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istanbul

Layatonsville, MD
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istanbul

We are in Istanbul for 1 evening and 1 day on a cruise. Should we stick with a cruise excursion or try to navigate on our own? What are the highlights we should not miss?

Istanbul
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1. Re: istanbul

TwoJack, One day is too little for most of the attractions of Istanbul but you can try. Istanbul is a city where you can DIY. All historic attractions you would be interested in are within walking distance of each other. Just get yourself a good guidebook like "DK Eyewitness Istanbul Guide", available from Amazon.

You can take the tram from Tophane stop near the docks to Sultanahmet stop and begin to discover St.Sophia, Blue Mosque, Arasta Bazaar, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. Topkapi palace requires at least about 4 hours so I do not think you have time for that but can try.

You should spend your evening at Istiklal street, the fun and entertainment area of Istanbul.

good luck,

enigma...

Mount Dora, Florida
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2. Re: istanbul

I have never taken the tour offered by the cruise ship, but people who have generally complain that they pay a significant amount of money for what they can do much less expensively on their own. It is, as Enigma explains, easy to navigate the city, even for those who have just arrived.

I would absolutely suggest that you DIY and buy something wonderful with the money you save. I would suggest that you purchase a guide book and do a bit of reading before you arrive so you know what sights you want to see. i like Eyewitness Guide to Istanbul, but Rick Steve's book is also popular.

Wolverhampton
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3. Re: istanbul

We are in Istanbul just for one day in May, and to expand on other posts about DIY in the city, I want to see the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. Are they near to each other and "walkable" from the tram stop refered to by Enigma?

Istanbul
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4. Re: istanbul

Jimbo...., Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace are 5 minutes walking distance from each other. And both of them are 10 minutes walk to Sultanahmet tram stop.

enigma...

Edited: 18 April 2012, 20:42
Houston, Texas
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5. Re: istanbul

Hey Jimbo.

If you want to get a bit of shopping in and will not have the time or opportunity to make it to the Grand Bazaar, you will be only minutes walk from the Arasta Bazaar which is by the Blue Mosque. They have exquisite and unique as well as typical Turkish handcrafts and souvenirs but of a quality a bit above the norm.

Wolverhampton
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6. Re: istanbul

Thanks for the advice , particularly about the shopping. That's a "no - no" for me, but my wife will be over the moon!

Houston, Texas
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7. Re: istanbul

Well, thank you. You tell her this is the place for the most marvelous pashminas which she absolutely must have. And if you happen to be carrying on to Santorini on your cruise, on the mainwalk path through Oia, next to a small grocery store, is a shop that sells the most gorgeous silk scarves, vibrant colors and woven with delicate fringe.

Aventura, Florida
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8. Re: istanbul

My research says that from a cruise ship if you are not with the ship excursion or some other organized, licensed tour guide who you stay with at all times, then you must have an entry visa. There are private companies offering tours on line designed specifically for cruise ship passengers.

Saint Paul
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9. Re: istanbul

Some interesting stuff in this post:

www.wordtravels.com/forum/comments.php…

It would indicate if you are staying in the city (not on board the ship) during a cruise ship stop, you'd need a visa for the visit.

I have no idea if they question people leaving the cruise ship about this.

Wow, totally gray area.

Wolverhampton
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10. Re: istanbul

Thanks guys for the advice regarding entry visas into Turkey. We are cruising and the boat will be there from 07.00 to 18.00 so we figured we wpuld have plenty of time for DIY.

I willhave to dig further into this aspect through the F & CO.