We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
580 posts
20 reviews
Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

Hi All,

I am going to Istanbul for 3 days (technically 2.5 days) before I start my journey to the next country and need your support with the following queries.

I will arrive on Thursday at 1:00pm and leave on Sunday early morning which gives me technically 2.5 days.

Apologies guys in advance for silly questions :(

1) Is 2.5 days enough to see all the must sees of Istanbul ? I am interested in the Mosques Palaces and history not shopping ?

2) Do I need a tour guide for my site seeing ?

3) Could you guys please recommend me an itinerary for the 2.5 days in Istanbul which is going to be good enough for me to capture everything that I need to see ?

4) Can you recommend a hotel which is in between $80-$100 USD a night and convenient location for me to walk around the lovely city of Istanbul ?

42 replies to this topic
Las Palmas de Gran...
Level Contributor
168 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

Hi, Aussie. I'll try to give you some answers to your questions:

1) With a good gide you can see many monuments. A suggestion you'll find here: https:/…Guide-g293974-k74-Istanbul.html

2) You just need a good book about Istanbul. Usually I find more relaxing to be by myself better than having a guide marking my time. But that's my opinion.

3) See the link above, But anyway in all the guides that you can buy you will find itineraries for 3 days.

4) I think the best area to stay, near all monuments and well connected by public transport is Sultanahmet. Yes, it's a bit touristy but you can walk to the main attractions.

Have a nice time there!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
580 posts
20 reviews
2. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

thank you mate but I need a bit more suggestions.

If someone could get me the must have and a 2.5 days in Istanbul that will be great.

Any suggestions on the Hotels near the above area ?

California
Level Contributor
535 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

two and a half days will be barely enough time to see all of the wonderful sights,but if you stay in Sultan ahmet area,you can get a small taste of what it holds.this is the area where most of the important places are, blue mosque,aya sophia,the cisterns and Topkapi are,all within walking distance.the major museums are here as well. start with the blue mosque,then walk to aya sofia and spend some time there. Topkapi will need a couple of hours to see. then go to one museum, then the covered bazaar(a quick tram ride ). find time for lunch as well! second day,go to Dolma bahce palace,then up to taksim square. you might go to Rumeli hisar as well,old fort on the Bosphorus.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
580 posts
20 reviews
4. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

Thank you so much for the itinerary. I am looking around Sultan ahmet area to stay. Any recommendations on hotels $80-100 USD a night ?

Since I am going there for the first time where can I get a group guide who can explain me the history .. walk around and also take some pictures. Yes I would like some portrait pictures of me not just some selfies. I am a bit shy asking people around me to take pictures.

Aberdeen, Scotland
Destination Expert
for Aberdeen
Level Contributor
8,008 posts
44 reviews
5. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

Two and a half days is not enough to see all the top sights in Istanbul, but you will get a flavour of it. We are not travel agents and do not make up individual itineraries and in any case, our musts sees may not be yours! To get the very best from your limited time, you should choose what you most want to see yourself, draft an itinerary then we can help finesse it. However there are some suggestions here- https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g29397…

You don't need a tour guide as most of the main sights are close together in Sultanahmet, providing you do some research. Buy a good guide book and have a look at the Things to Do section at the top of this page.

Choose any hotel that suits your needs in Sultanahmet or nearby Sirkeci.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
580 posts
20 reviews
6. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

Thank you very much mate for the tip and yes I agree with you. I need to select some of the main attractions and seek your support on how to get there. Let me get back to you on this. I just got my multiple eVisa online for Australian Citizens it was quick and smooth experience.

I will also look into the two areas to stay Sultanahmet or nearby Sirkeci.

Currently I am busy sorting out my tickets .. all the other cities I'll be visiting and then pin point the locations.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
580 posts
20 reviews
7. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

Hi All,

Hope you are well. Since I just have 2.5 days in Istanbul I want to make the best out of my trip and see all the must dos.

I am looking for a good deal on Hotels in Sultanahmet so that I can walk around

Here are my queries:

1) How is the weather going to be in November 20th onwards ? What sort of clothing should I take (light jacket etc) ?

2) I would like some pictures taken of me and just wondering if the locals are going to take pics of me or best to join a group tour. I am a bit shy asking

people any tips on this ?

3) My itenary would be as below please see if this makes sense or is it too much in 2.5 days. I want to feel istanbul as well and not miss out on must sees.

Day 1: Arrive at IST airport at 12pm - check in to Hotel near Sultanahmet. Walk to Blue Mosque, Aya Sophia and Cisterns. Check out night life at night if there are any recommendation please let me know.

Day 2: Topkapi and a museum and go to Dolmabahce Palace Taksim Square

Day 3: River Cruise on Bosphorus River and anything else you guys may recommend ?

Day 4: Leave IST early morning

Cape Girardeau...
Level Contributor
843 posts
277 reviews
8. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

Weather in late November cold to cool. Clouds, light rain and wind common. You DEFINITELY want a light wind and waterproof jacket PLUS something warm to wear underneath.

Day 1 looks very difficult. You might have time to enter two of those places but almost certainly not all three before they close. Not a lot of nightlife in Sultanahmet. Taksim is a big nightlife area but it is after midnight before it gets really busy.

Day 2 will be full but doable provided you're not recovering from a late night before ;)

Day 3 will probably find you trying to do all of the things you missed on Day 1 and Day 2 :)

---------------------------

It sounds like you're a single man. If so be VERY watchful of the "be a friend" scam. One or more often two friendly men (they often claim to be tourists) will immediately act like your best mates. This often happens in/around the Hippodrome in Sultanahmet. Eventually they will invite you to come to a bar or cafe they know using saying there are great girls there. DO NOT GO WITH THEM!!!! You will be given a HUGE bill to pay with very aggressive collection! If you are uncertain if new friends are real, go to a cafe/bar (best one at street level with an open front) that YOU choose. Do this and your "friends" will probably remember something else they have to do ;)

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
580 posts
20 reviews
9. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

OMG !! I had no idea about the scams thank you so much for letting me know. I heard this happens to girls but for single man that's weird !! Is there anything else I should be careful of ?

Also which area or a hotel should I stay which is safe to walk around after dark and close to walk and cover the top three attractions ?

The hotels I found were Hotel Seraglio walking distance from Blue Mosque --- > https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g29…

Do you think this one is in a good location and areas I can go around after dark ?

Yes, you are right the third day I probably will catch up on the things I missed but tell me why I can't do Blue Mosque .. Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace or at least the two on one day ?

Aberdeen, Scotland
Destination Expert
for Aberdeen
Level Contributor
8,008 posts
44 reviews
10. Re: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics

First of all, assuming you are a single, heed the warning about bar scams in the previous posts!

Google "Istanbul weather November" and you'll find detailed historical data. It will be winter!

Joining a tour is a very expensive way to get a couple of pics! How about a selfie stick?!

Day 1 will be tight. Check opening times, you might be better visiting the cisterns and Aya Sofia before the Blue Mosque. Unless you really want to go partying, I'd suggest a walk down to Eminonou and see the Galata Bridge , then take the tram and Tunel train to visit Istiklal St and have dinner. (or take tram from Sultanahmet)

Day 3 - the. osphorpis cruise won't be so great in winter. At most take a very short one, but i would suggest taking a ferry to Kadikoy instead and explore a little there. Or alternatively, take a ferry up the Golden Horn if Eyup interest you. How about visiting the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market, too.

Reply to: Istanbul First time - Need Help - Logistics
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted