Istanbul at the Beginning or end?

Oct 23rd, 2009, 05:26 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 355
Istanbul at the Beginning or end?

We are in the process of planning our May trip to Turkey. I have a rough outline in mind, but cannot decide whether to stay in Istanbul at the beginning or end of our trip. Of course we will have to stay one night at least at the beginning. We want to stay 5- 6 nights. A friend says we should stay at the end because we will want to buy something . If we stayed at the beginning and purchased something we would have to cart it all over the country. Can't we just store our possible purchase at the hotel and pick it up as we leave Istanbul for home?
I am inclined to stay at the beginning and have more relaxation toward the end of our trip. Any thoughts either way? Thanks, Zin
zinfanatic is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2009, 06:09 PM
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So if you stay in Istanbul at the beginning, where are considering for the "relaxing spot" at the end? Or are you saying you'll be in Istanbul at the end too, but just for a different period of time? I'm not clear on this part.

Istanbul certainly has a lot to see. We only had the chance to stay there two nights pre-cruise and enjoyed seeing a lot of the sites. You can certainly spend five days there and do the sites at a comfortable pace without feeling rushed.

If carrying something "around the county" is an issue, why not just ship it back via Fedex? I'm not sure if a hotel would be responsible to hold it for you while you go around the country.
patandhank is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2009, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Vancouver
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We stayed for 3 nights before left to tour other areas. If I
were to return I'd definitely stay in Istabul at the END of
a vacation - you've had a more relaxing time outside of the
(huge) city and you've become acclimatized to things Turkish
- no small adjustment in some cases - so you can approach
Big City life with a more open attitude upon your return.
Plus it's a lot more enjoyable dealing with the frenzy without
jet lag!

There's lots to buy everywhere in Turkey - and most of it is
better priced outside of Istanbul. Well, at least that's my
immimi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2009, 05:42 AM
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A different take. I had only one day in Istanbul before heading into the country and had plans for the six days at the end. But got sick at the end and spent almost four days in the hotel. I wish I'd had the six at the beginning and taken the Bosporus cruise among other things. I had no problem dealing with the size of the city. You're only in one part at a time.

Shopping could be a problem. What type of shopping would you be doing in Istanbul? You will find lots to buy in the countryside and just bring it back to Ist with you. Allow space in your luggage and bring a gym bag or duffle to pack your laundry or clothes.

You could spend a few days seeing what you want and checking out prices and items and buy when you return -- they won't run out of merchandise.

Check your airline about luggage limitations. I flew Air France but see that they will begin in November to charge $50 for a second checked bag.
Luisah is offline  
Oct 24th, 2009, 07:02 AM
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Thanks all. Patandhank, I was thinking of staying for 5-6 nights at the beginning and probably would need to stay one night at the end to get my International connection home. I am not really planning on purchasing anything, but who knows! Immimi, Yes, I can see your point also. The relaxing part is something we have vowed to do this trip, as we usually try to do too much moving around. We may have as much as one month in Turkey. Still undecided.
zinfanatic is offline  
Oct 24th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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You could split it beginning and end...3 days at each. You'll see it completely differently after touring about and be able to shop. I did a 2 week trip a few years about 3 years ago and we did a little site seeing in Istanbul at the beginning and then had a couple of days more at the end....was really nice.
alihutch is offline  
Oct 24th, 2009, 07:22 AM
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I usually find it easier to adapt to foreign surroundings in smaller towns and in the countryside. For that reason we stayed in Istanbul only a short time at the beginning of the trip and our real visit was at the end. If landing in Istanbul after an overnight flight, the cruise on the Bosphorus might be a good way to spend the day. Your pictures will remind you of what you saw if you are to tired to really register and then remember the views.
Michael is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 07:34 AM
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I agree with alihutch. We did three days at the beginning with a private guide supplied by our travel agent. We then visited Cappadocia and the sights from Kusadasi. We returned to Istabul and did two days on our own. I thought it was a great way of doing the trip. You will have a wonderful time!

wanttogo is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,958
It may depend on your excursion in the middle--flight times/prices may be better on certain days.
I also split my time about evenly and it worked out nicely. The good three days at the beginning were spent intensively sightseeing, and then the final three days were spent at a more leisurely pace, seeing anything we missed and just wandering the city.
yorkshire is offline  

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