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What You Should Know More About Istanbul

  • Q. Travel advice

    ·         If you are visiting a holy temple or any other religious place that does not approve of the short dresses, it is better to avoid the same.

    ·         Be wary of the touts.

    ·         Do not get involved in any type of fights with the locals.

    ·         Make sure you learn some words from the local language. This will help you interact with the locals. It also gives the locals a feeling that you have taken some measure to learn about their culture and tradition.

    ·         Do not flaunt your valuables or cash in the public places.

    ·         If you rent a vehicle, make sure you adhere to the requisite traffic rules.

    ·         Always carry at least one identity proof with you.

    ·         Make sure you have kept your passport safely all round the trip. To be on the safer side, you can also make photocopies of the same. 

    ·         Do not let anyone deceive you. It is a good idea to learn about the destination you are traveling to before actually going there.

    ·         Always book pre paid taxis. In case you aren’t able to get prepaid taxis make sure you negotiate the fare before booking the vehicle.

    ·         Do not photograph in the area where it is prohibited.


  • Q. Drinking Law

    The legal age for drinking in Istanbul is 18 years. 

  • Q. Our Recommendations: What you can't afford to miss?

    Galata Tower

    The Galata Tower is one of the top tourist places to visit in Istanbul. This 67 meters (219 feet) high tower dominates the skyline offering splendid views of the old city. The medieval stone tower, as famous as the Tower of Christ, used to be the tallest building in Istanbul when it was constructed in 1348. This tower has been transformed over the centuries and was also utilized as an observation tower to locate fires in the area. The upper reaches of the structure house a café, nightclub and even a restaurant. There is an elevator in the nine-story building which can be accessed for observing the stunning sights present nearby.

    Istanbul Archaeological Museum

    The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is one of the popular tourist resorts which is known for its rich possessions. It is also renowned as an important museum in Turkey which is basically a merger of three separate museums namely- the Archaeological Museum, the Tiled Kiosk Museum and the Ancient Orient Museum. You will be amazed to know that, the three museums together possess a total of more than 1 million objects. This cultural site was built in 1891 and was also regarded as the first Turkish museum. Tourists visit this destination for examining the various precious artifacts, which includes the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great.

    Chora Church

    The Chora Church is not located in the prime tourist paths but is indeed a wonderful architectural marvel which should be visited if you are in the city.  The alluring Byzantine art is quite admirable and is rare to site anywhere else in Istanbul. Chora Church is a special sightseeing spot which is filled with mosaics and frescoes portraying the life of Jesus and Mother Mary. During the days of Constantine, the church used to be a monastery, and a few centuries later, it was transformed into a mosque. After 1948, the structure was at last converted into a museum.

    Dolmabahce Palace

    The Dolmabahce Palace is a majestic landmark which appears like a dreamy structure based in reality. This palace stands in comparison to the Palace of Versailles, which itself describes the beauty of the structure. The Dolmabahce Palace was built in the 19th century with the involvement of 14 tons of gold leaf. It is Turkey’s most decorated palaces offering evident traces of the traditional Ottoman architecture merged with European styles such as Baroque, Neoclassical and Rococo. The palace has been the home to six sultans between the year span of 1856 to 1924. Tourists visit this landmark for examining the world’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier, which was gifted by Queen Victoria. Do not forgot to mark this destination in your places to see list.

    Suleymaniye Mosque

    Suleymaniye Mosque pulls a lot of visitors all throughout the year. The peacefulness present in this place pumps up a positive sense of spirituality. You can reach the mosque by traveling to the Third Hill of Istanbul. The construction of the mosque was ordered by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in 1550. This exclusive mosque possesses an amusing blend of Islamic and Byzantine architecture. The mosque was majorly damaged during World War I when a fire broke out in the structure. It was restored during the mid-20th century for repairing the extensive defects. The mosque consists of four minarets, which highlights that it was established by a sultan. You should access guided tours to this mosque for learning more about its religious significance.

