We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

Lahore, Pakistan
5 posts
Save Topic
Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

Dear All,

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.)

Regards,

Tipu

Mentioned in this post
Turkey
Turkey
Europe
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
28,509 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Sofia
Sofia
Sofia Region, Bulgaria
Hotel Topkapi
Hotel Topkapi
43 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Ataturk Airport
Ataturk Airport
Istanbul, Turkey
Izmir
Izmir
Izmir Province, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
18 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

hi,

I recommend that you read the below linked topic first. There was a similar question about Istanbul honeymoon, I replied with itinerary and daily program. It will reply most of your questions. If you have further questions i ll try to answer them

About hotels, as a local i must say that stay away from hotels in Sultanahmet area. They mostly are tourist oriented. If you can afford 4-5 star hotels, I'd say check hotels in Besiktas or Ortakoy area. Swiss, Radisson, Conrad, Renaissance, Plaza, Point are good hotels with Bosphorus view.

5-6 days is good for a must see tour in Istanbul, but if you stay longer you may enjoy it more.

Izmir and Capadocia are both far from Istanbul. Izmir is in the west coast of Anatolia, Capadocia is in the middle of Anatolia. If you want to visit Capadocia only for baloon ride, you need 2days. The tours are early morning, and i am not sure if they do it on bad weather.

tripadvisor.com/…53652262

Mentioned in this post
Besiktas
Besiktas
205 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Ortakoy
Ortakoy
1,504 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Bosphorus Tours Istanbul
Bosphorus Tours Istanbul
73 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Izmir
Izmir
Izmir Province, Turkey
Lahore, Pakistan
5 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

Thank you glondus for excellent insight. I have bookmarked your post as well as Engima's to my existing Turkey folder :). About Hotels, you said to stay away from Sultan Ahmed area. Initially i was thinking to stay in Sultan Ahmed because of its proximity to all the major sites. I was going through the Trip Advisor reviews about Top Hotels in Istanbul and many of them are in Sultan ahmed area. As it is January wouldn't it be an off peak season. If it is not recommended for a couple on honeymoon then I shall consider other options.

Mentioned in this post
Turkey
Turkey
Europe
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
4,017 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

Hi Tipu,

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Istanbul is an excellent choice to spend your honeymoon in.

Here are my suggestions for you to increase the number of romantic moments you spend with your spouse while visiting:

1. A brunch at MüzedeChanga in the gardens of Sabancı Museum: changa-istanbul.com/v2/muzedechangamain.asp

2. A broadway show at ZorluCenter http://www.zorlucenterpsm.com/en/event-calendar/?d=&m=&y=&date=Select+Date&mekan=1&etkinlikTuru=&ARA=SEARCH

3. A dinner at Mikla on Istiklal Street http://www.miklarestaurant.com/en

4. Hightea at Pera Palas Hotel theguideistanbul.com/spots/…

5. An modern art tour in Istanbul Modern http://www.istanbulmodern.org/en

6. A sahlep break in Ortaköy istanbeautiful.com/squares-in-istanbul/…

7. A culinary walk http://istanbuleats.com/walks-2/

8. Relax in a hamam http://www.ayasofyahamami.com/

Be excited,

Borus

Mentioned in this post
Mikla Restaurant
Mikla Restaurant
1,603 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Istiklal Street
Istiklal Street
4,447 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul Modern
Istanbul Modern
389 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
40,044 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

Traveler, I suggest Sirkeci or Sultanahmet hotels for you. There are some excellent hotels in this area. I suggest hotels like Sirkeci Konak or Neorion hotels, which are excellent 4 star hotels and popular with forum members. Have a look at their reviews: "tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293974-d654651…", and "tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293974-d215811…".

I suggest that you visit Archeological Museum and if open by then, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, if it is open by then. Suleymaniye Mosque is a must see also. I also suggest avisit to Kadikoy, the Asian side. Have a look: "tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k1844…", and "tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k7012…".

I suggest (4+1) days at Istanbul and 3 days in the wonderful Cappadocia. Cappadocia will be cold and perhaps snowy but it will be a great change for you, since you are on a honeymoon. If you do not want to go there, you can spend all your days in Istanbul. You will never have enough days for Istanbul.

You can take a 1 day guided tour and also a balloon flight in Cappadocia (depenGrand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and depending on weather). The rest you can do on your own.

Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Arasta Bazaar, Taya Hatun street at Gulhane tram stop, the rest of Sultanahmet are all shoppers heaven. I suggest Tuncer's Gift Shop and Ceres Gift Shop on Taya Hatun street.

Finally for restaurants, I suggest "www.sirkecirestaurants.com".

good luck,

enigma...

