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Review of my 3 day itinerary

Philly
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Review of my 3 day itinerary

Hi –

I have created a 3 day itinerary for our stay in Istanbul during March. We shall arrive on a Saturday afternoon from NY, so I am not keeping any plans for that day. If we feel up to it, we may just stroll around the area where we stay and have dinner some place. However, since we will be having small kids with us as well, I am thinking they will be tired from the journey and may need to rest.

I have done a lot of reading on the forum and have come up with the below. Please let me know if this seems to be too much to do for each day. Should I move some places around? Are any of the places that I have listed not recommended? Or have I missed any of the recommended places? Are all the places that I have grouped together close to each other?

Sunday (Day 1)

(This will be our first day because of the jet lag we may not be leaving our hotel before noon or so. With this in mind, have I put too much for the day?)

• Topkapi Palace

• Blue Mosque

• Aarasta Bazaar

• Hagia Sophia

• Byzantine Hippodrome

• Basilica cisterns

Monday (Day 2)

(This will be our second day and we should be able to get functional earlier on this day. Is Istiklal street very far from Eminonu?)

• Grand Bazaar

• Spice Bazaar at Eminonu

• Short Bosphorus cruise from Eminonu that departs at 14:35 everyday

• Istiklal street

• Galata tower+Galata district

Tuesday (Day 3)

(We fly out on midnight this day. So, we will need to be at the airport around 9 pm and hope to reach the hotel and rest for a while around 6 pm or so. Should I move any place from day 1 to day 3?)

• Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art

Thanks !

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Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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1. Re: Review of my 3 day itinerary

Hi eur0travel, I think, particularly since you have young children, that your schedule is a bit too ambitious. For example, I would personally not schedule anything else on the day I visited Topkapi unless it was just a quick walk into the Blue Mosque or the Cisterns. I do not think you can adequately see Topkapi in less than four hours, and longer if the palace is crowded with tourists.

On Sunday, if you just force yourself to remain in a location for a specific period of time, you could probably crowd everything in, but I am not sure how much you would actually see and absorb. If you reach Topkapi at noon, you would have to leave no later than 3:00pm to reach Aya Sofya before it closes at 4:00pm, and you would only have a chance for a brief walk about the church. If there is a long line outside of Aya Sofya you may not even be able to get in to see it. I would personally defer Aya Sofya until Tuesday.

From anywhere in this area it is a quick walk to the Cisterns and they will be open a bit later than Aya Sofya. You can visit the Blue Mosque any time before the final prayer, so you could go directly from the cisterns to the Blue Mosque and then you could walk through the Hippodrome on one side of the mosque and then visit the Arasta Bazaar on the other side. The Hippodrome is all outside, and the Arasta Bazaar is open until 8pm to 10pm. Probably in March you should arrive before 8pm.

If you want to do all the things you have planned on Monday you will need to again, budget your time in each location. Arrive at the Grand Bazaar at 9am. Stay there for a couple of hours and then walk down the little side streets between the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, about 30 minutes. When you reach the Spice Bazaar you can spend about an hour there. If you can squeeze it in, I highly recommend a quick visit to the Rustem Pasa Mosque on the second floor near the Spice Bazaar. Grab something quick for lunch so you do not miss the Short Bosphorus Cruise.

Plan on arriving at Istiklal between 4pm and 5pm. Public transportation will be a bit crowded during this time period, but if you cannot get on the first tram, just wait for the next one. Eventually something will arrive with room for your family. Take the tram from Emminonu to Kabatas,, then the funicular to Taksim. This will put you at the top of Istiklal Street and you can walk down the street until you reach the Galata Tower. I am not sure of the times on the Galata Tower. You might be too late to go up to the tower. If so, following your Bosphorus experience, you might want to walk across the Galata Bridge and take the funicular up to Galata Tower and do Galata Tower first. Then catch the historic tram to Taksim and walk back down Istiklal. If you wish you can just walk up Istiklal from the Galata Tower. I never do this because I prefer to walk downhill.

You can spend a long time or just have a brief experience on Istiklal. This is not my favorite place in Istanbul. I go there only to shop at a few specific stores or eat. It is however, extremely popular and almost always filled with people walking up and down this pedestrian street. You could easily have dinner on Istiklal before returning to your hotel. There are charming little restaurants off the side streets of Istiklal where you can find casual and generally inexpensive meals.

