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Bagdat St or Istikal St?

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Sydney, Australia
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Bagdat St or Istikal St?


I will be traveling with my family, 2A and 2C - 15 and 11 years touring Europe in Apr. I have been reading the forum and taking notes as I go along and it has helped me immensely with my itinerary. Will be a short trip of 3 1/2 days in Istanbul after London, Paris and Israel. Spending the 1st day in the old city, 2nd - day trip to Edirne, 3rd - short Bosphorus trip and nearby attractions. I need to know with my short time there, in your opinion where would you suggest to be better for a first timer - Bagdat or Istikal St, reckon we can only manage one place this time.

Resmen - I believe there will be no dramas with me buying baklavas back into Sydney?

Any bus company that I should look out for my day trip to Edirne and will I be able to buy return tickets at the Otagar in Istanbul itself?

Thank you.

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1. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

hi MSL2119,

Istiklal street is better for a traveller; crowded, always attractive and has more shops than bagdat street.

You can check www.metroturizm.com.tr/default.aspx?langid=2# for the bus tickets. You can buy return tickets before you leave.

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

Hi - I think a trip to Kadikoy without going to Bagdat would be a good idea. As you are on a short stay, the 20 minute ferry to Kadikoy can provide a good eating experience at Ciya restaurant and another walking the market streets around the restaurants can be done in a couple of hours. It would give you the opportunity to see Istanbul at it's best (from the water), have the excitement of the INTERCONTINENTAL ferry trip itself while attaining bragger's rights to say you were in both Europe and Asia!

A good plan, and one that would be fabulous especially for teenagers, would be to time your Kadikoy journey so that you can catch a stroll around the market, have an early evening meal, and catch the ferry back to see OldCity Istanbul in full splendor at sunset. The silhouette of lighted mosques stretching the horizons is memorable.

You will get back early enough to spend the night at Istiklal where people-watching and street munching are definitely part of that experience and should not be missed.


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3. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

Istiklal Caddesi, without a doubt -

Bagdat Cadessi has so many high end American & European stores, you'll pay the associated exorbitant prices. Can't you can buy many of the same garments at home for less?? What I love about Istiklal Cd. is that it has many stores plus bazaars, where you'll find handmade products at very good prices!

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

Hey MSL2119, I reckon with your limited time and as you'll most likely be around the old city on the European side stick to Istiklal rd. Having said that I really enjoy visiting around the Kadikoy/Uskudar districts on the Asian side as well. Maybe you can check out broader Istanbul hopefully on a longer visit.

Since your going to Edirne I'd say you may as well do Gallipoli as well but again probably best to do it next time so as to focus on Istanbul for this trip.

The quickest way to get from the old city to the European side (Uskudar) is via underground metro from Sirkeci. It gets you across in a matter of a few minutes beneath the Bosphorus. From Uskudar to Kadikoy is a further stop on the metro. Alternatively you can catch a ferry from Eminonu or Kabatas to Kadikoy.

I brought back a load of Turkish sweets, no issues. On your landing card indicate you have food and if anyone asks tell them it's Turkish delight.

For great baklava to bring back I'd recommend to get it from Karaköy Güllüoğlu, make sure to tell them you'll be taking it overseas and for them to pack it accordingly in air tight packaging. Walk or tram over the Galata Bridge to Karaköy, turn right walk along the waterfront and you'll come across this store in a matter of a few minutes.



For the best Turkish delight I'd recommend to get it from Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir. They have branches in Kadıköy, Eminönü & İstiklal rd. The one in Kadıköy is around the fish market, the one on İstiklal rd is on your left when coming from Taksim towards Galata and the one in Eminönü is just behind the Egyptian bazaar near the the Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi coffee shop which is literally just a hole in the wall where you give money and exchange it for desired amount of cofee (mehmetefendi.com/mehmetefendi/…i.html).


The double roasted pistachio and also double roasted pomegranate delights are delicious.

