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Turkey in December 2008?

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11. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Quoting ama6621

Turkey in december seems out then.

Turkey in Dec is a good option if you want a cheap holiday. When I was there I paid 200 EUR for flight from Germany, full board in 4-star hotels for a week and bus trips to Pamukkale, Antalya and Kemer. The flight alone would have been 220 EUR. It is a special promotional offer by the Turkish Board of Tourism. If you cannot afford to go to Turkey otherwise it is a good time to go.

Do you folks have any suggestions for a country that we can visit in December in Europe?

Hmm, what do you want? Snow or sun and beach? If you want sun and beach your only option are the Canary Islands. Or maybe Egypt and Morocco, but this is not Europe.

If you don't mind cold so much, go to Germany or Austria. Christmas time is the best time to visit Germany or Austria because of all the Christmas markets. I really liked Salzburg.

12. Posted by ama6621 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

I don't want to rule out Turkey, but the weather is giving me a scare. I am wondering if I will be disappointed in Turkey just because I went in the wrong season :)
It makes sense to go in December because it will be cheaper then. But I am concerned if it will still be worth the expenses if I will not be able to see much of it.

The other option that I am considering is Egypt.

Everyone's inputs are much appreciated. Please help me decide!

13. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Egypt is great in December.

Cairo can be cold and miserable - bring warm clothes including lightweight gloves, (silk) scarf, hat, woolen socks, sweatshirt, rain jacket, etc.

But down in the south, around Aswan and Abu Simbel December is the only time where you don't die of the heat. The Red Sea is marvelous and reasonably warm, and the weather is absolutely great.

The most important decision to make is whether you'll go with a tour or do it on your own. Doing it on your own will be cheaper, but can be less comfortable. It depends upon what you want.

BTW, one way to save money on flights is to fly via Germany. Tuifly has return flights from Germany to Egypt for approx. 200 USD from Cologne in December (normal price is 500 USD). You might be able to get a cheap flight with LTU to nearby Duesseldorf from the USA. Flights from the USA to Germany should be around 800 USD in early December, depending upon the airport you fly out from.

14. Posted by ama6621 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Not intending to go with a tour. Just a bunch of friends. Can you help me decide what all I can cover in Egypt in a week's time?

Also, we are not really interested in doing any sun and sand kind of activities. We want to experience the culture and visit the pyramids most importantly.

Thanks in advance!

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 23, 2008, at 9:13 AM by ama6621 ]

15. Posted by delacroix (Budding Member 38 posts) 8y

Hi Almas and everybody, I was out for a day and much has changed about the topic when I was back..
I just want to comment on the hotels.
At december, hotels such as Antalya and touristic plaes can go to restoration and such, but I'd lived in Antalya for a year or so, and almost %50 percent of hotels was open back in december.. Actually, this december, we have the fast of sacrifive over here, that means a week's off work and many locals visit plaves in Izmir, Antalya and such. So I storngly believe, there'll be no problem in seaside hotels at december.

About Istanbul and Ankara, more than 99 percent of hotels are open 12 months a year.. And also, winter prices are pretty cheap than the summer prices, so it'll be an affordable holdiay.

If anyone has a particulat hotel (or hotels in mind) just let me know and I'll see if they're open at december probably within 48 hours (by phone).

December in Istanbul can be pretty calm, like 12-14 degrees and a bunch of sunshine.. and also, can be cool, like 4-8 degrees but it won't freeze you to the bones, as well as the sun won't heat you up to the bones. It's best to check in within 10 days or such before travel for weather forecast - it's usually right here 9 out of 10.

December in Ankara and Capapdocia will sure to be cold, not usually below zero degrees in mornings but cool enough.

I think, one week will be great for Istanbul as with someone experienced, it'll be enough to see many attractions. I also try to do my best to help for travellers to Istanbul or any part of Turkey if anyone asks, especially after June 08.

Thanks.

16. Posted by delacroix (Budding Member 38 posts) 8y

Quoting ama6621

Delacroix! Am so glad that I found you on this forum. I have so many questions about Turkey. Let me start with a few.
If we plan to travel for a week, flying into Istanbul, what are the cities/places we can visit?
We don't want a frills and fancy vacation. How much should we budget for each day?
I hope you will keep checking this thread. Because I really have many questions :)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

It's not a problem :) let me try to answer your questions..

1- For a week, you can see both sides of Istanbul (asian and European) and if you can rent a car (a nice car is around 60-70 $ per day) you can drive up to Agva, Black Sea coast of Istanbul on Asian side and may be if you want to see some rural Turkey, you can drive up to Silivri on European side. If you can't/don't want to afford a car, you can take a bus from Istanbul to Ankara, stay two days there (forexample) tan take another bus to Konya (which also is a city that is very intresting for Mevlana and Suphi culture, and a city that has seen Ikonian wars of Byzantium as well as birt of Selju Empire) and stay two days there as well, and then finally you can go to antalya for two days.. that means three days in Istanbul, overnight bus rides, and two days in Ankara and Konya. You can also leave for Cappadocia from Ankara, instead of going to Konya, and spend two days there, finally catching your flight either from Antalya-Istanbul-USA or Konya-Istanbul-USA or Ankara-Istanbul-USA.

2- About budget.. well this is a very hard question to asnwer.. I assume, including hotels, you can put 100-110 $ per day, per person.. it'll buy you good food, clean accomodation, but alas, when I go abroad, I try to hold my standarts above-average, so maybe you choose different hotels that are cheaper and have little to offer and save on budget, let's say 85-90 $. I know, cozy hotels in Ankara are around 65 $ pp.

I hope this helps.

17. Posted by ama6621 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

More questions---

How long does it take to visit the Sofia Hagia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi palace?
Are these all doable in one or two days?
How long does one generally spend in Covered Bazaar?
How long is the bophorus cruise?
Is it safe to go (in a group) to beyoglu in the evening?

Can I do all of the above in 3 days?

Thanks everyone for your responses!

18. Posted by delacroix (Budding Member 38 posts) 8y

Man, you'll owe me a beer or two at the end of this :)

Ok.. One by one..

A total of 3-4 hours is more than enough for Covered Bazaar.

You can do that three-trip within half a day.. Blue Mosque is a pretty intresting place. Hagia Sophia is close to the other tourist attractions..

Beyoğlu is safe 7/24. At least in the last 5-6 years. Back when I was a young officer, we used to patrol the mainstreet, based on my experiences, if you won't leave the high street (ie. Istiklal Street, which has all the action) youll be safe. Sometimes, narrow, sidestreets, there may be some muggers, but not as much as it used to be. So I can say Beyoğlu is very safe, since specially by night, at least 1 out of 20 people is a plainclothes police officer. Also, there are uniformed officers that are willing to help tourists.

A total of 4 days will cover everything you mentioned on your post.

I hope this helps.

19. Posted by mave83 (Budding Member 10 posts) 8y

hii!!!
i was readin about the all threads that u wrote about turkey and ur travelling plan..although i am a big fan of europe i highly recommend u istanbul in december... probably it would be a little bit cold...but for whom i mean if u r travelling from miami would be cold but from utah would be warm for u:))).
also i can say that just 1 week is not enough for istanbul...so i advise u to stay whole week in istanbull..and just taste,feel that the city bonds two continents..
besides all historic places,just give a morning having a breakfast in hisar near the bosphorus(dont forget to eat menemen with simit:))and take a walk in Bebek...

20. Posted by mehmeturas (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

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