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Istanbul travel guide

Istanbul tourism | Istanbul guide

You're Going to Love Istanbul

History buffs, foodies, adventurers: Istanbul could be your dream destination. This huge city lies at the crossroads between East and West, and the influences of its geographic location can be felt everywhere.

From the spectacular Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Sultan to the sublime domes and towers of the Hagia Sophia and the ruins of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman cites, the past is everywhere in Istanbul - and it's fascinating.

Beyond sightseeing, Istanbul offers much more to adore. From the color and energy of the Grand Bazaar to the exquisite fabrics at boutiques like Haremlique, Istanbul is a great place to shop.

The taste and aroma of a traditional Turkish kebab from restaurants like Asitane and the option of dancing the night away at the bars in Galata make clear: Istanbul has it all.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Istanbul

When to Visit Istanbul

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If you want to avoid the crowds and high temperatures, try to visit outside peak summer months (July and August). Schedule your trip for April and May or the fall for good weather and easy access to all the attractions.

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When the weather is nice in Istanbul

How to Get to Istanbul

Airports near Istanbul

IST Istanbul

Airlines serving Istanbul

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Where to Stay in Istanbul

Many of the best hotels are to be found in the Sultanahmet (Old City) neighborhood, where popular options include the Ottoman Hotel Imperial and the more intimate Hotel Empress Zoe. If you want to be near the city's nightlife, try Galata hotels like Pera Palace or the Grand Hyatt. Some of the most comfortable hotels can also be found in Bosphorus, where the Çırağan Palace Kempinski allows you to stay in the residence of the final Sultan.

Popular Neighborhoods in Istanbul

Most popular hotel in Istanbul by neighbourhood


Where to stay in popular areas of Istanbul

Most booked hotels in Istanbul

How to Get Around Istanbul

The Cost of Living in Istanbul

Istanbul's Hottest Shopping Streets

The most exciting place to shop in Istanbul is definitely the Grand Bazaar where over 4,000 stores sell everything from rugs and gold jewelry to spices and leather goods. The popular İstiklal Caddesi, a pedestrianized precinct in Beyoğlu, offers boutiques, galleries, cafes, and more. Alternatively, try Akmerkez. This large mall in Besiktas hosts a wide range of stores, including Armani Jeans, Accessorize and the cosmetics brand Sephora.

Groceries and Other Necessities

Self-catering travelers can save money by shopping at supermarkets like MM Migros and Makro, while there are smaller grocery stores on almost every street. Expect to pay around ₺10 for a gallon of milk and ₺1.7 for a pound of apples.

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Cheap meal
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A pair of jeans
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Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in Istanbul

Istanbul has thousands of exceptional places to eat, and every neighborhood has its own highlights. In Galata, try the lunches at Ficcin or the gourmet food at NuTeras. In the Old City, Doy Doy provides great value meals, while Asitane serves the best traditional Turkish cuisine in town. Wherever you are, there should be superb options - just ask the locals! Expect to pay around ₺30 for a mid-range meal and anything up to ₺100 for gourmet meals.