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Old 12-04-2012, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,003,355 times
Reputation: 6800

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Quote:
Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
I'm in Istanbul for 5 days and am couchsurfing while there.

What are some of the top things I need to do? What's a good (and inexpensive) turkish bath for a single guy? I know a few of the baths are for couples and whatnot.

My list thus far:

Blue Mosque
Grand Bazaar
Takism Square
Ortakoy (night life)
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) - $13
Istanbul Archaeology Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi) - $8
Church of St. Savior in Chora $6
Topkapı Palace $10
You have a good start.

Here's what I'm going to say about Topkapi. It was probably the most stunning "compound" I visited in Istanbul. Why? Pay the extra $15 to go into the Sultan's Harem. It's a 400+ room place where the walls are lined with royal blue tiles and there's gold fireplaces and mirrors everywhere. It also has a huge gold frame bed and the biggest couch you'll ever see.

There's a spice market right near the Grand Bazaar. Definitely go into that. Don't forget to go to the Hippodrome right outside of the Blue Mosque. There's another Bazaar near there called the Arasta Bazaar (outdoors) and is pretty cool.

I recommend going to Beyoglu district for nightlife too and Taksim Square. Go to Istiklal Avenue for sure.


For Turkish Baths (Hammams)...amazing. Really, amazing. I went to Gedikpasa in Fatih which was pretty decent. It's like $30 for the works and you'll feel like a newborn baby afterwards. If you want to splurge, then there's a stunning one next to the Aya Sofya called the...Aya Sofya Hammam. My friend went there and said it was good. The staff let me tour inside and it's pretty ridiculous. Gedikpasa has been operating since 1475 too, and Aya Sofya Hammam from around 1550.

http://www.gedikpasahamami.com/

I would also suggest taking a little cruise down the Bosphorous. Pretty cheap and it's pretty stunning. We stopped near the Black Sea to see Yoros Castle. It was a hike (steep hills), but cool and got to see the mouth of the Black Sea.

If you want to smoke a Hookah (nargile), then scope out this place called Erenler Nargile ve cay bahçesi a little south of the Grand Bazaar. A little hard to find, but basically go onto Ordu Cd to find it. I don't ever remember there being signs there, but it's almost like it's in a 17th century Mosque. From the street you can see the workers making the charcoal if you look in..it's kind of like a tunnel. Walk back and voila..tons of people. Open til 2am, pretty local. My suggestion is to buy a pack of kleenex from a little kid selling it on the streets. The toilets in this place are squat toilets with no toilet paper. Unless you want to use the thing of water and your hand, I highly recommend doing this. Most places are not like this, but you just never know..


Istanbul is an amazing city. Really ridiculous with the history and things to see. It is really easily one of the greatest cities on earth. People have no idea what they're missing.

Last edited by marothisu; 12-04-2012 at 09:04 PM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,093 posts, read 5,882,815 times
Reputation: 30347
OH I am so envious!

Hope you had a great time OP!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
You have a good start.

Here's what I'm going to say about Topkapi. It was probably the most stunning "compound" I visited in Istanbul. Why? Pay the extra $15 to go into the Sultan's Harem. It's a 400+ room place where the walls are lined with royal blue tiles and there's gold fireplaces and mirrors everywhere. It also has a huge gold frame bed and the biggest couch you'll ever see.

There's a spice market right near the Grand Bazaar. Definitely go into that. Don't forget to go to the Hippodrome right outside of the Blue Mosque. There's another Bazaar near there called the Arasta Bazaar (outdoors) and is pretty cool.

I recommend going to Beyoglu district for nightlife too and Taksim Square. Go to Istiklal Avenue for sure.


For Turkish Baths (Hammams)...amazing. Really, amazing. I went to Gedikpasa in Fatih which was pretty decent. It's like $30 for the works and you'll feel like a newborn baby afterwards. If you want to splurge, then there's a stunning one next to the Aya Sofya called the...Aya Sofya Hammam. My friend went there and said it was good. The staff let me tour inside and it's pretty ridiculous. It's been operating since 1475 too.

GedikPaşa Hamamı - Historical Gedikpaşa Bath

I would also suggest taking a little cruise down the Bosphorous. Pretty cheap and it's pretty stunning. We stopped near the Black Sea to see Yoros Castle. It was a hike (steep hills), but cool and got to see the mouth of the Black Sea.

If you want to smoke a Hookah (nargile), then scope out this place called Erenler Nargile ve cay bahçesi a little south of the Grand Bazaar. A little hard to find, but basically go onto Ordu Cd to find it. I don't ever remember there being signs there, but it's almost like it's in a 17th century Mosque. From the street you can see the workers making the charcoal if you look in..it's kind of like a tunnel. Walk back and voila..tons of people. Open til 2am, pretty local. My suggestion is to buy a pack of kleenex from a little kid selling it on the streets. The toilets in this place are squat toilets with no toilet paper. Unless you want to use the thing of water and your hand, I highly recommend doing this. Most places are not like this, but you just never know..


Istanbul is an amazing city. Really ridiculous with the history and things to see. It is really easily one of the greatest cities on earth. People have no idea what they're missing.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:40 PM
 
Location: CHicago, United States
6,936 posts, read 7,256,578 times
Reputation: 3490
I spent two weeks in Instanbul several years ago, during Ramazan. I fell in love with that city. Could have spent a year there. I found the Istanbul Eats website a valuable resource. Rick Steves' guide is what I used for the trip, and was glad that I did.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,003,355 times
Reputation: 6800
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomexico View Post
I spent two weeks in Instanbul several years ago, during Ramazan. I fell in love with that city. Could have spent a year there. I found the Istanbul Eats website a valuable resource. Rick Steves' guide is what I used for the trip, and was glad that I did.
Did you fast? It truly is one of the more remarkable cities on earth.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,421 posts, read 1,202,616 times
Reputation: 1751
Had a blast!

Ended up doing some wondering and did everything I wanted but the Bath. Didn't want to drop $60 on it.

Highlight of the trip was probably the Archaeology museum. It was really cool to get up to the artifacts and observe closely instead of behind glass! Got some cool photos from there!
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,003,355 times
Reputation: 6800
Quote:
Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
Had a blast!

Ended up doing some wondering and did everything I wanted but the Bath. Didn't want to drop $60 on it.

Highlight of the trip was probably the Archaeology museum. It was really cool to get up to the artifacts and observe closely instead of behind glass! Got some cool photos from there!
Nice to hear. That must be one of the more expensive baths..should ask your hotel concierge? Mine directed me to one in Sultanahmet opened in 1475. $30 for the works. Next time you're there you must get it..

Post some pics! Would love to see them
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