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Istanbul basics

Istanbul basics

Old Dec 29, 10, 10:53 am
  #1  
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Istanbul basics

I am travelling to IST for the first time in Feb. Just wondering about the logistical basics...specifically buying things like snacks, beer, soda that you would in a convenience store in US. Are there readily available stores selling these items? I am staying in Old City (Crowne Plaza), it states it is conveniently located to shopping, but I don't really want to shop, just to maybe get a six-pack and a sandwich! Thanks.....
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Old Dec 29, 10, 11:21 am
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You'll have no problem finding places that sell what you describe as "basics."
In February, make sure you bring your umbrella.
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Old Dec 29, 10, 3:00 pm
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All the sorts of things that you mention are readily available at supermarkets and at what we would have once called "corner stores" (which are more plentiful than supermarkets in the old part of town).

As noted above, in February it could be well wet and it might be surprisingly cold, so take appropriate clothing. Enjoy it, though: it's a great city, one of the greatest.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 3:45 pm
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Restaurant recommendations (and a few other questions)

I too am heading to IST for the first time - this coming weekend, with a friend.

We would be grateful for recommendations about restaurants which FTers have positive experience of - and also for a couple of other bit of information.

What is the best (price v convenience trade-off!) way to get from Airport to old town? Our hotel is in Eminönü - do we need to get a taxi, or is there a better way of travelling?

We will arrive (all being well) at about 2200 on Thursday evening.

We have the transfers to and fro to think of - but also meals for Friday and Saturday nights.

Any other top tips?!

Thanks in advance.

bmiG
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Old Jan 4, 11, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by bmi Gold View Post
I too am heading to IST for the first time - this coming weekend, with a friend.

We would be grateful for recommendations about restaurants which FTers have positive experience of - and also for a couple of other bit of information.

What is the best (price v convenience trade-off!) way to get from Airport to old town? Our hotel is in Eminönü - do we need to get a taxi, or is there a better way of travelling?
Metro+tram. Requires one transfer two tokens (one to be bought at each station), cheap AND convenient. Here's a map. You're going to use M1 from Havalimani and transfer onto T1 at Zeytinburnu. Eminönü is right on T1, a few stops after you pass the Blue Mosque and other old city sights.

As far as restaurants -- try to get away from the tourist crowds for cheaper prices, better service and food. I'm no expert on IST, but I remember finding a few places (I wouldn't be able to describe how to get there) which were excellent.

Istanbul is a city for all senses, so try to think outside the box and enjoy it!

Last edited by Palal; Jan 4, 11 at 12:34 pm
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Old Jan 4, 11, 2:09 pm
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Hello bmi Gold,

I am in Istanbul now..... there are a couple of ways that I know of.... I did not know about the M1 transfer...

1. take a taxi.... should run around $40 US

2. Take a Hava shuttle to Taksim Square and from there take a taxi. Not quire sure what the cost is... taxi is around $10 US...

For two people, I'd say take the taxi... $40??? c'mon..... sorry....



david

Last edited by DavidHatt; Jan 4, 11 at 2:18 pm Reason: put in prices
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Old Jan 4, 11, 3:29 pm
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Also going to IST - any idea on prices?

I was also consider going there and just hanging out in the city for about 4/5 days. FLights are very cheap. Can anyone give any advice on how much general costs are? ie meals, drinks etc....

I dont want to go to the main areas where it will be $90 for a bottle of coke, Im talking about going to the back street resturants etc

Any advice would be great.

Cheers ^
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Old Jan 4, 11, 9:11 pm
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Two years ago a döner at a market could be had for ~5 lira IIRC. At a non-touristy restaurant, you could have a great dinner for ~15 lira.

Istanbul Metro - 1.75 lira per ride: US$1.60 to get into the center with one transfer (which, btw, is quite easy)
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Old Jan 5, 11, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Metro+tram. Requires one transfer two tokens (one to be bought at each station), cheap AND convenient.

