I'm flying to the far east and have a choice of places and airlines to go with. If I take Turkish airlines, it will have a stopover in Istanbul. I was thinking about picking a flight with a long stopover to sightsee Turkey a short bit before leaving. Is it safe for me to do that without a holiday tour guide though? I will be traveling as a lone parent with 2 young DCs aged 7 and 9. How is the public transport and everything?
I have a friend who backpacked to Istanbul and she said its beautiful and safe and within the old city, everywhere is accessible by walking. And she said just take a taxi to the old city from the airport as its only 20 mins drive.
That was a few years ago but wonder if its the same now? Also what can people here recommend I see? The Home Office says Turkey is not that safe but I am assuming that only refers to the Syrian border side, right?
Istanbul is fine. The old part, Sultanahmet is full of tourists so you will be safe enough there. It is a beautiful city and there is loads to see, the Blue mosque and the Grand Bazaar, Aghia Sofia, Topkapi Palace to name just a few places. And the food is wonderful there.
It is only the Syrian border that is unsafe so definitely spend a couple of days there if you have the chance.