Wander-Lush

42 Things to Know Before You Visit Istanbul: Helpful Istanbul Travel Tips

Istanbul is a magnificent beast.

Thirty-nine districts, 15 million people, and 1700-plus years of history – it’s still difficult for me to wrap my head around a city of this scale.

I never know where to begin with Istanbul. And yet every time I arrive, I somehow feel instantly at ease. Turkey’s biggest metropolis has a way of encircling you, sweeping you up and taking you along for the ride. For me, it’s one of those places where it’s best to relinquish expectations and anxieties and just go with the flow.

View of Istanbul city at sunset from the Galata Bridge, with a Bosphorus ferry and mosque minarets. Travel tips for visiting Istanbul for the first time.

That’s easier said than done, and there are countless tidbits I wish I had known before I visited Istanbul for the first time back in 2019. On my recent re-visit, there were many more things I noticed for the first time.

I struggled to whittle this list down to a digestible size – not because travelling in Istanbul is particularly complicated or difficult, but because when you’re dealing with a city of such incredible breadth and depth, there’s just so much to talk about.

Here are 42 Istanbul tips that I think every traveller will benefit from , including cultural quirks, itinerary planning tips, logistics hints, and common faux pas.

  • Also read: The perfect itinerary for 4 days in Istanbul

Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

Istanbul quick links

  • Istanbul airport transfer: Private transfer from Istanbul Airport or Sabiha Gokcen (from $27)
  • Where to stay in Istanbul: Hostel Le Banc (budget); 38 Hotel (mid-range); Hotel Empress Zoe (boutique); Ecole St. Pierre Hotel (luxury)
  • Istanbul Official E-Pass: Pre-purchase online here
  • Skip the line: Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour (from $40)
  • Best Istanbul food tour: Taste of 2 Continents (from $100)
  • Top-rated Istanbul city tour: Best of Istanbul in 1 Day (from $60)
  • Turkey car hire: Find a low-cost rental on Local Rent (from 28€/day)

Essential Istanbul travel tips

Starting with the basics, here are answers to some of the burning questions I had before my first visit to Turkey (Türkiye) and Istanbul.

1. Avoid visiting in summer

Never underestimate Istanbul’s magnetism. The city pulled in more than 14 million tourists in 2019 (including me), and on my most recent trip in 2022, it felt just as crowded as it had been three years earlier.

I’m willing to bet that most people visit Istanbul during the summer months – June, July and August. This feels a bit hypocritical because I myself have visited Istanbul twice during summer – but because I did, I know what peak season is like.

Istanbul’s climate is quite mild relative to other cities in the region. Temperatures might not go too far beyond 30 degrees Celsius in the shade, but the sun is scorching hot, and it’s very dry.

Aside from the oppressive heat, there are the summer swarms to contend with. (You haven’t really experienced a queue until you’ve stood in line for the Hagia Sophia on an August afternoon.) There are crushing crowds at every landmark during summer, and that gets old pretty quickly. On top of that, accommodation prices are noticeably higher and it can be challenging to get a reservation.

The best time to visit Istanbul is during shoulder season, spring (April to early June) or autumn (mid-September to the start of November). For something different, consider visiting Turkey in winter , when snow covers Istanbul and the city’s charm-o-metre is off the charts.

Take note of the dates for the Holy Month of Ramadan (usually around March-April-May, but it changes every year), which influences the way the city operates.

2. You need at least three days to do Istanbul justice

However many days you give yourself in Istanbul, it will never be enough. You will always feel like you short-changed yourself – there’s always one more neighbourhood to explore, one more ferry trip to take, one more museum to visit, one more restaurant to try…

Three days is the bare minimum for a first-time visitor, but you could easily stay for a week or more.

I recently spent 10 days in Istanbul and found it was a good amount of time to see the city at a relaxed pace. I stayed in the centre for that entire time, though I did have a few ‘down’ days to work. There are dozens of day trip opportunities to break things up if the city gets to be too much.

One of the highlights of Istanbul is the food, so you’d do well to measure the duration of your stay in meals eaten rather than nights slept! Six square meals (and a couple of ‘spread breakfasts’) is ideal for indulging in the best of Istanbul’s food scene .

Plan your time with my 4-day Istanbul itinerary , which covers the must-sees and a few local gems.

Ottoman-era wooden houses in Arnavutkoy district of Istanbul, Turkey.

3. Save time (and maybe money) by applying for an e-visa

Most nationalities require a tourist visa to enter Türkiye. The country’s e-visa scheme, which launched in 2013, is available to citizens of 40+ countries, including the States, Australia and Canada. (EU citizens do not need a visa.) A standard multiple-entry visa is valid for a stay of up to 90 days with 180 days validity from the date of issue.

Visa on arrival (VOA) is also available, but if you’re flying in, it requires queueing at the airport – and because of the high volume of flights arriving at IST particularly, it can be a long wait. For some nationalities, it’s also more expensive – 10 USD dearer on average compared to the e-visa according to the official fees (though for US passport holders, VOA is cheaper).

Applying for a Turkish e-visa requires completing a simple online form. The website has English-language support and international card payment, but be warned that sometimes it’s a bit glitchy. Both times I’ve applied, my visa has landed in my inbox almost instantly (within the hour). Be sure to print off the A4 piece of paper to show at immigration.

There are copycat sites out there – the official e-visa portal is located here .

I have never been asked for proof of onward travel or a hotel reservation when entering Turkey. If you want one or both for peace of mind without making an actual booking, then I suggest using OneWayFly .

4. Travel insurance is a must

Travel insurance is mandatory for all foreign visitors to Turkey. Again, you might not be asked to show proof of insurance if you’re travelling on an e-visa (I haven’t), but rules are rules nonetheless.

Istanbul is generally regarded as a safe city, but pickpocketing and crime do occur. More importantly, local health care can be expensive, so it pays to be covered in case of accident or unexpected illness.

For single-policy or annual trip insurance, I recommend HeyMondo. Get 5% off your policy when you sign up using this link .

Read up on these Istanbul safety tips before you go.

5. Use the Havabus (Havaist) shuttle to travel to/from the airport

Update: Since publishing this guide, both Istanbul airports now have an underground metro service. I would definitely look into this option – avoiding traffic could be a real time-saver. Here are more details .

Havabus is a terrific service for travelling between Istanbul’s airports (yes, there is more than one – see the next point) and the downtown area. Shuttles operate 24/7, with departures in both directions every 30-60 minutes.

Tip: At Sabiha Gokcen airport, the shuttle is called Havabus and at Istanbul Airport, it’s called Havaist. I have used both – they operate in much the same way, but they have separate websites for checking the schedule ( here for Havabus and here for Havaist).

When you land in Istanbul, look for the airport bus signage. At Sabiha Gokcen, the bus stand is located on the other side of the car park directly in front of the arrivals terminal. Tickets are purchased using cash on the bus and cost 37.50 TRY (around 2 USD) per person to go to Taksim.

If you prefer a private transfer, airport cars are very well priced (from $27 to/from either airport). Pre-book a door-to-door airport transfer online here .

Eventually the Istanbul metro will extend to IST Airport, but the line has not been completed yet.

6. There are multiple airports in Istanbul – don’t front up at the wrong one!

Istanbul Airport (IST) is the city’s largest and busiest international airport. Located on the European side in Arnavutkoy, 40km / 45 minutes’ drive from Taksim Square, it is sometimes referred to as ‘Istanbul Grand Airport’ or IGA. If you’re flying with Turkish Airlines or from Europe, there’s a high chance you will be landing at IST.

A second airport, Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW), receives flights from the Middle East (Emirates, Qatar ) as well as Turkey’s own Pegasus Airlines. It is located on the Asian side, 40km / 60 minutes’ drive from Taksim Square.

A third airport, Ataturk Airport, closed in 2019.

The two airports are 80km apart and it takes at least 75-90 minutes to travel between them. There are shuttle buses, but if you show up at the wrong one for your flight, there’s a good chance you’ll be left high and dry. Triple-check your reservation and make sure you show up at the correct airport.

We got caught out with this on our first trip and rolled up at the wrong airport for our flight back to Australia. Luckily we had come a day early with the intention of staying the night at the airport hotel, so we still made our flight.

You can use Havabus/Havaist to get back to the airport from the city, too. Buses depart from Taksim Square. Take the metro to Taksim and follow the exit towards Taksim Gezi Park. From there, the station is a short walk (you will see the coaches waiting and two ticket booths on the footpath).

Buses to both airports depart from the same area, so again, triple-check you’re hopping on the right one!

7. Pre-book your accommodation

Hotel platform Booking.com doesn’t work in Turkey, so if this is your preferred way to find accommodation, you’ll need to do your browsing and booking before you arrive. (This can be overcome by using a VPN of course.)

Pre-booking is essential for peak-period travel as properties do fill up and prices can skyrocket for last-minute reservations.

I normally use Airbnb in Istanbul for the simple reason that I prefer to stay in local neighbourhoods. Sisli is my district of choice: It has great access to public transport, fantastic local restaurants, and a more relaxed vibe.

8. Card is widely accepted, but it helps to carry cash

Ninety-nine percent of venues and shops in Istanbul accept credit/debit cards, including Visa and Mastercard, as well as contactless pay. For small markets and convenience stores, local restaurants, bars and taxis – and when dipping into the wonderful world of Istanbul street food – you’ll need cash.

Many smaller shops in Turkey have a primary limit set on card purchases, meaning you need to meet a certain threshold if you want to pay with a card. In these instances, cash is necessary. Small bills also come in handy for tipping (more on that later).

I suggest withdrawing cash when you first arrive and reserving it for smaller purchases and tips. Check out my Istanbul Travel Budget to learn more about budgeting for your trip and the cost of common items and services.

Tipping is Istanbul, Turkish lira notes and coins on a restaurant table.

9. Most ATMs in Turkey charge a fee

ATMs are ubiquitous in Istanbul and most of the time, you’ll see half a dozen different cash machines clustered together. Majority charge a withdrawal fee – up to 5% for some banks – and have a transaction limit of between 3000-5000 TRY.

The only no-fee ATM we could find was Ziraat Bank. It’s red with a distinctive wheatear logo. We also used HalkBank, which did not charge us a withdrawal fee, but did hit us with a 13 TRY fee on Wise.

Banks change their fee structure regularly, so you might need to experiment with a few different machines. If the bank does charge a fee – either a flat fee or a percentage – this should always be displayed on the screen before you finalise the transaction.

On our first trip to Turkey, we had issues with our Australian bank cards not being accepted. This time around, I used my Wise card without any issues. I found the best method for withdrawing cash was to exchange stored currency to Turkish lira within the Wise app, then withdraw lira from the ATM.

Wise is great for international travel and offers very competitive exchange rates – if you don’t yet have an account, you can sign up here .

10. Buying a SIM card in Istanbul is easy, but your options are limited

Open WIFI is not readily accessible in Istanbul, which makes buying a local SIM card more or less a necessity.

If you’re not a Turkish citizen and you don’t hold a residency permit, you’ll find you have limited options when it comes to buying a SIM. Low-cost packages are not available to foreigners and most telcos only offer one standard tourist package.

After doing a bit of research, we settled on a Vodafone SIM. Vodafone only has one option for tourists, which includes 20GB of data, calls and texts, and unlimited access to Whatsapp. We paid 350 TRY (around 19 USD).

The process of buying a SIM is very straightforward and only took us about 15 minutes. You need a hard copy of your passport for registration, so make sure you’re carrying it with you. The tourist SIM automatically expires after 60 days.

A red Vodafone sim card at a shop in Istanbul, the best sim card for tourists in Turkey.

11. The public transport system is phenomenal

If you’re considering hiring a car in Turkey to continue your travels beyond the city, make sure you pick it up on the outskirts of the city (possible when using a company such as Local Rent ). The traffic is maniacal and I would not recommend driving in the city centre.

There’s no reason to drive a car in Istanbul, anyway: The public transport system is affordable, easy to use and reliable. Between the metro, trams, buses, ferries, and my personal favourite, dolmus vans, you can get anywhere you need to go with ease. Google Maps works well for planning your route.

Dolmus minivans – Turkey’s answer to a marshrutka – are a fun experience. The name literally means ‘stuffed’ because passengers are squeezed in like sardines. Keep in mind that the entire transport network is very busy and squishy during peak hour, especially in the morning between about 8-9.30am.

When boarding a bus in Istanbul, enter through the front door and tap your IstanbulKart on the electronic reader. If the bus is very full, you can board through the back doors and pass your card down the line for someone at the front to swipe.

12. You need an IstanbulKart transport pass

On our first trip to Istanbul, we walked a lot and relied on buying single-journey metro tickets for longer trips. This time around, we re-learned that only certain ticket machines inside the metro dispense single tickets – and usually they are the ones with an obnoxiously long line of people.

An IstanbulKart is an essential purchase if you plan to use public transport. There are several different cards available – all are valid for the metro, buses, trams and ferries. The so-called Anonymous IstanbulKart is recommended for tourists and is sold at kiosks and newsstands and inside metro stations for 50 TRY (non-refundable). You can use one card for multiple people (up to five people).

A single IstanbulKart fare costs 7.67 TRY. Compared to the 15 TRY for a single-journey ticket, you’ll end up saving almost 50% on every trip.

