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Istanbul Travel Guide

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Who Likes This Place?

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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
  • 86%
    Foodies
  • 83%
    Adventure Travelers
  • 78%
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 68%
    Budget Travelers
  • 65%
    Backpackers
  • 60%
    Spiritual Seekers
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  • Istanbul
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 2
    • Green Travelers
    • History Buffs

    Istanbul is a big city full of the best of the ancient and modern worlds. You can visit the old center for gorgeous mosques and the Roman Cistern, or you can go to the Modern Art Museum in the new part of the city. There's lots of moderately priced lodging and great food. Always something to do. I tell friends that's it's the sort of place that you could tumble out of your hotel and see fantastic things and eat great food for days just by using your simple hotel map.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersFoodiesHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • IstanbulPro 2014
    Member of
    Foodies
    Students
    Luxury Travelers
    + 2
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers

    Istanbul, the city of a thousand Mosque, has its charm, wether you'll like it or not. It's nice to visit at least once and experience the era of the Sultans. It is a huge city and the EXTREME traffic jam is a annoying. To me, it was the city of contrasts. form extremely rich neighbourhood to extremely poor; from antiquity to modern building. I loved visiting it once, but nothing pulled me to go again.

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  • Istanbul

    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:Adventure TravelersFamily TravelersFoodiesHistory Buffs
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  • IstanbulPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Foodies
    + 7
    • Wellness
    • Vegetarian
    • Green Travelers
    • Backpackers
    • Spiritual Seekers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers

    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:Local CultureLuxury TravelersSpiritual Seekers
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  • IstanbulCommunity ManagerPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Vegetarian
    + 2
    • History Buffs
    • Art & Design Lovers

    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:BackpackersBudget TravelersHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • Istanbul
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    Nightlife Lovers

    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:Adventure TravelersNightlife LoversFoodiesHistory Buffs
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  • Istanbul
    Member of
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
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    + 4
    • LGBT
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    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:Adventure TravelersFoodiesHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • Istanbul
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    Green Travelers
    + 5
    • Students
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    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!

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  • Istanbul
    Member of
    LGBT
    Luxury Travelers
    History Buffs

    One of the most beautiful cities I have visited in the world. Truly breathtaking!
    The city is so rich with history and beauty!

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersArt & Design LoversHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • IstanbulPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Family Travelers
    + 4
    • Students
    • History Buffs
    • Spiritual Seekers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    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:Art & Design LoversHistory BuffsLocal CultureSpiritual Seekers
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  • Istanbul
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 5
    • Wellness
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Spiritual Seekers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    charming , historical city this city is amust to explore you can visit the religious places ,palaces , restuarants ,old bazars .i love this ciy

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  • IstanbulPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Business Travelers
    + 2
    • Foodies
    • Backpackers

    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:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • Istanbul
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    Students

    Very impressive travel in Istanbul. It costs low and the dishes are very yummy. Travelers must pay attention to the road, the traffic situation is a little bit bad.

    Recommended for:Art & Design LoversFoodiesHistory Buffs
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  • IstanbulPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Students
    Adventure Travelers

    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:Art & Design LoversFoodiesHistory BuffsStudents
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  • IstanbulPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 6
    • Family Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Students
    • Backpackers
    • History Buffs
    • Art & Design Lovers

    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:BackpackersHistory BuffsLocal CultureLuxury Travelers
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  • IstanbulPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Business Travelers
    Foodies
    + 3
    • Luxury Travelers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers

    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:Budget TravelersFoodiesHistory BuffsLuxury Travelers
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  • Istanbul

    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:Art & Design LoversFoodiesHistory BuffsTrendsters
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  • Istanbul
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 4
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • Green Travelers
    • Luxury Travelers

    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:FoodiesHistory BuffsLocal CultureSpiritual Seekers
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  • IstanbulCommunity ManagerAmbassadorPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Foodies
    + 4
    • History Buffs
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers

    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:Art & Design LoversFoodiesHistory BuffsSpiritual Seekers
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  • Istanbul
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Foodies
    History Buffs

    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:Art & Design LoversBudget TravelersHistory BuffsNightlife Lovers
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Description

Historically, Istanbul has acted as the meeting place of eastern and western culture and the sight of countless power struggles throughout history, and today remains as one of the world’s greatest cultural landmarks. Straddling the Bosphorus strait connecting the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea, the city formerly known as Constantinople and Byzantium still stands as the metaphorical bridge between Europe and Asia. Witness the transformation of history in Sultanahmet Square within the Old City district, where two of the world's most impressive buildings -- the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque -- dominate the landscape with their minarets piercing the skyline. The nearby Topkapı Palace exudes the grandeur of its previous residents, the Ottoman sultans. Shop at over 4,000 stalls and through 550 years of history in the Grand Bazaar. Scrub away a year's worth of grit at a hamam, the Turkish bathhouses known for turning out hordes of extremely clean and relaxed patrons. Istanbul's restaurants are legendary, but you hardly need go inside; street food (döner kabobs) is deliciously stationed everywhere. New stylish hotels in the Old City have laid a new layer of hip sophistication to this ... read more
impossibly old city.

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4.5 out of 5
568 members' reviews
177,714 people visited Istanbul

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Aliases: Istambul, Истанбул