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18

As you're traveling with Turkish Airlines and have a long layover, you can ask for a free tour of the city, hosted by Turkish Airlines. Here's some info: http://www.istanbulinhours.com/tour-schedule You should confirm this with the airline beforehand, as what's available depends on your schedule. Depending on the time and duration of your layover, you ...


17

Municpal bus 96T is probably the cheapest, at 3.00 lira (~$2 USD), but it takes very long (~1.5h at times) and is often packed. Havas bus is faster and costs 10 lira (~$6.50 USD). If you plan to use public transport a lot, buy the Akbil pass (saves a bit of money and you don't need to dig for coins all the time). The trip is also possible via metro, but ...


13

I asked my Turkish friends and here's what they had to say: although major cities do have water filtration plants and water is considered drinkable at the source, the quality of water pipes that supply it within a building or in specific localities might be suspect. You are, thus, better off not drinking tap water straight unless you're using it after ...


11

I live in Izmir and have travelled in Istanbul many times. Tap water all over Turkey including big cities is a hit-or-miss affair. It's not guaranteed to kill you, but it doesn't generally taste that good and drinking it is considered a bad idea just in case. Most cities try to treat it enough to make it non-dangerous, but that doesn't make it good water. ...


10

You should consult your country's travel advisories. All countries maintain such advisories, usually the state department is responsible for them. For example here is Canada's advisory on Turkey. Currently they are not advising against travel, just urging people to be cautious. Similarly the US advisory does not advice against travel but does admonish ...


10

From Wikitravel: Metro Turizm is a Turkish bus company that runs daily bus service to and from Istanbul in Turkey. Busses going from Plovdiv to Istanbul depart from Jug Station daily at 11:00, 14:00, 19:00, 22:30, and 1:00. The trip costs 40 YTL (as of the summer of 2011) and takes roughly 7 hours, depending upon the vagaries of traffic and the ...


9

There are three public transport options if you are trying to minimise costs. Take the direct bus between Atatürk airport and Taksim square. This bus is a double fare bus and can be slow. In the early hours of the morning, it can be very fast, however. I travelled from Taksim to the airport in about 20 minutes on this bus once. Take the metro to Aksaray ...


9

Web site of Istanbul city buses is IETT (in turkish). To the left, there is a form labelled "Hat Arama". Typing 83O in this form, then clicking on "Saat" button below gives timetable for this line. Copy/paste the (long) URL to Google translation gives first departure from Taksim at 6:50 AM.


8

Demonstrations take place at Taksim square, which is a very small part of the numerous sightseeing of Istanbul. The historic center should be safe. Moreover, if you plan to visit other places, you should see no demonstration at all, except in very localized spots in Ankara.


8

The primeclass CIP Lounge allows paid access for what appears to be 30 Euro. Access is also available via PriorityPass. It's a long time since I've been in that specific lounge, but I seem to remember that it was one of the nicer airport lounges I've visited. There is also a hotel which offers both airside and landside rooms. If you have the ability to go ...


8

Yes you have the right to have free accommodation in some conditions. According to the Turkish airlines website: Passengers have right to have free hotel accomodation only when there is more than 10 hours (7 or more hours for business class passengers) between two international connecting flights due to Turkish Airlines’ schedule structure for maximum ...


7

Unfortunately for someone trying to travel between Istanbul and Mecca, the Ottoman-era Baghdad and Hejaz (Damascus-Mecca) railways are no longer in operation. Even assuming you are Muslim and can legally visit the city of Mecca, an overland trip between Istanbul and Saudi Arabia is not practical at this time due to the civil war in Syria and instability in ...


7

First, it will not be "straight and easy": the Middle East is full of unstable countries, underdeveloped infrastructure, political and diplomatical issues between neighbor countries and bureaucracy. But it can be interesting to travel these routes and discover less-traveled places and meet locals nevertheless. From Europe to the Middle East The first part ...


7

I found a newspaper article about Istanbul countryside. This is: Ditching the guidebook to explore the green and pleasant lands around Istanbul. Excerpts: ... Just two hours away from the former capital of the Roman Empire, serene Lake Sapanca's welcoming 40km shoreline tempts picnicing travellers and boutique spa hotels make for a beautiful ...


7

According to Seat61.com, you can take the train from Sofia to Istanbul in a sleeping-car, leaving Sofia at 18:55 and arriving Istanbul at 07:50 next morning. Looking at a Bulgarian rail map, it would seem likely that the train would pass through Plovdiv, so it might be worth going to the station to ask. Otherwise you could always nip up to Sofia for the ...


