First Time Turkey:Which Flight To Choose11:50 PM
In 19th-century a traditional tram was running along the Grande Rue de Pera connecting Taksim Square and Tunnel Square.Today,The tram slowly runs through the crowded Istiklal Street.Just for an experience you can board it one way and walk through another experiencing the shops with the souvenirs and the Turkish Delights.
I landed Istanbul by Air Arabia(INR 20,000 one way) at around 12:50 am after a long transit of 14 hours at Sharjah.That was a non-refundable flight booking I made by thinking at least the fares are less,I will manage.With Sharjah having lounge rates as 100 AED for 3 hours,I chose not to spend that money which seemed to be way too expensive.
So rest of the time,I slept on the airport chairs ,watched TV,met a Pakistani family who were so sweet and nice that we clicked our pictures together.Basically,I slept and slept more.
They talked about how fascinated they are with India.I reciprocated the same feelings of how keen I am to visit Pakistan(I really want to!) once.We forgot to share numbers but if we had,I knew I had someone there.I interacted with their families and kids and It felt like home at Sharjah Airport.
For Turkey e-visa process,visit my previous blog post
Istanbul Turkey Airports:Which to choose Sabiha or Ataturk?
Istanbul has two airports - Ataturk and Sabiha.
The cheapest local internal flights/some of the cheapest local international flights lands at Sabiha International. However,
Tip1: Whenever possible book flights from and to Ataturk Airport
Because the connectivity between Sabiha and Ataturk airport is indirect even though I did travel changing buses from Taksim Square.If you can,make through Ataturk.Keep sufficient time between flights if you are landing at Sabiha and catching flight from Ataturk.You never know how the traffic would be during daytime.
Turkish Airlines from India is a good flight option.Turkish Airlines lands at Ataturk and is a better airline.
My friend arrived at Ataturk and it took 30 minutes for her to reach Taksim Square and there wasn’t much of a price difference. If you guys remember,I won the Travel Shop Turkey contest and got me and my friend a package.This was my first packaged tour of 7 days and I added 5 more days to it to explore on my own.The flights and my extra stays of 5 days were sponsored by Skyscanner as another contest win.
The currency of Turkey is Lira.And 1 Lira = 22 INR(that time it was 30 INR)
From Sabiha To Taskim:By Havatas
I arrived at Sabiha Intl. as I had booked the cheapest possible flight from India.As I hadn't done much research prior,Sabiha was far from Ataturk(which I didn't know) and from the city as well.The shuttle buses run from both the airport.And in Travel Shop Turkey package,the inclusion from transport from Ataturk was there but Sabiha had to be done on our own or the Taxi fare was too much.So I waited for my Havatas bus(Turkish Lira 11 fare) which starts at 4:30 am(which was said to start at 4am but started around 4:30) in the morning and reached Taksim by 1 hour 10 minutes.
Taksim is one of the main squares of Istanbul.
The Chaos and The Convenience of Group Tour
I reached Taksim Square at around 5:45 am and It was dark.However I never felt unsafe walking in the area.We checked in at Hotel Dora which was a good choice by Travel ShopTurkey.Some time later my friend joined it. We walked around the area till the evening and then went for Bhosporous Cruise(details coming soon) . We had our breakfast the next day and we missed our group bus the first time.Looks like there was a confusion on day 1.
The representative waited for us at the reception and we were at the breakfast room just next.We thought we’d get a call but we did not and so the bus had to take two rounds.We were dismal and everybody else was annoyed.Welcome to our own created little chaos the first day.
During the trip,you’d know how many mishaps we made.After all we were two young and chirpy ladies mostly wanting to do our own thing yet being confined in a group which by the way was a new experience.And pleasantly so,because otherwise we wouldn’t have had seen so much in so less time.