Portus House Istanbul
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(This needs to get published, as rough as it is. Excuse the shoddy writing.)
Friday, 17 Feb.
Frankfurt am Mein à Vienna à Istanbul
$20 for a visitor's visa, good for 90 days.
Guy from our hostel was there to pick us up. He had a sign that said "Tracy Brown" that we saw as we left the baggage …
Calls to prayer replaced carols, mosques replaced nativity scenes, salep and turkish delight replaced eggnog and candy canes, Turkey replaced turkey dinner. All in all, we had a different sort of Christmas this year without family, presents or snow.
Instead of last-minute shopping on December 23, we spent the day traveling by train, …
... he and they called our hotel owner, they said she wasn't helpful either (?).
The end result of this circus was that he pulled over near the Galata Tower, asked another shop owner, who pointed us "up this street, turn right, go down the street, you'll find it." Yes, our taxi driver took our bags out and told us to walk the rest of the way. He mumbled something about being unable to drive the whole way, maybe due to one way streets, but it wasn't very clear. ...
... of us went to the Asian side of the city – it is the only city that sits over two continents. We went by ferry, and it was very cheap. However, we didn’t really see much, and we were tired from a big night the night before, so we only stayed for about an hour – we pretty much just wanted to say we had been to Asia! Then I went to the Spice Bazaar, which sold a lot of the same stuff as the Grand Bazaar, as well as lots of tea, spices, Turkish Delight, ...
... our bags.
Quickly picked up our bags and walked out of customs; the person from the hotel was waiting for us, and we were shown to our car, which was actually at 10 person van for just the two of us. We were amazed that the driver could maneuver it through the very small one way streets of the Sultanahmet area, which gave a nice little tour.
Arrived at the hotel and our room needed another hour to be ready, ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsPortus House Istanbul
My wife and I and two friends stayed in a four-person room. There was more than enough room and the decor was very pleasant. It was obvious that the whole place had been remodeled recently. The location is excellent, too. It is a short walk to a tram that takes you across the bridge to the old part of the city, where the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are. It is convenient that a small grocery store is right across the street. Be sure to check out the Turkish candy store a block and a half a way, too. The entire facility was very clean and the staff were friendly and helpful. I would like to personally thank the staff for going out of their way to recover a backpack I left on a bus. I told them the name of the show I went to and they immediately knew the company to call. We had left by the time the backpack was retrieved, but they have kept it safe until a friend picked it up.
Portus House is a more expensive than other hostels around town, but it's well worth the few extra cents you'll pay. Highly recommended.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.