Note that metrobus fares vary according to the number of stops travelled, but metro fares are flat. Transfers are charged at 5.49 TRY for the first transfer and 4.17 TRY for the second leg.

Find more information about the public transport system here .

13. Use an app for taxis in Istanbul

Istanbul’s cab system is similarly well organised, with three types of taxis at different price points. Yellow taxis are standard and have the lowest fares (6.3 TL/km plus a switch-on fee of 9.8 TL). Turquoise taxis are a premium service and cost 20% more, while black taxis (always luxury vehicles) are twice as expensive as yellow taxis.

Taxis are metered, so it’s generally considered safe for a tourist to hail a cab on the street. However, scams do happen , which is one of the reasons most people (including many locals) prefer to use an app.

After numerous legal battles, Uber re-launched in Turkey in 2021. We used it on several occasions and found the service to be good – short wait times, friendly drivers, and competitive fares (we always paid in cash rather than hooking up our credit card – make sure you are carrying small bills).

Uber alternatives include BiTaksi and Itaksi. The former has POS contactless payment, which is great for paying by card.

A yellow taxi on a steep street in Istanbul's Galata district.

14. Tipping is standard

Tipping is customary in Turkey, with 10% being the standard mark for restaurants and bars. For taxi drivers, it’s normal to round up to the nearest lira when paying in cash.

Of course you should only tip if you’re satisfied with the service. We found the quality of customer service in Istanbul to be pretty good across the board, with the exception of one chain cafe where we had a terrible experience.

Tipping is slightly higher for other service providers: 10-20% goes to your tellak or natir at the Turkish baths, and to your hairdresser or barber.

15. Can you drink the tap water in Istanbul?

This is a rhetorical question, because I’m still not sure what the correct answer is! Locals will warn you off tap water while at the same time, the government is running campaigns to encourage more people to drink from the faucet.

From what I understand, Istanbul tap water was undrinkable a decade ago. Infrastructure improvements (and the addition of chlorine to the water stream) have made tap water safe to drink, but many people still prefer to drink bottled water.

If the building you’re staying in has old, rusty pipes, it might be best to give tap water a wide berth. Try a small quantity and see how it sits with you.

16. Don’t flush your loo paper

Istanbul’s pipes are a bit sensitive, thus most restaurants, cafes and hotels request you place toilet tissue in a bin rather than flushing it down the loo. If this is the case, you’ll likely see a sign and a strategically placed wastepaper bin. If in doubt, don’t flush it.

17. If you need a bathroom, head to the nearest mosque

After chasing after non-existent bathrooms in malls and metro stations, I finally cottoned onto this little Istanbul tip: There are public toilets attached to most mosques and in my experience, they are almost always cleaner than public bathrooms elsewhere. Pan toilets are common. Men’s rooms are marked with bay , and women’s with bayan .

Some bathrooms are free to use, while others charge a small (1-2 TRY) fee. Another good reason to carry some small bills or coins with you.

18. Sip ayran to keep your tummy happy

Ayran is a savoury yogurt drink that has its roots in Turkey, but is popular around the region (I developed my ayran addiction several years ago in Bosnia and Herzegovina and have been sipping it ever since). It’s not too creamy, not too watery, and has just a hint of salty effervescence.

Because it’s yogurt, it’s full of good bacteria that do wonders to keep your gut in balance. Just as you might drink lassis in India, you can drink ayran in Istanbul to help ward off any potential food or water-related bugs.

Food poisoning definitely does occur in Istanbul, so watch what you eat and try to consume street food earlier in the day when it’s fresher (especially fish wraps and seafood).

People drink ayran with breakfast, lunch or dinner, and it is served at virtually every restaurant in Istanbul – either in little plastic tubs or from a fountain. Always go for the fresh option when it’s available: It’s light and aerated and extra delicious, presented with a big scoop of yogurty foam on top.

A silver cup of ayran, a creamy yogurt drink served with a round spoon at a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey.

19. Drinking is common, but alcohol is not ubiquitous

The most popular alcoholic drinks in Istanbul are beer, wine and raki , a powerful spirit distilled from grapes or other fruits. Not all restaurants serve alcohol, however, and when you make your way over to the Asian side of Istanbul (which is noticeably more conservative), you’ll find that only a handful of establishments are licensed.

If you prefer to BYO, tekels are Istanbul’s answer to bottle shops. They normally sell a selection of local bottled beers and Turkish wines along with soft drinks, snack foods and cigarettes. It’s illegal to sell alcohol within 100 metres of a mosque or a school, so you won’t find any tekels in some neighbourhoods.

Sales are restricted to certain times of day – you cannot purchase drinks from a bottle shop between 10am and 6am (there are no restrictions on restaurants and bars, though). Alcohol is served as normal during Ramadan.

Excessive drinking is taboo in Turkish culture. Raki, the national drink, is a social beverage consumed slowly with food. It has aniseed notes and is sometimes served over water and ice, which gives it a milky colour.

If you want to try raki, head to a meyhane (meze bar), where alcohol is served with small places of food (also see point #26 on this list). You can order a small 350 mL bottle or a shot (~40 mL). Start slow – some rakis are 80-90 proof.

20. English is widely spoken (sort of)

The number of Turkish people who speak English is somewhere between 15-20% . Of course the rate is much higher in Istanbul, but still, English is not as widespread as you might imagine.

We found a bit of a paradox here: In big shops and phone stores, very little English was spoken, while we encountered staff who spoke perfect English in small restaurants and humble bakeries.

The bottom line is that it’s a bit of a mixed bag, so be prepared to sign and mime your way through some situations. Of course it helps to have some simple Turkish under your belt – knowing a few basic phrases can help to smooth things over.

Istanbul quirks to know before you go

Here are a few unusual quirks that tripped us up in Istanbul.

21. Pharmacies are hard to find

Turkey differentiates between ‘pharmacies’ and ‘cosmetic stores’ in a way that I’ve not noticed in any other country. The latter sells beauty and health products, but there is no pharmacist on staff and nowhere to buy over-the-counter medications or prescription meds.

Chains such as Watsons, Rossmann and Gratis are classified as ‘cosmetics stores’. If you need anything more serious than paracetamol or a revitalising face mask, you need a pharmacy or eczane .

Eczanesi are more difficult to come by. That’s because there are no chain pharmacies in Turkey. All pharmacies are small and owner-operated by a pharmacist – essentially mom-and-pop shops. You won’t find them in malls, only on the streets. Look for the ‘eczanesi’ sign in the window, and when using Google Maps, search for ‘eczane’ rather than ‘pharmacy’.

Pharmacies are worth hunting down if you need them: Many medicines are freely available in Turkey without a prescription, and prices are almost always cheaper than elsewhere in Europe. You do have to ask around, though, as every pharmacy has different stock and different generic brands. My partner spent several days searching for his medication and after asking at a dozen eczanesi, he finally found what he was looking for at a quarter of the price it is in Georgia.

22. Hand cologne is a thing

Istanbulites were sanitising their hands long before it was cool. The first time we had our hands doused in hand cologne by a friendly waiter, we assumed it was hand sanitiser – but no, this tradition far predates the pandemic.

Kolonya harks back to the days of the Ottoman Empire when a pleasant smelling liquid was sprinkled on guests’ hands as they would enter or exit private homes, hotels or hospitals. Today it’s widely used in restaurants after you pay the check. Some places have a little bottle on the table next to the salt and pepper shakers.

Scented with jasmine, lemon, rosewater or dark spice, a dash of hand cologne leaves your paws smelling fragrant fresh. Unlike hand gel, kolonya is very thin and watery – a little bit goes a long way. And because it’s ethanol-based, it does act as a disinfectant as well.

A bottle of lemon flavoured kolonya hand cologne at a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey.

23. Don’t be surprised if you get asked for your phone number

Grocery stores, cosmetic stores, clothing shops and pharmacies alike seem to ask customers for a local phone number – I assume for marketing purposes rather than to track or register anything. This happened to us on a daily basis, and the first few times, the language barrier made it very confusing.

If you don’t have a local SIM (and even if you do), you can always say no and the cashier will copy a random number off the back of an old receipt.

24. Don’t stay too close to a mosque if you like to sleep in

Istanbul has its own backing track, and that is the sound of the call to prayer ( ezan ). The rumble of minarets whispering to each other is incredibly stirring – but your opinion might be slightly different if you happen to be laying your head near a mosque’s speakerbox every night.

The call to prayer happens five times a day, starting with the pre-dawn İmsak ( Fajr ), which reverberates around the city some time between 4-6am depending on the time of year. In July, it can be as early as 3.30am, with a second Sunrise ( Güneş ) call around 2 hours later.

With well over 3,000 mosques, you’ll more than likely have at least one or two nearby. If you’re a light sleeper, it’s worth scoping out the local mosques and choosing accommodation that’s further than earshot from the nearest minaret.

25. Don’t linger too long at a lokanta

Lokanta are a specific type of Turkish restaurant that serve casual, home-style meals to workers and tradesmen. Every neighbourhood has them, and they are a terrific place to sample salt-of-the-earth Turkish cuisine and soak up a bit of local culture at the same time.

When you sit down at a lokanta, a waiter will come to take your order within seconds. Some are cafeteria style, others are a-la-carte. At the end of the meal, empty plates are spirited away and the table sprayed and wiped just as fast as the food came out. Usually you settle the bill at a cash desk rather than requesting a written check.

It’s easy to overstay your welcome at this type of establishment, where the imperative is to turn tables as quickly as possible. They are perfect when you need a quick bite, but if you want a leisurely meal, choose a different sort of restaurant. Sidewalk meyhanes , for example, are the complete opposite. Serving meze and raki, they are designed for long, lingering lunches.

Wait staff at a meyhane restaurant in Kadikoy, Istanbul.

26. Don’t assume those meze plates are free

It’s normal for wait staff at a meyhane to present you with an attractive tray of small plates before they take your order. Turkish meze includes grilled eggplant with yogurt, fava beans, artichoke, and many, many more delicious bites designed for sharing over a bottle of raki.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming these small side salads are free – they are not. (Sides of chopped onion, herbs and chilli served in smaller silver dishes with kebab, on the other hand, are usually included in the price.)

27. Brace yourself for lots of uphill walking

They don’t call Istanbul the ‘City on Seven Hills’ for nothing. After a few days walking the streets, you might think the ‘city of seven million hills’ is a more apt nickname.

Constantinople was laid out in the image of Rome, which was of course built over a septet of hills. On the ground, it feels like all of Istanbul is rippled, with steep streets and vertiginous staircases at almost every turn. There are many advantages to this city plan, the delightfully sloped houses in Balat for one, and the spectacular city views you get from the higher elevations for another.

Comfy shoes and a whole lot of patience are absolutely essential when exploring Istanbul on foot, where it can literally feel like an uphill battle to get from one place to the next.

There are ways to avoid the slog, including using the funicular railways: Taksim-Kabatas and the historic Tunel that links Karakoy and Beyoglu. The latter is the world’s second-oldest subterranean rail line (after the London Underground) and the oldest still-operating underground funicular in Europe.

Istanbul travel tips to feel like a local

While it takes more than a three or four-day stay to feel like a fully fledged Istanbulite, here are a few little tricks to help you fit in.

28. Dress modestly to blend in

Istanbul is a metropolis through and through, with a liberal dress code to match. Almost anything goes, but I still recommend you cover up for comfort and to fit in with the crowd. Women should try to avoid plunging necklines, revealing fabrics, and very short hemlines.

There are noticeable differences between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, with more modest dress and more hijabs worn in Uskudar compared to Eminonu, for example. Generally speaking, Turkey gets more conservative the further east you go, and this holds true even in the city centre. Keep it in mind if you’re travelling around the country.

One place you definitely must observe the dress code is mosques, where covered arms (to the elbow for men or the wrist for women) and legs (down to the ankles) is required. Women must also cover their hair. Majority of mosques have pull-over muumuus that you can borrow (for free) at the door to fully cover up. Note that there are no dress requirements for young kids.

It’s obligatory to remove your shoes when entering a mosque, so on days when you’re sightseeing, wear kicks that you can easily slip off and on. And if you prefer not to go barefoot, carry a pair of ankle socks in the bottom of your bag. Some mosques provide plastic bags, otherwise you can just leave your shoes outside.

A woman dressed in a cover-up at a mosque in Istanbul.

29. Never skip breakfast…

Breakfast is certainly the most important meal of the day in Turkey. Sunday breakfast is the queen of the morning meals, when the famous kahvalti tabagi ‘spread breakfast’ comes into its own.

On a Sunday, some Istanbulites spend the better part of the day between mid-morning and late afternoon gathered around the breakfast table with friends or family, noshing on an extravagant spread of cheeses, olives, cut vegetables and eggs served with supple somun bread. Kahvalti is a daily occurrence in places like Besiktast ‘Breakfast Street’ and in gourmet cafes such as Van Kahvalti.

If you’re on a tight timeline or a budget, breakfast doesn’t have to be drawn-out or expensive: There are faster and more affordable options, such as a pick-and-choose breakfast at Cakmak Kahvalti Salonu, where small plates range from 2-8 TRY each. 

