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WINTER & SPRING GUIDE 2007
The best places to eat, sleep and play in Istanbul this winter and spring
With more than 5 million reviews and opinions, TripAdvisor makes travel planning a snap for the 20 million travelers visiting our site each month.
000 hotels. and it has a section on activities for kids. Roman antiquities.INTRODUCTION TripAdvisor. Yet practically next door. but Istanbul has charms that evoke both a bygone era and the seductions of the modern world. and best-known.com 2 . Learn from other travelers what to expect before you make your plans. PACKING TIPS 1. time seems to have stopped: vendors push handcarts. Be sure to check out the guides at www. as the only city in the world that has been capital to a Christian and then an Islamic nation. g Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia literally—the Bosphorus divides the city across the two continents—and figuratively. Inside ISTANBUL Yes. which contains the Islamic treasures of the city: the Blue Mosque. as “you need a four-digit pin number to use ATMs in Turkey. consult with your bank before leaving. restaurants and attractions for every type of traveler. one of Turkey’s own.”—TripAdvisor Member.”—TripAdvisor Member. in Sultanahmet. In the old city. Connecticut 2. If you have a six-digit pin on your bank card. Istanbul 3. you’ll get great advice about what to pack.000 attractions and 90. You’ll find reviews for more than 160. It is by far the best city guide.”— TripAdvisor Member tripadvisor.com. has collected the best insider tips from its 20 million monthly visitors to produce a unique series of travel guides. sleep and play in thousands of destinations around the world.000 restaurants on TripAdvisor. Traveling with children? “Get the Time Out guide to Istanbul. In addition to the best hotels. shoeshine boys vie for your money and women dress in the modest Muslim tradition. authors. Constantinople has been gone a long time. 65. the Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia. you must read My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk. the most trusted source for where to eat. the old city.com. Most tourists find themselves on the European side.tripadvisor. how to get around and where to find the best views. “For a little understanding of Turkey and the Islamic faith of her people. you can find the ultra chic bars and dance clubs of the Beyo˘lu and the trendy restaurants of Ortaköy. Byzantine treasures and traces of the Ottoman Empire await your discovery.
Istanbul’s “Maiden’s Tower.”— TripAdvisor Member While sipping your cay.” —TripAdvisor Member. It has a perfect guided tour and interesting Western-style furnished rooms. The Bosphorus.Top VIEWS Kiz Kulesi. The Belgrad Forest offers over 5000 hectares of tranquility to couples looking to escape the stresses of city life. you must find one of the hilltops (or the rooftop of your hotel) to watch this exciting and magical city as it flickers with lights. Belgium Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi). Ciragan Bar. Gumussuyu Caddesi. from Yenikoy to Ortakoy Princes’ Island Buyukada Cemberlitas Hamam. 9. 90 212 522 7974 Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi).”— TripAdvisor Member. Pierre Loti Café. This is a world-class industrial and transport museum with a super collection of cars. Belgrad Forest. Eyup. Çiragan Palace. Vezirhan Cad. Hagia Sophia Museum/Church (Ayasofya). Bahçeköy Tucked away in the cellar of the swanky Ciragan Palace Hotel. 90 212 222 2882 “…a pure joy” ROMANCE The Dolmabahce Palace is “not as crowded as the Topkapi. the Ciragan Bar is where Istanbul society gathers to drink and listen to music until the wee hours. 90 212 369 6600 Take a peek at the Ottoman Empire in miniature. Istanbul Kiz Kulesi.com 3 . near Sultanahmet Square. Sultanahmet. 27. Koç Museum. trains. 10. Dolmabahçe Caddesi . Topkapi Palace. 90 212 326 4646 Call an Expedia Travel Specialist now 877-633-3716 tripadvisor. Hasköy Cad. 90 212 581 26 96 Where to TOP 10 Attractions PLAY 5. Imrahor Caddesi. Miniaturk is a 56-hectacre park filled with tiny versions of 105 architectural structures. off the coast of Üsküdar ISTANBUL’S BEST VIEWS “At the end of the day. its interior begs to be seen. Beyazit Gate 3. 