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Is Istanbul a good destination for a pregnant woman travelling with a toddler and a cranky husband?

Is Istanbul a good destination for a pregnant woman travelling with a toddler and a cranky husband?

Old Jan 9th, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Is Istanbul a good destination for a pregnant woman travelling with a toddler and a cranky husband?

I have heard so many great things about Istanbul, and I would love to visit it this march, while I am in my second trimester. My husband is worried that it isn't a safe or organized enough place for us to be travelling to when I'm pregnant. How will the weather there be like in March? I am looking to go somewhere where we can walk around a lot taking in the sights and history, and Istanbul sounds pretty good.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 12:22 AM
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Istanbul is great, but I do not think any city is really ideal for young children. It tends to be easier on families, and more relaxing, in the countryside.

The weather will not be great in March.

You can easily walk to all the attractions, but I don't think they will be much fun for your toddler.

I would also be VERY careful about what you eat as my 6yo ( & husband) got sick in Turkey from the food.

We only spent two or three days in Istanbul, and frankly enjoyed the rest of Turkey much more than Istanbul.Certainly glad we saw it and it is beautiful, but crazy energy like most cities ( more touts too).

I also felt the least safe in Istanbul, mainly because if there is a terrorist bombing, they happen mostly in Istanbul. The odds are against it, but much less so in the countryside.

I suppose it also depends a lot on where you are coming from and how long you will be staying.



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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 12:34 AM
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i love istanbul but would also be a bit wary if my pregnant daughter HAD to go there for some reason.

i also got VERY ill last day, and was actually wondering HOW i was going to make it to the airport, much less be on an airplane.

it is a fascinating destination.. but perhaps this is not the right moment.

maybe sicily?

(i donīt know where i would suggest travelling with a cranky husband !)
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 01:15 AM
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The average temperature in Istanbul for MArch is very similar to that of Alsace Lorraine - so chilly for you. Maybe you should look at Spain/Portugal for a bit warmer weather.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 04:27 AM
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Another vote against it. I loved Istanbul, but I think it would be a difficult trip for a pregnant woman with a toddler in tow.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 05:17 AM
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Well, I would recommend to get a driver and a minivan to go around places mostly. At some places while you are enjoying walking at times minivan can take you around.

It might be difficult to around at some places with a toddler especially if you have a push car but not impossible.

March weather is not the best though, so I aggree with the other posters. But hey, Istanbul has 15 million living. Not all are from Istanbul but number shows there were a lot of pregnant woman in due time in Istanbul and still is....

Happy travelling,
Murat
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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"I am looking to go somewhere where we can walk around a lot taking in the sights and history, and Istanbul sounds pretty good."
Yes it does...

You don't say how many months your wife is pregnant, but as long she is not 7 months pregnant and feeling fine, why not...

The food; of course you have to be careful, bit I once got diarhea in New York,...

Istanbul has also good hospitals, an american one, a german one, and many more. There is no need to worry for that. Make a list before leaving.

Now we all know that it will ask some special attention for your toddler, but in general, toddlers do not fit in with sights and history...
The main part of the sites in Istanbul are concentrated on and around Sultanahmet, and public transport or a taxi can take you to other significant places.
Families with small children will always be the focus of attention in Istanbul.

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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 10:55 PM
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Thanks for all your responses. Was hoping I would get a thumbs up for Istanbul, but have to be realistic about where I can go when I'm 6 months pregnant, and with a 4 year old kid in tow. Any other suggestions for places to go in Europe in March?
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 11:44 PM
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How about Seville? It should be a lot warmer ( was sunny & nice last March), it is also beautiful & more like a small town. Stay in Santa Cruz area and you can walk to most sites easy.

There is a beautiful park and carriage rides that should be fun for the four year old. Our 6yo even loved the flamenco and tapas. The Alcazar has beautiful gardens that should be fun for all ages too.

A fast train to Cordoba would be fun or maybe a trip to Jerez to see the Andalucian horses.

