Quick City Guide | Istanbul, Turkey

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The basics

Entry Requirements: Valid passport, Visa (No longer able to get one upon arrival. Be sure to apply before your trip!). The price of the Visa varies from country to country; make sure you check what the rate is for your country. Visa cost for Canadians – $60
Security: Turkey is generally quite safe; however since it does boarder Syria you have to be sure to exercise a great deal of caution. Petty crime such as pickpocketing or purse snatching can be common. Avoid carrying more cash than you need, do not flaunt expensive personal belongings, and make sure all government documentation is secure at all times. It is illegal in Turkey to photograph military or public installations – cameras can be confiscated. Homosexuality (although it is legal) is not widely accepted.
Currency: Turkish lira. U.S dollars, euros, major credit cards are widely accepted.
Phone Calls: 155 Police Emergency Number. There are 2 city codes; 212 on the European side, 216 on the Asian Side. You must dial 0 before the area code; international calls require 00.
When To Go: July/August is when it is the busiest time to go. During those months they also experience a high heat wave (45C+). April – May are balmy months which may get occasional rain storms. September – November is mild and quite sunny. Winters are generally full of rain or snow.
Time: +7 hrs (EST)

Don’t miss!

Grand Bazaar – One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. It covers 61 streets with over 3,000 shops.

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Galata Bridge –  The bridge spans the Golden Horn (waterway)

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque (The Blue Mosque) – Historical mosque built from 1609-1616.

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Emirgan Park – One of the largest public parks in all of Istanbul

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Nişantaşı – Considered one of the city’s most exclusive neighbourhoods. It consists of cafes, restaurants, pubs, nightlight and brand name stores.

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Galata Tower – Medieval stone tower; one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. It is a high cone-capped cylinder which dominates the skyline. At the time it was built, it was the city’s tallest structure.

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Chora Church (Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora) – Considered to be on the most beautiful explames of a Byzantine church. The interior of the building is completely covered in mosaics.

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