Frequently Asked Questions
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In our opinion, the best time to visit Istanbul is in the spring, between April and mid-June. Even though April can be rainy, the weather is moderate. The city is not full of tourists and the Judas trees blooming along Bosphorus are beautiful! The weather may be cold at night so we suggest you bring a sweater.
Summer can be very hot and sticky because of the humidity. Don’ t forget to bring a hat and your sunscreen lotion. A light sweater for cool evenings is advisable. The tourist rush usually begins in June.
Autumn, from mid-September to mid-November, is also a good season to visit Istanbul. The weather is mild but the days are shorter. There are less tourists around. After mid-October, the weather gets rainy.
Winter is cold. In January and February there is often snow. Even though the snow does not stay on the ground for weeks, it can be challenging for a traveler, but could also be fun.You will need warm woolen clothing and rain gear.
We would suggest you to check the weather forecast before you come to Istanbul.
Turkish national public holidays are April 23 (National Independence & Children’s Day); May19 (Youth & Sports Day); August 30 (Victory Day); and October 29 (Republic Day) Banks. On these national public holidays offices and businesses are closed. Museums are not closed during national and Islamic holidays. If by chance, one of these days is Friday or Monday, people obviously would benefit from this occasion and go on a short vacation for three days. Transport services may be particularly busy as people travel, so we recommend you reserve your seats in advance.
When it comes to the Islamic holidays, the dates differ each year, as they are based according to the lunar calendar, which is 11 days shorter than the solar (Gregorian) calendar. The two most important Islamic holidays are Kurban Bayrami (the Festival of Sacrifice) and Seker Bayrami (The Festival of Ramazan). Banks, government offices and businesses are closed for four days or longer during these holdiays. Transport services and hotels will be very busy. We highly recommended you book your stay in advance. Even though there are many ATM machines all around Istanbul, you may want stock up prior to the start of the holiday on Turkish lira cash.
Big shopping malls and museums are open during holidays but may be particularly busy. If you visit Turkey during Ramadan, you should be aware of how it may affect your holiday. Some businesses and offices may have shorter working hours. For this reason, you are better off checking times in advance. Restaurants may require reservations for the iftar meal—the time to break the fast— and may serve only elaborate fixed-menu without alcoholic beverages.
Visitors may withdraw money in Turkish Lira as well as Euro and U.S. Dollar with their debit cards from the ATMs in Turkey. The majority of ATMs offer English language or other language options for the convenience of foreigners.
ATMs are everywhere in Istanbul and include those conveniently located Aya Sofya Meydanı in Sultanahmet and all along Istiklal Caddesi Beyoğlu.
the 24- hour döviz bürosu (exchange bureau) in the arrivals hall af Istanbul Airport offers rates comparable to those offered by city bureaux. Other exchange bureaux can be found on Divan Yolu in Sultanahmet, near the Grand Bazaar and around Sirkeci Station in Eminonu.
Visitors may use their credit cards and debit cards for all kinds of purchases. It is advisable, however, to carry some cash with you in case you take trips away from the city center or travel to smaller towns or villages.
Turkish Lira is the local currency of the Republic of Turkey. Visitors can exchange their cash money for Turkish Lira at exchange offices and banks.
Foreigners may drive in Turkey provided that they keep their passport, international driver’s license and the vehicle license with them all the time. Turkey drives on the right side of the road and the advanced highway network allows easy access to different corners of the land.
European two-pin sockets are widely used in Turkey as everywhere in continental Europe.
English is the most spoken foreign language everywhere in Turkey. You should have no problem meeting people who can speak English and help you get around in all the big cities, shopping malls, restaurants and holiday resorts.
Many international GSM operators provide coverage in Turkey in addition to local GSM operators such as Turkcell, Turktelekom and Vodafone. You may ask your GSM operator to activate the international roaming function of your mobile phone before travelling to Turkey or just obtain a new SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card from local operators in Turkey.
If you are in European Istanbul and wish which two call a number in Asian side of Istanbul you must dial 0216 then the number. If you are in Asian istanbul and we should call a number in European Istanbul dial 0212 then the number. Don’t use the area if you are calling a number on the shore.
For international calls pick up and I PC phone cards from one of two booths along Divan Yolu in Sultanahmet or Istiklal Caddesi in Beyoğlu
All of the museums in Turkey are closed on Monday and are open to visitation from 9:00 to 17.00 on the other days.
Pharmacies are open across the country every day from 09.00 – 19.00 except for Sunday. One pharmacy, however, is open 24/7 in each neighborhood by the time the others are closed.
In Turkey, shopping centers are open every day offering a variety of trademarks and services from usually from 10.00 am until 22.00 pm.
