just a brief blog to mention our trip to Istanbul...We had just a WE which is too short, but this was our second time in the city. For a first visit you need minimum 4 days. To understand Istanbul it is good to have seen Rome before. A lot is linking the two cities....
First night after arrival at the airport we had choose a hotel in Sultanhammet, center of the city on the first hill. Best western, nice price nice quality of service and directly on the spot. We had a nice dinner in typical turkish restaurant next to Topkapi palace.
After Breakfast we had a regular tour on the blue mosque, Sofia hagia, the citerne and went to the bazaar. After we stayed at a hamam for a turkish bath at Suleymaniye: http://www.suleymaniyehamami.com.tr/
At night we went for a cruise on Bosphore, nice bit too touristic but nice: http://www.bosphoruscruise.com/turkishnightonthebosphorusunlimiteddrinks.html
Next day we went up the golden horn, to Eyup and Pierre Loti cafe, nice view on Istanbul. After we had a trip for lunch in Gallata quater, this is the modern Istanbul..with old markets..nice contrasts.
Comming back, we wanted to see dervish turners dance, quite impressive and a must to see in Istanbul. We booked at this adress: http://www.dancesofcolours.com/ but surprise the show was canceled without any warning so we changed the booker with: http://hodjapasha.com/
For dinner we went to Asitane: http://www.asitanerestaurant.com/English/imperial_ottoman_cuisine.php quite nice but the service was not at the level of the kitchen. Some good restaurants are as well: http://360istanbul.com/ and http://www.ramirestaurant.com/fr/index.html.
Next day, just before departure we went by Tram to Modern Art museum in Istanbul: COOL-http://www.istanbulmodern.org/en/f_index.html
After a nice walk back to the hotel, we left for the airport- This was Istanbul express, cool city with a look of extremes but a lot of charm.