Istanbul Travel Guide

  • Sultan Ahmet Mosque - Blue Mosque, Istanbul, TR
    Sultan Ahmet Mosque - Blue Mosque,...
    by TrendsetterME
  • Hagia Sophia - Ayia Sofia - Ayasofya
    by smirnofforiginal
  • Windows light up the Mimbar and Mihrab
    Windows light up the Mimbar and Mihrab
    by mtncorg

Istanbul Things to Do

  • Hagia Sophia - Ayia Sofia - Ayasofya

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    In my second visit I didn't enter Sainte Sophie, but could appreciate the influence that it had in many constructions around it, and the justice that makes it the central point of Istanbul tourism.

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  • Blue Mosque - Sultan Ahmed Mosque

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    A second look at Blue mosque was a great opportunity to observe some missed aspects in the first visit. First of all, that this mosque, built in the 17Th century,was strongly inspired in Hagia Sophia, adding Byzantine elements to Ottoman style. The second one is that "Blue mosque" is a strange name for a Portuguese - we are used to blue...

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  • Topkapi Palace

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The Baths of the Sultan and the Queen Mother, dating from the late 16th century, and decorated in Rococo style in the 18th, consist of multiple rooms - a caldarium, a tepidarium and a frigidarium. The ceilings were conceived to allow natural sunlight in. There is marble and golden artifacts everywhere, even in the golden lattice to protect the...

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Istanbul Hotels

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Istanbul Restaurants

  • Local Eating

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    In Siçli, really "Out of the beaten path", I was taken to this restaurant and offered a vegetarian meal. Well, that's not exactly my kind of food, it was not awful, but didn't impress me. The only thing I remember is the drink - Ayran (reasonable drink out of the meals, acceptable with those things that we eat). I promise to forget the place. As...

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  • Fish Sandwiches- Eminonu

    4 out of 5 stars

    One day at around lunch time we decied to have a fish sandwich (Balik ekmek) at the Eminönü pier near the Galata Bridge. At the stall "Tarihi Eminönü Balik Ekmek" the fish (mackerel) is directly grilled on the boat and then put in a half-bread together with some salad and onions. It costs 5 TYR. In front of the boat you can take a seat at one of...

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  • Haci Abdullah

    4 out of 5 stars

    Haci Abdullah a half block northwest off Istiklal Caddesi at Sakizagaci Caddesi 17, is among the city's famous old dining places. The ambience is bright and lively rather than quiet and dark, the Turkish food is delicious, but no alcoholic beverages are served. This is a great place for women traveling alone to dine undisturbed.Credit cards are...

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Istanbul Nightlife

See all 231 Nightlife in Istanbul
  • Reina

    Reina is one of the most famous places of entertainment. It was opened in 2000 in the place of ChineWhite. Reina is also known as a night club. It can compete with Aegean and Mediterranean night clubs with its location. Reina also takes attention with its delicious meals. Reina addresses to a very larger audience as a concept company. The company...

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  • Babylon

    Babylon is a great live venue. Although the tickets for famous bands sell fast you can always check their site in advance to be sure. Hopefully, the night we visited the club we saw the local singer ETE KURTTEKIN so we just bought the tickets from the box office right opposite the club (15TL). I was listening his first solo album Suyun Ustune on...

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  • Ideas

    My friends "needed" a beer! I followed them and had my unique beer in Istanbul. Not cheap (they said, I have no idea about beer prices, even in Portugal...) too big can for me, and a few minutes of relaxation and conversation, in a quiet place. OK!

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Istanbul Transportation

  • Tram

    Fare now 4 Lira one time token (Jotun) and 2,5 Lira if using Istanbul Cad - Akbil Connection with the Airport Metra at Zeytinburnu and Yousufpasha. ************************************************************************ Original Post 24 Feb 2007 Joten (Ticket) 1.3 Lira (90 Cents) for any destination to be bought from the Kiosk before getting on...

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  • Sabiha Gokcen Airport - Transport

    HAVATAS is running Shuttles buses between Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Kad?köy and also toTaksim. The shuttles are white colored and parked in front of the terminal building arrivals level exit. To Taksim for 14 TL and to Kad?köy for 9 TL. The Taksim departure point is across Taksim Divan hotel, in front of the Point Hotel. The Kad?köy departure...

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  • Metro

    Interactive transportation map for Istanbul on Google Maps. I'm trying to update it with future projects and under construction phases. You can check it here at http://www.istanbulmetromap.com Or We can embed google my maps directly here...

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Istanbul Shopping

See all 315 Shopping in Istanbul
  • Grand Bazaar

    The variety of shops and the number of goods kept astonishing me. Of course at a place like the Grand Bazar you are overwhelmed with spices and Turkish delight. At the back streets a lot of trading is going on too.

