Useful Information For Your Visit to Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey’s metropolis full of beauties that will not end with visiting since it has places to visit in Istanbul, is a city that welcomes tourists in summer and winter. We hope that you will leave Istanbul with good memories after your visit. Trip designers write about the cities they live in from their own perspectives, and we share local and up-to-date information with you.

You can view the Istanbul things to do routes prepared by our trip designers based on their own footprints via this link.

We have compiled information that we think may be useful for your trip to Istanbul. We wish you pleasant reading.

Here is some quick information:

  • Theft: Be careful as you are anywhere in the world, although there is no longer a common theft problem.
  • Dresscode: Apart from some very conservative districts in Istanbul, you won’t have any problems with your clothes.
  • Especially on the days when you are going to visit the mosque (women), be sure to take a scarf, etc. that you can cover yourself, especially your hair. Men cannot enter the mosque with shorts on their knees.
  • Do not forget to take the hotel card which contains the name, address, and phone number of the hotel with you in case you get lost. Phones may run out of charge.
  • Do not forget to take the Turkish lira with you. In some places on the itinerary, a credit card does not pass. Even if they agree to buy dollars or euros, shopping in this way will be harmful to you.
  • Do not forget to take copies of the front pages of your passport and visa if necessary, but not the original one.

1. When You Need the Consulate in Istanbul


The Consulate is a unit of your country’s Embassy. The Embassy is responsible for the political and diplomatic relations between your country and that in which it’s located. Consulates exist to support the citizens of the countries they represent. So the Consulate is a representative of your country which you can contact for advice and support while in Turkey. You can read more here.
British Consular, French Consular, German Consular, Holland Consular, Iran Consular, US Consular, Canada Consular, Pakistan Consular, Italian Consular, Indian Consular, Russian Consular, Swedish Consular, Swiss Consular, Spanish Consular


2. 10 Things to Know Before You Arrive in Istanbul


If you’re visiting places to visit in Istanbul you’ll want to know what to expect when you arrive. So here are the top 10 Things to Know Before You Arrive in Istanbul from weather to accommodation.


3. Best Local Souvenirs in Istanbul


You can compare Istanbul to a big store selling local products. Here you can find local products, especially souvenirs everywhere. Turks like bargaining and find it sincere. So feel free to bargain. Some Turks want to shake hands while bargaining with you. Shaking hands while bargaining means “agreement”. Shaking hands also tells us that the bargaining is almost over. We have prepared a list of some beautiful souvenirs and good memories that you can take with you when you leave Istanbul. You can find the list here.


4. How to Avoid Tourist Scams in Istanbul


Like every big city, Istanbul has its scammers – although they may be fewer than in some other parts of the world. And the Turks are generally honest people so if a Turk realizes you’re being scammed they’ll often try to warn you. Nonetheless, it’s sensible to be prepared and to take precautions. Here we’ll introduce you to some of the common scams and how to avoid them.

A quick tip: Be wary of those who try to sell you something (Perfume, watch, carpet, extra tour, etc.) outside of any store. If someone offers to have a free tour without selling anything, he will probably try to sell something again at the end of the tour.

5. Local Things To Do in Istanbul


If you don’t want to feel like a tourist, there are many local Istanbul things to do. Here are some tips if you want to join the people of Istanbul and feel like part of the city during your stay.

As most locals do, you can download the Getir app to order food, groceries, taxi, and water. Now Getir is active in many countries around the world.

6. Everything You Need to Know About Transportation in Istanbul


One of the best ways to get to know a city is to use public transport to explore Istanbul attractions. It gives a feeling of living there and adds an air of authenticity. Istanbul is a busy city and traffic can be crowded so planning your journey is important. As in every cosmopolitan city, there are peak times for traffic, and these are best avoided if possible. If you’re taking your own car there are parking places all over the city including the Ispark service offered by the municipality. Still, we recommend you get a map. You can find tips for transportation in Istanbul here.

