Istanbul is an amazing city at the junction of continents, religions and times. Our site has brought together all the cultural intricacies and tourist tricks that will help you arrange a dream trip to Istanbul.
Istanbul, hotels, guesthouses and hostels are unlimited. And the prices for their accommodation — much cheaper than in Europe. There is also a great alternative to hotels: many local apartments are sold for just € 15-20 a day. If you can preview and book your accommodation, you can find a comfortable apartment in the center of Istanbul with its own kitchen for a ridiculous price. One more budget option — hostels, the prices for which will start from € 7.
The most economical way to travel to Istanbul is by buses and dolmus (taxis). It is best for a tourist to arrive on IstanbulKart immediately upon arrival, a transport card that can be used to travel not only in the above-mentioned modes of transport, but also in the subway, on funiculars, trams and trains (for a detailed list, see here).
The cost of one trip to IstanbulKart will be half cheaper than the full price you pay for a badge or ticket. You can buy it in special kiosks marked I. E. T. T. or in newsstands in the city.
You can use this city service to calculate the route and find out the best way to get to any Istanbul sightseeing.
Although the advice and this is obvious, but we still have to warn: in no case do not take a taxi near the main attractions. Taxi drivers here catch tourists to «cuttings», more precisely «non-living» — after long excursions. It is better to book a car in advance or depart from the tourist center and sneak a taxi there.
Another great opportunity to save on the Istanbul review is to purchase the Museum Pass Istanbul card, which gives you the right to enter most of the museums of the city completely free. It costs 125 lire for 5 days — it really is a significant savings on tickets. View the entire list of attractions and immediately buy a museum map can be found in google.
At the entrance to the mosque, you must necessarily remove the shoes. So if you are not in socks, we recommend taking them with you. Clothes — as modest as possible: shoulders, legs and head (in women) should be closed.
It is forbidden to eat and drink in mosques, as well as to speak loudly, laugh or somehow attract attention.
It is not recommended to disturb believers, especially when they pray: stand next to them or walk in front of them. In mosques, people can not be photographed while praying or washing.
It is impossible to visit the mosque during prayer (prayer), which takes place at noon. It is best to do this in a break between services. For example, in the Blue Mosque hours of visit are 8:30-12:45, 14:00-16:45, 17:45-18:30.
By the way, the mode of operation of all the temples is better to know in advance, it varies depending on the season and each has its own characteristics. For example, the famous Hagia Sophia does not work on Mondays.
Tourists should remember that criticizing or somehow still negatively responding to the identity of the founder of the Turkish Republic of Atatürk — extremely undesirable. This applies to his monuments and other images. For the image of the leader of the person here it is easy to get into jail.
It is also not necessary to start conversations on slippery topics — the situation with the Kurds, the last wave of protests, and sharp religious issues.
Buying anything on the Istanbul bazaars, be sure to bargain. So you not only reduce the price (which is initially heavily inflated), but also pay tribute to local customs. It is important to remember that in no case can not be disrespectful about the product. It’s better to praise and express regret that you can not afford it.
The water in Istanbul is very chlorinated, so we do not recommend drinking it. To get out of this situation, two are: to buy bottled water (it costs about 0.5 liters per pound) or to use fountains with drinking water, which are pretty much in the center of the city, and the water there is clean.
Although Istanbul has a significant system of law enforcement, it is still worth taking elemental caution when meeting the city. Thus, it is better to store valuable things and documents in the hotel’s safe, and at your own time have a copy of the passport (just in case). On walks, be careful: theft, unfortunately, is traditionally thriving here.
A separate item is worth mentioning the shoe cleaners. This is exactly the Istanbul «chip». They usually work around the main tourist routes. The trick is that the cleaner «accidentally» lowers his brushes — of course, in front of the tourists. And, of course, somebody will raise them up once. Here it is absolutely impossible to do this! Not only that, you will be charged a completely unnecessary service, so then also invite for her a huge sum. And be sure: do not delay until you pay.
Another widespread scam in Istanbul: two people are in the form of you, they are represented by the police and asked to search your bag for the purpose of drugs. During such a «search» they are cleverly pulling the purse directly in front of frightened tourists. Remember — never show anyone the contents of their bags on the street. Even if it’s really a policeman, ask for a search in the area.
Also, you should not photograph a turkey in black capes — it is strictly forbidden. You can only drink alcohol in specially designated places (you can find them at the hotel / hostel staff). Otherwise, you risk being fined.
And, of course, always, in all circumstances, show maximum courtesy and respect — it will help to prevent the conflict and definitely places your local inhabitants!