Tips/advice for Istanbul (Turkey)

11
Posted 13th Oct
I am off to Istanbul next week with the Mrs

If anyone has any advice:
Places to visit or avoid
Good places to eat
Things to do etc

Please comment below

P.s yes I know you can just watch YouTube videos but I’d rather listen to first hand experience from someone on here

Thanks
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In addition to the above comments - be very careful and follow any consular advice that may be forthcoming.

Turkey are now , in effect at war with the Kurds and there are many PKK cells active within Turkey who have targeted Istanbul tourist destinations many times in the past ..

Shouldn't be any problems (hopefully) but make sure you obey all instructions from Police and Paramilitaries immediately . They tend to be "heavy handed" at the best of times and the current situation will not have improved their mood .

Check out if there are any "No Go " areas and expect the main tourist areas to be heavily policed .
Edited by: "rogparki" 13th Oct
11 Comments
TripAdvisor - Istanbul Forum surely?

tripadvisor.co.uk/Sho…tml

HUKDers tend not to be very complementary of certain holiday destinations...
Edited by: "Gollywood" 13th Oct
Istanbul is great. I planned my trip using Lonely Planet, it will tell you the top tourist destinations and places to eat. I essentially followed that.

Uber is dirt cheap there, so use that to get around (Just add a fee-less card to your Uber account like Starling or Monzo). But beware the local taxi guys hate Uber and sometimes cause a stir when they see Uber drivers around. From the airport you can’t get an Uber, but after that for the rest of your trip it should be fine.
In addition to the above comments - be very careful and follow any consular advice that may be forthcoming.

Turkey are now , in effect at war with the Kurds and there are many PKK cells active within Turkey who have targeted Istanbul tourist destinations many times in the past ..

Shouldn't be any problems (hopefully) but make sure you obey all instructions from Police and Paramilitaries immediately . They tend to be "heavy handed" at the best of times and the current situation will not have improved their mood .

Check out if there are any "No Go " areas and expect the main tourist areas to be heavily policed .
Edited by: "rogparki" 13th Oct
Do not smuggle drugs or take some sniffing powders . They have a liking for you in Prison. "Midnight express" didnt do their Tourist Industry much good.

Sleep on your Back
Neighbour goes to turkey every year (for 22 years in a row now) and loves it. No problems, but it's much quieter than it used to be. Tourism is suffering and local asked why
Edited by: "wayners" 13th Oct
There are one or two dodgy restaurants about , price wise. We went in one that quoted £2 for a lunch time kebab. The bill in the end came to £30 for 2 of us with a beer, they'd charge extra for chilli sauce , salad ,etc. A kebab on the street was under £1 with all the trimmings. Incidentally this restaurant had a sign outside saying ' as recommended by Lonely Planet'. All the main tourist sites are well worth a visit. Take a water bus over to the Asian side for a meal too , a very enjoyable experience off the beaten track.
Lots of amazing mosques to see. Instead of paying entrance for each one , you can buy a pass that is much cheaper.
Don't pay for the full price for a cruise on the bosphorous , if you go to central square you will find touts selling cruises. Haggling will get you much cheaper than the advertised prices.
Food wise find a eaterie full of Turks. £5 will get you a very grand kebab.
Download Istanbul Google maps & use that to navigate
Simple don't go, why even fund a now despotic country !?
The situation has calmed following an attempted coup in July 2016. A state of emergency imposed after the coup attempt has been lifted, although some restrictions remain in place. See Political situation

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey. Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and far left organisations, continue to plan and carry out attacks. Further attacks could be indiscriminate. Most attacks have taken place in the south and east of the country, and in Ankara and Istanbul. While there is a potential that citizens from western countries may be targets or caught up in attacks, particularly in the major cities, attacks are most likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations. You should be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice. See Terrorism


My previous comment has not made it to this thread! ...hopefully not mods interference.
I went in summer 2018 and it was amazing.
Stayed 5 days at IST and 5 at Antalya. No issues what's so ever.
People and friend and nice.

One advice for any tourist places where a ticket is required I would advise to go straight after breakfast otherwise you'll be spending very long time queing. As tourist from surrounding location flood in.

Also get the tickets for Bosphrus (sp?) near the pier and not near the blue mosque vacinity as it's double the price.

We never used Uber but did use the tram it was cheap. Do lots of hammam as they are good and cheap.

Go to the Galata bridge and have a delicious fish sandwich.

Food is chips everywhere we ate was great.
Night time it was safe and calm, children and family roaming around.
Don’t worry about the comments here on terrorists and war etc... this is now happening everywhere!
So, 1-first thing, you’ll have to take a taxi from the airport, if the driver says the meter is not working or just quote you a price then he is trying to scam you. Meter MUST be working and don’t be afraid to push back to say meter or nothing. If he gets aggressive or intimidating then don’t worry about it, he’s simply barking...
2-whatever notes you have, make sure you take picture of them before you leave your place every morning, some people there have talents in swapping notes and claim you only have them a fiver instead of 50 liras, because you’re not familiar with the money in there it is very likely they will get away with it.
3- any issue you have in there, make sure you do threaten to involve the police and do so if you need to, people there are generally terrified of cops, they are ruthless especially when it comes to tourists and tourism protection.
4- saying the above, if you find yourself in an issue with a cop, just move on and forget about it, obey what they say, there is always a reason about what they say/decide
5- if you see something on the floor (wallet, money...etc) just ignore it and walk away, 99% of times it’s a scam (without going into details)
6- Turks and generally very helpful and approachable although they seem not to be at times, always ask people for help if you need to
7- food isn’t a problem, there is plenty to eat and everywhere at a very reasonable price.
8- always ask for a menu with prices if you dinning in and never take any alcohol recommendations, choose your own from the menu
9- plenty places to visit there, mosques, old city... etc
10- in the old city, plenty people will either invite you inside their restaurant or try sell you something, just smile to them, ignore them and walk away unless you want to buy something from them
11- on buying souvenirs there, make sure you haggle, the price is usually inflated by at least a double
12- tell the missus that the bags she sees are not authentic lol, doesn’t matter how the seller is trying to convince you that they are.... they are not, unless buying them from posh looking and well knowing branded shops.
13- when you are in crowded areas, make sure your belongings are secured in your pockets
14- you have to try the boat trip on the Bosphore
15- as someone mentioned above, just in case, do not try to buy, smuggle, look for drugs, the law there is extremely tough in these things, stay clear
16- cafes and restaurants usually offer free baklava after food or drinks, if they say it’s free then accept it if you want.
17- Turkey and Istanbul are absolutely awesome, I always love it when I go there, I’m sure you’ll like it, make the most out of it
Any specific question then feel free to ask
Edited by moderator: "blacklisted word deleted" 13th Oct
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