Istanbul Travel Guide

Istanbul is the only city in the world straddled on two continents, and for centuries it has been a bustling metropolis with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. A blend of three great Empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – Istanbul provides a visible glory of its history entwined with the frantic pace of 21st-century life. Busy traffic-choked streets, chaotic markets, classy shopping hubs and countless cafés.

Blue Mosque in Istanbul Travel Guide

Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Best Time to visit Istanbul

Best time to visit Istanbul is in May and September, when the weather is moderate and sightseeing gets easier. Generally, the weather during the summer is hot and humid, and tourists flock the city.

The season between October and December is cold and wet, but prices are fairly low and the city is not very crowded. It’s very important to know that, during the month of Ramadan, the city gets overcrowded and hotel rates increase.

Accommodation in Istanbul

Istanbul is a great destination for budget traveling. Harbiye, which is close to Nisantasi and Taksim, is the most popular area for budget and backpack travellers.

Moreover the Sultanahmet area, in the old European side, has reasonable priced hotels, including some with breathtaking views. In summer many hostels fill up and offer rooftop beds with the view of the city and are extremely cheap.

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Things to do in Istanbul

The city boasts a vibrant nightlife and art galleries and designer shops found on the northern side of the river in the vibrant Taksim Square and Beyoglu area.

Many of Istanbul’s most important landmarks are UNESCO World Heritage sites, including stunning Ottoman mosques ranged along its slopes, as well as the many surviving Byzantine churches and catacombs, with the grande Hagia Sofia. Make sure you visit TopKapi Palace, the Sultanahmet Mosque, the Hippodrome and stroll around the Grand Bazaar.

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Shopping in Istanbul

Istanbul’s position on an ancient trade route between East and West means, that its inhabitants are merchants and shoppers to their core. Istanbul’s preferred address for high-end labels and old-school couture, Nişantaşı, is where you come when you want fabulous designer buys.

Stylish designer and concept shops are located on Serdar-i Ekrem street. Kanyon’s open-air Guggenheim-esque design, sets it above the typical shopping center. Here you’ll find international favorites like Harvey Nichols, as well as Turkish chains, such as Chakra.

And don’t forget the Grand Bazaar, where you will find jewelry, local arts and crafts, and some of the world’s best leather goods. Istanbul is a shopper’s paradise, one the best shopping destinations in Europe.

Sales in Instanbul

There is no real official sales period for either season. Winter sales start around mid-December or at the beginning of January, and last for approximately 4 weeks. Summer sales basically start when the temperatures tend to rise between the beginning of June to the first week of July and last for a month.

Check also: Top 5 Places to go Shopping in Istanbul

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul travel guide

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Where to eat in Istanbul

Turkish food is among the top cuisines in the world, and the vibrant and diverse environment of the Istanbul’s food scene offers a wide range of culinary options with alternatives from different regions. Istanbul is a Mediterranean Mecca, when it comes to delicious food, thanks to the stream of culinary influence from the Aegean, Anatolian, Mediterraneana and Middle Eastern regions.

The dining options are infinite and you can find something to eat on almost every corner, from fine dining, to street-side vendors serving world-famous kebab wraps, to traditional Turkish meyhane (tavern) and to innovative new restaurants. Fresh seafood coming daily from around the country, is always on the menu, so there is no question of what you should eat in Istanbul.

Locals enjoy their evenings during weekends, eating, drinking and dancing at favourite taverns and restaurants around the city.

Visit some of the Top Restaurants in Istanbul from the list below:

Buhara Ocakbasi Restaurant
Turkish, Grilled

Rainbow Fish & Meat Restaurant
Turkish, Seafood

Istanbul Anatolian Cuisine
Turkish, Seafood

Novas Hagiasophia

Byzantion Bistro & Restaurant
Turkish, International

Ziya Sark Sofrasi
Turkish, Grilled

Lotiz Lounge & Hookah

Kumkapi Kosem Fish Restaurant
Turkish, Seafood

Erhan Restaurant
Turkish, Mediterranean

360 Istanbul
International, Turkish

Terrace at 360 Istanbul Restaurant

360 Istanbul Restaurant

Nightlife in Istanbul

There are variety of great night clubs in Istanbul that offers great entertainment and nightlife in Istanbul with a wonderful dinner at the start of the night and than lively nights with live music, dance shows, concerts, DJs and more.

The majority of the night clubs in Istanbul are situated at the Taksim, Istiklal Street and Galata Tunel line, Beyoglu, Sisli, Besiktas, Ortakoy and Bebek on the European side and Kadikoy, Caddebostan and Bagdat street on the Anatolian side.

Check some of the most popular Nightclubs in Istanbul from the list below:

Jolly Joker
Night Club

Sortie Club
Bar, Night Club

Ruby Club
Bar, Night Club

Bar, Night Club

Babylon Istanbul
Night Club

Xlarge Club
Dance & Night Club

Nardis Jazz Club
Jazz & Blues Club

Masquerade Club
Dance & Night Club

Beat Club
Night Club

Night Club

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