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Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

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Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

I saw this on the London forum originally and now there is one on the Berlin board and Amsterdam and Paris and Rome board as well. I thought this was a good idea for all of us that go to Istanbul or who are thinking of going to read thru the reports to have an idea of what to do and how people viewed there trips and thus we can come back and write up a report on how our trip went.

"""For everyone's convenience and reading pleasure, please post links to all your trip reports (past, present, and future) here on this thread. If you also have pictures posted somewhere on the Net, include those links as well.

Without further adieu, on with the show!"""

If possible can we get this stickied as well?

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41. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)


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42. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

this is more like an itinerary- my main point is that you need a month in Turkey- this was last year

Istanbul- 2 days

May 24

Arrive Istanbul- Hotel Empress Zoe- 2 days

Great Palace Mosaic Museum dinner at the restaurant on the roof of The Blue House Hotel -

May 25/26

Topkapi Palace Museum, archaeological museum. The mosques of Istanbul- Sokollu Mehmet Pasa Mosque, Mosque of Suleyman

Cappadocia- 7 days

May 26 17:40 Fly to Nevsehir – Göreme Aydinli Cave Hotel

May 27 Walk to Uchisar (Pigeon valleys) investigate Uchisar Rock Castle

May 28 Go to Göreme open air museums

May 29 From Goreme- to Zelve monastery and then walk through Rose and Red valleys

May 30 hire a car and go to Ortahisar, Mustafapasha, Keshlik monastery .Drive to Uchisar.

May 31 Uchisar. go to Ihlara from Uchisar,

June 1 Uchisar. ..-walk to Love valley

Istanbul -5 days

June 2 Fly to Istanbul- http://www.kabatasaparts.com/ Pera Museum- walk around Beyoglu

June 3 walk across the Galata bridge. Mosque of sultan Ahmet 1- Blue Mosque.

Museum of Turkish and Islamic art.

June 4 Bosphorus cruise . Ferry depart from the Boğaz Hattı dock (dock No 3) at Eminönü

June 5 Walk to the Museum of Innocence wonderful museum, Istanbul Modern is in contrast to most of Istanbul, it's minimalist and quiet.

June 6 Santralistanbul, consisting of a modern art museum, an energy museum is situated within the Silahtarağa campus of Istanbul Bilgi University that was formerly the first power station of the Ottoman Empire. You could get a free bus from Taksim Square- not sure if that is still the case.

Selcuk- Aegean coast – 11 days

June 7 Flight to IZMIR- Pick up rental 1pm Izmir airport

drive to Bergama 120 k- Hera Hotel Bergama http://bergama.hotelhera.com/

June 8 Pergamon- wonderful site

June 9 Drive Bergama to Assos 166km 2 hrs 30 mins

June 10 Assos city walls, temple of Athena, amphitheatre and the separate port area, -Aristotle ran a school of philosophy there

June 11 mon Drive From Assoss to Izmir airport to drop off car at airport


June 12 Ephesus- amazing

Selcuk stone House aegeanrentals.com/ephesus_holiday_rentals/

June 13 Isa Bey Mosque. Temple of Artemis. Efes Museum, Archeology Museum

June 14 Hire car 11am- drive to Sirince

June 15 Drive to Kusadasi & take ferry to Samos - a day in Greece!

June 16 Drive to Hierapolis Aphrodisias WE did not make it to Pamukkale,

June 17 Drive to the sites of Priene, Miletus and Didyma.

Istanbul -9 days

June 18 Fly to Istanbul

Yerebatan Sarnici – the Basilica Cistern Archaeological Museums (incl. Museum of the Ancient Orient & Turkish Tiles & Ceramics)

Jun 19 Church of St Saviour in Chora (Kariye Museum) wonderful place

June 20 Haghia Sophia,

Concert at Hagia Eirene you have to book this in advance

June 21 Grand Bazaar- Topkapı Palace- Gulhane Park

June 22 ferry to the Asian Side- Kadıköy Great restaurant Ciya Sofrasi.

