Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

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WhiteMaxima
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Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by WhiteMaxima » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:16 pm

Will visit this Euro-Asian city. Any suggestions. Where to exchange Turkish Lira? Thanx.

bloom2708
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:49 pm

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

When in doubt, you are from Canada. Go Mapleleafs!

Hopefully this trip is work related and can't be avoided. Stay safe!
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Bfwolf
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Bfwolf » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:05 pm

The highlights are certainly the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sofia.

Take the official Bosphorus cruise to the end and back. There's a nice (but somewhat tough) hike at the end of it if you want. There's also some fish restaurants out there where you can have lunch.

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Conch55
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Conch55 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:12 pm

The Golden Horn area is a good place to spend some of your time. Major attractions are within walking distance (Galata Bridge, Hagia Sofia, spice market, Blue Mosque...). A river cruise is a nice way to take in the sites too.

lostinjersey
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by lostinjersey » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:22 pm

Good suggestions above. Don't miss Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Suluman's Mosque. Rustam Pasha mosque is a lesser known mosque, small and absolutely stunning tile work. Also loved the river cruise.

Some other highlights for us: the palaces (both), Egyptian Spice Bazaar, Basilica Cistern, and Rumeli Fort. Also, a Turkish massage. Just do it.

Hope you like cats -- they are everywhere.

PoppyA
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by PoppyA » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:40 pm

Walk on the sidewalk that faces traffic.
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obgraham
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by obgraham » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:08 pm

Eat.

Everywhere.

The Kumkapi district has some superb seafood places, though you have to beware of the ripoffs there. But that is part of the whole experience!

camden
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by camden » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:22 pm

Some of the best photographs of the city and its architectural sites are captured from the water on a Bosporus cruise.

Sourc3
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Sourc3 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:10 pm

I would add these two to your list :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_Cistern

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maiden%27s_Tower

And definitely eat here:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_ ... anbul.html


Stay safe! I'd recommend using Uber rather than yellow cabs.

TravelGeek
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:13 pm

Wonderful city. Glad we went a few years ago during more politically stable days,but enjoy your trip (given the protests at the time on Taksim Square, back then, it didn't seem like a good time to visit, but we had a great time). I second many of the suggestions already made, including the cruise on the Bosporus towards the Black Sea.

Regarding Turkish Lira, I think we mostly used credit cards and got some cash from an ATM.

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shmidds
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by shmidds » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:14 pm

Read 1453 by Roger Crowley.

anonenigma
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by anonenigma » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:19 pm

Either before your trip or after you return, watch Fatih Akin’s films, particularly The Edge of Heaven and Head On. Also, the documentary, Kedi, about cats in Istanbul, is terrific.
Last edited by anonenigma on Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HomerJ
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by HomerJ » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:43 pm

Have a baked potato, waffles, or some ice cream at Ortokay.

Not your father's baked potato.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... anbul.html
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SueG5123
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by SueG5123 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:02 pm

See the cisterns. Spectacular. And all the other tourist stuff. The Egyptian spice market is great, too.

ilisira
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by ilisira » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:02 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:16 pm
Will visit this Euro-Asian city. Any suggestions. Where to exchange Turkish Lira? Thanx.
I read really good advices on places to visit. I'd add Chora Church. If you will have some extra time to visit other places in Turkey, I can make some recommendations, starting at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cappadocia

I will have a couple of recommendations for food. http://karakoygulluoglu.com/ is the place to have baklava, and other desserts. There are many baklava places with the Gulluoglu name (family name, with brothers had split up business), but this specific place has no other branches. Even though the others are still good places, they do not compared to this. It's on the European side. A review is here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_R ... anbul.html


If you want a non-touristic, true to the source Turkish food (mainly from south/southeast), I would recommend to go to the Asian side, and go to Ciya. Owned by a food researcher, he's trying to find recipes that are dying, and resurrecting them. You will not be disappointed.

http://www.ciya.com.tr/index_en.php

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_R ... anbul.html

For standard kabobs, my favorite is still Kosebasi, but I have not been there for quite some time, there might be better places (http://www.kosebasi.com/en)

And for adventurous people who’d like the street food, this place is close to Taksim, with a couple of branches around

http://www.sampiyonkokorec.com.tr/

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_R ... anbul.html


Any specific questions, please let me know/send me a DM.

