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> Your Opinions on Turkey
cyntiacampos
post May 10 2012, 09:34 PM
Post #21


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Hi,
I'll be in Istambul next September for a few days, on my way to Greece (flying from Sao Paulo on Turkish Airlines). It's gonna be my first time in the city-- eveybody tells me it's fascinating. I'll be traveling alone.

Any tips?

Thak you all for your help
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bumihills
post May 12 2012, 09:40 AM
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If you are into viewing history and culture, find a hotel near the Sultanamet. It will be easy walking distance to this mosque (the Blue Mosque), Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia, and the Bazaars among many other worthwhile, historical sites. The bazaar is a bargaining paradise if you know what you are doing. If you are more interested in shopping, try the Taksim area where you will find regular shops where bargaining is not done. Both of these are on the European side of Istanbul. Istanbul is a modern city and while more secular than other parts of Turkey, I would recommend not wearing shorts. Be sure to carry a sleeved shirt with you so you can enter the mosques and perhaps a shawl. I'd also wear sandals as they are easier to slip on and off while entering.

Try the metro. It is convenient. However, I loved walking. Be sure to get a good map (even these are somewhat hard to follow as many of the streets are maze-like). I've found approaching teenage girls or women the best bet when asking directions. Make sure to walk across the Galata Bridge which spans the Bosporus. I've found the cruises of the Bosporus to be a bit tedious and only worth doing if you have extra time.

Enjoy the food. Turkish food is excellent and I love their yogurt and olives! Be sure to try Turkish ice cream. You will see vendors selling it on the street and "pulling" it like taffy. Their ice cream is delicious as well as chewy. Be sure to get the real stuff as they also sell western ice cream.

It appears that you are a woman traveling alone. I've found Turkish people to be very friendly but I would be hesitant about going about during the night alone. Turkish men would be thrilled to accompany you but unless you know them, I would be careful about this. Pepper spray is legal in Turkey so you might wish to carry this just in case.

You will love Turkey and Istanbul. I consider Istanbul to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world both in sites and in physical location. Enjoy!
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cyntiacampos
post May 12 2012, 07:11 PM
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Thank you very, very much, bumihills!!!

You've been very helpful. I'm very anxious to see Istambul for the first time.

Yes, I'm a woman traveling alone. Although very used to it (I travel alone most of the time), I'm a bit worried about how a solo-female-traveler would be treated in Turkey.

I've read and heard a lot about Sultanamet, guess this will be my bet.

Thanks again

Cyntia

QUOTE(bumihills @ May 12 2012, 09:40 AM) *

If you are into viewing history and culture, find a hotel near the Sultanamet. It will be easy walking distance to this mosque (the Blue Mosque), Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia, and the Bazaars among many other worthwhile, historical sites. The bazaar is a bargaining paradise if you know what you are doing. If you are more interested in shopping, try the Taksim area where you will find regular shops where bargaining is not done. Both of these are on the European side of Istanbul. Istanbul is a modern city and while more secular than other parts of Turkey, I would recommend not wearing shorts. Be sure to carry a sleeved shirt with you so you can enter the mosques and perhaps a shawl. I'd also wear sandals as they are easier to slip on and off while entering.

Try the metro. It is convenient. However, I loved walking. Be sure to get a good map (even these are somewhat hard to follow as many of the streets are maze-like). I've found approaching teenage girls or women the best bet when asking directions. Make sure to walk across the Galata Bridge which spans the Bosporus. I've found the cruises of the Bosporus to be a bit tedious and only worth doing if you have extra time.

Enjoy the food. Turkish food is excellent and I love their yogurt and olives! Be sure to try Turkish ice cream. You will see vendors selling it on the street and "pulling" it like taffy. Their ice cream is delicious as well as chewy. Be sure to get the real stuff as they also sell western ice cream.

It appears that you are a woman traveling alone. I've found Turkish people to be very friendly but I would be hesitant about going about during the night alone. Turkish men would be thrilled to accompany you but unless you know them, I would be careful about this. Pepper spray is legal in Turkey so you might wish to carry this just in case.

You will love Turkey and Istanbul. I consider Istanbul to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world both in sites and in physical location. Enjoy!
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manzara
post May 13 2012, 02:41 AM
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From: Çeşme, Western Turkey. One of Turkey's best-kept secrets
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Sorry I’m a little late joining this thread but you’ve been given excellent advice so far.

Sultanahmet is certainly the place to stay as you are within easy walking distance of the city’s main attractions. I can recommend a hotel right in the heart of Siultahmet where we have stayed many time and members of our family and friends. Have a look at their website here.

They have Hotel and Pansiyon rooms and offer comfortable and spotlessly clean accommodation in a secure environment with customer-friendly staff and offer a great deal of helpful ,local information. It is a few metres from the Four Seasons Hotel at a fraction of the price and extremely close to:

Aya Sofia: One of the most impressive and important buildings ever constructed. For almost a thousand years, Aya Sofia was the largest enclosed space in the world. The building has been a mosque and a church over time. Aya Sofya is impressive — one of the first things most visitors want to see when they're in Istanbul.

Topkapı Palace: Home of the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 400 years, Topkapı Sarayı was the heart of the vast Ottoman Empire, ruled by the monarchs who lived in Topkapı's hundreds of rooms with hundreds of concubines, children, and white and black servants. Don't miss the Treasury with its incredible gems, gold, and works of art.

Blue Mosque: Free entrance, but donations will be requested. With six minarets it was said to rival the design of the mosque at Mecca and the mosque’s imposing size is impressive.

Basilica Underground Cistern. Ancient water storage with over 21 million gallons of water and 336 marble columns. In the James Bond film “From Russia with Love, the scene when Bond is rowing in a small boat through a forest of marble columns was filmed here

Grand Bazaar. One of the largest covered shopping markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops. Free (unless you buy anything, of course!)

As you are only visiting for a few days ou may also want to consider the Short Circle Bosphoros Cruise, along the straits of water separating Europe and Asia towards the Black Sea and lasting about two hours. You'll see Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace, Maiden's Tower (also seen in "From Russia with Love"), the Selimiye Barracks (where Florence Nightingale worked), Dolmabahçe Palace, the Bosphorus Bridge (linking Europe and Asia) and much, much more. The ferry leaves the Eminönü docks at 14:30, arrives at Üsküdar around 14:50 to pick up passengers from the Asian side, and then continues its two hour non-stop tour.

Do let me know if I can help with any more detailed information. I am sure you will have a great time in this fascinating city.


--------------------
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
Lao-tzy, Chinese Philosopher (604 - 531 BC)
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cyntiacampos
post May 13 2012, 11:50 AM
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Thank you, manzara! Great tips and I will definitely try the hotel you've suggested. Unfortunately, I'll be on Istambul only for three full days, but even if I haven't seen it yet, I'm already sure to come back.

Do you guys have any tips about security?

Tks

Cyntia
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