Istanbul seems sometimes closer and sometimes further away as we explore its countless facets. It could not have been otherwise for a metropolis that has set foot on Europe and another on Asia, on either side of the Bosporus Strait that connects the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. A unique situation that has historically placed the city at the centre of multiple stakes and disputes, alternating between the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire under the patronymic of Byzantium, then the capital of the Ottoman Empire under the name of Constantinople and finally the economic and cultural capital of the Republic of Turkey. An extraordinary story that can be found on almost every street corner, in the reading of his tourist guide of Istanbul, by the grace of monuments of unparalleled beauty symbolized by the Blue Mosque, the Basilica of Saint Sophia or the Topkapi Palace. But Istanbul is not only a museum city, it is also a cosmopolitan and diverse city where each district impregnates you with a unique atmosphere, between zouks, hammam, old town, trendy cafés and shopping temple as on the long avenue Istiklal.

The must-see places in Istanbul

When to go to Istanbul?

The best time to travel to Istanbul is in April/May/June or September/October, when there are fewer tourists and mild temperatures. Be careful, it is very common to see snow fall on the city from the beginning of December, and this until the end of February, sometimes even in early March. If this persists, Istanbul may find itself completely blocked and traffic becomes an impossible mission. The busiest months are July, August, May and September respectively, followed by almost October. Christmas and New Year's Eve weeks are also very popular.

How to go to Istanbul? Our advice & tips

  • Organised trips
  • Going alone
  • Moving around

Several tour operators offer holiday packages. Some include a visit to Istanbul on a full tour of Turkey, others highlight the capital through thematic stays (long weekends or discovering the city in winter for example). Prices may vary depending on the booking period.

Discover our selection of travel agencies for this destination

The price of the flight ticket is very variable and depends on the company borrowed but, above all, on the time required to book. In high season, last minute fares can be very high on some airlines. To obtain attractive fares, remember to buy your tickets ñ well in advance ñ! It should be noted that low-cost flights now serve Istanbul.

Buses and collective taxis (which stop on demand) are the cheapest transport solutions. The entire metropolitan area is covered by metro, tramway and other funicular trains. The two shores of the Bosporus are linked by frequent ferry connections. The acquisition of Istanbulkart reduces travel costs.

Prepare for your trip Istanbul

Transportation
    Accommodations
    • Find a hotel
    • Airbnb rental
    • Holiday rental
    Stays
    • Tailor-made trip
    Services / On site
    • Book a table
    • Activities & visits

    Istanbul travel inspiration

    Pictures Istanbul

    Discover Istanbul

    Practical information
    When to travel?

    The best time to travel to Istanbul is in April/May/June or September/October, when there are fewer tourists and mild...
    Read more about it

    Weather forecast

    In terms of weather, in Istanbul, the climate is temperate with a continental tendency: summers are very hot, winters...
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    Budget

    The national currency is the Turkish lira, although many hotels display their prices in euros. Turkey is a country wh...
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    Formalities

    For citizens of the European Union, no visa is required to travel to Istanbul, a valid identity card or passport is s...
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    Health

    No vaccine is required to go to Turkey. However, make sure that your DTP vaccines (diphtheria, tetanus, polio) are à...
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    How to travel by yourself?

    The price of the flight ticket is very variable and depends on the company borrowed but, above all, on the time requi...
    Read more about it

    How to get organized?

    Several tour operators offer holiday packages. Some include a visit to Istanbul on a full tour of Turkey, others high...
    Read more about it

    Getting around

    Buses and collective taxis (which stop on demand) are the cheapest transport solutions. The entire metropolitan area...
    Read more about it

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