For exchanging Turkish Lira's, I would not do it at the airport, or just exchange enough for a taxi trip (Uber is recommended), and you will find exchange offices everywhere. Enjoy Istanbul, I love visiting the city (but hated living there). And I do agree that it's much safer to be a Canadian if asked..

jbranx
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by jbranx » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:50 pm

Visit some of the food markets and mercantile markets. They are a delight with all the wares and the haggling. We took a tour of the underground water system that the Romans built; pretty impressive columns and engineering. The city is clean and friendly for the most part and quite gorgeous in many respects. The mosques and other tourist sites are pretty crowded and usually regarded as must-see's, but some time spent in coffee shops and local cafes will show the Turks to be quite impressive world citizens. I remember talking to one retired army officer who knew more about General Eisenhower than any American I have ever met. One of the more impressive tourist trips we've ever taken.

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HomerJ
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by HomerJ » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:11 am

ilisira wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:02 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:16 pm
Will visit this Euro-Asian city. Any suggestions. Where to exchange Turkish Lira? Thanx.
I read really good advices on places to visit. I'd add Chora Church.
I second Chora Church.

The Muslims put plaster over all the frescoes in that church hundreds of years back, when they conquered the city, which actually ended up preserving them, I believe.

They've been slowly and carefully removing the plaster, and the mosaics and frescoes tell multiple stories from the Bible.
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truenorth418
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by truenorth418 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:07 am

I completed my first visit to Istanbul recently. It was terrific. Not only are there amazing historical sites, the people I encountered were very friendly. Tourism from the US seems to have dropped off recently, although the US dollar is very strong and Turkey is currently a very good travel value.

I second the many suggestions so far. I would add a few more: I really enjoyed visiting the Topkapi Palace. Take the extra time to spend a lot of time in there. I went to Istanbul to study the Roman history, but the Ottoman period was equally fascinating and I learned a lot. The archaeology museum is adjacent and worth the time as well.

There are many other palaces from later periods than Topkapi, many located along the Bosporus. Regrettably I didn't have time to see those except from a tour boat.

Visit the primary tourist attractions early in the morning - get there immediately upon opening at 9am. I noticed the hordes of other tourists didn't arrive until 10 or 10:30 which gave me 1 hour of quiet each morning to enjoy these great places basically on my own.

Buy the Istanbul Pass. It provides ready access to most of the popular attractions including the ability to "cut the line" and get in faster. It is a great value, as if you use it to visit only two of the many attractions it pays it for itself.. and the rest of attractions are essentially "free".

Mosques are all no charge to enter, but be prepared to slip your shoes off and remove your hat (or add a scarf for women).

There are many touts trying to sell carpets and whatnot in the Hippodrome area. Just ignore them or pretend you don't speak English (unless you're really interested in buying a carpet - although I imagine there are more economical places to buy them).

If you want a peak at the more modern city, take the new subway line under the Bosporus to Kadikoy. It's a lively modern area with lots of restaurants and coffee shops. There are views of the old city from there.

Keep in mind there are two major airports. I arrived at Ataturk, which was conveniently located on the metro line. But I departed using the one on the Asian (I forget the name) - I needed to take a taxi to get there.. a little more money and time.

Enjoy your trip!

FedGuy
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by FedGuy » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:50 am

I last went to Istanbul about 15 years ago, so my information might be out of date, but be prepared to be accosted constantly by people trying to sell you stuff or scam you. The only time in my life that my pocket was ever picked was in Istanbul. And even when people aren't outright trying to rob you, they're still trying to take advantage of you. After I passed through the Blue Mosque and found myself back outside, for example, I remembered seeing photos a friend had taken of some interesting tile work inside the mosque, which I hadn't seen as I went through; as I looked back into the mosque through a window wondering if I had missed the right room, a seemingly friendly English-speaking man asked me if I needed help. When I explained the situation, he told me he knew exactly which part of the mosque I was referring to and offered to take me there. The next thing I knew I was standing in his cousin's tile store.