Borekcisi (borek bakeries) serve portions of steaming hot filled pastry and chai, or for a simple breakfast snack on the go, grab a simit bagel from a street vendor.

30. …But don’t order coffee first thing

Kahvalti means ‘before coffee’. Breakfast is traditionally accompanied by cay , strong black tea, rather than Turkish coffee. It’s normal to down half a dozen glasses of tea in a single sitting (though two or three is usually enough). Most sit-down kahvalti breakfasts come with two pots of tea.

If you want to do things like a local, save your Türk kahvesi for after lunch and start your morning with cay sade – strong and bitter tea with no sugar – instead.

31. Don’t be afraid to haggle at the bazaar

Haggling is customary and expected at markets in Istanbul and in other commercial settings. You’ll find that most items at the Grand Bazaar or Spice Bazaar have a price tag, but for those that don’t (and even for those that do), it’s quite normal to bargain for a better price. This is especially true if you’re buying more than one of something or multiple items from the same vendor. Rule of thumb is to aim for a 35-50% discount on the sticker price.

There are huge mark-ups at the Grand Bazaar, which seems to be almost exclusively the domain of tourists these days. There are local markets and street markets all over Istanbul where you’ll have a better chance of striking gold for a fair figure. Markets are held on different days of the week and following a rotating schedule, so you can always find something on. Popular food and flea markets take place in Karakoy (Tuesdays), Ortakoy (Thursdays), Uskudar (Fridays), and Besiktas (Saturdays).

If you do decide to brave the Grand Bazaar or another historic market in Istanbul, the best advice I’ve heard is to do your shopping in the mid-morning. It’s more likely that vendors have already made a few sales and met their daily commission targets, so there will be less pressure on you.

32. Don’t fall for the ‘shoe cleaner trick’

This one got us good.

One early morning we were walking down an alleyway in Besiktas when we heard a clack on the cobbles and noticed that someone had dropped a wooden shoe brush. Being the saint he is, my partner rushed to pick it up without a second thought and handed it back to the shoe cleaner whose caddy it had tumbled from.

Expressing his profound thanks, the guy promptly took a seat on the curb at our feet and insisted on shaking my husband’s hand in gratitude. That’s when he grabbed him by the wrist in a monkey grip and tried to pull him down for a coerced shoe cleaning. I should mention that he was wearing joggers, not leather shoes!

Neither of us were aware of this common scam at the time, so we thought the whole situation was quite hilarious. The man had a gorgeous smile and was very friendly – we actually gave him credit for this ingenious trick.

Only later when we heard about the scam did we realise what had (almost) happened to us. Ross managed to talk his way out of it, dirty shoes still intact.

We were not mad in the slightest, but it could have been a different story had we actually been talked into handing over cash. Keep an eye out for this trick, especially in touristy areas.

33. Embrace cat culture

There are up to a million cats and kittens living on the streets of Istanbul. Every cafe is a cat cafe, and every corner has its own posse of cute pusses. A picture-perfect clowder of cats lounging on fence posts and chairs like the princes and princesses they are awaits you at every turn.

Similar to street dogs in Georgia , the cats of Istanbul are regarded as community pets rather than strays and are fed and cared for by the locals. For the most part, they don’t bother people and keep to themselves. We definitely encountered a few fiercer felines on our travels – it’s pretty obvious which cats want pats and which ones need their personal space. They will let you know with a dagger stare or a hiss.

Cat culture can be traced back to Ottoman times, when tabbys helped to quash the city’s mice population. In this respect, cats are an inseparable part of the city’s social fabric.

If you’re an animal lover, it can be distressing to see so many cats living rough, especially when they’re not in the best shape. (Though I must say that every cat I met in Istanbul was plump and rosy.) It helps to know that Istanbul (and all of Turkey) has a no-kill, no capture policy.

A cat looking longingly at a tank at a fish market in Uskadar, Istanbul.

34. Brush up on your basic hammam etiquette

Partaking in a traditional Turkish bath is a must-do in Istanbul. The hammams have aeons of history and custom attached to them – there are definite dos and don’ts, just as there are with the sulfur baths in Tbilisi . It helps to know how to handle things once the towels come out, lest you embarrass yourself.

Regarding nakedness, men normally strip down to nothing while women wear undies (single-use pairs are supplied by most bathhouses) then don a pestemal towel, which stays wrapped around you for the duration of your stay.

The Turkish-style skin peel/massage ( kese ) can be quite rough on the skin and muscles. The therapist, known as a natir or tellak , will always be of the same gender. It’s customary to tip them 10-20% after your treatment.

For more Turkish hammam hints, see this guide .

More helpful Istanbul tips to make the most of your visit

Finally, here are a handful of practical tips for planning your itinerary and getting the most out of your time in Istanbul.

35. Organise your Istanbul itinerary by neighbourhood/district

Istanbul has 39 districts, each with its own character and appeal. From the Instagrammable houses and antique shops in Balat, to the trendy cafes in Cihangir, the rambunctious fish market in Uskudar to the Ottoman-era mansions in Arnavutkoy , every corner of the city has something incredible up its sleeve.

A great way to organise your time in Istanbul is by planning your movements around the different neighbourhoods. Each one is quite discreet, so you can knock out a to-do list before moving onto the next.

Some neighbourhoods naturally pair together thanks to geography and transport logistics: Galata and Karakoy, Fener and Balat, Uskudar and Kadikoy, Cihangir and Cukurcuma. See my Istanbul 4-day itinerary for more ideas on how to plan your visit by district.

Colourful row houses in Balat, a famous neighbourhood in Istanbul, Turkey.

38. Consider signing up for a food tour

One thing every Istanbul neighbourhood has in common is its never-ending supply of cafes, restaurants and street food vendors. One of the best ways to discover the city – especially if you’re on a tight timeline – is by signing up for a food tour.

I was lucky enough to join Culinary Backstreets’ Born on the Bosphorus tour during my most recent visit to Istanbul. It was one of the highlights of my trip – not only because of the delicious food, but mainly thanks to our incredible guide, Benoit, who over the course of a full day taught me so much about Istanbul’s food and beyond.

The popular Taste of Two Continents tour, with 11 food stops and a Bosphorus ferry crossing, is a good alternative if you’re looking for a half-day experience.

37. Get an early start to beat the crowds

This is particularly important in summer, when the touristy parts of the city get extremely crowded. One of the best ways to avoid long waits at landmarks such as Galata Tower is by waking up early and arriving as doors open.

The metro starts running at 6am – and from Friday evening to Sunday morning public transport operates 24/7 – so there’s no excuse not to get out in the early AM.

Galata Tower, a must-visit in Istanbul for first timers.

38. Invest in a Museum Pass or Istanbul E-Pass

There is a gamut of different tourist cards and passes available for Istanbul. The 5-day Istanbul Museum Pass or the 2-7 day E-Pass is one of the best investments you can make if you plan on doing the rounds through the city’s best museums and big attractions.

The digital pass gives you skip-the-queue access to 10 of the city’s finest cultural institutions, including Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace and the Harem, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, and the Galata Mevlevihanesi Museum.

Available to purchase online before you arrive, it uses a simple QR code system. Just show your pass on your mobile – no need to print anything.

Only buy the pass if it makes sense for you, though: You have to visit multiple attractions for it to pay off, though the other perks – particularly the ability to skip the ticket line – are invaluable in a sense.

Purchase the official Istanbul E-Pass here via Viator .

39. Check prayer times in advance

The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are both active mosques, open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Except during prayer times, that is.

All of Istanbul’s mosques temporarily close to non-Muslim visitors five times a day for a period of about 90 minutes. For the duration of the Congregational Prayers, no tourists are permitted to enter.

It’s imperative to check prayer times in advance. If you show up while prayers are on, you will be met with a long wait outside. Times are signposted at the bigger mosques or you can check online .

The queue to enter the Hagia Sophia gets very long towards the end of the prayer session. The best time to visit is 30-40 minutes before the mosque is scheduled to close. Don’t try to visit on Fridays when the Jumu’ah prayer takes place – this is one of the busiest times, and it’s always crowded and chaotic.

If your Istanbul visit coincides with Ramadan or another Islamic holiday, prayer times might be different and mosques might be closed for longer periods during the day.

A sign in front of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul with opening times for the mosque and closures for daily prayers.

40. Skip the Bosphorus cruise – take advantage of local ferries instead

Some people opt to experience the Bosphorus on board a yacht at sunset with champagne and nibbles. If your budget won’t stretch that far, or you just prefer a local experience, then a ride on the public ferry offers the same ambiance and water views for a fraction of the price.

Hundreds of ferries criss-cross the strait, linking Istanbul’s Asian and European sides. The most scenic ferry routes include Besiktas to Kadikoy, Karakoy to Uskudar, and Karakoy to Kadikoy. Some boats go up the Bosphorus towards the Black Sea, and others head in the opposite direction towards the Princes’ Islands.

Bring a simit bagel to snack on (and to lure seagulls in for photos), or order a tulip-shaped glass of tea from one of the roving vendors on board.

A ferry on the Bosphorus in Istanbul glides past a beautiful mosque.

41. Don’t miss the sunset from Galata Bridge

There is only one way to end a day in Istanbul in my opinion, and that’s by watching the sun go down from Galata Bridge. It might be touristy as heck, but there’s a good reason why this is such a popular spot. Views of the glittering water and intertwining boats, mosque minarets silhouetted against a dusky blue sky framed by fishermen casting their lines off the edge of the bridge, are absolute gold.

I recommend finding a spot to stand on the western side of the bridge, above the area where the Karakoy ferry docks. Aim to arrive about an hour before sunset for the best light.

For the perfect Istanbul photo, wait patiently for the garbage truck to come down the street and dump its load in the bins near the ferry terminal – this sends the seagulls into a frenzy, and they fill the skies with their spinning and diving for a good 15 minutes.

42. ‘Authentic’ Whirling Dervish ceremonies still exist – here’s how to find one

Speaking of Istanbul must-dos: A Whirling Dervish show is a bucket-list item for many. I was warned that all Mevlevi Sema ceremonies had become commercialised and ‘spoiled’ by tourists to the point where they just weren’t worth pursuing any more. So I made it my mission to find a real, ‘authentic’ Sema ritual in Istanbul, and I’m happy to say that I eventually did.

Get all the details about the best Whirling Dervish ceremony in Istanbul in this guide .

A man films Dervishes at a traditional Sema ceremony at a local mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

Where to stay in Istanbul

Budget: Hostel Le Banc (⭐ 9.5) – This popular hostel in Beyoglu is footsteps from the Galata Tower and Sishane metro station. It features air-conditioned rooms (private doubles and mixed/all-female 4 and 10-bed dorms), a shared lounge and a terrace.

Mid-range: 38 Hotel (⭐ 8.6) – Located in Sisli, close to Osmanbey metro station, this hotel has compact, tidy double rooms and suites.

Boutique: Hotel Empress Zoe (⭐ 9.2) – This gorgeous boutique hotel is decorated with heritage flourishes and boasts hammam-like ensuites and private internal terraces. The location in Fatih, minutes from Sultan Ahmet Mosque and the Blue Mosque, is very central yet the hotel still feels secluded.

Luxury: Ecole St. Pierre Hotel (⭐ 9.5) – Located in Beyoglu close to Galata Tower, this boutique-luxury hotel offers high-end suites with private courtyards and terraces. The building, an old Italian Dominican school with remnants of the 13th-century Galata walls inside its courtyard, is dripping with history.

Turkey essentials

Here are some of the websites and services I recommend for planning a trip to Turkey. Remember to check out my full list of travel resources for more tips.

FLIGHTS: Find affordable flights to Turkey using the Skyscanner website .

VISAS: Use iVisa to check if you need a tourist visa for Turkey and apply for an expedited visa online.

DOCUMENTATION: Use OneWayFly to obtain proof of onward travel/hotel reservation for your visa application.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Insure your trip to Turkey with HeyMondo , my preferred provider for single-trip and annual travel insurance.

CAR HIRE: Use the Local Rent platform to hire a car from a local agent. Prices start from as little as 18€ per day.

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com .

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: Browse the Viator website to find the best itineraries and prices for Istanbul food tours, Cappadocia balloon rides and more!

More Istanbul travel resources

  • 1-4 day Istanbul itinerary
  • Istanbul travel budget
  • The ultimate guide to eating out in Istanbul
  • Tips for visiting Galata Tower for Istanbul city views
  • The best Whirling Dervishes ceremony in Istanbul
  • Guide to Arnavutkoy, Istanbul’s most beautiful district
  • The best places to visit in Turkey
  • Turkey in winter: Where to go plus travel tips

12 Comments

Detailed tips are super helpful, especially about the best time to visit and the ins and outs of public transport.

Thank you. Right now in Turkey with wife and kids. Following your steps and recommendations. Just one thing: booking asked for a price but the hotel converted the price to Liras and charged me much more for exactly the same booking and service! Thank you again,

I love your travel blog! Your vivid descriptions and stunning photographs make me feel like I’m right there with you. It’s inspiring to see someone embracing adventure and exploring new cultures. Keep the travel stories coming!

Excellent article and links for further information. I am planning a trip to Turkey in September with my wife and your articles a great start and support. Great job! Alejandro

This is very, very helpful. Thank you so much.

