So if you are planning to visit Istanbul city this year here are some tips to enjoy your time and spend a happy vacation:
Book a hotel near the touristic areas:
Istanbul city is a very big city but the touristic areas are almost located in the heart of the city and near it, so it would be good if you stay in a hotel that is not very far away from the sites you want to visit. Of course, you can count on the city’s organized public transportation because it connects all the areas with each other but you do not want to spend your tie in busses and trains and you can find a lot of options for booking in the heart of the city you are limited to expensive hotels.
Follow an organized tour trip:
Istanbul city has a lot of sites to be visited and you will definitely get confused from where to start and where to go. Thus, you can count on tourism agencies and join one or two of the trips that they organize because tourism agencies know how to structure a trip according to your time so you can visit the most attractive sites in the city without getting lost or losing time. If you are not a fan of tourism agencies and do not want to get restricted with them, you can open the map and organize your own trip but as an advise, you can start from the famous Grand Bazaar, it will be easier for you to visit the most famous sites this way.
Wake up early:
Most of the museums and historical sites like Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Museum open their doors for visitors early and close it at 7 pm by latest. Thus, it is important to wake up early, have a delicious breakfast then hit the road and enjoy your day in Istanbul. For the night, you can spend your time at one of the restaurants for a delicious dinner or one of the bars in Istiklal Street, Kadikoy, or Arnavutkoy.
Although Istanbul city is famous for the huge number of foreigners who visit it every year, Turkish people do not seem to be fans of foregin languages. You would still find people speaking English but do not expect them to be fluent at it. Thus, it is better if you prepare yourself for some language barriers and problems by using Google Translate or memorise the basic Turkish phrases that you will be using most of the time like:
How much? “Ne kadar”
Thank You. “Teşekkurler” (Teshekkurler)
Hello. ‘’Merhaba”, and other phrases or words that you can check on Google translate before arriving in Turkey. Most importantly, be patient because you might find someone who does not speak english at all.
The food culture in Turkey is so rich, you can find literally hundreds of options to have your lunch or dinner so you are not limited to specific types of food. You can also find Chinese food, Indian food, Arap food, and many other cuisines.
Here is a very important thing: if you are on a diet, forget about it you won’t be able to resist the food in Istanbul.
How to get from and to the airport:
First of all, you need to know that the new Istanbul Airport is far away from the heart of the city and it takes about 80-90 minutes to reach it. Once you get out of the airport you will find a lot of busses that each one of them pass through a different road transferring passengers to anywhere in Istanbul. These busses are extremely comfortable so you will not be annoyed using them, and tickets are cheap alos. The most expensive one cost you around 5 US Dollars. If you are in a hurry, you can take a taxi but it will cost you about 30-35 US Dollars.
In any case, make sure to check out from your hotel early at your last day not to miss your flight and keep in mind that Istanbul Airport is a very busy one, so expect to spend more tie than usual in it.