Istanbul Tourism

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 Istanbul 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.

Essential travel information and Istanbul tips for your visit

  • Time Zone: Istanbul follows the Eastern European Time Zone UTC+02:00.
  • Currency: The currency operational in Istanbul is Turkish Lira.
  • Electricity:  In Turkey the mains voltage is 220 Volt. You may need a power adapter for all your electronic equipment, if in your country another mains voltage is used.
  • Internet: Connecting to the Internet in Turkey is pretty easy and inexpensive. If you travel with your own laptop, tablet computer (iPad, etc.) or smartphone, most Turkish hotels, particularly the small and medium-sized ones—offer wireless Internet access (Wifi) in at least one public space, such as the lobby or lounge, and many have signal repeaters that make Wifi available in all the guest rooms as well.
  • Language: The language spoken in Istanbul is Turkish but English, and sometimes German, is spoken at tourist sites and at hostels.
  • Emergency Contacts: Ambulance: 112 (all over Turkey), Police: 155 (all over Turkey), Tourism Police: (0212) 5274503 (Istanbul only).
  • The city does bask in glorious sunshine a lot of the time but its maritime location and prevailing weather patterns mean that drizzle, drops and plain old rain frequently interrupt a day’s sightseeing. With an umbrella you can carry on regardless until the clouds part and the sun comes out again.
  • Bargaining is a must in Istanbul.
  • Turkish baths, the famous feature of Istanbul’s tourism can also be a trap to mint money. The best ones are those used by locals, not exclusively by tourists and will be reasonably priced.
  • Be careful of pick pockets. Keep your valuables safe.
  • Dress modestly especially while visiting mosques in the city.
  • Respect the Turkish flag when in the city. Disrespect to the flag would hurt the sentiments of the locals.

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Istanbul

  • Know the pollution level of Istanbul before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 64.11 (High)
    • Water Pollution 55.67 (Moderate)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 63.93 (High)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 57.04 (Moderate)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 49.85 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 45.45 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 56.64 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 72.67 (High)
  • How safe is Istanbul for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Istanbul.

    • Burglary and Theft 43.81 (Moderate)
    • Mugging and Robbery 45.13 (Moderate)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 40.91 (Moderate)
    • Corruption and Bribery 70.09 (High)
    • Car Stealing 33.39 (Low)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 45.57 (Moderate)
    • Attacks 47.46 (Moderate)
    • Drug offense 42.73 (Moderate)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 70.51 (High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 40.91 (Moderate)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 50.07 (Moderate)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 32.25 (Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 46.32 (Moderate)
  • Quality of Life Index of Istanbul is 112.23 (High)

    • Safety Index 52.38 (Moderate)
    • Climate Index 93.02 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 69.81 (High)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 52.62 (High)
    • Cost of Living Index 36.78 (Very Low)
    • Health Care Index 68.33 (High)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 11.21 (Moderate)
    • Purchasing Power Index 38.59 (Very Low)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Istanbul

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.12 USD
    • International Movie per seat 4.09 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 28.2 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 67.02 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 39.77 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ​and subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo