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Istanbul on a cruise - 2 half days - Itinerary suggestions

Istanbul on a cruise - 2 half days - Itinerary suggestions

Aug 27th, 2007, 09:58 AM
  #1  
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Istanbul on a cruise - 2 half days - Itinerary suggestions

Hi everyone,

I'll be heading to Istanbul October 18th on my cruise. The ship will dock at 2pm (a Thursday) and departs 4pm the next day.

As I remember, most places are closely grouped, so I thought we could do the following (Iíll be with 4 others):

Off the ship by about 2:30pm. Visit the Blue Mosque, Sunken Palace Cistern, and Hippodrome. Head over to the spice bazaar (not sure what time it closes); cross over the Galata bridge and head to Istiklal Caddesi/Taksim Square area.

Dinner - ? Havenít decided on a place yet.

Friday Ė Hit the Topkapi Palace as soon as it opens (even getting in line at 8:30am); Ayasofya, and the Grand bazaar (and the spice bazaar if we missed it the day before Ė all depends on timing.

Lunch Ė maybe at Hamdi.

Visit the Kariye Museum.

Last minute shopping or another site, if possible, before getting back on the ship at 3:30pm Friday.

Your recommendations, comments, and suggestions are greatly appreciated! I want to make sure we can hit the highlights in an orderly fashion and not jump all around in our short time. Also, how are the lines at the Topkapi palace? I was there in 1993, so I personally donít need to go insides, although the others will want to.

Thanks!

Monica

monicapileggi is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Just back from there. My meager comments...

We visited the Blue Mosque, Cistern, Hippodrome, and Ayasofya in one day. Also saw the small building where all the Sultans are buried (front of BM). Ate at Dervish cafe which is on street between Aya and BM. I'd say 3-4 hours for this.

Topkapi is right next door to Ayasofia. Only saw the outside. Also in the same area is the very worthwhile Archeological museum.

Did Grand Bazaar also, a couple of hours would probably be more than enough for this, unless you are looking for a carpet. I have a name of a leather purse and carpet guy that were good to us.

Tacsim is an interesting, bustling area. Supposed to be the place to go at night.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Hi Monica:

A few years ago. we found very short lines into Topkapi (To-ka-pu)during the month of May. My guess is they will be quite manageable in October.

While you're in the Istiklal-Taksim Square area, you might want to have dinner at an old standby, and I feel, a Turkish dining experience without breaking your budget. Touristy, a bit, but you'll find that in most places that you will have the time to visit.
"Haci Baba" ("Haju Baba")..just off Istiklal. Fun place, you get to saunter back to the kitchen displays and choose the various courses for your meal.

I also suggest that while in the Taksim Square area, at 3-4 in the afternoon, the military precision Ottoman marching band puts on a very colorful concert at the interesting Military Museum, north of the square, on Cumarhiyet Caddesi.(according to your sched you may not be able to fit this in)

Again, I suggest that you taxi to the Pierre Loti Cafe just before 5 pm, have some, tea coffee, wine etc, sit on the terrace with incredible views of the city. At precisely 5, the call to oryer will emanate from the many mosques all aorubd town...quite an experience. As for taxis, you may want to consder taking them frequently, given the tight sched you're own. Very inexpensive fares, relatively speaking.

Whatever you decide to do, Monica, be assured that Istanbul is a unique, historic city, worth every minute.

Enjoy!

Stu T.
tower is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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found this on the military museum::

http://www.frommers.com/destinations...ul/A31177.html

stu T.
tower is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 10:58 AM
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excuse typos in my post, Monica..."call to Prayer" of course...etc. a fast but inaccurate typer

stu T.
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Aug 27th, 2007, 11:35 AM
  #6  
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Thanks Michel and Stu.

Not sure it the crowds will be light in Istanbul. Our ship holds about 2000 passengers and I know there will be one other ship docked.

We probably won't get to the military marching band on Thursday, as I'm sure we'll want to hit the sights that close at 4-5pm, leaving our "free" time to explore after 5pm. I know we won't get it all in but will get the top few sights and some good food too!

Monica
monicapileggi is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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monica:

That being the case, your best bet is to get there early as you planned...depends on what time they will let you off the ship, of course.

You'll probably dock at the Yolcu Salonu (we walked through the interesting building and there was a ship docked at the time )..it's on Karakoy side, so it's short drive over the bridge to the Topkapu. Good luck and have fun!

Stu T.
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Sep 3rd, 2007, 07:31 AM
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Stu,

I understand there is a tram near the port/dock, so we'll probably use that or maybe a taxi to save time.

Monica
monicapileggi is offline  

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