Hey guys, I'm going to Istanbul for the first time next month for 8 days. Any tips you recommend? How is it over there?
>don't buy a simcard at the airport, buy it in the town
>there's a BUS service that takes you from the airport to taksim for about 11 lira
>get a istanbulkart and load it with some money to use the public transport valid for metro, buses, trams and boats
>restaurants around the taksim are mostly shit tier same is trough for Sultanahmet. tripadvisor is your friend.
>you can't buy alcohol in stores after 22:00
>if stores don't have price tags it's haggling
The blue mosque is prettier than the hagia sophia, but I'd probably see both. The cisterns underground are ok. The Grand Bazaar is mostly just a shopping mall, don't go out of your way to see it.
Turkish are very friendly. Except for obvious touts, they really did just want to chat.
Theres a Popeyes in the airport
Istanbul loves burger king for some reason
big kebab chains suck, find a smaller one
except horrible driving conditions
very few people speak english let alone understand
turkish airlines is loads better than shitty lufthansa
Try to keep small bills on you and use exact change with street vendors, I got ripped off by one my first day there, and when I made a scene about it, he spoke to guys nearby in Turkish and they all pressured me into walking off...
Watch your drinks in bars. We were partying with 2 German girls from our hostel that literally disappeared, never saw them again and still don't know what happened to them. We were standing by the only exit, they went to the bathroom and never came back then the bar closed...
I only got sick from a small kebab shop in the grand bazaar. I had some gross looking kebab at the big chains but never got sick.
Most of the shit for sale is all the same, and is exactly that, shit. I bought a belt for 5 Lira there that lasted about a week before falling apart. Same with a souvenir lighter.
Blue Mosque was meh, was a huge line for the non-Muslim tours, so the Muslim Brit I was hanging out with told me to pretend to be Muslim and we went in that way. I had to zip up my jacket to hide my Oktoberfest shirt LOLOL... I was really bummed we didn't go to the Hagia Sofia but it was closed/ under restoration. Check out the Cistern and Topcacki Palace to though.
I didn't enjoy Turkey that much while I was there, but in hindsight it was a cool experience
I did Istanbul for 6 days last May. Things not mentioned yet:
We did a boat tour up the Bosporus - excellent to get out of town for a while. DON'T take the tour, just look for the ferry that does a day trip there.
You will get really tired of Turkish food after 8 days. It's all ke-fucking-bab.
Try and find a Turkish Bath House. The private ones are harder to find, but way better and cheaper.