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Help with Itinerary

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vancouver
posts: 147
reviews: 22
Help with Itinerary

I will be on a cruise in September, and visiting Istanbul for the day(8am to 7pm). We have nearly 8 hours (9am-5pm) to explore in the city. I did a little research, and the following things are on my "to do" list in the order of preference. Could you help plan in which order can I accomplish them?

Turkish Bath @ Killic Ali Pasa Hamami

Grand Bazaar

Spice Bazaar

Topkapi Palace

Blue Mosque

Hippodrome

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 27,968
reviews: 56
1. Re: Help with Itinerary

newalf, Your list is too ambitious for 8 hours stay. Just do the Topkapi palace, Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, Spice Bazaar and you should be fine.

enigma...

vancouver
posts: 147
reviews: 22
2. Re: Help with Itinerary

I really want to do the Turkish bath, and the bazaars. Maybe I'll just do these 2 items? From the cruise port, what's the best way to get to the grand and spice bazaars and the bath location? Perhaps I could walk around the outside of the other places and click some photos?

Edited: 1:00 pm, July 03, 2013
Chicago
posts: 3,573
reviews: 11
3. Re: Help with Itinerary

Hi Vancouver -

I agree with your amended decision to have a Turkish bath and visit the Grand & Spice bazaars. From the cruise port, start with a walk to the New Mosque in Eminonu. You can't miss the mosque's large dome or minarets - and the Iznik tiles are beautiful. The Spice Bazaar entrance is at the end of the Galata Bridge which crosses the Golden Horn. Walk through the plaza where you'll see crowds of people walking down steps into the bazaar.

https://www.google.com/search?q=spice+bazaar+istanbul&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=uWrUUYODKsOniALYyoCoDA&ved=0CEkQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=675

When you've finished shopping at the Spice Bazaar, follow the tram tracks up the hill to Sultanahmet. This way, you'll get to walk by some of the major sights such as the Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, Sultanahmet Park, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Aya Sofya. If you continue along Divan Yolu along the tram tracks, the Grand Bazaar entrance is to the right of the Çemberlitas tram stop. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk from Sultanahmet.

HTH -

Edited: 2:37 pm, July 03, 2013
Thessaloniki, Greece
Destination Expert
for Thessaloniki
posts: 1,116
4. Re: Help with Itinerary

No Hagia Sophia in your itinerary?

Grigoris

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 12,915
reviews: 208
5. Re: Help with Itinerary

If I had only a few hours in Istanbul I would probably not indulge in a Turkish bath simply because I do not find it as enjoyable as seeing amazing historic buildings. It is, however, your vacation and you can select your preferences from a huge assortment of things to do. You have selected a hamam that has only recently opened after extensive renovations, and I think it will be a delightful experience.

I would take the tram to Eminonu and get off there to explore the Spice Bazaar. Since you are right there, take 15 minutes to get a glimpse of Rustem Pasa Mosque. Many people believe that this small working mosque has tile work superior to the Blue Mosque, and unlike the Blue Mosque, it is seldom crowded. From here I would take the tram to Sultanahmet. If you have not spent too much time in the Spice Bazaar you can afford an hour or so to walk around the square getting good visuals of the exterior of Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque, as well as the Hippodrome.

You can then walk on to the Grand Bazaar or take the tram. Spend some time visiting the Grand Bazaar, and then take the tram back to Tophane for your Turkish bath. I have not been in Kilic Ali Pasa because it has been undergoing restoration for a long time. The photos and reviews since it has opened again are fantastic.

The only other thing you need to know is that this hamam serves females between 8:00am and 4:00pm and males from 4:30pm until 11:00pm. So if you are female you may wish to reverse your schedule and go to the hamam before visiting the bazaars.

vancouver
posts: 147
reviews: 22
6. Re: Help with Itinerary

Thanks everyone for the input. Its all very helpful.

I am a male, and won't be able to make it at 4.30 for the bath. I would have to be back on the ship by 5pm. Can anybody recommend another hamam service nearby that is equally as great. I chose Killic Ali Pasa Hamami because of the reviews, and proximity to the port. This is one thing I know I have to visit when in Istanbul.

Chicago
posts: 3,573
reviews: 11
7. Re: Help with Itinerary

Since you'll be walking there to visit the Grand Bazaar, you might as well take your Turkish bath at Cemberlitis Hamami. The hamam is located at the corner of Divan Yolu as you go right at the Cemberlitis tram stop. The hamam is on the right side, so just look for the entrance. Cemberlitis Hamam was designed by famed architect Sinan in 1584. I bet you'll love it!

vancouver
posts: 147
reviews: 22
8. Re: Help with Itinerary

I considered Cemberlitis Hamami as well, but the reviews are a bit towards the negative side, generally commenting on the rushness of the service.

tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g293974-d29…

Are there any other good ones out in the vicinity?

Chicago
posts: 3,573
reviews: 11
9. Re: Help with Itinerary

Personally, I like Cagaloglu Hamami better than Cemberlitis, but you've got only one day with a few things on your list of things to see & do. You've got to decide how to maximize a very short day. When you arrive, you might decide instead to visit one or two of the sights in Sultanahmet and shorten the visit to one of the bazaars.

http://www.cagalogluhamami.com.tr/

Edited: 11:42 pm, July 03, 2013
10. Re: Help with Itinerary

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