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Strolling Through Istanbul: The Classic Guide to the City

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Available forthe first time since its original publication thirty-seven years ago, this classic guide to Istanbul by Hilary Sumner-Boyd and John Freely is published in a completely revised and updated edition. Taking the reader on foot through Istanbul, the European City of Culture 2010, the authors describe the historic monuments and sites of what was once Constantinople
Paperback, 544 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by Tauris Parke Paperbacks (first published January 4th 1987)
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If you are coming to Istanbul and have an interest in history and architecture, you can't do any better than to bring along this book. But don't get me wrong, this isn't a Lonely Planet guide: it won't tell you where the cheapest hotels are; it won't tell you where to eat the best döner; nor will it tell you that the Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays (which it is, btw) - but it will give you an idea of Istanbul as a whole city, a place connected not only by roads but by the people who came and w ...more
Depending on your point of view, Strolling Through Istanbul is either exhaustive or exhausting. With 23 strolls that stretch the breadth of the city, it's certainly thorough, but one wonders occasionally to what point. More than once the authors draw attention to some feature of interest only to note "however, the restoration has wantonly destroyed all that was original in the structure and it is now hardly worth even a passing mention" - which kind of makes you question why they bothered to men ...more
Fusun Dulger charles
The book to have if you are visiting Istanbul. Forget all the other sight-seeing books, you only need this one.
I am Turkish and from Istanbul, I get a lot of foreign visitors and take them seeing all "The Must See Places of Istanbul" and I thought I knew my beloved city well.
What a mistake, after buying this book I decided to walk the suggested places and found some amazing hidden pearls.
Now, living in the USA when someone tells me they are going to Istanbul, I either lend them my copy or tell t
Avinash Mamtora
Though I've not fully read it, would advise anyone who's about to go to this wonderful city to read it beforehand and then go back to the book each day as you wade through the archaeological marvel of this city. Alternately, if you're moving to Istanbul, the ideal thing would be to just read a chapter a day and complete the tour in the sequence that it is set out. A magical book.
I laugh imagining actually using this to stroll through Istanbul. Perhaps one could take photocopies of the pages and carry them along. It is so dense, it is not a practical guidebook. But as a deep dive into the city and its architecture, it is immensely useful for preparing and planning a trip.
Bridget Couch
Good reading for history of Istanbul. Pretty detailed for the neighborhoods which is good and bad, depending on how much time you are staying!
Dated but delightful. I only wish we'd had more time in Istanbul to devote to some of these wonderfully detailed walks. It's also the sort of guide book that is a bit on the ponderous side -- I actually didn't carry it but read things in advance and afterward. Packed full of fascinating anecdotes and historical tidbits, written by someone who knew the city inside and out, and through the ages.
An interesting take on the guidebook. The authors certainly know Istanbul well--but almost too well for a first-time visitor. The walks are fascinating but hard to follow, and if you're there less than a week you probably won't want this much depth. If you live in Istanbul, I can imagine this would be an enriching book. If you're visiting, don't let this be your only guidebook.
Beautifully written and engaging. This narrative is intellectually stimulating while presenting a vivid feast for the imagination! I'm inspired and ready to take a stroll through marketplaces and bazaars, gaze upon the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, experience the sights and sounds and smells, and marvel at the architecture and history - take me away!
Ricardo Ribeiro
Boring, dry. This is, I believe, how school lessons were teach 60 years ago. And for good reasons they aren't anymore. Because there is no motivation or appeal in this scholastic sterile prose. The authors may have extensive knowledge on the subject, but they have no clue on how to pass it to readers. Or on how to write.
A wealth of information (quite frankly too much), and a writing stlye that is a little dry and very even toned made this very difficult to read. Not one of the guidebooks I'm going to take with me.

3* for the reserach and info
2* for the writing
1* for making Istanbul feel so flat.
I first started to read and use this book in the 1970's when it was first published. It is a great book that helps you discover the hidden parts of Istanbul as well as the major tourist sites such as Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque etc. I now have it on my Kindle!
This is a fantastic guide to the monuments and history of Istanbul. I would have liked more notes on day-to-day life, culture, and social history of the Istanbul's neighborhoods to round out the experience of "strolling through" this vibrant city.
I took this with me a few years ago, and although well-written and entertaining it is a bit out of date, so some of the routes literally lead up blind alleys. Good on the Byzantine monuments such as churches, and on the older mosques.
If you're going to spend any longer length of time in Istanbul, take this book. Freely and S-B have exhausted the city's history in their tours of major and minor places.
Worth reading but somewhat disappointing for me on my 5th trip back to Istanbul. Kind of stays on the surface but would be useful for someone on a first trip.
Chris Kitrinos
What an incredible guide to not only the major sights in this extraordinarily historic city, but the back streets and side alleys as well. Really wonderful.
Nadia.. Carey
i love detailed travel history books..and this one is full of travel,and also history and i hope to visit Instanbul someday..
a must-read book for those who want to know about the historical buildings in Istanbul without tour guides.
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