(Closed) For those who have been to Turkey…

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
25 posts
Newbee

Hi!  I used to live in Istanbul and I think you will find that you will see women in hugely varying degrees of coverage/scantily-cladness–from tank tops and mini skirts to complete niqab/chador.  In any of the areas, Sultanahmet, Taksim, etc., where there are likely to be a number of tourists, you will not stand out at all in a sundress that shows your arms.  If you wind up in a more conservative neighborhood, you might feel out of place–there are Turkish women who feel out of place in some neighborhoods–but on a three-day trip I imagine you will be in the neighborhoods along the Bosphorus and in Sultanahmet, Golden Horn, Tophane, etc.  In some cases you will stand out just because you are a foreigner, not because of your arms 🙂 

It’s really good to learn some Turkish phrases, but in Istanbul you will not have a hard time finding people who speak English.  The vast majority of the shopkeepers in the covered bazaar speak English (and French, Russian, German, Chinese, you name it!)

I hope this helps!  Have a wonderful time.  I love, love, love Turkey.  Iyi yolcukular  (bon voyage)  🙂

Post # 5
Member
25 posts
Newbee

@RahlyRah:  You’re so welcome!  Let me know if you have other questions.  I almost never post on Wedding Bee but I do lurk a lot.

Post # 6
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I took a huge hand bag that had a scarf big enough to cover my shoulders, and some light weight harem(I know I know) pants that I slid on underneath a sundress.  It was way too hot(june)for a long dress, but you don’t want to have to wear the “rentable” items they provide at some churches or mosques. If I wanted to visit some of the religious places I had to bring along some coverups. On the street and in cafes it was different…went sundress all the way. Oh and make sure you bring a hat…that sun is HOT!

Post # 7
Member
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I wore capris or long skirts. As far as shirts, I wore cute summery tops with cap sleeves.  I did not want to run the risk of embarrassing myself or looking like too much of an American tourist, so I opted for a little more coverage. The heat did not bother me though, because I love to be hot!

Post # 9
Member
25 posts
Newbee

Here are a few suggestions, in case it’s helpful.  Gives me a chance to daydream about Istanbul 🙂

Food:

Take a ferry to Kadiköy on the Asıan side and go to the famous Çiya Sofrası restaurant: 

http://www.ciya.com.tr/index_en.php

Get a balık ekmek (fish sandwich) on the pier at Eminönü (on the tram line).

Have a coffee and play backgammon by the water in Beşiktaş or Ortaköy or Bebek or Arnavutköy (all neighborhoods along the Bosphorus on the European sıde).

For a spectacular view and somewhat dressy dining experience, go to Zeyrekhane next to the church of Christ Pantokrator:

http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?load=detay&link=120449

I love the dürüm döner sandwiches (the dürüm are the ones wrapper in flat lavash bread rather than a roll-type thing) from the joint at the top of Istiklal street in Taksim square.

Further down Istiklal street, off the right hand side of the street if you are walking from Taksim Square to Tünel, there’s an area called Nevizade where they serve delicious fried mussels in bread with a garlic sauce (street food, which, incidentally, I have never gotten sick from eating in Istanbul).  Also you can buy delicious “medya dolma,” or mussels stuffed with rice anywhere along Istiklal.

 

Sights:  Your guidebook will tell you what you need to know, but for what it’s worth my favorite mosque is the Rüstem Paşa Camii very close to the Spice Bazaar, and I love the Chora Church mosaics in Edirnekapı:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chora_Church

 

Shops:  In the grand bazaar if you are looking for carpets go to Adnan and Hasan. Hasan is a delightful person with beautiful, beautiful rugs.

http://www.adnanandhasan.com/

 

For antique copper/brass things, go to Murat Bilir at L’Orient.  He is also a delightful person, knows everything about this artwork, and has beautiful things in a range of prices.

http://www.muratbilir.com/

 

Finally, if you have the time and the weather is nice, take a boat to the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara!  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princes'_Islands

 

Post # 10
Member
25 posts
Newbee

Ooh, one more thing… Here’s a great museum off the beaten path if you have time after you have gone to the must-sees like Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque, Topkapı palace, etc.  It also gives you a reason to go all along the Bosphorus to the northern part of the city.

http://muze.sabanciuniv.edu/page/current-exhibitions

And if you don’t have a boat trip scheduled as part of your trip, you can go the Ortaköy mosque and take one of the ten-lira (or maybe 15, but i think ten) boat trips that takes you up and down for an hour so you can at least see all the buildings and the skyline.

Post # 12
Member
25 posts
Newbee

No problem!  Have such a great time.  It’s a spectacular city!

Post # 13
Member
1564 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

One tip: If you are going to any of the markets (Grand Bazaar or even Spice Market), be prepared to haggle regarding the prices. Don’t accept the first price that they give you as that will usually be grossly overpriced and they will know that you are a tourist. This is also the same for cab rides too. Make sure you establish a price before you take cabs (I just used the awesome tram system when I was in Istanbul and avoided this issue).

If you go out to lunch at any point, try the lahmacun (it’s a flatbread with minced meat, lemon juice and some vegetables)… it’s sooooo good!

As for dressing, you should be fine in what you normally wear on vacation. Just bring a pashmina if you plan to visit any of the mosques so that you can cover your hair.

 

Post # 14
Member
25 posts
Newbee

I second the haggling in the bazaar, but official Istanbul cabs (which are yellow) use a meter system and now that they have a single rate (they used to have a day rate and a night rate), it’s not customary to haggle.  Just make sure they have a meter and are using it–that’s the law.

Post # 15
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2012

i think mavideniz gave really great tips! there’s one more thing i’d like to add about the Chora Museum or Kariye Muzesi, another church-turned-mosque-turned-museum. i always take/send my visitors there and every single one has said it’s even better than the Aya Sofia! the mosaics are unbelievable! i think it’s closed on wednesdays only. good spot for a monday because most museums are closed on mondays.

also, check the weather reports. i live here and today was a bit chilly so i wore a light jacket. i haven’t even started wearing short sleeves yet this season! anyway, something warmish would be handy for evenings, ferry rides or bosphorus cruises. i prefer the hot weather and can’t wait for it to heat up.

congrats and have a great time!

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