90 212 522 4422 4. Besiktas. Interesting old houses and excellent waterside restaurants made our day trip there a pure joy for all concerned. Istanbul Princes’ Island. Gülhane Park. Hasköy. is over 2400 years old. fish hatcheries and forest and wildlife nurseries. A sunset viewed from this location will be the cherry on top of your trip to Istanbul. 8. 90 212 236 9000 Sultanahmet District. an arboretum. Balmumcu Sokak. Cad. 32. Eminonu District. Brussels. Koç Museum. Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsisi). a jewel in the night. boats. 90 212 522 1750 2. The cemetery next door is also worth a look.”—TripAdvisor Member Rahmi M. Kids adore it. revel in the stunning view of the Golden Horn from the Pierre Loti Café. It’s a quiet and romantic place. Miniaturk. Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii). Sutluce. 90 212 236 9000 With several lakes. Sultanahmet. 6. While it can be seen from any western point along the Bosphorus. Besiktas. 90 212 518 1330 (for museum information only) FAMILIES “A trip to Princes’ Island by ferry was the activity most enjoyed by the children. No cars on the island. 8.”—TripAdvisor Member. 7. Sultanahmet 1. so you get about by horse and buggy. steam engines—even a WWII submarine that you can visit. ferry leaves from Eminonu port “Don’t miss the Rahmi M.
90 212 236 0595 If you’ll be in Istanbul for a while. the maze of alleys filled with haggling merchants.”—TripAdvisor Member. 8.”— TripAdvisor Member.”—TripAdvisor Member Hippodrome (Atmeydani). 90 212 518 1330 (for museum information only) ADVENTURE Climb. Marmara Hotel. 90 212 245 4141 “The Hippodrome was the scene of Byzantine chariot races. Taksim. “The mule is guided by a very experienced mule driver. N. victory celebrations and political activities of the old city.”—TripAdvisor Member. the bad and the very candid. Durham.” TripAdvisor members have posted more than 250. Galata Mevlevihanesi. N. Check out the 350-year-old ceiling. Greece Hagia Sophia Museum. check out their mountaineering excursions. Muallim Naci Cad. dilapidated waterside estates of a different era.Where to PLAY At Misir Carcisi. either via foot or mule. This gorgeous Turkish bath is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy some Turkish culture. almost to the Black Sea. Fair Lawn. Istanbul Archaeology Museum (Arkeoloji Muzesi). Istanbul Misir Carcisi (Egyptian Bazaar). N. Taksim Meydanı. Galip Dede Caddesi. Atölye Mountaineering & Climbing. Vezirhan Cad. The eight one-hour lessons will have you shimmying away in no time! Belly dancing classes. Bosphorus Tour Ferry.C. New York. Over a million artifacts are housed here. The good. The landscape you see is wooded hills. the huge seraglio and many more features make Hagia Sophia the top sight to visit in Istanbul!”— TripAdvisor Member. You can see the sheer drop down into the valley. the Fountain of Wilhelm II and the Colossus. The landscaping and gardens surrounding it are gorgeous and colorful. Going up in the dark is fine. then back again.com 4 . but you’ll be able to glimpse the scenic enclave of Topkapi and the famed Golden Horn. including local items that illuminate the history of the city. to the top of Mount Nemrut for a stunning sunrise. athletic events. that is) at Atölye Mountaineering & Climbing. the golden. Mevlevi Dervishes perform the whirling ceremony with a traditional orchestra at Istanbul’s Galata Mevlevihanesi on the first and last Saturdays each month. one can also see the Obelisk from Egypt. 65-67.J.”—TripAdvisor Member Mount Nemrut Climb the walls (the rock walls. Istanbul Moda Quay “The Blue Mosque is the most beautiful building I have ever seen. 90 212 522 1750 “The Bosphorus Tour ferry sails north from Istanbul. If you want something more adventurous than the indoor climbs. Ontario Cemberlitas Hamam. Divan Edebiyati Müzesi. Irene). This is an aweinspiring place of worship. Toronto. Athens. Sultanahmet.”— TripAdvisor Member. Ortaköy. 90 212 520 7740 RELAXATION The Hagia Sophia Museum is “breathtaking.”