a VirtualTourist member
Im a few weeks out from a 5 day stay in Turkey and am landing in Istanbul. I’ve decided to spend 2 full days in Istanbul and have allocated the other 3 for traveling elsewhere. There are so many sites to see around turkey and im overwhelmed with the choices and sacrifices I will need to make. And don’t know what sites are worth seeing more. Can anyone help me?
Apart from Gallipoli and Selcuk(Ephesus) which I know I really want to go to, im curious to know if its worth cramping in a visit to troy, and if i should choose to visit Pergamom or Pamukkale as time is restricting me!!
Spending 1 day at Ephesus and starting off at Gallipoli are a must. What would be the best way to go about spending my 3 days around turkey outside of Istanbul?
For me Troy is a must but it all depends on how interested you are. You would need two days for Troy and Gallipoli, and another day for Ephesus, so that's your three days. As you say Gallipoli and Ephesus are a must, then you should start off at Ephesus, and then travel to the Troy/Gallipoli area for the rest of your time. However, it will be very tight time-wise, as you will also have to reach Ephesus from Istanbul and then return to Istanbul.
I do not want to make you disapointed but 5 days is not enough for Istanbul
Istanbul - İzmir is 8 hours buy bus.Gallipoli is 5 hours away buy bus.
If you are coming to Turkey for the first time I recomemend to you
do "3 Old Capital of Ottoman Empire"
This tour is including 3 old Ottoman Capitals(Bursa 1st Capital,Edirne 2nd Capital,Istanbul 3rd capital) which are Old Byzantine,Ottoman,roman cities.
Edirne is 3 hours away from Istanbul by bus at the west of Istanbul.
Bursa is 3 hours away buy bus at the east of the Istanbul.
DAY 1 TOPKAPI PALACE and BLUe MOSQUE and HAGIA SOPHIA
(I recommend to you to go TOPKAPI early in the morning and stay there
till 2:00pm (It s 3 section HAREM-PALACE-TREASURY)you need to pay for each
DAY 2 DOLMABAHCE PALACE,IHLAMUR MANSIONS,ORTAKOY MOSQUE,BESIKTAS AND ORTAKOY
DAY 3 BOSPHORUS TOUR(TAKE A PUBLIC BOAT FROM EMINONU it departs 10:15 you check
www.ido.com.tr and goes to all the way bosphorus and stay in KAVAK and 2 hours
break come back to Eminonu about 3:00 PM
DAY 4 arly in the Morning go to Edirne by bus 3 hours Visit Nicest Ottoman Mosque SELIMIYE,Old Mosque,3 serefeli Mosque,Old synagogue,BEYAZIT II Health Complex,Adalet Mansion Come back to Istanbul at evening.Have local famous fried liver with choped onion.
DAY 5 Go to Bursa by bus 3 hours and visit Great Mosque,Koza han,Sultan Murad Mosque,Stroll around old covered bazaar,Have Iskender Kabap,Yesil Mosque
Come back to Istanbul.
I recommen to visit Pergamon and Ephesus in the next time in the large time.
5 days and you want to see 3 + 1 more site? Tough, seriously tough.
Would totally agree with my friend Neodue. But if you're including Selcuk (Ephesus), the travel time by bus would be more than 10 hours already (1-way), but if you're flying, that's another story. I don't think you could still squeeze another site into your plan (Istanbul, Ephesus & Gallipoli) if you only have 5 days.
Gallipoli is already 1 day (excluding the travel time), Ephesus is also 1 day (excl. travel time). Troy is near Gallipoli and one of the itinerary for anyone visiting Canakkale, but that would be another 1 day. And IMHO, Troy is a dissappoitment, you'll only get fascinated with the story but not the place.
Pergamum is a good site but would also take a day, and 4 to 5 hours travel from Gallipoli (Canakkale).
Those places are very far from Istanbul for a 5-day trip, and as Neodue had already mentioned, Bursa would be your best bet for a nearer site from Istanbul.
Stick with those already tough trips (Ephesus, Gallipoli and Istanbul), would be more than enough for little time.
Check how we did it in Ephesus (seeing the House of Virgin Mary, Cave of 7 Sleepers and Ephesus ruins), here:
[original VT link]
...also Istanbul, here:
[original VT link]
...and www.visitmyistanbul.com also for other very local struff.
Thanks everyone for your reply's! It is obvious time is my biggest enemy!!
June.b what you said about Troy was what i thought might be true so your words are most valuable. So that place i think i will give a miss.
I will look into this more when i get into Istanbul as i usually finalise plans at the last minute. If it is possible i will travel to Gallipoli in the first morning, spend my day there after getting droped off at Canakkale, i will catch a bus to Selcuk. Wether it is possible to travel to Selcuk on that same first day or spend the night in Canakkale and travel the next day bright and early to Selcuk. If i can travel to Selcuk on the first day and arrive there late at night or early in the morning the next day, i will spend the second day relaxing there and possibly taking a return day trip to Pamukkale and then back to Selcuk. If the second day is spent on traveling from Canakkale the Selcuk, i will spend that day traveling and relaxing in Selcuk. The third day i will plan the whole day at Euphesus and then that same night find a night bus back to istanbul to spend the rest of my time there!!
This may be a scetchy itinerary but is my prefered choice of travel!! It might be rushed and full on but if i can get a day at Selcuk to relax a little......it might break things apart!
What are everyones thoughts? Is this achievable?
The bus travel from Istanbul to Canakkale is 6 hours or more, so if ur traveling from morning, ul be there in the afternoon and have done nothing.
So I dunno how u would do this, in case u pushed through and if uv arrived and took a rest in Canakkale and take the Gallipoli tour the following morning, then u had ur 2 days done. Then....
You may catch a bus on the same day (evening) from Canakkale to Selcuk or even to Izmir then a minibus to Selcuk, at least u have another option, but am pretty sure ul find a night bus.
This way u will be spending the night sleeping at the bus during the long trip and ul be arriving early morning to Selcuk - fresh and ready to explore Ephesus. After finishing off Ephesus, checkout with your hotel in Selcuk or the small bus depot for those day tour to Pamukkale, they have that, cost about 30 or 35 YTL (more like a group tour), it will take u to there at about 9AM and will come back to pick you up at 3PM to get back to Selcuk.
Public transport would be a bit difficult as you will be stopping at Denizli and take another transport to Pamukkale. But if you won't be joining a group tour bus, and opt for the public transport then you could always get a bus from Denizli back to Istanbul.
But if you joined the group tour bus, then, ul be back to Selcuk to take a bus back to Istanbul in the night, Pamukkale Bus company in the Selcuk bus depot is running to Istanbul at late night, then ul be in IST early morning on ur 5th day and explore Istanbul for a day, unless ur 5-day trip means excluding the flight day --- means u have another day in Istanbul.
Really tough and rough, but if that's ur preference, then it is possible.
I think do whole day 3 angle of Istanbul (Blue Mosque,Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace and 2nd day fly to Izmir.Do ephesus and pergamon skip pamukkale and come to Canakkale do Gallipoli and come to Istanbul and fly back to your country.
I can tell you this if push lots of places in 5 day you cant taste what you done
what you ve seen.
I suggest you enjoy your 5 day in possible style.