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rokncvplyc do you have contact info for them?
What are good neighborhoods to say in in Instanbul?
Loved staying in Balat, quite alternative and artsy. Let me know if you want an Airbnb recommendation (one of my fave stays so far)
I like Beskitas, Sisli, and Nisantasi. Balat cool too…
orltisudpvyvmt send me airbnb recs too over there. i might switch hoods after i get to ist
love this restaurant in Balat
rlgcfa sure - It's all still in progress for me. I've been approved, I'm jsut waiting for the card to be delivered. When I did the application online, it took about 3 weeks for them to send me an email about the appointment to hand my documents. That appointment was in another two weeks. Then after went for the appointment, I never received any notification, just keep logging in online to check the status. After two weeks from the appointment, I saw online i'd been approved and my pass is in the printing stage. This is now the 3rd week since the appointment :slightly_smiling_face:

The agency people told me that once you have an appointment, you don't need to worry about the tourist visa expiring as you're now in the system as having an application in progress.
irmndskrhsnpb sure - if you google Istanbul Foreigners Office, it's the first result (i can't post the link ?). The website does sort of look a bit dodgy ha, but it's ok. They have a decent step by step guide on how the process works (although the English is a little choppy - in person they're fine)

Here is the What'sApp number I used to communicate with them
I'm in Nisantasi it's one of the posh type areas...designer stores but there are also some cool cafes, restaurants etc. I think I'll move to Cighanir next though - i think it's got a cooler vibe, more of the smaller bars, cafes etc...although doesn't matter now while there's a lockdown :wink:

I've also heard Moda on the Asian side is cool, although haven't been there yet.
Moda is definitely the best district in Istanbul. It’s like small Prague or Berlin inside Istanbul. But I doubt you can find Airnbn there.
Balat is more realistic to find appartment in and it’s pretty good too. And stay away from Taksim! :)
Thanks eelfuzowxa will hit them up when I get there
Re Taksim there’s a neighborhood north of Tarlabasi Blv on the way to Taksim that is crazy sketchy…try to avoid that hood
kexxhtau - re Moda, sounds nice! How did you find it compared to Cighanir? Tossing up between the two.
No worries!
I like Moda more :) Cihangir is still too close to craziness of Taksim. Moda is absolutely different. But unfortunately it was impossible to find a rent place there.
Ahh interesting, thanks!
I love Osmanağa.
walked around moda back in jan and it looked really appealing, but due to covid it was depressingly dead, absolutely nothing was open.... is it any better now?
Moda is a little busier now. Most stores are open until curfew.
When I was there in March it was really lively. And it was weekend with cerfew.
Thanks i have an appointment with them 😄
Yup i can also confirm. I tried Halkbank ATM and indeed they did not take any commission. That's awesome
piswwtdhdzmqr - one thing I'd recommend is applying fairly soon after you enter the country. If you get a local Sim, it's active for as long as your tourist e-visa is.....right now, my standard tourist 90 days has elapsed, and even though my residence visa as been approved, I still haven't received my ID card, so I'm in limbo - basically my mobile phone service with Turkcell has been restricted (i can only receive incoming calls) until I can give Turkcell my residence ID number (which I can't do, until its delivered to me - and apparently that can take up to 3 months :joy:)

I also got some weird text referring to my phone's IMEI number, which I don't know how they got? But it said something about turning off my device?

So moral to the story is, don't wait till the last week before your 90 days tourist visa elapses to apply, otherwise you'll be in some strange limbo land like me, regarding your phone, while you wait for your approved residence card to arrive haha
Ok I'm here as of today...I'll try applying this week
Any idea total costs???
I started the process myself and then only found out about the agency - cost about 2000 TLR. If you get them to do the full process, it will probs be a little more
Yeah between 2000 and 3000 TLR depending on what additional services they will cover (Tax office assistance, Notary assistance). They also provide full assistance/support package for additional money. You can ask for a price breakdown on whatsapp
Most everything is open until curfew. A few places are closed for Ramadan.
I planned a trip for Istanbul next month. I’ve had a few people tell me I should “watch out” for myself while I’m there. I was under the assumption that Istanbul is a safe city to be in, but I’m curious is there anything I should lookout for or avoid while I’m there? (personally I don’t think Istanbul could be any more dangerous than most major cities in Europe, but better safe than sorry)
the only thing you need to watch out for are annoying spices or carpet sellers to be honest
jokes aside, to me the city felt perfectly safe
I don’t know what it’s like now but my trip in 2019 went without a problem. Only a bit of discrimination maybe but it’s whatever.
Hafiz Mustafa baklava worth it tbh
it’s quite safe except obvious tourist traps that you can find in many countries don’t go inside the restaurants that they lure you to go, don’t lift off the floor shoe brushes, don’t buy anything from annoying sellers.
apart from that it’s completely safe city, much safer than most of the Europe. Especially in terms of thievery.
It's totally safe here. My girlfriend walks around alone completely safelyu
Just know that you, as a tourist, are a target in touristy areas for merchants to inflate prices on you. Just be aware of that, haggle, and you'll be fine
Cool, fair prices. I want the package that involves the smallest amount of hassle on my end 🙂
I messaged them, hopefully meet soon
I'm organizing a trip starting from Istanbul with stops in Burdur, Antalya, Fethiye, Marmaris, Bodrum, and Izmir. Who's interested in joining me? Send a DM for more details. Time frame is mid-May. Duration TBD (by agreement)
Hearing rumors from locals that they will announce another lockdown starting April 30th and lasting until May 20th
may know tonight
JUST ANNOUNCED 20.00hrs 26/4/2021.

