21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Comprehensive but one or two faults.., 20 Jan. 2007
This book is an excellent and pretty definitive travel guide for getting to grips with Istanbul. I had previously always relied on Rough Guides, but in this case only the Lonely Planet Guide was available. Having relied on this book for the best part of a week, I will consider switching alleigance for future expeditions!
All the standard features are there - historical contexts, practical information etc - but I particularly appreciated the sections detailing e.g. the types of restaurant you'll come across. I enjoyed the style of these chapters, and appreciated more of an insight into Turkish life than the somewhat drier and concise Rough Guide information.
One major issue I would like to highlight though, is that the author of this book clearly has friends living in Istanbul, and no doubt reviewed some of the restaurants and experiences with a Turkish speaker on-hand. Not that language itself was a problem, but I regularly had the distinct feeling that I was being taken advantage of because of my lack of local knowledge. I doubt that an Istanbulla would have been overcharged or given sub-standard food, particularly in the more authentic restaurants, and at times the reviews differed considerably from the reality.
Local insight has definitely enhanced this book, but it has also perhaps given an overly positive spin on things and is not therefore, a true representation of experiencing the city as a tourist. Still, a lot of very useful and interesting information, particularly for sight-seeing, and more than worth the money.