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Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Riga, Latvia
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Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

I am going to Istanbul with my two children (18 and 14).

We arrive on 12:45 on Sunday in Sabiha Gokcen and leave on Wednesday 13:25 (SAW). As the transportation to airport takes about 2 hours, I guess I should not plan anything for Wednesday.

But what would be feasible to do on Suday afternoon - say from 16:00? Is doing any museum feasible, like Topkapi or HagiaSofia?

I have read a lot on this forum and have decided to travel by ferry from Kadakoy,rather than take HAVADAS to Taksim, because we have booked a hotel in SIrkeci.Thank you, forum contributors already!

I am afraid to plan too much to do. I have been in Istabul twice with corporate events and it is one of my favorite cities. But teenagers tire easily even if they are good walkers. (We wisited London and we did not see half of what I planned, because by 20:00 or 21:00 my guys were tired and did not want to go even by night bus. At home they go to sleep at 24:00-1:00!)

So my "shortlist" consists of Topkapi (because I have not seen it before), Hagia Sofia, Cistern, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, a walk near Taksim and maybe Galata Tower. My guys will walk through everything very quickly.

Let's say Hagia Sofia on Sunday afternoon, Monday for Topkapi, Cistern, Hippodrome and Bazaar, then Tuesday for Galata Tower, Taksim (any other "modern" neighbourhood?), a little shopping. Any other must see places easily reached by public transportation?

What would be good places for lunch and dinner? My guys are very picky eaters, but I do not want to go to to burgers or pizzas. They do not eat lamb, my daughter hates fish and they are not fond of vegetables :(

I guess some kind of kebabs (if from beef or chicken)?

As my son is 18, (drinking age at my country) we would like to go to some pub at evening. What is legal drinking age in Turkey? I do not expect my son go drunk while travelling with Mama, but to have a couple of beers in a lively, but safe place? Around Taksim? Or closer to Sirkeci?

What is the usual cost of beer in shops and in pubs? How much would be a decent dinner? We were shocked by London prices.

How much time it takes to walk from Taksim to Sirkerci? If it is less than 30-40 minutes,, then it might be good refreshing walk before sleep.

Any other entertainment ideas for evening? I am not sure about Bosphorus boat trip - looks quite expensive.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/ideas!

Istanbul
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for Istanbul
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1. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Paija2013, welcome to Istanbul.

First of all do take the Havatas bus from SAW to Kadikoy and the ferry from Kadikoy to Eminonu. From Eminonu simply walk to your hotel at Sirkeci, which is a central location. The walk will not be more than 7-10 minutes, maybe less. Do your return the same way for fun However you must catch the HAVATAS bus from Kadikoy latest at 10.00 PM. Here are the bus schedules: "http://havatas.com.tr/en/coach.aspx?i=3". And here are the winter ferry schedules. "sehirhatlari.com.tr/Uploads/KISTARIFESI.pdf".

It is too late for Topkapi on Sunday. You can do it on Monday. However you should do Hagia Sophia on Sunday as it is closed on Monday. Have a look at FAQ's to the right of this page for closing days and times of attractions.

Red River Pub, "tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293974-d1…", on the main road at Sirkeci is a nice pub. Drinking age is also 18 in Turkey.

For restaurants there is the excellent and popular Imbat Restaurant on top of Orient Express Hotel, "tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293974-d8…" (needs advance reservations) or there are the Hodjapasha restaurants in a row at Sirkeci. I suggest Kasap Osman Kebab House. Good quality Iskender kebab with very reasonable prices.

You can walk from Taksim to Sirkeci in about 40-50 minutes, downhill. But if you want to go to Taksim I suggest you walk to Karakoy over the Galata Bridge and take the one stop historic Tunel (subway) from Karakoy to Istiklal street entrance and then walk up the Istiklal street. Have a look at my post No. 2 at the following thread: "tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k4759…".

Do take the short Turyol Bosphorus cruise from Eminonu for 1.5 hours. It is only 12 TL/person. You can also rent an audio guide. Just walk from your hotel to Turyol piers on the Golden Horn side of Galata Bridge.

Enjoy Istanbul,

enigma...

Riga, Latvia
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18 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Thank you very much, Enigma!

Istanbul
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3. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Enigma has given excellent suggestions. Let me add to make sure to visit Topkapi on Monday as it is closed on Tuesdays. Additionally, an 18 year old would have no problem ordering/drinking a few beers in a pub or restaurant.

Riga, Latvia
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18 posts
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4. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Thank you, cagcag!

What would be the price of beer in a pub? I understand in Turkey you must drink Efes?

Istanbul
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5. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Paija2013, Efes is the most popular brand but people drink all kinds of beers. Efes is a good beer. A 33cl glass (small) would cost anywhere between 6-12 TL, totally depending on the pub or bar.

enigma...

Riga, Latvia
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6. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

What would be good amount to load on Istanbulkart initially if are 3 people? Can one see how much is left? (In my city all rides on municipal transport cost the same and then you see number of rides left after sweeping the card and every person has to have his/her own card - you simply cannot register twice the same card in the same bus.) I read somewhere on this forum that one card is enough for several people and that there are many places where to "fill" the card. Can it be done with credit cards or only liras?

Istanbul
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for Istanbul
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7. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Paija2013, You can load 30 TL initially and repeat the process as you need more credits. Unlike Latvia, the same card can be used by more than one person HOWEVER in that case the second and subsequent users do not get any transfer discounts and all pay full card fares of 1.95 TL. If you make a lot of transfers for a number of people in a group, this results in quite a bit of loss for the card users. Therefore I recommend that every person get their own card.

enigma...

Riga, Latvia
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18 posts
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8. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Thank you, Enigma, you are a fount of knowledge!

Delavan, Illinois
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9. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

Indeed he is. And so kind to share it with all of us.

10. Re: Istanbul 2,5 days with teenagers

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