Istanbul is located at the edge of Europe where east meets west. Connecting two continents, the city hides layers of history, culture, colors and scents. The architecture, the food, everything in Istanbul tells a story. The city is busy, fast, never stops, but when you need a break from all this fervid life, there is always a lovely garden, a small tea house or a mosque where you can seat, breath and relax. One of the best ways to experience Istanbul is to take your time wandering around the historical sites and museums. Rise early to partake in the renowned Turkish breakfast as well as to ride the ferries. The ferries are not just a way to get from one place to another. You can also rest your feet after a whole day of sightseeing, drink tea, or eat a grilled-cheese sandwich and take in the best views of anywhere in the city.
This airport is one of the most modern and largest airports in the world, situated northwest of the city in the district of Arnavutköy. The airport is the second largest in the world after Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai. The airport was officially opened by the Turkish president Erdogan on 29 October 2018, the national day in Turkey. It replaced Istanbul Atatürk Airport as the primary passenger airport serving Istanbul. Today, the airport can handle 90 million passengers per year. In the future, Istanbul New Airport will be able to handle 200 million passengers per year. The national flag carrier Turkish Airlines is responsible for 80% of the total number of flights at Istanbul Airport.
Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen Airport, opened in 2001, is a modern airport in the Asian part of Istanbul. The distance from Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen Airport to the centre of Istanbul is 50 kilometres. By car, it takes 70 minutes to get to the centre of Istanbul. The airport is home to low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines and consists of one terminal and two runways. At the end of 2019, it will be possible to travel from Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen Airport to Kadiköy by metro M4, with a transfer option to Metrobüs (Ünalan) and Marmaray (from Ayrılık Çeşmesi to Sultanahmet).
Traveloka is a travel search engine that makes it easy for travellers to find the cheapest flights to Istanbul.All you need to do is key in the information in the search box, and the application will recommend the best trip according to your budget. It compares flight prices across some trusted airlines to help you to get the best possible deal. Use Traveloka’s price alert feature to be notified of flights in your desired price range to get the best flight price to Istanbul.
Spring and fall are the best times of year for sightseeing in Istanbul. The weather is pleasant, with comfortable temperatures averaging around 15°C. While spring is high season in Istanbul, crowds don’t reach their peak until late May. In the fall, the number of tourists who arrive begins to dwindle, with the crowds thinning by early October. Many feel that spring is the best time of all, and particularly April, when the entire city is in bloom for the International Tulip Festival held throughout the month. Still, autumn is the time when the city comes alive in a gamut of colors, both somber and bright, while the light rain and glorious sunsets make for an impressionist painting of sorts. When visiting in the spring, summer or fall, the most pleasant time to experience Istanbul’s top sights is early in the morning, soon after opening, or late in the day. Summer is arguably the worst time to visit due to the sweltering heat, massive amounts of people visiting the city, and the lines for attractions and other tourist sites.
1. Aya Sofya – It's said that when the Byzantine Emperor Justinian entered his finished church for the first time in AD 536, he cried out "Glory to God that I have been judged worthy of such a work. Oh, Solomon, I have outdone you!" The Aya Sofya (formerly the Hagia Sophia) was the emperor's swaggering statement to the world of the wealth and technical ability of his empire. Tradition maintained that the area surrounding the emperor's throne within the church was the official center of the world. Through its conversion to a mosque, after the Ottoman armies conquered Constantinople, to its further transformation into a museum in the 20th century, the Aya Sofya has remained one of Istanbul's most cherished landmarks.
2. Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi) – First built by Mehmet the Conqueror in the 15th century, this glorious palace beside the Bosphorus was where the sultans of the Ottoman Empire ruled over their dominions up until the 19th century. The vast complex is a dazzling display of Islamic art, with opulent courtyards lined with intricate hand-painted tile-work. Of the many highlights here, the most popular are the Harem (where the sultan's many concubines and children would spend their days); the Second Court, where you can walk through the vast Palace Kitchens and stand in awe at the dazzling interior of the Imperial Council Chamber; and the Third Court, which contained the sultan's private rooms. The Third Court also displays an impressive collection of relics of the Prophet Muhammad in the Sacred Safekeeping Room and is home to the Imperial Treasury, where you're greeted with a cache of glittering gold objects and precious gems. To fully see Topkapi Palace, you'll need at least half a day.
3. Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) – Sultan Ahmet I's a grand architectural gift to his capital was this beautiful mosque, commonly known as the Blue Mosque today. Built between 1609 and 1616, the mosque gets its nickname from its interior decoration of tens of thousands of Iznik tiles. The entire spatial and color effect of the interior makes the mosque one of the finest achievements of Ottoman architecture. A great sightseeing joy of a trip to Istanbul is wandering amid the gardens sandwiched between the Blue Mosque and the Aya Sofya to experience their dueling domes in twin glory. Come at dusk for extra ambiance, as the call to prayer echoes out from the Blue Mosque's minaret.