—TripAdvisor Member. leaves from Eminonu’s Dock 2 The Cemerlitas Haman was “designed by the same architect as the Blue Mosque. Sultanahmet Discover objects dating back to the fourth century at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. sleek modern estates very much of the present and the occasional palace and castle. Today. “you can buy the usual tourist fares for less than at the Grand Bazaar. and be transported back to the famed trade center of 17th century Istanbul. The Blue Mosque. the wisely appointed windows that allow the light of the sun to illuminate specific places. gilded geometrical and flower-motif mosaic. but coming down in daylight can be exhilarating. or walk the shore side along the recently completed quay. Its unique architecture and size. even scary. Along the way it stops at the small ferry ports that dot the coast. up the Bosphorus. 90 212 251 4696 “…exhilarating. behind the Yeni Cami Mosque BUDGET “Take an old-styled tramway to Moda.000 photos on the site.”—TripAdvisor Member. 90 212 522 7974 Call an Expedia Travel Specialist now 877-633-3716 tripadvisor. Sufi Music Concert & Sema Ceremony. even scary. Admission is FREE. Topkapi Palace (to the right of and behind St. the Serpentine Column from Delphi. It’s almost like being there! EDUCATIONAL/HISTORICAL “One of the most enduring symbols of Turkey is that of the Whirling Dervishes.Y. This excursion is rarely covered by tour guides. Sultanahmet. get your groove on with belly-dancing classes.
The subway runs from Taksim Square. Tahmis Cad. The menu changes seasonally. reviews and articles for Istanbul or any other destination you choose. 7. friendly staff and great food. head to Asitane. 90 212 663 29 90 “Cennet is a traditional Turkish restaurant that serves gozleme and Turkish crepes. It is a converted underground cistern with high ceilings and pillars.Y. which re-creates the meals of sultans by serving up dishes originally eaten in 1539. and the food and staff excellent. Broadway Diner. But during the off-season. 90 212 249 3126 “The atmosphere is brilliant” For a unique dining experience. N. Samataya Balik Pazari. “you can get off at any of the stops. The whole place is decorated with wrought iron and hundreds and hundreds of candles. 90 212 529 0833 to eat Want more information on Istanbul? TripAdvisor. 90. at a feast given by Suleiman the Magnificent. Sultanahmet . Karakoy. Hamdi Et Lokantasi. N. The atmosphere is brilliant. N. For the more adventurous diners. which are reliable.What’s the TOUR How to Get Around For transportation from Ataturk airport. and they say you can get on the next boat with the same ticket. 18. Eminönü.com 5 . Bebek. 12/A. there’s great food here with innovative mezze. It’s rather touristy and fun. but the food is delectable. pancakes and pizzas. “you have three options: airport taxis. nice people. Kalçin Sok.”— TripAdvisor Member. Beyti. Raleigh. the thin-crust pizza is sure to satisfy. through Nisantasi (where there are many elegant stores) to Etiler (where more modern shopping awaits you). 17. airport shuttle buses going to several main destinations and the Metro. most of the time. the new subway system is very nice and safe. 90 212 513 1438 Call an Expedia Travel Specialist now 877-633-3716 tripadvisor. On the Bosphorus Ferry. Çemberlitas.”—TripAdvisor Member. with costumed wait staff. this restaurant has been around for ages. Kariye Hotel. 90 212 528 0390 If the kids crave a taste of home. High chairs are available and the chefs will prepare different meals for the kids if necessary. New York. Kariye Camii Sok. Sogukçesme Sokak.”—TripAdvisor Member. Cennet. Istanbul Tarihi Meshur Sultanahmet Köftecisi. delicious food can still be had for an affordable price. 90 212 534 8414 “You must eat at Sarniç. good music. 90 212 512 4291 BUDGET The restaurant Beyti achieved its fame by inventing the beyti kebabi – a dish of spicy. WHERE FAMILIES Develi serves a wide array of Turkish foods. 7. skewered meatballs wrapped in pita. Florya.”—TripAdvisor Member. hit the 1950’s-style Broadway Diner. Divanyolu Cad. Lymington. 8. Manolya Sok. Cevdet Pasa Cad. Divanyolu Cad. Fair Lawn. Izmir.J. 90 212 513 1416 Tarihi Meshur may look like a dive. “With simple meat/ vegetable dishes. which serves up huge hamburgers. Raleigh. Gümüsyüzük Sok. 2. for pickier children. you’ll have to take a bus or a separate ferry back to town. there is only one boat a day! So if you do get off. and you can eat heartily at low prices.”