In Turkey, banks are in service of their customers from 09.00 to 17.00 on weekdays but are closed on weekends.
There are no mandatory vaccinations before traveling to Turkey.
Turkey offers you the top quality medical treatment for the lowest price. Turkey has the highest number of JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited medical organizations compared to any other European destination. You don’t have to wait in line for the top quality medical treatment you deserve. Moreover, prices are approximately %60 lower.
Although they are expensive, it is probably best to visit one of the private hospitals listed here if you need medical care when in Istanbul. The standard of care at these places is excellent and you will have little trouble finding stuff who speak English. All accept credit card payments and charge around €50 for a consultation.
Alman Hastanesi :
☎️ 0212-293 2150
📍 Sıraselviler Caddesi 119, TAKSİM
🕑24 hr emergency department
A few hundred metres south of Taksim Sq on the left-hand side, this hospital has eye and dental clinics and German administration.
Amerikan Hastanesi :
☎️ 0212-311 2000
📍 Güzelbahçe sokak 20, NİŞANTAŞI
🕑24 hr emergency department
About 2km northeast of Taksim Sq, this hospital has US administration and dental clinic
Metropolitan Florence Nightingale Hastanesi :
☎️ 0212-288 3400
📍 Cemil Aslan Guder sokak 8, GAYRETTEPE
🕑24 hr emergency department
This modern facility has a well-respected paediatric department
Price disparities are huge. You save considerable amounts by getting treated in Turkey. Almost all of the medical and surgical procedures cost much less than other European and American destinations. On top of these the favorable exchange rates make medical tourism immensely favorable for tourists.
A free average quality sheet map of Istanbul, in a number of different languages, is available from tourist information offices and it is as good as any sheet map on the sale locally.
Clean laundry costs around €2.50 per kilo for washing; add €0.55 per kilo for drying. Good laundrettes are few and far between too.
The monthly English edition of “Time Out Istanbul” (€2.80) has a large listings section and is the best source for details about upcoming events -you can pick it up at newspaper boots in Sultanahmet.
The glossy Cornucopia magazine features many İstanbul -specific articles, including excellent restaurant and exhibition reviews. İt is published three times per year (€11). İt is impossible to find in Sultanahmet but you can buy it in the book shops along Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoğlu.
İstanbul Central PTT (post office) is a couple of South West of Sirkeci Train Station. You can make phone calls, buy stamps and send and receive faxes twenty-four hours a day. Old post-restante male shoots be sent here.
dairy silicone when he ends PTT boot outside Ayasofya on Ayasofya Meydanı in Sultanahmet and PTT branches in the basement of the law courts on Imran Öktem Caddesi in Sultanahmet; off Istiklal caddesi at Galatasaray sq; near the Galata Bridge in Karaköy; and in the southwestern corner of the Grand Bazaar.
You can send car sales at the central post office, or parcels less than 2 kilos at other PTT branches (but not the boots in Sultanahmet). Ptt’s offer and express post service as well or you could try a carrier such as
☎️ 0212 512 5452;
📍 Yerebatan caddesi 15, Sultanahmet;
🕑 10am-6pm Mon-Sat
- Ataturk Airport Tourist Information (+90 212 6630798)
- Beyazit Tourist Information (+90 212 5224902)
- Karakoy Tourist Information (+90 212 2495776)
- Sirkeci Tourist Information (+90 212 5115888)
- Sultanahmet Tourist Information (+90 212 5181802)
- Taksim Hilton Tourist Information (+90 212 2330595)
Istanbul is no more nor less safe a city than any large metropolis but there are some dangers worth highlighting. Some İstanbullus drive like rally drivers and there is no such thing as right of way for pedestrian despite encouragement from the little green man. As a pedestrian give way to cars and trucks in all situation even if you have to jump out of the way the other main issue is a scam concerning men, bars and women. One of the most popular scams targeted at single men in the nightclub- bar shake-down – it mostly happens in Istanbul. You probably know the scene: you are strolling through Sultanahmet, when you are approached by a dapper young man who starts up a conversation. After your initial hesitation and once you realize he’s not affiliated with a carpet shop, you start chatting away. He’s says he’s off to meet friends for a drink in Beyoglu, as there is nowhere to party in Sultanahmet. Would you like to go along? Woohoo! You go into a bar and are approached by some girls by which time it is way too late to back out. When the bill arrives, lo and behold the girls’ outrageously expensive drinks appear on it. It is no good claiming you have no cash on you- you will be frogmarched to the nearest ATM and ‘ ‘persuaded’ to cough up. If this happens to you make sure you will report it to the tourist police; some travelers have taken the policeman back to the bar and received some or all of their money back.