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City Guide Istanbul, Turkey

Visiting Istanbul

The only city in the world built on two continents, Istanbul is a unique link between east and west, the perfect guarantee that your visit will be a memorable one.

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Istanbul City Reviews

  • 80%

    Anonymous

    Energetic, hectic, fun, but be on your toes

    One of the most energetic, lively, overwhelming cities I've been. Everyone is in the streets at night, and their conversations join with the shouting of store owners and buskers to make for a festive and hectic atmosphere. The Blue Mosque and Haga Sophia are not to be missed. The museums are decent, but not essential. Get over to the Eastern side too, it's subtly different. The food is amazing. The cafés are excellent. Definitely try Nargile, and the chewy turkish ice cream.

    Insider Tip:If you're traveling alone or in a small group, read up on all the scams on obvious outsiders - especially 'free drinks', 'shoe shine', 'carpet seller' and the various techniques of pick pockets. I was approached about a dozen times in the two weeks I was there, and I even barely thwarted a pick pocketing attempt. Also, if you like walking around, consult your host before taking off in random directions. There are some neighborhoods that are just not safe at night.

  • 50%

    Anonymous

    Istanbul was a super cool mix of east and west. I loved the culture and sightseeing and also had a great time partying! Shopping was also super fun, this is where I bought 90% of the souvenirs I bought in my 6 week trip through Europe. A word of caution: the local men are very blatant about staring and cat calling female tourists, my girl companion and I felt very on display and uncomfortable at times. The shopkeepers are super aggressive to both male and female tourists.

  • 100%

    Anonymous

    amazing turkey

    turkey was an amazing country and totally different to how its portrayed by the media. its cheap and so much to see and do. theres such a good mixture of foods and drinks and really good partying locations if you want them.

    Insider Tip:go during ramadan it was an experience like no other a complete culture shock

  • 80%

    Anonymous

    I left my heart in Istanbul.

    Istanbul is an amazing and diverse city, and it is evident the moment you walk around why it is dubbed "where East meets West". Alive with people from all different cultures the streets are bustling with everything from spice vendors to jewellers and leather stores, fish markets and fresh produce. Each different area of Istanbul offering something unique to the others, there is nothing here that will not satisfy any traveller. Istanbul is truly a place to get lost.

    Insider Tip:Getting out of the tourist spot Sultanahmet you will see a drop in prices, and also less haggling form store owners to purchase. It is also much quieter in areas on the Asian side. I would highly recommend catching the ferry over to Kadikoy, and timing the return journey so you can view the Old City (Sultanahmet) at sunset.

  • 50%

    Anonymous

    OMG Istanbul!!!

    Istanbul is something you have to experience at least once in your life. From the moment I stepped off the plane I felt exhilarated, energized, and thrilled at the prospect of all the possibilities that the city offers. But this is more than just the usual wide-eyed traveller's excitement. It's not a feeling that's easy to put in words. There's just something about this almost-forgotten city that should have fallen apart but hasn't, that must be experienced by any world traveller.

    Insider Tip:Don't expect anyone to be able to help you in English. But that's not as frightening as it seems, for the Turks are an incredibly friendly people who will try to help you even though they can't understand you. Also don't let the airport employees spoil your impression of the Turks. They are a particularly unfriendly breed among a population that's extremely welcoming of strangers.

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