On Tuesday you have only scheduled the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, which is not a huge museum. I doubt many tourists spend more than 90 minutes at this sight. So if you elect to skip Aya Sofya on Sunday to spend more time at Topkapi you could visit Aya Sofya on Tuesday as well. You could also save your walk through the Hipppdrome until Tuesday because the Museum opens right off from the Hippodrome. I generally find myself spending my last hours at the Arasta Bazaar picking up those little gifts.

If you miss something on Sunday or Monday you may have time to experience it before you leave on Tuesday. You do have a good geographical plan because you are doing things that are close together on the same day.

Philly
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2. Re: Review of my 3 day itinerary

Hi Busy retired,

Thank u SO much for a detailed reply. I have moved some places around per your suggestion and have come up with a slightly revised plan. Please tell me which day seems over ambitious now?

Sunday (Day 1)

• Topkapi Palace

• Basilica cisterns

• Blue Mosque

• Byzantine Hippodrome

• Aarasta Bazaar

Monday (Day 2)

• Spice Bazaar at Eminonu

• Rustem Pasa Mosque

• Short Bosphorus cruise from Eminonu that departs at 14:35 everyday

• Istiklal street

• Galata tower+Galata district

Tuesday (Day 3)

• Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art

• Hagia Sophia

• Grand Bazaar

Brisbane
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3. Re: Review of my 3 day itinerary

Hi just a note on travelling with young kids..I have looked up a few places that lonely planet mentioned about toy shops for kids in Istanbul..when I travel later this year I hope to have a look at these places mentioned (to bring a gift or 2 back for my kids)

in Eminonu ..Ekincioglu Toys and Gifts..and in Beyoglu .. Iyigun Oyuncak

Experienced TA people will be able to give more info maybe on these places..but I thought it be worth a look for something for the little (and big) kids perhaps..good luck please post a review after your visit if you can ..they are so interesting and helpful...ta

Istanbul
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4. Re: Review of my 3 day itinerary

eur0travel0r, Your revised plan looks good. However Chora Church is missing. That is a "must see" IMHO. Also optionally, take a 20 minute ferry trip from Eminonu to Kadikoy (Asian side Istanbul) and spend a couple of hours at the marketplace there around the pier. Here is a thread I started on a visit to Kadikoy a while ago: "tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k1844…".

good luck,

enigma...

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Review of my 3 day itinerary

a couple of additional thoughts.

on day 3 i would go to hagia sophia first in the morning, before going to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art (which we also enjoyed, btw). Hagia Sophia is less crowded and has shorter line to enter in the early morning.

it looks like you might land at the Galata Tower towards the end of the day. check the sunset times online for that day and try to arrive shortly before or at sunset. the views from the tower around sunset are beautiful.

my last thought is that you have the grand bazaar for your last day, probably afternoon before you want to head back to the hotel to rest and heading to the airport. you may feel stressed in the GB and be less likely to enjoy it (as it can be a bit stressful in and of itself just due to crowds), knowing you need to get back to the hotel and prepare to leave. If you leave it to that last day, look at GB maps, research GB info a bit and think ahead your special interests, so you have a slight plan and won't be frustrated and stressed trying to figure out what your ant to do before you go back to prepare for airport. Our favorite times at the Grand Bazaar were when we had nothing pressing us afterwards and could enjoy strolling around the more outward alleyways and hans.

Philly
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6. Re: Review of my 3 day itinerary

Thank u soooo much for all your responses !!

So, where is "Chora Church"? Which day should I try to fit in based upon the geographical area?

I have kept the first day we arrive free. I am thinking the kids will sleep most of the plane ride since it will be night time at our end. If that is the case then maybe we can visit grand bazaar that night. We should be fresh at night and sleepy in the mornings :) I'll check the timings and review the maps.

Chesterfield UK
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7. Re: Review of my 3 day itinerary

I cant see the Archeoliogical Museum which is near Topkapi which is a must see. Allow at least 3 hours. We have just come back from our first visit to Istanbul and we spent 2 full days in the Sultanamet Area looking at the sights. I think that you will probably do the same because it's breath taking. We were blown away by Istanbul and I'm sure you will be.

8. Re: Review of my 3 day itinerary

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