So I've been to the major European destinations over the last 5 or so years. Across most of Germany (still my favorite), France, England, Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Spain. Whenever I have visited those placed I have done the traditional American vacation. That is, I tried to pack in as many cities as reasonable within that time period. I normally would take about 10 days, and hit up 3 main cities, with about 3 days in each city. This usually works well. Some cities, like Paris, I felt that I missed a lot, but most of the time, 3 days let me hit the main sights, but also get a big bang of my buck, which is a big concern for most American travelers, and sadly I've been the same.
I have about 8 or 9 days in November (US Thanksgiving week to be exact), and have debated a few destinations. I'm coming close to settling on Istanbul, Turkey. My main concern is that unlike the rest of Europe, which is uber condensed and boasts a great rail system, Istanbul doesn't seem to have any cheap, or logical other cities to visit. I've thought about Athens, but 20 hours of trains seems a bit extreme. Thus, I figure I'll probably spend the whole time in Istanbul.
This brings me to my main question. Is 8-9 days in Istanbul actually too much? That is, are there enough exciting things to do to fill the time? I'll be traveling alone, so I want to stay busy and have lots of options.
If you think that time in Istanbul it a bit excessive, are there any other places to fly to or take the train to rather affordbly that would make sense. Like 4 days in Instanbul, and 4 days in another city, flying round trip from Buffalo, NY open jaw?
All thoughts are appreciated!!