Istanbul Journals

A Summer in Istanbul

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A June 2002 trip to Istanbul by HobWahid

Istanbul Photo, Istanbul, Turkey More Photos
Quote: Istanbul is a city like no other on Earth. It is a city that stratles two continents, the link between Europe and Asia. This journal is about discovering the Istanbul hidden behind the tourist sites.

A Summer in Istanbul

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Overview

Istanbul Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Istanbul is an absolutely enormous city in terms of land area; however most tourists do not get past the Sultanahmet area. Indeed any visit to Istanbul must include a visit to Topkapı, Sultanahmet, and the Hagia Sophia, but there is so much more that lies beyond that. Istanbul is one of those cities like Paris or New York where you can see the major sites in four days, but it takes a lifetime to see all that it has to offer. So of course, if you are only going to be there for a week, see all the tourist sites; they are truly worth it, but it is still possible to move beyond that and get a picture of what Istanbul daily life is really about, and that is what I want to help you do.Quick Tips...Read More

Yucelt Interyouth Hostel

Hotel | "Yücelt Interyouth Hostel"

Quote:
This hostel is located in Sultanahmet next to the Hagia Sophia. It is a hostel that runs at about 8-12.5 Million TL/night, depending on whether or not you want a large dorm or a 4 person room. The hostel is clean, as far as hostels go. It features a restaurant, bar, and pool table. The staff were extremely friendly and I had a great time just hanging at the bar and talking in Turkish with the bartenders. It's a great place to meet other travelers and share stories. It's a nice, cheap place, and it is close to all the sites of Sultanahmet.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 14, 2002

Yucelt Interyouth Hostel
Caferiye Sokak 6/1 Sultanahmet
Istanbul, Turkey
212 513-6150

Hotel Spina Istanbul

Hotel | "Hotel Spina"

Quote:
The Hotel Spina is located one block away from Sultanahmet and Hagia Sophia. Rooms run about 60-100 dollars, but are not really worth it. The hotel is clean and the staff is very friendly and helpful. The head manager was very accomodating. They also have a nice rooftop terrace where breakfast is served. Overall not a bad hotel, just not good value for money. You can find nicer hotels for that price around Sultanahmet.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 14, 2002

Hotel Spina Istanbul
UTANGAC SOKAK NO 19
Istanbul, Turkey 34490
902126381727

Birac

Attraction | "Biracı, a great bar in a great city"

Quote:
Biracý is located down Istiklal Caddesi, a bit past the Galatasaray School, on the left, on the second floor. It is a great bar that has a large terrace with views of the Bosphorus. Inside there is a bar with a small dancefloor that gets packed on the weekends and plays standard Turkish and American Pop. The terrace is the best place to sit, and by far the best drink value is to buy your own 3 liter keg. That's right, Biracý has small, clear plastic kegs that they fill with beer, plop on your table, then you go at your own speed. It's great value for money especially when you have about 3 people. After a few glasses from your keg, you can head inside and hit the dancefloor and dance the night a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 14, 2002

Birac
Istiklal Caddesi, Taksim
Istanbul, Turkey

Wine Bar

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Attraction | "Best wine bar in Istanbul"

Quote:
Pano is located off Istiklal Caddesi on Hamalbaþý Caddesi, Taksim. To get there take your first right after the Galatasaray School and walk about a block. It will be on the right, right next to another wine bar named Victor Hugo, which is owned by the same person who owns Pano.

Pano has been in Istanbul for a long time, and is full of history and charm. The atmosphere is great, the food is good and cheap, and the wine is plentiful. On the weekends there is standing room only. So come and sample the local cheese platter, drink some cherry wine, chat with your friends, and have a great evening at the best wine house in Istanbul.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 14, 2002

Wine Bar
Hamalba 351, 305
Istanbul, Turkey

Bosphorus Strait

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Attraction | "Night cruise on the Bosphorous"

Bosphorus Strait Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
One cannot visit Istanbul with out taking a ride on the Bosphorus, especailly at night. Many hotels will offer you a night cruise/dinner/entertainment package for around $90/person. This will put you on a large multi-decked boat with tons of other tourists, mediocre food, and second-rate belly dancing. However, for only around $120 dollars you can rent your own boat. (It will be more if you want food, too.) If you don't care about eating, and just want to float along the Bosphorus for an hour and a half or two hours, rent your own boat. The best place I found to rent boats, is in Bebek. Just take a taxi, or one of the many buses that run along the coast towards Sariyer. Walk past the town of B...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 15, 2002

Bosphorus Strait
Eminonu
Istanbul, Turkey

A Chill Bar

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Attraction | "A Chill Bar in Istanbul"

A Chill Bar Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
This is by far one of the best bars in Istanbul, and one of the best I have ever visited anywhere. The name is Arka Bahçe and it is a hot hangout for all the students of Istanbul, especially those of the nearby Boðaziçi University, which I attended for a summer. Arka Bahçe (pronounced Arka Bachay) is tucked back in the narrow streets of RumeliHisarý and is easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. You can take a cab there, or take a cab to the South Campus of Boðaziçi and walk from there. From the main green of Boðaziçi follow the road down until you run into a gate, go through the gate and turn left. As soon as you turn you will see stairs on the right, go down the stairs and follow the road...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 14, 2002

