Well, I’m barely home, haven’t blogged yet about my whirlwind Star Mega Do trip last week…. I’m doing laundry, heading back to work, and BAM, it hits me. I’m going to Istanbul in two days for two days. Turkey for Turkey, you say? First time. Excited. Hell, yeah. Only problem is, other than flights and two nights at the Grand Hyatt near Taksim Square, I have nothing planned and know nothing!
Sure, I’ll take a look at Frommer’s online as well as the posts on Milepoint, Flyertalk, and The Point’s Guy “Destination of the Week” on Istanbul. I might even swing by Barnes and Noble and pick up a guide book, or see if there are any good travel apps to load onto my iPhone.
But, there’s nothing better than getting advice from friends and colleagues who’ve actually traveled there. I love the passion of a traveler. So, if you could help me with general suggestions, as well as answers to some of the specific questions below, I’d be grateful!
1. Money – ATM at airport?
2. Transportation from Airport – I’ll be arriving IST in the afternoon. I will have luggage, but hope to keep it fairly light. Taxi? Shuttle bus? Public Transportation? What do you recommend, and what are the average costs of each.
3. What do you recommend in a sightseeing day? I’ll be there one full day, and two half days. Do you recommend a tour, or can I explore on my own. do you recommend a certain itinerary? What must I see? What should I skip? Any good iPhone apps?
4. Safety issues…. Anything I should be aware of?
5. Food, Meals and Restaurants? What’s good? What’s not to be missed?
6. Shopping? Yes, I like to shop. What should I buy and where should I buy it? Is Turkey still known for fine jewelry? –>