I'm a much less trusting traveler now...and Istanbul is the reason why.

moehoward
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by moehoward » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:05 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:49 pm
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

When in doubt, you are from Canada. Go Mapleleafs!

Hopefully this trip is work related and can't be avoided. Stay safe!
My wife and I say we are from Canada when dealing with street peddlers. For some reason if you say your from Canada they give up, not so if you are US. Learn the line, "Eh take off you hoser".

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DanMahowny
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by DanMahowny » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:25 am

Are you going there voluntarily?

If yes, can you be persuaded to not go?
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robolove
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by robolove » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:25 am

Hire a local and private tour guide. Not expensive. My Hotel concierge hooked me up after..

I ditched the tour my package came with because
the group was too large... cattle...

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kramer
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by kramer » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:08 am

I went to Turkey two years ago this month with a travel friend ... we are both world travelers. I had tacked the 2 week Turkey trip onto the end of a 3 week Israel/Jordan trip out of geographical convenience ... however, it turned out to be the highlight of my travels. We both decided that we received a higher level of service in Turkey than we had received anywhere else in our world travels and the value for money was outstanding ... which means the people were unbelievably friendly. I don't remember any problems with touts like a previous poster mentioned. In Istanbul we both really enjoyed the Bosporous cruise. Our favorite place in Turkey was Kusadasi with Cappadocia a close second. My friend liked Turkey so much that she returned again by herself since our trip.

smectym
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by smectym » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:32 pm

My first suggestion is to read the State Department Travel Advisory.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... l-advisory

I’d also make it a point to keep apprised of regional news developments, including the war in Syria, adjacent to Turkey. Search term: “Battle of Idlib.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eu ... 2afc9bb3a6

Smectym

Ron Scott
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Ron Scott » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:00 pm

Definitely one of my favorite cities. A completely unique world with people who are a pleasure to engage with. Just doing nothing but walking the streets and talking with the locals is worth the trip...

2 highlights for me, both of which require reservations and the full treatment:

https://www.ayasofyahamami.com/ Complete Turkish bath
https://www.kempinski.com/en/istanbul/c ... ing/tugra/ A table on the porch for dinner, overlooking the Bosphorus
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HomerJ
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by HomerJ » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:40 pm

I agree everyone in Turkey was very friendly... except for the taxi drivers (okay one taxi driver)

Our guide told us what was fair for getting back to our hotel.

Taxi driver demanded twice as much, I mentioned the price she told me, he said "F*** off, get out of my cab".

I expected some haggling, but that was a bit much, so I got out, and we figured out how to take buses (and some walking) back.

Only bad part of our trip.
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WhiteMaxima
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by WhiteMaxima » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:49 pm

Take subway and bus?

SQRT
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by SQRT » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:18 am

Had a fabulous trip to Turkey in 2010. Major attractions well described earlier in the thread. Bosporus cruise a must. We also rented a wooden sailing ship (called Gulet) for a week out of Bodrum. Was a high point.

criticalmass
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by criticalmass » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:07 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:49 pm
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

When in doubt, you are from Canada. Go Mapleleafs!

Hopefully this trip is work related and can't be avoided. Stay safe!
DanMahowny wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:25 am
Are you going there voluntarily?

If yes, can you be persuaded to not go?
Greetings from Turkey!

Wow, interesting comments quoted. I’m in Istanbul now. I strongly recommend visiting. The travel warnings focus on the Syrian border, 1200 km from Istanbul where the OP is going too.

You will be safer in Istanbul than Washington, DC. You don’t have to worry about getting shot at / killed at a music festival or a university. Like any large city, be street smart and careful. Avoid political protests and talking about politics and religion in general. Do not attempt to recruit locals to your religion. Respect local customs and courtesies and you will be just fine. If your passport requires a visa (e.g. USA) do it online now—it is about $20 for the e visa, and you avoid hassle, visa lines and extra expense at the airport.

