It was thirty years ago that we dwelt on to her surprises. The city that has been founded on legends and has been on the radar of all poets, artists and emperors ever since. She has a dozen names but recently has been called İstanbul.
For three decades we have paved our paths in her streets to discover what she offers. Poke our curiosity in the authentic, rusty buildings, our perception of her history and our love into her breath. So far we have curated more than 200 routes that do not collide in her labyrinth. All themed with unique leitmotif that attracts interested souls.
We scream out to discover where you live, look up, question and try to find the answers. As she has answers, you just have to be willing to perceive the history. Everything in the strolls of İstanbul is simple; fed with discoveries, stories, myths, excitement and culture. This actually is the luxury you need, the fire to feed the intellectuality.
The walks can just spark from a small story or a huge architectural gem or a historical event. The key is the mentality that is fed into curating the scenario of the strolls. We called it Step By Step in İstanbul or in a more fashionable way Strolling Through Istanbul. The later was actually a book printed in 1972 written by Hillary Summer-Boyd and John Freely who were the lecturers of our founder Mr Faruk Pekin. So actually our passion dates back more than forty years. We carve out the unique peerless experiences the city has to offer and served it on an intellectual platter to the traveller soul. Distancing ourselves from monotony and pushing forward boldly into enthusiasm and creativity. Mix matching history, culture on a certain balance and spreading it on a lesson platform. To teach the new or to refresh existing knowledge. To curate tours for the soul.
But in the pure core lays İstanbul, her unique character, exquisite depth of culture and magical authenticity. For thirty years here in FEST, we have devoted our energy and joy to her glamour. To celebrate layers of chronicles, open up her wonders above and beneath her. It’s an experience that resonates on a deeper emotional level, a responsible impact. It’s adventurous, extremely personalised and more attuned to locality. It’s in a way, an intense self-discovery of the city one lives. There is no other city in the world that can offer the depth of what İstanbul can serve. No city is richer with every possible factor. It’s a living capital of the world that is going unnoticed by some.
So we are proud to have been able to connect the people with their city. When we started there was no one else offering such strolls, now there are over a dozen. There was only one book on İstanbul, now a whole library is devoted to her. But there can only be one original and that is FEST.
Finally, for the last thirty years, we have been connecting the scouting hunger of İstanbulites who venture beyond the beaten tourist paths and dive deeper into authenticity, localism and culture. Connecting with people in deep and meaningful ways, and fulfilling a desire to give back. People who travel for passion, the passion of a city. We intend to continue this journey for the next decades to come…