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Istanbul tips please

(10 Posts)
Pollaidh Wed 06-Mar-19 07:51:07

We are off to Istanbul for 5 nights in April. Any tips on what to do, what to avoid etc would be welcome. I am thinking of taking one or two organised city tours to avoid being hassled all the time. Any advice on these?
All suggestions gratefully received!

DoraMarr Wed 06-Mar-19 08:00:56

I didn’t find we were hassled in the bazaar in Istanbul, and people were very friendly. We ducked into a tea shop to escape a heavy rain shower and the owner and fellow guests were incredibly nice, bringing us more and more Turkish delight and apple tea and refusing payment until we insisted. Hagia Sophia is a must, and the Blue Mosque. We loved just strolling through the streets. One mistake we made, again in a downpour, was to take a taxi instead of the tram back to our hotel. It took forever, while the trams whizzed by. The traffic in Istanbul is legendary. We also took the ferry up the Bosporus, which was my favourite thing of all. At some stop vendors got on selling yogurt topped with powdered sugar, which was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. To stand on top of Rumei Hisari fortress, with the Black Sea in front, Europe to the west and Asia to the East, was magical. It’s the ordinary commuter ferry.

Pollaidh Wed 06-Mar-19 10:03:44

Thank you very much DoraMarr! Just the sort of really useful advice we're looking for. thanks

MiniMoon Wed 06-Mar-19 10:13:06

Istanbul in the 1970's was a magical place. We went I to the bazaar and the sights, sounds and smells, were amazing. We (my sister and I) were with our parents who were living in Turkey for 2 years with my Dad's job. My mother was offered 20 camels for me! Unfortunately she had nowhere to keep them in her flat in Ankara!😂😂
We did all the usual tourist sites. The street food is wonderful, and the breakfast in a little cafe in a little courtyard was the best bacon and eggs I've ever had.
I would love to go back one day.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 06-Mar-19 10:22:08

One of our favourite cities, very friendly people, fabulous food.

I would ask the concierge at your hotel as things change all the time.

Blue Mosque is unmissable as is the Grand Bizarre. Lots of pretty squares and gardens for tea or coffee stops.

EllanVannin Wed 06-Mar-19 10:35:12

Never been to Turkey but it sounds interesting. I suppose the days of tying string to the bottoms of your trousers are over ( Turkey trots ?)

Pollaidh Wed 06-Mar-19 11:14:34

Must have been the hippie era Minimoon! i do hope you make it back one day. So lovely to hear positive reports, GrannyGravy13.
I am taking immodium with me EllanVannin! smile

Riverwalk Wed 06-Mar-19 11:45:20

Istanbul is one of the great cities of the world - last went about three years ago.

I can't remember the names but there are restaurants where we had dinner on the rooftop terraces that have views of the nearby Blue Mosque and Hagi Sofia - quite magical. Have a look at something like Trip Advisor or similar for recommendations and names; and your hotel concierge will advise.

Don't forget the Topkapi Palace - choose your time of visit as it gets very busy! I've been three times and still haven't seen everything.

The last time we (4 of us) hired a local guide for a half-day walking tour and it was money well spent. When she said we would visit an underground water cistern we all thought, well OK, but it was magnificent and we'd never have thought to go there!

Cistern

Riverwalk Wed 06-Mar-19 11:49:16

As for 'Turkey trots' - I've never known that to be associated with the country of Turkey; assumed it was related to the dance or eating turkey. hmm

Of course you can get an upset stomach anywhere!

Ngaio1 Wed 06-Mar-19 11:53:15

Lucky person! Beautiful city. Grand Bazaar is fun and the Blue Mosque wonderful to see.