topkapi and dolmabache palaces

Old May 10th, 2001, 01:59 AM
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topkapi and dolmabache palaces

Just a few questions with regards to how long it takes ...

Topkapi - is 1/2 a day enough for this palace or would it take a full day to see it fully?

Dolmabache palace - anyone done it from the bosphorus cruise? Is it worth stopping?

Apart from these palaces and the blue mosque/Aya sofia, anyone recommend any other monuments?

Thanks ...
Old May 10th, 2001, 02:17 AM
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Brownie: Topkapi: Wow, I just loved it. Was there twice, can't get enough. I suppose you can see it in 1 day. Have lunch at their open-air restaurant with a great view at the Bosphorus.
Dolmabache Palace: Is definitely among my favourites. Just amazings rooms, marble baths, gardens, etc. Was not SOO crowded the time we went.
Don't miss the spice market and the covered market (sorry, cannot remember its name right now). But everybody knows it there!
Definitely go for a Bosphorus cruise. You will see terrific houses on the European and on the Asian side!

Have a nice trip!

Enjoy your trip.
Old May 10th, 2001, 03:37 AM
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Be sure to arrive at Topkapi Palace BEFORE the gates open, and head directly to the ticket window for the Harem Tour. My understanding is that those tickets go quickly, and the tour is definitely worthwhile.
Old May 10th, 2001, 06:47 AM
Aslan Ozcakir
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For Topkapi Palace you need at least one full day. Be careful it is closed on Tuesdays and it costs 7,000,000 TL. (about USD 6.5)to get in, no cc are accepted. Besides there is a 4,000,000 TL. charge for the Harem (a must see place when you are in Topkapi Palace)

Dolmabahce is of course worth stopping by. But you can cover in 1/2 day.

I would definitely recommend you to visit Aya Sofya (st. Sophia), Chora Museum (the best mosaics from byzantine era), Hippodrome Square and Underground Cistern, these are all in the heart of the oldcity center Sultanahmet.

Please visit to get more info about sight and accomodation.
Old May 13th, 2001, 12:14 PM
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You asked for suggestions on monuments, but I'd suggest the Archaeological museum, especially its Museum of Ancient Orient with its artifacts from the gates of Babylon, clay tablets written in Sumerian, the Hammurabi code, etc., etc.-most fascinating if you're interested in that sort of thing .

By the way, I was in Istanbul last March; didn't get to see the Topkapi palace jewels/treasures because the building housing them were undergoing renovation. Don't know when it will re-open. But there are others worth seeing.

Tickets to tour Dolmabache palace are limited. If you want to see it, do this first thing in the morning. The palace and the harem are accessible only with a guided tour.
Old May 14th, 2001, 04:13 AM
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I know its not in your question but I would second the recommendation to see the Underground Cistern.

It was one of our favourites. Even after we were sitting in the cafe restaurant nearest to the entrance to it when a bomb went off. I sat there looking at all the glass that had crashed in amongst us while my husband carried on drinking his coffee...

Needless the say, the bomb, which went off only feet away from where we were, was NOT my favourite experience.

There was minor damage to the brickwork of the building housing the cistern entrance but nothing else (other than the restaurant and neighbouring windows).

We also loved the bazaar, and the spice market, (tip: learn about good and bad turkish delight before you buy).

Have a fabulous trip.
Old May 14th, 2001, 05:05 AM
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It took us 7 hours to visit Topkapi, including a snack lunch at their restaurant. We arrived around 8:45am and went directly to the Harem ticket booth. The 9am tour was already booked out. Instead of waiting around for the next available tour, we decided to get the tickets for the 11am tour. This would enable us to start visiting the palace, break it up shortly before 11am and resume afterwards. Before joining the Harem tour we managed to visit all the rooms around the 2nd court and a few around the 3rd court.

Exiting Topkapi, we visited the archaeological museum and tiled kiosk (the ancient orient museum was closed). We ended the day having a capuccino and listening to a concert in the Basilica Cistern.

We took a cab to visit the Dolmabahçe Palace from 9am to 11:30am. Another cab took us back to Eminönü where we took a boat to cruise the Bosphorus. I don't recall seeing the ferries that cross the Bosphorus back and forth stopping at the Palace landing stage ... maybe they do, though.

Old May 15th, 2001, 01:05 AM
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Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. We leave on friday and it's all really exciting. Must admit though that unfortunately this trip is ending up to be our most disorganised one but turkey seems to be the place where anything is possible if you want to pay for it.. so hopefully it would all work out.

Paulo - how much did a cab cost to dolmabache palace?

Old May 15th, 2001, 04:24 AM
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One must be carefull with taxis in Istanbul, Brownie. In principle, don't take a taxi that is parked in the neighborhood of the main sites (specially Haghia Sophia and Blue Mosque). Either take one on he run or one that is parked near a hotel (like the Four Seasons).

From Sultanhamet to the Palace we spent approx. US$ 9 at the time.

Old May 15th, 2001, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for that Paulo. Will remember that.

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