Istanbul City Guide

Travel Guide

Car Rental in Istanbul

An Introduction To Istanbul

istanbul turkey

So you are planning to visit Istanbul, there is a wide variety of things to see and do no matter who you are travelling with. We don't plan to suggest which sights and attractions you visit while in Istanbul but rather just provide guidance and offer advice on what is there. Comparable with other cities, there are great and not so great places to visit and if this visit is your first to Istanbul or if you are a seasoned visitor, there is always something new to see or do. It is often an idea to have a rough plan of places you wish to visit, and Istanbul has a number of really interesting experiences that you will remember for a long time.

Top 10 Attractions

During your time in Istanbul there are quite a few places of interest that should make up part of your trip. The highly regarded Istanbul area of Turkey has attractions that you may know and others which aren't that familiar to people from outside the area of Istanbul we have assembled a List of Ten to guide you:

1. Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
2. Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
3. Saint Saviour in Chora
4. Sultanahmet District
5. Suleymaniye Mosque
6. Istanbul Old Town
7. Basilica Cistern
8. Rustem Pasha Mosque
9. Bosphorus Strait
10. Corlulu Ali pasa Medresesi

This collection are just to get you going if you have a good local book or guide you can seek out a bit more and if there is enough time in Istanbul. You will discover other enjoyable locations and attractions about the Istanbul vicinity of Turkey.

Getting Around

Istanbul is not a difficult city to navigate, once you have an eye for the place and understand the layout with the help of some local landmarks it should become pretty simple. You can cover a lot of the city on foot but make sure you stick to places you know after dark. If you want to travel greater distances across Istanbul there are a number of modes of transportation. There is a good, reliable bus network where tickets can be purchases to cover multiple journeys. There is also the alternative to use Istanbul Taxis, where you can seek local knowledge from your driver. What ever method you use to explore Istanbul ensure you see as much of it as you can.

Istanbul Metro Map

Istanbul Metro Map


If you wish to stay in Istanbul for a period longer than one day you will be looking for a place to sleep. Istanbul offers a broad range of facilities to sleep these include hotels varying from the higher end of the star range to more modest hotels, B&Bs and hostels. If you are a business traveller ensure the hotel you decide to select has suitable facilities and is in the right area for your meetings as the traffic in Istanbul may result in problems at certain times. If you are seeking out more luxury accommodation there is a selection of top chain and independent hotels. Istanbul also offers an excellent array of lower star hotel options that provide basic but suitable facilities for travellers. If you are visiting on a small budget there is a number of hostels and guest houses in the city which are a fine place to sleep overnight. Whatever accommodation type you select in Istanbul ensure you take time to seek out deals that are available on countless travel web sites, often these are out of season or when a home sports team isn't playing a game.

Recommended Hotels

1. Neorion Hotel
2. White House Hotel Istanbul
3. Hotel Amira Istanbul
4. Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
5. Millennium Suites

Places To Eat

There are many different places to eat in Istanbul, the place you dine at will reflect your tastes and budget. There are quite a lot of dining venues that offer Turkish meals and don't break the bank. If you are on the look out for a fine dining restaurant there are a wide number of these, but you will need to make a reservation and ensure that your follow the dress code if there is one. If you just want quick food there are the familiar names such as Burger King, McDonalds etc, but if you are seeking something real you should ask a local and see where they suggest. A key aspect of visiting a new city to try new things, this includes it's food There is a wide variety of places to dine in Istanbul. whether that is a café, a fine restaurant or food from a street vendor. You should check local newspapers for offers and remember to try something new.

Recommended Places To Eat

1. Aheste Restaurant Galata
2. No:19 Yemek Evi
3. Hafiz Mustafa 1864
4. Imbat Restaurant
5. Siva Cafe Restaurant

Facts And Statistics

If you are getting to grips with a new city like Istanbul it is good practice to have some inside knowledge. Here are a number of facts that could be of help to you.

Continent: Europe
Country: Turkey
Region: Marmara
International Dialing Code: 90
Istanbul Coordinates: 41.0128° N, 28.9744° E
Altitude: 28 m / 91 ft
Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
Language: Turkish
Istanbul Time Zone: GMT +2
City Population: 13.8m
Metro Population: 13.8m
Temperature High In 29.2°C / 84.6°F
Temperature Low In 4°C /39.2°F

Keeping Safe

Just like other cities Istanbul has it's pros and cons, it is important to keep your wits about you and you will be fine and undertake a great trip to this fantastic Turkish area. Take a good guide book and know where you are going, try not to make it obvious you are a visitor to the city by flaunting expensive devices around and try not to carry more cash than you need on your person. Stick to areas you know after dark and if you do get lost, stay calm and visit a shop to consult your guide book or map. You might be enjoying yourself, but still be alert. Stay street wise and you will have a great trip to Istanbul. On the whole Turkey is a very safe country with warm and friendly residents. Some basic groundwork pays dividends and if you know a city better, you will have a much better time there.

21 February 2016