I love Istanbul! I went with my parents and brothers before DH and I were married. I've traveled to many places, but Turkey is by far the most amazing place I've visited. Istiklal Street is great for its cafes and restaurants. We visited and prayed in the Blue Mosque which was just a surreal experience. We also took a day trip to Bursa, which is a couple of hours from Istanbul and I highly recommend it! It's up in the mountains and it absolutely stunning. They have the best kebabs there! I also loved Dolmabahce Palace on the Bosphorus, it's really spectacular.
I was so fortunate to go with a native Turkish person. She showed me around all of the sights and told me the history behind each one. She also haggled on my behalf at the grand bazaar so I got some amazing deals. We drank a lot of tea and smoked lots of hashish. It was such a wonderful week full of memories. I want to go back soon!!
Aww, I am happy to hear that now merchants in Istanbul are not so agressive in peddling their wares but I wish things were that way when I went. I have to say that although it is beautiful, Istanbul was my least favorite trip I ever took because of all the pushy, aggressive merchants. They made me feel really upset because half of them followed me around and were really pushy and the other half pretend to befriend me and then tried to make me go to their rug shop. I really, really hated it to the point it really spoiled my trip. I would love to go back someday if they have toned it down. It really is beautiful.
That said, one of my favorite travel memories is walking at night when the sky was midnight blue, approaching the Blue Mosque and watching a flock of birds circling in the lights shining on the Mosque. I will never for get that. And I loved the chants waking me up in the night. So beautiful. Oh! I almost forgot that the best dinner I ever had was in Istanbul. I wish mezze would catch on in the US.
I just got back from Istanbul last week and LOVED IT. The ppl are super friendly, the food is amazing and the city is so so rich in history. I went to the Blue mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and took a boat ride on the Bosphorous to Anadoul Kavagi (asia side) and had the most amazing deep fried mussels. I bought a hookah from the Grand bazzar at a great price and went to the Spice Bazaar. I'd got back to Turkey to visit other parts--I hear Cappadocia is fantastic!
WOW! Thank you! Wonder what hotel that is? I think we are going to stay at the Ciragen Palace.
I had no problems at all with the merchants in '08. Did talk to one gentlemen merchant who said the Turkey Visitors Authority has had seminars etc teaching them to not be so aggresive. To let us shop like we do in our countries. The TVA asked us questions near the port whether we'd come back, everyone said yes! I'm very excited for our trip, especially the Istanbul stay!
I'd like to bump this thread as I'd like to ask for suggestions.
I'm planning a trip to Turkey next March. I have about a week to play around with. I'd like to go to Istanbul and either Cappadocia or Ephesus. Maybe 4 days in Istanbul and 3 in Cappodocia or 5 in Istanbul and 2 in Ephesus? Recommendations? This will be my first visit to Turkey and from my travelling experience, the max amount of days I like to stay in a city is 5.
Hotel, restaurant, and shoppng recs would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Hello, my mom and I are going to Istanbul in April. I need help on what to wear. But more so on hotels. We cant do the four seasons but we sure do not want a hostel or anything like that. We like 5-4 stars hotels, close to tourist attractions with an elevator and hopefully breakfast thrown in. I really want the best location for the best price. (dont we all).
Please help my mom is older so no steep walks or stairs thanks to all who respond.
Also best way to get from airport-private car, taxi shuttle??
Just got back from there. I absolutely love it & might be going back next year. The people are wonderful!
Take the taxi. Of course the rate will depend on where you are staying. But its about 1.4lira to 1 US dollar. Taxis won't make change in anything but lira.
You can use dollars, euros, or lira many places. Especially in the Grand Bazaar. Got a great exchange
rate getting rid of some british pounds I had from last year.
Can't help you with hotels, sorry. What they consider 4 star, wouldn't be to most of us from the USA.
Tourist area is mostly in the old part of Istanbul. Have a great time!