My boyfriend and I (mid-30's) are planning our first trip to Istanbul for the last week of August (23-31). I've read a number of threads here that recommend giving the city at least 4 days, but recommending 6.
While I have no doubt that there is a lot to see and do in Istanbul, I worry a little about being bored after about 3-4 days. We're both avid walkers so I think we'll cover a lot of ground and attractions quickly, and I'd like to schedule a day trip, or 3 but, the usual spots that people have recommended (Antalya, Cappadocia, Ephesus, etc.) seem far from Istanbul, requiring either a flight or an overnight bus ride.
I love arts and crafts (handmade wares in general) and would love to see a great market or even a museum that has great period pieces. My boyfriend is a history buff and would love to see ancient ruins or any of the sites that relate to mythic tales.
Can anyone recommend areas/sites close to Istanbul for daytrips and if possible what methods of transportation we would use to get to these places?
We're open to taking the ferry as well.
Thank you in advance!