Early in your article you indicated that Booking.com does not work in Turkey, yet in the section, entitled “Turkey Essentials”, you direct us to that site for Hotels. Maybe I am missing something, but that appears to be contradictory. I found the article very helpful…..Thanks for the information.

Hi JB – I still recommend using Booking, only you have to reserve from outside of Turkey ie. before you arrive.

Thanks so much, this was really helpful. Lots of good to know stuff that I didn’t find mentioned elsewhere

it was very helpful thank you

Ha, I made the same mistake again and didn’t read through your info thoroughly. In Georgia, I paid more than I needed to for a SIM at the airport and this time, I could have saved a few lira on a bank withdrawal in Istanbul.

Already appreciating the smiles and kindness in Istanbul very much.

Love your work Emily.

Perhaps it’s different for Australian passport holders, but I found the VOA to be a better deal than the eVisa for Americans. Our eVisas were fast and easy to get, but cost $50 plus a 2 dollar service fee. We got them before traveling to Turkey last year, but went twice to make them a better value. This past month we got VOA (no lines) and paid 25 euros each. Both are valid for 6 months. Plus you get a little visa stamp in your passport!

Thanks Owen for the info – you’re right, VOA is more affordable for US passport holders, but not for us Aussies unfortunately! I would have loved a visa stamp. I’ll update that now. Cheers!

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Istanbul Travel Guide

Katie Nadworny is an Istanbul-based writer who specializes in stories at the intersection of culture and politics in Turkey, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. She has lived in Turkey for nearly a decade and has traveled extensively around the region.

sun travel istanbul

There is nowhere in the world quite like Istanbul. Spread across two continents, Istanbul is a city of layers and contrasts. With historical sights like the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace brushing up against buzzing bars and lively cafes, with Ottoman-era mosques a short walk from contemporary art museums and galleries, with traditional carpet shops around the corner from trendy boutiques, Istanbul is a city of old and new coexisting. The city never stops moving.

Istanbul is the cultural capital of the country, with a plethora of independent galleries and inventive restaurants, as well as its transit hub, with flights going all over Turkey and all over the world. Each neighborhood has its own distinct identity and vibe, and it's easy to spend weeks in Istanbul without ever seeing everything. But that is what makes it so fascinating—there will always be something calling you back for more. So order a cup of Turkish coffee and a piece of pistachio baklava, and get ready to delve into this fascinating metropolis.

Turkey's time zone is GMT+3 year-round, and is also called TRT (Turkey Time). Turkey does not do daylight savings.

Best Time to Go

Spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) are the perfect times to visit Istanbul, when the weather is bright and mild. During the month of April is the city-wide Tulip Festival, when the parks and green spaces in the city are bedazzled with the colorful bulbs. In the summer, the city becomes sticky and very hot, and most residents flee to the beaches in the south as soon as they can, but the streets are alive all night when the air cools off a little. Winter is gray and rainy, showing Istanbul at its most moody and evocative.

Things to Know

The main language in Istanbul is Turkish, though with a large international presence in the city, don't be surprised to hear chatter in English or Arabic or Farsi as you explore. Turkish people are generally quite helpful, even if you don't speak any Turkish, and shop owners (especially in Sultanahmet, the historic center) will often invite you to sit down and share a çay, a tiny tulip-shaped cup of strong black tea. Personal space is often a luxury in this crowded city, so don't be surprised if you feel someone is standing too close to you as you wait for a bus or in a line—it's normal here.

Don't mistake the water that bisects the city for a river. The Bosphorus Strait connects the Sea of Marmara (and, by extension, the Mediterranean) with the Black Sea, and is therefore a major global shipping route. It's not unusual to see massive container ships floating by your commuter ferry.

While Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, the capital city is actually Ankara, in central Anatolia. But the palaces that dot the Bosphorus, left over from Istanbul's status as the capital of the Ottoman Empire, might make you think otherwise. The politicians might do their business in Ankara, but Istanbul feels like the center of the world.

Currency: Turkish Lira (TL)

(Check the current exchange rate )

Language: Turkish I don't speak Turkish: Türkçe bilmiyorum. I'm lost: Kayboldum Can I have…?: …alabilirmiyim? Where is…?: ... nerede?

Calling Code: +90

Capital City: Ankara

How to Get Around

Intricate interlocking transportations—both official and informal—make it easy to navigate around Istanbul. There are multiple metro lines with clear signage and modern cars that connect to an above-ground tram line and two funiculars. The Marmaray, a cross-continent metro line that passes under the Bosphorus Strait, connects the metro system on the European and Asian sides of the city, and has recently expanded to run all the way into the suburbs on both sides of the city. Otherwise, the best way to cross from Europe to Asia and back is by ferry, with multiple ferry lines running between stations on a regular schedule all throughout the day.

The gaps are filled by city buses, which are paid for by the same IstanbulKart that gets you onto the metro, Marmaray, and ferries. And if there is no bus that runs to your destination, there might be a dolmuş , a yellow van that runs on a fixed route but stops whenever a passenger requests it and leaves whenever the van is full. There are also light blue minibuses that run on various routes throughout the city. Dolmuş and minibuses are paid in cash, with the price depending on the distance you go.

Taxis are plentiful, especially around touristed areas. Apps like BiTaksi can be useful to call taxis directly, and hotels are also usually happy to order a taxi if you can't flag one down.

Best Hotels

Ciragan palace kempinski.

Address: Ciragan Caddesi 32 34349 Istanbul Phone: +90 212 326 4646 Website

Housed in an ornate former Ottoman palace on the shores of the Bosphorus Strait, the Ciragan Palace is the ultimate luxurious hotel in Istanbul. The Ciragan boasts an outdoor infinity pool, an exquisite spa with a Turkish hamam, and high-end restaurants. If you want to experience Istanbul like Ottoman royalty, the Ciragan is the place to do it.

Corinne Hotel

Address: Kuloğlu Mah., Turnacıbaşı Caddesi 41 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul Phone: +90 212 293 94 94 Website

Located in the heart of Beyoğlu, Istanbul's nightlife and entertainment district, the Corinne Hotel is an ideal base to experience the energy of the city. The boutique hotel is in a lovingly restored late-Ottoman neoclassical building, with trendy and contemporary amenities alongside a winding marble staircase. Don't miss out on its rooftop terrace, the perfect place to sip a cocktail and watch Istanbul sparkle below.

Sirkeci Mansion

Address: Taya Hatun Sokak 5 34120 Sirkeci/Istanbul Phone: +90 212 528 43 44 Website

Nestled in the heart of Sultanahmet, Sirkeci Mansion is walking distance from the Hagia Sophia, Gulhane Park, and Topkapi Palace. The hotel contains 32 spacious rooms, a spa, and an on-site restaurant. Relax at the hotel's Turkish hamam, or head up to the hotel's rooftop, with its sweeping views of the old city.

Pera Palace Hotel

Address: Mesrutiyet Caddesi 52 34430 Tepebasi/Istanbul Phone: +90 212 377 4000 Website

Modern luxury and Turkish history entwine at the Pera Palace hotel, a grand Art Nouveau beauty that was built for travelers on the Orient Express and over the years has hosted illustrious guests that include Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, and Queen Elizabeth II. The Pera Palace is located close to Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul's main thoroughfare. The five-star hotel has 115 rooms, multiple restaurants and bars, and a fully-equipped spa and fitness center.

The Bank Hotel

Address: Azapkapı, Bankalar Caddesi 5/1 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul Phone: +90 212 283 00 55 Website

Located in a reappropriated late-Ottoman-era bank in the Karakoy neighborhood, The Bank Hotel is a trendy boutique hotel located between the historic peninsula and the nightlife of Istiklal Caddesi. The eclectic design mixes the modern and the historic bones of the building throughout the hotel's 62 rooms. The restaurant on the rooftop offers splendid views of the city.

Splendid Palace Hotel

Address: Büyükada-nizam, Yirmiüç Nisan Caddesi 39 34970 Adalar/İstanbul Phone: +90 216 382 69 50 Website

This striking hotel on Istanbul's biggest island is full of early Republic charm, somehow both modern and nostalgically vintage. A highlight is the outdoor pool, where it's easy to while away the day in the sunshine. The 60 rooms and 9 suites are bright and breezy, perfect for an island escape in the middle of the city.

Best Restaurants

Address: The Marmara Pera Meşrutiyet Caddesi 15 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul Phone: +90 212 293 5656 Website

The creation of lauded Turkish-Scandinavian chef Mehmet Gurs, Mikla has long had a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Istanbul thanks to its creative twist on traditional cuisine. Located on the roof of the Marmara Pera Hotel, the views are as exquisite as the food. Try the tasting menu to get a sense of the scope of Mikla's creative culinary creations. Reservation is recommended. Indoor and outdoor dining is available.

Ciya Sofrasi

Address: Caferağa Mah. Güneşlibahçe Sokak 43 34710 Kadıköy/Istanbul, Phone: +90 216 330 3190 Website

This unassuming restaurant in the heart of the Kadikoy neighborhood's market street belies its reputation as an Istanbul powerhouse. With cuisine drawn from various regions across Anatolia, especially its diverse southeast region, the menu is constantly shifting and incorporating seasonal produce. In the summertime, try the cherry kebab; in the springtime, don't miss the lamb stewed with erik , Turkish sour plums. Indoor and outdoor dining is available.

Address: Azapkapı, Gümrük Han, Fermeneciler Caddesi 40/A 34420 Beyoğlu/İstanbul Phone: +90 212 244 97 76 Website

This seemingly ramshackle restaurant comes alive at night, glittering with strings of lights and lanterns. Perched right at the edge of the water in the Karakoy district, this is an evocative place to have the Turkish meyhane experience, with small plates of meze dotting the table and rakı (an anise liquor) flowing all night. Make sure to try the atom , thick yogurt mixed with hot dried peppers, and the catch of the day. Reservation is recommended, especially on weekends, and most dining is outdoors.

Address: Mesrutiyet Caddesi 107/F 34430 Beyoglu/Istanbul Phone: +90 212 243 2633 Website

This cozy bistro in the Pera neighborhood, walking distance from Istiklal Caddesi, combines Turkish, Persian, and Middle Eastern influences in its inventive cuisine. Make sure to try the dudi Persian rice speckled with ruby-red barberries. Reservation recommended, only indoor dining.

Things to Do

Hagia sophia.

Address: Ayasofya Meydanı 1 34122 Fatih/İstanbul Phone: +90212 522 17 50 Website

The Hagia Sophia is a building that has held many identities: from a Byzantine church to an Ottoman mosque to a secular museum, and now back to a mosque again. Visitors will need to respect the rules of the mosques in Turkey and dress appropriately , but there is no longer a fee to experience the ultimate palimpsest of a building. While some of the famous mosaics and frescoes are covered, many are still visible.

Topkapi Palace

Address: Cankurtaran Mah. 4122 Fatih/Istanbul Phone: +90 212 512 04 80 Website

Construction on Topkapi Palace began in 1453, when the Ottomans took Constantinople, and was the primary seat of imperial power for nearly four hundred years. The Harem requires an additional ticket, but it's worth it, with its magnificent blue-tiled walls and chambers.

Galata Tower

Address: Bereketzade, Galata kulesi 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul Phone: +90 212 245 4141 Website

Built by the Genoese in the 14th century, Galata Tower is an iconic part of the Istanbul skyline. Climb to the top for some of the best views of the city—especially at sunset.

Suleymaniye Mosque

Address: Süleymaniye Mah, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Caddesi 1 34116 Fatih/İstanbul Website

Suleymaniye Mosque is considered Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan's most splendid Istanbul mosque, and the architect himself is buried in a tomb on the site. With its intricate tiles, massive dome, and sweeping view of the city from its courtyard, Suleymaniye is a gem among Istanbul's imperial mosques.

Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam

Address: Kemankeş Mah. Hamam Sokak 1 34425 Tophane Karaköy/İstanbul Phone: +90 212 393 80 10 Website

The full hamam , or Turkish bath, experience is particularly luxurious at the Kili Ali Pasa Hamam. Sweat out on a marble slab in the elegantly restored historic building, and get scrubbed squeaky clean.

Best Shopping

Grand bazaar.

Address: Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. 22 34126 Fatih/İstanbul Phone: +90 212 519 12 48

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, encompassing an entire buzzing hive of artisans and merchants spread across 60 streets and 4000 shops. Come for traditional Turkish carpets, gold and silver jewelry, leather goods, and more—and make sure to sit, share a tea, and haggle.

Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar)

Address: Rüstem Paşa, Erzak Ambarı Sokak 92 34116 Fatih/İstanbul Phone: +90 212 513 65 97

Built in the 17th century, this fragrant covered market brims over with spices, from tangy sumac to smokey urfa pepper to Turkish saffron. Vendors also sell Turkish delight, ceramics, and other non-spice items.

Arasta Bazaar

Address: Kabasakal Caddesi 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

This market street in the heart of the Sultanahmet neighborhood historically housed shops whose rent helped pay for the maintenance of the nearby Blue Mosque. Now, vendors sell hand-woven pestamel (Turkish towels), ceramics, carpets, and more.

