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Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

Dallas, Texas
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Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

We are a 3 generation family of 6, 4 adults and 2 kids 4 & 8 yrs.

Visiting Istanbul for one day in July.

Arriving IST airport at 10:45PM Friday and depart at 10:15PM Saturday. So that gives us one full day.

What is the best way to plan or this trip?

1. Hotel Option:

Do we stay near airport or Stay at city center near atttractions?

Airport hotel allows to go to hotel quickly after arrival and get some rest. Next morning checkout but leave the luggage at hotel baggage area. Do they allow this? Then go to city, see the attractions, pick up the luggage from hotel on the way back to airport.

Staying city center if the attractions are walkable or small ride away? If city center is advised, recommended area for hotel?

2. Transportation: Do we pick point to point taxi from street or is it advisable to get a private tour? I would like to be budget concious but if this is worth spending money, I can go that route. Also, if we go with private tour, can we have hotel pick up, tour and airport drop off and even keep the luggage in the car.

3. Are there taxis accomidating 6 people or do we need two cars?

4. I am not sure about traffic, lines at atttractions. So what are the top attractions that we should cover?

5. My kids got excited when they learn that the city spans to two contients. They would be excited to cross the contient on the road. What is the best way to do this?

Tallinn, Estonia
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1. Re: Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

1. From airport to Sultanahmet (area where all main attractions are) is about 30-40 minutes by taxi. I think it's better to stay there and not near airport but that's my opinion.

2. You dont need any tour or tourguide. All main attractions are almost next to each other so no tranpsort needed.

3. You need 2 cars. It might be cheaper for you to book private transfer from airport to hotel if you decide to stay in Sultanahmet.

4. I think you can cover in one day Hagia Sophia (1-2 hours), Blue Mosque and surroundings (2 hours), Basilica Cistern (1-1,5 hour), Grand Bazaar (depends if you want to see it or shop there). Topkapi may be too much as it takes usually 2-3 hours.

5. Take ferry from Eminönu to Kadikoy or Uskudar and back. I think Ferry is best way to do this. Or you can do one way from or to Uskudar under water with Marmary train. Traffic in Istanbul is crazy and with taxi you will spend sooooo much time and money.

Edited: 29 April 2014, 21:19
London, United...
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2. Re: Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

Where you want to stay is up to you. If you stay around the airport, you don't need to carry it around.

It is better for you to arrange a car service. It would be around 20 Euro one way. You can find many by serarching on the web. Many companies operate minivans so 6 can fit in a car.

You should buy museum pass so rant you can use fast track line without lining up. The pass allows you to enter Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, etc. Blue Mosque is nearby these two.

On point 6, I agree with 8kats. Taking commuting ferry is the best and cheapest way to achieve this, however, it might be bit ambitious to do everything in a day with a big group.

Tallinn, Estonia
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3. Re: Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

For me staying in Sultanahmet seems better option. If you stay near airport you will first use taxi to get to hotel. Next day you will need to make your way to Sultanahmet. As you leave your luggage to hotel probably you need to go back there and again to airport. Staying in Sultanahmet saves you some time.

Once I used this car service: http://www.istanbulairportexpress.com/ For minivan it should be 40 EUR per car to Sultanahmet.

I dont agree with buying Museum Pass. You will lose money. Better buy Hagia Sophia or Topkapi tickets in advance if you want to visit these.

London, United...
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4. Re: Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

Not sure why 8kats disagrees but museum Pas will save their time. Unless you want to wast time waiting on long line in one day trip. OP plans in July and the line can be long enough to disturb their trip.

Buying separate tickets cost 75 TL (Sofia, Topkapi + Harem) against 85 TL. By paying 10 TL extra, OP can enjoy stress free museum visits.

Also please remember to bring IDs for kids. Children under 12 are free but often museums insist IDs.

Tallinn, Estonia
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5. Re: Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

I dont think it's possible to visit Topkapi, Hagia, Basilica and Blue Mosque in one day. Also make a short trip to Asian side. And all this has to be done latest 19:00 to get in airpot on time.

It's really running from one place to another. With kids I would skip Topkapi or Hagia. Basilica is something kids could actually enjoy.

Normadroaming, when they really plan to visit both - Topkapi and Hagia, then 10TL is not much. Just I can't imagine this running from one place to another with kinds.

London, United...
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6. Re: Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

As aforementioned, it is too ambitious to do everything OP wishes but something has to be cut short in order to fit into their time frame of course.

Istanbul, Turkey
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7. Re: Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

@ 8kats Thank you for recommend Istanbul Airport Express.

P.S. we revised our transfer costs early in January

Ataturk Airport to Sultanahmet : 20 Euros total. ( 1-4 passengers )

Ataturk airport to Sultanahmet : 25 Euros total. ( 5-7 passengers)

http://www.istanbulairporttaxis.com , http://www.istanbulairportexpress.com

8. Re: Istanbul 1 day 6 people planning help needed

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