The Electronic Visa (e-Visa) Application System works 7/24 and allows visitors wishing to travel to Turkey to fill in the necessary information (identity, passport, travel dates, and pay the visa fee online) to easily obtain their e-Visas.
This is done through the official website and the process takes just a few minutes.
This e-visa is only valid for tourism or commerce purposes. For work and study purposes, visas are given by Turkish Embassies or Consulates.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers lower fees than when obtaining a visa upon arrival at the Turkish airport. The price of the visa is according to each country.
Note that the travel document/passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your arrival to Turkey.
In accordance with “European Agreement on Regulations governing the Movement of Persons between Member States of the Council of Europe”,countries whose citizens are allowed to enter Turkey with their national ID’s are:
Countries whose citizens are allowed to enter Turkey with their expired passports
Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, with a population of 15 million is segregated into 39 different districts of which 14 are on the Asian side and 25 on the European side of the Bosphorus.
Places to stay in Istanbul rage between budget-friendly to ultra-posh and expensive accommodation and the issue is to find the best area according to your tastes, interests, and budget.
The cultural and historical heart of Istanbul is one of the most popular tourist attractions. It is an ideal place to stay in Istanbul for first-time tourists.
This area is the center of a number of iconic sights such as the Hagia Sophia,
Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome. Sultanahmet is also encompassed by various straights and seas to the south, east, and north. There are so many things to do in Sultanahmet.
Travelers can dine in fantastic Turkish and Greek cuisine in the 120-year-old Pandeli then wander through the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum While budget accommodations are rare, there are a number of mid-range priced choices and options.
Going east from Sultanahmet one will arrive in the Eminonu area, where the greatest attraction is the Grand Bazaar.
The Grand Bazaar, being the best choice for a budget-minded stay in Istanbul, contains thousands of shops and vendors, religious sites, and mosques. The Grand Bazaar actually contains two markets— the Grand and the Spice Bazaar. The most interesting part is that it is surrounded by some fantastic cultural, historical, and religious sites. Eminonu Square lies within easy walking distance of the best tourist attractions: the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
You can also take a ferry boat to cruise the Bosphorus and enjoy the charming view of the city. Families usually find Eminonu as the best choice to stay in the city.
Beyazit and Laleli are located on the European side of Istanbul in the district of Fatih.
It offers affordable accommodation close to the main tourist attractions.
This area is mostly dominated by the Beyazıt Mosque as well as the glorious entrance to Istanbul University, two impressive architectural monuments in a neighborhood that dates back 1,700 years.
Beyazit/Laleli contains affordable accommodation close to the main tourist attractions.
As of 2012, Karaköy, which contains over 10 million people, has evolved into a nightlife hot spot. It lies on the waterside and used to be among the most crucial ports of Istanbul.
Karaköy area offers many unique shops, trendy restaurants, chic hotels, and a wide range of vendors in a stylish neighborhood. The location is perfect to take in incredible views of surrounding Istanbul. It does not make for budget-friendly accommodation though. There are a number of activities to do and things to see in Karakoy.
SALT is a one-time Ottoman bank constructed of marble and with a stunning glass ceiling.
There is an art gallery, a library, museum, cafe, and shop within that allows visitors to easily spend an afternoon in the magnificent structure. After this endeavor, travelers can partake of a rejuvenating bath in the Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam. This luxury bath dates back to the 1500s, still works, and features a unique minimalistic interior.
Travelers can also enjoy Viennese coffee in Karabatak, the best-loved cafe in the area.
You can walk across the Galata Bridge to Sultanahmet to enjoy breathtaking views of Istanbul. Two mosques worth seeing in Karaköy are the Yeralti Camii underground mosque and the beautifully decorated Nusretiye Mosque that lies on the border with Beyoğlu. Following a hard day of sightseeing, classic Turkish Tavern Ma’Na beckons do the incredibly popular home-cooking restaurant Karaköy Lokantasi.
In short, where to stay in Istanbul:
• for luxury: Taksim and Beşiktaş
• for families: Grand Bazaar
• for budget travelers: Karaköy
• for shopping: Grand Bazaar
Turkish cuisine is very diverse, so while visiting Istanbul forget about all international fast-food chains and enjoy the real taste of Turkish cuisine. Most delicious traditional Turkish food can be eaten by the street side at affordable prices.
Most common of all is
Some of the best-rated restaurant tours include:
For visitors on a budget, some decisions must be taken in order to abide by that budget. Turkey is no longer a cheap destination but luckily there are a number of ways to save money.
First step before visiting Turkey is to plan your flight in advance, avoid high season times which is from July to September, many hotels raise their prices during these months.
Also, using booking search engines to compare rates is a good idea, and search different websites for hotel discounts and promotions.
Check out the 1,000+ hosts Istanbul has on Couchsurfing (which would be free!). Or, check out Roomorama or AirBnB.
Stay away from touristic areas where restaurants are specifically there to cater to foreigners and instead dine at Turkish lokantas, where Turks usually go.
These restaurants serve cheap and traditional Turkish food. These restaurants offer dishes like soup, pide, shish kebab, omelets and salad.
Riding a local taxi can be quite expensive especially when planning to visit a number of areas. Buying an Akbil or Istanbulkart will save you tons on public transport, both afford the traveler huge discounts on bus, tram, and ferry.
One of the most unique aspects of Istanbul is its division by the Bosphorus, and a highlight of sightseeing in Istanbul is seeing the city from the water. There are tons of options for Bosphorus cruises, ranging in price from 10 tl to hundreds of dollars, depending on the degree of luxury the company provides.
Instead of doing a run-of-the-mill Bosphorus cruise, you could take the regular ferry for only the cost of a bus ride! And explore a new neighborhood while you’re at it!
There are two options for moving from Istanbul International Airport to the city center, you can choose between the Havaist buses and the IETT public buses.
Havaist buses travel to most touristic areas, provide high-quality and comfortable transfer services, it is always on time and equipped with TV screens, Wi-Fi and USB charging points.
You can pay using a credit card or via Havaist app, you can also use the Istanbulkart. While IETT buses travel to less touristic areas, more crowded and stop a lot during the trip.
You can use “google maps” or “mobiett” app to know the timings and locations of these buses.
In order to ride the IETT bus, you have to use the istanbulkart which can be refilled from specific refilling points.
Havaist shuttle buses cost from 16 tl-30 tl, while a one-way IETT ticket from Istanbul airport to the city center is about 5 tl.
IETT bus tickets may cost less than Havaist, but the trip can take much more time as these buses do many stops along the way.
The Bus Station is located on the -2 floor of the Istanbul Airport Terminal. The station is easily accessible by elevators and escalators both from the departures and from the arrivals level. Plenty of helpful signage all over the airport will guide you to the designated bus area.
Some of the best-rated Transfer services in Istanbul:
If you were approached by a good-looking man who usually is fluent in English, calling you “my friend”, be careful he is probably NOT your friend.
After some compliments or questions and a chat about life and travels, you will be asked to go for a drink in a bar. Upon entry, you will immediately be given a round of drinks for you and your newly found female company.
When you wish to leave, you will be hit with a huge bill that can be hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you refuse to pay, you will be kindly met by some very large and threatening men also working in the bar. You may even be escorted to the nearest ATM to ensure your payment.
Shopping in local currency is a great deal for tourists because the Turkish lira has recently seen drastic changes. When shopping in some local shops, you will be met by friendly salesperson who assures that their products are authentic and the best in town.
When swiping your credit card you will be charged in euros and not Turkish Lira. Suddenly, that product won’t seem like a great deal anymore.
Shoe shiners are usually present in tourist destinations in Istanbul, including Taksim, Sultanahmet, Grand Bazaar, and Galata Bridge. They have a couple of sneaky tactics they use to attract their customers in for a shoeshine, then overcharge you afterward.
One way is to drop their brush in front of you and when you hand it back to them, they will offer a shoeshine as gratitude, and of course, you would think it is a free service. After you finish, they will ask for a big amount than what usual.
Extending the Ride is a common trick pulled on tourists in most big cities. As a tourist, you probably do not know your way around the city, the direction you’re supposed to go, or how much it should cost.
The best solution is to get a taxi through one of the local apps like “itaksi” and “bitaksi” where you can see both the route and the cost in advance.
A taxi driver will swap out the money you have given him to a lower one. So, if your taxi costs 25 TL and you hand him a 50 TL, he will quickly swap the 50 TL for a 5 TL while you are not looking.
He then shows you the 5 TL and waits for you to hand him the remaining 20 TL.
In restaurants, tourists may be charged for things they have not specifically order. For example, while waiting for the food the waiter may bring out some bread, other small appetizers, and pour everyone some water.
As a tourist, you may think that this is complimentary, but you will find these items added to your bill at an unreasonable price. Sometimes, tourists are given an expensive price list, then one that is offered for locals. The solution is to try the local restaurants where Turks dine for a cheaper price.
Istanbul has six Tourist Information Offices (Turist Danışma Ofisi), which are all located on the European side. You can take some brochures talking about the tourist areas in both Istanbul and Turkey.
But they are ready to answer whatever tourist-related questions you have.
If you face any problem while you are in Istanbul, you can always contact the tourism police:
|Phone :||+90 212 527 45 03|
|WhatsApp :||+90 505 187 66 14|