7

Even though I still believe that using WiFi at the airport might be a better solution for your data needs you can a MiFi device from places like: Global WiFi Rental, which is available for pick up and return at the airport. And similar discussion on TripAdvisor. There is also Cell Hire in UK that also offers the MiFi Rental service.


7

Assuming your trip is very soon, Turkish Airlines flight 1889 departs Istanbul at 8:00 PM and arrives Vienna at 9:20 PM. From Vienna, you could rent a car and drive to Krakow (4.5 hours). Or, if you can get to Wien Westbahnhof by 10:12 pm, there is an overnight train (D 406) arriving Krakow at 6:36 AM.


7

Anybody travelling with Turkish Airlines can get a free tour of the city, including lunch and sometimes breakfast. Turkish Airlines can't arrange a visa for you, you must have the right to enter Turkey. Because the tours have fixed departure times, this will only work if you arrive in the morning in Istanbul. If no earlier connection was available, you can ...


6

After a lot of searching I found this on the Interrail website: http://www.interrailnet.com/news/train-updates/important-greece-train-update Travel between Turkey and Greece There are several bus services available between Istanbul and Thessaloniki. These aren’t covered by your InterRail pass. KTEL Bus: Thessaloniki – Istanbul Departs daily ...


6

Even inhabitants of Istanbul don't drink tapwater. Bottled water is sold everywhere, but buy 1.5L bottles, which are about the same price as 0.5L ones. Moreover, don't wash fruits or vegetables with tapwater if you intent to eat them without cooking.


6

Following my own advice from my answer to Is there an equivalent to “The Man in Seat Sixty-One” for bus travel?, I looked on the Lonely Planet page for Tbilisi: A minifleet of four or five buses run by different companies departs at noon for Istanbul (US$40, 27 hours) via the border at Sarpi, Hopa, Rize They leave from the second bus terminal: ...


6

As naive as it sounds, here is my shot: Take a taxi from the airport to the Bakırköy‎ (it's less then 10 km). From there take a ferry to Yenikapı‎ (first stop, Istanbul direction, it should be pretty fast) and then take a ferry to Bandırma, which would take about 1 hour 45 minutes. Here is the timetable for this last part. After arriving to Bandırma take ...


6

The other answers are really awesome. To me it looks a bit like all your asking is are you allowed to leave the airport on this layover? Given that you hold a passport which does not require a visa to enter Turkey You are basically a free person in Turkey, you are not being held in the airport etc, you can go where you like. There are no border ...


5

There will be plenty of buses each day to Bodrum. You will find one, so long as they aren't sold out, although Sunday night is unlikely to be the busiest of travel times to Bodrum. Most will be direct, but there will be some which have another final destination. When you arrive in Istanbul, look around for bus company offices in the district you are staying ...


5

30 euros is possible, but you'll have to search for it. Air conditioning and big windows are a bit specific, which means you'll simply have to search longer. Try http://www.hotelscombined.com/ for getting, often, the best rates on hotels. Try http://www.airbnb.com/ if you're ok with staying in someone spare bedroom, or garden bungalow. Typically, the ...


5

Demonstrations are nearly over in Turkey. Some demonstrations still happens, but for protesting the police who killed demonstrators. Since police do not interfere to the demonstrators due to previous police brutality events, nearly no clashes happen. You can also get information from local citizens about the protests since all are previously planned ...


5

You will need an hour with the public transportation, a taxi will do it in 30-40 minutes. VOA line in IST is long sometimes (last time it took 30 minutes for me). Your arrival times (3:40pm-7:35 pm or 2:45pm-6:50pm) is in the rush hours and even if you obtain visa in time and run to the mosque right away it will be time for Asr prayer (around 5:20 pm these ...


5

You can check all mobile wifi rental companies by yourself and see the list of companies offering the rental service in Turkey. As your travel plan suggests, buying a SIM card is not the best option to solve the connection problem. According to the new law of duties, cell phones from outside Turkey will be blocked between 7-10 days if they are not ...


5

You've got three sensible options: taxi, bus, or train. Taxis are taxis, and they're generally fine, although I've heard the occasional horror story; get a regular cab from the rank and use the meter, the fare should be 35-40 TL. Non-stop airport express buses are operated by Havataş, charging a flat fare of 10 TL. They serve a variety of places in the ...


5

According Turkish Airlines's transfer passenger procedures, for all passengers transferring between international flights, there is no passport procedure. This is consistent with the fact that nobody needs a transit visa for Turkey. If the connecting flights are both on Turkish Airlines, a codeshare or an allied (Star Alliance) airline, then you'll have ...



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