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Travel tip: Why we will never use a taxi in Istanbul again

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Yes a taxi will be extremely tempting when you FINALLY step out of customs at the airport! Being hot, overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle, along with multiple sales men hungry for you to use their transport makes anyone want to give in and take the EASY route. But how much are you willing to SPEND?!

The first time we arrived in Istanbul we were THOSE people. So, after pushing away a shuttle sales man that literally grabbed my arm, we ignored all advice and jumped in a taxi. Fortunately, our first experience with a taxi travelling from Ataturk airport to our accommodation near Galata Tower went smoothly. However, this is not NORMAL!

Massive queue for customs at SAW airport, Istanbul

Massive queue for customs at SAW airport, Istanbul

Why we will never use a taxi in Istanbul again

The only other (and last ever!!) time that we caught a taxi was from our accommodation near Taksim Square to SAW airport at 3.30am.

The taxi driver spoke little English, got up to speeds of 170kms per hour, and of course there were no seat belts available. Upon arrival to the airport he then ignored the metre and asked for a much higher amount of money, saying something about toll road fees (in very simple English). We refused, and agreed to pay 110 Lira (a little more than what the metre read which was already extremely pricey!).

So, I handed over a 100 Lira note along with a 10 Lira note. Being 4am, I thought I was paying attention but of course also felt almost drunk due to tiredness. So when the driver said I had underpaid and held up a 20 and a 10 Lira note – I WAS CONFUSED! Problem is, Moss trusted the taxi drivers word and assumed I had handed over the wrong amount. But, having only withdrawn cash the night before, I knew that 100 Lira was now missing from my wallet.

What was the result? Well we were fooled by the taxi driver’s magic trick of turning a 100 Lira note into a 20 Lira and had to dig money out of Moss’s wallet. Plus to make matters worse, we caught up with a friend a few weeks later, only to learn that he had the EXTACT same trick done to him.

Tip: If you do HAVE to catch a taxi, then pay the driver by counting the money out loud into their open hands

Cheapest way to travel from Ataturk Airport to Istanbul Central

If you are travelling on a budget and would rather spend 8 Lira per person in order to get to or from Ataturk airport, then we recommend catching the metro/tramway from Ataturk Airport to Istanbul central.

Once you have made your way out from customs, keep an eye out for the METRO/TRAMWAY signs. The signs will instruct you to go down a few floors within the airport. In order to enter the tram platforms you will need to purchase a token. The token is an orange plastic coin, and can be purchased for 4 Lira from a machine as shown in the image below.

Tip: Depending on how far your journey is you will probably need two tokens (orange coins) per person. Therefore to save hunting down a machine later, buy two tokens at the airport.

Istanbul ticket machine

Tips for using the trams in Istanbul:

– Each tram costs a flat fee of 4 lira per person, no matter how far you are riding it.
– Some stations are located in the middle of the road.
– There are token machines at each station. However you may need to look around for them as the pay stations are sometimes only located on one side of the road.
– Once you have inserted your 4 lira you will be issued an orange plastic coin which will give you entry to the stations platform.
– In order to get from Ataturk Airport to old Istanbul (The Grand Bazaar and Blue Mosque etc) you will need to get three trams costing a total of 8 lira per person.

Istanbul Network Map

Tips for using buses in Istanbul:

– Buy your ticket before boarding the bus
– Apparently there is a bus that runs from Taksim to SAW airport, and it would be a lot cheaper than our taxi experience!

Other forms of transport are also available:

– Shuttles are supposedly cheaper than taxis.
– Car service’s such as Blacklane Limos are also another option. For a traveller on a budget, they are fairly pricey, however due to everything being prebooked and prepaid online, they were hassle free and our driver was waiting for us at the arrivals gate.

Blacklane Limos

Blacklane Limos

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the Blacklane Limos car service, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

Since May 2014, Rebecca has been wearing out her jandals. She loves anything that involves the ocean whether it be scuba diving, wakeboarding, jet skiing or more recently - sailing! Consider following her via RSS Feed, Twitter and Facebook.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Ali

    October 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    I have had a few bad encounters with taxi drivers myself… I was physically assaulted by one in Indonesia for refusing to pay waaay more than the metre read!

    • Rebecca Barlow

      October 30, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Jeepers that is terrible! I hope you didn’t get too badly hurt 🙂

  2. abdul

    December 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Be careful with taxi’s and auto’s if you are visiting India… but now that problem is solved a little bit with online booking… I am not a traveller but i had lot of trouble with these people..

  3. Frank Bauer

    February 22, 2015 at 11:05 PM

    I find the public transport system in Istanbul somewhat confusing and not sure I would take it from Ataturk. Certainly not if it is your first visit. I would recommend preordering a car online before from a webiste that shows you the price in EUR. I did that and it work very well. You then know for sure what you are going to pay.

  4. Tiina

    May 12, 2015 at 10:55 PM

    Sounds familiar.. I was living one whole year in Turkey so I’ve seen my share of it 😀 When we were visiting Istanbul and trying to find our way to the center from the bus station, we were scam-attacked from every direction. Luckily at this point we had been living there already most of our year, so we were no strangers to the ways. At the end we believed the guy that had the most convincing story and we were able to find our way (without a taxi) to the center.

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Adventure Travel

Explore Auckland’s Coasts With One Exquisite Walking Hike

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There is a wonderful place found in the far southwest of the Pacific Ocean. It is a place called Auckland, and it is found in the amazing terrain of New Zealand. It is a place that commands the attention of over 1 million people who prefer to live and reside in this majestic city.

Did you know that Auckland claims the top spot in New Zealand with its wide range of people and the most concentrated number of people within a city in New Zealand?

But why do so many people come to Auckland, New Zealand, and live there? What do they appreciate the most?

The truth is that the answer may vary, and it may differ from person to person, but it is hard to deny that nature is not a crucial part of their decision making. The beautiful city has fantastic places that offer great adventure and recreational activity.

You can take advantage of the diverse coasts, hidden coves, and more of the northern area in the North Island. It is known for its various boats, and some believe that it has more ships than any other city in the entire world.

It is a city that resides between two large fantastic natural harbors.

Let us find out more about how you can explore this majestic city with one fantastic walking hike.

The Auckland Coast

For those who want to stay near to Auckland’s city and travel well, it is necessary to start your journey with the Auckland Coast’s breathtaking area.

Did you know that Auckland’s coast ranges over 15km, will take over four hours to traverse, and is somewhat challenging to navigate? But the truth is that it is worth it. Why is it worth it? Well, you can seemingly walk the length of an entire nation within the span of a few hours. If you wake up early in the morning and go on this journey, you can finish your hike by noon or an hour past noon.

But in that brief timeframe, you can experience several oceans, notice a slew of volcanoes, and have a glimpse into people’s regular lives in the New Zealand area.

This fantastic walk is excellent because of its duration and because you are able to experience lush greenery and park settings over 30% of the time. It is a great way to clear your head, get to know more about the people you are traveling with, and experience the refreshing Auckland air.

Experts suggest beginning your journey at the less intriguing Onehunga area and then moving forward with public transportation at the Britomart stop. You will find that you can travel east to take in the water sights with a bit of work.

When your walk is over, you can grab a fresh beverage at the Waitemata Harbour, a premium harbor.

You will want to make sure to bring some healthy snacks along for the walk because you may not notice different places to eat as you go on this part of the hike.

It is best to ensure that you understand that you must input the Ferry Building into your mobile device or ensure to use the local municipal iSITE for further guidance.

If you are limited on time, I would suggest that you go on this route because it lets you take in the entire area and understand this excellent place.

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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