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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 ...


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

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. ...


9

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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

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.


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

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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.


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 ...


4

Yes, there are buses by the company "Metro Turizm" going from Batumi bus station to Istanbul Aksaray Otogar every day in the morning and in the evening. In the high season you should buy tickets a week or two beforehand. Though, there are other companies' buses having the same route but be careful NOT TO USE 'Golden Turizm' buses! They often sell fake ...


4

There are several bus companies, both Turkish and Georgian, which run buses from Batumi to Istanbul (all starting in Tbilisi to my knowledge). The offices in the Batumi bus station are all located next to one another, but there are also a couple more offices more centrally located (for example, at the corner of Chavchavzade and Gogebashvili). Either way, ...


4

There's a pretty little seaside village not far from Istanbul called Trilye (also known as Zeytinbağı) near the town of Mudanya, on the south shore of the Marmara Sea. Trilye is easier to get to than Abant or Sapanca if you are starting from Istanbul's Atatürk Airport. If you are flying to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, then the reverse is true. It's a good idea ...


4

Iran is the safest way in Middle East when you want to avoid Iraq, Syria and Israel. As I said in my answer to Quickest way from London to Dubai without flying?, there is a direct train from Istanbul to Tehran. From there, you can go to Bandar Busher by bus, then take a ferry to Dammam. Finally, you can take a bus to go to Mecca.



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