A Pocket-Sized Tour Guide

Travelling is a passion shared by many around the world. For some, it is the revival of history that makes it appealing as they set foot on cobblestone worn down by thousands of years. For some, it is the entrancing smell of food that clings to their noses as they walk through the streets. Regardless of what it is that draws people to leave their homes and stumble across the streets of an unknown place, travelling is a collective source of excitement. However, the excitement that travelling brings comes with its own set of problems and questions to answer.

Where to stay? Which bus to take? Which restaurant to eat at?

In a country that is foreign to you, finding an answer to these questions can oftentimes be a burden regardless of whether you’re booking online or on-site. While the answers to these questions can depend on the mere circumstances of where one chooses to explore, for the most part, figuring out the fine details of your trip will become quite exhausting.


Saffet Emre Tonguç is a Turkish historian, travel writer, professional guide, and public speaker who has devoted his life to uncovering the beauties of the world, and especially, his country. Due to reasons such as professional necessities but mostly personal interest, he has visited at least 130 countries and 1400 cities (1).

Throughout his extensive travels, he often faced the hardships of travelling and the exasperation that trying to answer the aforementioned questions brings. Thus, he has developed an app called “SET”, an abbreviation for his full name. Using the app, the visitor can choose the city they want to visit from the map and immediately get suggested a number of monuments, restaurants, landmarks, and many other attractions that are worth a visit. Users can also search for accommodation fit for their preferences, all reviewed by Saffet Emre Tonguç himself.


What the app has to offer doesn’t end here. The visitor can access cafes and bars, beach clubs, national parks and museums, shops, and local delicacies, as well as Saffet Emre Tonguç’s travel writings and the tours he has planned for his fellow travellers. Along with all this information, he has written bitesize historical facts about the landmarks and cities so that the visitor can quickly learn a few things before being swung into the unknown.


Here is an example that he wrote for travellers planning to visit Eminönü and Sirkeci,


The fate of Sirkeci was the same both in Byzantium and in the Ottoman Empire. It is a trade center where goods from abroad come, are stored, and where many sailors and merchants rush; briefly the port district of Istanbul. The construction of the station gave Sirkeci special importance and vitality. Sirkeci Train Station, one of the stops of the famous Orient Express, the post building that left its mark on 20th century architecture, and the First and Fourth Foundation Inns are just a few of the beauties you can access within a few steps. Eminönü streets between Yeni Cami and Sirkeci were rearranged in the 19th century. Eminönü got its name because of the Maritime Customs and Customs Assurance in the Ottoman period, but there is no record that vinegar was sold in Sirkeci during the same period. It is thought to come from 'Strategion' meaning 'place of command' in Greek (2).




After a brief introduction, the traveler can find hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to spend their time in the district they have chosen while continuing to learn about the history of any place they choose to visit. The app is therefore one of the best solutions for travellers who find themselves stuck making decisions or even for locals who want to view their city from the perspective of an outsider.





Works Cited

  1. Tonguç, S. E. (2021). Saffet Emre Tonguc. Saffet Emre Tonguç | Tarihçi, Seyahat Yazarı, Konuşmacı, Profesyonel Rehber. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://www.saffetemretonguc.com/

  2. Tonguç, Saffet Emre. SET. 2021. Saffet Emre Tonguç, https://www.saffetemretonguc.com

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