— TripAdvisor Member. Edirnekapi.”—TripAdvisor Member “Around the newer part of Istanbul. “Taxis are the best transportation to get around Istanbul. Orman Sok. England Sarniç. While it has expanded greatly since opening 55 years ago. it’s beautiful with all the lights sparkling). Turkey Karai Restaurant. N. The terrace views of the Golden Horn and the Galata Tower provide the perfect setting for you to enjoy your kebaps at Hamdi.C. Develi. have meters and are easy to find. 90 212 263 6080 ROMANCE Karai Restaurant “has a nice roof with a Sultanahmet view (at night. Asitane.com offers free weekly e-mail updates filled with new deals. Kemeralti Cad. They are inexpensive.C. Sultanahmet. try one of the spicy dishes from the Gaziantep region of southeastern Turkey. Smyrna.”— TripAdvisor Member.”— TripAdvisor Member. For a nice evening out.
(June 2 – June 30) International Istanbul Music Festival. Balmumcu Sokak. Balikpazari. Various venues Directors and performers from around the world descend upon the red carpet in Istanbul for the yearly Istanbul International Film Festival. parade the streets and join in sports events to help preserve Turkish culture. honor children worldwide. (April 23) National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.iksv. Beyoglu/Taksim. 90 212 334 0700. Turks have celebrated the Commemoration of Ataturk with Youth and Sports Day. Nature and Peace. leather and lace. follow the signage halfway up to guide you to your destination—and one of the best-kept tourist secrets. Eyup. “Go to the Eyup Mosque. a three-day extravaganza of all things rich and chocolate. including vegan options. 90 212 243 4196 “Be inspired by the scenery. hand woven Assamese products and more at the annual Istanbul Housewares & Gift Fair. 23. Beyoglu. climb up through Eyup Sultan Cemetery for about 20 minutes and you will arrive. Don’t miss the pumpkin pie. 3. 90 212 244 4082 “Be inspired by the scenery” HIDDEN GEMS You may well be the only non-Turk in Sal Café Bar. (March 31 – April 15) Istanbul International Film Festival. 90 212 315 6000 Each year the founding of parliament is celebrated on National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. salads and plenty of vegetarian choices. (May 19) Youth and Sports Day. 90 212 293 3133. as school children take over the government body. Istanbul Foundation for Culture & Arts.org Call an Expedia Travel Specialist now 877-633-3716 tripadvisor. Beyoglu. Tepebasi. Istanbul Pierre Loti Café. Other activities. Istiklal Caddesi. Zencefil. Gumussuyu Caddesi. Degustasyon Lokantasi. Beyoglu. Hilton Convention & Exhibition Centre. Students and locals sing the national anthem. Büyükparmakkapi Sok. a small restaurant that serves local specialties and features live Turkish music. 21. 90 212 581 2696 In the middle of the fish market lies Degustasyon Lokantasi. 18A. with quiches. salads and Turkish dishes. Beyoglu. healthy food is the fare. which serves veggie delights like lentil köfte. (June) Chocolate Show. 90 212 252 8609 At Zencefil. Sal Café Bar. http://www. Taksim.org/film/english/index.” at Pierre Loti’s coffeehouse. including involvement by international students. which screens hundreds of films. Kurabiye Sok.WHERE HEALTH-CONSCIOUS Changing specials at Parsifal Vejetaryen Restoran insure a variety of soups. Büyükparmakkapi Sok. enjoy both classical and traditional Turkish music at the International Istanbul Music Festival. 90 212 292 0667 SPECIAL EVENTS Stock up on glassware. Various venues. Various venues For three weeks. Beyoglu. falafels and tempeh.com 6 .asp Indulge your sweet tooth at the Chocolate Show. 90 212 245 2588 to eat Vegetarians will find plenty of eating options in Istanbul at restaurants such as Nature and Peace. Cumhuriyet Caddesi. Tuyap Istanbul Exhibition Palace. the fourth-largest such event in the world. 90 212 252 5070 Since 1933. which serves up Turkish and Armenian mezzes with a fine fish selection.”—TripAdvisor Member. Don’t worry. http://www. (March) Istanbul Housewares & Gift Fair. Parsifal Vejetaryen Restoran. tie-dye.iksv. Kurabiye Sok. ceramics.
