Arriving to Istanbul
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
January 25th, 2008 – by: tirsomaldonado
From Barcelona we took a flight to Zurich and from there to Istanbul. People don´t enjoy spending too much time flying and changing planes, but I just love it! ☺ I have so much fun getting of and on the plane, shopping around and looking at people walking by while I am having a cold beer.
Well, going back to my trip to Istanbul, here comes my first travel tip. When you land go straight to the VISA counter.
My bank did not have any Turkish liras, so I had to exchange some money at the airport. 1€=1,7205 YTL and they charge you a 4% comisson. The aiport is very well organized and very clean too, so my first impression was very good. We thought about taking a train to the hotel, but we were tired and we read in my Lonely Planet that a taxi to the old Istanbul was only 20 euros, so we took it. As you leave the building you will find a long line of oficial yellow taxis.
People in the hotel were so nice… they took out suitcases to the room, gave us some information about the area, and they even explained to us how the TV worked! (as we hadn´t used a TV before! Hahahh) Eventhough we were tired, we left the hotel straight away heading to the Beyoglu neighbourhood, right across the Galata bridge. We arrived after lunch time, so we decided to visit the north of the Golde Horn! ;) The main road is called Istiklal Cad which is the city´s most famous shopping and entertainment strip.
Once you cross the Galata Bridge, do not follow the main road, just take a steep street right on its left side. It is a hard walk, but it is the fastest way to get to the Galata tower and to Istiklal Cad. It is January, so as the day went darker, the temperature got really cold! I don´t recall having so many coffees in one single day! hahah Ohhhh don´t forget to order an Apple Tea. I don´t like tea, but I just love the way they do it here!.
I took my Lonely Planet with me and I read some nice reviews about some touristy Turkish shows. We asked in the hotel´s reception and they reommended us among all shows listed in my guide, the Galata Tower show! A small bus picked us up at the hotel and took us there with some other people.
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