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  • Olivium Outlet Center

    Olivium shopping center was opened on 1 April 2000. It is the first outlet center of Turkey. It is also among the most important outlet centers of Europe. It is located in Zeytinburnu, Istanbul. Because of its opening date and offering very cheap products many people thought that this is an April 1st joke. Lexical meaning of the word “Olivium” is...

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  • Local Markets

    When we talk about "Markets" in Istanbul, Ninety nine per cent of the people imagine immediately the Grand Bazaar. However, all the city lives, and markets may happen in many places, in organized places or in the streets. We found a street market behind the Blue mosque, and we were attracted by the strong colours, but also by the clean look of...

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Istanbul Local Customs

  • Local Food

    This was recommended in my Lonely Planet guidebook but it was with local Istanbul VTer Stream&Rain that was able to help with finding the shop...just in Eminou in the main street behind Eminou near the Eminou mosque. We bought a range of Turkish Delight - very nice!

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  • Mosque Etiquette

    A common question for visitors to Istanbul is how to dress, specifically for visiting the mosques. Women must cover their knees, shoulders and head, men must cover their knees and shoulders and everyone must remove their shoes. Outside of the mosques there are coverups if you don't have any of the parts covered up that need to be and there are...

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  • Emergency Phone Numbers

    There are 3 major "GSM Operators" in Turkey for using cellphones, which are : TURKCELL www.turkcell.com.tr VODAFONE www.vodafone.com.tr AVEA www.avea.com.tr You can either buy a permanent post paid gsm line and pay the bill on monthly basis or buy a pre paid line only and load it as you want and as much as you want, totally depending on your...

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Istanbul Warnings and Dangers

  • Women's Safety

    To all travelers, you can never be too careful in big cities. I'm not singling out Istanbul as a crime ridden place but I have been traveling there back and forth there for nearly 10 years for work and leisure and for the first time last summer, I became a victim of robbery in the apartment I was staying in in what locals consider a safe area,...

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  • Taxis

    I think tourist hot spots in Istanbul is where your are more than likely to come across a dishonest taxi driver as they will think tourists will carry a lot of cash. I went to Istanbul in November 2013 the biggining of. One day I wanted to go to the blue mosque the taxi I got in to go their was honest it came to just a little over 10 lira I only...

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  • Scams

    we visited istanbul in march this year- beautiful country, awe inspiring architecture and a new culture.our tour guide took us to the first shop in the spice market-alladin and recommended it.we bought flower teas and turkish delight for which we paid four times the price and very average quality.my advice DO NOT FOLLOW recommendations from taxi...

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Istanbul Tourist Traps

  • Roxelanne Baths

    I was warned that this building was adapted to a shop, with all the limitations that it brings. Anyway, the visit was suggested, and I travelled around searching for a open door - no way! Asking nearby I got the answer that the shop is being remodeled, which means... closed. Now, in turkeytravelplanner I could read that they may have done a good...

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  • Touts

    Tourism Is big business in Istanbul, Forbes lists it at the 6th most visited city in the world. I'm not sure how the recent protests in Taksim have affected the number of tourists, it seemed like there were plenty of people still visiting but nothing was terribly overcrowded. While I understand that getting people to eat at your restaurant or into...

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  • Bloody Taxi's

    Have some note written in local language to offer taxi driver and add the distance. At least with a search already done time and distance can be noted. Twenty minute trip shouldn't be forty. Which out for rush hour, this will bump the time up. Even in the UK they are the same. Arriving at destination speak to fellow travelers, they are more than...

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Istanbul What to Pack

  • Summer in Istanbul

    One of the common questions from women is about dressing respectfully as many of the places people visit are mosques. I saw women wearing everything from shorts and a tank top to the local Muslim women who were wearing coats and head scarves. All of the mosques have scarves and coverings should you not be dressed appropriately so I'd advise just...

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  • Free city map from the Tourist...

    Istanbul is said to have six Tourist Information Offices in the European part of the city. I only visited the branch in the Sirkeci Train Station. It can be found on the outside of the new entrance to the train station.Here I picked up a helpful free city map, which besides the streets also the ferry ports and tram lines showed. Apart from that...

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  • Packing to Istanbul

    Since the weather changes every day, I packed clothes for every occasion. Some days I needed to use pullover and jacket. I was expecting it to be hotter that time of year, but found every day different. Is always better to have fresh bottled water, as Istanbul is known for dodgy tap water. A camera is essential to capture all these Islamic art...

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Istanbul Off The Beaten Path

  • Architecture

    You will certainly see plenty of wooden houses if you wander the streets of Cankurtaran, a few minutes' walk downhill from Ayia Sofia, and in 2015 I saw plenty more in the streets around Suleymaniye mosque. I have to say these wooden houses astonished me: the sheer dilapidation of so many, the weird angles at which they still manage to stand.and...

