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Old May 16, 12, 12:09 pm   #1
 
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Visiting Istanbul

Will be going back to Milan from LAX and I am thinking of connecting, this time through Istanbul via Turkish Airlines. Don't know anything about Istanbul. Is this a nice English-tourist friendly place to visit? Any opinions on Turkish Airlines?

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Old May 16, 12, 12:46 pm   #2
 
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Well, I'd say that Istanbul is one of the great cities of the world – up there with London and Paris. There is enough to keep the visitor busy for months, and certainly the city will repay a few days.

Is it tourist-friendly? I have always found it so: it is a huge city (18 million people or so) and consequently it can be a bit anonymous. It is (as you know) on the edge of Europe and Asia, with part of the city in one continent and part in another, and it truly is as if the worlds of those two continents have met there. As someone seeking "English-tourist friendliness" you will be able to make excursions into the somewhat exotic but retreat happily to the safety of a European city as well.

My only experiences of Turkish Airlines have been between London and Istanbul and some internal flights within Turkey. I have never had any reason to complain, and the food is very good, even on short internal flights (and much better on the cross-Europe flight than any other European airline I have flown with recently for flights of similar length).

But beware, you might not be able to stop at one visit: as someone said, "Istanbul has a way of calling back those whom she chooses."

Last edited by Christopher; May 16, 12 at 1:14 pm..
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Old May 16, 12, 12:59 pm   #3
 
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Istanbul is one of the world's great cities, with history around every corner. People are friendly and many have some English.

Turkish Airlines is ok, nothing exceptional but certainly competent.
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Old May 19, 12, 4:57 pm   #4
 
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TK, okayish airline, nothing terrible or extraordinary to report.

If you have not been to Istanbul, I'd recommend spending a few days in the city. The city does have unique cultural and historic sights. English is widely spoken, just budget timewise for long lines/crowds at tourist sights.
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Old May 21, 12, 2:21 pm   #5
 
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I did two trips to Istanbul last fall when the deals were plentiful. The non-stop to/from LAX-IST is great. New 777 and I was able to buy-up to premium economy at the airport (if that's available, I'd highly recommend it).

IST is a nice airport and if you have access to the Turkish airline lounge, go for it!

Istanbul itself is interesting and worth a visit.
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Old May 28, 12, 9:50 am   #6
 
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Rather than starting a new thread, just wanted to jump quickly off this recent one (if the OP doesn't mind). My wife and I will be in Paris next spring for a week and wanted to head from there over to Istanbul as we've never experienced that area before.

She would like to end our vacation with a laid-back, beach-type of experience. After spending 4-5 days bustling around Istanbul (certainly not enough, I know), does anyone have suggestions of a nice beach-type atmosphere to head towards that's easily reachable within a few hours?

Ideally we'd be able to get there from Istanbul and spend another 3-4 days taking in scenery, strolling, relaxing on the beach, etc. I've heard of the Princes' Islands, but wasn't sure if that really fit the bill or was worth several days.

Any help is much appreciated!
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Old May 29, 12, 6:37 am   #7
 
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stay in old town, not a high end hotel over in nowhere. walk a lot. learn the turkish word for "NO" (hayir) you will use it about 100 times a day. the food in not spectacular.
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Old May 29, 12, 10:10 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
the food in not spectacular.
Do you think not? I think the cuisine is outstanding in Istanbul. If you like fish, try one of the restaurants on the waterfront of the Bosphorus in suburbs like Yeniköy and Bebek. If not, Hamdi (near Eminönü) is a popular restaurant: reserve a table and ask for one on the top floor, and enjoy the splendid views too.
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Old May 30, 12, 12:58 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaitrucci View Post

Ideally we'd be able to get there from Istanbul and spend another 3-4 days taking in scenery, strolling, relaxing on the beach, etc. I've heard of the Princes' Islands, but wasn't sure if that really fit the bill or was worth several days.
I've found the beaches close to Istanbul to be a bit too urban for anything but an afternoons cooling off. The Princes' islands are nice, but not quite what you seem to seek. Hop a quick and cheap flight on Pegasus or Sun Express down to Dalaman or Antalya. Some of the beaches there are amazing. Check out Oludeniz, Patara, Kabak, or Cirali among others.
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Old May 30, 12, 7:01 pm   #10
 
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i am also from lax and looking at turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by ente_09 View Post
Will be going back to Milan from LAX and I am thinking of connecting, this time through Istanbul via Turkish Airlines. Don't know anything about Istanbul. Is this a nice English-tourist friendly place to visit? Any opinions on Turkish Airlines?

Sent from my iPhone
i saw the old town could be of interest....sultananmet.....not sure.....i think its good culture for couples.....i saw flight that this was layover....would really like 3 days here
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Old May 31, 12, 2:03 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaitrucci View Post
Rather than starting a new thread, just wanted to jump quickly off this recent one (if the OP doesn't mind). My wife and I will be in Paris next spring for a week and wanted to head from there over to Istanbul as we've never experienced that area before.

She would like to end our vacation with a laid-back, beach-type of experience. After spending 4-5 days bustling around Istanbul (certainly not enough, I know), does anyone have suggestions of a nice beach-type atmosphere to head towards that's easily reachable within a few hours?

Ideally we'd be able to get there from Istanbul and spend another 3-4 days taking in scenery, strolling, relaxing on the beach, etc. I've heard of the Princes' Islands, but wasn't sure if that really fit the bill or was worth several days.

Any help is much appreciated!
Take a flight to Bodrum (1 hr flight) which is a nice coast city where aegean and mediterranean comes together. You'll thank me.
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Old Jun 4, 12, 11:17 am   #12
 
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Any problem with Visa on arrival?

I am going in November. Any known problems with just getting visa on arrival? Will Delta deny me boarding without the visa? I am us citizen.
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Old Jun 4, 12, 11:27 am   #13
 
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Just found another thread on this. Sounds like no problem to get visa on arrival at IST.
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Old Jun 9, 12, 8:23 am   #14
 
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I am planning a trip to Turkey this fall, after the tourists have gone and the weather is cooler. As a noob, I think that 6 nights in Istanbul will be a good opener for me. I'd definitely like to go back and tour Anatolia to see the ancient ruins, especially Mount Nemrut.

That said, when is the best time to book? I've been checking airfares for weeks now, and they mostly seem to hover around $750 r/t. I think I can do better.

Another question: Is it worthwhile staying on the Asia said of the city? Most of the hotels are in Beyazit on the European side. Also, my budget only allows for a 3-star hotel. Any warnings/recommendations for me?
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Old Jun 11, 12, 3:30 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingpanties View Post
I am planning a trip to Turkey this fall, after the tourists have gone and the weather is cooler. As a noob, I think that 6 nights in Istanbul will be a good opener for me. I'd definitely like to go back and tour Anatolia to see the ancient ruins, especially Mount Nemrut.

That said, when is the best time to book? I've been checking airfares for weeks now, and they mostly seem to hover around $750 r/t. I think I can do better.

Another question: Is it worthwhile staying on the Asia said of the city? Most of the hotels are in Beyazit on the European side. Also, my budget only allows for a 3-star hotel. Any warnings/recommendations for me?
Six nights should be ideal. Can't help you with airfares but I'd stay on the European side in the old town where you are near many of the main sights and there are hotels to suit all budgets. Take a boat trip up the Bosphorus!
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