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 Post subject: Istanbul
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:48 am 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast

Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:15 pm
Posts: 120
Hi! My partner and I are going on a much needed little vacation to Istanbul. Can anyone give us some tips? We're looking to book a cheap hotel as soon as possible, and are debating whether to book in Sultanahmet area or the Bazaar District. Which is a nicer area to stay? I know the former is a fairly touristy area, but maybe that wouldn't be so bad in January? Also, nice places to eat, etc etc?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Istanbul
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:02 am 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast

Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:15 pm
Posts: 120
Also, the Beyoglu area is an option... thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Istanbul
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:46 am 
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Attended Chelsea Clinton's Wedding
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:09 am
Posts: 217
Hello!

We went in November 2012, and stayed in an apartment in Beyoglu, near the Galata Tower, the company we booked through was xflats. This was a great place to stay, everywhere was pretty much walkable, and there are trams if you fancy it. There is an Istanbul card you can buy if you want to go visit a number of the touristy attractions, we didn't get one but it looked like good value, and you can skip some of the queues if you have one.

Food-wise, the two vegetarian places we tried were disappointing (Zencefil and Parsifal). Our best meal was when we took a ferry across the Bosphorus to Kadikoy and ate in this place: http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restaurant_Re ... anbul.html They have a bunch of cold mezze you can choose from (pay by weight) and things were either fairly obviously vegan or the staff were helpful pointing out what was good. They also have a hot counter, where my (omni) husband got a couple of dishes that turned out to be accidentally vegan (or at least looked vegan to me), they were really good too.

This little cafe: http://www.happycow.net/reviews.php?id=29048 was nice, it was very small, the service was pretty slow, but the staff were very nice, I think I had a breakfast of tomatoes, cucumber, bread and olive oil (they even checked teh bread was vegan), my husband had a scrambled egg thing he enjoyed.

We had good falafel, but I can't remember where!

We also went to a really nice Indian restaurant with a view of the Hagya Sophia from the third floor, can't remember the name but if I come across it I'll let you know!

This blog is useful: http://veganbackpacker.com/blog/turkey- ... an-travel/ There were little carts everywhere selling simit (bread like a pretzel) and roasted chestnuts and different kinds of nuts, and fresh squeezed pomegranate and orange juices. Outside of Istanbul I tried gozleme and pide (veggie versions without cheese), both very tasty.

The Hagya Sofia, the palace and the Basilica Cistern were all worth going to see. If you go to the palace, you can pay extra to go into the harem, which was weird but well worth it. Go to the Basilica Cistern early to beat the crowds, it's very cool when there are only a few people there!

Hope that helps!


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 Post subject: Re: Istanbul
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:03 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast

Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:15 pm
Posts: 120
Wow, thanks so much for your response.
Did you find it difficult to communicate in regards to "no dairy" and such?
I really want to see that harem!


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 Post subject: Re: Istanbul
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:21 am 
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Attended Chelsea Clinton's Wedding
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:09 am
Posts: 217
No problem!

As far as I recall, most people had great English, so it generally wasn't a problem. I either ordered things I could see (like on a buffet), or from English-speaking staff, or things that were mentioned on the blogs as being ok (e.g. the pide without cheese, although I did check that with the waiter as his English was great!, and I only went for the darker coloured simit as that was said to be vegan).

You'll have a great time!


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 Post subject: Re: Istanbul
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:47 pm 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:25 pm
Posts: 3025
Location: Sacramento
Bumping because flights are relatively cheap right now and I'm considering Istanbul for this coming December. Part of me is a little concerned about safety, but I don't know if that's warranted. Would this be a good place for a 26 year old woman to travel alone? Also, I'm looking at roughly a 3 week trip total, and I probably wouldn't want to spend all of it in Istanbul. Any recommendations on other places to go from there? I will have to travel back to Istanbul to catch my flight home, so I don't want to go too far or waste too much time in transit.


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