Turkey: Istanbul & Cappadocia

Old Jul 21st, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Turkey: Istanbul & Cappadocia

Hello Fodorites -

In the past you have proven to be an invaluable resource in my travel planning, and I am hoping some of you can help out with an upcoming trip.

My husband and I are planning some travel to Turkey in August, in just a couple of weeks. We are young, enjoy wandering, exploring the sites (both big and small, and certainly the hidden gems), and enjoy good meals.

As we are finalizing our plans, I wanted to know your thoughts on if 4 nights in Istanbul and 3 nights in Cappadocia would be ok, or if we need more time to explore in either place. We are not in a rush, and have 2 weeks to spend (other nights not noted will be elsewhere in Europe), and can definitely extend our time.

Also, I have been looking at flights to Cappadocia and doing this portion at the beginning of our time in Turkey, and then flying back to spend time in Istanbul. Would you recommend this or would you do Istanbul and then Cappadocia?

Many thanks for your help!
-Nora
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Old Jul 21st, 2012, 03:27 PM
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> I wanted to know your thoughts on if 4 nights in Istanbul and 3 nights in Cappadocia would be ok, or if we need more time to explore in either place.

It depends on what you want to see and experience! I was glad to have 6 nights in Istanbul and 4 nights in Cappadocia, and I would definitely have enjoyed at least one more in each location.

It's lovely - enjoy!
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Old Jul 21st, 2012, 03:36 PM
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Thanks kja! We'll more than likely hit the larger sites in both, and then find some hidden gems as well.

We're very interested in photography, culture and cuisine and I have been looking at a cooking class while we are in Istanbul, and possibly getting a walking guide for us one of the days we are there.

Are there things that you saw that you would recommend or not recommend?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 10:35 AM
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I would definitely add more days to Istanbul. We were there a week and could have stayed a year. You will fall in love with Turkey!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Thanks NanBug, we're definitely looking forward to falling in love with it! I'm looking into extending some of our stays now.

Any thoughts on which city to do first? My thought for doing Cappadocia first was because we will fly into Istanbul and then can take a flight straight out to Cappadocia. And a little relaxing might be a nice way to start, though in the past we've realized that we do like to have the relaxing portion towards the end of our trip.

Did you have anything in particular that you would recommend or not recommend in either city?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 04:53 PM
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> My thought for doing Cappadocia first was because we will fly into Istanbul and then can take a flight straight out to Cappadocia.

Sounds like a good reason to me!

> a little relaxing might be a nice way to start

I didn't spend much time relaxing in either location. I took several long hikes while in Cappadocia, ending each day happily exhausted. And I took full advantage of my opportunity to explore Istanbul, so I was on the move pretty much all day every day except for my time on the Bosporus Ferry. But I wasn't looking to relax on my trip to the area. Again, it depends on how you want to spend your time.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 06:48 PM
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If you think you are going to shop, do Istanbul last. I am very pleased with the mixed and single spices and dry fruit and nuts from the spice market in Istanbul. The scarves and the cushion covers seem nice too.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 03:54 AM
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Thanks kja! I don't anticipate lounging around type of relaxation in Cappadocia, just slightly more low key than being in a big city like Istanbul.

@mohan - that was my other thought for doing Istanbul after Cappadocia, there will certainly be some shopping done there!
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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I agree with everyone above -- fly directly into Cappadocia, Istanbul last...
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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My wife and I spent two weeks in Istanbul in 2009, along with an overnight guided tour to Ephesus. We stayed in a suite at the Sari Konak hotel, modest, inexpensive, and very pleasant with a helpful staff.

In no particular order of preference, we liked

The Yerebatan Cistern
The Archeological Museum
Hagia Sofia
Gulhane Park
The Blue Mosque
The Mosaic Museum (entrance off small bazaar up the street from hotel)
The Hippodrome
The Theodosian Walls
Chora Church (near the walls)
Topkapi Palace (way too crowded for my taste, but my wife liked it)
Main Bazaar
Lots of other mosques

We didn't care for the new city, and didn't spend much time there.

Our only regret is that we didn't take a ferry over to the Asian side and didn't explore the area around the Bosphorus in the new city.

As far as food goes, we found lots of inexpensive but good restaurants
and as a result of the trip I now constantly plague my wife with requests for dishes with eggplant.

Have a nice trip.
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Old Aug 6th, 2012, 09:17 PM
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Ok, I'm jumping in again slightly off topic but not completely. If my husband is at a conference in Istanbul, is it safe for me to travel solo to Cappadocia for a couple of days? I would fly and I'm a semi- well travelled middle age Canadian female.
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Old Aug 6th, 2012, 09:34 PM
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I felt perfectly safe in Cappadocia and elsewhere in Turkey when I travelled there as a solo woman in May+ of this year. Here are my notes:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ern-turkey.cfm

Enjoy!
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Old Aug 8th, 2012, 10:35 AM
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Thanks everyone! We have been in Istanbul for a couple of days now and adore it! We are postponing our travel out to cappadocia for another trip though due to the heat, which is ok because it guarantees another visit to Turkey!

Any suggestions for places to buy a kilim in Istanbul? Wasn't sure that I was going to want one, but turns out I do!
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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I've not yet been to Istanbul, so I don't have any business answering -- but I won't lt that stop me. ;-)

One of my colleagues just returned from Turkey a couple of weeks ago and she shopped at Punto of Istanbul, which is recommended in Rick Steves' Istanbul book -- which is why she shopped there. She was very happy with the transaction and she loves her rug; they shipped it DHL and it arrived at their Indiana home three days after purchase. The rug's papers arrived by post two days later. She felt she got a fair price and she was so happy with it that they gave her an additional 100 TL discount ... which is probably all part of the dance, but whatever.

It's located a couple of blocks from the Grand Bazaar's Nuruosmaniye Gate, at Nuru Osmaniye, Gazi Sinan Pasa Sokak, Vezirhan 17.

Now folks who actually know what they're talking about can confirm or deny.
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