Oriental historic Istanbul
Istanbul, historical city in Turkey, is where East meets West. It's a melting pot of many different peoples with plenty of interesting things to do and see.
Best time of year for Istanbul
The best time to travel to Istanbul is between May and October. November until the end of April can be cool, wet and windy. Why not plan your vacation to Istanbul so you can enjoy the city's many holidays and festivals? On May 19th there's the Commemoration of Ataturk, the Youth and Sports Day, Republic Day is on October 29th while the dates vary for the major Muslim Festivals like the Festival of Eid el Fitr and Ramadan.
Visas and other facts
Indian citizens travelling to Turkey require a visa. It's a good idea to apply within one month of the date of travel. Passports should be valid for at least six months and have one blank page.
When visiting Istanbul's markets like the Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Bazaar, haggle for the price. Goods are often over priced, try haggling, it's traditional and good fun. Istanbul is also a fast food paradise, snacks cost anything from 2 TRY and kebabs from 8 TRY. Fish is quite expensive and beer will cost you around 6 TRY. Groceries are more expensive than in India with prices being generally around 45% higher than in Delhi.
Istanbul hotels and transport
For transport from the airport to the city centre, Metro M1 to Aksaray is approx. 4 TRY. The HAVATA shuttle bus goes to Taksim Square every thirty minutes is slightly pricier. There are no buses between 1am and 4am although at other times, travel tickets are about 11 TRY. A taxi to Taksim will cost you in the region of 60 TRY.
Accommodation: one night in a hostel or guesthouse will set you back around 30 TRY. When it comes to comfortable, affordable accommodation there's a good choice in Eminönü near the Bazaar and Beyoğlu. There is a reliable and cheap public transport system in Istanbul. You can travel by bus, Metro, ferry, minibus, Metrobus or tram. Istanbulkart: rechargeable and valid for all types of public transport in the city. There are also ferries that cross the River Bosphorus. Taxis are a lot more expensive than public transport. The Prince Islands are definitely worth a visit, there are no cars on the islands, only horse drawn carriages.