Read some of the things to know before visiting Istanbul so you can be prepared before your amazing trip to this wonderful city!
1) Ataturk airport (on the European side) and the Sabiha Gocken airport (on the Asian side), are the two airports in Istanbul
2) To reach the city center (Taksim) from the airports, you can use the Havatas buses. There is always one right outside the aiport, which charge 11TL from Ataturk and 14TL from Sabiha (per person)
3) Buy the Istanbul Card for all your transfers in the city. Load it with TL and save money instead of using tokens. Each route costs 2.30TL
4) Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar are the two famous covered markets in Istanbul… where you should try to bargain and not buy impulsively!
5) In order to visit a mosque, there are 2 significant rules. Firstly, take of your shoes and secondly wear a scarf on your head if you are a woman
6) Most places in Istanbul accept Euro and Dollars, but you should exchange your currency in Turkish Lira. You can find exchange offices all over the city. The best rates are close to Grand bazaar and Spice Bazaar
7) Before you enter a taxi, you should either ask the driver to use the meter or prearrange the amount to be paid
8) May is the best month of the year to visit Istanbul
9) Visitors can wear anything they want, as if they were to visit a European city
10) The Museum Pass is the best way to visit the museums in Istanbul and at the same time save money and time
11) Istanbul is one of the safest major cities in Europe with a relatively low incidence of violent crimes
12) The Taksim (city center) and Sultanahmet (historical center) areas, are the two best places to stay during your trip to Istanbul
13) You can get an e-Visa before your arrival in Istanbul. Check here for details: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
14) During summer months, most of the museums stay open until 18:00 and until 17:00 during the winter months
15) In Istanbul there are no places you should avoid visiting. Using common sense during your stay in the city, you can wander around all the areas
16) In case you are allergic to cats, you should bring your medication treatment, because Istanbul is a city full of cats! Turks love them and treat them as member of their family
17) There are 3 telecommunication stores: Vodafone, Turkcell and Turk Telekom(Avea). In order to buy a Turkish number or internet, you will need your passport
18) Public toilets are all over the city! You can use them either by giving 1 TL or by using the Istanbul Card
19) Do not misunderstand the warm behavior of the Turks to your kids! They love all of them and they will do anything to please them
20) Ordering drinks, the waiter usually brings nuts or fruits. Most of the times they are not free of charge, so before you accept them, ask him if you have to pay for them
21) The emergency numbers are: 112 for Ambulance, 110 for Fire, 155 for Police
22) Istanbul is a city where you can find dozens of stalls selling food,beverages,fruits and many more! Street food in Istanbul is not only famous but also safe!
23) You will meet many beggars on the roads. If you feel you want to help them, either give them money or food
24) Mostly at the touristic places of the city, you will see men outside each shop, restaurant and cafe, trying to convince you to get inside. If you are not interested, kindly let them know and continue on your way
25) In Istanbul, you have to check twice before you cross the road. The drivers are very experienced but they also think they always have priority!
26) On the 1st of May, you should avoid visiting the center of the city, because during the day many demonstrations take place
27) Turks are warm-blooded men and like to state their admiration to the opposite sex! In case you feel offended or awkward, kindly let them know and continue on your way
28) Solo women or group of women travellers, have nothing to worry about during their stay in Istanbul. They will feel absolutely safe especially if they don’t walk around deserted alleys and side streets at late night hours or follow men whom they don’t know
29) There are ferries every 20 minutes, which connect the European with the Asian side of the city