My wife and I are planning a short (2.5 days) stop on our way from US to India. We are in late 20s, we like traveling and hence decided to explore the city of Istanbul for a couple of days. We would like to have a combination of touristy things as well as would like to explore some local culture. Please plan to stay in Sultanahmet neighborhood. We started planning our itinerary and have few questions. Any help will be appreciated.
- Palace: Coming from India, where we have seen a lot palaces, does it make sense to see a palace in Istanbul? If so, Topkapi or Dolmabahce?
- Is Hamam in Istanbul over rated or is it worth it? If so which one would you recommend Suleymaniye, Cemberlitas, Cagaloglu or anything else?
- Renting scooter - Late evening (around 8:30pm) we would love to go for a short drive around the city as all the historic buildings are well lit. Is there an option of renting a scooter? If not, what are our options?
- Shopping mall - not looking to shop anything, but since they are old do they have old/different architecture and worth a walk? if so, which one would you recommend Istinye Park, Kanyon, Cevahir?
- Grand Bazaar and Spice market - I have read they get really crowded and we will probably have to go there on a Saturday - does it makes sense to do them early morning, 8am?
- Coffee - Looking for a couple of recommendations for authentic coffee cafe in Istanbul
- How long would it typically take to do - Haghia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern?
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