Starting from 19:00 on Thursday, April 29, 2021, a full closure / lockdown will operate throughout Turkey, which will last until 05:00 on Monday, May 17, 2021.

All workplaces will suspend their activities, except for the organizations that are exempted in the circular of the Ministry of Interior.

All intercity travels will be subject to permission and intercity public transport will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Reservations at accommodation facilities will not be an exception to curfews and intercity travel restrictions.

Face-to-face education will be suspended and all exams will be postponed in all institutions, including kindergarten, nursery, 8th and 12th grades.

In order for the process to deliver the results we aim for, the rules will be applied strictly and the abuse of the measures will not be allowed.

I would like to give the good news that our mukhtars, who have been working hard with the radiation teams since the epidemic started, will be vaccinated.

The major Supermarkets will be closed on Sundays and will continue to serve at specified times on other days.

Updates will show here as they are announced.
Off by a day
Thanks for this info. I never would have known. Smh. I had my stay booked now I’m wondering if I should just cancel it.
I'll let you know what it's like on the ground ina few days...
It's been fine so far aside from restaurants
But I may bail to Egypt
any idea on how will this affect tourism? i mean, other than shopping, etc?
we're "stuck" here until the end of may
anyone got any tips on the best areas to stay in antalya?
FYI . . . for those of you who might be interested, there will be no alcohol sold during the lockdown.
i thought alcohol cured the virus 😄
I confirm, that theory is correct 😄
Hmm my airbnb host it telling me that “tourists” are exempt from the lockdown order, and it only applies citizens and residents. Given that information I’m assuming things that I might have originally wanted to do might be closed.

I guess my question is do you think it’s worth coming to Turkey during this lockdown if I have other options?
if you're into nature and the open world then YES, by all means come, we as tourists are exempt from all of this madness and can freely roam around, however everything is closed (hence i'm saying only come if you're into things that can't close)
i spend my weekends (full lockdown) on the beach or driving rental cars around cute towns.. while it sucks that everything is closed and most towns have lost their charm, the hills are still green and the sun is still shining
I’d be in istanbul for the majority of the time, and I’d imagine most things will be closed, aside from takeout from restaurants.
👍 thanks for the advice
For anyone interested, I did a bit of walking the past two days, from my home in Nisanstasi down the hill to Besiktas then along the water in Karakoy and back up the hill through Cihangir and down Istikal back to the crib.

I’d say 60% of the cafes are open, serving takeout coffee and pastries. People tend to ignore the restrictions and congregate out front, drinking coffee, eating pastries, etc. All the groceries wide open with no issues. My favorite meze stores all wide open. All the bakeries open. All the doner places open.

The only businesses that seem to be closed are all those weird wholesale fashion stores in Sisli and all the random gift stores, which actually cuts down on all the sidewalk traffic…overall it’s actually quite pleasant right now. So long as you aren’t committed to eating inside restaurants or visiting bars, this might be a decent time for people to visit. Just my 2 cents.

No cops stopped or harassed me, even though there are tons right now around Taksim bc upcoming May Day. Will try the walk again today and see what happens!
Nice situation brief. Always different on the ground than one imagines from the media.
I'm in Kadiköy. Some cafes are open for take away. Local groceries, pharmacies, butchers, and bakeries are all open for business. There are a few people out on the street walking and almost no vehicular traffic. Police usually hang out in central Kadiköy, but not here in Osmanaǧa, which is 4 to 6 blocks from the central market area.
xmskeh that’s good to hear…going to head over to Moda today to check it out
I'll also add, for those that are interested, that there are a large of amounts of restaurants still open (mostly during lunchtime) if you know where to look. On many occasions in restaurants in Sisli, Nisantasi, Bomonti, etc I've been invited to 'eat downstairs' or 'in the back'. Not really a tourist thing either as the majority of people eating there are local Turks on their long lunch breaks...just needs to be out of sight.
Sounds like prohibition-era US 😂
Just arrived yesterday, stayed in Kadiköy, and it’s absolutely lovely even under quarantine.
Walked from Nisanstasi to Balat yesterday…a long walk. Balat is, I guess, the new Moda? Hipster-ish. Albeit in an overall more conservative neighborhood (Fatih). Very photogenic but I probably wouldn’t want to live here long term. That’s just me though. There are a few small cafes open selling tea and juice and that’s about it. Took the subway and bus back. No issues on public transport.
Northern part is hospitals and mosques. Seems pretty traditional. Moda is obviously nice….it’s the Southern part of the yellow area. Pretty dead now (I did a long walk the other day there) but will be excellent when things open up. Probably the highest density of bars/music venues in the city…

In general I have found that the expensive Airbnbs here are ‘worth it’ in that they are in the more desirable hoods--there are def. limited supplies of quality rentals in the good hoods because so many people actually live in their apartments.