Beyazıt. 10. breathtaking views and a fantastic gym. Liverpool. The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul. Intercontinental Ceylan Istanbul. Mimar Mehmet Aga Cad. 38.”—TripAdvisor Member. 90 212 514 5001 LUXURY Housed in a former prison. 90 212 334 4444 The raves abound for the Intercontinental Ceylan. “If you have placed your book on the nightstand.”—TripAdvisor Member. There are robes and large bath towels wrapped in a red ribbon. and the nice view of the Marmara sea is complementary to your very delicious breakfast or late night tea. Sultanahmet. “the view out over the Bosporus on moonlit nights was something to remember—quite romantic. left assorted gifts. Istanbul Hotel Daphne. the Four Seasons receives raves for its detailed service. 90 212 368 1234 The Hippodrome Hotel is an “excellent family apartment! The apartment was newly remodeled and extremely clean. Italy Empress Zoe. Naples Hyatt Regency Istanbul. 90 212 517 6889 “We were the king and queen of the palace” Have questions about Istanbul? Get insider advice from local experts in our forums.”—TripAdvisor Member. Akbiyik Cad. Taksim. Besiktas.”— TripAdvisor Member. near EVERYTHING! Also the children will love the tram. Sultanahmet. everything is looked after. We walked to the mosque. and the plumbing worked fine!”—TripAdvisor Member. 90 212 516 7130 “Our experience at the Zeynep Sultan was more than anything we could have expected. Asker Ocagi Cad. At the Ciragan Palace. you may find a bookmark on top of it in the evening. England Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul. if you appreciate quality and attention to detail or simply want a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed. Suzer Plaza.” “The Naz Wooden House Inn deserves five stars for the views from its roof terrace alone.”—TripAdvisor Member. The majority of questions are answered within 24 hours. Germany Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul. Amiral Tafdil Sok. etc. very friendly. 15. many historic sites are within easy walking distance. provided excellent housekeeping. 10. 90 212 326 4646 ¸ ¸ ROMANCE The Empress Zoe is a “dream. Transylvania Hotel Niles Istanbul. the personnel is lovely. 1. 22. 90 212 517 3239 “…deserves five stars for the views alone. and the service was very good. Ciragan Cad. 90 212 638 8200 The Ritz-Carlton is “expensive and worth it. warm and caring staff. Adliye Sok. We had no problem letting the baby crawl around the apartment. Sultanahmet.” It’s located “in the best area of Istanbul. Elmadag Askarocagi. Frankfurt. 90 212 638 7060 FAMILIES The Hyatt Regency Istanbul is “an excellent choice for families. London. We were the king and queen of the palace for four wonderful nights!”—TripAdvisor Member Hotel Angel’s Home. England Naz Wooden House Inn. you’ll find a real dessert plate with Turkish baklava or pralines. 90 212 518 2504 Angel’s Home Hotel is “fantastic and romantic—angels everywhere and redheart shaped pillows in the rooms. 19. Sultanahmet. 32. The views of the river were great. Tevkifhane Sok. breakfast is yummy and everything is just perfect. cozy and charming. 7. Boulder. Kentucky Hippodrome Hotel. 1. its lovely garden. Taskisla Caddesi. Su Terazisi Sok. though small and simply furnished. 90 212 638 1996 BUDGET “Hotel Niles is an excellent value for money.com 7 . Mass. Nev.”—TripAdvisor Member. Las Vegas. Rooms are nicely air conditioned (individually controlled with remote) and extremely clean. Cad.”— TripAdvisor Member. Sultanahmet.”—TripAdvisor Member. was utterly charming. Binbirdirek Mh.Where to STAY “I recommend Hotel Daphne—boutique class. “Nothing can beat this amazing five-star deluxe hotel: fabulous rooms. Colo. It’s romantic with its cozy lounge. In Moorish style. Ordu Caddesi Dibekli Cami Sok. Sultanahmet-Eminönü. Sultanahmet. Akbiyik Degirmeni Sok. 25. Zeynep Sultan Hotel. bazaar and ferry boats.”