What is the time zone in Istanbul?
There may be a time zone difference between your location and Istanbul. Istanbul's time zone is GMT +03:00. Current time in Istanbul is 12:47 PM.
What to wear when flying to Istanbul - what's the average monthly temperature in Istanbul?
Weather information taken from Foreca
What is the population of Istanbul?
The total population of Istanbul is 11200000 people.
Istanbul city guide
The city of Byzantium (later known as Constantinople, and today as Istanbul) has existed for a mind-boggling 9,000 years. Throughout that long history, it has been one of the most important cities in the world. Byzantium’s location enabled it to control trade between Europe and the Middle East and Asia, which made it extremely wealthy. Millennia of cross-cultural interaction and travel has given Istanbul a historical and cultural diversity that few cities in the world can match.
Flights to Istanbul can come into one of two airports, depending on which side of the city you are entering. For the western side (nearer to most of the tourist attractions), planes come into Atatürk Airport. This is a very busy airport that offers several options for getting from the airport into the city center. The simplest and cheapest are the buses and the metro line, but taxis are also available for those who want a little more comfort and convenience.
Sabiha Gökçen Airport serves the eastern side of the city, but it is much less common to use this airport. Only very cheap flights to Istanbul and flights that are targeting other cities in Anatolia (eastern Turkey) will use Sabiha Gökçen Airport. There are buses and taxis here as well, but the journey is usually longer.
There are countless ways of getting around Istanbul, including taxis, trams, buses, ferries, the metro system, and of course walking. You can find a method of transportation to suit any preference and budget. Despite the huge size of the city, it’s worth it to do some walking – this ancient city has many layers that cannot be seen from a bus or taxi window.
The most iconic building in Istanbul is the Hagia Sofia, a massive and beautiful domed structure near the city center. Founded as a church during the days of the Roman Empire, it was converted into a mosque by the Ottoman Empire. Today, it houses a museum. The Hagia Sofia is an incredible display of Byzantine, Ottoman, and contemporary Turkish culture.
Near the Hagia Sofia is the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, known locally as the Blue Mosque. Although it is less well-known than the Hagia Sofia, its history is equally rich and it is another stunning example of ancient architecture.
The hamam (Turkish bath or spa) is a popular destination for tourists looking to relax. These ancient baths offer massages and other spa treatments, and there are several of them around the city.
There is a wide variety of food available in Istanbul, reflecting the various cultures and ethnic groups that mix here. There are many different kinds of snacks and small items available on the street, including the simit, a kind of warm Turkish bagel. Whatever you choose to eat, consider doing so outside the main tourist areas. The further you are from tourist attractions, the less likely you are to be overcharged.
Tips for Travelers
There’s one critical thing to remember: Istanbul is enormous. The metro area is one of the largest in the world, and you will never see all of it in one trip. Try to think the districts as several distinct cities, and concentrate your visit on one or two of them.