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I am no king, but I feel as though I know exactly what Sultan Mehmet II meant when he said: (keyword: istanbul travel tips)

Either I will get the best of Istanbul, or Istanbul will get the best of me.

The city is too precious, too mysterious, too beautiful to turn away from. It makes your dreams bigger. The prospect of opportunity more powerful. The allure of failure more real; more exciting. It’s as if it is challenging you. And that challenge overwhelms you. The desire to know more, the desire to become a part of the city, the desire to rule the city. keyword: istanbul travel tips

Istanbul is a large, congested, bustling city. You’ll enjoy your visit much more if you know how to get around before you arrive. keyword: 

Airports & Airport Transport
Istanbul has two airports, the major Atatürk International Airport (IST) near Yeşilyurt 23 km west of the city center, reachable by Metro; and Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) 30 km east of the Asian shore of the Bosphorus.

Taxis, airport buses, and public transport serve both airports, but a private transfer is a more pleasant and still economical way to go for many travelers, especially families. –Tom Broshanan

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SHOPPING

Many shops in Istanbul have similar stock. Walk around a shopping area to compare and contrast before deciding where you want to buy, and who you want to buy from.

Haggling is common! Get the best price by comparing stores’ rates, asking for prices up front (before saying what you’ll pay), and even walking away to prompt a better deal. –More on TripAdvisor


It, that feeling, courses through my body every time I see the silhouette of Istanbul. The rounded mosques rising out of the waters edge, the mist in the backdrop, letting in just the right amount of light in just the right places; as if there were a man meticulously and artfully placing every cloud in the sky. It is like taking in the beauty of a naked woman for the first time. She is revealing everything, but in that revealing she presents you with a world of mystery. She is daring you to come closer. Daring you to discover her secrets, to learn about her past, to become a part of her present and to create her future. Part of you wants to turn away, because it is always easier, but the moment you become enraptured, there is no going back.

Enjoying Istanbul truly requires more than just seeing Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. This big, vibrant city has lots of discovery possibilities, and The Other Tour might just be what you are looking for.

Part of it is discovery. There is a certain joy, I think, that all humans experience when they explore something different and, in so doing, find something new. It doesn’t need to be something new for humanity, just something new for themselves. And Istanbul, upon first glance, holds so much to be discovered. The other day we took the bike out and went deep into the streets behind our apartment. What we found were exclusive neighborhoods, incredible views, pristine parks, pretty girls and hidden alleyways that seemed to be caught in a time capsule. If that alone took nearly 7 hours, I can’t imagine how much of Istanbul I have yet to see. Part of it is mystery. Constantinople. Istanbul. Why? Part of it is history. So many prominent human beings have wanted a piece of it. It has been home to 4 of some of the world’s greatest empires. And part of it is just unexplainable.

For those who want to explore historical Istanbul by day and soak in modern Istanbul by night, I recommend lodging on the other side of the Galata Bridge, in the Beyoğlu and Şişli districts (also known as the “New City”). I’m partial to the Nişantaşı quarter: formerly a hunting ground during the Ottoman Empire, it now boasts narrow streets studded with trendy cafes, boutiques and clubs. –The Best Of Istanbul In 72 Hours

Muhammad never even saw the city, yet he understood it. Constantine got it – that’s why he did his utmost to make it the New Rome. Crusades had great interest in Constantinople, so did many other civilizations and armies throughout the last two millennia.

ORIENTATION

Istanbul is divided in three by the north-south Bosphorus Strait (Istanbul Bogazi), the dividing line between Europe and Asia, the estuary of the Golden Horn (Haliç) bisecting the western part and the Sea of Marmara (Marmara Denizi) forming a boundary to the south. Most sights are concentrated in the old city on the peninsula of Sultanahmet, to the west of the Bosphorus between the Horn and the Sea. Across the Horn to the north are Galata, Beyoğluand Taksim, the heart of modern Istanbul, while Kadıköy is the major district on the comparatively less-visited Anatolian side of the city. The Black Sea forms the northern boundary of Istanbul. –Wiki Travel

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I can’t say it is a feeling that is reciprocated, but I am in love with this city. I was in love with it from the beginning. I was captivated, entranced and enchanted. We invite you to come experience those same feelings for yourself. An Istanbul visit, and in particular with our tour (The Other Tour), will make an impression on your life =)

ISTANBUL KART (CARD)

The İstanbulkart is a prepaid “smart card” that you can swipe to pay for buses, trams, the funiculars and metro, and most ferries. The 6-TL nonrefundable fee for the card may not be worth paying if you’re only in town briefly, but it can save you money if you plan to take public transportation a fair bit. –Fodors


2019 UPDATE

Here is a lovely new video of Istanbul called ‘Beyond’.