Are you looking forward to going on a trip to Istanbul ? How very exciting is that! This is the destination which will, with its extraordinary culture and breathtaking beauty, get on the list of your favorite places easily.
Istanbul is situated on the edge of Europe where the east meets the west. This is the city that holds layers of history, colors, culture, and scents. Everything such as the food and the architectures will bring along a story with them. Istanbul never stops; it is a fast busy city, however, whenever you need a break from all this, you will always, with ease, find a small tea house, a pretty garden or a historical site where you can sit and relax.
Today, we are going to help you acknowledge everything that will lead your trip to Istanbul to be the one that you will cherish for as long as you live. So are you ready to know all that you need to know?
Let’s begin your trip to Istanbul in this travel guide!
Those of you who are going on their first trip to this enchanting city, my recommendation would be that you should plan on staying at least five days if you don’t want to miss out on anything.
Istanbul is a massive city with a population of 15.7 million currently, as big as any European capital. The good thing about this is that it will not be heavy on your pocket in comparison to other cities. With a proper travel plan, you will definitely not have to worry about the money for this trip. Sound’s good, doesn’t it?
The Right Place to Stay At
This city is filled with numerous hotels, guest houses, hostels, and flats. They range from the cheapest accommodations to the ones that have prices touching the sky. This tells that you will, for sure, need professional help in finding the right place that matches your taste and pocket.
Some of the beautiful areas in Istanbul to stay at are
These are the areas full of safety, delicious street food, and fabulous restaurants.
Following are the hotels that we recommend in Sultanahmet
Following are the hotels we recommend in Beyoglu
Following are the hotels we recommend in Taksim
How To Get Around Istanbul
Istanbul Card is what will lead you to some much ease as this is the card accepted in all public transports including the boats. You can buy this card in any of the automatic machines as soon as you get inside Istanbul. You can top up this card with as much amount as you want and you will find it easier and cheaper than those single journey tickets.
Our suggestion to, in spite of what we said above, would be to walk around to get to the tourist attractions as much as possible as this is that one city with the great architect. Going around places on foot will get you to enjoy that Turkish feeling and also meet the locals there.
Food in Istanbul
Istanbul can also be called the paradise of food due to all the delicious food it has to offer. Having countless spices, flavors and ingredients the Turkish food certainly deserves an entire blog on its food alone. Another ‘glad to know’ thing you are going to read is: the food is not at all expensive. Even for the delicious restaurants, you would not have to pay a fortune for your meal. I will suggest you to at least go to the Turkish buffet restaurant once and try every dish there.
Best Time to Visit
Istanbul is a beautiful place and deserves a visit at any time of the year; however, the most suitable time for you to go to this enchanting city should be planned according to the number of tourists there. This is because with the change in seasons, the number of tourists to varies. So my suggestion to you would be to plan to be there somewhere between May to June.
The summers of Istanbul are scorching with long days, so be prepared for that too. The winters, on the other hand, are remarkably cold and windy, cold enough to increase your chances of encountering snow there. Obviously, the city already so beautiful looks even more magical with some snow for you to see.
To-do List in Istanbul
Here we are to list down the things that are a must see or must experience while in Istanbul. Enjoy!
This may seem like it is a tourist attraction; in reality, it is an actual service of worship of the followers of Mevlana. This is an activity that is already very high on visitors, so the best thing for you to not miss this goes for advance booking.
This is a place in Istanbul that you should never be mistaken to miss visiting. It is contained by four beautiful green courtyards and is the place where the history, for almost over half a century, of sultans’ residency lies.
Remember to walk till the end so that you get to see the breathtaking view on the Sea of Marmara, Golden Horn, and Bosphorus.
This is more than 500 years old, one of the largest bazaars in the world. It has no less than 5000 shops in its 60 streets, also 60 restaurants and 12 mosques.
It is not like only for the tourist, the local shop around here every single day. The difference would certainly be that they will be better at bargaining than you will ever be. The few things the grand bazaar is very famous for are its leather, carpets, jewelry, souvenirs, and ceramics.
And yes! It is effortless to get lost in this massive bazaar with chaos, so make you remember your way in and out.
Some of the other beautiful places that you should, undoubtedly, have on your list are:
- Blue Mosque
- Hagia Sophia
- Sunset at Uskudar
- Dolmabahçe Palace
- Galata Tower
- Bebek and Ortakoy
- Kariye Museum
- Suleymaniye Mosque
- Archeology Museum
- Basilica Cistern
- Bosphorus Cruise
Things to Avoid in Istanbul
For a big city that Istanbul is, it is quite safe. You may find many people as beggars on the streets, but they cause you no harm most of the time. However, an area called Tarlabasi Street, which is near to Taksim Square is very unsafe, especially during the nighttime, due to drug dealers and danger.
Also, being a foreigner in a Muslim country, respecting their traditions would be really helpful. That can be done so by wearing long shirts and trousers and wearing a scarf to religious sites and mosques.
Arrival and Departure from Istanbul
Your mode of travel to and from Istanbul totally depends upon where you come from; people travel to Istanbul by train, bus, boat or air. The primary budget airlines fly to Sabiha and Ataturk Airport. Moreover, Turkish airlines have a good connection from everywhere around the world.
Keeping all this information in mind that has been provided above, I assure you a wonderful time in Istanbul. So, if you haven’t already bought your tickets, get them fast. We wish you a fantastic trip to Istanbul. Enjoy!