After applying basic common sense, the suggestions of what to see posted here are excellent. I highly recommend bringing a current copy of Lonely Planet Istanbul, paperback or on your tablet via your library’s ebooks. Lots of background information there, plus recommendations for restaurants, etc. Listen to In Flight Turkish, available from many libraries as a CD or (better) audiobook download while crossing the ocean.

The dollar is extremely strong now vs the lira, so the value is exceptional, especially if you’ve been accustomed to being zapped in Europe with high Euro prices for years. Practice your negotiating. The metro is clean, safe, and efficient. I don’t recommend driving. The food is amazing. If you like Mediterranean or Greek cuisine, you will love Turkish food. And the people are generally very friendly and interested in learning about you.

Enjoy your trip.
Last edited by criticalmass on Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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stickman731
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by stickman731 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:49 am

There are many good suggestions already given. I do have one recommendation. If you go to the Grand Bazaar, take a picture of the entrance you enter making sure to get the full name. I believe there are 23 entrances many looking similar. There are signs inside that will direct you back to the correct entry point.

Valuethinker
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:15 am

smectym wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:32 pm
My first suggestion is to read the State Department Travel Advisory.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... l-advisory

I’d also make it a point to keep apprised of regional news developments, including the war in Syria, adjacent to Turkey. Search term: “Battle of Idlib.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eu ... 2afc9bb3a6

Smectym
You make it sound like Kabul?

But Istanbul is hundreds of kilometres from the fighting. And that fighting is going on in another country.

I've been to eastern Turkey when the guerrilla war with the Kurds was a lot hotter than we realized (no internet in those days) and it was alright travelling. Not to be recommended, but we were in fact fine (late 1980s).

Istanbul is a city of c. 20 million people?

You need to be wary of:

- theft - pickpocketing etc. I had a friend who had his tea spiked in a carpet shop - luckily he only lost his wallet (there have been worse stories)
- cars. cars. cars. Only the low speeds due to traffic congestion prevent more people dying - pedestrians are third class citizens on Turkish roads
- getting accidentally involved in a some kind of public demonstration where police and demonstrators get fighting

Terrorism? Really hard to price that one. It does happen, sometimes terrible incidents. But in a city of over 10 million people? It's a pretty low risk factor.

Isolated violent attacks on western civilians? Again, it probably does happen. But consider how many westerners are in Istanbul every day.

Valuethinker
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:19 am

criticalmass wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:07 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:49 pm
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

When in doubt, you are from Canada. Go Mapleleafs!

Hopefully this trip is work related and can't be avoided. Stay safe!
DanMahowny wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:25 am
Are you going there voluntarily?

If yes, can you be persuaded to not go?
Greetings from Turkey!

Wow, interesting comments quoted. I’m in Istanbul now. I strongly recommend visiting. The travel warnings focus on the Syrian border, 1200 km from Istanbul where the OP is going too.

You will be safer in Istanbul than Washington, DC. You don’t have to worry about getting shot at / killed at a music festival, a nightclub, or a university. Like any large city, be street smart and careful. Avoid political protests and talking about politics and religion in general. Do not attempt to recruit locals to your religion. Respect local customs and courtesies and you will be just fine. If your passport requires a visa (e.g. USA) do it online now—it is about $20 for the e visa, and you avoid hassle, visa lines and extra expense at the airport.

After applying basic common sense, the suggestions of what to see posted here are excellent. I highly recommend bringing a current copy of Lonely Planet Istanbul, paperback or on your tablet via your library’s ebooks. Lots of background information there, plus recommendations for restaurants, etc. Listen to In Flight Turkish, available from many libraries as a CD or (better) audiobook download while crossing the ocean.

The dollar is extremely strong now vs the lira, so the value is exceptional, especially if you’ve been accustomed to being zapped in Europe with high Euro prices for years. The metro is clean, safe, and efficient. I don’t recommend driving. The food is amazing. If you like Mediterranean or Greek cuisine, you will love Turkish food. And the people are generally very friendly and interested in learning about you.