Just a thought. You could look at our family trip there last March in our blog archives:

www.soultravelers3.com
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 01:56 AM
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Hi soultraveler

Is the Santa Cruz area part of the city of Seville? How do I stay in a whitewashed village like the one I saw your online blog. It looks gorgeous! Do they have such villages all over Andalucia. I apologize for sounding so clueless
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 02:54 AM
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I think you've been put on the right track. Actually traveling anywhere pregnant with a 4 year old and a cranky husband sounds overwhelming, so I wish you much luck. Istanbul is not an easy city and while it's extremely interesting it's not cheery. Streets can be difficult to navigate and taking shoes on and off, not just your own but also the 4 year olds, can get wearing. Seville is wonderful and the Mosque in Cordoba is beautiful. Both will be easier to navigate than Istanbul. Save Istanbul for another time.
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 02:55 AM
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Oh, forgot to say, whatever you do, don't trade your idea of Istanbul for Sicily--especially if you're considering Palermo for a destination there. It would be easily as difficult or more so than Istanbul.
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 02:58 AM
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Hi G,

>There is no good destination for a pregnant woman travelling with a toddler and a cranky husband.

Where would DH prefer that would uncrank him?

Spain or Portugal?

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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 03:01 AM
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Yes the Santa Cruz area is part of Seville.

Here is a good site for Seville:

http://www.exploreseville.com/

It might be difficult finding a place in March this year, if it is around Easter as Holy Week/Semana Santa is famous world wide in Seville. It depends on when you are going.

Yes, there are lots of beautiful white villages in Andalucia although some are more beautiful than others. They are very similar to the white villages in Greece.

Here is a list of white villages, just remember that the ones near the beach will be much warmer than the ones in the mountains in the winter or in March.

http://www.andalucia.com/villages/home.htm

I just picked ours from this site after studying different ones that were beautiful, charming and had the things we were looking for. The Spanish love children and are very friendly and there are also many English speaking expats in this general area near the coast in the winter. Very family friendly,great food, great weather...lots of charm, good prices and lots to do from history to horsebackriding to festivals & beach days.

Hope that helps!
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 03:01 AM
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Thanks Julie and the rest of you wonderful Fodorites for your inputs!

I have been reading about Seville on the forums and am getting quite excited about it. I was wondering if I should avoid Holy Week altogether. Is there any other big festival holiday in late March/early April

p.s. My husband isn't really that cranky. He just has to be the sensible one since I get carried away with my wanderlust
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 03:26 AM
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What's the best (cheapest) way to get to Andalucia. I'll be flying from San Francisco. So, fly to Madrid, and then fly to Seville or catch a train?

Would Madrid-Seville-Ronda-Granada-Madrid work in 9 days. I don't plan to stay in Madrid, just use it to get in and out of Spain?
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 04:56 AM
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hi, ghumakad,

don't want to rain upon your parade, but will you be covered for flying at 6 months [and 6 months+ coming back]?

whilst the normal advice is that you may fly up to 35 weeks it would be prudent to check with your gynacologist, the airlinne and your ins. co. [you WILL be taking out travel insurance, won't you?]

if that's all ok, i give another vote to andalucia. Spring is a great time of year to see southern spain.

if you wre going to go there, I'd try to get a flight straight into Malaga. you could do Malaga, granada, cordoba, Malaga nicely in 9 days, taking in Ronda on the way back.

Don't miss the alhambra. your little one will love running around the gardens of the generalife. we stayed in the hotel guadelupe right opposite the gardens, and for 60e a night had a large 3 bedded room with a full bathroom. there's a good restaurant too.

it's a nice 10 min walk down into the town and an easy bus ride back up.

regards, ann

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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 06:00 AM
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I loved Istanbul when we were there recently, but wouldn't recommend it in your situation. There is a lot of walking, with steps, involved and the traffic is unbelievably bad. Save it for a time when you can really enjoy it.
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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I also love Istanbul - one of my favorite cities - but not a place I would go in your situation.

Have you thought about Cyprus? I'm particularly thinking of the Paphos area. Some nice archeological ruins to see (but safe enough for a 4 year old), a beautiful harbor area, an old fortess/castle, a nice zoo........ We also took a jeep safari into the mountains.

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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 07:13 AM
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Honey, I'm not sure there IS such a thing as a good desintation for a pregnant woman with a toddler and a cranky husband!!

Best,
BC
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