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bqycc Nov 15th, 2013 01:41 PM

May 1st: festive in in Istanbul or Athens - just observing day?
My trip begins on May 30th at night, I will be arriving at either Athens or Istanbul.
Will I be able to do tourism on may 1st? Or should I just go walking through the parks and enjoy food?
Which city would be better to be as a tourist on that day? Athens or Istanbul?


nanabee Nov 16th, 2013 03:39 PM

I've never been to Istanbul, but returned from Athens in Sept. Athens has a lot to see as a tourist - of course there is the Acropolis (Parthenon), Ancient Agora, National Archeology Museum, Syntagma Sq. and Theatre of Dionysus, etc.

You could easily see everything in 1-2 days, depending on how much time you spend. You could spend 1 hour or 4 hours at the Acropolis. You might just want to do a quick tour. If you have an additional day, I would take a pedestrian ferry over from the port of Athens (takes around an hour) to a beautiful and walkable island (there are no cars allowed) called Hydra.

I've heard Istanbul is fabulous as well.

mariha2912 Nov 17th, 2013 01:57 AM

I think OP meant "trip begins on APRIL 30th" and is concerned about May 1rst?
May 1rst is bank holiday in Greece.Museums etc will be closed and traditionally there will be some peaceful demonstrations in Athens city center.
No idea about Istanbul.

otherchelebi Nov 17th, 2013 07:02 AM

It is a bank holiday in Istanbul also, and there will also be demonstrations by alll labour unions as well as their suppoters.

Last year and three years ago the government disllowed peaceful marches to Taksim Square which resulted in the police getting rather violent against union leaders and opposition party MPs as well as socialist groups.

However, there will be no impact of any marches, protests or demonstartions on the touristic parts of the Historic Peninsula.

All museums are open on holidays (check their closing days one day a week)

Shops and malls will be open. I am not sure of the Grand Bazaar or the Spice Bazaar.

Bosphorus and Princes Islands ferries will follow holiday schedules.

Areas to avoid :

bqycc Nov 18th, 2013 04:11 AM

Yes, I was wondering where I should be on may 1ast. From what I read, it would be better to be in Istanbul on may 1st, since I will be able to have a normal sightseeing day, including museums, while I won't be able to do it in Athens.

sorry about the confusion on the info I needed in this post - my english and communication skills need some improvement :-)

Otherchelebi, would it be the same in Cappadocia?

otherchelebi Nov 18th, 2013 06:12 AM

It will be the same in Cappadocia in terms of museums, and there will be no marches or demonstrations there, as far as I know.

MarnieWDC Nov 23rd, 2013 05:56 AM

This information is very useful for us, too. We will arrive May 1st and we planned to make use of the Museum Card to visit some of the important places in Sultanahmet, where we will be staying. So, now we can be fairly confident that our plans will not put us in harm's way - or require significant modification because of closings.

Thank you for the assurance.

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