Enjoy your trip.
All excellent advice.

I cannot imagine why a westerner would want to drive in Istanbul. Taxi rides are terrifying enough, thank you. Insh'allah, you will get to your destination in one piece.

One needs to be *really* careful and alert crossing roads. They don't brake for pedestrians.

Avoid the modern western thing of flaunting your expensive smartphone in public and looking down at it and not where you are going - the sidewalks are *crowded*.* Also a fancy phone is money and whilst Istanbul is probably safer than any developed world city of that size (London, Paris, New York, San Francisco etc.) except Tokyo, there's no point chancing fate.


* sorry this has become my rant about modern London. People walking slowly e.g. at Tube exits and entrances, because they are entranced with their phones. I am told Hong Kong is worse. Then expecting me to avoid crashing into them.

criticalmass
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by criticalmass » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:32 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:15 am
smectym wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:32 pm
My first suggestion is to read the State Department Travel Advisory.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... l-advisory

I’d also make it a point to keep apprised of regional news developments, including the war in Syria, adjacent to Turkey. Search term: “Battle of Idlib.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eu ... 2afc9bb3a6

Smectym
You make it sound like Kabul?

But Istanbul is hundreds of kilometres from the fighting. And that fighting is going on in another country.

I've been to eastern Turkey when the guerrilla war with the Kurds was a lot hotter than we realized (no internet in those days) and it was alright travelling. Not to be recommended, but we were in fact fine (late 1980s).

Istanbul is a city of c. 20 million people?

You need to be wary of:

- theft - pickpocketing etc. I had a friend who had his tea spiked in a carpet shop - luckily he only lost his wallet (there have been worse stories)
- cars. cars. cars. Only the low speeds due to traffic congestion prevent more people dying - pedestrians are third class citizens on Turkish roads
- getting accidentally involved in a some kind of public demonstration where police and demonstrators get fighting

Terrorism? Really hard to price that one. It does happen, sometimes terrible incidents. But in a city of over 10 million people? It's a pretty low risk factor.

Isolated violent attacks on western civilians? Again, it probably does happen. But consider how many westerners are in Istanbul every day.
Exactly. If following the scare advice above, it would make more sense to avoid going/being in USA, because that country is in close proximity to Mexico, which is far more risky to be in with regular tourist kidnappings, murders, and serious crime—even in touristy areas now.

Back to Istanbul....Good advice to be careful crossing streets. While it isn’t Bombay, driving in Istanbul is a bit special.

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HomerJ
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by HomerJ » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:55 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:15 am
I had a friend who had his tea spiked in a carpet shop - luckily he only lost his wallet (there have been worse stories)
Like knocked out drugged? Yikes. That seems worse than just getting pick-pocketed or even threatened with a gun or a knife.
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Starfish
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Starfish » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:24 pm

I love all this travel topics where from about second/third post you start reading the the links the travel advisories and "don't go is dangerous'".
And all these coming from people living in the most dangerous country in the industrialized world. Also, I would guess, people who do not travel much on their own (because who else would read travel.state.gov stuff?).
Go to Istanbul, is great and not dangerous.

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HomerJ
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by HomerJ » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:29 pm

Starfish wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:24 pm
I love all this travel topics where from about second/third post you start reading the the links the travel advisories and "don't go is dangerous'".
And all these coming from people living in the most dangerous country in the industrialized world. Also, I would guess, people who do not travel much on their own (because who else would read travel.state.gov stuff?).
Go to Istanbul, is great and not dangerous.
Traveling is ALWAYS more dangerous than staying home.

Because you know your own culture and its rules and you know your own town (which parts are safe and which parts are less safe). And it is certainly less stressful when everyone speaks the same language as you. It's really that simple.

But sure, a foreign city can be "more" dangerous and still not very dangerous at all.

I'm currently not interested in traveling to Turkey again with the current political climate, but I'm quite sure it's not very dangerous, if one uses common sense. Istanbul is huge on tourism, and 99% of the people I met when we were there a few years ago were very nice.
The J stands for Jay

Starfish
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Starfish » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:33 pm

FedGuy wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:50 am
I last went to Istanbul about 15 years ago, so my information might be out of date, but be prepared to be accosted constantly by people trying to sell you stuff or scam you. The only time in my life that my pocket was ever picked was in Istanbul.
The obvious reason for this is having a wallet.
There are pickpockets in many/most large cities around the world. Having a wallet invites them and having all the eggs in one basket is wrong. You should never keep a wallet on you anywhere when you go visiting.
Also another ridiculous thing is those money belts signaling "I am a clueless foreigner and I have money here".

Dottie57
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:35 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:49 pm
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

When in doubt, you are from Canada. Go Mapleleafs!

Hopefully this trip is work related and can't be avoided. Stay safe!
Pleas read this OP. It is important.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:36 pm

Rick Steve's safe belt? And leave passport and wallet in the hotel safe?

Starfish
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Starfish » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:40 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:29 pm
Starfish wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:24 pm
I love all this travel topics where from about second/third post you start reading the the links the travel advisories and "don't go is dangerous'".
And all these coming from people living in the most dangerous country in the industrialized world. Also, I would guess, people who do not travel much on their own (because who else would read travel.state.gov stuff?).
Go to Istanbul, is great and not dangerous.
Traveling is ALWAYS more dangerous than staying home.
Doing pretty anything is generally more dangerous than not doing it.
I do not get your point. I assume people travel because they like it and because the ratio risk/reward is great.
Nobody says to go visit Kabul, Mosul or Baghdad. Istanbul a is pretty safe city.
Do these people also go on topics about cars, motorcycles, skiing, hiking, swimming, tennis playing etc and when no asks for a fast car or swimming glasses advice start writing "don't do it"?

Starfish
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Starfish » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:40 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:36 pm
Rick Steve's safe belt? And leave passport and wallet in the hotel safe?
Duh?

PS: safe is good but you don't really need one either.

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HomerJ
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by HomerJ » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:52 pm

Starfish wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:40 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:36 pm
Rick Steve's safe belt? And leave passport and wallet in the hotel safe?
Duh?

PS: safe is good but you don't really need one either.
So where you keep your money and your passport when traveling?
The J stands for Jay

Starfish
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Starfish » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:50 pm

What you want to avoid is mixing passports and cash. Much fewer people would steal your passport than your cash.
So keeping them in the same belt while looking like a lost American is really a terrible idea.
What normally do is this:
1. Use the room/hotel safe when available (pretty much everywhere nowadays, even airbnbs) for passport and cash and cards.
2. If safe not available hide them somewhere in the room or luggage.
3. Minimize the cash I bring with me. Can be 0, but usually I have 500-1000$. Less is better.
4. Go out with a (travel) credit card, a debit card liked to an account with a limited amount of money (1-2k$, I can transfer later if necessary) and 1-200E/$ cash in my pocket. In my front POCKET, not in a weird looking belt, not in the rear pocket, not in a wallet.
4a. I sometimes separate pockets, right for cards, left for cash, so they don't get stolen together. I care more about cards than cash. When travel in crowded public transportation I keep right hand in the right pocket, and the other I use for support.
5. I don't stand out by talking very loud, inappropriate clothing, a map in my hand (use your cellphone after saving the map), hiking shoes or boots in a city. Of course it's easy to see I am a tourist for the trained eye but at least I don't attract attention.
6. Make sure the ATMs don't have the stealing device implanted. Better go to the ones inside a bank. I take only 2-300E/$ out at a time. But the need for cash is lower nowadays, depending on the country.

So if something happens I lose the debit card and the credit card and 200-300E at most. I have multiple CCs and spare debit cards from other accounts in my hotel room.
But I have never had any issue. I travel 2 times a year from South America to eastern Europe.

