Three days in Istanbul

So the Mrs. and I are hopping to Istanbul (the one in Turkey) for an extended weekend. We’ll be taying in the Carlton Hotel in the old city.

Now, our time is short, and we want to cover the essentials - Aya Sofia, Blue Mosque, Great Bazaar, Topkapi - and try to squeeze in as much else as possible. Any tips from those who’ve been?

Sorry, all I can offer is the standard smart-ass reply - once you arrive, ask as may people as possible for directions to Constantinople. :smiley:

It’s a beautiful place, and you’re plans sound great! Have a wonderful trip! There is a very good book “Strolling Through Istanbul” which is fun to bring along on your walks, I highly recommend it. You can get a copy from one of the online used book sites like abebooks.

Yes, tell them you have a date there…


You’ve got a good start. I spent hours in the Blue Mosque just trying to come to terms with its beauty and hugeness. Leave yourself enough time to dawdle. I thought it was pretty amazing they let in non-Muslims, and wonder if that’s going to be the case ten years from now.

The Basilica Cistern is very close to the Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque. It’s an enormous underground hall made by the Romans from old temple columns and Medusa heads and the like. It can be taken in pretty quickly, and I found it really impressive. There’s not much Roman stuff around. The aqueduct is probably only worth the hike for a Rome buff.

Chora Church is far from the center of the old city, near the Roman walls, but there are tourist buses right to it. Well-preserved Byzantine frescos and mosaics. What the inside of Aya Sofia is supposed to look like.

Near the Spice Bazaar is an old mosque called (I think) Rustem Pasha that is smaller than the Blue Mosque but much more ornately tiled inside.

I would recommend taking an evening ferry in the Golden Horn, even if it’s to nowhere and back. The city looks beautiful at night.

Enjoy spending millions!

I thought it was spelled “Haghia Sophia.” Is “Aya” a legitimate alternate spelling?

Regardless, I’m insanely jealous. Enjoy your trip, you rat bastard.


Sorry, “Hagia.” :smack:

Miller, Hagia Sophia is Greek, Aya Sofya is Turkish.

Istanbul? Not Constantinople?

I heard the Great Walls of Theodosius II have been restored; they could be worth a visit.
I was also told that some attention has been dedicated to the byzantine Imperial Palace of the Blachernae, but I’m not sure about it.