Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Rate our Istanbul/Cappadocia/Selcuk Itinerary! (

waterlily252 Sep 9th, 2009 02:12 PM

Rate our Istanbul/Cappadocia/Selcuk Itinerary!
This will be our first time in Turkey and I would love for someone to look over our itinerary & tell us how it looks! Anything missing? Need more things on certain days (or less)? Should we rearrange anything? I feel that some days are lacking......

We are adventurous travelers who rarely feel jet-lag (usually due to our weird working hrs!) & usually fill each day to the brim! :) We don't usually "relax" on our European trips due to wanting to experience as much as possible (remaining sane!) & tend to have a few days off work once we get home to recover! We are not strict "by the itinerary" travelers but do like to have a basic breakdown so we can plan accordingly & see the big things!

October 9th (Friday): Istanbul
 Arrive @ 14:30 – Head to hotel & check-in/shower
 Archeology Museum

October 10th (Saturday): Istanbul
 Hagia Sofia
 Blue Mosque
 Topkapi Palace & Harem

October 11th (Sunday): Istanbul
 Bosphorus Cruise
 Grand Bazaar

October 12th (Monday): Cappadocia
 Arrive @ 0950 - Rent car & head to hotel
 Open Air Museum

October 13th (Tuesday): Cappadocia
 Hot air balloon ride
 Kaymakli
 Hike around Ilhara Valley (guide?)

October 14th (Wednesday): Cappadocia
 Uchisar castle
 Cavusin
 Sunset at Red Valley

October 15th (Thursday): Selcuk
 Arrive @ 1045 – Head to hotel
 Basilica of St John
 Ephesus Museum

October 16th (Friday): Selcuk
 Ephesus
 Virgin Mary House

October 17th (Saturday): Selcuk
 Market
 Priene, Miletus and Didyma Tour?

October 18th (Sunday): Istanbul
 Arrive in morning
 Spice Market
 Underground Cistern

October 19th (Monday): Head out! 
 Fly to London!

sjj Sep 9th, 2009 02:36 PM

I think you're spending one day too many in Selcuk and that you should spend an extra day in Istanbul. If you do take an extra day in Istanbul, I'd go to the Mosaic Museum near the Arasta Bazaar, the Rustem Pasha mosque, the Beyazit Mosque, and the Hippodrome. If you have the time, you might also be interested in the Chora church and the nearby Theodosian Wall.

lucy_d Sep 9th, 2009 03:09 PM

I think you can do much more in Istanbul than you have planned. IMO, the sites mentioned abouve by sjj's can be seen in the time you have allotted for Istanbul. I'd add the Egyptian spice market, too.

Definitely do the Priene, Miletus and Didyma Tour. Have a wonderful time! Turkey is fabulous!

yorkshire Sep 10th, 2009 08:41 AM

Yes, I have not been to Selcuk, but there is so much more to Istanbul. I think the Chora church is closed for renovations, but I recommend many of the smaller mosques. I'd also check out the "new" part of Istanbul--if only in the evenings. Topkapi is right next to the Archaeological museum, so you may want to adjust slightly. I think you'll find you have plenty of time to wander Istanbul though--you did not overdo it at all!
Your Cappadocia plan looks great. You don't need a guide for Ihlara, but if you want to do the majority of the valley, it is nice to get a driver instead so you can be dropped off at one end and picked up at the other. If you go that route, you could have them stop at Kaymakli on the way. Also, if you are up for some walking, you would not even need a car for those plans. Provided you are staying in Goreme and are able to walk a good bit, it is all accessible on foot.

otherchelebi Sep 10th, 2009 11:33 PM

I am assuming that you will be staying at a hotel at Sultanahmet or Sirkeci.
In that case you can do the underground cistern easily on day one or two.
- You will be boarding the Bosphorus tour boat just across the Spice Bazaar. The SP is not big and you can do it for 30-45 minutes before the cruise.
- If you are taking the long Bosphorus tour/ you can get off at yenikoy/ take a bus or taxi to Rumeli hisar and visit the fortress as well as the area around it/ which is very different from other places/ because it was built originally by Americans who ran Robert College.
- You can add the Grand Bazaar to the evening of any day you wish/ because the museums usually close at 5PM but the Bazaar stays open till 7PM\
- For somewhat more expensive but good food and the upscale bar scene goto Nisantasi area one evening\
- For more reasonably priced food and the local bar scene, go to Istiklal and Nevizade Street and to tunel area and to the French street. Check Nardis Jazz club, Babylon, and Ghetto for concerts.
- Visit Istanbul Modern Art museum and the sites of the Istanbul Biennal which will be taking place when you arrive.

On Selcuk area:
- You should definitely rent a car and do your own discovery tour. Sites are clearly marked, the roads will not be congested, traffic signs are almost the same.
-There are qualified guides at the upper and lower Ephesus entrances. and you can take some dry cat food to the cats of Ephesus (and pour some of the water you should be carrying withyou)
-Didyma is crowded and/ although the temple is interesting/ it may be a better idea to drive somewhat further to Heraklia on Bafa lake. When you have a car you can actually enjoy incredible freedom and make that part of the trip definitely moe memorable\

oopsyaar Oct 29th, 2012 02:12 AM

I'm planning a winter trip to Istanbul and cappadocia in January 2013 n I liked ur itinerary very much. Assuming that u've already made the trip, can u pls update what happened during ur trip. Did u follow the same itinerary or did u add or drop anything? Any advices, suggestions?
Thanks in advance..

lincasanova Oct 29th, 2012 02:36 AM

I, personally, was not impressed with the ride along the Bosphorus. I found it a bit overrated.

oopsyaar Oct 29th, 2012 12:00 PM

bosphorus cruise.. which time of the day do u prefer doin it? AM or PM?

Michael Oct 29th, 2012 12:29 PM

You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.

tower Oct 29th, 2012 02:17 PM

Michael....the OP posted this in '09. She's either home long ago, or decided to "cave" it in Cappadocia.

Michael Oct 29th, 2012 02:33 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:23 PM.