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Istanbul, Turkey

Quick Overview

Who is this Trip For?

You want to visit a stunning city that has a vibrant tapestry of culture, history, and modernity.

From the Blue Mosque to the bustling lanes of the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul never ceases to fascinate.

Istanbul is perfect for backpackers, solo travelers, couples, and families who want a 5-7 Day Trip, ideal between April-October.

Suggested Activities

Hagia Sophia is a must-visit for its rich history, having transitioned from a Byzantine cathedral, to an Ottoman mosque, to a museum.

Google Maps Link: (Click Here).

It is one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets, with over 4,000 shops spread across 61 covered streets!

It’s easy to get lost in its labyrinth-like structure, so a good idea is to plan your visit around specific sections you’re interested in, like the carpets, jewelry, or ceramics.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to haggle – it’s part of the bazaar experience, and expected by the sellers!

Google Maps Link: (Click Here).

Traditional Turkish breakfasts are elaborate, with fresh bread, cheese, olives, tomatoes, eggs, jams, and more!

For the best experience, find a lesser visited cafe off of the main tourist areas, and be sure to try some Turkish Tea!

Named for its stunning blue tiles, and still an active place of worship, be sure to dress modestly covering shoulders and knees (women also covering their hair).

If you want less crowds, visit away from prayer times.

Google Maps Link: (Click Here).

For a chance to admire the City’s iconic skyline from the water, book a cruise!

For the most stunning experience, book a cruise that departs at sunset and includes commentary about the sites.

Some cruises even offer dinner and traditional entertainment on board!

This engineering marvel dating back to the Byzantine era (330-1435AD), and is an ancient underground water storage system.

Now lit with dramatic red lighting (see images above), an eerie atmosphere is created that is exciting to explore!

Google Maps Link: (Click Here).

Top Tips

Especially when visiting religious sites, it is a good idea to dress modestly to show respect and avoid attracting unwanted attention.

We love Free Walking tours at Tripfindr!

This is because they are the BEST WAY to Learn about and Explore a city!

Book one and ask your Guide all the Questions you may have, as well as seeing all the Hidden Gems that Istanbul has to offer!

For Solo travellers, these offer a perfect opportunity to make friends!

The city is quite hilly, the streets are often narrow, and many attractions often require a lot of walking, so bring some walking shoes so you can avoid getting blisters.

Make it Unique

To See the stunning skyline from a unique perspective, and have a unique experience, take a hot air balloon ride over Istanbul’s skyline!

For the best experience book one that starts at sunrise!

Neighbourhoods like Balat offer a more real insight into how Istanbul is for the locals, and therefore a more authentic experience!

Filled with cobbled streets, colourful houses, and hip cafes, this is an interesting part of the City that is often overlooked!

Balat Google Maps Link: (Click Here).

This car-free oasis is perfect for a day trip away from the city’s hustle.

Google Maps Link: (Click Here).

How to get There?

Flying: The best way to get to Istanbul is by flying into the Istanbul Airport (IST), which has flights from major International cities

Other: You can take a Train from other parts of Turkey or major European Cities, or you can cross by Car or Bus from neighbouring countries like Greece and Bulgaria.

How to get Around?

Getting around the city is easy with a combination of Walking and Public Transportation.

Buses, Metro, Trams, Taxis, Ubers, Ferries, and Bike Rentals are available.

How to get There?

Flying: The best way to get to Istanbul is by flying into the Istanbul Airport (IST), which has flights from major International cities

Other: You can take a Train from other parts of Turkey or major European Cities, or you can cross by Car or Bus from neighbouring countries like Greece and Bulgaria.

How to get Around?

Getting around the city is easy with a combination of Walking and Public Transportation.

Buses, Metro, Trams, Taxis, Ubers, Ferries, and Bike Rentals are available.

Safety Concerns

Istanbul is Generally Safe for tourists.

As with any tourist destination, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables safe.

Be cautious of common tourist scams, like overcharging and unsolicited guiding services.

Where to Stay?

We recommend to stay in the areas Sultanahmet or Beyoglu for easy access to attractions.

  • Hostels: There are many great options for affordable hostels with shared or private rooms. Hostelworld is an excellent resource for finding and booking beds.
    This is the best value option and ideal for solo travelers. The most highly recommended hostel is the Cheers Hostel, located in Sultanahmet.
  • There are many great Airbnb offerings, and this option may be the best value for families or groups.
  • Hotels are a good option for families, or people looking for maximum comfort.