Istanbul Journals

Enchanting Istanbul

A July 2004 trip to Istanbul by samer_k

Mosque Hagia Sofia Photo, Huatulco, Mexico More Photos
Quote: Three nights in Istanbul wasn't enough! But we hit the highlights.

Enchanting Istanbul

Overview

Quote:
This is truly East meets West. It is a large city with sooo much to do. The highlight was a tour of the famous mosques of Blue Mosque and Hajia Sofia. The famous Old Bazaar was neat to experience. Yes, do haggle and do be careful! We also took a ferry tour and saw both the European and Asian side of Turkey. There is great dining and shopping in the Taksim shopping district. As for dining during the day, we had traditional Turkish cuisine, such as kebabs, salads, etc. At night we had the best seafood we have ever eaten! At Kumkapi Fisherman's Wharf there are soooo many places to choose from. Take a tour of the Topkapi Palace and Museum. Take the time to go to the famous Old...Read More
Ritz-Carlton Istanbul Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
This was a standard-amenity hotel, although there were some good and bad things about it. Location wasn't bad; it wasn't really a touristy area, but it was walking distance to the famous mosques and not very far from the wharf and ports. It was a bit disappointing because it was rated four stars. Now, if it was rated three stars, we might have been okay with it, but our expectations were a bit higher too! It was only about $50 per night if you stayed three nights or more, and breakfast was included. It even included free airport transfers. That wasn't bad, considering the airport is a bit far from the heart of Istanbul. Breakfast was decent. Rooms were bit small, and beds were a bit uncomfortab...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 24, 2005

Ritz-Carlton Istanbul
Sehzadebasi
Istanbul, Turkey
90 212-511 42 24

Kucuk Liman

Restaurant

Quote:
My wife had the grilled sea bass twice! It was that good and that fresh. I had a shrimp dish that was baked with vegetables and melted cheese. Supposedly it was an appetizer, but it was plenty, and we also had calamari. It was all great. We even went back there again the next night!!!

By the way, I forgot that it was right on the water's edge and a great outdoor place.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Kucuk Liman
No. 36 Kumkapi
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 (212) 518-8410

Topkapi Palace

Attraction

Quote:
Want to see how the famous Turkish sultans live? Then you must see this. This palace has very elegant and well-preserved gardens and palaces. It truly gives you an idea of what they wore, how they conducted affairs of the day, and how they spread the Ottoman Empire. See the famous diamonds and jewels. See Islamic artifacts and books. There is lots of walking, but it is worth it. It is best to go with a guided tour.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 14, 2005

Topkapi Palace
Sultanahmet Square
Istanbul, Turkey
90 212 5224422

Mosque Hagia Sofia Photo, Huatulco, Mexico
Quote:
A great shopping district of Istanbul is an area known as Taksim. Very modern, full of shops, restaurants, cafes, and vibrant music--it is their SOHO, more or less. Check it out.

Take a ferry ride across the Marmara sea and literally cruise into ASia and into Europe--very scenic.