The cosmopolitan city of Istanbul in Turkey is a great place to visit. It has fascinating history, culture, breathtaking views, stunning landmarks and lively night life. East meets West is why so many people choose Istanbul as their number one holiday destination.
When to go, tips and attractions
To enjoy the warm climate, the summer months of May to October are the best time to travel. You could plan your break in Istanbul to coincide with holidays and festivals. The 29th of October is Republic Day while the 19th of May commemorates Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day. Travelling to Istanbul out of peak season provides cheaper accommodation and travel options. It's also less crowded which gives you more opportunity to see places of interest like the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace and the Galata Tower.
Useful information before you get there
British Nationals need a visa and passports should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Turkey. There's plenty of online info regarding visas and vaccinations such as hepatitis A, diptheria, typhus and tetanus. Set your watch two hours ahead you're on the right timeline. The cost of living in Istanbul is a little cheaper than London especially for snacks, kebabs and beer. Stay safe in Istanbul, the traffic can be quite busy and unpredictable. When visiting the city's Grand Bazaar and remember to haggle. Goods are often over priced so haggling will help to bring the price down.
Local info, arrival, accommodation and transport
Transport from Istanbul Ataturk Airport is quite cheap and easy to find. The Metro M1 to Aksaray costs around 4 TRY. There's also the HAVATA shuttle bus to Taksim Square which operates around every thirty minutes, cost approximately 11 TRY. It's worth noting that there are no buses between 1-4 am. You can always take a taxi to the city centre but pay no more than 60 TRY. There's a good choice of accommodation in the city's districts of Eminonu nor far from the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar. Beyoglu near Taksim Square and Istiklal Caddesi also has cheap accommodation, one night in a guest house hostel here is about 30 TRY. Istanbul has a good, cheap public transport network system. Travel around the city by bus, minibus, metro or tram. Taxis are a little more expensive than public transport but cheaper than in the UK.