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Istanbul For A Couple Of Days

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keyplus90 | 13:09 Tue 07th Jul 2015 | Travel
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Hi, I am planning to go to Istanbul in early September for 3 to 4 days. Where should one stay (hotel)? Which area is more convenient to move around and see places?

Thanks.

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near Sultan Ahmet, which is the area around Santa Sophia, Topkapi and the Blue Mosque is best. It's not the cheapest (though I think you can still find okay accommodation without taking out a second mortgage) but it's very central. A good public transport system will get you most places you want to go from there (I think they've even opened their underwater metro to Uskudar across the Bosphorus in Asia). The grand bazaar is a couple of stop on the tram.

The business area with grand hotels is across the Galata bridge from there in the more modern part of town but there's not nearly so much of historical and cultural interest there (in my opinion).

It's a wonderful place, wherever you stay; you'll have a great time.
sultanahmet Is probably the best place to see most of the sites. Here is a link to some hotels.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/turkey/istanbul/sultanahmet/hotels
It is a few years since we went and can't remember name of hotel but there are are plenty of them. Ours was central to the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar which are enough to last a weekend in themselves.
If you are getting a taxi from airport to hotel be prepared - it's frightening at times.
Made me want to go again now!
We stayed in the Side Hotel about 9 years ago, absolutely fine, very clean and safe and absolutely central ie between the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia. Sultanahmet is the place to explore - the modern city is beyond dull, unless you like Thurrockalike shopping malls. We walked most places from there, eg to the Topkapi Palace. The national Museum is great, and very under-visited, also close to the Topkapi. The Galata Bridge and wharfs are brilliant for just watching the manic crowds, but the restaurants there are fearful rip-offs. The streets on the downhill, eastern side of Sultanahmet, dipping to the river, were a bit unfriendly when we were there - I think there may have been issues surrounding compulsory purchases that made the residents very glum and angry. Visit the Cistern! It's much better than it sounds! And of course the bazaar by tram - that was the only transport we took, apart from the open top tourist bus, which was hopeless and simply pulled over and stopped. Prepare to have the living daylights mithered out of you every time you stop walking briskly. Everyone and his brother has a carpet shop, and they open up by politely asking if you like their city, where are you from, yadder yadder. The biggest scammers are guys in cute turkish national costume in the green space near the Blue Mosque. They carry huge tea urns on their backs and pose for photos, hand a cup of tea, then start demanding vast sums of cash. Also, little boys have a habit of throwing stones, but I think that's a thing all over Turkey.
if you haven't got too much luggage to carry, the metro will get you to town from the airport

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g293974-c152570/Istanbul:Turkey:Istanbul.Airports.Transfer.Services.html
I stayed near Taksim -
oh the Pera Palace I think
and found it good

but that was in the days that the Dervish hall was a rotting eighteenth century hulk and now it is a big deal tourist attraction innit ?
oh and .... you lucky lucky thing ....

but .... if you go south - font forget your burda !
Question Author
Thanks for all the information and especially that link from JNO for metro. Wihtout being sounding rude, I must say that I may not look like an ideal tourist there as I am originally from Pakistan and although not everything but certain things are similar so that may help.

One more question, I believe Visa can be obtained at the port of entry or online in advance if you have British Passport. What would anyone suggest?
the Pera Palace used to be all faded grandeur and quite cheap. It's been much upgraded and they now seem to have rooms for September at £180 a night, which isn't bad for a posh place. All the same I'd still go for Sultan Ahmet, not Taksim (which is in the newer part of town).
they were going to do away with visas on arrival; as far as I know this has been delayed, but you'll need to check nearer the time. If they're still available, you'll need £20 in cash.

Otherwise get an e-visa from here

https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/

Only use that site; other sites may get you a visa but will charge you more for it.
Question Author
Thanks and I managed to find a hotel in sultanahmet.
have a good holiday!
Question Author
Thanks

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