- Booked to stay in Hilton Bomonti. Is this a good hotel from facilities and security perspective? What's the best way to get there - by taxi or private taxi?
- For child under 12, is there any museum entry cost for Hagia Sophia or Topkapi? What about Museum Pass (EUR85). Is there a pass for children?
- I saw someone mentioned Effendi travel below. Do they have separate rate for children on their tour? I didn't find on their website for the day tour.
Is there some specific reason you're staying all the way out there? It's a good ways from all the sites you're going to be headed to, especially if this is your first trip to Istanbul. We stayed right in the historical center...there's plenty of very nice lodging there. And we could then walk to everything.
We used Efendi Travel. Their airport pickup is nice and well-priced. We also used them for a day tour - I would recommend them if you're interested in touring around...but Istanbul is totally manageable on your own. Email them to ask about children - they respond very quickly.
1) Like the first poster, I would say "why stay way outside the Old City"? If you end up choosing a business hotel, I'd at least pick one overlooking the Bosphorus (House Hotel Bosphorus in Ortakoy or Conrad Hotel) or one near Taksim or Beyoglu districts so you can walk to something. There is a huge variety of hotels - I try to stay right off the tram line within walking distance to everything (Topkapi, Archeological Museum, Blue Mosque, etc). Last place I stayed at was called Raymond Blue Hotel by Gulhane Tram stop in the Old City/Sultanahmet; it was very convenient.
2) As simple Google search found these links:
I can't imagine using 85 Euros worth of museum passes when the individual tickets are so inexpensive. It really depends what museums you plan of going to and whether the math makes sense and you get your passes' worth.
3) I'm not familiar with Efendi Travel although they seem to get good reviews here. I found touring Istanbul quite easy as a do-it-yourself trip.
The Museum pass is 85 TL NOT 85 Euro's! and this is excellent value for money as entrance fees are now 40TL for Topkapı Palace and Aya Sofya.It also includes many other attractions and entitles you to several other discounts on various things.
There is no child pass but children under 12 have free entry anyway :) You can buy it online or just e mail your hotel and ask them to buy them for you and they will be there waiting for you when you arrive.
I believe Hilton Bomonti have a free shuttle to take guests down into the city,e mail to make sure.If they don't then you are only a short walk from the metro stop into Taksim where you can then take the funicular down to Kabataş and from there the tram into Sultanahmet.
Efendi Travel are part of Backpackers Travel and Tourism and yes,as with all tours childrens rates are usually half standard price and free for under 7's.BTW,how do you intend to get in from the airport?Efendi offer the cheapest airport private transfers,much cheaper than hotels quote their guests.
Just want to chime in about Efendi Travel. I had never heard of them, but emailed them 2 hrs before we arrived @ IST inquiring about an airport pickup. The response to my email was quick, the cost was very reasonable, and it was an all-around great experience. Can't say enough good things about them - really superior service. I'd use them again in a heartbeat.
The museum pass is expensive?Get real querty and STOP promoting your own tour company.You have been kicked off many travel forums for doing this.