Fly To Istanbul, Turkey

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Istanbul never fails to deliver in terms of tourist attractions which has seen a recent surge in global interest as a premium holiday destination. It has left a lasting impression on of its visitors and rumour has it that the famous Napoleon once said ''If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital''.

The city of Istanbul is a proverbial melting pot that serves up a mix of cultural and historic experiences right on its doorstep. From walking in the footsteps of sultans at the Old City by Topkapi palace, to taking a boat ride along the beautiful ancient Bosphorus.

Istanbul is loved for many reasons but it is the simple things like the mystical streets that are painted orange by the breathe-taking sunsets at noon, to the amazing people, and the great food that make this an enchanted city worth visiting.

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Why visit Istanbul?

  • Let loose in Istanbul's famous Beyoglu district which has a range of fantastic restaurants, bohemian bars, live-music venues and edgy boutiques-you are guaranteed a great night out!
  • Çemberlitaş Hamam, Çemberlitaş is the oldest and one of the many Turkish baths in Istanbul, there is no better way to unwind and relax but the Turkish way!
  • Locals are well-known for their hospitality, they consider every visitor a gift from God, so be prepared to be treated like gold everywhere you go!
Currency:
Turkish Lira ₺
Exchange Rate:
~1 EGP: 0.33 ₺
Time Zone:
UTC+02:00 Istanbul is an hour ahead of Egypt
Dialing Code
00 + 90 + Local Number
Driving:
Drives on the right
Airport:
Istanbul Atatürk Airport
Travel Adaptor:
Type F (voltage-230V: frequency- 50Hz)

To make the most of your visit to Istanbul the times between September and November could be considered a quiet sweet spot. During this time the crowds disappear and the prices for things like accommodation drop.

The peak season in Istanbul falls over the summer months of June - August where temperatures are much warmer.

Communicating in Turkey might will not be too much of a problem with many locals able to speak English and German. However locals do appreciate your attempts to speak Turkish as they know it’s not the easiest language to master. Turkish is naturally the official language and most widely spoken around the entire country.

  • Istanbul is the only city in the world that is both in Europe and Asia geographically.
  • The Grand Bazaar is the largest old covered bazaar in the world.
  • This city has the third oldest subway in the world, it is located in Beyoglu district.

The proud capital of Turkey endures the ages with a rich history having been the capital city of four empires spanning across a number of decades ago.

Making for a vibrant, colourful and rich history that remains making it one of the most interesting places culturally in the world.

Istanbul bridges the gap between Europe and Asia, which means that it basically offers up a hybrid experience drawing from each of its influences. It is a city made up of soaring towers, ancient buildings, colourful bazaars, 25 Byzantine churches, 400 fountains and so many other things that cannot fit into this sentence.

The beauty and position of Istanbul are what attract thousands of visitors each holiday season. When exploring this enchanted place be sure to place the following sights on your list; the Golden Horn which is one of the finest natural harbours in the world, it is a 7km long curving inlet that opens along the beautiful Bosphorus which is the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean that is located near the famous Galata Bridge.

Many sights in Istanbul have a story behind which makes viewing these places much more enjoyable. Sultan Ahmet I's who was the Ottoman Empire created the Blue Mosque between 1609 and 1616 as an architectural gift to his capital which leave many in awe of all the work that must have gone into creating a structure that beautiful.

The Basilica Cistern is one of Istanbul's most surprising tourist attractions which once stored the imperial water supply for the Byzantine emperors.

The natural beauty of and nature found here is definitely unmatched, other famous attractions that are a must include:

  • Topkapi Palace
  • Ayasofa
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Galata Tower
  • Chora Church
  • Maiden's Tower
  • The Süleymaniye Mosque
  • Dolmabahçe Palace
  • İstiklal Avenue
  • The Rüstem Pasha Mosque
  • The TurkuaZoo
  • Gülhane Park
  • Maiden's Tower
  • The Süleymaniye Mosque
  • Dolmabahçe Palace
  • İstiklal Avenue
  • The Rüstem Pasha Mosque
  • The TurkuaZoo
  • Gülhane Park

Turkish cuisine is considered a continuation of the Ottoman cuisine. Most prevalent ingredients in most Turkish dishes include lamb, beef, chicken, eggplants, green peppers, onions, garlic, lentils, beans, tomatoes, and nuts, together with a variation of spices.

