About Us

Istanbul Tour Guides: Scholarly, Experienced, and Local

We live in a wonderful world which is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. And in our mind, the best way to explore any location is on foot. Not only you get a chance to see the main attractions but you also get a great possibility to take the unbeaten path, discover hidden gems. And who doesn’t like that?

Want even better experience and maximize your time during your visit? Guided walking tours are the best way to do that. But hold on… Don’t just take any walking tour. Take a tour that is guided by passionate local guides, just like we are at Walks In Istanbul.

From majestic Topkapi Palace to legendary Hagia Sophia and the hip vibe in Fener and Balat. If you think that guided walking tours are just museums and standing in line, then our Golden Horn walking tour will definitely change your mind. Or maybe a night tour in Kadikoy to sample famous Turkish cuisine? We don’t want to spoil your excitement, but we have curated walking tours for everybody’s taste in Istanbul.

Join us and experience the city the way would locals do. Not just another walking tour, but a tour that is created especially for you!

Book an Istanbul tour now for personalized attention and skip the lines with priority admission.

Arzu Founder

Arzu is a tour guide, tourism professional, and an entrepreneur living part-time in Istanbul and Tallinn. She is responsible for running this business when she is not trying to catch up on laundry. She’s a kick-ass mom and enjoys writing, traveling, storytelling, and good wine with good company.

She’s doing her master’s degree on Estonian Studies at Tallinn University. You may still have her as your guide while she’s in Istanbul.

Sandra Purvinaa
Sandra Uber Cool

Sandra is our back office fairy, keeping things simple and jumping into all of the adventures that come to Arzu’s mind in order to make Walks In Istanbul better and better. Some might call her assistant but we like to refer to her as the back office fairy because she keeps us surprised with magic.

In her free time, Sandra enjoys traveling, good food and making beautiful photos around the world. She is originally from Latvia but living already for a few years in Estonia. If you ever meet Sandra, she will never say no to a dish which contains potatoes.

Born in historical Ottoman Bursa on World Tourism Day, it was Adnan’s destiny to be in tourism. He studied economics and completed a second degree to fulfill his childhood dream: being a tour guide. He traveled to some 40 countries around the globe. Adnan’s known for his enthusiasm and sense of humor. We pride ourselves on having him on the team with his 27 years of experience. He’s a delight to walk around with thanks to his love for gastronomy and photography.

Adnan is married to Funda and they parent Pelin beautifully.


etem can easily pass for an american. he owes his english language skills to the american school of tarsus. he studied economics at the university of istanbul, then spanish literature at the same university, then got a master’s degree in architectural history at kadir has university.

etem is an avid reader and travels around the globe with his wife nazan and their gorgeous children mira and eren.


Ebru studied English Literature at Bosporus University and had a career as an editor for a travel magazine. Her dream job was to become a tour guide, and she got her license in 2002. A native of Istanbul and a licensed guide, she has a broad range of knowledge and is extremely interested in the history of art, architecture, and religions with special emphasis on Greek Orthodoxy and Byzantine history. Ebru finished an MA program in the history of religions at the School of Theology and has been working on her thesis on prophecy in ancient Greece. Apart from guiding, she gives seminars on early Christianity, origins of Christmas, ancient Greek mythology and Vikings of the Byzantine Empire: the Varangian Guards. Currently, she is studying art history at Istanbul University, and taking modern Greek and Ottoman script classes in her free time.


Çiğdem is an Istanbul addict, and has done so much in her life that this small space won’t be enough! She has a degree on economy, and a master’s for theatre and dramaturgy.  She worked for multinational finance companies for years. She was a production assistant, PR contact, hospitality manager at stadium concerts, and a conference interpreter.
We are lucky to have her energy and enthusiasm as part of her guiding career these days.

Mustafa Kemal Topcu
Mustafa Kemal

Mustafa Kemal – what a perfect name for someone who is really perfect for what he does. He’s an expert guide in English and Russian. Not only Istanbul, but he also guides in the western coast of Turkey and shares his passion for Turkey with our clients. He’s known for his friendly manner, easy going personality and a super social character.

Çetin Istanbul City Manager

Çetin was born in a remote village in midlands Turkey into a farmer family and ended up in İstanbul. He has a diploma of a chef and a BA in ESL and a professional guiding license. He can cook, teach and guide! This lucky man has an organic farm in Greece where he rushes when he’s not working. His passion for Istanbul passes to our clients as they walk the city with him.

Cetin and his wife Ayse live in Istanbul and Greece with their lovely daughter Defne.



Guiding is a tradition in Tan’s family. He has the expertise from his parents and is now enjoying 25 years in business. He lives in Izmir and is our destination manager for the Aegean coast. He’s behind the scenes organising all the vehicles, transfers, and makes sure everyone sits back and enjoys our shore excursions in the area. He has a big laugh and has a lot to talk about (in a good way). His passion is to transfer the uncommercial face of our country to our guests.


A true local from Istanbul (maybe a Byzantine?), Duygu has a deep love for this beautiful country. She has a degree in tourism and traveled around Turkey many times before she decided to settle back home and start a family.

She mothers Aras when she is not guiding and when not at the theatre.


Ezel is a true Istanbulite who has traveled to more than 60 countries. She lived in the Netherlands for a year and is a bilingual guide in English and Dutch. She has an engineering degree from ITU and her hobbies are maths (yes), learning new languages, enjoying being a chef and mothering baby Tibet.



Erkut holds a B.A. in American Studies from Hacettepe University in Ankara. He’s working hard to fulfill two of his childhood dreams: to read all the books in his library and to travel to every single place on the map of Turkey. Erkut is a great chef. His dinner parties are famous; you may enjoy one if you like offals.

He’s the proud father of Ali and a gray cat.