Early in the afternoon we land at the Atatürk
airport. We have to wait at the customs for a very long time but once
we've paid the fees and got the stamps everything proceeds smoothly. To
go to our hotel, the Yasmak Sultan hotel in Sultanahmet, we take the underground
and the tram (according to the instructions at
To find an akbil (click for more about transport) is a bit troublesome but everybody is very helpful and in no time we are sitting in the tram, eating rolls, enjoying ourselves and get our first impressions of Istanbul. We don't have to get off before the 17th stop, the sun is shining and it is fun already.
The hotel (photo above) appears to be very close to the Gülhane
tramstop, at the eastern end of Ebusuud Caddesi, (contrary to the information
provided by Google Earth).
We are given rooms at the 5th floor, quite small, but the kids (who have a room at the backside) have a view of the Galata tower across the Bosphorus from their window!
More about the hotel see day 5.
To the right a map of the hotel and its surroundings: it is situated
The tramstop near the hotel is at the Gülhane Park. The Archeological Museum and the Topkapi palace are located there as well.
At the end of this day we have dinner in Hoça Pasha Sokak, not
far from the hotel (see map at the top), near the Hoca Pasha mosque. (Another
tip from TurkeyTravelPlanner
Our first Istanbul dinner is at 'Et Is': tasty food, pleasant atmosphere and not expensive at all. After dinner we get a glass of very sweet apple tea. Eva loves it and adds even more sugar.
A cup of apple tea after dinner becomes a set habit.
Another habit from day one on is a visit to the pastane, a shop where
all kinds of baklava(pastry with honey and nuts)and Turkish Delight (lokum)is
sold by weight.
Our pastane (photo left) is just past Hoça Pasha (Hüdavendigar Cd). Later at our hotelroom we eat our catch .