I am traveling with 4 other college graduates (22 years old) and we are going to Istanbul and Antalya for 7 days before we go to the Greek Islands. 1) Any tips/must see places/ recommendations for Istanbul? 2) Any tips/must see places/ recommendations for Istanbul?
We are fairly new travelers and know close to nothing about each city, but we want to change that and make the most of our experience there. Thank you!
In Istanbul you should make sure to spend some time in the old part of the city called Sultanahmet
This is where you have most of the famous attractions in Istanbul such as Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace Museum and such. If you cross the Galata Bridge from there then you should walk up to the Galata Tower which is a nice place with a great view over the city and the Galata neighbourhood is a very nice bohemian part of the city with nice cafes.
After Galata you should walk up the pedestrian street in the part of the city called Taksim
The Taksim neighbourhood is also where you will find a really good nightscene with dozens of restaurants and bars and it's lively 7 nights a week there.
I would also recommend a boat trip on the Bosporus strait. Very cool way to see the city and the boats leave from the docks by the Galata Bridge.
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I gave some advice about Istanbul in this post on Trippy previously: http://www.trippy.com/question/Turkey-8-full-days-in-Turkey--Where-to-go-besides-Istanbul
For you guys in particular I think it would be worth checking out Couchsurfing.org not as place to stay but the Istanbul chapter is definitely one of the most active in organizing events and meet ups. Go along to one of those as early as possible in your stay in the city and the rest will take care of itself as you'll get lots of up to the minute local advice and find things so local (like parties etc) that they just aren't on the net.
Antalya is nice enough but if I were travelling with 3 of my buddies - I'd be jumping on a Blue Cruise from Antalya to Kas or Olympos to Fethiye. That is a real experience that you'll never forget. It is very reasonable in pricing (approx 190 - 250 Euro for 4 days including accom and meals. Note they make money on the drinks (like any cruise so budget a bit more for that). You'll meet other great people and just can't not have an unbelievable time.
Check V-GO or others: http://www.bluecruisesturkey.com/Cabin_Charters/Olympos-Fethiye.html