Istanbul Travel Tips

Istanbul Turkey

Istanbul is one of the most important cities in terms of natural, cultural, and historical richness in Turkey and in the world. Because it is located between the Asian and European continents, it has features from Eastern and Western cultures. It served as the capital of two great empires such as the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires.

It stands out as the leading city that attracts domestic and foreign tourists in Turkey. This situation stems from the natural beauties and historical richness of Istanbul. The historical buildings and places that should be seen in it generally located in the region called the historical peninsula.

General Information

  • The population is about 15 million
  • Language is Turkish but a lot of people know English
  • Religion is Islam
  • is Istanbul safe? Yes, it is safe as other European cities such as London, Barcelona, etc.

How Far From Istanbul To Other Tourist Places In Turkey

  • Cappadocia; 800 km
  • Antalya; 700 km
  • Pamukkale; 622 km
  • Ephesus; 558 km
  • Bodrum; 700 km
  • Izmir; 485 km

History Of Istanbul

It is one of the largest, most important, and beautiful cities in the world. Sprawling on both sides of the Bosphorus, the extraordinarily beautiful hills constantly fascinate the city’s residents and visitors. Napoleon said, “If the world was a single state, Istanbul would be the capital.” This is really true. In order to understand the importance of it, we need to look at history.

rumelihisarı
Rumelihisari

Ancient Period

The history of Istanbul goes back three hundred thousand years. Neolithic and Chalcolithic people believed to have lived around Küçükçekmece Lake. In the vicinity of Dudullu, tools specific to the Lower Paleolithic Age, and the tree in the vicinity of Ağaçlı, were found in the Middle Paleolithic Age and the Upper Paleolithic Age. During the Marmaray tube crossing excavations in 2008, ruins belonging to the Polished Stone Age (6500 BC), the Copper Age (5500-3500 BC) on the Anatolian Side, and the Phoenicians in Kadıköy found.

Byzantine Period

The Byzantine period was between 324 – 1453. In this period, Istanbul became the administrative center of the east of Rome. In this period; With a new architectural structure, the city expanded and developed in every respect. In addition to a 100,000-person hippodrome (Sultanahmet Square), harbors and water facilities were built. Konstantin, who founded the largest cathedral in the world, Hagia Sophia in 360; Thus, he changed the religion of the Roman Empire to Christianity, and the first break with the West, who believed in the Roman religion, was in this period. The Byzantine Empire begins with the death of Theodosius I.

When Western Rome collapsed in 476, the majority of the Romans in the Western Roman Empire migrated here. And so the capital of the Byzantine Empire becomes Istanbul. The plague epidemic in 543 kills half the population. Emperor Justinian rebuilds the city. the city, which was attacked many times, was looted in the 4th Crusade in 1204 and made into debris. The period of the Latins ends in 1261. Byzantine, which gradually became smaller after this period; It was started to be surrounded by the Ottoman Empire after 1391.

Ottoman Period

The conquest of Istanbul took place on May 29, 1453. This date also defines the end of the Middle Ages. In the Ottoman period, the city developed rapidly. Hundreds of palaces, bazaars, mosques, schools and baths have been opened, and it has become one of the largest cities in the world, where Jews, Christians and Muslims live in harmony in 500 years.

flight to istanbul
flight to Istanbul

How To Get To Istanbul

From Cities In Turkey

There are flights from all airports in Turkey every day to Istanbul. Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport are the airports in Istanbul. You can reach the city center from the airports by metro, bus or taxi.

Bus services are organized from all cities in Tukey to Istanbul every day. You can reach Istanbul city center by metro, bus or taxi from Istanbul Esenler Bus Terminal.

From Abroad

Istanbul is one of the most important tourism centers in the world. Since it is one of the most famous cities in the world, there are flights from almost all countries to Istanbul. One of the largest airports in the world, Istanbul Airport located on the European side of Istanbul. Sabiha Gökçen Airport located on the Asian side of Istanbul. You can use both options to reach Istanbul. You can reach Istanbul city center from the airports by metro, bus, or taxi. Car rental companies also provide services.

