Modern historical Istanbul
Get the most out of your visit to Istanbul. Take in this modern city that still embraces its history and culture. While on holiday, don't forget to visit the Prince Islands. The islands are car-free and can only be explored by foot or horse-drawn carriage.
Make the most of Istanbul
The best time to travel to Istanbul is between May and October. November through April can be cool, wet and windy. Visit for the 19th May Commemoration of Atatürk, and Youth and Sports Day. Or visit on the 29th of October for Republic Day. The major Muslim festivals are celebrated as well, such as the Festival of Eid and Ramadan (dates vary).
Before You Travel to Istanbul
Visas are required by Indian citizens wishing to visit Turkey. Apply within one month of the planned date of travel. Passports are required to have a validity of at least 6 months and must have one blank page. Plan to haggle at markets (e.g. Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Bazaar) - goods for sale are often overpriced and haggling has a long tradition. Istanbul offers a wide selection of fast-food options, with snacks starting at about 2 TRY and kebabs from 8 TRY. Fish is expensive and beer costs from 6 TRY. Groceries are more expensive than in India. Prices are on average 45 percent higher than in Delhi.
Local Istanbul Information
When looking for transport to the city centre from the airport, go to Aksaray on the Metro M1. The cost is about 4 TRY. The HAVATA shuttle bus goes to Taksim Square, running every 30 minutes. No buses run between 1 am and 4 am. The cost is around 11 TRY. Or take a taxi to Taksim for around 60 TRY. Local accommodations are numerous. One night in a Hostel/Guesthouse costs from roughly 30 TRY. There is a wide selection of accommodations in the following districts: Eminönü, including Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar, and Beyoğlu, including Taksim Square and İstiklâl Caddesi. Istanbul has a good and cheap public transport system, including the bus, minibus, metro, ferry, tram and metrobus. The Istanbulkart is rechargeable and valid for all public transport. Public transport ferries cross the Bosporus. Taxis are more expensive than public transport.