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  • Hammams

    This historic hamam in "Tophane" is one of Istanbul’s most beautiful and has only recently reopened after years of restoration. Contemporary "Turkish Hamams" find themselves in a difficult position. For centuries, these public bath houses were an integral part of Ottoman life. Islam places great significance on cleanliness and hamams were the...

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  • Asian Side

    "Caddebostan" is located on the Asian Side of Istanbul and is a perfect area to have a walk at the beach side as being away from the city hassle ... Day and night, many people go there to jog, have a walk with their kids and dogs, for bicycle or just to have fun on grass and have their coffee ... Especially on weekends its a huge crowd. Special...

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Istanbul Sports & Outdoors

  • Besiktas

    In my first visit to Istanbul it was difficult to reach the hotel, one night, because there was an international game of Galatasaray. I remember the area, and, this time, I walked there, verifying that it is Besiktas stadium. Confused!Do they share the stadium? was in circumstantial Galatasaray game?We had no game there, this time, but noticed that...

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  • Bosphorus Cross Continental

    The reason for our visit to Istanbul was so that my husband could swim in the Bosphorus Cross Continental, a 6.5 km swim in the Bosphorus from Asia to Europe. The distance sounds really far until you factor in the current, my husband, who is a good swimmer finished in just 57 minutes, 32 out of 107 in his age group. He said that he lost a few...

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  • Vialand Theme Park, Istanbul, TR

    "Vialand" is the "new kid" in town .... :)This is the newest attraction district in the city, a giant amusement and theme park, shopping mall, cafes, restaurants and so ....Good option to visit for kids and also for adults to enjoy the whole day, many adventures, water splashes and many other outdoor activities ...Enjoy ... :)

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Istanbul General

See all 539 General in Istanbul
  • Information

    I have put links to Google Map in my tips to make it easier to find the objects mentioned, when possible to get the right position. The links are marked in italics. Unfortunately Google Map isn't very precise and too often points to other buildings than the wanted one.

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  • Eating & Drinking

    Turkish Coffee is the name given to a type of coffee which is prepared and brewed using techniques invented by the Turks in the Ottoman time, hence the name. The first coffeehouse in Istanbul was opened as early as in 1544 by two Syrians. Thanks to Venetian merchants who came to the city, coffee was brought to Europe in 1615. Turkish Coffee is made...

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  • Bosphorus

    Istanbul has a perfect relationship with the sea. The straight protects the coast from big storms, and that allows the Turks to treat it almost as a river. Big and small boats, palaces and restaurants almost at water level, and a special care to turn to the water "the city's face best side". Will it be alike in winter?

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Top 10 Street Food Cities: Istanbul

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

It's not hard to imagine why a city that straddles two continents is a must-see stop for street food. From the visually-striking stalls selling döner (lamb, chicken, or beef on a vertical skewer) to the balik ekmek (fish sandwiches) sold off of boats, one of the greatest attributes of Istanbul's street food is the variety of options. Mornings can start with simit, a ring-shaped bread topped with toasted sesame seeds and akin to a crisper bagel, afternoons begin with a kebab, and a snack of midye dolma (stuffed mussels) is a great break from site-seeing. Two locations noted for their street food are the beginning of Istikal Caddesi in Taksim, and near the Galata Bridge in the Eminonu area if you're hankering for a fresh fish sandwich.

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Explore Deeper into Istanbul
Grand Bazaar - Kapali Çarsi
Things to Do
Galata Tower
Things to Do
Basilica Cistern - Yerebatan Saray
Things to Do
Istiklal Caddesi
Things to Do
Taksim Square
Things to Do
Dolmabahce Palace
Things to Do
Pickpockets
Warnings and Dangers
Traffic
Warnings and Dangers
Ataturk Airport
Transportation
Shoe Polishers
Warnings and Dangers
Funicular - Tunel
Transportation
Cable Car - Teleferik
Transportation
Taksim
Warnings and Dangers
Spice Bazaar - Egyptian Bazaar
Shopping
Bosphorus Ferries
Transportation
Istanbulkart
Transportation
General Tips
Shopping
City's Mall
Shopping
Ceramics
Shopping
Street Traders
Shopping
Sultanahmet
Warnings and Dangers
Taxi
Transportation
Bosphorus Boat Trips
Off The Beaten Path
Turkish Food
Restaurants
Local Life
Local Customs
Bosphorus Zoo
Off The Beaten Path
Tea & Coffee
Local Customs
Clothing
Local Customs
Shoes
Local Customs
Turkish Language
Local Customs
Doy Doy
Restaurants
General Advice
Warnings and Dangers
Istiklal Caddesi
Shopping
Rumeli Hisari
Off The Beaten Path
Hamdi
Restaurants
Ortakoy
Off The Beaten Path
Islands
Off The Beaten Path
Kumkapi District
Restaurants
Bargaining
Local Customs
Karakoy Gulluoglu
Restaurants

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