Istanbul Journals

Istanbul: On and Off the Beaten Path

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An April 2005 trip to Istanbul by Marianne

Hagia Sophia Photo, Istanbul, Turkey More Photos
Quote: Istanbul is very much a European city, with tree-lined avenues and consumer goods in the modern shopping malls. But you will also find colourful bazaars where you haggle and go home with exotic articles, where shoeshine boys want to polish your shoes, and carpet merchants offer you apple tea.

Istanbul: On and Off the Beaten Path

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Overview

Hagia Sophia Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
I found 75 journals about Istanbul. That's why I hesitated to write another one. But I only found one entry about Büyükada, and none about Tram 39. That's why I decided to add a 76th journal. Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace: these are the first things you must see if this is your first trip to Istanbul. Much has been written about these top attractions, so there is no need for me to write about them again. I can recommend: Lonely Planet: Istanbul or Rough Guide: Turkey (excellent chapter on Istanbul) You can also read excellent Istanbul journals on IgoUgo about these popular tourist places. MY HIGHLIGHTS:...Read More

Inter Hotel Istanbul

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Hotel

Inter Hotel Istanbul Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Inter Hotel Istanbul Büyük Efendi Sok 29BeyazitIstanbulLocation, location, location: Hotel Inter has it!Inter Hotel Istanbul is situated just off Ordu Cadessi, opposite the university and the covered bazaar. Büyük Efendi Street is not a thoroughfare, but a quiet street with shops and apartments.It has four floors and there is a lift. The lobby, with a bar, television, and reception, is small. Our room was 4x3m and had a single and a double bed with a good firm mattress, small desk, and wardrobe, but no proper place to put our luggage. So we put our suitcases ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 19, 2005

Inter Hotel Istanbul
Büyük Haydar Efendi Sok. No. 29
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 212 518 35 35

Büyükada: The Silent Island

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Story/Tip

Boat to Buyukade Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
There are no cars in Büyükada. All right, there is the odd police car, the Coca Cola delivery truck, and the garbage disposal vehicle, but there are no passenger cars. That's the most wonderful thing of this island. You can walk, cycle, or ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Büyükada means big island. It is the largest island of the Princes' Islands, an archipelago of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara, some 20km southeast of Istanbul. Büyükada smells of horses, kebab, grilled fish, and sea. It is a quiet place a contrast to crowded, noisy, and polluted Istanbul. All you hear is the blast of the ferries, the cries of the seagulls, and the clip-clop of the horses, a very soft clip-clop, ...Read More

Tramvay 39

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Story/Tip

Tram 39 Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Tramvay 39 Trams are my favourite mode of transport. Istanbul trams are cheap and user-friendly. You buy a token at the kiosk near tram stops and insert it into the slot at the turnstile. It is a safe method, as it is impossible to dodge fares (a token for a single journey is Ytl 1.10, or 0.60€ or $0.80) Trams whiz through the city. They have their own lane and are not hampered by the chaotic traffic. The tram I like best is tramvay no. 39. It conveniently passes Cadessi Ordu (close to our hotel). It runs from Findikli to Zeytan Burnu, two intriguing names. Findikli means hazelnuts galore and Zeytan Burnu means olive cape. But these days, th...Read More

Two-Day Itinerary: Day 1

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Story/Tip

Blue Mosque Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Two-day itinerary: Day 1 Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace are situated closely together. But it is not a good idea to visit all three in one day, as it involves quite a bit of queuing, even in the low season. They open at 9am and are closed on Mondays. MORNING Start your day with a visit of Topkapi Palace. Be there as early as you can, as the queue builds up quickly and waiting times are long, as there is only one ticket window. The price of a combined ticket is 32€ (12€ for the general part, 10€ for the treasury, and 10€ for the harem). Harem tours begin at 9:30am inside the palace, and it means you will have to jo...Read More

Two-Day Itinerary: Day 2

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Story/Tip

historic tram Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Two-day itinerary: Day 2 Don't do this itinerary on a Monday, as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are closed. MORNING Start the day with an early breakfast. Wear long trousers or a knee-length skirt and a T-shirt or blouse with sleeves. This way, you need not borrow a wrap in the mosques. Be at the Blue Mosque by 9am. This way, you are ahead of the busloads. Take off your shoes at the entrance and put them in a plastic bag, which is provided, and carry your shoes with you. The Blue Mosque, or Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish, is just opposite the Church of Hagia Sophia. Architect Mehmet wanted to build a dome bigger than Hagia Sophia's, but ...Read More