The Final Information to an Istanbul Layover

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Istanbul, Turkey had been on my record of cities to go to for the previous a number of years.  I used to be planning on staying there for a full week, however as a result of United Airways mendacity to me on a number of events about their stopover insurance policies, I used to be solely allowed to spend an 11 hour layover there.  The town has a lot to supply, and tons to see, and it was irritating to solely spend sooner or later there exploring.  However it is a quite common metropolis for layovers, so I needed to write down up a fast information on methods to maximize Istanbul layover.

Step 1:  Get your visa / Go away Baggage

It’s form of annoying having to pay a lot cash simply to enter town, however it’s obligatory.  Save your self a while, and buy it on-line right here.  There’s loads of locations to get it within the airport earlier than going by means of customs, so not an enormous deal when you don’t get it earlier than, nevertheless it does save a little bit of time.  I’m undecided the principles about baggage, however luckily for me Turkish airways didn’t make me decide up my backpack after which re-check it in for my connecting flight.  So when you carry-on only a small backpack, you received’t want to fret about carrying the bag all day.  Nevertheless, I do know lots of people have a smaller  carry-on suitcase, so that you’ll wish to drop that off.  There’s a pair left-luggage locations, so discover one, and pay the small payment.

Step 2:  Discover The Metro

After leaving customs and dropping off your baggage, there are fairly clear indicators pointing to the metro.  I simply walked exterior the principle doorways, and a Metro signal pointing down the highway 100 meters.  Every Metro journey prices 4 Turkish Lira, which is presently round $1.85 per journey.  Not too dangerous, however you’ll be using the metro a pair occasions to get across the metropolis.  You could have the choice of shopping for an Istanbul Kart  for a non-refundable 6 Turkish Lira.  It actually is dependent upon how a lot you wish to use it.  I ended up simply shopping for the metro tokens individually, however I do suppose it does save a while. tuvalet_2200px_1546-01-01

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Step 3:  The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque ought to undoubtedly be your first cease in Istanbul.  Learn how to get there from the Airport: Take the M1 line 6 stops and get off at Zeytinburnu.  From there you’ll have to switch over to the Blue tram Line 1.  You’re going to get on the facet of the tram that’s heading in direction of Kabatas.  From there, it’s 16 stops and get off at tram cease Sultanahmet. Relying on ready occasions at each stops, the entire time will take round 45 minutes, costing a complete of 8 Turkish Lira. The Blue Mosque is totally beautiful, and is free to get in!  I imagine it closes it’s doorways round 5 P.M although, so be sure to get there so you possibly can test it out inside.  You might want to have correct garments to achieve entry, however they’ve sheets to borrow free of charge so there’s no want to fret when you aren’t correctly dressed.  

Step 4: Hagia Sophia

Subsequent cease in your layover in Istanbul goes to be the Hagia Sophia mosque.  What’s nice about that is that it’s simply situated throughout the road from the Blue Mosque, so you actually get to see rather a lot in your first hour or two in Istanbul.  Each of those are lovely and picturesque, and are the principle symbols of structure in Turkey.  Hagia Sophia is open to go to each day, besides Mondays.
Between fifteenth April and 1st October it’s open from 9am to 7pm with the final entry being at 6pm.  Between 1st October and fifteenth April it’s open from 9am to 5pm with the final entry being at 4pm.  There may be an entrance payment of 25 TL, so if you’re on a finances, then perhaps skip it.  However it’s undoubtedly one thing value seeing.   IMG_0125

Step 5:  Grand Bazaar Buying

After testing the Hagia Sophia, the subsequent time is to do some procuring on the well-known Grand Bazaar!  Istanbul is a metropolis that the procuring alternatives are limitless, and on the Grand Bazaar, you possibly can simply get misplaced in for hours and you’ll find absolutely anything.  That is situated in the identical space of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, so take a 10-minute stroll again alongside the tram line.  Very easy to search out as a result of there’s noticeable indicators all over the place!  As soon as you discover the place, simply remember- cut price, haggle, and barter!  You’re a vacationer, and they’re going to attempt to benefit from that reality.  Have a worth in your head about how a lot you’d be prepared to pay, and don’t go above that.  I all the time advocate at the least strolling away as soon as earlier than buying it.  It doesn’t matter what you’re shopping for, there’s one other stall that can have the very same merchandise, and the seller needs your money.  So carry out your A-game negotiating expertise, and purchase some stuff.

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Step 6: Taksim Sq.

After procuring across the Grand Bazaar, it’s time to for a little bit stroll to the metro, and head on over to Taksim Sq..  When you stroll in direction of College of Istanbul, and preserve heading that method, you will see that the Inexperienced Metro Line station Vezneciler.    You’re going to take {that a} brief 3 stops away and that’ll drop you off proper at Taksim Sq..  This is likely one of the nightlife areas and really vigorous areas of Istanbul!  There’s tons of fantastic bars, cafes, restaraunts, lodges; you identify it, you’ll find it round Taksim Sq..  I’d advocate sitting down and grabbing some meals right here, and enjoyable for a bit as you’ve most likely been in your ft all day.

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Step 7: Strolling Over the Galata Bridge

Now, this actually is dependent upon how a lot train you wanna get in sooner or later.  It’s a fairly respectable stroll from Taksim Sq., and I form of stumbled upon it whereas simply strolling across the metropolis.  However it was really certainly one of my favourite issues I did throughout my layover.  There’s some wonderful road meals, plenty of fisherman, and is likely one of the finest spots within the metropolis to seize some breathtaking pictures.  I feel the stroll was doable, however I had time to spare.  It’s as much as you.


Should-Strive Meals and Deserts

That is most likely what made me so mad about not having extra time in Istanbul; Turkish meals is totally unbelievable, and so they’ve bought nice style in sweets as properly.

  • All through your day in Istanbul, the very first thing it is advisable strive is a legit Turkish Kebab.  I’ll always remember my first kebab once I studied overseas in Rome from a spot known as “Istanbul Kebab”, and it blew my thoughts.  I couldn’t wait to get to strive the actual factor.
  • Subsequent — how are you going to go to turkey with out making an attempt Turkish Delight.  For some purpose, this all the time jogs my memory of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I’ve all the time recognized about it, however can’t say that I ever tried it, however I’m glad I did.  A deliciously candy deal with that’s nice for desert.
  • One other merchandise it’s best to strive is named Nohutlu Pilavı.  You will note road distributors promoting it whilst you stroll round.  It’s a fundamental dish that could be a mixture of rice pilaf with rooster and chick peas.  It’s simplistic, inexpensive, and wonderful!  
  • Lastly, one final candy merchandise you gotta strive — BACLAVA.  I’ve all the time been a fan of excellent Baclava, and no journey to Turkey could be full with out making an attempt this wonderful desert.
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Istanbul is really an unbelievable metropolis, and I may simply spend a pair weeks there and with out losing interest.  I do know this submit solely scratches the floor of what Istanbul has to supply, however when you solely have a couple of hours, it is a nice start line!  I hope this information helps you throughout your layover in Istanbul!  Protected travels!

Did you could have a layover in Istanbul?  What have been your favourite elements about it?  Let me know within the feedback part!

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