TRANSPORTATION There are taxis, buses and trams in Istanbul, and a one-minute subway between Pera and Galata. Ferries link the European and Asiatic shores. The trip takes about 20 minutes. Taxis should be paid the meter reading plus a tip, minimum 25 kurus. Bus tickets vary in price with the distance. Trams are 20 kurus first class and 15 kurus second class. Buses and trams are marked with origin and destination. Automobiles may be rented through your hotel for 50 kurus a kilometer, minimum of 100 kilometers, all-inclusive, i.e., about 20 cents per mile. Taxis are comparatively inexpensive and the easiest mode of transport for tourists.
WATER Water is safe to drink, but there are many fine table and mineral waters if you prefer.
WHAT TO BUY . Hand-made embroideries, bed jackets of silky mohair, rugs and carpets, Bursa silks, silverware, ceramics, hand-carved meerschaum pipes, attar of roses and other perfumes, wonderful candies, silver and gold filigree, handmade linen handkerchiefs. Don‚„t pay the first price asked in the bazaars.
WHAT TO WEAR : In Istanbul dress as you would in New York or any other large city. You will need lightweight clothes in the summer, warm clothes in winter. Raincoats are essential in the rainy season as rain is very heavy and often quite sudden. Beach clothes are essential for both men and women. In Ankara you will need warmer clothes in winter than you do in New York or Istanbul. A light topcoat is a good idea. Men will need sports jackets and slacks, medium-weight suits for spring and winter and light suits for summer. Evening or dinner clothes are usually not necessary.
WHERE TO GO SIGHTSEEING :
Istanbul : Turk Ekspres has a sightseeing bus service direct from the Hilton Hotel. Wagons-Lits/Cook (local agent of Thomas Cook) offers tours at between $2.50 and $3.50 for a half day. Individual guides are available and charge about $11 for a full day. American Express offers 7 Istanbul tours, prices based on the number of persons.
You will want to see St. Sofia, considered by architects as one of the wonders of the world, the Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III, the Imperial Gate, the Cistern of 1001 Columns, the various ancient mosques, including the Beyazit Mosque and the Sehzade Mosque. Visit the tomb of Sultan Suleyman, the Edirne Gate and the Byzantine Walls, the Golden Gate and the Seven-Towers Castle along the outer walls. Walk through Topkapi Palace, the residence of Turkish Sultans and see the harem quarters, the summer terrace (overlooking the joining of the Golden Horn, the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara), the Audience Chamber, the Treasury, and the China Collection. Visit some of the fascinating and fabulous bazaars. Ferry rides up the Bosporus and to the Princes‚„ Islands in the Marmara Sea are an absolute ‚Å“must‚ for sightseeing.
Other Trips : From Istanbul you may go by ferry to the health resort of Yalova and on to Bursa at the foot of Mount Olympus. Turkey is rich with the history of Christianity. Mount Ararat is the spot where Noah‚„s Ark came to rest. It was in the city of Iznik (39 miles northeast of Bursa) that the Iznik Council formulated the creed of Christianity;-
Ankara : You may fly from Istanbul to Ankara, seat of the Turkish Government, in IV2 hours or make overnight trip by train. The Ankara Palace Hotel is fairly good as are the Turistik and the Yiiksel Palace Hotel, which has an American-type bar. Be sure to take the trip to the fortress in time to watch the sunset at Akkale. See the Ahi Elvan Mosque, the Arslanhane Mosque, the Roman Aqueduct, the Orman Qiftligi (the model farm founded by Atatiirk). You will see the Government buildings, the Presidential residence at Qankaya and other buildings and monuments of interest. Visit the Turkish National Theater, dine at Karpig, where you should try the marvelous borsch and beef Stroganoff. Visit the tomb of Atatiirk.
SOURCES OF FURTHER INFORMATION: Turk Ekspres, Wagon-Lits/Cook and American Express travel agencies; Pan American‚„s office at Istanbul Hilton Hotel. (Tel. 480422, 483016, 482595.) Turkish Information Bureau, 444 E. 52nd Street, New York, N. Y.
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