June 23 Kucuk Ayasofya Camii (Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus)

Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque

June 24 Pera Museum, Museum of Turkish & Islamic art

June 25 Rustem Pasa Mosque- This mosque is one of the most beautiful in Istanbul. It is one floor higher than the street and you can easily miss it if you do not pay attention at signs.

June 26 Ferry up Golden Horn to EYUP

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43. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

Here is an excellent trip report by Fahad, from Karachi, Pakistan: "tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k7581…".


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44. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

Thought I’d let you know about my trip to Istanbul recently (well actually it was in March). I arrived in the rain – the weather up to then had been gorgeous but I didn’t have time to check before I left – if I had I may have been more prepared! It rained solid for 2 days – and I don’t like rain!! I purchased one of the many clear umbrellas that all around for the princely sum of 5tl (less than 2 quid) and you get what you pay for – being clear it enabled me to see the sights through the brolley and also caved in at the first sight of wind and by that I mean was unusable – hey ho!

First off don’t forget to get your visa before entering the queue for passport control along with your £10 or 15 euros.

Right, so getting from the airport is dead simple by train. The station is downstairs and outside, as mentioned elsewhere you need to get two yellow tokens from the machine at the station, one for the train and one for the tram. They cost 3tl each, I can’t remember if you can purchase an Istanbul Kart there as I didn’t get one until later but if you can – do it. It costs about 7tl and you can load it up with however much money you like then you don’t have to buy tokens to travel each time and best of all it saves you money – instead of 3tl for a token if costs 1.95tl and it can be used on the tram, train, bus and boat. Initially I had thought I’d walk most places and I did do a lot of that, however there are times when you are just too tired to do so, so I made back the money for the card. Anyway if you are in Sultanahmet (as I was) or anywhere on the train / tramlines you get the train to Zeytinburnu then change onto the tram that is literally next to the train and off you go – don’t worry if you miss a tram they are so regular you won’t have long to wait. You will however have to share the tight space with everyone else so if you don’t have lots of luggage and don’t mind standing it’s a piece of cake. If I had been travelling with my mum I probably would have arranged a taxi purely from the comfort point of view and not having to ask someone to give her a seat. It takes about an hour. I also used it coming back to the airport with slightly heavier luggage – the tram is on road level so no tricky stairs and when you have to swap over to the train there are lifts so don’t use the escalators. When coming back to the airport there are lots of places advertising shuttles back for I think 7 euros but they are at set times and may not fit in with your needs.

I stayed at the Sultania Hotel at Gulhane station which was the perfect location, it was a short walk from the tram and just up the road from Topkani Palace, Hagia Sohpia and the Blue Mosque. You can also walk in the other direction down to the water.

The hotel is lovely, the staff were really friendly and helpful, I had a full introduction to Istanbul and where to go when I checked in. My room was fully equipped with the important things (well depends on what you want!) hairdryer, coffee making facilities, ironing board and iron, slippers and a robe. Breakfast had a large selection of bread (lovely), and cakes along with the usual array of meats, cheese, olives fruit etc. They will make you an omelette and also have a small selection of hot things – can’t remember what as I didn’t fancy them. Coffee was also not ridiculously strong as I always fear.

There is a small pool and gym area that are free to use and the hamman and sauna that cost 10 euros, I did use this once but I’m glad I didn’t have the full experience there as it is a very small space that you’d be sharing with anyone else who might want to use it, I felt uncomfortable being in there when someone was being massaged. I wouldn’t fancy being rubbed down on a marble slab with anyone wandering into the space. I went in and had to sit by the sinks as there was someone having the foam rub down experience on the heated marble slab, so I couldn’t sit on that until they were finished, because to be honest there isn’t anywhere for others to sit if you are on the heated marble slab.

