Istanbul Travel Guide
Tribes: Who likes this place?
What the scores mean:
These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
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- 98%History Buffs
- 95%Local Culture
- 81%Adventure Travelers
- 79%Art & Design Lovers
- 66%Budget Travelers
- 62%Spiritual Seekers
Member Reviews (562)Write a review
- IstanbulJul 12, 2014
Istanbul is a great place to visit and experience very interesting architecture, beautiful sights, great food and not to forget, the famous spice bazaar.
You can walk through the multiple streets modern and old, and stop for some Turkish coffee or tea. Try to find the time to go on a Bosphorous Tour via a boat.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersFoodies+ 7Jul 09, 2014
Everyone should spend a little time in Istanbul. It's a center of the world in the way that London and New York are. I can't say enough good things about the diversity of experience, quality of food, kindness and hospitality of people in general. Smoke a nargile, get a hamam, eat a bunch of fish, and definitely spend at least a day just wandering and inhaling this city that is full of a ruined and beautiful past but also teeming with a creative present.Recommended for:
- IstanbulCommunity ManagerMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersVegetarian+ 2Jul 12, 2014
One of the images that most sticks in my mind from my time in Istanbul is the sight of a man leading a donkey with a giant TV on its back down a tiny alley. This, for me, captures the essence of the city; while it's not afraid to move forward, it still relishes in all of the traditions, the architecture, the history that make it so unique. That, paired with the location of Istanbul -- on the edge of cultures, religions, continents -- make this truly one of the most interesting cities in the world.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofBudget TravelersBackpackersAdventure TravelersNightlife LoversMay 17, 2014
There are lots of historical places to see and there are many visually stunning views around the city. It'll be good to have a local with you while visiting to be able to see the real Istanbul instead of only the touristic parts.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 4Jun 22, 2014
What an amazing place. The Turkish people are very welcoming hosts, full of life and good food, art and history. A great destination for a week off and a country with so much to explore if you want to extend your trip. I went on a ballon flight to Cappadocia and had an awesome time. Istanbul is a crowded city and if you are looking for a bargain in the bazaar you better know how to negotiate. And if you feel like an explorer and are willing to look in the local markets in the less touristic areas you will find lower prices. Overall 5 stars.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersGreen Travelers+ 5Jul 04, 2014
Now when i am back i really can say that i loved istanbul. It was a new and different place for me. Loads to see. I stayed there for 10 days and want to come back to see everything. I can say i traveled Istanbul, because there are many parts and each of them is different and authentic. I was lucky that i had a personal guide. My friend who lives there, so ai also saw not so touristic but beautiful places, like Sile and black sea beach :)
My favourite i think stays Taksim.
Amazingly cheap city. Food is amazing and the travelling by ship is so nice. Bosforus ofcourse. my friend was going crazy that i don't remember what she tells me, but there s just so much information to absorb and buildings to see that i think my brain had several errors. :D
If u want to have a peaceful Turkish breakfast.. do it alone. Because Turkish people are in a rush all the time. And the traffic is very busy. Its a shame that theres no beach. But everything else is awesome. U ve got to see it!
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersFamily Travelers+ 4May 23, 2014
Istanbul is an incredible and unique city that completely surpassed all expectations. The meeting of religions, cultures and even continents in this city make it a must see, and the food, culture and people will make you want to return.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 2Jun 20, 2014
I don't know where I'd rank it, but it did not take long for Istanbul to make its way into my heart and become one of my favorite cities in the world. The city is amazing. There's so much history, so much culture. The Hagia Sophia is epic. The Underground Cisterns were so cool. The Suleimaniye Mosque was gorgeous. For the shoppers, the Grand Bazaar is a bit disorienting at first, but is a lot of fun. Or you could try your luck with the crazy fast talkers at the Spice Market. We may have left there with several pounds of Turkish tea.
I loved Istanbul and would highly recommend it.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsStudentsAdventure TravelersApr 16, 2014
Istanbul is an absolutely amazing city. With such a complex cultural history and the only city straddling two continents makes Istanbul quite unique. I have never been to such a large metropolitan city where the people are so friendly. Having lived here for 6 months I feel lucky that I get to live here for another 6 months!
