Istanbul Journals

Istanbul Survival Guide

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Istanbul by TianjinPaul

Quote: Tips, stories and advice gleaned from living in Istanbul.

Cafe Sofa

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Sofa So Good"

Quote:
It was Saturday evening in Istanbul and my girlfriend had made the six hour bus journey from Ankara to come and see me. Our plan was to have a romantic dinner and then watch a movie at my place. As she had come so far and because we had not known each other all that long, I was keen to make a good impression. However, I was fairly new to Istanbul and had little idea where I could find a suitably impressive restaurant. Thankfully, one of my colleagues suggested we try to find somewhere in Nisantasi - a chic shopping district between Sisli and Taksim. For want of a better option, I decided this would be my best plan.Once we had completed the 15 minute walk from Sisli, it did not take us long...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2010

Nil Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Hard to Find, But Worth the Search"

Quote:
It was the night before I left Istanbul and I needed a hotel close to Taksim Square – from where I would take the airport shuttle bus. As Taksim is both a tourist and business centre for Istanbul, it is not always easy to find a cheap hotel. This left me in a bit of a bind. I was flying very early the next morning, so I was not so keen on paying top-dollar for a room in which I would spend just six or seven hours. Thankfully, I was able to find Nil Hotel, which proved to be reasonably priced and very nice.The one downside to Nil Hotel is finding it. Its location is actually fantastic as it is just a few metres from the Osmanbey subway station and less than a kilometre from Taksim. The prob...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2010

Nil Hotel
Tavukçu Fethi Sok. No. 25
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 (212) 2302969

Otel Sisli

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "The Noisiest Hotel in the World"

Quote:
I am actually going to begin this review not by discussing Otel Sisli, but by describing the intricacies of my relocation to Turkey. Please, though, do not worry. I have good reason. I moved to Istanbul in February 2010 to work in an English school in the Sisli district of the city. The company I worked for promised to put me up in a hotel until I could find a place of my own. So, they sent me to Otel Sisli. The plan was for me to stay there for a couple of weeks until I had sourced my own place. This all seemed to be going to plan. Within the fortnight I had found a good place, signed a contract and was ready to move in. Unfortunately, at that point, we encountered some problems. The apar...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 11, 2010

Otel Sisli
Merkez Mahallesi Prof. Mazhar Nurettin Öktem
Istanbul, Turkey

Getting to Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
As I had been in Turkey for almost five months, my mother decided that it was high time she came to visit and to lavish me with own particular brand of maternal over-protection. So, as any good son would, I went to meet her at the airport. There are three main options for reaching Ataturk airport from central Istanbul: Taxi, the Metro system and the Havas bus service. Each of these have their own particular advantages and disadvantages.I will start with the most direct option, taxi. In terms of speed and cost, the benefits of taking a taxi can vary dramatically. If your flight is on a weekday during the day or the early evening, taking a cab is probably the least viable option. Firstly, th...Read More

Riding the Funikuler

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
It was a balmy Sunday evening and I was going to the airport to pick up my mother. As I had plenty of time and was keen on saving a few lira, I decided to use the city's transit system rather than splurge on a taxi or shuttle bus. However, aside from being frugal there was another reason I opted to take the long way round. That reason was the Funikuler, one of the quirkiest forms of mass transit I have encountered on my travels.With such a dramatic introduction, I am sure you are wondering what exactly the Funikuker is, and why was I so excited about riding it? The short and unimaginative answer to this question is that it is a short link between the Taksim metro station and Kabatas, the s...Read More

Be Prepared to Sweat

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
I remember a couple of extremely hot summers spent in South Korea and China, through which the supply of air-conditioning was decidedly sparse. This was, predominantly, due to the rather frugal nature of my employers who did not want to eat into their profit margins by having the air-con kick up their electricity bills. Moving to Turkey, I expected to encounter no such problems. After all,I was working for a major company in one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Sadly, I would be in for a shock and for plenty of sweating. Many westerners who visit Istanbul – or live there – comment that, for a city that can get so hot, the lack of ventilation and cooling is surprising and often...Read More