7 nights in Istanbul?

Sep 27th, 2007, 07:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2007
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7 nights in Istanbul?

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are flying into Istanbul at the end of December. We fly out 7 nights later. I know that there is more than enough to keep us occupied there for the duration of the trip but I am wondering: should we make a point of going elsewhere in the country as well? I think that read somewhere on these boards a recommendation to take a flight to go to Ephesus?

We are open to taking short flight or, even better, renting a car in Istanbul and traveling that way. We are definitely on a budget...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
rwright is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Because of Istanbul's geographic location...driving to Ephesus (or anywhere else in Turkey) is just really out of the way. I would, however, find a way to do a day trip. I have never done it that way (others here have and I hope they chime in), but I "THINK" you can fly into Izmir, rent a car to get to Ephesus (a little more than an hour if I recall), and get back to Izmir and fly back to Istanbul in a day. A long day, but doable. You could also arrange for a tour.

Istanbul is a fabulous place, but I think you are wise to fit in Ephesus. I've been there twice and I just think it's fabulous!
Grcxx3 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Faced with the same decision I opted to just stay in Istanbul. Most side trips require staying overnight or getting up/returning at insane hours, so you really use up two days. Other may well have different opinion, but I really enjoyed my days in Istanbul and was never at a loss for something to do.
Seamus is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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I think part of it depends on if you ever think you'll be back. I LOVE Istanbul and have been there several times. I've also been to other areas in Turkey.

To me - Ephesus is such a fabulous site....rich historically, archaeologically, and religiously. I'm not really religious, but appreciate the place it had in religious history.

I kind of look at Ephesus as I do Luxor. Would you spend a week in Cairo and NOT go to Luxor? Some people have....but I wouldn't.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 10:13 AM
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I agree that Ephesus is a must-see, but on our recent trip, we regretted not going to Cappadochia. I have no idea if this would be way too far to do in a day. I have a feeling that it may be, but worth looking into.
Weadles is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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I don't think you could do Cappadocia as a day trip. It certainly is a spectacular place - one of my favorites!
Grcxx3 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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Thank you all for the replies. I'm not sure when we'll be able to go back to Turkey (there are a lot of places that we have yet to see) so maybe we'll see if we can squeeze in a trip to Espesus. If we do, can anyone recommend an airline? Is it not wise to book the flight from the U.S.?

Also, in regards to Cappadocia, I did look at pictures and it looks wonderful. If we went there, where would be fly into? We're not really adverse to spending a night in another city...

Thank you again!

P.S. We are thinking of staying at the Empress Zoe in Istanbul. Has anyone stayed there before?
rwright is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 11:04 AM
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We stayed at the Empress Zoe last year and loved it. Wonderful location in Sultanahmet. We had two Chez Zoe suites and would go back in a heartbeat. Beautiful courtyard, too.
Sep 27th, 2007, 06:34 PM
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There are a couple of different airlines in Turkey, I think, but I have only done Turkish Air. They have lots of flight between Istanbul and Izmir.

To get to Cappadocia - you would fly into Kayseri, which if I recall is about a 1 hour drive. (not as clear on this as I haven't done it in a few years).
Grcxx3 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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Either way -- you'll have a good time.

I took a quick flight from Istanbul to Izmir on Turkish Air, but stayed a few days in Kusadasi at the time. I joined a small tour group that went to Ephesus, and it seemed not a far drive from the airport in Izmir.

An idea: you might contact your hotel in Istanbul to ask if they can arrange a one-day (or overnight?) travel package to Ephesus through a local tour agency. Perhaps they have a relationship with a tour agency? **SOME** hotels might be able to help with this, which is how I managed it (I all-of-a-sudden found some extra days to fill between professional commitments while there for about 2 weeks.)

Given your time, you probably don't want to drive there from Istanbul.

Still, there are many things to do in Istanbul for seven days. You'd have the time to see it all in a relaxed way, rather than packing it in. Admittedly, I was there in May and June, and the weather may affect what you want to do. I loved evenings on a boat in the straits, or going to a street fair in the nearby suburbs along the water, as well as seeing the more famous sights. While touristy, the Whirling Dervish show at the old Orient Express train station is mesmerizing. I'm sure there are other shows in town.
madameX is offline  

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