Traditionally Turks prefer a rich breakfast which can include a mixture of things like cheese, butter, olives, tomatoes,, eggs, cucumber, jam, honey, and kaymak.

Home-made food is still something that is preferred by Turkish people although there are many restaurants in Istanbul that serve some of the finest food which at times better than home-made food.

Many food lovers would get excited to go to places like the Spice Bazaar, this exotic food market sells a wide range of herbs, nuts, spices dried fruit and vegetables, it is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture and flavours of Istanbul.

Feast like an Ottoman Empire resident at the many restaurants located within the city of Istanbul, they include:

  • Sultana's 1001 Nights Show
  • Fener Restaurant
  • Cipriani
  • Changa
  • Müzedechanga
  • Arch Bistro
  • Sans Restaurant
  • Old House Restaurant and Cafe
  • Han Terrace
  • Nicole
  • Neyzade Restaurant
  • Erhan Restaurant

There are three major religions that are followed in this city which include Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The majority of Turkish locals classify themselves as Muslim.

Istanbul like many modern cities have a sense of jovial, fun-loving an exciting city living however it retains a fairly conservative aspect to it. There are certain restrictions that should be adhered to out of respect for the many religions found in this city.

Visitors are required to dress modestly when in public and especially when visiting religious sights like the mosques around the city. Alcohol in certain areas around Istanbul is restricted, the consumption of alcohol is allowed however becoming inebriated in public is frowned upon.

This is generally a safe city to travel to. It is advised to remain vigilant at all times especially in crowded places that are popular amongst tourists as this is when pick-pocketers target people the most.

Egyptian Passport holders do need a visa to visit Istanbul, or anywhere else in Turkey.
You do need to make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date, and that you have 3 blank pages available for entry stamps.

Contact the embassy of Turkey (Telephone:+20 2 27944850) for more information, in addition to visa applications.

For more info on visa applications click here- http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/apply-turkish-visa-south-african/

The Egyptian embassy in Turkey.

Address: Cevdet Pasa Caddesi, No 12
Bebek
Ankara
Turkey

Phone:(+90) 212 324 2160 / (+90) 212 324 2133
Fax:(+90) 212 324 2204
Email: consulate.istanbul@mfa.gov.eg

Item Cairo Alexandria Istanbul
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant EGP 40 EGP 30 EGP 45.10
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) EGP 11 EGP 10 EGP 24.05
Coke/Pepsi EGP 4 EGP 4 EGP 7.31
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) EGP 2 EGP 5 EGP 6.01
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) EGP 24 EGP 25 EGP 30.06

Source:numbeo.com

Atatürk Airport (code IST) is located on the European side of the Bosphorus (about 18km from the city centre) and is the largest airport in Turkey. It is the hub for national carrier Turkish Airlines. Arriving passengers can choose from a variety of transport options between the airport and the city centre including the metro rail service, buses, taxis and a sea bus.

Food and beverages: The restaurants at the airport include Starbucks, Simit Sarayi, The Greenport, Kokpit, Burger King, C&B and so much more.

Exchange currency: The currency exchange offices that are located within the airport include Akbank T.A.S, Travelex, Türkiye Garanti Bankasi A.S, Türkiye Is Bankasi A.S, and Türkiye Ekonomi Bankası.

Lost luggage: If you lost any item of luggage you should either contact your handling airline or you should head to the information desk for more assistance.

Airport hotel: TAV hotel is located at the airport.

Car hire: The main car hire dealerships at the airport include Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, Avis, Central and Alamo.

Airport hub: Atatürk Airport (code: IST) is a hub for AtlasGlobal, Onur Air, and Turkish Airlines.

  • Atatürk Airport (code: IST) is a hub for AtlasGlobal, Onur Air, and Turkish Airlines.

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The information on this page is correct as of March 2016. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.com.eg takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.


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