There are 7 Metro lines in Istanbul and the cheapest way to use them is to buy an Istanbulkart. In 2016, Istanbulkart was chosen as “The best transportation card in the world” at the “Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Global Awards” held in the UK. Istanbulkart can be purchased from Metro stations, bus stops, or tram stations. You need to charge your card from the prepay machines for Metro Istanbul. You can pay in cash in TL. The machines don’t accept coins and are often short of change so you can find yourself being short-changed if you use these! You can also fill up your card by prepaying at various places displaying the Istanbulkart sign. In such places, we recommend that you pay in cash and in TL. When you make line transfers within the Metro you get a discount on the first two lines.

The Metro line that connects the two ends of Istanbul, and connects Anatolia and Europe by going under the sea is called Marmaray. You can travel from Ataköy to Gebze by using Marmaray. Regional train lines were merged into Marmaray Railway Line. After getting off Marmaray, don’t forget to have your card scanned by the orange machines at the station and get your refund. A separate tariff is calculated for each stop.

Trams are also available for transportation in Istanbul. Depending on where you want to visit you may consider using the tram lines among various transportation options. The list of tram routes and a complete map are available at Istanbul Tram Lines Map in this link.

Buses are available using your Istanbulkart. Bus routes cover all areas of Istanbul but you should try to avoid using them between 08:00 and 09:30 in the morning and between 17:00 and 18:30 in the evening as they can get very crowded. If you’re travelling by bus you can use İETT’s website to find the best route. You can also download MOBIETT from this link to learn more about the voyage and track the bus you are waiting for.

The most enjoyable way to go from one side of Istanbul to the other is by ferry. In addition to City Line Ferries, smaller boats are available which also depart from near the ferry port. Both accept İstanbulkart. You can also use the ferry to avoid peak-time traffic on the roads. Visit the website for detailed information on the lines.

To use a taxi in Istanbul, you must download one of the Istanbul taxi apps or take a taxi from the taxi stand. When you arrive at the taxi stand, tell the driver where you want to go. Taking a taxi in Istanbul can be expensive and is not necessarily quicker than public transport. Taxis may not pick you up if you hail them from the roadside instead of using the taxi stand. You can download BiTaksi both available on Play Store and App Store.

To use public transportation, you may get one Istanbulkart. You can get the card for around 3£ in the kiosk in touristic areas (Sultanahmet, Taksim, etc.) Also, there are some kiosks in Marmaray and Metrobus stations, you can see box offices and ticketmatics. You can see how much it will cost to use public transportation via this image. You can also download Istanbulkart mobile app to load your card with money, pay online, and get advantages and promotions. Don’t forget that you have the opportunity to use your contactless credit card to pass for public transportation without getting Istanbulkart.

7. Museum Pass


To visit multiple museums in Istanbul, you will need Museum Pass Istanbul which costs 550 TL and lasts for 5 days (120 hours) after your activation. You can activate the card at the entrance of relevant museums (Topkapı Palace Museum, Istanbul Archeological Museums, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Museum of Islam Science and Technology History, Great Palace Mosaic Museum, Galata Tower, Rumeli Fortress, Yıldız Palace, Galata Mevlevihane Museum, Istanbul Fethiye Museum).

You can buy the card online or in the ticket offices of these museums: Topkapı Palace Museum, Kariye Museum, Istanbul Mosaic Museum, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul Archeological Museums

If you are going to travel around Turkey, you may need Museum Pass Turkey. With Museum Pass Turkey, you can visit more than three hundred museums and archaeological sites that belong to the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Directorate of National Palaces for fifteen days and enjoy your trip through time.
The price of Museum Pass Turkey which is valid for fifteen days starting from your first museum and archaeological site entrance is around 60£.
Please click for Museum Pass Turkey sales points.
Click to see all museums and archaeological sites belonging to the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism you can visit with Museum Pass Turkey.

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