A couple tips to help you get around Istanbul:
Tip 1: Do not take taxi's over the bridges. It is incredibly expensive to do so and generally the drivers try and rip you off. Public transit is great and easy to figure out, you can use tokens or a temporary card for everything (including ferries!) ask the people at your hotel/hostel they will help!
Tip 2: There are tuns of restaurants in Istanbul, a good way to know how good they are is how many people are in them. Simple enough! If it is 7pm or later and they are less than 5 people - not a good choice.
Tip 3: Another way to tell how expensive/ good the food is at a restaurant is by checking the beer prices. A 50 ml glass of Efes should be no more than 7 lira. If it is over 10 lira, rip off!
Tip 4: Most restaurants include the tip in the bill and unless you are at a VERY nice restaurant there is generally no need to tip again. If the waiters ask you for a tip, double check the bill to see if they included tip already.
Tip 5: Always take a taxi that has a number on the side, usually this is paired with a sign and the name of a neighborhood.
Tip 6: Public transit cars, waiting rooms or mosque courtyards (generally) are like elevators in the United States. Everyone is always quiet. To be culturally polite it's good to keep your conversations to a whisper in these places. Bus drivers will stop the vehicle if you are being too loud.
Tip 7: There is a bus service to and from both Ataturk and Sabiha Gökçen airport called Havas. It's 10 lira flat for both airports no matter where you are in Istanbul. MUCH cheaper than a cab. The main pick up place is in Taksim.
Happy Travels!Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6Oct 26, 2013
Istanbul has a permanent hold on my imagination. No place is at once more beautiful and dingy, frantic and laid back, romantic and mind-numbingly frustrating.
I lived in Istanbul for three years, which were three of the most intense years of my life. I got to see all of the major attractions and most of the minor ones. I was able to delve into Turkish culture, learn Turkish history and earn a living in the meanwhile. I owe Istanbul my travel writing career and I shall never forget that debt.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureBusiness TravelersFoodies+ 3Oct 25, 2013
I never imagined I could love a city as much as I love Istanbul.
It has everything, historical sights,great food and the people are so warm and friendly.
It is easy to get around and relatively inexpensive.
There is an abundance of hotels or hostels if you are on a budget so there really is something for everyone!Recommended for:
- IstanbulJul 24, 2014
What a gorgeous city. All the silly cliches are true--ancient meets modern, East meets West, etc etc. But it's somehow so much more than all that--great street fashion, wonderful food, a cool art scene, and plenty of excuses to ride ferries all day and contemplate the view.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 4Jun 20, 2014
Istanbul is an amazing city - a delight for the senses - full of color and movement and sounds and tastes that can keep you engaged for a very long time. I love the Old City - Sultanahmet, but highly recommend getting out of this area some of the time, as it is a hard-core tourist zone. Whether this is your final desination or a stop-over, make sure to plan for plenty of time in Istanbul - to see the numerous attractions, but also to just take it easy, sit in cafes, sample baklava, roam the bazaars, cruise the Bosphorus, and so much more!Recommended for:
- IstanbulCommunity ManagerAmbassadorMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 4Jul 25, 2014
The only city where Europe meets Asia, it is certainly not hard to comprehend why the once historical imposing Constantinople has become one of the most vibrant alluring cities of the present day. The Muslim conservative world peacefully coexists with the developing modern world, in what comprises of an enrapturing dual universe of the bustling cosmopolitan universe.Recommended for:
- IstanbulOct 16, 2013
I have yet to visit a city that even comes close to Istanbul. Whether you are looking for History, Culture, Nightlife, Shopping or Restaurants, you simply MUST visit and soon. Although the city is very large, with a population of over 13M, the main visitor attractions are relatively close together and quite simple and easy to get around via the excellent public transportation systems. The people are also some of the friendliest and most helpful you will find in any major world city.Recommended for:
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFamily Travelers+ 3Jun 20, 2014
Before to go to Blue mosque, take pair of socks with you. You will be asked to take off your shoes before enter, and you wont want put your shoes back on with the same socks you walked around. Also take scarf to cover your head, otherwise you will have to use one which will give you on entrance. Otherwise the pace is amazing, so colourful and beautiful inside. In a must to visit, defiantly!
- IstanbulMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 5Jun 21, 2013
A gorgeous, ancient and bustling city that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to soak in some history and beautiful views during the day & great food and nightlife at night!
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Aliases: Istambul, Истанбул