Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some tips for Istanbul

Even though I was in Istanbul only for couple of days I managed to realice few things about this huge city and here are some tips for people willing to travel to Istanbul.

* Nothing is free
So when someone is offering you something, remember to ask the price. If they then say it is free it really might be, but usually  they just answer "only 6 liras, good price" like its nothing. Well 6 liras isn't much, but they act like that with every price, like all tourists are millionaires. Also when there is bread ready on your table in a restaurant it is not free and they will charge you for the whole bread not just a peace if you try only one peace.

* Transportation
Like you would think there isn't metro that is linked to another. On the other side is this one metro (green line) and on the other side is the other (red line) and in the middle there is tramways, trains and even something else. There is a train that goes only one station. Here you can see the map of all transportation. And for every transport you have to pay again. So if you first want to go by train, then by tramway and then by metro you'll gone have to pay 2,5liras, 1,75 liras and again 1,75 liras. One trip doesn't cost so much, but if you have to travel a longer way, then it starts to cost more. And there isn't any day travel cards. So I think it is getting quite expensive for the people who are living there.

* Liras
You might be able to pay something in euros in Istanbul, but some places take only liras. Euro is about 2,15 liras, so pound is about 2,55 liras. It was quite easy to think all the prices how much they would cost in your own money and most things had two prices, liras and euros.

* To take a taxi
I read a lot about tais from the internet. Other told it is great way of transport other said most of them are phonies, and you really can't tell. But most told you shouldn't go on the taxi where they don't have meter counter. We first came to our hotel by shuttle bus by shortes way possible next to the ocean. But when we went back and took a taxi, the driver went in some totally different direction  and later looking at the map I realiced he took as almost twice longer way. He had a meter counter, but of course longer way had more meters. He still tried to drive fast to look like it would matter, but of course it doesn't if you pay for the meters.

* Look after your bag
There are many tiefes so look after your bag and make sure it is closet at all times.

* Bargain
Not in a regular clothing store, there it wont work, but at the bazaars and everywhere else just bargain. It is their culture and you will get something for lower price!

* Only few people speak English
I thought when going there I could speak a lot of English while my mum doesn't, but even though some understand English you need to speak them simplified English so they understand. And there is also many people who just don't understand the language at all. And there are people who will speak Russian, Spanish, Italian, Finnish and anything else just so you would listen to them.

* Expensive at the tourist spots
Like in every other cities at the tourist spots it is a lot more expensive. So go away from them when you are looking to buy something or go to a restaurant.

* Turkish men
You can't get rid of them. No really, it was the most annoying thing! If you go by the restaurant they try to get you in, and if you go by not listening to them they'll get angry at you. And they will all the time say how beautiful you are and then they seem to expect that you fall in love or something.
Once we went in some coffeeshop to buy couple pastries. After I told the waiter we were taking them to go, he said "I'm sad" and looked at me with puppy eyes. And when we were leaving the place he screamed after me that I was beautiful, I smiled back, and he continued by screaming did I understand him, that I am beautiful? Well yes, I did understand him, and what did he expect? It was like I should've stayed there told him no-one has ever said anything so beautiful to me, and married him. I mean yack!

But after all of this there are many nice people in Istanbul and many are very helpful. It is a different culture and even though I liked visiting it, I think I wont be visiting it again.

xoxo Sweety Pie

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