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 historical historical past whereas shifting 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 provide one thing for each kind of vacationer.

The colorful city of Istanbul

But earlier than setting off to Istanbul, there are some things you want to remember. In this submit, we’ll cowl all the pieces it is advisable 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 protected 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 it is advisable know earlier than visiting Istanbul:


Did you already know… Istanbul is the one pan-continental metropolis on this 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 good 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 trade 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 worth: One night time at a 3-star lodge usually prices lower than $100/night time, whereas a room at a 4-star lodge averages $150.
  • Luxury 5-star lodges: Luxury 5-star lodges common $200 an evening, though there are costlier choices, just like the Four Seasons Sultanahmet the place room costs begin at $1000 per night time in the course of the summer time.
  • If you’re on a price range: Istanbul has loads of hostels to select from. While there are cheaper choices obtainable, a mattress at a well-rated hostel in a very good space will value round $20-$30/night time, and round $50 for a personal room.

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A rooftop terrace in Istanbul


Visitors to Istanbul will discover all the pieces below the solar with regards 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 a reasonable 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 journey or $0.52 if utilizing an Istanbulkart good card.
  • Taxis are another choice, though the streets are often congested so that you’ll doubtless be paying to sit down in site visitors. Rates begin at $0.66 plus an extra $0.72 per mile.
  • Uber is offered in Istanbul however is often costlier than taxis. Similar apps corresponding to BiTaksi and iTaksi are cheaper choices.
A tram rolls through a crowded street in Istanbul

2) Culture And Etiquette In Istanbul

Check this record earlier than your journey! Here are among the main Dos and Don’ts in Istanbul.

  • DO gown appropriately: particularly when visiting mosques – you’ll want to take away sneakers, cowl shoulders and knees, and ladies ought to use a shawl to cowl their hair.
  • DON’T go to mosques throughout prayer occasions: Muslims usually pray 5 occasions a day, and the precise occasions are posted exterior every mosque.
  • DO negotiate the value: bargaining for a greater worth 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 just a few 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 in depth grounds, rooms, and artifacts
  • The Blue Mosque – an imposing 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 protected. However, there are nonetheless some issues that vacationers ought to remember to remain protected throughout their go to:

  • Beware of pickpockets: Be particularly vigilant in vacationer areas and on public transportation, as pickpocketing is the most typical crime in opposition to vacationers in Istanbul.
  • Watch out for scammers: If somebody approaches you providing to promote one thing or needs that will help you uninvited, be weary of their intentions.
  • Know what to do in an emergency: Earthquakes and tremors are frequent in Istanbul, so know the correct security protocols and have an emergency plan. Dial 112 for emergency companies.
  • Women bear in mind: Catcalling is frequent on the streets of Istanbul. Avoid strolling alone at night time 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 may also help in well being emergencies in addition to with masking 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 the perfect elements of journey is testing the native delicacies, and Istanbul is a improbable place to strive new meals. Don’t let your self go away with out attempting no less than 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 well-liked 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 stuffed with cheese, meat, or spinach
A cup of tea is poured into a glass in Istanbul


  • Tea – you’ll be provided 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 pace testing service, the typical web speeds in Istanbul for January 2023 have 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 receive an e-visa through an online utility. Travelers can keep as much as 90 days inside a 180-day interval after paying the $50 e-visa price. The utility needs to be submitted no less than 48 hours previous to arriving in Turkey. Visitors who want to keep longer than 90 days might want to apply for a residency visa.

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

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