophia Museum/Church (Ayasofya), Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet District
What to do:
- There may be good unofficial guides – test them for a minute before committing. In general however, they are not worth it. Get a licensed, reputable guide instead:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform globally) also has many popular tours (e.g. Cappadocia hot air balloon flight, highlights of Istanbul, Whirling Dervishes Show, etc), or check out this page for the best tours in Turkey.