—TripAdvisor Member. Zeynep Sultan Camii Sok. its breathtaking view of the sea from the top floors of the buildings. They kept refreshing the fruit bowl. The hotel itself is small. Our double bedroom. Mimar Mehmet Aga Cad. Instead of packaged chocolate. Boston. 90 212 368 4444 Call an Expedia Travel Specialist now 877-633-3716 tripadvisor. one block up from the hotel.”—TripAdvisor Member. Taksim.
Edited/compiled by Jenny Brown This brochure and its contents are copyright © 2006. representations or other information contained in such user content. airlines and other travel products and services submitted by users of tripadvisor. Mesrutiyet Cad. all rights reserved. you melt in their huge beds. services. Representations made in this brochure are current as of its publication date. the owl logo and all other marks displayed herein are registered and/or common law trademarks of TripAdvisor and/or third parties. France MiSafir Suites.com is the most trusted source for travel recommendations about where to go. Paris. Beyoglu. Call an Expedia Travel Specialist now 877-633-3716 tripadvisor. TripAdvisor. TRIPADVISOR. New York.”—TripAdvisor Member. My partner and I stayed here because it was the hotel that Ernest Hemingway stayed at while a correspondent for the Toronto Daily Star.Y. such third party by TripAdvisor.”—TripAdvisor Member. Such third parties are owned and operated by independent retailers or service providers.000 hotels and attractions.Where to STAY The Buyuk Londra “is a great deal with lots of character and a great lively bar. The real stand out was its bar—the atmosphere at night was cool and funky!”—TripAdvisor Member. Levent.com also provides easy access to the major online travel sites to make booking your next vacation. 1. but the thing that I liked the most was that even though it’s in the center of Istanbul (a very chaotic place). 90 212 319 2929 “…you melt in their huge beds. Inc. Further. sponsorship or recommendation of or affiliation with.. This brochure contains reviews.000 destinations around the world. Buyuk Londra.com. TripAdvisor.com is the largest travel community in the world with 20 million monthly visitors and featuring more than 5 million reviews and opinions of 230. TripAdvisor recommends that you pursue any and all investigation you feel necessary or appropriate before transacting with any third party. processes or other information of any third party does not constitute or imply endorsement. 4. The real attraction to the hotel is its atmosphere: old birdcages with parrots.” About TRIPADVISOR TripAdvisor. Beyoglu. business practices or provided information. accommodations. photographs and other content regarding destinations. comments. red velvet curtains and lush carpets. it’s like you’re at home when you get in your gigantic room. services. your best vacation. easier than ever. TripAdvisor. reference to any products. Australia Movenpick Hotel Istanbul. turn-of-the-century antiques.com 8 . where to stay and how to play for 24. Gazeteci Erol Dernek Sok. Reviews and ratings represent the opinions of such users. 90 212 249 8930 The Movenpick Hotel is “über cool! The rooms were spacious and beautifully appointed. N. and TripAdvisor cannot ensure that you will be satisfied with their products. TripAdvisor does not sponsor or endorse any user content and therefore is not liable for any statements. 90 212 245 0670 HIDDEN GEMS “I could say so many good things about MiSafir Suites. Buyukdere Cad. 117.
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