We were in Istanbul on 4th and 5th October 2012. This is our second visit to this global city, with it’s dominant domes and minarets, busy streets, and 11 million people! It’s a fascinating place, with it’s history and variety of cultures, although predominantly Muslim, an officially a secular country.
The city spans two continents with an Asian and a European section, the old and the new sectors. There’s lots to see and among the most popular sights are the Sultan Ahmed Mosque or the Blue Mosque, Dalmabache Palace, The Archaeological Museum, The Aqueduct of Valens, The Hippodrome, etc.etc. And not forgetting the famous Bazaars.
You are required to remove your shoes when entering the Blue mosque. So wear good socks. You could also purchase plastic covers for your shoes, which are then disposed.
Be prepared to jostle with crowds wherever you go. Bargaining is expected at the bazaar.
Many sites are paved with cobbles, so low-heeled shoes are advised for ladies.
Shoes must be removed when visiting the mosques. Plastic slippers worn over the shoes are available for a fee.
Men should not wear shorts, and women not wear mini skirts when entering into the mosques.
Wheel-chairs are not permitted in the mosques.
Security must not be taken for granted, so be aware of your surroundings, and secure personal valuable items like cameras, purses and wallets, and do not attract attention with jewelry; carrying your bags in such a way that these are not opened without you being aware.
Stick to the main attractions, sights and districts.
At the markets and bazaars, you are expected to bargain over prices.
Shops are closed on Sundays.
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