If you find a good deal, there’s probably a reason (as in it is right next to a mosque and you will hear the azan blasted 5 times a day :slightly_smiling_face:

Just my two cents.
Also, if you haven’t been here before, don’t underestimate how hilly this city is. Sometimes it is an intense hike just to get to a decent grocery. Another reason Moda is nice is that it is relatively flat (vs Nisanstasi/Beskitas where I live where there are some massive hills)
I’m staying in Moda now (right next to a Mosque as you have guessed correctly :), but the hotel is lovely and not expensive), I was wondering if nothern part is more interesting since the yellow star of area recommendation points exactly there and not to Moda.
Hi everyone, have you found any bars/restaurants open for dine-in? Last week I found one open near Faith
qyopdkiurwjpsi yes a bunch in nisanstansi but mostly during lunch hours.
northern area is def more boring 🙂
take a walk, you’ll see. there’s a giant hospital and graveyyard there, not sure why that maps app calls it cool
but it also seems like most of the neighborhood characterizations are pretty immature…
imho the best neighborhood for long terming here is nisanstansi/sisli/kurtulus around the osmanbey metro stop
easy access to all the historic stuff if you care, easy access to the best malls if you need to buy shit, easy access to all the nice coffee and food spots in nisanstasi (and the better groceries)
not sure if i can attach images here…
Thanks, that covers my question in full!
hi folks - any tips or advice on finding furnished apartments in Istanbul for ~3 months? Airbnb for that long is really expensive and sahibinden is 99% in Turkish 😅
You could try just messaging Airbnb hosts and asking for a discount. I do that all the time, even for stays of 2-4 weeks, and 80% they offer a discount. I'm sure you can get somewhere around 30% off, or more, if you're planning on staying 3 months. They may ask you to pay for some part of your stay through airbnb, and the rest in cash, to save the money from the airbnb fees. Doing that is up to you, I usually just insist on paying through airbnb for peace of mind, to be able to pay with card and so I could complain to airbnb if anything goes wrong.
Good airbnb guest reviews go a long way in getting discounts too.
80% discount? whoa, that's awesome!

i've tried this before in US/Canada and i havent gotten such nice discounts. this is definitely worth a try and a lot safer as well because i can try out the place beforehand and the added safety of Airbnb as well. thanks enzo
No no, 80% of the times, the hosts offer a discount. Sorry if I didn't explain myself correctly
Ahhh 😬
A 30% discount wouldn't be unreasonable though
Renting for less than 6 months in Turkey is illegal so Airbnb’s the best bet. And that is also the reason why the prices for short term rent is so high.
I also get a discount a few times I ask host about this. But for me it was usually about 10%.
Anyone in Istanbul? Thinking about flying in next week and staying a month. Curious what the scene is like there these days. Curfews? Social scene? Restaurants open? 🙏
Everywhere is closed until 17 may for residents. We are still lockdown. But if you are tourist everywhere is free and open 😄 But I’m not sure restaurants is open.
Blueground is another option - most of their apartments are a little expensive for local standards, but when you compare that to airbnb, you get much much better apartments. I've found that a lot of airbnb apartments are expensive and crap, but blueground has a lot nicer stuff.

You can rent for a minimum of a month. The downside is that with this company you have to pay a deposit and bills, unlike airbnb.
Arrived in Tirana from Istanbul. No PCR test to get in. USA gets a 1 yr visa. Perfect weather right now. I would say less than 5% of people are wearing masks. Restaurants/bars are wide open (indoors and outdoors) with everyone pounding wine at 10am. Kids running around on playgrounds in large, unattended groups. Parks are filled with people and dogs. Feels like an alternate timeline.
There are a few open during lunch in the Nisanstansi/Sisli area. I can DM links. In my hood (the same) all the food-related stores were mostly open (bakeries, charcuterie/meze stores). Good coffee places open for takeout only. Alcohol sales banned but, again, people in my hood were ignoring the order and selling.
That being said, after three weeks in IST I left for Albania
So, are you happy or worried with the situation in Tirana? I have to pass by there for a few days in order to get back to the US for the vaccine.
There’s a large tent in the center of the city where they’ve started to vaccinate the elderly. Looks like it’s free for Albanians right now.
I’m personally not worried. Certainly fewer cases than Istanbul.
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