30

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 ...


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

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 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

Turkish Airlines has a web page detailing their transfer procedures. In your case: International transfer passengers flight routes issued on single ticket continuing to a foreign destination with Turkish Airlines Passengers disembark with only their cabin baggage and proceed directly to the boarding gates without any flight or passport procedures. ...


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

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 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

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 ...


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

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

İmam bayıldı (stuffed eggplant) and Bamya (lady’s fingers) should not be missed. "Okra is a very traditional food that is both healthy and very tasty at the same time: exactly what the discerning traveller is looking for! In Turkey they are a common crop and as is key in all Turkish cooking, the produce is fresh – in stark contrast to tinned okra which ...


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 ...


7

D&R Bookstores are located throughout Istanbul, and they generally stock Lonely Planet books in English - at least for the Istanbul and Turkey books. They also have stores at the airport (airside) that definitely stock the English versions, however if you are already in Istanbul then this likely won't help you. Unfortunately their website is in Turkish ...


6

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 ...


6

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 ...


6

No, you don't need local currency. Istanbul Atatürk is a massive transit airport (>50m passengers in 2013), and virtually all shops are more than happy to accept credit cards. Some will even take euros, but the exchange rate will not be in your favor.


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