Talking of hammans I did go to the Cagaloglu hamman, I was undecided if I wanted to go based on the reviews and the whole tourist experience but made a snap decision based on being cold, wet and sick of the rain having had a bad morning of disorientation and wandering a bit lost in an area I couldn’t seem to get out – I won’t bore you with the details. I picked a perfect time of lunchtime as there were only three other ladies in the hamaman when I got there. When I entered I was given the treatment list, decided on my option which cost 150tl and was shown to a cubicle – these are little rooms all around the central area where you get changed and leave your things and they have a key to lock to the door which you take with you. The instructions were a bit rushed but basically you go into the hamman and lie on the marble slab in the middle to relax and wait for the lady to come back about 15 minutes later to give you your treatment. I had left my thong on – which I had forgotten to take off but you can either leave your knickers on or be completely naked but no bra or you will look the odd one out. There were three other ladies and I think one other had her knickers on – I didn’t want to look too much! A word of warning if you haven’t been before, you will be soaked from head to foot! I was firstly scrubbed and made to feel the dead skin that had been stripped off – niiiccce! I was then taken to the sink and rinsed down by having water chucked over me, back to the slab and had a massage which was for about 10 minutes and while short was just exactly what I needed, Gulshan (I think I have remembered her name right) had just the right firmness without being uncomfortable and hit all the spots that were aching especially my feet and legs. I also had my hair washed (I missed that I had chosen that) and another warning, you will have water chucked at you again to rinse your hair and there is no pussy footing around with not getting it in your eyes..! I then had the place to myself to relax for as long as I wanted, I stayed for a while and then left to get changed – and they have a couple of hairdryers by the cubicles so you don’t have to leave with wet hair. I emerged into the world revitalised and the rain had finally stopped – yippee!

Took the boat to Eyup – again using my Istanbul Kart – another word of warning – it’s quite easy to miss the entrance to the boats. The boats to Eyup go from the other side of the Galata Bridge (left side as you face the bridge towards the Galata Tower) and are then the other side of the bus station, the walkway to which you can miss if you are rushing up the road, it is literally at the other side of the bus station, down the side of the wire fence. It takes about 30 minutes to get there and they run every hour, I took the 12.50 and returned on the 3.30, which allowed enough time to visit the Eyup Sultan Mosque, take the cable car (again with the Istanbul Kart) up to the top of the cemetery and have an apple tea in the Pierre Lotti café and walk back down through the cemetery.

Also used the Istanbul Kart across the Bosphorus to Kadikoy and took the nostalgic tram around its circuit, carried on round again and had a coffee and lovely cherry cake in the Pasikik Patisserie just near the Zeplin pub in Moda.

The markets are great as long as you don’t take offence to being hassled to purchase.

I started this update in March when I went and it’s a couple of months ago now so the memory is a bit fuzzy, except to say visiting the Mosques and the Palace are not to be missed and are fantastic. The food was also great.

Istanbul is a wonderful place for a short or long break, hopefully I’ll be back at some point, I’ve certainly recommended it to all my friends.

Lakenheath, United...
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45. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)


Such wonderful information here. I have a quick question and I am hoping to get some help from all of you with more experience. We are a family of 4; 2 adults, 2 kids (ages 8 & 11). We traveling to Istanbul and Kusadasi with a cruise. We will have limited time in each.

We were thinking of doing Istanbul independently and getting a tour for Ephesus (they would pick us up at the port). We are pretty independent travelers but have not been to Turkey before and want to make good use of our time. That said, we like to enjoy our time and do not feel we have to see it all (we could come back another time). We have quotes from tour companies but need to get back to them. Any ideas, suggestions?

Thank you in advance for your help!


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46. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

We had an excellent tour from our cruise ship stop in Kusadasi with Ephesus Deluxe, focused, at my request, on Ephesus and the do-not-miss Terrace Houses. I highy recommend this tour company. For Istanbul, it is easy to do on your own from your cruise ship because the modern tram runs from right outside the port gates to Sultanahmet Square, which within an easy 10-minute walk you can find Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofia, Hippodrome, and Basilica Cisterns.

BTW, you should post a new thread for your questions. This thread is for trip reports.

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47. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

Three of us ladies are thinking about a trip to Turkey starting in Istanbul. Mid October for 10 days.

Of course we are concerned about safety, anyone out there with some ideas for us.

Lakenheath, United...
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48. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

Thank you! I will do that :-)

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49. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

Mine is here tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k7657… - this is a work in progress, though :)

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50. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Istanbul)

My trip report with kids. This trip was in March


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