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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 5 January 2005
I had never visited Turkey before and set off for a week with a friend in Istanbul over New Year 2004. I cannot recommend this book highly enough - the clear maps saved us from many a sticky situation (be warned that the bus to Topkapi does not go to the main sightseeing spot of Topkapi Palace) and the sections on the various mosques and places to visit are highly informative. It also has a very helpful section on getting around Istanbul, which was invaluable for us as we wanted to explore the city by public transport as far as possible, without wasting money on taxis every minute as our hotel advised us, and so allowing for that extra Turkish bath and massage at Cemberlitas ... This book is all you need to get the most out of your stay in this fascinating city.
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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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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 23 November 2011
I purchased this Istanbul guide book shortly before visiting the city last month. This was our first time in the city and the guide proved to be extremely useful in helping us build an itinerary, as well as providing masses of information about the places we planned to visit.

The only topic not addressed was that of how (and where) to purchase tickets for public transport. Trams were no problem but getting tickets for local buses proved a bit of a challenge. This would have been useful additional information.

For the purpose of learning about what there is to see in Istanbul I'd recommend the guide to anyone, although the smaller version is probably easier to carry around.
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on 7 June 2008
Invaluable, had information even the locals we were staying with didn't know: and was so good they asked if they could have it after we left Istanbul. Didn't leave my side the whole time. I saw this thing in the hands of so many tourists in several different languages, especially on the Bosphorus trip. The maps were very useful for us and so should be for most, provided you know how to read a map. Forget contact lenses and emergency money; if you only bring one thing with you make it this travel guide.
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on 20 June 2007
I used this award-winning book in preparation for a one-week trip to Istanbul with a tour group. I also found it extremely useful to give context to the sights I was visiting once I was actually there.

I find Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness guidebooks to be in a league of their own when it comes to visual depictions of the sights. The full colour pictures really made Istanbul come alive. And the tourist and historical information was also very informative.

As the group accommodation was already booked, I did not need to use that section of the book, but I can wholeheartedly recommend the rest. Young and independent travellers might prefer Lonely Planet or Rough Guide for more in-depth coverage of budget accommodation.
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on 1 July 2009
Really up to the standard we have come to expect from these series of guides. I like the three dimension views which really do help in understanding the layout of something as complex as the Topkapi Palace.

By way of improvement, perhaps DK could add a summary up front so that the reader is familair with the site ASAP and can read up the details later.

A liitle bit heavy to carry around speically when one is carrying a camera or two plus bottled water, etc but an excelent product nevertheless.
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on 2 February 2010
We used it during our Christmas city break. We combined it with the "rough guide" and thez make an excellent combination, This one is great to visit the monuments, the other is better for dining spots, hotels etc
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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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