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Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

Toronto
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Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

Hi Folks,

I've done a bit of research on Istanbul, including some extremely helpful posts elsewhere in this forum.

This thread was particularly awesome and answered many of my questions: (tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k3663…)

However, I still have a few technicalities I want to work out.

My plane arrives in Istanbul at 2:15pm on a Friday in mid-July, am I safe to assume that I can be in Sultanahmet by 4pm by using Metro/Tram?

I'll be staying at the Blue House Hotel there. I have plans for the evening starting at 7:30pm, so I presume to drop my stuff in the room and have 3 hours to do quick sightseeing.

I plan to see:

1. Blue Mosque (any idea what time it would be closed for prayer on a Friday in Mid-July?)

2. Aya Sofia

3. Cistern

From what I understand these are relatively close together and can be done in 3 hours. I figure 45min each for Mosque and Cistern and 90 min for the Church (including all the walking to/fro). I'm not a history freak, so I more prefer to soak in the atmosphere and the beauty without diving too deep.

In the evening I hope to see the Whirling Dervishes 7:30 at Hodjapasha Art & Culture Center and then have dinner at Asitane Restaurant nearby and head back to the Hotel. Should I ask my hotel to get my a ticket and restaurant reservation ahead of time or is there a better way?

My main issue is with the next morning. My plane (going to Antalya) leaves at 3pm, so I'm assuming I need to be back at my hotel and ready to check-out by noon or so.

My options for the morning are to take a short Bosphorus cruise or to do more sightseeing on foot - Topkapi Palace & Bazaar or Spice Market.

What would you recommend? I'm rather partial to a cruise myself, but not 100% sure it's doable.

Does anyone know of any cruises/boat trips that leave very early in the morning? Most options I've seen leave rather late (and come back late).

Also, is there anything interesting (and safe) to be done after 11pm on my first night? I am not interested in "nightlife" in the typical sense, but if there is anything culturally interesting (and public) (It is a summer friday night after all).

Thanks for any input.

Istanbul
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1. Re: Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

Hi fallingstill,

This post has fallen to the second page without being answered by anyone. So let me give you a few tips.

You generally have a good plan.

You can take the Turyol Bosphorus cruise on your second day but it will be somewhat tight. The very first cruise is at 11.00 AM from Eminonu Turyol Pier to the left of Galata Bridge. The Turyol tour lasts 1.5 hours so you will be back at 12.30 PM. Now if you already checked out of your hotel before the cruise and put your luggage at Sirkeci Train station left luggage lockers, then you can take a taxi for the Ataturk Airport at about 12.50 PM and be at the Ataturk Airport aby 1.30 PM. Now this plan will work if your flight to Antalya is from Ataturk airport and not from Sabiha Gokcen.

Asitane restaurant is not really nearby, so after Hodjapasha program take a taxi there. The trip will cost about 15 TL. that evening you will be exhausted and after the late dinner will want to go back to your hotel by taxi again. The hotel should make the reservations both for Hodjapasha and Asitane for you. That first night after 11.00 PM you can take a nice walk at Hippodrome/Sultanahmet and soak up the nightly magic atmosphere.

Otherwise your program is sound. You can either take the Bosphorus cruise with TURYOL or visit the Bazaars (Spice and Grand). "www.turyol.com/modalSeferHIci.aspx…"

good luck,

enigma...

Toronto
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2. Re: Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

Thanks very much for your advice. I was debating on whether to take taxis around and now I am convinced that I will.

Good tip about the locker, if end up planning something tight, I'll definitely make use of it.

Do you have any idea about what time the Blue Mosque would be closed for prayer in mid-july?

Also, I've since read that there is an early morning (7am) commuter boat that I can take from Saryeri (sp?) into old town. Do you know about this? I've gone on the official Ferry website but have a hard time figuring it out. (especially whether it runs on saturdays)

If this exists, would it be worthwhile to get up at 6am, take a cab down to Saryeri(sp?) and the boat back? I am morning person by nature so this would make for a perfect plan if it's doable and would get me back into town to do some more wandering and maybe see some of Topkapi.

Denver, Colorado
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3. Re: Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

You know, Topkapi is very close to the Blue Mosque and the Aya Sofia. Depending on how fast you walk, you could use the 3 hours on day one to see the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, and the Cistern. Maybe one hour for Topkapi, 20/30 min each on the Blue Mosque & Cistern, 30-45 minutes for Aya Sofia. I don't think you will need a whole 90 minutes for the church, especially if you're not a history buff.

Try to fit in the Topkapi Palace, if you can, it's a lovely place.

Toronto
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4. Re: Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

Thanks for the advice! I'll see how things go on day 1.

After doing a little more research, I'm thinking that I can indeed do a 6am taxi to Sariyer, 7am commuter boat back to Sultanahmet and then have 8:30-12 to do sites I missed on day one - mainly Topkapi.

Anyone know how much a taxi to Sariyer would cost me? Should I expect the regular or night rate at 6am ? And is 1hr enough to get there?

Istanbul
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5. Re: Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

Hi fallingstill,

Yes you can do that. But better go to Yenikoy and get on the boat there at 7.25 AM in the morning. This way you make 3/4 of the full Bosphorus cruise. Here is the schedule: "www.ido.com.tr/en/index.cfm…" and it is good on Saturdays ( Sundays slightly different schedule). This cruise will also cost you (except the taxi ride) only 1.5 TL (1 USD). You can arrive back at Eminonu at 8.20 AM. This way you can visit all those places you want before flight. Prayer times change every day but they do not last long. They are after the call to prayer. Just go to the Blue Mosque at a time convenient for you.

No day or night rates, only one rate. At that time one hour is more than enough to get to Yenikoy. It will probably cost around 25 TL.

good luck,

enigma...

Edited: 04 June 2010, 20:36
Toronto
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6. Re: Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

Awesome, thank you very much for the info, I think I now have the perfect plan and will be able to take in all that I want in my 24 hours :)

7. Re: Afternoon and Morning in Istanbul - Itinerary Help

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