Istanbul is one of the few cities in the world that is shared by two continents – Asia and Europe. Having the best of both worlds, Istanbul is where you can see a modern western city, blending perfectly with eastern traditions. Named by the European Union as the 2010 European Capital of Culture, Istanbul is a storehouse of art and architecture of the many empires that ruled this city. Turkish mosques, palaces, museums, monuments, and water fountains tell stories about this grand city. Visitors can take a Bosphorus cruise, catch an opera or a theater performance at the AKM Grand Hall. Istanbul has a colorful nightlife scene; from dance clubs and lively meyhanes (taverns) to casual lounges and rooftop bars. You can go bargain hunting at the Grand Bazaar, relax at the hammam (Turkish bath), or visit the Galata Tower for a 360-degree panoramic view of the city. With so much to offer, Istanbul is definitely one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
Useful Tips for Tourists Traveling to Istanbul
Shopping: Where and What
Most tourists visiting Istanbul purchase carpets, tiles, and ceramics. The city is a shopaholic’s dream come true. It has colorful bazaars, including the world-famous ‘Kapali Carsi,’ or covered Bazaar, located in the old city. With 11 gates, 64 streets, and around 4000 shops, this is one of the must-visit. You can shop for jewelry, clothes, carpets, ceramics, and textiles. For some authentic spices like mint, cinnamon, and thyme, head over to Spice Bazaar. Istanbul also has many modern malls like the Olivium Outlet Center and Viaport.
Eat and Drink
Turkey’s kitchens are among the richest of all, where the flavors of different continents are blended together. In Istanbul, you’ll find a variety of dining experiences, from traditional eateries to international fine-dining restaurants. A favorite among tourists is the breakfast platter with cheese, olives, eggs, and so much more. Other signature dishes include Kokoreç (grilled offal delicacy), Simit (baked dough ring), Tursu (pickles), and more. Have a glass of Serbet (drink infused with herbs, fruits, and flowers) when you need to feel instantly refreshed.
A Few Turkish Words and Phrases
Impress the locals by learning a few Turkish words and phrases.
• Thank You:
• I don’t understand:
• Where can I find a taxi?
Nereden taksi bulabilirim?
• How much does it cost?
Fiyati ne kadar?
• That is too expensive:
Dos and Don’ts
• While visiting mosques, remove your shoes before entering. Women must cover their head with a scarf or shawl.
• In the mosque, there might be people praying, so do not use your phone or talk loudly.
• Though bargaining is a norm at the markets, it will not be entertained in malls, taxis, or restaurants.
• If you’re dining with the locals and they insist on paying, you can offer to pay to be polite. If they refuse, let them pay. It is a part of the Turkish custom that the host pays for the meal.
Emergency contact numbers
• Medical emergency / Ambulance:
• Which airlines offer cheap air tickets to Istanbul?
The airline offering cheap air tickets to Istanbul is Aeroflot.
• What is the time zone used in Istanbul?
The time zone of Istanbul is GMT+3.
• What are the most popular airlines flying from Beijing to Istanbul?
From Beijing to Istanbul, the most popular airlines
are Air China
and Azerbaijan Airlines
• What is the shortest time for a Beijing to Istanbul flight?
The shortest time for a direct Beijing to Istanbul flight is 9 hours and 15 minutes.
• What are the top tourist destinations of Istanbul?
The top tourist destinations of Istanbul are Topkapi Sarayi, Galata Dervish House, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Modern Art Museum, and Dolmabahçe Palace.
• What is the currency of Turkey?
The currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY).
For bookings and information, visit yatra.com and refine your search based on airlines, stopovers, duration, price, and more. Alternatively, you can use the Lowest Fare Finder
option to find cheap air tickets