Istanbul Travel Guide

Explore the country that is a blend of traditional & modern culture. Being amongst one of the oldest cities in the world, Istanbul is home to some of the greatest Mosques, museums and other archaeological centres. True to its strategic geographical location, even the culture of Istanbul also stands at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Walking down the streets of Istanbul you will be left to wonder at how seamlessly the Oriental and the Occidental culture collude in its architecture.  

Today, the city of Istanbul is known for its welcoming atmosphere, sparkling nightlife, restaurants bars and more. The city is a blend of everything in a beautiful package. It has so much to offer that no tourist would be able to resist. On the contrary, with one of the most updated and modernized appearances, the city is a good dig through history. The marvellous architecture, artistic treasures galleries, traditional festivals, museums and more, would take you back to olden times. The city was officially named as Istanbul after the founding of the Turkish Republic and is today strewn with glorious remnants of its long and illustrious history, and the sightseeing here will impress even a tourist who is not interested in history and architecture. The topmost attractions of this city are the big four- Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar. However, apart from these there are other tourist attractions that are located in, or near, the old city district of Sultanahmet that render this landscape furthermore interesting.

The delectable food is another reason why you should head towards this party town in Turkey. Everyone is well aware of Turkish Kebabs. The country itself has a long and colourful history and Istanbul travel guide is filled with attractions. It has been home to the Selijuq, Byzantine, Mongol and Ottoman Empires and these have all had their influences on Istanbul. Rich in history and culture is what makes Istanbul the most popular travel destination. Istanbul tourism welcomes you with its charm and poise! Each one of you should visit Istanbul at least once and experience all that it has to offer considering the best time to visit Istanbul. Check Istanbul Itinerary 3 Days to plan your awesome Istanbul trip.

Hotels & Restaurants Istanbul

PLACES TO STAY

Budget

  • Nar Bomonti Apartments: Located in Bomonti district, this budget hotel offers modern decorated apartments with a fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi.
  • Blueway Apart: Situated 200 metres from Osmanbey Metro Station, this hotel features a 24-hour front desk with security, an elevator and free Wi-Fi access in all areas.

Mid-Range

  • Glory Residence Taksim: In the heart of the city, this mid-range hotel offers an indoor pool, steam bath, sauna, a fitness centre and modern apartments with a private kitchen. 
  • Cozy Flats: The stylish apartments at Cozy Flats include LCD TV with satellite channels, a spacious living area and a contemporary kitchen.

Luxury

  • Golf Royal Residence: Offering spacious, modern apartments and suites, Golf Royal Residence is set in the Harbiye area of the city and is 200 metres from the Istanbul Convention Centre.
  • Ottomare suits: Ottomare suits offer luxurious accommodations in Istanbul. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. 

PLACES TO EAT

  • Matbah: Matbah offers dishes that were first devised in the palace kitchens between the 13th and 19th centuries. The menu changes with the season and features unusual ingredients such as goose. 
  • Antiochia: Menu in this restaurant includes wild thyme, pomegranate syrup, olives, walnuts and tangy home-made yoghurt, and the kebabs are equally flavoursome.
  • Asitane: Aaitane restaurant next to the Kariye Museum serves Ottoman dishes devised by the palace kitchens at Topkaplace, Edirne and Dolmabahçe.

How to reach Istanbul

GET IN

  • By Air: The Ataturk International Istanbul Airport which is located in the European part of the Istanbul is 28kms from the main city centre. It is well connected with all the major cities throughout the globe with frequent international & domestic flights to Istanbul. From airport you can avail public transport such as city bus, trams, cabs, metro & shuttle to reach the main city centre.
  • By Road: Located at a distance of 10 kms from Sultanahmet is the International Istanbul Intercity Bus Terminal. Buses are well connected to Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Germany & Middle East. Car can also be hired for pick and drop service to the airport & bus terminal.
  • By Train: There are trains which run from Istanbul to whole of Europe. There are two railway stations in Istanbul, Sirkeci Train Station which is in the European part and Haydarpasa Train Station which is on the Asian part.

GET AROUND

Istanbul has an excellent system of public transport that makes it easier for the tourists to roam around.

  • On Foot: The best way to explore a city is undoubtedly on foot. It gives you an opportunity to marvel at the city’s unique architecture that is a blend of European and Asian art.
  • By Taxi: Taxis are plentiful in Istanbul and are more likely to hail you than vice versa. 
  • By Bus:  Metropolitan buses in Istanbul are frequent, comprehensive, economical, and easy.
  • By Dolmus: Dolmus are yellow minivans that operate like group taxis with set routes. A relatively informal system, dolmus run daily from early morning to early evening. A dolmus will leave its terminus (marked with a blue "D") only when it fills up (the word dolmus means "stuffed") and then pick up and drop off passengers along the route. 
  • By Metro: Starting in the 1990's, a modern and extensive (and often confusing) light rail system has been constructed in all parts of the city.
  • By Tram: Trams in Istanbul are fast, comfortable and connect most of the landmarks in the city to each other. 

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Weather in Istanbul

Trip plans for Istanbul

Tours in Istanbul