Travel to Istanbul

Where Europe and Asia are bridged together.

Search for flights to Istanbul

About Istanbul

Walking through Istanbul is like a walk through history, where empires glare down from the imposing Byzantine architecture and Ottoman times reach up through the cobblestoned streets. Everything you do has been done by the ancients before you: Whether it’s to take a soak at a local bathhouse or eat balik ekmek at the seaports, history is a living and breathing thing in this metropolis. But while bygone emperors are a part of Turkey's DNA, modern Turks go about shopping and riding trams in Taksim square; seamlessly living between the past and the present, the European and the Asian, all without conflict or contradiction and in harmony.

Things to Do in Istanbul

Istanbul
  • family
  • friends

Taksim Square

Bright red trams travel alongside shoppers up and down the popular streets of Taksim. Big brands as well as Turkish rugs and antiques can be found down these streets. Be ready to brush up on your haggling skills and break out your wallet when making a visit to Taksim.

Things to Do in Istanbul

Istanbul
  • family
  • friends

Dolmabahçe Palace

The largest palace in Istanbul, this palace is so expensive that it actually affected the economy in the late 1800s. Today visitors can admire the chandeliers gifted from Queen Victoria and see the room where Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, lived and died

Things to Do in Istanbul

Istanbul
  • family
  • friends
  • couples

Princes’ Islands

Escape the traffic and the city with a boat ride to the surrounding Princes’ Islands. These nearby islands are quaint little hillside towns where horse-drawn carriages, bicycles or walking are the only way to get around (no cars allowed!). It’s a great escape from the city to explore a little nature.

Things to Do in Istanbul

Istanbul
  • family
  • friends

Sultanahmet Area

All the main attractions are within walking distance from each other in the Sultanahmet district: The Hagia Sofia (a museum that used to be a mosque that used to be a cathedral), the Topkapi Palace, the Blue mosque, and the haseki hurrem sultan hamam bath house. Istanbul has a lot to offer.

Things to Do in Istanbul

Istanbul
  • couples
  • friends

Süleymaniye Hammam

A part of the Süleymaniye mosque complex, this hammam was enjoyed personally by the Ottoman ruler Sultan Suleymaniye and is one of the rare few hamams that allow mixed couples to stay together. After a vigorous scrub and steam, you’re free to relax and wander in the 16th century bathhouse and sip on apple tea.

Restaurants in Istanbul

Mado

Reina Istanbul

Feel like dining with celebrities? then Reina Istanbul is a mediterranean restaurant you don’t want to miss.

Mado

Balıkçı Sabahattin

A seafood dream come true for seafoodies.

Mado

Van Kahvalti Evi

Savor a traditional Turkish breakfast at Van Kahvalti Evi restaurant.

Mado

Mado

Enjoy a mouthwatering collection of mezze and kebabs at Mado restaurant, one of Istanbul’s most popular restaurant chains.

Mado

Konyali Restaurant

After a tour around the grand Topkapi palace, this restaurant is a nice place to get off your feet and drink in the view of the sea

Shopping in Istanbul

Akmerkez

Located in an area favoured by Istanbul's elite, Akmerkez is a four-storey shopping mall that features over 240 luxury shops and dining establishments. The mall was recognised in 1995 as the 'Best Shopping Centre in Europe' by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Akmerkez
Istinye Park

Istinye Park

Featuring a sports club, a leisure club, a fashion district and a 12-screen cinema, the Istinye Park is a hit with locals and tourists alike. The mall also has a glass-roofed indoor section and a seating area inspired by historical Turkish architecture.

Kanyon

Kanyon

Situated in the financial district of Levent, Kanyon is a four-floored shopping mall. With over 150 Turkish and International stores, the mall offers goers the perfect opportunity to shop for the latest fashion trends. The mall also features various restaurants, cafes, a health club, and a cinema.

City’s Nisantasi

City’s Nisantasi

If you have a passion for fashion, we suggest heading to the City’s Nisantasi shopping mall the moment you land in Istanbul. The mall is a favourite amongst shopaholics, and it offers a wide selection of cafes and restaurants.

Forum Istanbul

Forum Istanbul

Whatever it is you're looking for, chances are, it's available at the Forum Istanbul. The mall opened in 2009, and it's now one of the top destinations for family outings and group hangouts. The mall features Turkey's first aquarium, the Turkuazoo, and the first ice museum, the Magic Ice.

tajawal insider tip

When transiting between the Asian and European side, take the small ferries instead of the buses or taxis. And the best local food that is both authentic and affordable can be found at the Ortakoy food market, where potato kumpir and waffles can be bought on the street.

Best time to visit Istanbul

spring

March to May

temperature
11° to 24°C

March to May and October to November are the best times to visit Istanbul if you want to avoid spending a lot of money on plane tickets and hotel accommodations.

Istanbul facts

Languages

Turkish, English, German and Armenian

Currency

Turkish Lira (TRY)

Transportation

Tunnel tram in Taksim, taxis (check for the meter), and metro (get the Istanbulkart metro pass).

Population

14.03 million

Landmark

Hagia Sofia

Airports

Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW)

Airlines flying to Istanbul




Getting the best deals from over 450 airlines.....