Destinations provide a combination of products and services. Using these resources, tourists create their own experiences. Providing a pleasing tourist experience is crucial for destinations' long-term success. Although travellers' experiences have been subject to extensive research, various segments might perceive them differently based on their motivations. Despite the fact that cultural tourism is considered as an important segment for most urban destinations, factors affecting cultural travel experiences have not been clarified in the literature so far. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study is to determine the factors affecting cultural tourists' overall travel experiences. In order to achieve this study's goals, we chose Istanbul as a research context. After interviewing 21 tourists and analysis of transcribed data, 64 items were merged under 5 dimensions emerging as the key constructs affecting cultural tourist experiences in a destination, namely social interaction, local authentic clues, service, culture/heritage and challenge. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.