Istanbul - Too Late!
Turkish imports are cheaper and better in the USA than in the Grand Bazaar. Taxi service is expensive and public transportation is overcrowded in the city center. The cultural attractions were incredible, but less pleasant than hoped. The main attractions are overrun by cruise ship tours. Many lines leave you in the sun for a hour or longer. When you buy the three day museums pass the documentation is very poor leaving your wondering how to find them and which days they are closed.
Insider Tip:Go to Istanbul in the off season. The weather is easier to deal with than the crowds. You can easily waste half day trying to find a particular museum only to find it closed. One can waste the equivalent of a day standing in lines. Even when paying exorbitant entrance fees, no brochures, building layouts, maps, or other information is provided. Do your research in advance. Restaurant ingredients seemed very poor; we ate a lot of fat and gristle with some interesting spices. There was lots of bread.