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Thread: Istanbul anyone?

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  1. #1

    Istanbul anyone?

    My husband and I are going to Istanbul, Turkey, for a trade show at the end of March.
    We won't have massive amounts of time for sightseeing, but will try to squeeze in some anyway!

    Anyone been?
    What are three things one must not miss?

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  2. #2
    I've never been myself but if i were to go, I'd be sure to see the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, a walk across the Galata bridge, and I'd find the best place to eat in the fish market. We would definitely concentrate on visiting food markets as you can well imagine from my layouts! (some of these suggestions still stick in my mind from my xh's tales of his time while in the AirForce in Turkey Way Back When)
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  3. #3
    My sister and I were there in 2007. And as Maureen said, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Galata Bridge, Tokapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. OK, so that is 5 things. I would do the bridge last if I HAD to cut one thing out. The Tokapi Palace could take all day...really. Be sure and take a scarf or something for your head, we were required to wear one when we entered the Hagia Sophia (but it was during Ramadan, so maybe that was the reason) The Grand Bazaar is simply amazing. Lots of gorgeous rugs....I was totally in love. Many stalls of beautiful food and spices...perfect for photos.

    Heather (schnerbear) lives there now....maybe you could meet up with her. She would know the real "not to miss" things

    I am so excited for is an amazing city. Can't wait to see your photos!!!

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  4. #4
    I was there in 2012 and as Pam and Maureen said, you shouldn't miss the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Although I enjoyed the Grand Bazaar, I found the Spice Bazaar more interesting.

    I'm sure Heather will give you some wonderful suggestions.

  5. #5
    haven't been ... but wanting to say "lucky you!" and I shall eagerly look forward to seeing the photos and the layouts!!

  6. #6
    I was there last year and would definitely not miss Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome which is next to the Blue Mosque. One place that hasn't been mentioned which was my 2nd favorite after the Haggia Sophia was The Cisterns. They are truly amazing!!! We went to Topkapi Palace and enjoyed it but the line-ups were huge for some of the displays even in May so if you're tight on time... The Grand Bazaar was interesting but there are a lot of stalls which are the same - rugs, leather, turkish delight. The Spice Market may be more interesting.

  7. Wishing you a wonderful trip, Thess. I'll be eagerly waiting for your trip pages to appear after your return.

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  8. #8
    Hi Thess,

    My dh and I were in Istanbul last June. The other ladies have already posted the top suggestions for sightseeing in Istanbul so I will just add a restaurant recommendation. In the Sultanahmet (in old town/Blue Mosque area) is a restaurant called Albura Kathisma. They serve traditional Anatolian dishes. We ate there 3 times it was soooo good. You can check their website menu and get their location here Ask to see the underground ruins at the restaurant. Have an awesome time!!


  9. #9
    Thank You, ladies!!!

    We will be staying at a hotel in Sultanahamet, equal distance to the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque.
    I really want to visit Topkapi, but I think it will have to wait until my next visit... There WILL be a next visit!!!
    We've decided to aim for Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque and the bazaars. The Hippodrome and the Cisterns if we have the time - otherwise they will have to wait 'til next time!

    And Thank You, Mary, for the restaurant recommendation! My husband had a look at the menu and gave thumbs up!

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  10. Also, the Grand Bazzar is amazingly huge if you love shopping...the Egyptian Spice Bazzar (M?s?r Çar??s?) is smaller and my favorite place to take touring friends.

  11. Hey Thess,
    I live here in Istanbul (though on the Asian side, far away from touristy areas), and if I can help you out with your travels at all, I would certainly love to as much as my schedule allows!
    As for food recommendations--definitely don't miss the Iskender (I'm sure any restaurant you visit will tell you to try it): meat slices served on top of bread in a tomato-y sauce with yogurt. There is a place near the Hagia Sophia (I'll see if I can find the name of it, though you might just find it yourself) that serves my favorite köfte: the menus will translate it as 'meatballs' but they are more like patties that are just full of deliciousness. My kids LOVE manti: ravioli-style pasta with meat inside, served with garlic-y yogurt and a dollap of tomato sauce.
    I could go on and on...PM me if you need/want help with anything!

  12. #12


    Thank You All for the suggestions above!

    I have to admit that I am now a little bit in love with Istanbul!!! It was my first visit, but definitely not the last!
    We only had time to see half of the things we wanted to see, and the Asian side was not on the agenda at all...
    So, I simply HAVE to go back! Soon!

    We visited the Grand Bazaar, the Spice/Egyptian Bazaar, Hagia Sofia and the Basilica Cistern. Then I went to Topkapi on my own. I spent 4 hours there!!!
    And we took a dinner cruise on the Bosphorus.

    But I desperately wanted to visit Dolmahbace Palace and at least one of the mosques too, but there just wasn't enough time... Next time!

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  13. Welcome back, Thess! It will be wonderful to see the new pages you create for this latest trip!

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  14. Glad to hear you loved your trip so much! It really is a fascinating city, isn't it?!

  15. #15
    I am jealous! All that food sounds just delicious and I would love to see all those amazing sights! I am glad you had a great visit

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