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Lonely Planet Istanbul (City Guide) Paperback – April 1, 2008

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


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From the Publisher

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At Lonely Planet, we see our job as inspiring and enabling travelers to connect with the world for their own benefit and for the benefit of the world at large.

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Product Details

  • Series: City Guide
  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 5 Pap/Map edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740599160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740599160
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,735,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By N. Del Conte on September 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have always found Lonely Planet books to be helpful. This is by far the worst I have ever purchased. The maps were helpful but so were the maps we picked up at the airport. This book is inappropriate and overly effusive.

Most Lonely Planet books are written by people far more authoritative than this. They have either lived in those places or worked there for several months at a time. It seems like this writer just took a few trips to Istanbul with her friends and somehow landed a pretty sweet book deal. She barely touches the neighborhoods that are not the main tourist attractions.

As for the touristy areas, she may as well have been a writer for the Turkish Tourism Association. She gives very little history of the places she writes about and does not give a realistic take on them. For instance, she says that Topkapi Palace is so great that "tourist attractions rarely get better than this." What she fails to mention is that very little of the palace is left in its original state so you don't get a sense of palace life. The rooms are lined with shelves with old artifacts so it is essentially a museum in a palace. The Turkish government only let the palace become a tourist attraction bit by bit so this is to be expected. It is a great place but Maxwell hardly conveys that.

Also, she says that Ayasofya will take your breath away. This is the worst-maintained historical place I have ever seen. She fails to mention that there has been scaffolding in the dome for nearly 10 years.

Also, the ferry information she gives is wrong and we missed a trip to the Princes' Islands because of it.

Lastly, I don't think phrases like "wet dream" belong in a tourism book. What does that even mean anyway?

I am not saying Istanbul is not worthy of praise.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alessandra on November 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am fan of Lonely Planent Encounter guides as I travel a lot in cities around the world for work. Very often I get to stay there for three months and therefore I fing Encounter guides very useful for me with all the nice shops and bars/restaurants tips given by locals.

This book is full of outdated information even though is only from last year: many of the bars/cafes/restaurants mentioned are closed. Second, many addresses are wrong. Third and most important: all the shops, bars, cafes and restaurant mentioned are really REALLY tourist traps. I do not think the author is a local at all (if she is, she hanging with tourists all the time). Also, I did not find any value added in this guide book than any other Istanbul guide book.

When I buy encounter (I have London, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome and they are top notch) I expect a different level.
A new author (please a local this time....) should completely rewrite the entrie book.

This book is a loss of money and TIME (you will loose time looking for the shop/restaurant she mentions finding out is either a tourist trap or wrong address...)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nigel on October 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
Worthless...incorrect info abounds. I am still on my trip in Turkey and and am in an internet cafe urgently wanting to warn others who might buy this piece of useless and misleading and just wrong crap. This book has consistently provided misleading and incorrect information and has wasted 2 of my valuable vacation days. Do I sound angry. You bet I am!!!!!! Luckily I also have a copy of the Moon Handbook to Istanbul and Turkish Coast and this has proven to be ABSOLUTELY GREAT. No more of Istanbul Encounters. The trash can is too good for it, but it is too non-absorbant to put it to it's best use.

I will take a seemingly innocuous facet of the book---ferry recommendations. The schedule times are wrong. Imagine missing a once a day Bosprous ferry cruise. I made it aboard. I wanted to see the European side so sat where the book recommended only to discover I was seated on the Asian viewing side of the vessel with no way to change to the other side since the ferry was full. Then I noticed the author had misidentified which shore several landmarks were on. I could only conclude the author had never actually taken the cruise but had relied on second-hand, wrong info. She also suggests taking the ferries to various Golden Horn locales failing to mention that the ferries run sporadically if at all, leaving me stranded and cursing. If you use this book after reading this review, heaven help you.

It also directs the tourist to a couple of really abysmally dreary and to be avoided neighborhoods. The book devotes far too much space to recommending pathetic and often out of business restaurants.

In my 40 years of travel never have I encountered such a poorly researched and presented travel guide.

I can only conclude that unless they provide specific examples, the positive reviewers liked the format of the book but did not acutally attempt to use it--a plague among travel book reviews on Amazon.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By saliero on February 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love Istanbul, having lived there in the early 1990s. In 2005 I made my first return visit since then, and although I feel confident I know the city well, much has changed. This guide contained information which locals I stayed with weren't aware of, particularly public transport info.

My main criticism of LP books is that the maps are pretty useless, and this is once again the case. You really need to get a separate map f you are going to venture beyond the really well trodden path. (There are a couple of bookshops on Istiklal Cadessi that sell good maps).

I found the tone of the book suited me - it is enthusiastic about an amazing city, and the author certainly knows the place well. I don;t usually follow guide book suggestions for places to eat, preferring to discover those on my own. I am gald I allowed Maxwell to lead me to a couple of cafes and bars, however, as they were excellent.

I recommend this book for both the novice and experienced traveller to the city (which I don;t with all LP City Guides - some, like Paris, I think reather too basic for the experienced visitor to that city).
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