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Turkey in 10 days - stick to the well-beaten path?

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Hi everyone, we are planning a 10-day trip to Turkey with our two pre-teen sons. They are well traveled and love exploring cities and experiencing different cultures, but they have limited patience for spending hours at ancient ruins or in museums.

So far, my itinerary looks like everyone else's itinerary for such a short trip - Istanbul (6 days), Epehsus (1 day), Cappadocia (3 days). The only thing we're not doing is a gulet (or at least I don't currently plan to.)

Is there any reason we should try to vary from this? Is there any really cool little off-the-beaten-path detour we can/should take to make us feel like we're experiencing a special part of Turkey? Will two boys go bonkers being dragged from site to site in Istanbul?

Finally, I've been reading with interest the debate about which neighborhood to choose for the hotel in Istanbul. I'm somewhat persuaded that we might not want to stay in Sultanahmet. Based on the neighborhood descriptions, maybe Cihangir would be good for us? Is the Witt a good choice there? Any other good options? Since we have boys who might want to take an afternoon swim, should we aim to stay on the Bosphorus? We are all very active and don't mind walking and/or taking public transport. We like charming but not overly touristic places. I'd love to get your advice.

Thanks!!

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