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Tour guide versus self guide

Atlanta, Georgia
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Tour guide versus self guide

We have 4 full days in Istanbul in February. We are planning on seeing the following - maybe not in the same order:

Day 1 - Hippodrome area, Cistern, Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya.

Day 2 - Topkapi Palace

Day 3 - Half day Bosporus Tour, New Mosque, Spice Bazaar

Day 4 - Grand Bazaar and area around

There are other things in the guide book that I can add if we have time by area.

Question I have is what should we do as a self-guided tour and what should we hire a professional to take us to see with more information?

Thanks,

April

Surrey, UK
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1. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

You can do it all on your own! Just get a good guide book and you can take your own time. If you want you can pick up a licensed tour guide at Haghia Sophia and also at Topkapi Palace if you want (although I would far rather see this at my own leisure!).

Istanbul
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2. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

Annie123081, you have proposed a non-rushed leisurely plan, which is well organized according to where each location is in relationship with each other. A full day at Topkapi may be too much, but you certainly will not feel rushed. You may want to add Dolmabache Palace, perhaps on the way back from the Bosphorus Tour. As to the need for a tour guide, I agree with GTTD that good guide book is all you really need. Enjoy Istanbul!

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

Which guide books would you recommend. I have 2 basic books that give a very slim overview of the sites. I have more items on my list of things to see for each area based on time.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

Agree with cagcag....a full day for Topkapi is likely too much.

But you can absolutely do everything on your list on your own....with a litle research and a good guidebook.

Istanbul
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5. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

Annie123081, I like "DK Eyewitness Istanbul Guide" and "Rick Steves Istanbul". They are both available from Amazon. You can also use the guides in front of the attractions (specific for that particular attraction). They have their tags hanging from their neck.

enigma...

Amman, Jordan
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6. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

You can do them all without any tour guide. I am in Istanbul now for the first time, and I have most of these sites without any toyr guide. At Topkapi and Ayasofia just hire an audio guide (just remember to take your ID card as it is eequested). Topkapi may take 3-4 hours maximum. Blue mosque and Ayasofia is great. Dolmabacge is very good (you need to enter it in a group, but you can join a group at thr palace entrance).Also I recommened a visit to Yildiz park, it is the best place I gave ever seen, the tour inside is quick but the park it self is great.

Tomorrow I am going to visit grandbazar, hippodrome, galata tower and Istanbul Sapphire in the evening and they are all possible to be done thanx to good transportation system in Istanbul.

If you like shopping, try Cevahir mall, its wonderful, I am not a shopping fan but this place just stole my heart, loved very much.

You also need to visit Istiklal street and gezi park walk in Osmanbey street, take a trip to Buyukada.

Istanbul is ageeat place and the weather in these days is just great.

Have a nice trip.

Amman, Jordan
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7. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

About the books, I didn't use ant (although I have two or three) because you won't find time to read and see, plus there is some summaries next each thing in the museiums. just have map study it a night before your trip and see the beautiful places and read for much detsils after you reach home.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

HOw do you pay the guides in front of the attractions?

Istanbul
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9. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

Annie, You pay them cash. The fees are between 40-60 Euros. They will be most useful for Hagia Sophia and Topkapi palace and not for the other attractions.

enigma...

10. Re: Tour guide versus self guide

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