Where To Stay In Istanbul

istanbul hotel
Accommodation in Istanbul

Five-star luxury hotels throughout the city offer accommodation. There are cheap and expensive hotels in every district of the city. The most famous hotels in the city are located on Çırağan Avenue, Maslak and 4. Levent. Besides, if you like to take part in nightlife or crowded environments, you can choose Beşiktaş, Kadıköy, Taksim regions. Review your travel plans before choosing the region to stay on your Istanbul tour. You should decide which of the Sultanahmet, Galata, Eminönü, Taksim, and European Side regions to choose in accordance with your plans.

One of the most important metropolises in the world, Istanbul is the center of history, trade, and entertainment. That’s why every year millions of tourists visit the city for various purposes. Istanbul hotels also offer options for every purpose and every budget. Prices for Istanbul hotels range from $ 15 to $ 200. In short, Istanbul hotel prices vary according to the features that you are looking for.

Things To Do In Istanbul

It has many tourist attractions, you can visit museums, historical places or taste delicious Turkish foods. Also, you must visit shopping centers in Istanbul.

Eating In Istanbul

Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city. People from many nations live and work. Restaurants in the world ‘s most renowned cuisines serve in the city. Of course, the most preferred cuisine is Turkish cuisine. The reason for this is that Turkish cuisine is the richest cuisine in the world and has very delicious dishes. There are a wide variety of recipes in every city of Anatolia and many of them are offered to customers in restaurants in Istanbul.

Turkish traditional foods-Turkish foods- Turkey food-turkish kebaps
Turkish foods

Besides, restaurants are belonging to Italian, French, British, American, Arab, Mexican, and Chinese cuisine in Istanbul. Our recommendation is to taste many Turkish dishes while coming to the city. Turkey food is so diverse that you will not have to eat the same food again during your holiday.

Turkish Foods You Should Taste

  • Tasteful Turkish breakfast
  • Savory Turkish kebaps (Adana kebap, Urfa kebap etc.)
  • Lahmacun and pide (Turkish pizzas)
  • Traditional Turkish Soups ( Mercimek soup, kelle paça soup)
  • Midye Dolma (stuffed mussels)
  • Kokoreç
  • Sucuk (Turkish sausage)
  • Mantı
  • Maraş ice cream
  • Turkish coffee
  • Turkish delights

Shopping

It is one of the most important cities in terms of shopping in the world. Due to its location on historical trade routes, the oldest shopping centers are here. Besides, modern shopping malls also work intensively. The choice is yours, you can shop either from historical places or from modern stores.

Grand Bazaar Turkey
Grand Bazaar

Historical Malls

The Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest covered shopping center in the world. The Spice Market has various authentic products, spices, and nuts. Also, Eminönü-Beyazıt streets have historical shops and inns with all kinds of products from carpet to bags, shoes to hats, clothes to food.

Modern Malls

Shopping center construction in recent years, especially in Istanbul, in Turkey continues intensively. Dozens of new shopping centers open every year. Some of the modern shopping malls where you can find all kinds of products are as follows; Mall of Istanbul, Cevahir AVM.

Places To Visit In Istanbul

Istanbul is a historical city, so there are too many historical places to visit. Also, It has natural beauty. There are many tourist places, you should spend a lot of time in the city. So, you’ll go to it again and again for the holidays. Here are some places to see;

Topkapi Palace Museum

Topkapi palace aerial view-Toplapi palace landscape-visit topkapi palace
Topkapi Palace

The tourists who come to Istanbul, firstly visit The Topkapi Palace museum because it is so famous all over the world. The Topkapi Palace has amazing buildings and a strong history of the Ottoman Empire. Read more.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia turkey-The Hagia Sophia day view-Tukey Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia

Istanbul, which has been the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empire, offers many places to visit thanks to its historical wealth. Especially the Historical Peninsula, which has been used as the center of the city for centuries, contains structures that will attract the attention of those who want to have information about the city’s past. Hagia Sophia Museum(Turkish: Ayasofya Müzesi) awaits its visitors with its artistic and architecturally unique treasures hidden under its magnificent dome. Read more.

Blue Mosque ( Sultan Ahmet Camii)

Blue Mosque pool-The Blue Mosque's view-day view of blue mosque-Sultan Ahmet Camii
The Blue Mosque

Due to the color of the eye-catching patterns adorning its interior walls, Sultan Ahmed Mosque(Turkish: Sultan Ahmet Camii), which is called “Blue Mosque” abroad, was considered one of the most successful examples of Turkish-Islamic architecture. Read more.

Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque istanbul-Suleymaniye Mosque Turkey-Historical Mosque in Turkey-
Suleymaniye Mosque

The Mosque which is the biggest mosque in the city was built between 1551-1558 by the Architect Sinan at the Süleymaniye district of Istanbul Eminonu District at the request of Suleiman the Magnificent. Read more.

The Galata Tower

Night view of the Galata Tower-Galata Tower night-Galata Tower lights
The galata tower’s night view

Galata Tower, which is on our list of places to visit in Istanbul, has become the symbol of the city and is one of the oldest buildings in the world. In this article, we will try to include all the information about it in the most detailed way. Read more.

Yedikule Fortress

Yedikule Fortress sea view-Yedikule Fortress landscape-Travel to Turkey-Bosphorus tour
Yedikule Fortress

The fortress of Yedikule is one of Turkey’s oldest open-air museum. It is a building that you need to add to the list of places to visit in Istanbul. Read more.

Basilica Cistern

Cistern of byzantine-turkey travel for historical buildings
The Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern (Turkish; Yerebatan Sarnıcı also, known as Sunken Cistern, Sunken Palace, and Underground Cistern), which attracts me with its mystical air, is one of the most special places in Istanbul with its extraordinary structure. While visiting the cistern, which is one of the oldest and magnificent structures that have survived from the Byzantine era, you can improve your historical knowledge and find peace in its quiet atmosphere. Read more.

Maiden’s Tower ( Kiz Kulesi)

maidens tower
Maiden’s Tower

The Maiden’s Tower (Turkish: Kiz Kulesi, also known as Leander’s Tower), which inspired films and poems with its beauty, is one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Istanbul. Read more.

Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace's halls-Art of the dolmabahce palace's arthitecture
Dolmabahce Palace’s Hall

The Dolmabahce Palace, which adds beauty to the Bosphorus with its unique appearance when lightened at night, is a unique place especially for those who are curious about the palace life in the last period of the Ottoman Empire. The palace, which is close to the touristic places of Istanbul such as Taksim, Beşiktaş, and Kabataş, promises you a trip that you will be affected by culturally for many years. Read more.

Princess Island Istanbul

Buyukada tour- Buyukada Istanbul tour
Buyukada trip

Princes Islands ( Turkish: Prens Adaları ) is an archipelago in the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul Turkey. Its name in Turkish is Adalar (The Islands).

In the Islands, where the locals generally prefer to visit the weekend, but tourists stay in hotels and spend a few days. Adalar, which is a district of the city, consists of nine islands. Their names are Buyukada, Heybeli Ada, Burgazada, Kınalıada, Sedef Adası, Yassı Ada, Sivri Ada, Kaşık Adası, and Tavşan Adası. In general, the choice of tourists for accommodation is Büyükada and Heybeli Island. Read more.

Istanbul Weather

The average annual temperature of Istanbul is around 15 ° C. Summers are hot and dry, winters are cold and rainy. In recent years, snowfall has decreased significantly.

Location, Istanbul Map

Istanbul Travel Tips

  • Get a Museum Pass Istanbul card, click here for more information.
  • Public transportation in Istanbul is very crowded. I suggest you rent a car. Remember, traffic is also bad.
  • The electrical outlets that using in Turkey is type F.
  • You can easily convert currencies such as the dollar, euro, sterling to Turkish Lira in foreign exchange offices located everywhere in the city.
  • Especially the tourist areas are crowded on weekends, so you should start sightseeing early in the morning.
  • While visiting mosques have a headscarf with you and do not wear too short clothes.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • You can use your mobile phone for two weeks in Turkey. If you are going to stay longer, you should register at the airport by paying the price. Otherwise, your mobile phone will be closed in two weeks.
  • Istanbul New Airport code IST, Sabiha Gökçen Airport code SAW.
  • Get a Tour Guide if you won’t miss anything (Optional)
  • You can use your Visa and Mastercard credit cards almost anywhere. Carry some cash with you just in case. But give information about the issue to your credit card provider.
  • Get an Istanbul card for public transport.
  • Museums in the city are closed on Monday

Telephone numbers used for an emergency in Istanbul

Ambulance: 112 
Police: 155
Fire: 110 
Tourism Police: (0212) 5274503 

Sources: wikipedia.org, muze.gov.tr

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