Metro turizm have hourly buses to and from Istanbul to Edirne. I did the same journey as a day trip a few weeks back. I caught the 0730 bus from Istanbul which got us in to Edirne at 1115 then caught the 1730 bus on return which got us in to Istanbul at 2015. I had a plane to catch that night to Izmir otherwise I would have returned later. I would have also caught an earlier bus from Istanbul but I took one of my cousins along and needed to give her time to meet up at the otogar.

In order to make the most and enjoy your day I'd recommend to catch the 0600 or 0630 bus from Istanbul (even earlier if possible) which will get you in to Edirne 0945-1015 then for your return you could hop on a 1900 bus and arrive Istanbul at 2145.

There are also other bus companies plying the route. I wanted to go with Kamil Koc or Ulusoy whom are a tad more upmarket but there office was too busy so went with Metro.

If you are staying in Sultanahmet like I did then you can catch the tram a few stops and get off at Capa Sehremini. A bit ahead on the left side of the road there are plenty of bus ticket offices. We bought ours from them. They also offer a free transfer service to the otogar however it left too early for our liking (0530 for a 0730 bus) so we made our own way to the otogar.

Kayakoy, Turkey
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5. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

Hello MSL2119!

That is a very short trip to İstanbul. And İ do think once you are there you will regret to make a trip to Edirne. You will see that 3,5 days is really not enough to see this wonderful city. You trip sounds like already pretty busy after visiting other cities in Europe. Personally if it is my first visit to İstanbul İ would stay in the city. You need already just one day to see Topkapı Palace and you can add possibly the underground cisterns and Aya Sophia. You need one day for Grand Bazar and Egyptian Bazar and absolutely pay a visit to Suleymaniye Mosque next to the Egyptian Bazaar. Of course visit the Blue Mosque as well!

Then you plan to have a ferry trip, either along the Bosphorus or you can visit the Princes islands. So it sounds like only half a day is left to go shopping. İf the weather is good walk along İstiklal Street, it is fabulous, very long and so mych to seee. Early in the morning you get a lovely "Paris s'éveille" feeling. Later in the day it gets very very busy. İ like Bağdat Caddesı too, but it is a bit of a trip t get there.

Suppose it rains then you could visit a mall. İstinye Park has a bit of everything, the highest end fashion to a lovely Bazaar.

İ always take baklavas home and honestly İ just buy it at the airport, there is a dry baklava that is so easy for traveling. But İ have bought just at a local pastry shops in Fethiye as well. I do not wish to kick against sacred houses but it is hard to find bad baklava in Turkey, there seems to be a hype about one particular, but do not worry to much if you cannot get there any other will do!

Enjoy your holiday!

Istanbul, Turkey
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6. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

Hi MSL2119,

3 1/2 days is too short to add another city to your itinerary. Istanbul is a huge city and there are loads of things to see and do here. It is also the most significant city when it comes to history, architecture and culture. Doing Edirne in such a short time in Turkey will make you lose your precious time getting from one city to another. I'd suggest you to omit Edirne and stick to Istanbul during your entire time in Turkey.

As to your question re Bagdat Str vs Istiklal Str, my answer would be Istiklal with the obvious reasons given by the previous posters.

Best of luck,


Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

Thank you everyone. This was exactly what I was looking for and more. My trip to Edirne is a continuation of my Baha'i pilgrimage to Haifa so it is a must for us.

Resmen - Thank you for all the specifics.

Looking forward to my trip.

Istikal St it will be!

Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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8. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

MSL, Metro Turizm Bus Company, "www.metroturizm.com.tr/OnlineBilet.aspx…", has a lot of buses to Edirne. You can take the 8.00 AM one and it will be there at 11.00 AM. And you can take the 7.00 PM bus from Edirne and back in Istanbul at 10.30 PM. Tickets cost 24 TL one way.

I think you should Istiklal street this time around because you have such a short stay in Istanbul. Have a look at my post No. 2 at the following thread: "tripadvisor.com/…35471623".

good luck,


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9. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

It will be really tiring to go to Edirne just for one day. I've done it and was exhausted. It is a nice city but I echo the other people in saying you should stay in Istanbul for all of your trip.

10. Re: Bagdat St or Istikal St?

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