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Istanbul suggestions needed

Old Sep 17th, 2019, 06:16 AM
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Istanbul suggestions needed

I am considering a six days stay in Istanbul in Oct ( alone)
Nothing has been booked yet, but hotel Emir ( Room Mate chain) looks
interesting . The location near the popular street and T. Square is attractive to me, it seems a
lively area at night. Any comments?

I understand the main attractions are in other parts of the city...is public transit
difficult to maneuver for non speakers?
I normally donít take tours but would consider joining one or two because of the size of the city
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Taxis? Airport transfers?




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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 09:40 AM
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Public transport is not difficult at all, but I'd still rather stay in Sultanahmet, close the the top sights a traveller on a first trip wants to see. On the other hand if nightlife is a priority for you than Beyoglu is a good choice.

I haven't been to Turkey for a while, but I recemmend you to take a look at this site, it can probably answer your questions: www.turkeytravelplanner.com
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 12:11 PM
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Thank you...very much..I’ll take a look

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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 02:12 PM
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I think Rick Steves has a pretty decent guide book on Istanbul. Good descriptions of Topkapi Palace, also sort of a back street walk thru the Grand Bazaar and more - fascintating. And be sure to go to a haman - pure pleasure! Oh and a Bosphorus cruise. Enjoy!
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 02:42 PM
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thanks ..
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 03:09 PM
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We stayed at the Ritz Carlton and took taxis to the Old Town to see the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace.

There is a very nice hotel near the Blue Mosque called Yesil Ev. We had dinner in the garden. If I were ever to return to Istanbul, this is where I would stay.

Not to miss: Dolmabache Palace, Harem at Topkapi Palace, and the mosaics at the Chora Church.

Thin,aristocrat 🔥
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 03:14 PM
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Yesil Ev is now called Hagia Sophia Mansions.


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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 03:28 PM
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Thank you Thin,
Melia in Berlin was a great recommendation.!



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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 05:25 PM
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Istanbul is a fascinating place!

I thought public transportation in Istanbul easy and convenient.

I stayed in Sultanahmet, but not for the nightlife -- it was most convenient for the sites of greatest priority to me, and convenient for restaurants. if you want to be near some nightlife, I would think Taksim Square or somewhere along İstiklal would make more sense. But look for posts by otherchelebi -- he's our resident expert.

My trip report is old and not very detailed, but you might find some useful information there:
Some Observations on a Fantastic Journey through Western Turkey
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 05:55 PM
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Thanks kja

I know Sultanahmet is the best location for the most important sights.
..I am not looking for
bars and clubs just for a place that is lively at night - people walking around, many
restaurants , open stores etc .
Nothing has been booked yet, a friend might join me...I’ll decide before the end of this months.




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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 06:45 PM
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When I was there, the section of Sultanahmet in which I stayed struck me as odd -- in some blocks, there were many restaurants and many people walking around, but just an intersection or two in any direction, there were blocks that were absolutely and disconcertingly deserted and lined by buildings that were obviously crumbling or literally in shambles. I was told that there were complex issues of who had responsibility for, or authority for, renovation after the last earthquake that had caused damage -- I don't know if that was true or not. IIRC, abandoned and decrepit stretches were less common near the Hagia Sophia than further from the core of the tourist destinations, but I could be mistaken, and it's been years since I was there.

I do hope otherchelebi chimes in!
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 08:39 PM
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We stayed on the European side, off Istiklal, for two separate 1-week periods. It was easy to take public transportation to Sultanahmet, and we loved the bustle of that area. Plus, we could lose ourselves in the throngs without feeling harassed by sellers the way one can be in Sultanahmet. I wholeheartedly endorse your choice of location.

This is my trip report from our first Turkey trip. It's old as well, but might help.
PegS' First Turkey Trip
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 08:48 PM
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Thanks Peg, appreciate your info.
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Old Sep 18th, 2019, 05:58 AM
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Istiklal Caddesi is very busy and great for shopping.

I did not like Taksim Square area, but it is lively.

Sultanahmet is much quieter.

Sultanahmet negatives: call-to-prayer horn, carpet salesmen.

The carpet salesmen will literally chase you down the street.

However, you see such interesting people around the Blue Mosque, people who look like they stepped out of the 19th century with their elaborate clothing. You will see men in long white robes wearing a fez or turban.

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Old Sep 18th, 2019, 07:35 AM
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Thank you .

Either area has a certain appeal..

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Old Sep 20th, 2019, 08:48 AM
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Best two locations for lively streets, restaurants, cafes, shops and people watching are :

Cihangir, for the modest budget

Nisantasi, tesvikiye for the higher budget.

Neither have direct tram or metro access, but both have reasonably close metro stops, Osmanbey for Nisantasi/Tesvikiye
and Taksim for Cihangir.

Taxi cabs are also very reasonably priced.

A third lively location, definitely Turkish middle class, (even cheaper than Cihangir which has a Bohemian atmosphere) very lively, lots of shops, lots of eateries. lots of people is Kadikoy, on the Asian side but accessible by very frequent ferries from four different quays
on the European side.
Eminonu landing is for the Egyptian bazaar, Sultanahmet, etc
Besiktas is for access to points on the Bosphorus and to Nisantasi/tesvikiye
Kabatas and karakoy for access to Taksim and Istiklal.

Fish season opened a few weeks ago but the catch has been disappointing.
Still. I recommend that you try both Lufer, blue fish and palamut, bonito which are in season and have that Bosphorus taste.

A modest fish restaurant with aterrific view is Sunanin yeri, Suna's Place at the Kandilli ferry landing. Should have bonito if not lufer and also does a wicked horse mackerel fry.
definitely try their arugula salad (roka salatasi) and aubergine salad (patlican salatasi). Usually we order those alongside the fish and maybe some white cheese, (beyaz peynir) if hungry, or calamari also
if very hungry.


Last edited by otherchelebi; Sep 20th, 2019 at 08:50 AM.
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Old Sep 20th, 2019, 11:29 AM
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Thank you very much..,
great tips.
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Old Sep 29th, 2019, 09:43 AM
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Thank you all again for the helpful suggestions.

I have decided to
visit Rome in October and plan a trip to Istanbul for April/ May.
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