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My 8 days trip to Istanbul

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Dubai
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My 8 days trip to Istanbul

Hi,

I'm planning to go to Istanbul with my wife and my small kid (1 Year old) and we will be stayying at Hyatt Regency Hotel for 8 days. My question is where to go other than the historical places.

Which are the best places to get buy things?

How is the weather in July ?

Is it safe to move around during the night ?

How turkish people deal with tourists?

Thanks

Chicago
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1. Re: My 8 days trip to Istanbul

You'll be fine, probably just as you expect.

Have fun -

Globe

Mount Dora, Florida
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2. Re: My 8 days trip to Istanbul

Easy questions first. It is going to be very warm in July, probably not as hot as Dubai but very warm. Pack light weight cotton clothing and drink plenty of water.

In addition to the historic sights I would recommend the ferry on the Bosphrous up to the Black Sea. I would try to do that on a week-day rather than a week-end when you will compete for space with all the citizens of Istanbul who are seeking a cooling respite.

I do not know what it is that you want to buy. Istanbul has the oldest shopping mall in the world with the Grand Bazaar. There are over 4000 stores here, and you can wander about for weeks and now see everything. Istanbul also has some of the most modern and dramatic shopping malls in Europe. Both of these areas are fairly stroller-friendly if you plan on shopping with baby.

Like every large city, there are places you would probably not want to go after dark, but all the areas where tourists frequent are safe. Indeed Istanbul, in terms of statistics, is one of the safest cities in the world. The police and the special tourist police work hard to make sure that Istanbul is visitor friendly.

Turkish people treat tourists with a greater level of hospitality than any place we have ever been. We love many things about Istanbul, but we really go back because of the friendly, hospitable, generous, honest behavior of the average Turkish citizen.

You can expect that people will pay attention to your baby, and provide lots of compliments. Some may even offer sweets to your child. If you need directions, and you ask someone, in all probability that person will take you where you want to go, even if he is not going that way himself. If you leave your camera in a restaurant, someone will come looking for you to return it. People will be friendly and open. If you pause to look in the window of a shop someone will immediately invite you in and offer you tea.

Many people in Turkey make a living selling things to tourists, and they can be exceptional aggressive. The best way to handle people selling carpets, or leather coats, or postcards is to not make eye contact, keep walking and firmly say "No thank you".

Some people find the salesmen annoying. For me they are just part of the charm of the city. We often stopped and visited with the salesmen near our hotel, but if you have limited time it is best to keep moving. Unless, of course, you wish to invest an hour or two in the process of purchasing a carpet.

Apart from the touts, which some find annoying, I am sure that 95% of the people who post on this forum would support my belief that Turkish people truly demonstrate hospitality.

Some unsolicited information....I would take a small stroller. It will be difficult to manage a stroller in the historic area of Sultanahmet. The pavement is uneven, often cobblestone and the curbs are high. I imagine you will lift baby and stroller over curbs occasionally. A smaller stroller will ultimately be easier to manage.

You are going to have a wonderful time is this magical city. Very few people visit without developing a longing to return!

Bucharest
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3. Re: My 8 days trip to Istanbul

About safety: Istanbul is a large city and as in a large city not all the people are alike. There can be some pickpockets (take the usual precautions you take when traveling anywhere - use either a money belt or a zipped pocket for money, use the hotel safe, etc), traffic can be horrific, some people reported dishonest taxi-drivers, but it is no different from another city. Obviously, avoid late at night the desrted and poorly lighted areas.

There are a lot of people, involved in tourism, that stop you on the street trying to enter a conversation, on various pretexts and then inviting you in their shops/restaurants. Some are offering help for orientation (you know that puzzled look of a tourist trying to find directions on the map), some offer to take care of your luggage when you are visiting a site, some pose as guides in order to lead you afterwards in their shop. You should ignore them completely.

With 8 days, you will have time enough to visit all the main sites (even with a so small child)-I suppose that you already have a good guidebook. Besides the museums/monuments I suggest a visit to Buyukada, your child will surely like the horse-drawn carriages used for transportation on the island.

Dubai
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4. Re: My 8 days trip to Istanbul

Thanks everyone for the valuable information.

If anyone stayed in Hyatt Regency, I would need his/her feedback and coments. What I readin TA is mixure some people recommend and some don't.

Mount Dora, Florida
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5. Re: My 8 days trip to Istanbul

It appears to me that most reviews give the Hyatt high marks for cleanliness, decor, room size and service. Clearly any incidentals you purchase have a ridiculous price, but this is not particularly unique in five star hotels. I am sure you will experience similar situations in any of the five star hotels in the city.

I had a friend who recently spent a couple of weeks in a Hilton Hotel in Kayseri. He experienced a similar mark-up in incidental charges. I think it is a very common practice, not just in Turkey but virtually everywhere I have traveled.

If it is only the cost of the incidentals to which you object you could still stay there and merely bring in your own Cokes and select somewhere less expensive for breakfast.

Five star hotels such as the Hyatt cater to essentially two types of travelers. The first are those who travel on business and expenses are not an issue for them as they are charged back to the customer. The second are those who have sufficient wealth that the price of things does not matter. This explains why I have very few personal experiences with these types of properties.lol

Hamburg
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6. Re: My 8 days trip to Istanbul

I am a regular visitor to the Hyatt Regency in Istabul and must say that I am not a believer in a lot of these glorified "local" hotels which are mostly in in the very touristy area of Sultanahmet.

The Hyatt Regency has a very good location in Taxim and it is a merely 3 minutes walk to the Metro station, 5 minutes to Istiklal cad.and abt. 13 minutes to Nishantasi with all the great shopping facilities. To Kabatas which is the departure of many ferries and the first (last) station of the tramway you just take the funikular down from Taksim. From there with the tramway you can easily go to directly to most of the major historical sites and the 2 major bazaars as well. Beyoglou with it's many entertainment facilities is just "round the corner" as well. Same applies to quite a number of really good restaurants.

The hotel is very nice indeed, large and very clean room, very friendly staff and an excellent service, thus all you can expect from a 5 star hotel.

They have a few rooms with a Bosphorus few, try to get one of these.

The only thing you should avoid are expenses inside the hotel, they are simply sky high, but this should not really be a problem.

I am sure you will enjoy Istanbuland the Hyatt hotel.

7. Re: My 8 days trip to Istanbul

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