Istanbul Journals

ISTANBUL: Inspiring (and Sometimes Irascible)

Best of IgoUgo

A July 2001 trip to Istanbul by JulieHB

Blue Mosque Forecourt Photo, Istanbul, Turkey More Photos
Quote: Istanbul was simultaneously a most glorious city to behold and, as a young woman staying and traveling there, sometimes quite frustrating. Though I'd highly recommend travel to beautiful Istanbul with its stunning architecture and awe-inspiring history, I do wish I'd been a little better prepared for mild harassment by some of the local men, so be alerted.

ISTANBUL: Inspiring (and Sometimes Irascible)

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Blue Mosque Forecourt Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Just walking the busy streets of Istanbul gives the visitor the unique flavor of this ancient crossroads city. Historical and religious significance is everywhere you look in a tremendous mosaic of art and architecture. Local spices waft in the air mingling with the aroma of brewing apple tea, served by many local merchants. (I highly recommend bringing a couple kilos of the tea home, as it’s a delightfully flavorsome and also works beautifully as a room freshener!!). Make sure to stroll the area of Sultanahmet, despite its crowds, as it’s home to such famous and impressive sites as Hagia Sofia, the stunning Blue Mosque (for a real treat, see it illuminated at night), expansive Topkapi Palace, diz...Read More

Ottoman Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
The Ottoman Hotel is located at the bottom of a large, steep hill below Sultanahmet in an old area known as the Kadirga district. The hotel is in a residential area, which was a fascinating experience. Men are outside drinking tea and playing backgammon for most of the day and evening. And packs of friendly children greeted us daily when we left the hotel in the morning. Woman are all but invisible in this area of the city. There is nothing particularly special about the hotel itself—the price and location were its only selling points for us, though we found it very clean and perfectly serviceable, and the rooms had A/C! A typical Turkish breakfast of olives, bread, cucumber, jam, hard-boil...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 13, 2001

Ottoman Hotel
Kadirga Limani cad.85 Kadirga
Istanbul, Turkey
(212) 5174203(2)

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Grand Bazaar"

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Oh, the Grand Bazaar! I've never experienced anything quite like it. 10,000 vendors under one enormous roof, endless labyrinthine corridors with barrel-vaulted ceilings, dizzying colors, and aggressive salesmen, each with a different line or gimmick vying for your lira. It's among the most invigorating, frustrating, and overwhelming places I've ever experienced, and I LOVED it! A laundry list of my numerous purchases indicates what’s available: * Dozens of glass medusa’s eyes (varying sizes) * Turkish flag t-shirt * Loose spices such as saffron and cumin * Five spice sets (there are many varieties) * Inlaid wood and mother of pearl backgammon set ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 14, 2002

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
Kalpakcilarbasi Street
Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish Rug Shops

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Any Turkish Rug Shop!!"

Turkish Rug Shops Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
I had a few cultural and consumer goals in Istanbul aside from hitting the major sites like Hagia Sofia and the Topkapi Palace. Included were a few culinary must-tries, a trip to the Turkish baths, a smoke of tobacco from a hookah in a tea garden, and purchasing of some Turkish rugs, which I'd heard from friends is both an interesting experience and, armed with some knowledge, can be a great deal. There are many rug-buying opportunities in every city I visited from Marmaris to Selcuk to Istanbul. But I decided (aside from one big spree at the Selcuk Market) to wait for the main haul of Turkish handiwork and unique products. And I'm happy I did; I found similar patterns and colo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2002

Turkish Rug Shops
Throughout Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey

Grand Bazaar Haul Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
I vascilate between cherishing the crazy market mambo of the frenetic adrenaline-charged haggling and then feeling guilt over being such a rabid competitor and penny pincher when it's often the difference of a few bucks at most and would mean much more to my hard-working bazaar vendor and his family and partners than to me. I always had an interesting mix of such feelings and experiences in the Grand Bazaar. So I came up with a little moral system that allowed me the fun of bargaining while allowing my conscience to remain clean. If my vendor was disrespectful, too pushy or too slick with me or another, I gave it my all to get something for the cheapest price absolutely possible from him even ...Read More