Founded in 600 BC as Byzantium, Istanbul is a city that has witnessed history
many times over. It offers manna and ambrosia to history buffs and culture
hounds, but this city has enough to cater to every heart, qualifying as a
location that must be visited once in a lifetime. Flock to the Hagia Sophia and
the Blue Mosque to be astounded by its glorious architecture, lose yourself in
the massive collection of antiquities at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum and
feel your head spin in the opulent expanse of the Topkapi Palace (home to the
Ottoman Dynasty from 1465 to 1856). More attractions lie in the guise of the
contemporary artistic jewels of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, the frescoes
and mosaics in the Church of St. Savior in Chora (built as a Byzantine Church in
the 11th century) and the exquisite craftsmanship that composes every inch of the
Dolmabahçe Palace (built in the 19th century with both European and Arab
influences and used by the last Ottoman sultans as principal residence and
Useful Tips for Tourists Flying to Istanbul
Where to shop
Merely a mile west of Sultanahamet, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is not merely a
shopper’s paradise, but a legitimate centre of cultural and aesthetic
significance. Be overwhelmed by thousand of shops, each with an overzealous
vendor hawking prices for everything from clothing to art to carpets to jewelry.
More upscale wares can be sourced at the elite stores in one of the city’s
shimmering shopping centres and malls (chief among which are Akmerkez, Istinye
Park, Kanyon, Forum Istanbul, Galleria, Metrocity and City’s in Nisantasi).
Committed shoppers can also browse for designer pieces in the Nisantasi
What to eat
Fill yourself to the neck with Turkey’s wide range of palate pleasers. Find
foodie’s paradise in a plate of Turkish breakfast, Menemen (Turkish omelette),
Meze (cold starters like grilled eggplants with yogurt, grilled eggplant Salad
and fried eggplant with tomato sauce), Kuyu kebabi(lamb kebab roasted on pine
branches), Iskender Kebap and Adana Kebap. Follow them up with manti (a kind of
Turkish ravioli), Künefe (a traditional Arab cheese pastry) and Baklava (dessert
loaded with phyllo dough, nuts and syrup).
A Few Local Phrases
A few common Turkish words and phrases will ensure that you are not completely
lost in Istanbul.
• Hos geldiniz:
Please / walk this way
• Tesekkür ederim:
• Elenize saglik:
Health to your hands (said to the host
after a meal)
• Bana yardim edebilir misiniz?:
Can you help me?
• Tuvalet/ eczane nerede?:
Where is the (bathroom/
• Bakar misiniz?:
Excuse me (to ask for something)
• Bunun fiyati ne kadar?:
How much is this?
Do's and Don'ts
• Be prepared to haggle at street markets.
• Beware of pickpockets at public markets.
• Dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering a mosque. Women must
cover their hair.
• During Ramadan, do not offer anyone food or drink.
Emergency contact numbers
• Medical emergency / Ambulance: 112
• Fire: 110
• Police: 155
• Gendarmerie (military police): 156
• Medical care: 113
Q. Which airlines offer cheap air tickets to Istanbul?
The airline offering cheap air tickets to Istanbul is Lufthansa
Q. What is the time zone used in Istanbul?
The time zone of Istanbul is UTC+03:00.
Q. What are the most popular airlines flying from Toronto to
From Toronto to Istanbul, the most popular international
airlines are Air Canada
, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines
Q. What is the shortest time for a Toronto to Istanbul flight?
The shortest time for a direct Toronto to Istanbul
flight is 9 hours 45 minutes.
Q. What are the top tourist destinations of Istanbul?
Some of the must-visit tourist destinations in Istanbul
are Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Church of St. Savior in Chora,
Dolmabahçe Palace and Taksim Square.
Q. What is the currency of Istanbul?
The currency of London is Turkish lira.
Book cheap air tickets
from Toronto to Istanbul with Yatra and
glimpse into how history was made in one of the oldest standing cities in the
world. Use the web check-in
option to avoid airport queues and get
cracking on packing that luggage.