Istanbul is one of my favorite cities and every time I am there, I know why I like this city so much! Istanbul is just the right mixture of tradition, culture, religion and history, which go perfectly and unexpectedly hand in hand with modern lifestyle of today’s Istanbul. As a traveler, you can get everything here, no matter what your interests are. What all you need to know, before traveling to Istanbul, read in the following Istanbul travel guide.
Istanbul travel guide and travel tips
Cheap airline ticket to Istanbul
Not sure where are you coming from, but if you are based in Europe, you might consider looking on the Turkish Airlines page. They often have good value promotions for flying to Istanbul. There are also low budget airlines like Pegasus and Wizzair, you might consider checking out.
Turkey tourist visa
Many nations don’t need visa for traveling to Istanbul, but check it out, if you are one of them, before traveling.
Istanbul public transport
Istanbul has lots of possibilities and options when it comes to its public transport. You can use buses, trams, ferries, underground…. Public transport in Istanbul is easy and also cheap, so it is best to use it, when being here.
Accommodation in Istanbul
Because Istanbul is very popular among tourists; it also has many different options, where you can sleep. You can find here from dirt cheap rooms, to luxury hotels, which will suite every taste. Check out my recommendations, which depends on your budget:
– Nobel Hostel (perfect location, as this hostel stands in the Sultanahmet district, where all the major sights are. The Hostel has a nice rooftop terrace, where you can enjoy your breakfast – already included in the price. Free Wi-Fi available.)
– Reydel Hotel (Not the perfect location, but good value for the money. Breakfast and Wi-Fi included in the price)
– Sapphire Hotel (If you are willing to spend a little bit more money, this Sapphire hotel is perfect! Its location is 500 meters from Topkapi Palace and 700 meters from the Hagia Sophia. The street, where the hotel is, is full with different restaurants. The price includes rich buffet breakfast, Wi-Fi in your room, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and one way Ataturk airport pick-up. Very good price for all the features and the rooms’ are nice, even though a bit small.)
– Burckin Hotel (One of the best choices if you want to stay right in the heart of Sultanahmet. The Burckinh hotel has splendid views from its restaurant and terrace on the famous Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque and is steps away from them too. Great choice for everyone who want more, but still stay in limits of the budget. The breakfast is rich and diverse and wi-fi is free of charge. If you are traveling to Istanbul by your own car or you are renting one, the hotel also offers free parking. The hotel is decorated in antique style which will put a smile to everyone enjoying history. Staying here will definitely not be a bad decission!)
If you like to eat well, Istanbul will be perfect for you! No matter if you like meat, seafood or sweets, you will find everything in Istanbul.
Bargaining for price
Istanbul is famous for many bazaars, where bargaining is a must thing to do. Find out here how to bargain and for how much.
Woman traveler in Istanbul
My very first solo travel was to Turkey, where I have also spent 2 weeks in Istanbul and I never felt scared. People here are nice, especially if you are traveling to Istanbul in the low season. But prepare you self to be admired by the Turkish men – they really know how to use words. If you are traveling to non touristic places, many men will understand direct eye-to-eye contact as flirting.
Things to do in Istanbul
No matter how many times you will be traveling to Istanbul, you will never see and do everything. But if you are traveling here for the very first time, don’t miss out on my TOP things to do in Istanbul.
Safety in Istanbul
If you are using your common sense you will be fine. I have been to Istanbul for eight times and I have never felt scared or running for my life.
Communication language in Istanbul
Istanbul is very touristic city and with each year, there are more tourists here. That is also why most people in touristic areas know to speak English. But further from tourists you go, less English is spoken.
When to go in Istanbul
I could say there is never a wrong time to travel to Istanbul and all depends what you like. If you like crowds and heat, you should travel to Istanbul during the summer months. If you want to avoid crowds and get better prices, winter is the perfect time. Most people visit Istanbul from April to October, so prepare to stand in lines for the sights for hours. The best time to buy a ticket is as soon as the ticket counters open – normally at 9 am.
How to reach Sultanahmet from Istanbul airport
You can get more details and instructions on how to reach Sultanahmet from the new Istanbul airport in a seperate blog post here.
I can almost guaranty you, you will not be sorry to visit Istanbul, so do not post pone your visit too long. It’s very touristic and each year Istanbul gets more crowds, coming from all around the world. The only right time to visit Istanbul is “now”!