Souq Dukkan

Address: Büyükdere Caddesi 185 34330 Şişli/İstanbul Phone: +90 555 030 82 32 Website

Souq Dukkan began as an artisan's bazaar in the trendy Karakoy neighborhood before recently relocating to Kanyon in Levent. Featuring the work of local designers, creators, and artists, Souq Dukkan is the place to find unique Turkish items from some of the city's most creative minds.

Neighborhoods to Know

Sultanahmet : Seemingly every block in this neighborhood has something historical poking out. The central square is dominated by the twinned Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, and the streets hold other imperial Ottoman-era mosques, Byzantine cisterns, and the remains of a hippodrome. This is the main place visitors to Istanbul come, and with good reason—the layered empires that dominated Istanbul have all left their mark right here.

Kadıkӧy : Located on Istanbul's Asian shore, Kadıkӧy is the neighborhood of artists and creatives. Bright colorful murals decorate the walls of buildings, while the streets brim with vibrant bars, sleek third-wave coffee shops, trendy boutiques, and al fresco dining. Kadıkӧy has a long stretch of seaside that is filled on summer nights with locals enjoying a beer at sunset. Only a picturesque ferry ride away from the city center, Kadıkӧy is the neighborhood to visit to see how Istanbul's cool kids live.

Cihangir : This trendy neighborhood, just a few blocks from Taksim Square, is the place to see and be seen. With cutting-edge boutiques, moody bistros, colorful bars slinging cocktails, and stylish cafes, Cihangir has long been the scene where hip Turks and foreigners mingle.

Beşiktaş : Located on the European Bosphorus shore just a short walk from Dolmabahçe Palace, Beşiktaş is a rowdy neighborhood famed for its passionate support of the local football team and its plethora of pubs. Explore the rollicking side streets spilling over with people enjoying the night time energy.

Karakoy : Formerly a forlorn strip of shipping warehouses and camping shops, the Karakoy neighborhood has blossomed in the last decade into a colorful strip of restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. One building houses five of Istanbul's premier private galleries, while mere steps away is the splendid Kılıc Ali Paşa Mosque and its luxurious hammam.

Nişantaşı : For luxury and high-end experiences, Istanbul's elite come to upscale Nişantaşı. Here's where you can find haute couture boutiques, luxury brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton, and elegant restaurants. Just nearby is Maçka Park, one of the few parks in central Istanbul and an ideal place to stroll.

The Princes Islands : The Princes Islands, called Adalar in Turkish, are nine islands in the sea of Marmara, with four open to the public. Cars are not allowed on the islands, so it's best to get around by bicycle, by foot, or by horse-drawn carriage. With its charming white wooden houses and lush bougainvillea, the islands are an escape from the city within the city. The four islands (Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, and Kınalıada) can be reached by regular ferries from the mainland.

Balat : The twinned neighborhoods of Fener and Balat, historically home to large Greek and Jewish populations, are some of the most picturesque in Istanbul, with colorful wooden houses lining hilly cobblestone streets. Balat has erupted in recent years, easily claiming its place as one of Istanbul's most interesting up-and-coming neighborhoods. Explore the antique shops that dot the area or stop at one of the many cafes and new restaurants that line the streets.

Winter: Istanbul winters are gray and constantly rainy, with weather hovering around 45°-50°F. While it's not ideal weather, the city is evocative and somehow cozy, with vendors selling roasted chestnuts on the street corners and steaming tulip-shaped cups of tea on offer at every restaurant.

Spring: In the springtime, the sun comes out and the weather warms up to a comfortable 65°-70°F. Flowers bloom all over the city, from fragrant jasmine to hot pink petals bursting from Judas trees. The early end of spring can still be a little chilly, but everyone still sits outside to soak in the sun.

Summer: The long, sticky, crowded days of Istanbul's summer usually have temperatures around 85°F with 70% humidity. The saving grace is the water that surrounds the city—the breeze off the Bosphorus on a transcontinental ferry ride or a swim in the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul's islands takes the edge off the muggy heat. And the endless summer nights, often spent sitting around a long meyhane table sipping a cold glass of anise-flavored raki , make it all worth it.

Fall: Autumn in Istanbul is warm and comfortable. The humidity comes down, as does the temperature, lingering around a comfortable 65°F in the early autumn and slipping around to 60°F in the later part. This is the best time to come to Istanbul.

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12 spectacular day trips from Istanbul

Jennifer Hattam

May 28, 2024 • 12 min read

sun travel istanbul

Escape the city stress and relax on the beautiful Princes' Islands © Ann Stryzhekin / Shutterstock

With a rich cultural tapestry, endless exciting attractions, and an incredible dining scene spanning every budget, it's virtually impossible to get bored of Istanbul .

But it's worth tearing yourself away for this urban delight to discover the beaches, forests and charming towns that lie just beyond the city limits. Any stress caused by the hustle and bustle of Istanbul's streets and markets will instantly melt away when you gaze upon the Sea of Marmara. 

Start planning your Turkish adventures now with our favorite day trips from Istanbul.

1. Princes’ Islands

Travel time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

A scenic ferry ride away from the city, the Princes’ Islands (known as Adalar in Turkish) is a favorite outing for both Istanbul residents and tourists, with their historic mansions, scenic views, small beaches, waterfront seafood restaurants and relaxed seaside vibe.

The largest of the four main islands, Büyükada, is also the most popular with visitors; its hilltop Church and Monastery of St. George is elaborately decorated with Greek Orthodox iconography and has grand panoramic vistas. Neighboring Heybeliada has lush pine groves and its own landmark monastery . Bucolic Burgazada and beach-dappled Kınalıada are less visited but have their own charms. No cars are allowed on the Princes' Islands, so be prepared to walk or rent a bike on the serene (but hilly) streets.

Seaside cafes, ice cream shops and (largely interchangeable, often overpriced) fish restaurants abound around the harbor area of each island. Kalpazankaya around the back of Burgazada has a sublime setting and better-than-average meze and seafood, while Heyamola Ada Lokantası on Heybeliada is generally regarded as one of the islands' best restaurants.

How to get to the Princes' Islands from Istanbul: City-run Şehir Hatları ferries depart from the Kabataş docks to the four main Princes' Islands, calling at Kadıköy en route, near-hourly in summer (less frequent in winter) from around 7am to 11pm or midnight. There are also a handful of daily departures from Beşiktaş. The trip takes roughly one to 1.5 hours, depending on your destination. Avoid visiting on summer weekends and holidays if possible, as the ferries and the islands can be packed.

2. Polonezköy

Travel time: 1 hour

Set amid a beautifully wooded nature park, Istanbul’s “Polish village” was founded by Polish emigrants in the mid-1800s and retains a small population of Polish speakers. The village’s sights include a Polish church (Our Lady of Częstochowa) and cemetery, as well as a historic home that’s been converted into a small museum of local memorabilia.

Most visitors come here to while away a late morning or afternoon over brunch or a barbecue picnic at one of Polonezköy’s numerous restaurants. A few have Polish specialties like pierogi on the menu alongside Turkish dishes. A stroll in the woods on the walking path ( yürüyüş parkuru ) that starts from the edge of town is a great way to work up an appetite.

How to get to Polonezköy: It’s about a one-hour drive, depending on traffic, to Polonezköy from central Istanbul. The closest public transportation hub is Kavacık, on the Asian side of the city near the second bridge. A taxi ride from here takes 20 minutes or so.

Beach goers in the distance on a mainly empty beach against blue sky in Kilyos, istanbul

The Black Sea coastal village of Kilyos, about 35km (22 miles) north of Istanbul’s historic districts, is surrounded by some fine stretches of sand that draw city crowds in their droves on summer weekends. Fish restaurants, cafes, and ice cream shops overlook the main beach that's below Kilyos' center.

Though the beach is free to the public, it's not always spotless. Many beach clubs in the area charge a daily fee but offer sun loungers, umbrellas, and parking and have on-site bars and restaurants that sometimes host lively DJ parties in the evenings. Burç Beach is one of the best of the bunch.

How to get to Kilyos: The 151 bus runs roughly every 30 minutes from Hacıosman metro station to Kilyos. You can also take a bus to Sarıyer (25G from Taksim, 25E from Kabataş, 40B from Beşiktaş or 25 from Hacıosman metro) and then a dolmuş (shared taxi) to Kilyos. The trip takes about 1.5 hours if traffic isn’t too bad.

4. Thrace Vineyard Route

Travel time: 3 to 4 hours

Wine grapes have been grown since ancient times in Thrace, a region shared by Türkiye, Bulgaria, and Greece, and modern Turkish winemakers are keeping that tradition alive. A dozen boutique vineyards have banded together to create the Thrace Vineyard Route (Trakya Bağ Rotası) as a way to bring attention to the area’s wines, as well as its cuisine, history, and natural landscapes. Most offer tours and tastings while some have fine restaurants as well.

How to get to Thrace Vineyard Route: The main areas for wineries are around Tekirdağ, Şarköy, Kırklareli, and Gelibolu, each within a three- to four-hour drive from Istanbul. A few vineyards, including Arcadia, Barbare, and Vino Dessera, have boutique-hotel-style accommodations and offer package stays inclusive of all food and wine.

Aerial of Agva, a holiday and fishing town in Istanbul

5. Şile and Ağva

Travel time: 3 hours

The seaside towns of Şile and Ağva, along the Black Sea coast east of Istanbul, make for a charming, low-key escape. Şile’s distinctive striped 19th-century lighthouse stands guard over a rugged coastline, near the town center with its active fishing harbor and beaches to either side. Ağva also has a beachfront, but it's better known for its two meandering rivers where you can canoe or fish. The green woods around Ağva have hiking trails and waterfalls. Both towns have a variety of accommodations – pensions, hotels, cabins, and camping – if you want to continue your relaxation for longer than a day.

How to get to Şile and Ağva: Take a local ferry from Eminönü, Karaköy, Kabataş, or Beşiktaş to Üsküdar, where you can catch the 139 bus to Şile or the 139A to Ağva (passing through Şile). Buses leave every hour or so. From Istanbul, it takes approximately three hours to Şile and 3.25 hours to Ağva.

6. Rumelifeneri and Garipçe

The fishing village of Rumelifeneri sits at the far northern point of Istanbul where the Bosphorus meets the Black Sea; its namesake lighthouse was built in 1856 to monitor the strait during the Crimean War. Nearby are the evocative ruins of a 17th-century fortress and arsenal, with waves crashing below its twin turrets and the remnants of its walls.

Even less is left of the fortress in the village of Garipçe, approximately two miles south. The two villages are popular spots for Istanbulites to have a leisurely weekend breakfast or fish dinner by the seaside. Both also have small beaches that are not particularly inviting, but you might spot surfers riding the waves off of Rumelifeneri.

How to get to Rumelifeneri and Garipçe: The 40 bus runs from Taksim to Rumelifeneri, stopping in Garipçe en route. Alternatively, take the metro (M2) line from Taksim to Hacıosman station and then transfer to the 150 bus, which also goes to both villages. The one-way journey takes approximately 1.5 hours either way, but if traffic is bad (as it often is), the second option will probably be quicker.

A customer getting a massage at the Hammam (Turkish baths), Istanbul

The wooded hillside town of Termal, some 40km (25 miles) across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul, is best known for its hot springs. Waterfalls, lakes, and hiking paths can be found in the surrounding forests. Termal’s hammams (Turkish baths) and other spa facilities are its main attractions. In the nearby city of Yalova, you can visit the Karaca Arboretum and the Yürüyen Köşk, a small waterfront mansion once used as a summer house by Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.

How to get to Termal: İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri  runs multiple car ferries a day (roughly every two hours between 7:45 am and 9:45 pm) from Yenikapı to Yalova. From Yalova, it’s an 14km (8.5-mile) minibus or taxi ride to Termal. Travel time is about 1.5 hours.

8. Yeşilköy and Florya

The seaside suburb of Florya is home to the Atatürk Marine Mansion (Atatürk Deniz Köşkü), a striking modernist building sitting on pillars in the sea that served as a summer house for Türkiye's founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and now operates as a small museum. Nearby is the Florya Güneș Plajı beach club, and just a bit inland, the Florya Atatürk Ormanı, a large public park with plenty of play areas, picnic tables, trees, and cycling and walking paths.

To the east of Florya along the Marmara Sea, the pleasant village-like neighborhood of Yeşilköy has a charming harbor area, historic wooden homes, and churches tucked away in its backstreets (the late-19th-century St. Etienne Latin Catholic Church is open to visitors daily), and lots of restaurants and cafes. The Istanbul Aviation Museum in Yeşilköy, on the edge of the old Atatürk Airport, is a primarily open-air display of military planes and equipment.

Yeşilköy and Florya are connected by a long waterfront promenade and park that’s frequented by local families out for a picnic or a stroll. The path passes by the Istanbul Aquarium , featuring more than 1500 aquatic and terrestrial species; an old-fashioned amusement park ( lunapark ); two small public beaches with minimal facilities; and various spots to rent bicycles, scooters, and pedal cars.

How to get to Yeşilköy and Florya: Take the metro (M2 line) from Taksim to Yenikapı and then transfer to the Marmaray rail line, which stops at Yeşilköy (across from the Aviation Museum), Florya Akvaryum (by the aquarium) and Florya (close to the Atatürk Marine Mansion). The whole trip should take less than an hour each way.

