I went to a Thai restaurant on Friday, and was delivered a relevant fortune cookie with the bill, it read:

you will step foot on many foreign lands

How true!  I’m on a countdown for my upcoming Trip to Turkey – with a flight path of LA-Amsterdam-Manchester-Istanbul-Bodrum-Istanbul-Manchester-Paris-LA — many lands indeed!

I’ve been cruising the internet for sites and blogs with travel tips for Istanbul, and pouring over my travel guides.  Here’s my summary of the guides I have to hand:

Publisher and Title


Lonely Planet: Istanbul Encounter (with pull-out map) Great little – chunk in your bag, easy to carry around book.  Summary of all of the neighbourhoods, plus snapshots of standard travel topics (accommodation, food, shopping, attractions etc.), as well as Ferry Cruise information, and notes around culture etc.Highly recommended for quick trips.  This is the main reference guide I’ve been reviewing, and I’m highlighted my copy to death.

The pull-out map’s pretty basic, and I can tell that I’m about 10 unfolds-folds away from a tear in the map creases.  The map is definitely good for a quick reference guide.

Knopf Map Guides: Istanbul A great guide to use in conjunction with the LP guide above.  Each of the 6 maps, fold-out to show the six large districts discussed in the guide.  For each district, there is a double page of tops pick recommendations for the standard travel topics.
DK Eyewitness Travel: Istanbul Whenever I go to a new destination, if there’s a DK Eyewitness guide, I buy it.  As well as maps and area information, they have detailed pictures and information for attractions, and also suggested walking routes.  I love DK guides — they have great photo’s and sketches, and lot’s of great narrative.  It’s a bit heavy to carry around all day – but I think well worth the effort.If I were to publish a travel guide – I’d want to base the design on the DK format.
Citlembik: Istanbul’s Bazaar Quarter – Backstreet walking tours This book has 4 back-street walks, to take you around some of the lesser known sites of Old Istanbul.  As well as a map, each walk is supported with photo’s of road-side sightings, with the history of what you’ll come across – these walks were designed around the city’s old hans (inns).I haven’t delved into this guide yet, I’ll let you know if we use it, after we’ve visited Istanbul.


There is so much written and published about Istanbul, and I’ve had a case of “information-overload” – but I want to make sure that I make the most of my first trip to Istanbul.

I’ve been compiling Istanbul travel tips, and will be starting to publish these on my Roving Jay site.  Once I get to the Bodrum Peninsula – I’ll be posting that content to my Bodrum Travel site.