*daily rates in Istanbul based on a 1 day rental (24hr period) and for guidance purposes only.
*average daily rates based on 7 day rental, search for todays best prices.
Istanbul Mini Guide
Istanbul is an incredibly glamorous ancient city which sits on either side of the Bosphorus Strait across the Mamara Sea and the Black Sea. The huge city of Istanbul has around 15 million inhabitants and is one of the largest in Europe. If you are visiting Istanbul on holiday you may want to think about doing one of the walking tours in order to get yourself oriented.
Arriving you will land at Ataturk Airport which is to the west of the city centre.
The main gateways to Istanbul are the bridges across the Bosphorus, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and the Bosphorus Bridge, and these operate on a toll system.
Having a car will save you having to haggle over the price of a taxi or worry about getting ripped off. Be prepared for some rough traffic and avoid the city centre or park up and walk or use public transport.
Istanbul is divided up into many different districts. Among them are New Istanbul which is the main business sector, the old city of Constantinople which is known as Sultanahmet and has most of the historical landmarks, and the Asian side of Istanbul at the eastern coasts of the Bosphorus and Mamara. In terms of sights to see you must go to the Galata district as this is where the Galata Whirling Dervish and Galata Tower are located. Galata also has some of Istanbul’s best nightlife.
There are some incredible mosques in Istanbul which must be seen such as the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) and the gigantic Hagia Sofia.
For a cultural experience you should try one of the Narghile houses where you can smoke a Turkish water pipe and there are a number of scenic places to try this in.
You may also enjoy using the Hamams in Istanbul which are an unforgettable experience. In these cleansing baths you get a full treatment which is both stress relieving and good for you. The most well known hamam is the Suleymaniye Bath which was built by a famous architect and is the only family friendly hamam in Istanbul as both men and women are allowed in.
To buy goodies, gifts and souvenirs head to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. With more than 4,000 shops you are unlikely to be disappointed. There are too many restaurants to mention in Istanbul but this is definitely one place where you can eat good food on a budget.
- The first of a series of big name concerts kicks off on the 7th June when Madonna plays two nights at the Turk Telekom Arena. She will be followed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Megadeth and Lenny Kravitz.
- The long awaited Istanbul New Airport is set to open in just a few months, tests are well under way and the airport is looking forward to receiving it's first commercial flights which will be switched directly from the outgoing Ataturk Airport.