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Two days in Istanbul

canada
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Two days in Istanbul

My husband and I will be in Istanbul for two days,the 19th and 20th of October. We hope to see the top ten sites and are thinking of taking public transportation to get around. is it worth it to get the Istanbulkart or should we just buy tokens?

Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Two days in Istanbul

Hi Dannine.

For two days, I would just buy the tokens. This is a city with a remakable transit system, but it is a city that surprises you with unexpected detours;down some alleyway with fantastic shops, or the smell of something heavenly grilling down the street that will lead you to a lovely outdoor cafe.

The good thing is that most major sites are easily within walking distance or a short tram from each other. Tokens are very easy to manage. The guide book, Rick Steves-Istanbul is a good one to take as it is really user-friendly and offers maps, descirptions, suggested "walks" and preplanned itineraries for making the best of a short stay.

It is getting very close now. You must be so excited. I can guarantee that you will be awed. Enjoy ourself. And somewhere in your travels around town, grab a Mado Ice Cream! Pistachio w/raspberry a personal favorite.

Bon Voyage.

Sharon

Edited: 7:36 pm, October 02, 2012
canada
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2. Re: Two days in Istanbul

SharonmaeK,

thanks for the tips. friends we are traveling with have already purchased the updated Rick Steve's book. I'll have to check out the suggested walks.

If you have already been there...were there some things that you would rate as "must see" though they were lower on other iteneraries?

The winter schedule does not include night Bosphorus tours, but we may try to squeeze in the short circle cruise. Any thoughts?

MMM icecream is on my list now!

DannineM

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Two days in Istanbul

Dannine -If you are not part of a cruise, I would absolutely suggest the short Bosphorus tour some time late morning. It would get you to the Eminonou area with easy access to the Spice Bazaar, a great place to pick up some munchies for the short cruise, the Rustem mosque, and the fabulous Galata Bridge which is in my opinion the hearbeat of the city. You can then grab a famous fish sandwich at the piers and head off over the bridge to the Galata Tower for an unbelieveable view of the city and what a superb place to toast the city good bye.

I would go on to Taksim for the evening and enjoy quite an eye-popping experience of people watching in the masses, many cafes, restaurants, cool and funky shopping along the famous Istiklal Street. In fact there is at least one MADO in the walk.

Your first day should be filled with the top sights, keeping in mind that you will never see all the "must sees", giving you every opportunity to see this city as I think it is meant to be seen: giving in to your senses. Have fun and just enjoy the whole intrigue, curiosity, ambience, mystery and incredible exposure to historic buildings and sites like nowhere else. It is absolutely breathtaking to see the Blue Mosque/Hagia Sofia as they illuminate at sunset.

I'm excited for you.

Sharon

Edited: 10:28 pm, October 02, 2012
Tehran
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4. Re: Two days in Istanbul

Hello Sharon,

Since you've been to Istanbul during winter , can you suggest where can be thigh boots found and bought in istanbul?

Best regards

Afranski

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Two days in Istanbul

Hi afranski - If it is "hip" and "fashionable" you will find it in Istanbul. There is good shopping along Istiklal Street and in the Nisantasi area where you will find even more upscale shops as well as Bagdat street in Kadikoy.

Remember, however, that the malls in Istanbul can keep you busy for a hundred days! If you find your way to the Sapphire Mall, head up to the Observation Deck on a sunny day. It will take your breath away!

Any information on the many malls: fashion, discount, high-end, size and amenities can be obtained if you type MALLS into the Search Box at the top.

Here you will have answers not only from the DEs, but also from past visitors who may have interests and answers similar to your own.

Have fun.

sharon

Edited: 3:08 am, October 08, 2012
Hong Kong
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6. Re: Two days in Istanbul

With a 6 lira deposit, Istanbulkart will pay back after 6 trips. Depending on where you live, it'll be worthwhile to count how many times you will be taking transit. Keep in mind the same card can be used for more than one person, although the transfer discounts will only apply to 1.

Assuming you live in Sultanahmet and don't mind long walks, you will not need to take transit to visit the main historic sights (Topkapi, Blue Mosque, Ayasophia, Grand Bazaar).

Grand Bazaar - Galata Bridge tram (1 trip) - or 30 minute slow walk

From Galata Bridge, you can take a Bosporous cruise or walk uphill to Galata Tower. Bosporous cruises don't take Istanbulkart I believe, but the regular commuter ferries to the Asian side do.

From Galata Bridge, you can also take the 1-stop Tunel to go uphill to Istiklal Cad (1 trip). Transfer to a nostalgia tram to get to Taksim (1 trip).

Finally, to get to the airport, take the tram and transfer to the metro (2 trips).

Thus, even with minimal transit-taking, the 6 trips can easily be achieved especially when more than 1 person use the card.

Edited: 6:34 am, October 08, 2012
Mount Dora, Florida
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7. Re: Two days in Istanbul

If you decide not to buy the Istanbulkart, I would try to estimate the number of tokens I would need and buy them all at once. The major reason I use a transportation pass is to avoid having to purchase tokens every time I use public transportation. I think the tokens are now all light weight plastic, but they used to be heavy metal, and they were heavy to carry in a pocket and easy to confuse with coins. If you have some place to carry them, it saves time to purchase several at once.

I would not bother to redeem my card for the deposit when you leave. The deposit is minimal. I would leave it for someone on my hotel staff, particularly if it still has a bit of money loaded onto it. People who work in the hotels can always use free public transportation.

Istanbul, Turkey
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8. Re: Two days in Istanbul

Hi Afranski,

Tigh boots were last year's fashion. If they are still fashionable this year you can find them in all the shoe stores. Check out a big shopping mall like Cevahir mall or a shopping street like Istiklal and Bagdat street.

Enjoy,

Borus

9. Re: Two days in Istanbul

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