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Istanbul tips

Yesterday was exceptional as we visited the archaeological museum and four exceptional mosques, BUT…
Airport shuttle: they don’t wait where you exit the controlled area. Find out where they will be.
Probably easier if you have cell phone reception to text your pickup. Free wifi is available, after scanning your passport. We did Booking.Com. After an hour of waiting we determined that they were at domestic arrivals (outside the building), rather than international, as indicated by the flight number we provided. By the time we found out they had left. Booking.Com also didn’t provide support for a previous cancellation.
Charges: The taxi meter read 410. We were charged 530. A restaurant at the Galata bridge steered us to the expensive fish by the kilo, and gave us a generous bill that lacked detail. When asked, they said the service was included.
Adamar Hotel. Well located, walking to HS, blue mosque, archaeological museum, ..,. Spectacular view from breakfast restaurant. Comfortable, basic room. 5% RS discount. Non-spectacular breakfast. ‘
Lale’s pudding restaurant. Order the generous salmon. Great service. 10% RS discount. They told me the tip was included.
We are tiring of all the friendly, where are you from people who are just want to be helpful, at practicing their English and want you to visit their carpet store.
RS guide: great, but there have been changes.
Transit card: worth getting. Allow a lot of time to figure out the machine. Use cash (50 for card, we loaded 100 Th for use) as no receipts and you may put your card up many times until you figure it out.
I hope you benefit from this note. Thanks for all the suggestions and scrap books I reviewed.
It’s great to finally be here.

Posted by
4950 posts

So glad you made it, and got to your hotel .... one way or another! Ah yes, the carpet sellers. The good news is that your tour will go to a carpet demonstration where you will have a relatively low pressure opportunity to admire the carpets, and buy one if you're inclined.

RS guide: great, but there have been changes.
So curious as to what this means.

Enjoy your tour!

Posted by
1194 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
Don't buy a carpet off the street or from a demonstration. It is hard for me to spot poor quality but when a carpets pattern is irregular...that is second or third tier in quality. Take a figure in the design that is repeated look carefully. Is it the same size or does the length vary. If it does the weaving is unevenly tightened from the end. If it is elongated it is unevenly tightened from the side. Warp and weft. Oh, and they all offer free shipping. Hmm, must be some mark up somewhere. Did I mention I have cousin who lived near you?

wayne iNWI

Posted by
27 posts

We’ve enjoyed two days with Mine, our Rick Steves guide. She efficiently took us through Topkapi palace with many anecdotes before the crowds ,and provided valuable suggestions as to what to do with our free time. It wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable to have done it on our own.
The Adamar Hotel is an excellent choice. The breakfast was abundant and varied with an exceptional view.
The Cafe Grand is closed. Hopefully the RS team will reflect that when updating the tour book.
Istanbul has been a real enjoyable, eye opener to the Ottoman Empire. Yes, there are many salesman, but also helpful people and the mosques, the Topkapi Palace, the Galatea bridge as a social location, and Lale’s Pudding Restaurant :-)