A Chill Bar
Rumeli Hisar 305
Istanbul, Turkey

Arsen Lüpen Bar

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Attraction | "One of the best bars in Istanbul"

Quote:
Arsen Lüpen lies on Sakizaðacý Sokak, off Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim. To get there walk down Istiklal Caddesi until you get to the Aða Mosque on the right. At the mosque turn right and walk to the second right where you will see a sign on the corner that says "Arsen Lüpen" the entrance is around the corner on the right. Walk up to the third floor where there is a terrace outside. Arsen Lüpen is a small place where a lot of the alternative crowd of Istanbul likes to hang out, discuss Marx, and show off their latest Guevara t-shirt. Even if your politics aren't left, nobody will mind, and this is just a great place to kick back, grab an Efes, listen to alt rock, and spend a warm Istanbul summer nig...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 14, 2002

Arsen Lüpen Bar
Sakiza 287; ac 305
Istanbul, Turkey

Kilyos Beaches

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Attraction | "Kilyos-Istanbul's Summer Getaway"

Kilyos Beaches Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Kilyos is the summer getaway of choice for many residents of Istanbul. It is close, only about an hour by bus, less by car, and it is a great place to escape the summer heat of Istanbul. To get there hop one of the many buses in the direction of Sariyer (such as the 20) and then at the last stop, catch the connector bus to Kylios, or you can find many dolmuºes around to take you to Kilyos. The buses will drop you off right on the edge of town, and then from there it is only a 5 minute walk to the main beach. Access to the beach will cost you 5 million TL. Many hotels have private fenced in areas too, that you can get access to for a fee. In terms of watersports Kilyos doesn't have much...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 16, 2002

Kilyos Beaches
North of Istanbul on the Black Sea
Istanbul, Turkey

Military Museum (Askeri Muze)

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Attraction | "The Turkish Military Museum"

Quote:
The Turkish Military Museum (Asker Müzesi) is located just north of Taksim, easily walkable. The military museum is an enormous 2 story building that houses countless military artifacts from Turkey's Byzantine and Ottoman past, as well as from the Republic. The top floor is a monument to the splendor of the Ottoman army. There are rooms full of armour, guns, swords, cavalry equipment, and a Turco-German friendship corner that commemorates the cooperation between the two during WWI. On the top floor there is also a room dedicated to Atatürk, as well as his old military school classroom. Also on the top floor is another of one of the most impressive sites, the giant chain that the Byzantines used t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 16, 2002

Military Museum (Askeri Muze)

Istanbul, Turkey

Markets Beyond the Grand Bazaar

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Attraction | "Beyond the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul's Other Markets"

Quote:
Every tourist to Ýstanbul knows about Kapalýçarþý (The Grand Bazaar) and Mýsýrçarþý (The Spice Bazaar) in Beyzit and Eminönü, but tourists hardly get out of those and to the real modern bazaars of Istanbul, the bazaars that the Istanbullular go to every week.Almost every "semt" (section of Istanbul) has a bazaar once during the week, and all you have to do is ask around to find out what day the local bazaar is. The two largest local bazaars, however, are the Salý Pazar (The Tuesday Bazaar) and the Ulus Pazar (The People's Bazaar). The Salý Pazar is held, surprisingly, every Tuesday in Kadýköy, on the Asian side. To get there take the ferry from Eminönü. This is Istanbul's largest bazaar and featu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 20, 2002

Markets Beyond the Grand Bazaar
Arnavutköy and Kad 305; köy
Istanbul, Turkey

Vapur to Anadolu Kava

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Attraction | "Vapur to Anadolu Kavağı"

Vapur to Anadolu Kava Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Anadolu Kavaðý is a small semt (borough) up the Bosphorous, almost to the Black Sea, on the Asian side. There are two ways to get there, catch a public bus from Üsküdar, or take a ferry. The latter is by far the better option. The ferry for Anadolu Kavaðý only leaves twice a day and it is best to catch it from Beþiktaþ or Eminönü. The Eminönü dock (Boðaz Hattý) is located just to the right of the Galata Bridge. Ferries leave from there at 10:15am and 1:30pm. The Beþýktaþ dock is located right behind the Maritime Museum (Deniz Müzesi) and leaves at around 10:45 and 2:00. I suggest you show up a good 20 minutes ahead of time because the good seats will fill up fast. The ferry will cost 8 Millio...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

Vapur to Anadolu Kava
Anadolu Kava
Istanbul, Turkey

Quote:
Istanbul has a great public transportaion system that consists of buses, trains, trams, a subway, and ferries. If you are going to be in Istanbul for two weeks or more, I suggest buying an Akbil. An Akbil is a multipurpose pass that you buy for 6 million TL from any "Akbil Satýþ Noktasý" in the main bus terminals (i.e. Taksim, Beþiktaþ, or Eminönü). You can then add as much money as you want. The Akbil can be used on all public transportation, which is what makes it so useful. Each time you use the Akbil, money will be deducted. When you run out, you can just refill. There is a student fare so when you buy, show them a student card. The most exstensive and convenient form of transport ar...Read More