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HomerJ
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by HomerJ » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:04 pm

Starfish wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:50 pm
When travel in crowded public transportation I keep right hand in the right pocket, and the other I use for support.
I do this same thing... I keep my wallet in my front pocket, and whenever I'm in a crowd, I keep my hand in that pocket... Pretty hard to pickpocket a pocket with a hand in it.... :)
The J stands for Jay

Nicolas
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Nicolas » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:07 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:04 pm
Starfish wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:50 pm
When travel in crowded public transportation I keep right hand in the right pocket, and the other I use for support.
I do this same thing... I keep my wallet in my front pocket, and whenever I'm in a crowd, I keep my hand in that pocket... Pretty hard to pickpocket a pocket with a hand in it.... :)
They can bump you violently or do something else to startle you enough that you'll forget about your pocket, giving them enough time to get the goods. It happened to me.
Last edited by Nicolas on Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

TxInjun
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by TxInjun » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:24 pm

We just got back last Sunday from a week in Istanbul, maybe our best vacation yet.

For practical items:
Just withdraw cash from an ATM, don't go to the Money Changers
Get an IstanbulKart, it works on the trams, ferries, etc. Your hotel may lend you a card and you can charge it
Get the Bitaksi app, it's their local version of Uber / Lyft

For visiting:
I'd skip the Bosphorus cruise, but definitely take the ferry to the "other" side (Asia / Europe). It's cheaper, more relaxed and you won't feel ripped off
The blue mosque was mostly under repair, it's still a crowd puller but not much to see. Topkapi palace is worth the extra time. Hagia Sophia was also good.
If you're getting a museum pass, do it at the Archaeology museum, there's no lines there.
Food food food. OMG. And Tea. And Coffee. and Turkish Dessert (Kunefe, Baklava...)
Our most favest place was the Spice Market. If I could go back in time, I'd skip the trip to the Grand Bazaar, that's just a lot of carpet salesmen.
Walking on the Galata bridge from the Spice Market - it's so lively, relaxed and full of the city experience
Speaking of - the view from Galata tower is great. Get there at 9 AM and you'll have no queue or crowd to beat.
Gotta have a full-spread Turkish Breakfast. Look for good places on TripAdvisor, depending on where you're staying. A lot of the good restaurants are in the New City

Have fun!

TxIn

Exuberent
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Location: France

Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Exuberent » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:44 pm

Have a drink at the Pera Palace - www.perapalace.com. It is steeped in World War I spy atmosphere.

And if you are a fan of the author Orhan Pamuk, be sure to visit the Museum of Innocence en.masumiyetmuzesi.org, located in a interesting neighborhood for walking. Consider visiting even if you have never read his books (like me).

Enjoy!

Starfish
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by Starfish » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:55 am

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:04 pm
Starfish wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:50 pm
When travel in crowded public transportation I keep right hand in the right pocket, and the other I use for support.
I do this same thing... I keep my wallet in my front pocket, and whenever I'm in a crowd, I keep my hand in that pocket... Pretty hard to pickpocket a pocket with a hand in it.... :)
It is partially true but wallet is obvious in the pocket and putting all our eggs in one basket you lose important stuff for 100$. Not worth it.

criticalmass
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by criticalmass » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:15 am

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:16 pm
Will visit this Euro-Asian city. Any suggestions. Where to exchange Turkish Lira? Thanx.
Say hello!
Merhaba MARE—ha—ba

Say thank you
teşekkür ederim. TESH-ik-ur ed-er-im

Those two words / phrases will go a long long way. Enjoy your trip here! The weather has been lovely.

And get your lira at a name brand atm, preferably at a bank location. Don’t get too much, bank cards are widely accepted. Enjoy the 6.3 TL per USA dollar rate!

yarden60
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Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Post by yarden60 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:01 am

You're probably there, but a few things:

-Be prepared for security checks at the airport. And, give yourself plenty of time to go through them. WE flew through there a year ago and went through 6 security lines and checks.

-We also say we're from Canada.

-When ever we travel, we hide money/credit cards lots of places: socks, money belts, zippered pockets, shoes, shirt pockets, interior pockets.

-ENjoy!!!

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