7-8 days Visiting Turkey

Old Sep 13th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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7-8 days Visiting Turkey

Would like to visit Turkey end of Sept or beginning of Oct for 7-8 days. Vacation is limited so is budget.
See some good airfare deals on the web. $650-680 RT from EWR to IST. is it really good?
Was looking for some of your high level itineraries here with the airport and hotel names.
Based on my research, initially I was planning to visit 3 places out of the following list:
Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus (a day), Pammukkale and Antalya with internal flights. can you pls comment? which ones can I remove from the list?
My husband and I are planning to go from city to city and take day trips from the hotel. Is public transporation good there or are we better off with cabs?
please advise
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 02:24 PM
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You are covering too much for the week that you will be there. Stick to Istanbul with perhaps a trip to Ephesus or some other major ruin. For Istanbul, we liked the Rick Steves book. We liked this hotel in Istanbul: http://www.halihotel.com/en/index.php
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 05:18 PM
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kja
 
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> which ones can I remove from the list?

What are your interests and priorities for this trip?
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 05:30 PM
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Sorry I always leave out the important stuff.

We are interested in archeological history n famous tourist places and ethnic food.

If you have a better list of places, please feel free to share that as well.
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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Then, as Michael suggested, maybe Istanbul with a day trip or overnight in Ephesus. If you cut back on Istanbul, you might be able to fit in both Ephesus and Pamukkale, but if you do that, you run the risk of shortchanging Istanbul just to spend a lot of time in transit.

It's a wonderful country - enjoy!
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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You might want to take a look at my trip report, although you obviously do not have the time to do the car travel we did; click on my name to find it.
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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I will be in Istanbul in November. Personally I think the airfare you found is good (I paid $601.40 from ORD to IST).

I also have to agree with Michael about covering too much ground. If it were me, I would take off Pammukkale and Antalya first, and probably Cappadocia after that. What I'm finding in doing my reading is that there looks to be a lot to in Istanbul! I will be staying 7 nights and will do a day trip to Ephesus, as I am really into history and architecture. Hindsight 20/20, I should have added one or two days more...

From what I understand, transportation in Istanbul is good. I'm not a cab person, so I will be taking the train, bus or tram when not walking about. Where I'm staying, the Erboy Hotel (http://erboyhotel.com/), is close to the tram as well as the major sites. The rate I got there was quite reasonable, IMO, and there is a discount given if you pay cash. Oh, they also provide free transport from the airport if you stay more than 5 nights. I also found them to be very responsive. I had some questions and a request, and received responses very quickly.

Enjoy your trip; happy travels!
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Is your 7-8 days the time you'll actually be in-country, or does that include getting there and back? Hopefully, those will be the full days you'll be in Turkey.

Istanbul should get at least 3 full days. In one day, you can do the Haghia Sophia (huge 6th century Byzantine church, later a mosque; make sure you check out the mosaics on the second floor), the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, and the Byzantine cistern called the Yerebatan Sarai (all very near each other). There are also good shops on a street in back of the Blue Mosque called the Arasta Bazaar, and there's a place also close to the Blue Mosque called the Turkish Handicrafts Center which has a wide selection of types of items (especially ceramic tiles and plates in traditional Ottoman designs) for reasonable prices. It's next door to a boutique hotel called the Yesil Ev (Green House). If you still have any time after doing some of these, you could go to the Kapili Carsi covered bazaar and/or the Archaeological Museum, if you would find that interesting.

I'd also recommend seeing the huge Suleymaniye Mosque, an architectural masterpiece, and a beautifully restored Byzantine Church called St. Saviour in Chora or the Kariye Mosque which is out near the land walls, which has stunning mosaics from the early 14th century.

I also recommend the cruise up the Bosphorus to the Black Sea and back. If you have time, the late 19th century Dolmabahce Palace along the Bosphorus is also amazing, in a garish, 19th-century-forerunner of Las Vegas kind of way: the balustrades on the central staircase are made out of crystal, for example.