    Topkapi Palace

    Topkapi Palace is one of the renowned sightseeing attractions in Istanbul which combines a vibrant history and gorgeous scenery at a single location. The Topkapi Palace is surrounded by a stone wall which is five kilometers (3.1 miles) in length. You will be stunned to know that, the wall houses a total of 27 towers. The hillside location of Topkapi overlooking the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn is indeed a unique view that shouldn’t be missed by travelers. The palace was once the royal residence of the sultans from the Ottoman Empire; moreover, it also served as the seat of the Turkish government, but at present is maintained as a museum. Visitors can access a view of the harem’s quarters along with a classic collection of old weapons which were possessed by the sultans. The large porcelain collection preserved in the kitchen is also quite interesting. 

    Blue Mosque

    The Blue Mosque was built in the early 17th century by Sultan Ahmet and at present is known as an active worship spot for the native people. Tourists need to track the visiting hours, as the mosque is closed for observers during the five daily prayer sessions for the Muslims. It is compulsory that the visitors must remove their shoes and for the women, covering the head is quite important. The mosque is one of the famous precious resorts of Turkey which possesses 20,000 ceramic blue tiles arranged in different tulip designs. Moreover, the 200 stained glass windows with intricate effects are one of the prime attractions of the Blue Mosque.

    Hagia Sophia

    The Hagia Sophia used to be regarded as a house of worship that was important to several religions for over many centuries. In the initial days, it was known to be a Greek Eastern Orthodox basilica which was the base to the Patriarch of Constantinople. For a time period of over six decades till the 12th century, the destination was known to be a Roman Catholic Church. However, in 1453, it was transformed into a mosque that was maintained till 1931. In the year 1935, it reopened as a museum and till date houses impressive mosaics depicting different religious scenes. If you are accessing various tours in the city of Istanbul, do not skip visiting Hagia Sophia. 

  • Q. What you will like there?

    Grand Bazaar

    The Grand Bazaar is one of the prominent places in Istanbul designating for shopping. You can reach this region by covering a short mile from Sultanahmet. It is one of the oldest indoor shopping markets famous all around the world. You will be overwhelmed after observing thousands of shops as well as street vendors who offer a wide range of products such as carpets, clothing, artistic goods etc. The surrounding region is rich in terms of restaurants & cafés which offer interesting delicacies.

    Ortakoy & Taksim

    Taksim is the prime area which pulls a majority of partygoers in the city. The nightlife in Taksim is very illuminated which would surely please international tourists. One can also visit the neighborhood of Ortakoy which is known for its narrow streets that hosts several market stalls and shops during the day time. But once the sun goes down, people can hit the crowded restaurants and shimmering bars which are popular in Ortakoy. This nightlife central is visited by Istanbul's wealthiest young crowd.

    Maritime Cuisine

    One can easily satisfy his/her foodgasm when visiting the striking region of Istanbul. Seafood items especially fish delicacies are savored as main course. There are some terrific fish restaurants situated on the European as well as Asian Side of Istanbul. A large tourist crowd can be spotted in the districts of Anadolu Kava??, Beylerbeyi, Üsküdar, Sar?yer, Tarabya and Kuruçe?me in search for interesting maritime cuisine. One can even explore different Turkish desserts such as the Baklava (sweet pastry made of layers of filo with chopped nuts), ekmek kaday?f? (bread qatayef) and ke?kül (almond based milk pudding) at various eating resorts in the city.

    Antiques Bazaar

    If you are into antiques, then do visit Istanbul where you can easily purchase second hand vintage products which aren’t that expensive. Make sure you visit Bomonti Antiques Bazaar where several antique sellers showcase their goods which are quite exclusive and appealing. The variety of goods vary ranging from old records to pilot hats as well as passports to doorknobs. Make sure your stay in this market is only for a shorter duration, since the night time is slightly unsafe. 

  • Q. Recommended reads for destination (govt. websites, travel forum articles)?