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Cairo, Athens or Istanbul .


Fluke
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Which of those three places would be the preferential place to hang out for two weeks ?

I was thinking about Cairo, solely because its would be hotter than the other two .

Would Athens or Istanbul be a better choice ?

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8 minutes ago, Fluke said:

Which of those three places would be the preferential place to hang out for two weeks ?

I was thinking about Cairo, solely because its would be hotter than the other two .

Would Athens or Istanbul be a better choice ?

I liked all of them although to me Athens has to be the winner but depends what your interests are really

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Istanbul for two weeks would be great, enough to do you wouldn't be bored. If you are into history added plus. It seems a dream but I was in Istanbul & Greece hot/smoke season 2019. That was to be the first of many years of travel.

Then came the Wuhan Flu. &*$#

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Well, you can drink beer in all three but it might be safer in Athens (and cleaner) but more expensive.
(Check the exchange rates of all 3 places.)

In order of preference, I'd take Athens as I haven't been there (yet). I didn't spend a lot of time in Istanbul the one time I was there, which was before Erdogan started trying to change it to an Islamic Republic. Managed a quick tour of the Blue Mosque and then couple hours at a pub until my next flight.

Cairo was great, but dirty. Once you get off the "beaten path" that most tourists stay on, there is garbage everywhere.
However, lots to see right in the immediate vicinity (of Cairo) and even trips to other sites (like the Valley of the Kings where Tut's tomb is) don't take long.

Between the Pyramids, Saqqara and the (old) Egyptian Museum, I could probably spend 2 weeks and be wishing I had more time. (And I've already visited all three of them. Twice !)

I didn't have time to go to the markets or out at night except for a Nile Dinner Cruise. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip back in '05. Only 8 days total and I had a 3 day Nile cruise to Aswan (and a trip to Abu Simbel) as well.

Athens would have plenty of historic sites to visit, as well as trips to outlying islands, nice beaches and probably more "eye candy" than the other 2 places.

A lot of history around Istanbul as well, dating back thousands of years (if you are in to that kind of thing). Not sure about the beaches or night life though, especially now.

As for the weather - it is the end of the "hot" season in all three places, though Cairo would most likely still be hotter than the other 2. I went in July ('05) and was told it was the "low" season as most (archeological) digs stopped during the summer and there were fewer tourists.

(Hate to see the place during "high" season, as it was still pretty crowded In July. But that was before all the political problems they had. Really kicked the crap out of the tourism trade and I think they were still hurting even before the Covid crisis.)

Which is something else you'll need to check. Which place is even letting people in, and what do they expect as far as vaccinations are concerned.

You should probably extend your holiday by 4 weeks and then spend 2 weeks in each place. Then you will have a good idea of where to go - next time !

Edited by kerryd
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12 minutes ago, kerryd said:

Well, you can drink beer in all three but it might be safer in Athens (and cleaner) but more expensive.
(Check the exchange rates of all 3 places.)

In order of preference, I'd take Athens as I haven't been there (yet). I didn't spend a lot of time in Istanbul the one time I was there, which was before Erdogan started trying to change it to an Islamic Republic. Managed a quick tour of the Blue Mosque and then couple hours at a pub until my next flight.

Cairo was great, but dirty. Once you get off the "beaten path" that most tourists stay on, there is garbage everywhere.
However, lots to see right in the immediate vicinity (of Cairo) and even trips to other sites (like the Valley of the Kings where Tut's tomb is) don't take long.

Between the Pyramids, Saqqara and the (old) Egyptian Museum, I could probably spend 2 weeks and be wishing I had more time. (And I've already visited all three of them. Twice !)

I didn't have time to go to the markets or out at night except for a Nile Dinner Cruise. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip back in '05. Only 8 days total and I had a 3 day Nile cruise to Aswan (and a trip to Abu Simbel) as well.

Athens would have plenty of historic sites to visit, as well as trips to outlying islands, nice beaches and probably more "eye candy" than the other 2 places.

A lot of history around Istanbul as well, dating back thousands of years (if you are in to that kind of thing). Not sure about the beaches or night life though, especially now.

As for the weather - it is the end of the "hot" season in all three places, though Cairo would most likely still be hotter than the other 2. I went in July ('05) and was told it was the "low" season as most (archeological) digs stopped during the summer and there were fewer tourists.

