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on 30 January 2009
On visiting Istanbul last November, I took the DK book as I've had great experiences with others in the series - this one lived up to my expectations!

We stayed primarily within the historic neighbourhood of Eminonu (where the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sofia and Topkapi Palace are). The streets are labyrinthine but the maps are accurate so we had no trouble finding our way around. At every location, the book gives excellent descriptions and the cut-away illustrations just add to the detail. In particular, we found the suggested walking routes very useful.

I highly recommend this book, but it wold be a good idea to read most of it before you go so that you can really look at the place as well as reading about it. The city is fantastic - I'm obsessed with the place now - nad intend to go back several times, armed with this book.

Some tips -
Our first problem was getting from the airport, as everything seems very vague. We ended up getting the bus into town and then a taxi to our hotel (he got lost!), but on the way back we took the airport shuttle from our hotel. In a city like this, USE THE AIRPORT SHUTTLE BOTH WAYS! Expedia give you the option, I'll definitely tick that box next time.
Take plenty of money - food is quite cheap but entries into places soon mount up. They aren't expenseive - 10 lira is about £4.50 ish, but you might pay four or five fares in a day, which quickly eats at your funds.
If you're shopping, only accept tea where you actually want to buy something (they're offended if you refuse tea, but even more offended if you drink it without buying anything), and HAGGLE all you can :-)

Have a great time!
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on 12 October 2013
I confess to being a very addicted Dorling Kindersley guidebook fan! The tag line they use is "We show you what others only tell you", and that is how I generally feel when I use a DK guide. I particularly like the accurately drawn 3D street plans and the cutaway drawings of major buildings which remarkably often allow me to regain my bearings, so to speak. For example, in this case the drawings of the host of buildings in the Topkapi complex were of great assistance in identifying them individually - much easier than trying to follow a 2D ground plan map. We went on a Bosphorus ferry cruise and again the guidebook enabled easy identification of the various buildings along the shores - in this case largely from the small photos linked to the route map. Same applied to the rabbit warren of the Grand Bazaar - the combination of a suggested route around it and little photos of the key interesting sections worked a treat.

By and large the tourist information is about right for me- no long reams of text but easily enough to get the salient points of interest, and good on practical points like transportation options. For city breaks DK books are hard to beat, IMHO!.
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on 16 August 2013
We just got back from Istanbul, and I took this book and the enclosed map with us. The book is pretty good, although I personally would have liked more photos and a bit more detail/tips about navigating various sites. Also, there are maybe 2 pages about the Asian side, and only detailing one neighborhood over there.The Princes islands get a very brief mention, too. The book really just focuses on the European side of the city, although it does detail some day trips and sites along the Bosphorus. I can't fault the book too much, although I will complain about the map!!! We stayed in the Beyoglu area, and a lot of the streets had names that were different from those on the map. Frustrating if you are looking for a particular address!! I had heard the district was changing some names but I don't think the name changes were all that recent, as every time we'd ask a local for help, they would seem confused by the names on the map. For a 2013 book, the publishers should've been on top of that. Therefore, only 3 stars.
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on 19 February 2013
great maps and plans.Good coverage of places to go,advice on how to get about and a good little vocabulary.good general knowledge coverage too.I do like the 4days tour...as I'm going for a week this is helpful..top tip,only one down side is the weight of the book and its too big for my handbag...small price to pay for such an excelent guide.
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on 5 March 2012
Bought both the Top 10 Istanbul and this, the meatier regular one.
For a city with as much history and as many sites I would recommend this one over the Top 10 as it gives more background and context. However, it could still do with more (in my opinion) as this is a massivley important city with a complex and fascinating history - condensed to a few pages. Still, it was a guide book not a history book...but I can't help feeling that, as there is so much history, any guide book needs to really have covered off enough history to make the sites meaningful to a visitor. I didn't use either guide for eating or accommodation references - I think tripadvisor has pretty much made most guide books redundant in this regard. The information on these very changeable matters is just much more up-to-date on sites like tripadvisor.
The Istanbul guide comes into its own with the cut-away plans. This was beneficial in several places - Hagia Sophia especially. I guess I was slightly disappointed by what I felt was a lack of depth to this guide (compared to other DK ones) but it still served its purpose well enough and was more useful than the Top 10. The maps (as I usually find with all guide book maps) were fairly useless overall - the ones from our hotel were much better.
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on 16 April 2013
This is a really good book if you are taking a trip to Istanbul. Firstly the pull out map is a great benefit and really detailed.
The rest of the guide book gives a very detailed insight of the history of the city. Also the boat trip on the Bosporus described in the book is the one we actually took from Eminonu pier for 25TL , you can buy a ticket on the day . ... This trip was the best part of our weekend.. you can see the city in all its glory from the river.. Would love to go back one day.
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on 22 May 2014
This book is fab. Lots of detail. Sections are easy to use. Eg. History, money, areas, shopping, eating out, tips, maps and also a pull out one which is coated so rain friendly. It's a good dip into book. I have spent about a month reading it whenever I have a few mins. There is a useful words bit too so you can learn a bit of Turkish. Places to stay and resturant guide by budget. Would thoroughly recommend this guide.
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on 12 May 2014
This guide passed with flying colours during our visit to Istanbul. Compact enough to be easily portable, good overviews for quick information but with enough detail to read at your leisure. Beautifully laid out and visually very attractive, clear and informative, as DK books always are; a refreshing change from other guides, which can be heavy going. The detachable (plasticised) street map was very useful and much clearer than the one available in the tourist information office and our hotel.
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on 19 June 2012
I just get back from a trip to Istanbul and I can assure you this is a great guide to travel around this wonderfull town. It's not the first time I bought DK Eyewitness guides and I can testify it's a great travel companion. Acurate information, nice suggestions of places to visit, food, transportation, traveling around and other excellent contents. Lots of graphics and useful maps. And all this in a size and weight that fits great in a travel bag. If to all that we add a fantastic price (£5,20 at amazon.co.uk), then we have the perfect deal.
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on 19 May 2012
I bought this in April 2012 because it was the most recently updated of the Istanbul guidebooks. Lots of colourful illustrations and diagrams and a high standard of finish make it attractive to look at and the fold-out map and other map pages are useful. However, once I started using it I was disappointed at the haphazard way information was presented. Upon visiting the major sights such as the Haghia Sophia Museum or the Suleymaniye Camii Mosque I found beautiful diagrams but little real information.
A lot glossier but not as useful as the Rough Guide.
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