My suggestion for a trip of this length would be to combine Istanbul with one of the following: (1) Cappadocia, (2) the Aegean coast near Ephesus, or (3) Antalya. You would need to use internal flights to get to any of these places. For Cappadocia, that means Ankara, followed by a drive. But the landscape is amazing, and you could do it reasonable justice in 2-3 days.

For Ephesus, you could fly to either Izmir or Bodrum (a little farther away, but with a great Crusader castle; it's kind of a playground for the yachting set) and then drive there. Ephesus itself can take a good part of a day. There are a couple of other ruined cities nearby -- Priene and Miletus -- and a ruined temple at Didyma.

Antalya is normally used as a jumping-off point for cruises along Turkey's south (Turquoise) coast. You wouldn't have time to do a full cruise, but if you had several days there you could easily visit the extensive ruins of several Roman-era cities nearby (Perge, Aspendus, Side, Termessus). Perhaps you could also do some kind of quick jaunt south along the coast.

Of the three alternatives, I would recommend either Ephesus or Cappadocia, but you could take a look at the photos online in some place like the Flickr photo-sharing website and see what appeals to you.
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 06:29 PM
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You all are wonderful! Thank you for the info!! Now I can shortlist my choices. Most likely I will stay with Jeff's list Istanbul, Izmir (Ehesus trip)and Cappadocia.

Want to ask another important question. is it possible to land in IST from US and come back to US from another city of Turkey?
That would save me some travel time.
What airline do I use for internal flights?

Tomorrow I will pick up Rick Stevs book (per Michael)

Thnx to all
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 07:01 PM
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You can fly directly from IST to Kayseri or Nevsehir to visit Cappadocia. You might fly into ITS and directly on to Cappadocia, spend two nights and two very full days and return to ITS late the second day, or spend three nights and return to IST very early the third day.

Haven't checked this, but you might be able to fly from Cappadocia to Ephesus area, spend a night, and on to IST.
You could also make Ephesus a very long RT day from IST.

Either way, aware you are cutting IST short, I would still say visit Cappadocia and Ephesus if you can make it work.

If you do have 8 days on the ground, then 2 for Cappadocia, 1 for Ephesus and 5 for IST (knowing part of those 5 will be lost to travel, settling in, etc.), you can do it.

I hate rushing around, but those are three of the most interesting places I've been, so I would push myself to see them. I would say amazing, but people are tired of hearing that word, though IMHO, it sure applies her.)
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 07:29 PM
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> Most likely I will stay with Jeff's list Istanbul, Izmir (Ephesus trip) and Cappadocia.

I must admit that jeffergray's plan would have been far too rushed for my interests. For example, it took me very full 5 days to see what jeffergray speaks of seeing in 3 days in Istanbul. And I would have found 2 full days too short for Cappadocia. It really depends on what you want to see, your preferred pace, and how much time you are willing to devote to transportation.

> is it possible to land in IST from US and come back to US from another city of Turkey?

Yes. You can get some ideas of options using orbitz or other search engines for finding and pricing flights.

> Tomorrow I will pick up Rick Stevs book (per Michael)

The guide book i I found most useful was the Rough Guide. I find that different guide book series fill different niches, so you might want to browse a few before committing to just one, or buy several that do different things.

> From what I understand, transportation in Istanbul is good.

That was my experience of Istanbul. I used cabs a few times, but generally relied on public transportation and thought it was quite good.
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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yes yes Kja and Sas trying to spend 4-5 days in IST, 2 days in Cappi and 1 day trip Epehusus.
will pick up the guide books from the local library. This middle East turmoil is bothering me a lot. Do you think I should be concerned with our safety? Thnx much
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 08:55 PM
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You might read the following post and then top it with any questions you have:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...sit-turkey.cfm
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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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ok yes I'm keeping my travel plan unchanged for now.
moving on to the next step.

What would be the hotel rating in Turkey for something similar to Holiday Inn/Courtyard/Hilton Hampton Inn?

I see the halihotel very nice. Cant get the rate online.
pls share your thoughts
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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 12:29 PM
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We paid 60€ per night. Contact them ans see what they offer.
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