Two oil wrestlers wrestling at Kirkpinar oil  wrestling festival, Edirne, Istanbul

The western border city of Edirne was the capital of the Ottoman Empire after Bursa and before Istanbul. It boasts what is widely considered to be the masterpiece of Mimar Sinan, the architect who designed many of Istanbul’s most famous mosques and other monuments. 

In addition to Sinan’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Selimiye Mosque , Edirne’s cultural patrimony includes a 15th-century hospital and medical school complex , a beautifully restored 1906 synagogue , and numerous other grand mosques and small museums .

The city is also famous for its Kırkpınar oil-wrestling festival , a uniquely Turkish sporting tournament held annually in late June or early July. There are plenty of hotels in Edirne if you want to extend your stay.

How to get to Edirne: Numerous travel companies run frequent, comfortable coach services from Istanbul’s main bus station (upstairs from the Otogar metro stop on the M1 line) to Edirne. The journey time is about three hours.

10. Belgrad Forest

The 13,590-acre Belgrad Forest ( Belgrad Ormanı ) at the northern edge of the city is beloved by Istanbul’s walkers, runners, mountain bikers, and picnickers. Most visitors stick close to one of the nine nature parks within the forest, where there are picnic tables, parking, and other facilities, but venture off on any of the dozens of trails, and you’ll have the serene greenery nearly all to yourself.

Bring a GPS, as the trails are not marked. Tucked away amidst the trees, you’ll find seven Ottoman dams, some of them quite grand, dating as far back as 1620 and built to supply water to the city through an extensive system of aqueducts and channels. The Atatürk Arboretum within the forest has lakes, walking paths, and nearly 2000 different kinds of trees and plants.

There are rustic cafe-restaurants by the parking lots of some of the nature parks within the forest, including Ayvat Bendi and Falih Rıfkı Atay, and plenty of places for self-catered picnicking. A strict no-food-or-drink policy is enforced within the Atatürk Arboretum.

How to get to Belgrad Forest: Take the metro (M2 line) from Taksim to Hacıosman station and then the 42HM bus to reach Bahçeköy, the nearest settlement to the forest. From Bahçeköy, you can walk into the forest or catch a taxi to the more popular picnic areas. Getting a taxi back out can be trickier, however. For Atatürk Arboretum, get off at the Kemerburgaz Yolu bus stop just before the village center. The trip from Taksim metro station takes about an hour. 

Pedestrians walking on the parade outside a Palace on the Bosporus shores in Istanbul

11. Anadolu Kavağı

Travel time: 2 hours

A former fishing village clinging to the water’s edge, Anadolu Kavağı is today the terminus of the long Bosphorus tour (uzun Boğaz turu) on one of Istanbul’s ferry boats. The approximately two-hour voyage each way is a spectacularly scenic ride past waterfront palaces, mansions, and fortresses.

Upon arrival, passengers have just under three hours to explore Anadolu Kavağı before the return trip, plenty of time to hike to the ruins of its castle , which overlooks the windswept Black Sea, and stroll back through town for a bite to eat in one of the fish restaurants by the harbor.

How to get to Anadolu Kavağı: Daily tours with the city-run Şehir Hatları ferry company depart from Eminönü at 10:35 am, returning from Anadolu Kavağı at 3 pm.

A bustling modern metropolis and Türkiye's fourth largest city, Bursa retains a wealth of important monuments from its days as the first capital of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century, including grand mosques, historic markets, and the ornate mausoleums of the early sultans.

The area’s thermal springs flow into some of Bursa’s hammams and spa hotels. Uludağ, the “great mountain” that towers over the city, offers skiing in winter, wooded hiking in summer, and a ride on the world’s longest cable car any time of the year. Though you can visit Bursa on a long day trip, its attractions are sufficient to merit an overnight stay at one of the city’s many hotels.

How to get to Bursa: BUDO and İDO ferries make the roughly two-hour journey from Istanbul (departing from Eminönü and Yenikapı, respectively) across the Sea of Marmara to Mshiudanya around six times a day. From Mudanya, take a bus or taxi the final 20 miles to central Bursa.

This article was first published Sep 23, 2019 and updated May 28, 2024.

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Where to Watch Sunset in Istanbul

Watching the sunset is always a calming experience. In Istanbul, there are many places you can catch the sunset and enjoy the view of the beautiful Bosphorus while the sun is going down. Especially on the long summer evenings, the experience is priceless. Here are the best places to watch the sunset in Istanbul.

Undoubtfully, Istanbul surprises people with its beauty at different times of the day… Istanbul is different in the morning, in the evening, at midnight, and also at sunset. Just imagine how beautiful would it be to watch the sunset in Istanbul…Unique and priceless…Are you hearing the sound of the ferry? The sun is going down, the rhythm of people in the streets, the sound of children playing at the streets, the sound of street sellers, tea, and simit with the combination of the view of Istanbul…even the idea brings us to different places all around Istanbul. Are you ready to find out your favorite sunset-watching square in Istanbul?

1- Galata Tower:

When we talk about sunset, of course, Galata tower is the first place that comes to mind with its unique balcony which offers visitors an excellent view of Istanbul at sunset. Galata Tower is also a symbol of love in Istanbul, so it would be best for you and your partner to visit Galata Tower at sunset and grab a coffee. Here are some suggestions for you my dear reader where you can grab a coffee or drink tea in the sunset at Galata Tower: Veranda Pera, Rana byTopaz, Its OK Coffee

2- Camlica Hill:

Camlıca Hill is one of the best places to experience sunset in Istanbul. Mostly for the ones who find their soul when they get lost in nature, love green and nature, Camlica Hill can be a good choice to watch the sunset. Camlıca Hill integrates a beautiful view of nature with an amazing view of the Bosphorus. If you need some relaxation on your own, leave all the worries behind and watch the sunset with a beautiful view of Istanbul, I strongly recommend you let your feet bring you there. Moreover, one more surprise for you in Camlica Hill, you can drink your coffee or tea with the cookies you can get from Kukıs, and also good news they are fresh. I did not forget the food lovers either. After letting your soul relax with an amazing view of Istanbul at sunset, Uskudar is ready to serve you its best foods in its amazing restaurants with a perfect view of the Bosphorus. Here are some restaurants, believe me, you won’t regret it: Bridge Restaurant, Villa Bosphorus, Del Mare Ristorante…

3- Maiden’s Tower:

We are still in Uskudar, but at a different destination that offers places to watch the sunset best from each other in Istanbul. Yes, we are at Maiden’s Tower. It is really hard to decide whether the history or beauty or the view of Maiden’s tower makes it special and determine which is the most gorgeous and attractive feature of Maiden’s Tower. You can prefer to watch the sunset in the Maiden’s Tower by clicking to get into it. Also, you may prefer to watch the sunset towards Maiden’s tower. It depends on you and your preference. I am inviting you to be an eyewitness of the most special sunset at Maiden’s Tower restaurant with the delicious cuisine that they offer. Unfortunately, the Tower will be under construction between 2022-2024 years. 

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4- Pierre Loti̇ Hill:

Pierre Loti hill gets its name from a French writer and it allows you to watch the perfect view of the Golden Horn at sunset. You can either reach Pierre Loti Hill via cable car or a short walk in the path. No matter which way you prefer, in the end, the result that you are going to witness is going to be worth it. When I first went there maybe because its name comes from a writer, this poem came to my mind “Sana dün bir tepeden baktım aziz Istanbul” from Yahya Kemal. The translation is “ I looked at you from a hill dear Istanbul”… To make it more enjoyable watching the sunset in Pierre Loti hill, you can take a sip of your tea and listen to your soul in Loti Cafe&Roof Lounge …

In recent years Karakoy become one of the most famous and attractive districts of Istanbul with its warm and sincere atmosphere which is formed by young and energetic people. People can find so many various things to do in Karakoy all day time long. However, in my opinion, the sunset in Karakoy is something else than all the other things you can do in Karakoy. You can say goodbye to a day while watching the sunset in Istanbul and drinking your tea accompanied by your favorite book at Coffee Sapiens.

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With a lot of hills in the heart of it, green trees and plains and surrounded by seas, lakes, and water channel Istanbul city has wonderful and panoramic views that will amaze you and give you a lovely unforgettable experience.

Where to Watch Sunset in Istanbul

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There are many methods to acquire turkish citizenship, and providing all of the facts in a short blog article like this is almost difficult. however, if you are interested in the major elements of the procedure and what is required for turkish citizenship, you may find some useful information here.

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Bridging two continents, Europe & Asia, this unique city of East meets West & old meets new will awaken completely different feelings inside you. The silhouettes of the beautiful mosques rise above the historical peninsula across the Bosphorus illuminating the city like a painting and Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople throughout its rich past has played host to Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Rulers, all of which is evident in this beautiful city of today. Istanbul is truly a combination of fascinating sightseeing that embraces its historical and cultural diversity for your marvel. Whether you take a guided tour or freelance in Istanbul, you will catch hold of various historical and natural wonders at any minute.

With its incredible history and beautiful sights, this cosmopolitan city is complimented with an incredible selection of amazing restaurants & beautiful cafes serving Turkish teas and coffee and wonderful entertainment off Taksim Square and Istiklal street where the city springs to life. A mild Mediterranean climate, delicious cuisine, historical and cultural marvels and delightful people, Istanbul holidays are the jewel in the shining crown of a land where east meets west in ultimate harmony.

Just over 4hours flight time from Dublin with direct flights on award winning Turkish Airlines, getting there couldn’t be easier for a long weekend break that will live long in the memory and make you want to return again.

Top Tips: The best time to visit Istanbul is April to May or September to October when the temperatures are not as hot, Istanbul enjoys hot summers from June to August and sometimes cold winters from December to February. A cruise down the Bosphorus is a must and in particular a sunset cruise. Take a pre-booked half day or full day guided tour to visit the major sights like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque & The Grand Bazaar, all of these sights are extremely popular so we recommend you travel early to avoid long queue times to gain entry. Enjoy the buzzing evening nightlife off Istiklal’s side streets. Istiklal Caddesi is the city’s main shopping boulevard and there are hundreds of traditional shops and cafes to the iconic fashion stores, you name it, you’ll find it here.

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$228 Find cheap flights to Istanbul

This is the cheapest one-way flight price found by a kayak user in the last 72 hours by searching for a flight to istanbul departing on 9/26. fares are subject to change and may not be available on all flights or dates of travel. click the price to replicate the search for this deal., search hundreds of travel sites at once for deals on flights to istanbul.

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Cheap flight deals to Istanbul

Flights to istanbul - travel insights & trends, get data-powered insights and trends for flights to istanbul to help you find the cheapest flights, the best time to fly and much more., what is the cheapest flight to istanbul.

Based on KAYAK searches from the last 72 hours, if you fly from New York , you should have a good chance of getting the best deal to Istanbul as it was the cheapest place to fly from. Prices were found for as low as $228 one-way and $535 for a round-trip flight. Also in the last 72 hours, the most popular connection to Istanbul was from Chicago and the lowest price for a round-trip flight was $690.

How much is a flight to Istanbul?

On average, a flight to istanbul costs $1,013. the cheapest price found on kayak in the last 2 weeks cost $399 and departed from washington, d.c. dulles intl airport. the most popular routes on kayak are chicago to istanbul which costs $1,154 on average, and new york to istanbul, which costs $1,255 on average., see prices from:, what is the cheapest day to fly to istanbul, based on kayak data, the cheapest day to fly to istanbul is tuesday where tickets can be as cheap as $1,116. on the other hand, the most expensive day to fly is saturday, where prices are $1,214 on average., what is the cheapest time of day to fly to istanbul, the cheapest time of day to fly to istanbul is generally in the afternoon, when flights cost $885 on average. the most expensive time of day to fly to istanbul is generally in the morning, which is peak travel time and where the average cost of a ticket is $1,123., what is a good deal for flights to istanbul, if you’re looking for cheap airfare to istanbul, 25% of our users found tickets to istanbul for the following prices or less: from washington, d.c. dulles intl airport $537 one-way - $924 round-trip, from miami $564 one-way - $902 round-trip, from los angeles $576 one-way - $930 round-trip., how far in advance should i book a flight to istanbul, to get a below average price, you should book around 1 week before departure. for the absolute cheapest price, our data suggests you should book 81 days before departure., which is the cheapest airport to fly into in istanbul, prices will differ depending on the departure airport, but generally, the cheapest airport to fly to in istanbul is istanbul sabiha gokcen airport, with an average flight price of $191., which airline offers the most flights to istanbul, of the 3 airlines that fly to istanbul, turkish airlines offers the most flights, with around 1,280 per week, followed by pegasus airlines with 683 flights per week., how many airports are there in istanbul, there are 5 airports in istanbul: istanbul airport (ist), istanbul sabiha gokcen airport (saw), bursa yenişehir airport (yei), tekirdağ corlu airport (teq) and i̇zmit cengiz topel airport (kco). the busiest airport is istanbul airport (ist), with 68% of all flights arriving there., how long is the flight to istanbul, the duration of your flight to istanbul depends on your departure and arrival airports. obviously any flights that include a layover will also be longer. the most popular routes to istanbul on kayak are from newark , which takes 9h 30m, new york , which takes 9h 40m, miami , which takes 11h 05m, and san francisco , which takes 13h 00m., how many direct flights to istanbul are there each day, there are around 41 direct flights from within united states to istanbul every day. most flights depart in the evening, with 9:00 pm the most common departure time and 56% of flights departing in the evening., how many direct flights to istanbul are there each week, each week there are around 287 direct flights from within united states to istanbul. the most common day for departures is sunday, with 15% of flights taking off on this day., how many long-haul flights are there to istanbul each week, there are not any medium-haul (3-6 hour flight duration) or short-haul (up to 3 hour flight duration) flights to istanbul. instead, there are 283 long-haul flights (6-12 hour flight duration), with the most arriving from new york., how many cities have direct flights to istanbul, from the united states, there are direct flights to istanbul from 13 cities. the city with the most direct flights is new york, with 91 direct flights each week., good to know, when to book flights to istanbul, faqs - booking istanbul flights, what amenities are there for families traveling to istanbul airport (ist).

