How to Get There
Plane: Ataturk Airport is the main hub for visitors. As Istanbul is one of the most visited tourist destinations in all of Europe, expect it to be busy and full of life. There are tons of flights the other destinations across Europe from Istanbul.
Public Transportation: Getting into and around Istanbul can be fairly simple. Not only is the Metro extremely efficient (though it doesn’t run 24/7 so check for the schedule), but also there are cheap trains and buses throughout the city that can take you anywhere you would like through Turkey.
Taxis and Cars: Traffic in Istanbul is absolutely chaotic at times and if you can, avoid taking taxis and renting vehicles during your stay here in Istanbul.
Sultanahmet Square: Though this isn’t a destination, it is more of a street; all of the best mosques are located right in this square. Expect to spend a full day of activities here.
Hamams: This is the infamous ‘Turkish bath’, which must be experienced before you leave here. This is the ultimate spa experience.
Walking Tours: There are far too many sights and landmarks to list in this review but we are going to share the best way to experience is all, by foot. There are tons of free walking tours offered by local visitor guides and hotels. Make use of these free offers and enjoy the city by foot or bike.
Summer: June to September. Pack light because temperatures during the summer are awfully hot soaring above 40 degrees Celsius.
Spring: April to May. A popular time for visitors, temperatures are not too hot but stay between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.
Winter: January to March. There is no real winter weather in Istanbul by any means, temperatures average between 8 and 13 degrees Celsius.
Fall: October to December. Days are warm and evenings get chilly. Pack for warm and cool weather during these months and expect an average temperature around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.
The people of Istanbul live a hectic and chaotic life. There is always busy people in the streets trying to get from point A to point B. Although, it isn’t fair to define all Istanbul people this way as their culture and experiences far outweigh the chaos. Once you realize the beauty behind this chaos, it is quite enjoyable.
Eat and Drink
The home of the doner kebab! When in Istanbul take advantage of the many small food shops and vendors. You can get the cheapest food and drink at local vendors and quite often it is usually the most delicious!
Rest and Relaxation
Low Budget: Hostels start around $20 USD and rise to prices around $60 USD.
Medium Budget: On a medium budget you can get a nice hotel room with an average view of the city. Expect to pay between $100 and $200 USD for these accommodations.
High Budget: Given that Istanbul is a very popular tourist destination, a lot of money has been put into building beautiful hotels that will cost you around $300 USD and up.
When arriving in Istanbul, there are many people who are working hard for their money. Except there to be inflated prices for taxis and support staff.
Check into the visa requirements before arriving, some countries require a tourist visa.
You may have already guessed, but speaking Turkish is very hard to do. The language barrier in Istanbul can often be frustrating. Practice up on your hand gestures and try to learn a few words in case of an emergency.