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Strolling through Istanbul: The Classic Guide to the City (Tauris Parke Paperbacks) Paperback – 30 Nov 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks; New Revised and Updated Edition edition (30 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848851545
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848851542
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'the best travel guide to Istanbul' --The Times

'a guide book that reads like a novel' --New York Times

About the Author

The late Hilary Summer-Boyd was professor of humanities at Robert-College-Bosphorus University. His magisterial work, The Seven Hills of Constantinople: A Study of the Byzantine and Turkish Monuments of the City, was unpublished at the time of his death in 1977 and is now being prepared for publication by Bosphorus University Press. John Freely was born in New York and joined the US Navy at the age of seventeen for the last two years of World War II. He has lived in New York, Boston, London, Athens and Istanbul and has written over forty travel books and guides, most of them about Greece and Turkey. He is author of The Grand Turk, Storm on Horseback, The Cyclades, The lonian Islands (all I.B.Tauris), Crete, The Western Shores of Turkey, Strolling through Athens and Strolling through Venice (all Tauris Parke Paperbacks). He is currently professor of physics at Bosphorus University in Istanbul.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on 12 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are guidebooks, then there are guidebooks. If you need a general introduction to the incomparable city of Istanbul, giving you an overview of its many and varied attractions, and perhaps helping you choose a hotel or a restaurant or nightclub too, there are several acceptable guides available - the Rough Guide is a fair bet, notwithstanding its inaccuracies.

If, however, you are serious about getting away from the tourist drag and untangling Istanbul's many layers of history, truly getting to know the "real" place and how it has come to be what is today, then this is a book for you. Each of the 23 chapters takes you on foot along a suggested route through the streets and lanes of the Queen of Cities, enabling you to become acquainted with it in a way no other book I'm aware of makes possible. The authors are exceptionally well-informed, and prove themselves able to share their expertise in an intelligent and very readable way, devoting ample space to the countless sites of interest to the visitor without ever becoming tedious. If your particular interest is Byzantine history, or perhaps the Ottoman period, you can easily select which sites to visit - the book makes possible a pick 'n' mix approach to help you. Relevant input from historical and architectural viewpoints enables you to look at familiar locations through new eyes, and even to learn of the existence of sites you never knew existed.

The walks are of varied length, but none of them need take a full day. Plans of key buildings are detailed and appropriate to the text, and route maps are user-friendly minimising the chances of getting lost even in more remote residential areas. The 2009/2010 edition is bang up to date.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By JJ Merelo on 11 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I landed a few hours ago from my trip to Istanbul, where this book hasn't left my bag except to be eagerly read. This is not a classical, full of pictures, timetables, tips and tricks, and restaurant list guide. It's a guide that provides itineraries through Istanbul, describing in full historical and artistical detail what you find along the way. Includes more information and more places than any other guide, and it's very useful for reading while visiting; stop for a while, find the place in the index in the back, and read aloud for the benefit of your group, and to illustrate everybody. You'll be fascinated with the history, art and technique of Sinan, know about the descriptions of Evliya Çelebi and be able to spot Iznik tiles on sight. Granted. It's even more useful if you read, before going, Istanbul: The Imperial City by one of the authors, but, in any case, it stands by itself.
The only problem I find with this is that you'll have to complement it with, at least, a map (which you can ask in any of the Tourist Information booths, or at the hotel) and maybe some information on opening and closing times; some kind of prioritization would have also been a good idea, but, in any case, it's an excellent book to carry when you're in Istanbul, probably the best.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. Baldry on 6 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
'Strolling through Istanbul' is a full and authoritative architectural guide. We shall use it on our future visit to the city. Meanwhile, we would warn that, while there are local maps in the various chapters, the visitor will also need a good map of the old city in order to find the way to each quarter that Freely describes. The book is not for the casual visitor, and everyone will also need a general guidebook (e g the Rough Guide to Istanbul).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tilly on 26 Nov. 2013
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On our recent trip to Istanbul, we found this book the best guide to the many historic sights of the city. The chapters are arranged by area and involve a detailed walking tour of the streets, with comments on ancient and modern buildings not covered by the usual guide book, as well as the main sites. We discovered many hidden gems. The style is scholarly but very readable. The book went everywhere with us and enhanced our visit. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Xenia Irwin on 13 May 2013
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but perfect for an in depth traveller with a real interest in every aspect of Istanbul. unfortunately for a quick City Break guide it was just too detailed and it was easy to get bogged down.
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Worth its weight in gold (and if you're travelling with easyJet, that's something to consider, as it's not a lightweight volume).

See other reviews for a fuller description - they are accurate - but this is worth buying a few weeks in advance of your trip, if that's its purpose, as there's a lot of reading and it can really put you in the mood.

We used it as both - for pre-reading and then went on a handful of the suggested walks with the book in our hand. It worked brilliantly for both, and is superb as a historical introduction, going into far more detail than any commercial guidebook. Written lovingly, it really conveys a spirit of the city and brings it to life.

Tip: if you're pre-reading, skip the lengthier architectural descriptions of interiors, as they can get a little dry if you're not in situ!

As others have suggested, take a commercial guidebook and decent map (for those who can get to London, I'd strongly recommend going to look in person at Stanfords rather than blind buying online as a good quality map is quite important in Istanbul - unfortunately as I write the map I bought isn't in front of me so I can't remember it to recommend it - sorry!)
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