Travel to Istanbul

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About Istanbul

Istanbul showers its visitors with an infectious love of life, along with colourful treasures and dazzling architecture around every corner. Visitors can explore its history from Byzantine mosaics to imposing Ottoman buildings and wander through world-class museums. Diverse culinary traditions are to be savored in a cafe culture that welcomes visitors with Istanbul's legendary hospitality. One of Europe's largest cities, Istanbul lies on both sides of the Bosphorus and provides an intriguing cultural bridge between Asia and Europe.

Quick Guide to Istanbul

  • Must Know: The bustling Sultanahmet Square is home to the major attractions of the Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet or Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern and the Topkapi Palace.
  • Must See: A wealth of dining and shopping opportunities can be found on the long pedestrian Istiklal Avenue. For a more tranquil experience, the Asian side of the city is home to the Princes' Islands, a car-free archipelago of pine groves and wooden waterside mansions.
  • Must Do: Every visitor to Istanbul should enjoy the ritual cleansing experience of at least one hammam or Turkish bath.
  • Did You Know: Turkey is, of course, the home of Turkish Delight. The best buys in a surprising choice of flavours are found in specialist shops or local markets.

Important Stations and Airports for this Journey


Travel to Istanbul

When traveling to Istanbul visitors will arrive at one of two international airports, Atatürk or Sabiha Gökçen. Both have regular links provided by taxi, express buses or Metro with some bus services running throughout the night. International trains arrive at Sirkeci or Haydarpasa stations, both with convenient city locations and public transport links. International buses terminate at Esenler Otogar, which is 10 km out of the city and served by shuttle buses and Metro.

Traveling around Istanbul

The huge city of Istanbul has an extensive bus system as well as four Metro lines, trams and ferries. A travel card is available for use on all systems and some services operate throughout the night. Taxis also provide a cheap city alternative while car rentals are available at both airports and train stations. Traffic in the city is usually busy.

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