28

Local here. This place is called Büyük Valide Han. It's located in Mahmutpaşa, Fatih. Its roof has an amazing view. A lot of people want to take a selfie or jumping photos on the roof (thanks Instagram), so this place is usually crowded. You can see similar images if you search its name on Google Search.


19

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 ...


16

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. ...


16

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 ...


12

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 ...


12

With the exception of some hotels, some high-end (tourist-focused) retail, and many shops at the airport, the only currency used is Turkish Lira. Anywhere that does accept other currencies will do it at a relatively poor exchange rate, so even where it's possible, I wouldn't recommend it. However Money Changers are pretty much omnipresent in Istanbul - at ...


11

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 2 ...


11

I used Bahn.de to search for train journeys between Istanbul and Sofia. Starting in Istanbul there is a direct connection to Sofia. It leaves daily at 22:00 and arrives in Sofia at 9:10. The journey notes indicate that this is not a train that runs daily, but it is unclear when it runs. In the opposite direction, starting in Sofia, there is no direct ...


10

From Wikitravel: Metro Turizm is a Turkish bus company that runs daily bus service to and from Istanbul in Turkey. Buses 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 ...


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

An express bus operated by the Turkish railways connects the Sirkeci station of Istanbul to the Turkish railway border checkpoint at Kapikule - besides this, a Turkish train runs from the Istanbul suburb of Halkali to Kapikule, calling at Cerkezköy, Alpullu and Edirne en route. At Kapikule, after clearing immigration, you board a small Bulgarian train which ...


10

I have found an answer on CNN Türk. It seems that Lufthansa cancelled flights not only from Istanbul, but also from Ankara and Izmir due to low demand. In April 2017, Izmir-Munich flights restarted. According to Lufthansa Turkey General Manager Kemal Geçer, Istanbul-Munich and Ankara-Munich flights also will restart as soon as the demand recovers. Extra ...


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 and ...


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.


9

There is a booth at the arrival terminal of Istanbul Atatürk Airport. The company is called IUGO. They are renting WiFi modems, smartphones, tablets and GPS navigators. The service became available in June 2014. WiFi modems and smartphones cost 6EUR/day to rent. Here's a photo of the location (sourced from IUGO's official Twitter page):


9

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 ...


9

Looks like it is on Istiklal Avenue, one of Istanbul's most famous streets that starts from Taksim Square and goes towards the Galata tower. The exact place seems to be in front of a restaurant called Köfteci Ramiz. Google maps to the correct place


8

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 ...


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

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 there is! Witt Hotels has some excellent information on Istanbul, which I have personally used and recommend reading. I have not used the Istanbul tourist pass or Museum pass myself as I did not deem it worthwhile for myself and based on the 'attractions' I wanted to see. Istanbul Museum Pass Public Transport Istanbul Kart for public transport To ...


8

I was there in the last weeks, i can say that in no moment has the policed ever cared about me taking photographs as a tourist. I even carry my tripod around and have not had the smallest problem. I am not a local, but i have stayed in the city for a month in this time period. I carry my big reflex camera with a Canon bag.


8

The short answer is no you don't have to go through immigration. Considering that you will be travelling on a single ticket and your transit duration is less than 24 hours the following would apply International transfer passengers flight routes issued on single ticket continuing to a foreign destination with Turkish Airlines* Passengers ...


8

Turkish Airlines will provide a complimentary hotel if: You are an economy class passenger and the transit is more than 10 hours. OR you are a business class passenger and the transit is more than 7 hours. However, if another shorter connection is available then you cannot avail this complimentary offer. So if there is another flight going to your ...


8

No, you do not need a transit visa for either country. This assumes you have connecting flights on a single ticket from the same airport (Istanbul has three) and you don't need to recheck bags etc. Per Qatar Airways, anybody can transit through Doha, Qatar without a visa as long as they don't leave the airport. Turkey's transit visa policy is covered here:...


7

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.


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

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 day,...


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 ...


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