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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the entry requirements for Istanbul?

As well as your passport, depending on where you are coming from, you may need a 90-day visa that you can get at the airport on arrival. You can find out more at: www.evisa.gov.tr/en/

Can I pay with currency other than Turkish lira?

The legal currency in Istanbul is the Turkish lira (TL). However, most establishments, particularly tourist places, accept payment in other currencies, mainly American dollars and euros.

Are exchange bureaux reliable?

It is always best to change money in a bank. However, Istanbul has plenty of exchange bureaux where you can change your money for Turkish currency. Always look for somewhere that doesn’t charge commission.

Should I get vaccinated before travelling to Istanbul?

You can find out about vaccination requirements at the Official Turkish Tourism website: goturkey.com/en/pages/content/2073

Is Istanbul a safe city?

Both the city and its public transport system are safe. However, you should always take the same safety precautions you would take in any other city.

What are the usual business hours?

Shops begin to open from 9 in the morning. The bazaars close around 8pm, while street shops stay open until well into the night. Almost all shops are open every day of the year.

Do I have to bargain when I buy something in a bazaar?

It is often thought that if you don’t haggle, the stall holder will be offended. This isn’t true, but haggling is part of the charm of shopping here. Being of Phoenician descent, the Turks are great negotiators, so even if they drop the price, they’ll still come out on top.

When is the best time to travel?

Istanbul is always a great travel destination, whatever the season. Most tourists arrive in the summer, when they can enjoy high, but still bearable, temperatures. If you travel in winter there’s a chance you’ll find the city covered in snow.

Do I need to wear anything special to visit the holy sites?

Yes, especially if you're a woman traveller. In that case, your head, legs and shoulders should be covered. If you don’t go already prepared, fabrics are provided at the site. Everyone, regardless of gender, must remove their shoes before entering the mosques.

What forms of transport are used in Istanbul?

You can get around the tourist zone by tram, take the funicular to Taksim and Istiklal and once there, use the metro. They are all very cheap, even the taxis, which charge by distance not time.

Top 5 Hotels

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Divan Istanbul Asia Airport Hotel

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Sanli Suite Hotel

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Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Istanbul Tuzla

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Radisson Blu Hotel Istanbul Asia

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Dedeman Bostanci IstanbulHotel & Convention Centre

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