Families with children will be pleased to find a fantastic glacier playground with real snow and ice as well as a sky-themed playground and a space theme park, which together covers an area of 700m3. Completely free of charge there will be no time for your kids to get bored at IST. The airport provides free buggy service for children between the ages of 0 and 2. IST has special check-in counters for families and options to book a private transfer from the airport to reduce any hassles of transporting all your luggage.

Why should I fly into Istanbul Airport (IST)?

Definitely consider flying into IST if your business or visit takes you to the European side of Istanbul, which is where most of the city’s major tourist attractions are located-which will save you time and money. Alternatively, the Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is located on the Asian side of the city and further away.

What amenities are there for business travelers in Istanbul Airport (IST)?

Check out any of the airport lounges which all have amenities for business travelers like WIFI and computers as well as a quiet place to attend to your businesses and can be booked with a single day fare. The lounges at IST include the IGA Lounge (located on the international departure floor), the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge (located near Gate E1), the Turkish Miles & Smiles Lounge (located near Gate C1) and the Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge (located just outside the terminal main security point).

What tourist attractions are located close to the Istanbul Airport (IST)?

IST is located closer than SAW to key Turkish tourist attractions like the Dolmabahce Palace, the Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Sultanahmet District, the Suleymaniye Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, Historic Areas of Istanbul and Gulhane Park. Consider booking a taxi at the taxi stand curbside leaving the baggage claim area to get you to these attractions in record time.

What are the parking options at Istanbul Airport?

Istanbul Airport features various parking spaces, including Turquoise, Green, Yellow, Blue, and Red Car Parks. The parking spaces at the airport are under 24/7 surveillance, and they offer several extra services, such as mini maintenance, car wash, tire change, auto hairdresser, and refueling. You also have the option to book online in advance to get the best parking deals at the airport. However, keep in mind that only credit cards are accepted for airport parking payment on-site.

What transportation options are available at Istanbul Airport?

You can access the city center via a taxi from Istanbul Airport. Taxi fares start at about $32 and typically takes 45-60min. Taxi fare differs among the various taxi types available at the airport, including black type E, blue type D, and orange type C taxis. You can also take public transit buses operated by Havaist and IETT, which take frequent trips to the center of Istanbul.

Can I rent a car at Istanbul Airport?

There are several reputable car rental agencies at Istanbul Airport, including Avec, Avis, Çizgi Rent a Car, and Goldcar. The car rental counters are all located in the arrivals area. Moreover, the car rental companies are open 24 hours a day, offering you convenient transit from the airport even after a late-night arrival.

Are there on-site hotels at Istanbul Airport?

You can find the Yotelair Istanbul Hotel located on the landside opposite Terminal Entrance 7, and another in the airside zone. The hotel is conveniently located within the airport and offers sleeping cabins for as little as four hours, providing a convenient break for travelers on extended layovers.

Which Istanbul airport is closest to central Istanbul?

20 miles away from Istanbul’s city center, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport is the closest of the 2 major airports in the city. There are 21 miles separating Istanbul city center to Istanbul Airport.

On average, a flight to Istanbul costs $1,013. The cheapest price found on KAYAK in the last 2 weeks cost $399 and departed from Washington, D.C. Dulles Intl Airport.

How does KAYAK find such low prices on flights to Istanbul?

KAYAK is a travel search engine. That means we look across the web to find the best prices we can find for our users. With over 2 billion flight queries processed yearly, we are able to display a variety of prices and options on flights to Istanbul.

How does KAYAK's flight Price Forecast tool help me choose the right time to buy my flight ticket to Istanbul?

KAYAK’s flight Price Forecast tool uses historical data to determine whether the price for a flight to Istanbul is likely to change within 7 days, so travelers know whether to wait or book now.

What is the Hacker Fare option on flights to Istanbul?

Hacker Fares allow you to combine one-way tickets in order to save you money over a traditional round-trip ticket. You could then fly to Istanbul with an airline and back with another airline.

What is KAYAK's "flexible dates" feature and why should I care when looking for a flight to Istanbul?

Sometimes travel dates aren't set in stone. If your preferred travel dates have some wiggle room, flexible dates will show you all the options when flying to Istanbul up to 3 days before/after your preferred dates. You can then pick the flights that suit you best.

Top tips for finding cheap flights to Istanbul

  • Enter your preferred departure airport and travel dates into the search form above to unlock the latest Istanbul flight deals.
  • Istanbul Airport (IST) is considered a global superhub serving 90 million passengers and is ranked one of the top in the world for its security. Check out the Fast Track & VIP Assistance Service to facilitate security on your flight home.
  • Both a mosque (with washing facilities), as well as a multi-faith prayer room , can be found in F gates complete with chairs and prayer mat.
  • Need to exchange dollars into Turkish lira before you venture out of the airport? Look for foreign currency services which are available in T2.
  • Istanbul Airport offers a free pet room and pet relief area for travelers with pets, located after security checks on the Departure level. This facility is very handy for serving the basic needs of your four-legged friend.
  • Whether you want to store your luggage while waiting a flight or don’t want to handle heavy luggage upon arrival, you can take advantage of the on-site luggage lockers . The lockers are available in pre-and post-security areas of Istanbul Airport.
  • For travelers seeking medical attention at Istanbul Airport, various service points are available, including five mobile health stations and emergency services . In addition, you can get a prescription filled at the airport’s pharmacies, located in both the International and Domestic Terminals.
  • Have some time to kill? Check out one of the two photo galleries at Istanbul Airport (IST), the journalistic gallery called the Ara Güler / Istanbul Exhibition, or the historical evolution of IST called the Victory Monument Exhibition located on the Domestic Departures Floor.
  • The duty free at the Istanbul Airport (IST) in the Departures gate of the International Terminal just after security the largest in the world covering over 53,000m3 and boasting thousands of retailers. The airport will also let you shop online to make sure you can take advantage of all the duty free has to offer and pick up your shopping in the airport, before your flight.
  • If you are a shopping enthusiast, you can enjoy a shopping adventure at Istanbul Airport (IST). The airport provides a remarkable shopping experience, combining renowned brands with a state-of-the-art retail approach. The shopping area offer a vast selection of items, ranging from souvenirs to fashion accessories. Moreover, there is a duty-free store, Unifree, located within the terminal area.
  • If your flight is delayed at Istanbul Airport, you can pass the time by enjoying a nap in the airport’s Napzones located throughout the terminal area. You can also explore the museums and exhibitions situated at various points in the Airport. Among the exhibitions is “Faces of Throne,” acquainting you with Turkish culture.

Prefer to fly non-stop to Istanbul?

Find which airlines fly direct to Istanbul, which days they fly and book direct flights.

Nonstop departures

United States to Istanbul

ANA, AZIMUTH, Aegean Airlines, +112 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, +113 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, Aegean Airlines, +114 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, +115 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, Aegean Airlines, +115 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, +116 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, Aegean Airlines, +111 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, +112 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, Aegean Airlines, +116 more

ANA, AZIMUTH, +117 more

Nonstop returns

Istanbul to United States

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Istanbul - United States

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ISTANBUL - 5 DANA ZRAKOPLOVOM 2025

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 Program putovanja 

1. dan: ZAGREB – ISTANBUL Sastanak putnika u Zračnoj luci Zagreb kod šaltera informacija najkasnije 90 min prije leta. Let zrakoplovom Turkish Airlinesa TK1054 za Istanbul u 08:35/08:55 sati s dolaskom u Istanbul u 12:50/12:10 sati. Po dolasku, transfer do hotela i smještaj. Nakon kraćeg odmora predlažemo popodnevni odlazak do Taksima i šetnju čuvenom shopping ulicom – Istiklal Cadessi. Povratak u hotel gradskim prijevozom. Noćenje.

2. dan: ISTANBUL Doručak. Sastanak s lokalnim vodičem te polazimo prema Topkapi palači (doplata – paket ulaznica) u kojoj je u 16. stoljeću bio smješten harem, državna administracija i vojna uprava, s ukupno 3000 stanovnika. Sultani su je napustili 1855. godine u korist nove Dolmabache palače. Preporučujemo obilazak harema (doplata za ulaznicu) koji je nekad bio dom za više od 300 sultanovih konkubina, kao i sultanove odaje. Polazimo prema Aja Sofiji, remek-djelu bizantske arhitekture. Ona je odnedavno opet džamija, ulaz je besplatan i možete ju obići individualno u svoje slobodno vrijeme. Nastavljamo preko hipodroma koji je nekoć bio sportski i društveni centar Konstantinopolisa i dalje prema džamiji Sultana Ahmeta (Plava džamija) iz 17. st., tik do Aja Sofije, posebno zanimljive zbog priče o njenih šest minareta. Izvana ćete moći vidjeti i kuću Ibrahim paše, poznatog Sulejmanovog prijatelja. Slijedi vrijeme za ručak. Po želji možete posjetiti cisternu Yerebatan (iz 6. st, izgrađena po nalogu bizantinskog cara Justinijana). Cijena ulaznice iznosi 17 EUR po osobi. Slobodno vrijeme za vlastite programe. Predlažemo posjet Kapali čaršiji, jednoj od najvećih natkrivenih bazara na svijetu gdje možete uživati u šetnji kroz labirint otprilike 4000 dućana te eventualnoj kupovini. U samom kompleksu otvoren je i restoran Nusr-et, poznatog turskog kuhara. Uz razne turske specijalitete, svakako probajte i vrhunske specijalitete po znatno povoljnijim cijenama nego u istom restoranu u drugim zemljama. Kada ste već u prolazu napravite rezervaciju za večeru jer gužve su velike, ali isplati se okusiti jelo uz vrhunsku prezentaciju. Povratak u hotel. Noćenje.

3. dan: ISTANBUL Nakon doručka odlazak do Suleymanije – druge najveće džamije u Istanbulu (izgrađena po nalogu Sulejmana Veličanstvenog). Nakon razgleda spustit ćemo se do egipatske tržnice okupane mirisima začina i čajeva. U rano poslijepodne predlažemo krstarenje brodom po Bosporu (uz doplatu), rajskom mjestu, tjesnacu koji razdvaja Europu i Aziju čije obale rese drvene vile, raskošne palače, utvrde i ribarska sela. U izlet je uključen i ručak nakon završetka plovidbe, u jednom od brojnih restorana. Danas svakako morate posjetiti i Galata Port, novi izgrađeni kompleks do kojeg ćete doći pješke nakon ručka za samo par minuta. Mnoštvo urbanih trgovina i odličnih restorana u novom „kvartu“ grada koji će vas oduševiti. Predlažemo da kupite najfiniju tursku nutelu od lješnjaka te uživajte u pogledu. Možete posjetiti najstariju četvrt Balat koja se nalazi na obali Mramornog mora u zaljevu Zlatni rog. Povratak u hotel. Noćenje.

4. dan: ISTANBUL Doručak. Predlažemo fakultativni posjet Dolmabahce palači (uz doplatu) u rokoko stilu, koja će vas sigurno očarati. Sultan Abdul Aziz želio je imati svoju verziju Versaillesa te je palaču izgradio od zajmova stranih banaka jer materijalno bogatstvo za takvu građevinu nikako nije mogao osigurati sam. Ovdje se ujedno i vidi sultanov izuzetno profinjen osjećaj za ukus kao i njegova orijentacija prema Zapadu. Palača se može posjetiti samo u okviru grupnih posjeta. Poslijepodne slobodno za vlastite programe. Ako ste eventualno više za odmor i wellness predlažemo pravi turski hamam u kojem možete uživati u autentičnim turskim wellness tretmanima uz specijalno grijanu prostoriju koja potiče na zdravo znojenje i čišćenje organizma. Nakon tog procesa slijede završni tretmani kože i tijela te svoj boravak zaključujete šalicom čaja. Sveukupno nekih 1,5 sat. Više o jednom od hamama s opisima tretmana i fotografijama pronađite na:  www.cemberlitashamami.com . Preporučujemo obilazak tornja Galata koji je u 14. stoljeću bio najviša građevina u Istanbulu. Obližnji istoimeni most je uvijek prepun šetača, ali i ribara koji pokušavaju uloviti nešto za večeru u vodama Zlatnog roga ili kako bi koju ribu viška prodali na obližnjoj ribljoj tržnici ili restoranu. Ne propustite šetnju ili večeru u jednom od restorana ispod ili u blizini mosta, s lijepim pogledom na Zlatni rog i Istanbul pred suton... Povratak u hotel. Noćenje.

