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.
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.
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)
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?
Colorful flavors of Spices in Egyptian Bazaar
Bosphorous Ferry Tour with a new found Austrian Brother – Mickael
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.
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.
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.
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.
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