What to do in Istanbul?

Old May 7th, 2011, 12:23 AM
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What to do in Istanbul?

WE are two persons going to Istanbul for the .... I think 8th or 9th time. Yes. WE LOVE THE CITY and we are going to see a friend who is not well. We have seen the major sites in Istanbul more than once, been to the latest up market malls, done the bazaars, been to Prince's Island. What else can we do?

Is there a nice village we can walk around along the Ferry route on the Bosphorus, preferably with a good restaurant?

Is Bebek worth walking around and if so in which direction should we go? What should we eat or drink? Specialties of the area?

Any good Turkish bath that is not a five star spa?

Any short day trips we can take?

Thanking whom ever has the answer in advance for your time.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 05:09 AM
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How about taking a ferry trip to Kadikoy on the Asian side. It's a lovely vibrant place with great shops and restaurants, and hardly any tourists. On the ferry you can throw simit to the cruising seagulls that trail behind.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 06:42 AM
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Bebek is lovely to walk. In fact, you can start at Kurucesme or end your walk there. The route from Kurucesme through Arnavutkoy to Rumelihisari is lovely.

There is the only island on the Bosphorus, Su Ada, at Kurucesme with a shuttle boat every few minutes for the restaurants, cafes and bars.

At Arnavutkoy there are a number of fish restaurants (also kofte), simple and cheap like Takanik, Ali baba and Adem baba for horse mackerel and anchovies or more expensive. The best ice cream in istanbul, Girandola is also in Arnavutkoy, towards the Bebek end.

There is Robert College (used to be the Girls' School), the American Highschool with a campus like a new England prep school before you reach Arnavutkoy and you may wish to walk up the hill if you get permission at the gate on the seaside. Similarly, there is Bosphorus University Bebek campus (used to be Robert College and Robert Academy for boys, established in 1863) with gates after Bebek through an old building and later just before the fortress.

The roads around the fortress are also lovely and intresting.

Further on, there is Emirgan Park and before that the Sabanci museum wihich also houses the best fusion restaurant, Changa.

You can also take the small ring boat at any of these piers for a simple cruise, getting of at Kanlica on the Asian side for some special yoghurt if you wish and picking the next one. Just check the schedules on sehirhatlari.com
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Old May 7th, 2011, 06:44 AM
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Just reread your post:

consider Iznik/Nicea for a day trip, via ferry to Yalova and dolmus or rental car from there.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 07:42 PM
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Thank you Otherchelebi and Travelmagpie. I stayed once each at the Ajar Hotel and Sumahan Hotel on the other side of Istanbul and liked that side very much. Have been thinking about a re-visit.

Can Otherchelebi tell me a little more about Iznik/Nicea? Dolmus is the little van that is like a taxi? Kindly refresh my memory.

Thank you.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 01:14 AM
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I am going to start a new post on Iznik/Nicea so that i can refer to it in the future rather than rewrite info on the town each time i recommend it. I will do it as a trip report so that it stays visible longer.

It will include info on city, driving directions for those who rent a car and also short trip notes from January 2010.

Dolmus are vans of different sizes or even minibuses, which make scheduled trips between central towns and satellite villages in the rural areas and unscheduled trips as they get filled up between the outskirts and the center of large cities or between districts.

The Yalova-Iznik dolmus leaves next to the ferry landing at yalova every hour on the hour.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:34 AM
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Thank you Otherchelebi. I shall look out for your Trip Report on Iznik/Nicea.
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