The wonderful architecture, history and sights, the absolutely fanstastic people, and the tea!!
1. You will likely be visiting some mosques. Read up on mosque etiquette.
2. If possible buy/pre-order any museum/attraction tickets online.
3. Ask the taxi fare before taking off in a taxi, especially if it’s late at night or coming from an airport.
4. Charge your camera batteries every night.
5. Learn at least Hello, Thank you, and Goodbye in Turkish.
6. Turn your cell phones off inside mosques, churches, museums, etc. If it rings and you must take the call, do it outside!
7. If there’s a running commentary (live or recorded), be polite and be quiet.
8. Dress appropriately and be respectful in mosques and churches.
9. If you’re traveling with children, don’t let them disrupt others around you. If they cry or throw a tantrum, take them outside.
10. If you have a complaint, do it reasonably without yelling and cursing.
11. Regarding pictures:
a. If there are signs saying “No pictures”, don’t take pictures! There’s a reason for the signs. b. Learn how to use your camera before the trip. If there are signs saying “No flash”, make sure you know how to use the camera without it.
c. If you see a couple or family with one person taking pictures of the other(s), offer to take a picture of both/all of them. Maybe they’ll reciprocate.
12. Check local holidays. Since many museums and stores will be closed, you’ll need to have other plans for the day. Also many museums close on specific days so be sure to check that as well.
13. Try new things, especially food (including street food).
14. Don’t try to do too much. Leave some open time to just explore.
15. You’re on vacation so relax and have a good time!
Eminönü is the area where the Golden Horn meet Bosphorus and the Galata Bridge crosses the water.
Here you can eat a fishsandwich bought from one of the boats at the quay or visit the Spice Bazaar and Yeni Camii.
Travelling around in Istanbul you will probably come here, maybe to take one of the ferrys or change bus at the busstation.
What to wear....
Istanbul has all the seasons like winter, spring, summer and fall. So check the weather report before your visit.
The city is with more than 14 million people and very cosmopolite. Unlike some other muslim countries woman and man wear very modern clothings. I have seen in my last trips all of the famous brands thay have their own shops in Istanbu.
lMy suggestion is when you go to shopping or walking in the crowds wear more sport clothings, more modest you kno... ( like a jean with jacket but not a leather one from D&G) When you go out for the night clubbing or dinner where more young people go out so you can wear short skirt or tank top if it is hot. For a man I think it is much easier to put on clothings.
In the mosques woman need to cover her head with cloth. Usually they give you at the entrance (it has to be free but I am not sure) I am a bit picky on higienic so I carry with me if I am going to visit one of these places. Man doesn't need to put any thing. Also you have to take out your shoes outside and leave them outside so If you wear comfortable shoes to take out it will be better for you. I carry also a plastic shopping bag to put my shoes in and carry with me when I visit a big mosque where so many people around. I am sorry I might be a bit paranoid but i can not help it :))
Pleasant Neighborhoods - near Kariye Muzesi
Walking through residential neighborhoods can really give one a sense of what life is like in a locale. You're away from all the tourists at the historic sites and museums, and in the neighborhoods people are going through every day life. After our visit to the Kariye Muzesi, we wanted to get back to Eminonu via the seabus. The nearest station was in Balat, only about a kilometer away. So we walked through the neighborhoods of Erdinekapi, Kasim Gunani, Kasim Gosim, Draman, and Balat which can be characterized by narrow streets that were alive with the local residents. Many children were out and about playing soccer or riding bicycles. The shopkeepers were out and and folks were visting/gossiping, whatever folks do on a Saturday afternoon. Down in Draman there were a smattering of seafood merchants, shoe repair shops, etc. We were met with many smiles and shouts of "Hello!", especially from the children. It was another great experience.
Plus we had a great encounter with a bakery owner in Kasim Gunani. Read the story in my shopping tip, Sultan Cesme Odun Ekmegi.
The quarter south of Blue Mosque is very beautiful. With narrow streets flanked with traditional houses in wood, the streets closer to the touristy area are intentionally embellished. As you walk longer south, the touristy maintenance fades, but the beauty remains, more natural and authentic.