Istanbul is ideal for a short city stay. Discover the magical sites in Old and New Istanbul
The city is also known as the pearl of the East and the jewel of the West as it stands on the divide between two very different cultures, religions, and social views.
Historically and geographically this great city has the weight of a nation behind it and a country that claims one of the seven wonders of the world.
At a glance
|Day 1||Welcome to Istanbul|
|Day 2||Morning Bosphorus Cruise|
|Day 3||Free day in Istanbul for shopping|
|Day 4||Tour services end with transfer to Istanbul Airport|
> Private return transfers between Airport and hotel
> Morning Bosphorus cruise
> Free time in Istanbul for shopping and exploring
Best time to go
The best times to visit Turkey’s archaeological sites and cities are in spring (Apr-May) and autumn (Sep-Oct) as the temperature is warm, but not too hot.
High summer (Jun-Aug) can be hot: best time for beach holidays. Winters can be cold and many hotels though city breaks are still an option. Turkey does offer ski options during the winter months
Turkey food & drink
Turkish food is varied and delicious. It’s often meze style – lots of small dishes to sample, including aubergine dips, calamari, borek (stuffed pastries), mashed broad beans and stuffed vine leaves – plenty of options for vegetarians, too. Local food involves a lot of meat, often in kebab form – the smell of charcoal-grilled beef, lamb and chicken permeates Turkey.
A Turkish menu includes wonderful breads, super-sweet baklava (pistachio and syrup pastry) and salty white cheeses. Despite being a Muslim country, alcohol is easy to find in Turkey, especially in the touristy coastal regions. Efes is the Turkish beer of choice. Raki, grape spirit, is potent.
Turkish coffee is pitch black, very strong and often sweet. Tea is widely drunk and served black
Culture and Language
Turkish is the official language, however, English, French and German are widely spoken in all major cities and tourist areas. Shaking hands is the common form of greetings. Hospitability is a top priority. Pointing fingers at a person a considered rude. Declining an offer is done by putting your hand over your heart. Observe dress code when visiting Islamic sites
Train travel is a very popular mode of transport between the major cities. It may be slow but can sometimes offer you some inspiring scenic moments. Coach travel is the most used way of getting around Turkey. Bus routes are relatively cheap and are most comfortable. Just about any city is connected by coach. On certain upmarket coaches, extra legroom and Wi-Fi is offered. If your journey is more than 5 hrs, a 30-minute stop is made about every three hours. Taking a taxi is by far the most convenient way of travel in major cities, but not always the quickest way. Taxis can easily be hailed on the street. Important: only take the official bright yellow taxis. If they do not have a meter, then it is a no go
The basic rule is: tip 5-10% in restaurants, cafes and bars. Hotel staff does, however, expect a tip between 5 and 20 Turkish Lira. Do not tip taxi drivers but round up the fare. Tour Guides do not depend on tips, however, if a tour has really gone beyond what your expected, a tip of between 20 and 30 Tl will be greatly appreciated
Istanbul - Arrival Day
- Welcome to Turkey Istanbul Airport.
- Meet with our representative at Istanbul Airport for transfer to your hotel & check-in.
- Overnight in Istanbul
- There are two airports in Istanbul.
- Istanbul Ataturk airport is 20 km away from city center and,
- Sabiha Gokcen airport is 55 km away from city center.
- Transfer from Ataturk airport to your hotel is included. If you arrive at Sabiha Gokcen airport please contact us for transfer rates.
Istanbul City Tour (B)
- After breakfast, depart on a Bosphorus Cruise. Enjoy Istanbul's magical array of sites as you float along the waters of the Bosphorus
- Istanbul: your day is at leisure
- Optional tours can be arranged or just indulge in the many tourist options around the city
- Meet and assist on arrival and departure by our local representative
- Transfer as per itinerary in AC vehicle
- Accommodation in selected hotels in double/twin sharing
- Meals: as mentioned
- Local English speaking
- Entrance fees
- International flights – Departure & Fuel taxes (Contact us for best airfares)
- Personal expenses, meals and drinks unless otherwise specified
- Travel insurance
- Turkey Visa fee
- Services not stated in the itinerary
- Rate valid for travel between 15 APR and 15 OCT 2018
- Seasonal supplements may be applicable