(Hate to see the place during "high" season, as it was still pretty crowded In July. But that was before all the political problems they had. Really kicked the crap out of the tourism trade and I think they were still hurting even before the Covid crisis.)

Which is something else you'll need to check. Which place is even letting people in, and what do they expect as far as vaccinations are concerned.

You should probably extend your holiday by 4 weeks and then spend 2 weeks in each place. Then you will have a good idea of where to go - next time !

Thanks , those three places you can get into from Thailand with just a PCR test and from there you can get to the U.K without needing to do the 2300 GBP hotel quarantine . 

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23 hours ago, billywillyjones said:

Istanbul hands down and head south to the beaches as they are open not like Thailand.  You can actually have a beer in a bar.  

Wouldnt it be a bit cold for beaches ?

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1 minute ago, Rain said:

I believe all three would eat you up easily, Fluke. 

Best avoided by the innocent.

I have actually been to all three places , just haven't been there recently .

I also went from Athens to Jeddah overland (and sea) via Tel Aviv , Cairo and Khartoum .

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Athens via a stopover in Istanbul is the way to go.  Fabulous food and steeped in history both cities are fun to explore.

Forget Cairo, can see pyramids via YouTube.

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For two weeks?

It could be too short from some stops and too long for others.

Let's start:

Athens:

There's not a lot of typical tourist stuff to do inside the city. The Parthenon being the most well known. However, I like just walking around looking at the street graffiti, eating at the shops and over the years have found some truly epic hole in the wall bars. Athens is a very low key destination. Personally, I wouldn't spend two weeks here - I'd spend 4 nights max (over a weekend) and then had to one of the islands - preferrably Ios or Santorini. However, if your trip is not within the next week or two - you'll find that you're out of season.

This doesn't have to be a terrible situation though. While you might find it more difficult to get exactly the hotel you want, and some bars might be closed (the further into the winter you get) - you still have all the beauty of Fira and the other towns to visit. If you base yourself in Fira you can take the busses from the central bus hub and explore all the different sides of the islands. Some black sands, red sands etc.

Istanbul:

Another fun city, but not for two weeks. I often use this as my return city (to Asia) because of the cheap fares on Turkish Airlines. Have spent equivalent of months here (4 days at a time) over the years. Great place to eat, chill out, and only okay for bars. Some of the best food I've eaten. If it's your first time recommend you check out a food walking tour the first few days... Tours aren't my thing - but this is a must.

Nothing much to do once you've been to the bazaars - but there are some inexpensive and beautiful hotels Mr. Cas comes to mind. September and October is an okay time to visit, cooler.

Cairo -

Crap man, this is a must visit if you haven't been. The city is dirty, depressing, and gnarly - however visiting Giza is worth the effort. You can spend 2 days walking around the pyramids and fending off touts (or more if you like to photograph). We go and just sit in the shadows and enjoy the incredible vistas. There are plenty of nice hotels - but again, I go for the cheaper options right across from the pyramids - nothing beats looking out your window and seeing the pyramids at all times of day, sitting on the roof balcony and getting a good authentic breakfast. Though otherwise the neighboorhood is a dump.

There are a few good drinking spots - and a little to do on the island in center of city (forgot name). If the new Egyptian museum is open - it's worth an afternoon as well.

You can also head down to another stop - I'd vote for Luxor - plenty of things to see here. I'd say Cairo 3 or 4 days, then Luxor a few days. In Luxor I think Hilton has a place right on the Nile with nice pool.

If I had 2 weeks (14 days) - I'd do this:

  • Home - Cairo (3 or 4 days)
  • Cairo - Athens (3 days)
  • Athens - Santorini (4 days)
  • Santorini - Istanbul (3 or 4 days)

(or you can go backwards). I'd skip the ferries from Athens to islands - and just fly (cheap and quick).

They should all be pretty cheap and quick flights. It gives you a taste of all of them, and will break your brain. Having traveled to 130+ countries I find the sweet spot for first time visits to be 3 or 4 nights. Enough to get a taste and know if you want to come back for more. Not long enough to get bored (Except Bratislava - man the country is boring) ;)

If you choose to do this route - PM me and I'll send you some more detailed advice about where to stay in each location for best views / getting around).

