Car Hire, Transfers and Rail Travel
by hayley and bert 13 Jan 2013, 22:31
While we were in altinkum for new year we decided to visit Istanbul for 3 days/nigts.
From Izmir we flew to attaturk airport with pegasus for £22 each arriving at 15:00 on 2nd jan.
We booked istanbul airport transfers for 22 euros and a return from sabina goken for 55 euros both private transfer and they were waiting for us at the airport.
Our transfer to our hotel the Ilkay( £195 bb for 3 people) only took 20 mins and after checking in we went for a walk round sultanamet finding a nice turkish resturant (80tl for the three of us).After we went to the bar linked to our hotel called Red river,draught effes 8tl,pamukkale wine 10tl and soft drinks 4tl.
After our turkish breakfast we walked the 10 minutes to the Blue Mosque.
There was a short queue and the mosque was amazing!! .It was free to go in but they asked for a donation when you left although there was no pressure to leave a donation.
From here we had a short walk across the fountains/square to the Hagia sophia museum.
It was 25tl to go in which was worth it.
After a detour to burger king for lunch (got a fussey 14year old daughter)we made our way to the Grand Bazzar.
We found this expensive and very touristy but the market that seems to circle the grand Bazzar was much better and after mingling in with the turkish people we found our way down to the spice bazzar/eminonu area.
We ate at the Red river that night,chicken wraps and chips 14tl each,a large 70cl effes 10tl,a bottle of pamukkale wine 40tl.
The next morning we had a full day out on the bosphorus,a cruise upto the black sea to a place called A.Kavagi we stopped here for 3 hours and visited a castle called Yoros castle which was up a 15 minute steep road/path.On our way down we stopped for lunch at the harbour there was a 15tl fish buffet-mussels,mackeral,calamari with salad and bread or a mackeral lettuce,onion and tomato sandwich for 5tl!!!
We left at 15:00 arriving back at 16:20.
That night we decided to eat under the galata bridge where there are numerous resturants but was dissapointed as all they were interested in was selling the house wine at 12tl a glass and pushing the fish for a "special price per kilo" but they wouldnt say how much!!!!we had the sea bass for 22tl but wasnt much fish on it,back to the Red river for more effes and wine!!
We checked out the next morning and left our cases at the hotel in a secure room and went off to Topkapi Palace.25tl each to get in and the views of the bosphorus were fantastic and the relics of the ottoman empire were awesome.
We got a 3tl tram ride over the galatta bridge then back again upto the grand bazzar.Some last minute haggling for pressies then made our way down to the spice bazzar for spices before going back to the hotel for our 18:00 pickup to the airport.Pickup on time and it took one hour to sabina goken airport.
Our Pegasus flight to stanstead was on time landing at 22:50 uk time.
Can recommend the Ilkay hotel as its right on the tram line and in the centre of the tourist area.
We found 3 days enough time in istanbul but was tiring!
Istanbul was expensive but we base everything on Altinkum/Didim prices!!!

by jue 13 Jan 2013, 22:46
Oh WOW sounded great, I feel really ashamed that we still havnt been to Istanbul..........but definately this year without a doubt.Thanks for the tip on Ilkay Hotel. jue x
by Ronnie 13 Jan 2013, 22:51
hi top tip if you arrive at attaturk airport the trams/trains leave from under the main terminal only a few lira into city centre and by far the quickest.
by louie 13 Jan 2013, 22:58
Hi Bert and Hayley
Lovely report, very informative, felt tired out reading it, bet you needed a rest instead of going back to work. You could have put some of your Photo's on here as well. Oh and Peter nearly had a heart attack at the price of the efes and the wine, he has now gone tee total LOL

Kath :)
by PJRichards 14 Jan 2013, 07:43
Fabulous report of your trip to Istanbul. I have wanted to go to Istanbul since the first time we went to Altinkum 10 years ago but like Jue, we still havent been :?

Sounds like you had a fantastic time there, I thought it would be expensive too. When we were in Bulgaria they were running a 3 day trip over to Istanbul for £80. Wish I had done it now.
by christella 14 Jan 2013, 07:48
we did it for a week a few years ago
brilliant will do it again but get a cheaper hotel far away from the Blue Mosque as you said its only 3 lira on the tram

bowling is like sex you dont have to be any good at it but you really enjoy it
by sootypaws 14 Jan 2013, 10:31
Loved reading your Istanbul holiday report. Must try it one day. Thank you for all the information.
by phillanddi 14 Jan 2013, 11:41
nice report were doing this in oct this year do you have the web site
for the hotel you stayed in please :D

phill and diane marina gateway

bought from turkish home sweet home have tapu + no regrets
by Thelma 14 Jan 2013, 12:57
What a wonderful time you had so pleased you enjoyed it. We went there with three friends two years ago on the way to Altinkum and enjoyed ourselves very much.

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