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linawood Apr 28th, 2008 07:10 AM

Timing visit to Istanbul- weekend? weekdays?
We are planning a trip to Turkey in October starting with 3 days in Istanbul. I know about museum/major site closures on Mondays and Tuesdays, but I'm wondering about weekends. Are they likely to be more/less crowded in the tourist areas? Bosphorus cruises? Is there advice any of you can give me about timing our stay in Istanbul? Thanks!

ANATOLIANCRUISER Apr 28th, 2008 10:21 AM

If you can arrange, a Friday-Saturday-Sunday break is very convenient as the old city is relativelyless crowded on Saturdays and especially on Sundays. If you are planning a Bosphorus cruise do it on Friday, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Ayasofya, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar on Saturday and Topkapi, Chora and Süleymaniye on Sunday.

Enjoy your stay in Istanbul.

linawood Apr 28th, 2008 05:41 PM

Thanks! That is very helpful.

HappyCheesehead Apr 29th, 2008 10:02 AM

Wow, super helpful to me too - I will be in Istanbul in two weeks on a Fri, Sat and Sun. PERFECT!

HappyCheesehead Apr 29th, 2008 10:07 AM

BTW, why the cruise on Fri - is it just because it is better to see the other places the other two days? I did want to avoid the mosques on Friday anyway out of respect for the worshippers.

ANATOLIANCRUISER Apr 29th, 2008 09:27 PM

The 10.35 Bosphorus ferry is not only popular with foreign tourists but also with Turkish tourists and Istanbul residents. Since locals tend to do their sightseeing at weekends, my consideration in putting the Bosphorus cruise on Friday is to avoid crowds at the weekend.

The mosques are closed for visitors and allocated for worshippers for noon prayers between 11.30-13.30 anyway whether it is a Friday or any other day. Apart from these hours you can visit the mosques any time you wish.

HappyCheesehead Apr 30th, 2008 04:51 PM

Thank you for explaining!

I will definately take the Friday cruise to avoid the crowds as much as it is possible.

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