Istanbul: 7 Things Travelers Need To Know Before Visiting

Istanbul: 7 Things Travelers Need To Know Before Visiting

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Istanbul is a metropolis packed full of individuals, historical past, and wealthy tradition.

The metropolis is a real melting pot and an extremely distinctive place. It embraces its historic historical past whereas transferring ahead with a contemporary aptitude – in it, you’ll discover grand mosques and bustling markets alongside epic nightclubs and a cutting-edge artwork scene.

The metropolis’s various and seemingly numerous neighborhoods supply one thing for each sort of vacationer.

The colorful city of Istanbul

But earlier than setting off to Istanbul, there are some things you want to remember. In this publish, we’ll cowl every little thing you’ll want to find out about touring to Istanbul, together with:

  • What are the prices for vacationers?
  • Things to find out about tradition and etiquette
  • What are the highest sights?
  • How secure is it?
  • Local meals and drinks
  • How good is the WiFi?
  • How lengthy are you able to keep?

Ready? Here are the highest 7 issues you’ll want to know earlier than visiting Istanbul:


Did you already know… Istanbul is the one pan-continental metropolis on the planet. The Bosphorus strait divides the European aspect from the Asian aspect. The hottest vacationer websites are on the European aspect within the Sultanahmet district, which is a superb neighborhood to base your self in if it’s your first go to.

1) Istanbul Affordability

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The forex in Turkey is the Turkish Lira or TRY. The present alternate fee is ₺1 TRY = $0.05 USD or $1 USD = ₺18.97 TRY.

Here are the typical prices for vacationers in USD:


The peak vacationer season in Istanbul is from June-August, and lodge costs improve with the crowds.

  • Average lodge value: One evening at a 3-star lodge sometimes prices lower than $100/evening, whereas a room at a 4-star lodge averages $150.
  • Luxury 5-star motels: Luxury 5-star motels common $200 an evening, though there are costlier choices, just like the Four Seasons Sultanahmet the place room costs begin at $1000 per evening in the course of the summer season.
  • If you’re on a finances: Istanbul has loads of hostels to select from. While there are cheaper choices accessible, a mattress at a well-rated hostel in a very good space will value round $20-$30/evening, and round $50 for a personal room.

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A rooftop terrace in Istanbul


Visitors to Istanbul will discover every little thing underneath the solar relating to eating. How a lot you spend is as much as you.

  • A 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for 2 prices round $30.
  • For a low cost meal at an affordable restaurant, anticipate to pay round $7
  • A beer prices between $3-$4, whereas a cappuccino is about $2.


Istanbul is a large and really busy metropolis, so guests ought to base themselves near the neighborhoods and sights they plan on visiting to chop down on transit time.

  • Istanbul has many types of public transportation – trams, funiculars, metro, and ferries. Fares begin at $0.79/per experience or $0.52 if utilizing an Istanbulkart good card.
  • Taxis are another choice, though the streets are often congested so that you’ll possible be paying to take a seat in visitors. Rates begin at $0.66 plus an extra $0.72 per mile.
  • Uber is accessible in Istanbul however is usually costlier than taxis. Similar apps equivalent to BiTaksi and iTaksi are cheaper choices.
A tram rolls through a crowded street in Istanbul

2) Culture And Etiquette In Istanbul

Check this checklist earlier than your journey! Here are a few of the main Dos and Don’ts in Istanbul.

  • DO costume appropriately: particularly when visiting mosques – you should definitely take away sneakers, cowl shoulders and knees, and girls ought to use a shawl to cowl their hair.
  • DON’T go to mosques throughout prayer occasions: Muslims sometimes pray 5 occasions a day, and the precise occasions are posted outdoors every mosque.
  • DO negotiate the value: bargaining for a greater value is commonplace on the Grand Bazaar.
  • DON’T use your left hand: solely use your proper hand when greeting somebody, because the left is taken into account unclean.
  • DO go away a tip: 10% is customary at eating places and 25% at hammams.
the domes of a mosque in Istanbul overlook the city

3) Top Attractions in Istanbul

Here are a couple of of the top things to see and do while exploring Istanbul:

  • The Grand Bazaar – a sprawling 500-year-old lined market with over 4000 retailers promoting carpets, lanterns, ceramics, jewellery, clothes, and a lot extra
  • Topkapı Palace – the official residence of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years, the palace is now a museum the place guests can discover the intensive grounds, rooms, and artifacts
  • The Blue Mosque – an impressive Seventeenth-century mosque with over 20,000 hand-painted blue tiles adorning the inside partitions and 200 stained glass home windows
The majestic blue interior of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

4) How Safe Is It For Tourists?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As far as huge cities go, Istanbul is comparatively secure. However, there are nonetheless some issues that vacationers ought to bear in mind to remain secure throughout their go to:

  • Beware of pickpockets: Be particularly vigilant in vacationer areas and on public transportation, as pickpocketing is the commonest crime in opposition to vacationers in Istanbul.
  • Watch out for scammers: If somebody approaches you providing to promote one thing or desires that will help you uninvited, be weary of their intentions.
  • Know what to do in an emergency: Earthquakes and tremors are widespread in Istanbul, so know the right security protocols and have an emergency plan. Dial 112 for emergency providers.
  • Women remember: Catcalling is widespread on the streets of Istanbul. Avoid strolling alone at evening and don’t go away drinks unattended.
  • Check for journey warnings: There have been terrorist assaults within the metropolis earlier than, so keep present on authorities journey warnings.
  • DO get journey insurance coverage: Travel insurance can assist in well being emergencies in addition to with overlaying the prices of any journey mishaps throughout your Istanbul journey. For 5 nice choices, read more here.
Galata Tower In Istanbul, Turkey

5) Local Eats And Drinks

One of one of the best elements of journey is trying out the native delicacies, and Istanbul is a improbable place to strive new meals. Don’t let your self go away with out attempting a minimum of one of many following:


  • Döner Kebab – beef, or lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie and served with pita and greens
  • Balık ekmek – a scrumptious sandwich of seasoned grilled fish fashionable everywhere in the metropolis
  • Köfte – Turkish meatballs made with minced meat, herbs, and bulgur
  • Lahmacun – skinny crispy flatbread topped with seasoned meat and herbs
  • Börek – crispy layers of paper-thin dough full of cheese, meat, or spinach
A cup of tea is poured into a glass in Istanbul


  • Tea – you’ll be supplied scorching black tea sweetened with sugar at eating places and cafes
  • Turkish espresso – thick unfiltered espresso in a tiny cup, sweetened with sugar, and served with a chilly glass of water
  • Rakı – a preferred alcoholic drink of twice distilled grapes and aniseed
  • Efes Pilsen – a lightweight lager and the preferred beer in Turkey

6) How’s the WiFi?

Using Ookla, an web velocity testing service, the typical web speeds in Istanbul for January 2023 had been 33.96mbps obtain and 13.82mbps add.

Couple of Tourists Enjoying The Istanbul European Side's Cityscape, Turkey

7) How Long Can I Stay?

U.S. Citizens now acquire an e-visa by way of an online software. Travelers can keep as much as 90 days inside a 180-day interval after paying the $50 e-visa price. The software ought to be submitted a minimum of 48 hours previous to arriving in Turkey. Visitors who want to keep longer than 90 days might want to apply for a residency visa.

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