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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Withdrawn library item. Limited marks/labels. Clean, crisp pages. Tight binding. Cover has moderate surface and edge wear.
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Istanbul (Eyewitness Travel Guides) Flexibound – January 15, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Known… for its four-color maps, photos and illustrations, the [DK] Eyewitness Guides are extremely user-friendly for travelers who want their information delivered in a concise, visual way." — Chicago Tribune

"The best option… Color photos, maps, and diagrams bring the place to life." — The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Product Details

  • Flexibound: 280 pages
  • Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel; Rev Upd edition (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756625017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756625016
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,377,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
Length: 0:19 Mins
If you're only going to buy one guide to Istanbul, this is the one.

The principal reason is that Istanbul is a city of great architecture, which D-K's cut-away diagrams ideally showcase. You can quickly determine where you are within a building and which features you have not yet seen.

For us, the most enjoyable attraction in Istanbul was the ferry ride up the Bosphorus, which ends at a charming village near the Black Sea with excellent restaurants where you have lunch before returning. There are commercial tourist boats that make this trip, but we much preferred the public ferry that cost approx. $10 round-trip -- one of the great travel bargains of the world. The discussion about it in this guide is quite good.

Some things not covered in the book:

* When we asked the concierge at our hotel for the best place to change money, he said "The Grand Bazaar, no question." Indeed. In addition to a narrow spread between buy and sell, there is no commission (other commercial money-lenders not only charge a large spread, but usually tack on a 4% commission). The local merchants all use the money-changers there, and according to the concierge, exchange rates for the entire country are set there. Alternatively, you can use ATMs, which appear to be ubiquitous.

* Among the best bargains in the Grand Bazaar are gold and silver, which are sold by weight with a reasonable mark-up, as opposed to the 400% markups commonly charged by American jewelers. Each jeweler has a gram scale where he weighs any given piece, and then prices it accordingly, based upon the price of gold that morning. The gold, by the way, appears to universally be 22 karat, worked in India. Because Indian workers are paid $15 per month, labor is not a material element in the price.
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Format: Flexibound
My wife and I recently went to Istanbul for a week with this book and Lonely Planet Turkey. This was by far superior for all of the sightseeing elements of the tour. The book is readable, clear, and provides pictures of many of the major landmarks and buildings of Istanbul so that you know what you're looking at; it also provides maps to major sites like Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque so that you can orient yourself. There are several interesting sidebars on Turkish history or customs that are fairly interesting.

The only drawback to this book is that is has only a cursory review of most of the restaurants and (especially) hotels in Istanbul; this is the only place where I felt that Lonely Planet was better in any way.

That said, I nearly bought a second copy of this book because my wife always was looking at it and I got tired of looking at the maps and text written upside-down. If you are only going to buy one guide for Istanbul, make this the one.
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Format: Flexibound
The maps are the most useful of any of the Istanbul travel books I have seen; although this book gives history and analysis, it is not too in depth, as the Knopf book can be, so that you lose sight of where you are. The tours laid out in this book contain references to small cafes and shops and restaurants that none of the others do. Portable enough to carry with, the drawings of such sites as the AyaSofia are excellent; it is pretty to look at, educational, useful and easy to carry. The current version is very up-to-date on one of the most fascinating cities anywhere. Excellent book, wonderful city.
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While Amazon my promote buying both, the guide to Turkey contains much the same information as the Guide to Istanbul. Istanbul at a Glance is slightly shorter in the Turkey guide, but the Turkey guide contains area by area descriptions, the Traveler's Needs and Survival Guide sections as well as street maps. The information is great, but I didn't need it twice.
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This was our first trip abroad. We loved Istanbul and we loved this guide. It's perfect for the tourists who want to see the sites. If you want to get into the grit of the real city, you better know someone. No book could help that because of some of the dangers. We were lucky to have a friend show us the city as a whole, and the book was perfect for seeing the sites. I do wish the book had the following helpful tip.

Go to the Grand Bazar to see what it is like. But do not buy anything there. You can find things cheaper at the Spice Bazar and throughout the rest of the city.
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I had never used this series of guidebooks before, so I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised during my recent visit to Istanbul in June of 2007.

The main selling points of these DK guides are the superior maps and illustrations of tourist attractions. Major museums, mosques and palaces are shown in detail, with drawings and photos of the interior and exterior, as well as nicely illustrated historical tidbits. For doing the touristy things like visiting major attractions and taking pictures, this guide is great.

I am not sure how good this guide is when it comes to restaurants and nightlife. I did not explore that side of Istanbul as much, and what I saw did not impress me much.

Overall, I think I would have preferred a guide geared more towards active young people with a slightly cynical edge - this guide seemed to present everything as pretty and somewhat sterile. From what I saw, Istanbul definitely has an interesting culture that this guide did not fully capture.

Overall, good guidebook, and highly recommended. Read it ahead of time to know where the main sites and activities that interest you are located. Then do some more research online for good hotels to stay in - online reviews are more up to date.
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