Istanbul is a city for all senses, so try to think outside the box and enjoy it!
Thanks for this and the other suggestions - we will probably take a cab tomorrow night (won't land until 2200 and then have immigration to face, so probably will just want to get to hotel!) but will do the metro for the return journey on Sunday I think...

Thanks all.
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Old Jan 7, 11, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by bmi Gold View Post
Thanks for this and the other suggestions - we will probably take a cab tomorrow night (won't land until 2200 and then have immigration to face, so probably will just want to get to hotel!) but will do the metro for the return journey on Sunday I think...

Thanks all.
Speaking of immigration, is anything needed other than $20 US and your passport? I thought I read somewhere that you needed a photo, do you?
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Old Jan 7, 11, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by cdepks View Post
Speaking of immigration, is anything needed other than $20 US and your passport? I thought I read somewhere that you needed a photo, do you?
No, I don't believe so. Certainly you didn't need a separate photograph when I was last there in mid-2010.
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Old Jan 8, 11, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by cdepks View Post
Speaking of immigration, is anything needed other than $20 US and your passport? I thought I read somewhere that you needed a photo, do you?
Just went through the immigration at IST, only need the fee ($20 US) for the entrance visa. Apparently they also accept credit card.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 4:31 am
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Metro+tram. Requires one transfer two tokens (one to be bought at each station), cheap AND convenient. Here's a map. You're going to use M1 from Havalimani and transfer onto T1 at Zeytinburnu.
Thanks very much!

Really helpful info - we did use the metro and tram - I certainly agree it is both convenient and cheap!

Really helpful information - Just what FT is all about.
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Old Jan 18, 11, 9:26 am
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IST and Istanbul Experience

My wife and I visited Istanbul back in November 2009. We started our 12 day honeymoon crusie through the mediterranean. We flew from MSY to JFK to FRA to IST and the experience at IST was wonderful. I knew that I was going to have to obtain a Turkish visa at the airport and i wanted to try to do everything in advance before begining our journey. The Turkish consulate wanted $90 USD to complete the transaction and I found out through airliners.net that it was a $20 USD transaction. Once we arrived at IST it was a two minute line and we handed the employeee $40 USD and he gave us two cool visa stamps in our passport. We stayed at the Swisshotel on the bosphorus which was incredible as they upgraded us to a full panoramic window view. The markets and corner stores are convenient but it really depends where you stay in Istanbul. If you stay on one of the islands closer to the blue mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Bazaar there are more tourists prevalent. If you stay closer to the Bosphorus bridge you seem to get out of that area. Topkapi Palace is an incredible thing to see. Istanbul was very cold and wet when we went in November. It is truely a place where east meets west and a blend of multiple cultures. I hope you have a wonderful experience there as my wife and I sure did.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by tluehr1 View Post
My wife and I visited Istanbul back in November 2009. We started our 12 day honeymoon crusie through the mediterranean. We flew from MSY to JFK to FRA to IST and the experience at IST was wonderful. I knew that I was going to have to obtain a Turkish visa at the airport and i wanted to try to do everything in advance before begining our journey. The Turkish consulate wanted $90 USD to complete the transaction and I found out through airliners.net that it was a $20 USD transaction. Once we arrived at IST it was a two minute line and we handed the employeee $40 USD and he gave us two cool visa stamps in our passport. We stayed at the Swisshotel on the bosphorus which was incredible as they upgraded us to a full panoramic window view. The markets and corner stores are convenient but it really depends where you stay in Istanbul. If you stay on one of the islands closer to the blue mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Bazaar there are more tourists prevalent. If you stay closer to the Bosphorus bridge you seem to get out of that area. Topkapi Palace is an incredible thing to see. Istanbul was very cold and wet when we went in November. It is truely a place where east meets west and a blend of multiple cultures. I hope you have a wonderful experience there as my wife and I sure did.
Thanks for all the evaluable info. I plan on staying in Olde City (Crowne Plaza), just seemed like a convenient spot reasonably priced. Nice to know the visa issue is not an issue.
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