5. dan: ISTANBUL – ZAGREB Nakon doručka, našu prtljagu ostavljamo u posebnoj prostoriji u blizini recepcije. Slobodan dan za vlastito istraživanje Istanbula. Za one koje zanima azijska strana grada, predlažemo izlet autobusom uz pratnju lokalnog vodiča preko Bosporskog tjesnaca visećim „Mostom mučenika 15. srpnja“ do vidikovca Çamlıca, odakle se pruža prekrasan pogled na cijeli Istanbul. Spustit ćemo se i do četvrti Kadikoy i Bahariye, gdje možete probati i kupiti najkvalitetniju baklavu ili iskoristiti vrijeme za ručak. Povratak do hotela u dogovoreno vrijeme i transfer do zračne luke. Let zrakoplova Turkish Airlinesa TK1055 u 19:10/18:20 sati s dolaskom u Zagreb u 19:20 sati po lokalnom vremenu. Satnice leta iskazane su na dnu programa. Kraj programa.

Prilikom rezervacije aranžmana, zbog izdavanja avio karata, potrebno je dostaviti sljedeće podatke: datum rođenja, broj putovnice i datum valjanosti putovnice svih putnika.

Rok za prijavu: 7 dana prije puta ili dok ima mjesta Minimalan broj putnika: 20 / Maksimalan broj putnika: 40

Cijene putovanja

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Cijena uključuje

  • prijevoz zrakoplovom u ekonomskoj klasi na relaciji Zagreb – Istanbul - Zagreb
  • zrakoplovne pristojbe i naknade
  • četiri noćenja u hotelu 4* u Istanbulu na bazi noćenje/doručak u dvokrevetnim sobama
  • uključen 1 komad predane prtljage koja se prijavljuje po osobi (svaki kofer do 23 kg) + 1 komad ručne prtljage (do 8 kg, dimenzija 55x40x23 cm)
  • razgledavanja i izlete prema programu
  • voditelja putovanja – vođenje tijekom cijele ture na hrvatskom jeziku
  • pripremu, organizaciju i jamčevinu putovanja

Cijena ne uključuje

  • ulaznice za objekte koji se posjećuju tijekom razgledavanja,
  • dodatne sadržaje i troškove koji nisu predviđeni programom, troškove osobne prirode (piće, dodatni obroci, telefon, karte za javni gradski prijevoz i sl.)
  • ulaznicu za Topkapi palaču s lokalnim vodičem i slušalicama - 45 EUR (339 kn) po osobi (min.15 osoba)
  • doplatu za harem u Topkapi palači - 12 EUR (90,41 kn) po osobi
  • krstarenje brodom po Bosporu i ručak u restoranu - 55 EUR (414,40 kn) po osobi (min. 15 osoba)
  • ulaznicu za Dolmabahce palaču uz stručno vodstvo i slušalice - 50 EUR (376,73 kn) po osobi (min. 15 osoba)
  • poludnevni izlet autobusom u Aziju (prijevoz + lokalni vodič), 30 EUR (226,04 kn) po osobi, dijete do 12 godina 15 EUR (113,02 kn)
  • doplatu za jednokrevetnu sobu ovisno o polasku, prema tablici - obvezna doplata ako osoba spava sama, prema tablici
  • boravišna pristojba 1 EUR po osobi po noćenju, plaćanje na licu mjesta
  • napojnicu za vozača i vodiča – po želji, nije obavezno, no ako ste zadovoljni uslugom, organizacijom i trudom naših vodiča lijepo ih je dodatno nagraditi (preporuka prosječnog iznosa napojnice 2 EUR (15,07 kn) - 5 EUR (37,67 kn) po osobi; iznos napojnice ovisi o Vašoj procjeni i zadovoljstvu te može biti i viši i niži, a određujete ga sami u slučaju da istu želite ostaviti)
  • putno osiguranje: osiguranje od posljedica nesretnog slučaja i bolesti na putovanju, oštećenja i gubitka prtljage, dragovoljno zdravstveno osiguranje za vrijeme puta i boravka u inozemstvu, osiguranje za slučaj otkaza putovanja te osiguranje kojim se osiguravaju troškovi pomoći i povratka putnika u mjesto polazišta u slučaju nesreće i bolesti.

· 80% popusta za jedno dijete do 1,99 godina u pratnji dvije odrasle osobe, dijete nema svoje sjedalo u avionu i spava sa dvije odrasle osobe u krevetu, ne plaća zrakoplovne pristojbe ukoliko su one posebno naznačene, · 20% popusta za jedno dijete od 1,99-11,99 godina u pratnji dvije odrasle osobe, dijete ima svoje sjedalo u avionu i pomoćni krevet, plaća zrakoplovne pristojbe ukoliko su one posebno naznačene · trokrevetne sobe (na upit) za odrasle osobe po redovnoj cijeni

Važne napomene

- Vremena polazaka zrakoplova u programu navedena su prema redu letenja Turkish Airlines objavljenom u 2022/23. godini i podložna su promjeni. - Zrakoplovne pristojbe podložne su promjenama i konačni iznos pristojbi potvrđuje se na dan izdavanja zrakoplovne karte. - Uključen 1 komad prtljage koja se prijavljuje po osobi (kofer do 23 kg) + 1 komad ručne prtljage (do 8 kg, dimenzija 55x40x23 cm). - Organizator može promijeniti redoslijed obilaska tijekom razgleda grada u Istanbulu, ovisno o redu letenja, radnom vremenu muzeja ili državnim praznicima. Sadržaj razgleda ostaje kako je objavljen bez obzira na redoslijed obilaska tijekom razgleda. - Završno pismo vam dostavljamo  e-mailom najkasnije 72  sata prije putovanja  – to je završni dokument potreban za putovanje (sadrži informacije o vremenu polaska, kontakt i ime voditelja putovanja i sl.). - Fakultativnu ponudu (ulaznice, večere i slično) plaćate na licu mjesta  u eurima (ili lokalnoj valuti zemlje u koju se putuje) osim ako nije u programu putovanja navedeno plaćanje prije puta. - Organizator nije odgovoran za povećanje cijena ulaznica, fakultativnih izleta navedenih u programu na dan formiranja programa. - Organizator ne snosi odgovornost za eventualne drugačije usmene informacije o programu putovanja. - Organizator zadržava pravo promjene redoslijeda programa. - Program nije prikladan za osobe sa smanjenom pokretljivošću. -  Obavezna doplata za zdravstveno osiguranje prilikom ulaska u Republiku Tursku .

Republika Turska  je euroazijska država smještena u jugoistočnoj Europi (istočna Tračka) i jugozapadnom dijelu Azije (Mala Azija). Turska graniči na istoku s Gruzijom, Armenijom, Azerbajdžanom i Iranom, na jugu s Irakom i Sirijom te na zapadu s Grčkom i Bugarskom. Sredozemno more i Cipar nalaze se na jugu, Egejsko more i otoci na zapadu, a Crno more na sjeveru. Europski i azijski dio turske dijeli Mramorno more te tjesnaci Bospor i Dardaneli. Zbog položaja države na dva kontinenta, turska kultura je jedinstven spoj istočnjačkih i zapadnjačkih običaja i tradicija. Položaj zemlje između Europe na zapadu, središnje Azije na istoku, Rusije na sjeveru i Bliskog istoka na jugu, dao je Turskoj i veliku stratešku važnost. Turska je demokratska, sekularna, unitarna, ustavna republika čiji je politički sustav 1923. utemeljio Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, nakon propasti Osmanskog Carstva poslije Prvog svjetskog rata. Od tada se politika države počela okretati zapadu, tako da je Turska danas članica mnogih zapadnih organizacija kao što su Vijeće Europe, NATO, OECD i OSCE. Turska je 2005. počela pregovore za članstvo u Europskoj uniji. Istovremeno država održava i pojačava svoje političke i gospodarske odnose s istočnjačkim zemljama.

Istanbul , na hrvatskom se još naziva ili se nazivao Carigrad i Konstantinopol, grad smješten na Bosporskom tjesnacu, nekadašnja je prijestolnica triju velikih carstava - rimskog, bizantskog i otomanskog. Nakon osnivanja moderne Republike Turske, Ankara je proglašena njezinim glavnim gradom. Ovo je najveći grad u Turskoj i njeno kulturno i gospodarsko središte. Grad je izabran za Europski glavni grad kulture za 2010.g., zajedno s Pečuhom u Mađarskoj I Essenom u Njemačkoj. Nalazi se na južnom Bosporu, prostire se na dva kontinenta – zapadni dio nalazi se u Europi, dok je istočni u Aziji. Rukavac “Zlatni rog” dijeli europski dio na dva dijela. Između Mramornog mora i Zlatnog roga, nalazi se poluotok s najstarijim dijelom Istanbula. Grad ima ukupnu površinu od 1539 km², dok se šire područje grada tj. provincija Istanbul prostire na 5220 km². Gradska klima je umjerena kontinentalna; ljeta su u gradu vruća i vlažna, zime kišovite te ponekad snježne.

Granične, vizne i zdravstvene formalnosti: Za putovanje u Republiku Tursku potrebna je važeća putovnica koja treba važiti najmanje 6 mjeseci od dana ulaska u zemlju. Putnici su dužni informirati se o propisima države u koju putuju, o vizama, deviznim, carinskim i zdravstvenim propisima te provjeriti valjanost putovnice. Putnici koji nisu hrvatski državljani dužni su se informirati o viznom režimu zemlje u koju putuju na stranici Veleposlanstva države čiji su državljani.

Od 05.01.2016. sve osobe koje putuju u Republiku Tursku moraju imati valjano putno-zdravstveno osiguranje koje pokriva razdoblje boravka u Republici Turskoj. Strani državljani dužni su se sami informirati o dokumentima potrebnim za ulazak u određenu zemlju u matičnom Ministarstvu vanjskih poslova ili veleposlanstvu zemlje u koju se putuje. Preporučujemo osiguranje od posljedica nesretnog slučaja i bolesti na putovanju.

U slučaju gubitka ili otuđenja putnog dokumenta najbliže predstavništvo Hrvatske u Turskoj nalazi se u Istanbulu. Generalni konzulat Republike Hrvatske u Republici Turskoj (Istanbul) se nalazi na adresi Asmali Mescit Mah., Oteller Sok. No:1/2, 34420 Tepebasi/Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turska. Kontakt podaci: tel. 0090 212 293 5467, 0090 212 293 5468, fax. 0090 212 293 5476, e-mail:  [email protected] . Generalna konzulica: dr.sc. Ivana Zerec.

Prilikom prijave za putovanje potrebno je uplatiti 40% ukupnog iznosa, a ostatak 30 dana prije početka putovanja. Prijava za putovanje vrijedi isključivo uz uplatu predujma. Preporučujemo osiguranje od posljedica nesretnog slučaja i bolesti na putovanju, oštećenja i gubitka prtljage, dragovoljno zdravstveno osiguranje za vrijeme puta i boravka u inozemstvu, osiguranje za slučaj otkaza putovanja te osiguranje kojim se osiguravaju troškovi pomoći i povratka putnika u mjesto polazišta u slučaju nesreće i bolesti.

Po uplati predujma primit ćete račun koji je ujedno i ugovor o putovanju. A zatim najkasnije 72 sata prije putovanja završno pismo. Minimalan broj putnika za putovanje je 20, a maksimalan broj putnika je 40. Ako se na putovanje ne prijavi dovoljan broj putnika najkasnije 7 dana prije početka paket aranžmana putnička agencija je dužna obavijestiti putnika o otkazu putovanja.

Za ovo putovanje vrijede Opći uvjeti organizatora putovanja.

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  4. 42 Istanbul Travel Tips for First-time Visitors

    4. Travel insurance is a must. Travel insurance is mandatory for all foreign visitors to Turkey. Again, you might not be asked to show proof of insurance if you're travelling on an e-visa (I haven't), but rules are rules nonetheless. Istanbul is generally regarded as a safe city, but pickpocketing and crime do occur.

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  7. THE TOP 10 Istanbul Sunset Cruises (UPDATED 2024)

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  8. Best day trips from Istanbul

    1. Princes' Islands. Travel time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. A scenic ferry ride away from the city, the Princes' Islands (known as Adalar in Turkish) is a favorite outing for both Istanbul residents and tourists, with their historic mansions, scenic views, small beaches, waterfront seafood restaurants and relaxed seaside vibe.

  9. Istanbul

    Istanbul is an amazing city since it's full of history, culture, entertainment, nature and so on. It has been the capital city of Ottoman, Byzantine, and Roman Empires for more than 1500 years. Istanbul doesn't fit in one continent, so the city has both Asian and European side, which can be considered as the center where east and the west ...

  10. Where to Watch Sunset in Istanbul

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  18. 10 Best Beaches in Istanbul (+ Nearby)

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  19. Cheap Flights to Istanbul

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