Good luck.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Americanbob said:

Athens:

There's not a lot of typical tourist stuff to do inside the city. The Parthenon being the most well known. However, I like just walking around looking at the street graffiti, eating at the shops and over the years have found some truly epic hole in the wall bars. Athens is a very low key destination.

Exploring Athens on foot is rewarding not just for the food, bars and graffiti in some quarters, but the multitude of historic excavations are almost everywhere.  Food and bird-watching at al fresco restaurants in Plaka is 2nd to none.

Piraeus, the port, adjoins Athens and offers a fresh look at Greek culture, marinas full of exotic craft, and some fabulous bars and restaurants overlooking water.  4 days in Athens and 2 in Piraeus with a side trip down the beachside suburbs is recommended.

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14 minutes ago, KaptainRob said:

Exploring Athens on foot is rewarding not just for the food, bars and graffiti in some quarters, but the multitude of historic excavations are almost everywhere.  Food and bird-watching at al fresco restaurants in Plaka is 2nd to none.

Piraeus, the port, adjoins Athens and offers a fresh look at Greek culture, marinas full of exotic craft, and some fabulous bars and restaurants overlooking water.  4 days in Athens and 2 in Piraeus with a side trip down the beachside suburbs is recommended.

Yeah, OP would need to tell us what he's interested in. Bars, photography, or boats and bird-watching. Some people love visiting archeological sites and churches. Not really my thing - after I've seen 3 cathedrals in south of France, 3 roman ruins in Cyprus, or 3 temples in Bangkok - I've had my fil - too each his own. Was just trying to suggest the idea that 2 weeks in one of his three choices might be too long, and he can actually see more, and experience more with that same time-frame.

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1 minute ago, Americanbob said:

Yeah, OP would need to tell us what he's interested in. Bars, photography, or boats and bird-watching. Some people love visiting archeological sites and churches. Not really my thing - after I've seen 3 cathedrals in south of France, 3 roman ruins in Cyprus, or 3 temples in Bangkok - I've had my fil - too each his own. Was just trying to suggest the idea that 2 weeks in one of his three choices might be too long, and he can actually see more, and experience more with that same time-frame.

Agree re churches, also the tourist tours, boring as!  

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lived and worked  in both Istanbul and Cairo

both great choices and friends in both places

for me  Cairo and Istanbul 50/50, however  possibly for a first visit Istanbul easier and more to see city wise

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18 minutes ago, Americanbob said:

Yeah, OP would need to tell us what he's interested in. Bars, photography, or boats and bird-watching. Some people love visiting archeological sites and churches. Not really my thing - after I've seen 3 cathedrals in south of France, 3 roman ruins in Cyprus, or 3 temples in Bangkok - I've had my fil - too each his own. Was just trying to suggest the idea that 2 weeks in one of his three choices might be too long, and he can actually see more, and experience more with that same time-frame.

Just need a U.K Amber Country to hang in around for ten days ,so I can enter the U.K without a hotel quarantine . 

  

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6 minutes ago, Fluke said:

Just need a U.K Amber Country to hang in around for ten days ,so I can enter the U.K without a hotel quarantine . 

Ah, so you're not traveling then.

  • Istanbul would be the easiest then. (stay on İstiklal Cd. if you don't want to walk much). Hotels are inexpensive.
  • Athens would be second choice.
  • Cairo is dirty and a pain in butt if your just there for a modified visa run
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Just been looking at the local costs equivalent . 

Generally, local costs in Istanbul are about 50 % cheaper than Athens and Cairo is about 10 % cheaper than Istanbul . 

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4 minutes ago, Fluke said:

Just been looking at the local costs equivalent . 

Generally, local costs in Istanbul are about 50 % cheaper than Athens and Cairo is about 10 % cheaper than Istanbul . 

If costs are a factor but not ultimately then go for Istanbul. More enjoyable for you in my opinion

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59 minutes ago, gummy said:

If costs are a factor but not ultimately then go for Istanbul. More enjoyable for you in my opinion

The weather will also be a factor . 

Actually, I do think that it will be the deciding factor , so I'll probably go to Cairo and be warm and rich , rather than being cold and poor in Athens.

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