Istanbul Journey: Beginning of the Turkish Experience

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Picturesque Istanbul

It was always been my dream to go to Turkey and I’m happy that this dream came true last month.  I am wondering what would the country and the prime city could offer us, and why does it is one of the prime tourist destination if you want a border of Asia and Europe continent experience.  The following blogs will be fully dedicated to it as I’ll be reminiscing one of my unforgettable travels on the once called Constantinople to a vibrant city now called Istanbul.

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Walking towards Hagia Sofia

Hey, It’s a Adventure Background

As I left Philippines last December  2012 to be back here in Emirates to work, my cousin Audrey had this idea of travelling to another country by February 2013. This was her also simple wish as this month would be her birthday and wanted to spend it with a memorable party/travel with us.

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Crazzzyy Travellers

She was always been a fan of travelling and so am I that even we are living currently in different countries, we manage to plan this awesome experience. Her friends from KSA will join us together with her sister Gwen who’s also residing in Emirates in this planned trip. We have three cities options, but as the conversations goes on, Istanbul takes the priority list. ( I guess we have to save the other two for further references and blogs)

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Fountain Shots! Fun!

I guess what I learn from Backpack travelling is an extensive but enjoyable researches about the place you are travelling into. You have to start with the questions like of how to get there? What are the ways to get there? Do we need Visa? Where are the good and strategic places to stay? When is the best place to go there?  What are the activities to do? Lastly, How much is your working budget?

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Colorful flavors of Spices in Egyptian Bazaar

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Bosphorous Ferry Tour with a new found Austrian Brother – Mickael

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All internationale party at Cheers!

Time to get on the roll.

Certain flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi offers good direct return trips to Istanbul with reasonable packages. Fly Dubai would be the cheapest, others like Turkish Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways also have good offers. My first choice was Fly Dubai but when I learned that there are certain dates they travel to Istanbul only, I re consider Etihad as my option for we are dealing with a 5 days travel, hence the latter have an everyday flights to Abu Dhabi. My KSA friends opted for Turkish Airlines and Gwen’s for Emirates. Talk about Jetsetters.

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If you are looking for cheap yet cozy bed and breakfast stay, I browse to Hostelworld and saw that Cheers Hostel was the top choice for the stay. I do particularly concern with the reviews and how many reviewed it rather than the percentage at first glance and their prices. When I carefully evaluate and it fits with our stay as the Location, price and ambiance wise, this is absolutely our place.

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Tarek’s welcomed us to CHeers! Say CHeers

Visa is one also of the main reason why this travelling should be planned ahead. For those who will be needing it, a visit from you nearby Turkish embassy and consulate will tell you the process. But for me, I prepared a copy of my residence visa and passport, bank statements, hotel and ticket booking and a fully accomplish application form. You may visit the Turkish Embassy website for further details.

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Working Budget, This is the time we have to be serious. Although I am not really that money thrifty kinda stuff, I always make sure that I stay with my budget and also my co-backpack travel mates budget. You don’t want to overshoot you pocket and later contemplate right. This part also requires us to carefully see which places to go and how much to spend. To Splurge or not.

All set?

We made our partial Itinerary. We tried to stay loyal with our plan but of course the beauty and amazing moment was also to be flexible as the days goes on.

 DAY 1                            FEBRUARY 23, 2013, SATURDAY

1000 – 0200                   ARRIVAL AT ISTANBUL, TURKEY –ATATURK AIRPORT

0200 -0300                     CHECK-IN AT CHEERS HOTEL

0300 -0500                     SURVEY THE SCENE, CHECK LOCAL SCENERY

0500 -0700                      DINNER

0700 -1000                     NIGHT SHOTS, VISIT OLD TOWN

DAY 2                            FEBRUARY 24, 2013, SUNDAY

0900  –   1000                        YEMENI MOSQUE , SPICE MARKET

1000 –    1200                       SULTAHAMET AQUARE, BASILICA CISTERN, SAINT SOPHIA  (15 TL)

1200 –    1300                       LUNCH (TARIHI SULTANAHMET KOFECISI, TURKISH FOOD)

1300 –    1400                       BLUE MOSQUE

1400 –    1500                       HIPPODROME SQUARE

1500 –   1600                       OLD PENINSULA WALK

1600 –   1700                       SNACK

1700 –   1800                       COVERED BAZAAR

1800 –   2000                       NIGHTSHOTS PHOTOGRAPHY

2000 –    2100                       DINNER, NEARBY THE TOWN

DAY 3                            FEBRUARY 25, 2013, MONDAY

BOSPHOROUS FERRY TOUR

0800 –    0900                       EMINOU PORT, PORT 3

0900 –    1000                       BRUNCH

1030-     1200                       FERRY TO BOSPHOROUS  FERRY RIDE, (PHOTO OP)

1200 –    1300                       FISH RESTAURANT

1300 –    1700                       ENJOY THE VIEW, WALLS OF THE FORTRESS, ANADOLU KAVAGI, SMALL VILLAGE

1700 –    1830                       BACK TO EMINOU PORT ( FERRY RIDE, NIGHT PHOTO)

1830 –    2000                       DINNER, HOTEL

2000 –    0000                       CHECK ISTANBUL NIGHTLIFE

DAY 4                            FEBRUARY 26, 2013, TUESDAY

0800 –    0900                       TRAM TO SULTHANHANHENMENT STATION

0900 –    1000                       TOPKAPI PALACE AREA

1000 – 1400                         LUNCH, ST IRENE MUSEUM, TOUK WALAK, TOPKAPI PALACE, (20 TL) HAREM (15 TL)

1400 -1700                           ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM (5 TL), GULHANE PARK, MINARUK

1700- 1900                           HAMMAM, TURSKISH BATH EXPERIENCE

1900 -2000                           DINNER, BACK

DAY 5                   FEBRUARY 27, 2013, WEDNESDAY

0700 -0800                           EMINOU PORT CATCH BUS TO DOLMABAHCE PALACE,

EMINOU TO BESIKITAS (2.5 TL)

0800-1200                            DOLMABAHCE PALACE, SELAMIK (12TL) AND HAREM (10TL) – WITH TOUR GUIDE, LUNCH, TAKSIM SQUARE, ISIKAL STREET, GALATA TOWER

1200- 1300                           BACK TO CHEERS HOTEL, CHECK OUT

1300 – 1800                         FINALIZATION OF TRIP, VISIT NEARBY AREA, BUY SOUVENIRS

1800- 2000                           FLIGHT BACK HOME

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3 responses to “Istanbul Journey: Beginning of the Turkish Experience

  1. Pingback: Istanbul Journey: Beginning of the Turkish Experience | thetravelkidatheart « Istanbul – Wanna go there!·

  2. Pingback: Istanbul Journey: Beginning of the Turkish Experience | thetravelkidatheart « I wanna go there!·

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