We are planning to travel to Turkey for our honeymoon in January 2014, we will be traveling around 09th till 17th of Jan. I am aware that January is one of the coldest month in Turkey and not much tourist activity takes place but that is the only month I got to get away on the honeymoon. I would like the input of esteemed members on below, keeping in view of my budget of 5K$ all inclusive.
1.) Istanbul - Accommodation - Prefer a 4/5 star within budget.
2.) Istanbul - Places to visit/Attractions in winter. (Except the regular attractions such as Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, Grand Bazar, Spice Bazar, Cistern, Topkapi, Dolamabache Palace. We are more into historical places, not much into night life but keeping our options open.)
3.) As it is our first time to visit Turkey and Istanbul, will 4 days be sufficient to explore Istanbul or should we dedicate all 8 days to IST.
4.) If we dedicate 4 days to Istanbul then I was thinking to spend 2 days to explore Izmir and surroundings and 1 day for Cappadocia's balloon ride. (Your ideas.)
5.) Would you suggest first timers to go on guided tours of Izmir and Cappadocia or is it better to explore on our own.
6.) Some shopping ideas/places. (Turkish souvenirs for family and friends.)