Istanbul Tourism: Best of Istanbul
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What is the best way to get there?
The city of Istanbul is served by Istanbul International Airport.
Istanbul is home to two trains stations, Haydarpasa station on the Asian side and Sirkeci station on the European side. Trains from Haydarpasa are destined for cities and towns in Anatolia, while Haydarpasa serves as the gateway to major European destinations.
Do I need a visa?
If you’re visiting Istanbul from overseas, check if you need a visa using the following website.
When is the best time to visit?
The best times to visit Istanbul are between March and May and September and November. April is particularly beautiful because poppies and tulips, which first originated in Turkey, are in full bloom. Average daily temperatures in springtime can be highs of 15 C/59 F and lows of 7 C/45 F and highs around 19 C/66 F and lows around 12 C/55 F in autumn.
The bridge that connects the Asian and European sides of Istanbul is notorious for its traffic jams, making the best way to span the Bosphorus the vapur (ferry). The three main ferry stations on the European side are Besiktas, Kabatas, and Karakoy. Timetables are posted at each terminal.
Istanbul has an underground metro network that spans both sides of the city. It runs from morning until late at night and covers all top attractions. It gets very crowded during the morning and evening rush hours.
For comprehensive train maps, follow this link.
There’s an abundance of taxi cabs in Istanbul, which makes hailing a ride a breeze. For ease, download the BiTaksi app, which sends the nearest taxi your way.
Are there local customs I should know?
- We recommend checking out these popular tours when looking for something to do in Istanbul:
- Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour
- Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on the Asian Side - (Morning or Afternoon)
- Taste of Two Continents: Istanbul Food Tour
- Istanbul Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht
- Cappadocia Dream - 2 Days Cappadocia Travel with Balloon Ride from/to Istanbul
- If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Istanbul between December and February, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between June and August.