Istanbul Trip Day 1 – Just Roaming Around Sultanahmet

When we reached the Ataturk Airport, the immigration clearance process was no hassle at all, as we did the visa processing online before we flew. To obtain the online visa, visit the e-Visa website, fill the online application form, make the payment, then download the electronic visa. All the steps will hardly take more than 15 minutes. The cost of the visa is 25 usd per person.

At the Baggage Collection, I was looking for trolleys, and when I found them I had to use a coin to get one, and sure I didn’t have a single coin of lira. Oh well, we just pulled the luggages, no issue. Once outside I noticed that most people with luggage were without trolleys.

I’ve informed the hotel in advance that we would need a pick up at the airport. So there after the exit, I saw some names put up at a board, while looking for my name, the teenager next to the board asked me, “Mr. Idi Kurniawan?”, I said “Yes, It is me”. “Come sir, just wait here, I will call the taxi driver”, he said. After a while, he walked us outside, and a family van that would take us the hotel arrived.

It took around 20 minutes from the airport to the hotel, Best Western Premier – Regency Suites in Sultanahmet. After having the welcome drink, which was cay (tea) for me and my wife, and apple cay for the children, we went up to the room, took showers, and ordered some pizzas from the hotel. We found the pizza tasted really nice, or probably it was just because we were so hungry? 🙂

I was thinking of having some rest at the hotel, but my wife and children were so eager to see the surrounding. Well, so I okayed it, I thought they were tired. Since it was only around 2pm, we had more than a couple of hours for strolling around before it got dark, sunset was around 5pm.

Sultanahmet square is just around 500m from the hotel. On the way, we passed Arasta Bazaar. It is a small bazaar just next to the Sultanahmet Mosque, having some souvenirs and traditional food. We were surprised that in that cold weather, around 5-7 degree celcius, tourists were many all around the area. I can’t imagine how it will be in the spring or summer. 

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