Istanbul Journals

Three Days in Istanbul

A September 2007 trip to Istanbul by oldscratch

Mirror Wall Photo, Istanbul, Turkey More Photos
Quote: Journal covering some of the attractions and experiences I recommend after spending three very foreign days in Istanbul last fall.

Attractions

Basilica Cistern

Attraction | "Impressive Experience"

Basilica Cistern Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
I'll leave it to the other IgoUgo reviewers to describe the history of the Basilica Cistern, but I did want to say a few words about what a cool experience the Cistern was and highly recommend that visitors check it out.Basically the Cistern is an ancient underground water tank supported by an impressive series of column. The combination of partially-submerged, endlessly-repeating columns and the dim yellow light makes for a particularly moody atmosphere, and like many people visiting the attraction, I suddenly had a flashback to the James Bond movie From Russia With Love in which 007 is quietly stalked from column to column by a bad guy.A wooden walkway has been const...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 7, 2008

Basilica Cistern
Southwest of the Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey

Galata Tower

Attraction | "Amazing Views"

Galata Tower Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
One of the most visible landmarks in Istanbul is the Galata Tower. Sitting on a hill and visible from pretty much any point in the city, it serves as a very useful orientation point, and not surprisingly, also has some incredible views. You can ride an elevator to the top and eat at a restaurant, or just walk around the outside perimeter as we did and enjoy taking in all of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.

(Apparently, there's also a nightclub inside. Probably not what they originally intended when it was built 600 years ago.)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2008

Galata Tower
Galata District
Istanbul, Turkey

Aya Sofya/ Church of Holy Wisdom

Attraction | "Breathtaking Beauty and History"

Aya Sofya/ Church of Holy Wisdom Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Our first stop on our first full day was one of Istanbul's most famous attractions, the Hagia Sophia, a massively domed cathedral built in 532 AD that throughout the centuries has served as both a church and a mosque. Today it operates as a museum, and as you might imagine given its long history, it's of significant interest to tourists of all stripes. As a result, one of the most fascinating aspects of visiting the museum is admiring all the disparate cultures that gather under its roof on any given day.For whatever reason, we didn't opt to take a tour, but if you have the time, I would definitely recommend doing so. The Hagia Sophia is full of amazing artwork and views of the city that c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2008

Aya Sofya/ Church of Holy Wisdom
Sultanhamet
Istanbul, Turkey

Experiences

All Day Walk

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Me Buying Bread Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
My best memory of Istanbul was not visiting the major attractions like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, but an all-day walk from the hills of Taksim down to the Golden Horn and the base of the Galta Bridge. In no particular order, here are some of my impressions.Buying popcorn from someone who made it with a homemade basket over a coal fire. The popcorn kept catching fire as he cooked it, but it tasted good nonetheless.Having a very unusual, gummy-tasting, chocolate ice cream, cone. The server used a long, awkward metal paddle to serve it.Climbing the stairs of the Galata tower and getting an amazing view of a totally foreign land dotted with mosques and minar...Read More

Hotel

Bentley Hotel

Hotel | "Not as Good as I Hoped, But Not Bad"

Quote:
There were a few good things about this hotel:

  • Nice, modern design
  • Great view of Istanbul from the room
  • Great price for a pretty good location
There were also a few bad things about this hotel:

  • The shower smelled of mold
  • The staff were not very freindly
  • Liquor in the hotel bar was incredibly expensive
All in all, this is a pretty decent hotel for those design-minded in a pretty good location. We had a long, but nice walk from the hotel to several good restaurants along the northern shore.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 5, 2007

Bentley Hotel
HALASKARGAZI CD NO 75 HARBIYE
Istanbul, Turkey 80220
90-2122917730