My daughter and I are planning to spend 10 days in Istanbul possibly taking a short tour(s) from the city. Does 10 days seem to be too much? None of the tours I have looked at take 10 full days in Istanbul nor has anyone suggested 10 days so I am a little unsure of the wisdom of spending such a long time. Does anyone have suggestions?
I wouldn't say 'too much', Istanbul is really huge and has tons of things to see and do. You may want to visit some beaches or go to some other nearby cities.
We spent 29 days there last summer and it wasn't enough. There are more things to see and do than one can imagine. Get a really good guide book with solid content - the Knopf guides are the most comprehensive. Walk everywhere, try the buses and trams, and the water taxis.
Are you going anywhere else on this trip (just home>Istanbul>home?)? Is this your first trip to Turkey?
If you are just visiting Turkey ... and this is your first trip ... my personal opinion is that 10 days in Istanbul is too much. There is so much to see in Turkey. And it's such a big country that some of the most worthwhile sights are too far for daytrips.
Depending on your interests, I would recommend a visit to Ephesus, to see the amazing ruins there (fly to Izmir, bus to Selcuk for Ephesus). And/or a visit to amazing Cappadocia (an incredible landscape, great place if you like to hike, fabulous hot air balloon rides). (Fly to Kayseri, bus or shuttle to Goreme.) Each of those trips would require a minimum of 2 nights. That would still leave you 6 nights for Istanbul, which should be plenty.
If you factor in a day to recover from your travels based on your flight arrangements then how much time are you actually on the ground in Istanbul? Based on our itinerary, (an RS tour), we will arrive late afternoon then have the following 2 full days prior to the start of the tour, allowing us time to re-group, get used to the time change, and explore suggested sites not covered on the tour. After reading all types of sites, books, and articles, we have a great plan that keeps us in Istanbul for the duration. Happy travels.
agree with the other poster about other parts of the country - if you haven't seen any other part of turkey before/after this 10 day trip, then you should utilize this time to check it out since you're already in the area. efes is great, if you can cover it. Fly to izmir is pretty quick, even overnight bus to selcuk if budget is an issue.
If Istanbul is the only place you are going on this European trip then I would say you might want to venture on to someplace else... either other towns in Turkey or possibly another country. Yes, you can spend a ton of time there and not see it all, but if you don't go to Europe often you may want a taste of something else. I love Istanbul and spent 5 days there, then took a flight to Athens , spent 2 days and then took a bus to Nafplio for 3 days.... It was a really nice balance and although I would return to Istanbul I am glad we ventured to a few other new locations. This trip was with my 11 year old grandson and he loved it all. But, he had a special request to go to Greece and see the Acropolis.
Hi Millie - You can spend 10 days in Istanbul and see new things each day. However, I think its a bit long.
I would split the time in Istanbul and another location though. When I went 2 years ago it was cheaper to fly into Istanbul, stay in Istanbul for however long you like and then fly on to Athens. Then you would fly back to the states from Athens. That made an interesting decision for us. We did opt to fly into Istanbul, and then flew round trip to Izmir (Pegasus Airlines....perhaps $80 US round trip), rented a car and explored the Aegean Sea coastline. If you have not been to Europe many times you might check another location as an additional stop....check what cities various airlines have their layovers at....especially Turkish Airlines. Paris, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Frankfurt.......