Mentioned in this post
Konak Hotel
Konak Hotel
436 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Neorion Hotel
Neorion Hotel
3,096 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Arts Hotel Istanbul
Arts Hotel Istanbul
147 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Suleymaniye Mosque
Suleymaniye Mosque
9,310 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Spice Bazaar
Spice Bazaar
1,401 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Arasta Bazaar
Arasta Bazaar
642 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Gulhane Park
Gulhane Park
2,705 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Lahore, Pakistan
5 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

Thank you for the wishes Borus, we are really excited about Istanbul and Turkey. Your list will be very helpful. I was also thinking about making some day trips to Bursa and surroundings of Istanbul but it seems there is so much to explore in Istanbul that 9 days are not enough.

Engima, I have learned a lot from your previous posts and the master thread about Turkey. Thank you for your input, to observe Cappadocia's landscape from above is an exciting idea and definitely an experience which one encounters rarely. I am thinking of spending day 6 and 7 there and then come back to Istanbul for last stretch of 2 more days.

Reviews about Neo Orion Hotel are excellent, but I was thinking to spend not more than 100$ per night, not sure if I will get a bargain from a 4/5**** hotel. I am hoping to get a better deal because it will be off peak season.

Another question, how much cash should we carry ideally? I know hotels will accept credit cards but for misc. expenses such as transport charges, roadside snacks, some shopping, etc. my idea is about 500 - 700 TL, let me know if that would be sufficient.

Regards,

Tipu

Mentioned in this post
Turkey
Turkey
Europe
Bursa
Bursa
Bursa Province, Turkey
Aberdeen, Scotland
Destination Expert
for Aberdeen
Level Contributor
7,229 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

I don't know what kind of dollars you are talking about- Could be US, Canadian...... Tell us your hotel budget in Turkish lira or even euros if you want recommendations you can afford. Hotels in Istanbul are expensive! though winter rates are a little lower. Enter your dates in a hotel booking website such as www.booking.com and you will soon see level of accommodation is appropriate for your budget.

Alll touristic sights are open year round so you will not be limited in that respect.

You do not have enough time to enjoy Istanbul, Izmir and Cappadocia. Choose two locations max and you could easily fill all 8 days in Istanbul so I wouldn't worry about Bursa, etc either this time.

Cappadocia merits at least 3 - 4 days. Balloons fly around 5.30am so you will have to allow a very minimum of 2days,1 night.

Budget for daily expenses is hard to predict as it depends a lot on what standard of dining you will expect and what you plan to spend on shopping. Are you also including transfers and flights between your destination, cost of admission to the sights, balloon ride, etc?

Mentioned in this post
Izmir
Izmir
Izmir Province, Turkey
Bursa
Bursa
Bursa Province, Turkey
Huntington, New York
Level Contributor
100 posts
160 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

Just got back from 9 nights in Istanbul and 4 nights in Cappadocia.

Stay in Goreme in Cappadocia and here is an amazing hotel we just stayed at for 2 of the 4 days. It's pretty much brand new and the prices were amazing. It is definitely one of the top 2 hotels I've stayed at other than the Peninsula in Chicago. Do 3 nights there because you need to factor in weather and ballooning and weather and ballooning maybe getting postponed to weather ( balloons didn't fly 2 out of the 4 days we were there but our day was fine )

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g297983-d358177…

Mentioned in this post
Goreme
Goreme
Cappadocia, Turkey
Lahore, Pakistan
5 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

@heidotheroad: Thank you for your input, I am referring to US$. I have a budget of 5000 US$ equivalent to 10,000 TL, all inclusive (Tickets, hotels, Ballooning, etc). I don't want to spend more than 2000 TL for hotels. I am flexible with my budget but I think 10,000 TL for 9 days should be sufficient. I don't want to go overboard.

@MJMaher, Thank you for the excellent suggestion, I just checked Ottoman Cave Suites Hotel, their rates are very reasonable and reviews are excellent. I have bookmarked the link. May I ask where did you stay in Istanbul?

Regards

Mentioned in this post
Huntington, New York
Level Contributor
100 posts
160 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

We stayed at 2 different hotels in Istanbul. The first was Celal Sultan in Sutanahmet. Great boutique type hotel maybe 2 blocks from the Blue Mosque and a block from basilica cistern.

2nd hotel we stayed at was Golden City Hotel. On the other side of the river ( european side ).

Nice hotel more of a budget option. Hotel room size average. Amazing staff and the most amazing water views from the top floor over the water and old city. Kind of desolate area at night but we loved it also. At Golden City I think all rooms have direct water view. Maybe 5th and 6th floor also

If you end up looking at Golden City for part of your stay I'll give you the managers name to ask for when booking or to ask questions of

Mentioned in this post
Celal Sultan Hotel
Celal Sultan Hotel
807 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
28,509 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul Golden City Hotel
Istanbul Golden City...
868 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Lahore, Pakistan
5 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Honeymoon in January 2014 - Advice requested

@MJMaher: Celal Sultan has some good reviews, I shall consider both options.Thanks again !!!

Edited: 04 December 2013, 05:41
Mentioned in this post
Celal Sultan Hotel
Celal Sultan Hotel
807 Reviews
Istanbul, Turkey