Istanbul is truly a different city that offers something very special. It is located right on the border between the continents of Europe and Asia. In addition, the city is strategically located on the Bosphorus, which connects the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Here, west and east meet, different religions, different lifestyles, different food cultures and really everything between heaven and earth. More than 14 million people live in Istanbul and tourists from all over the world visit the city. Due to the currently low price level, the destination has started to sail up as one of the hottest destinations, not least for weekend trips. Read on for tips on how to make the most of your trip to Istanbul.
A city with two sides
According to Iamhigher.com, the western, European side of Istanbul breathes history. In the area you will find Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace and lots of other sights. No visit to the city would be complete without wandering around the old parts. Another tip is the lovely steaming Turkish bath houses. On the other side of the Bosphorus is the Asian side, which is a bit more of everyday Istanbul. Much is newly built, but there is still a great metropolitan pulse even on that side with restaurants, charming cafes and nightclubs.
In Istanbul you can experience all four seasons, even if they have a fairly mild winter by Nordic standards. In winter, the average temperature is usually between 5 ° C and 9 ° C. During the summer it is significantly warmer and you can expect temperatures between 18 ° C and 28 ° C. If you want to increase your chances of warm, sunny weather, the best travel time is in July or August.
Shopping in Istanbul
If you like shopping trips, Istanbul is something of a paradise. You can stroll around everything from very old antique shops to state-of-the-art malls. The area around Taksim is a given choice for those looking for more modern products along long shopping streets, while the old town of Istanbul is somewhat more focused on crafts, souvenirs and old-fashioned marketplaces.
Nightlife, bars and clubs
If you go to Istanbul to party, there are lots of different options. The nightlife on the European side is considered a bit sharper. Many people choose nightclubs according to music style and there is everything from modern styles such as house and techno to jazz, rock or why not try Turkish dance music? In Istanbul you can find suitable party places regardless of taste.
Two airports are located near Istanbul, namely Atatürk International Airport and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. From Ataturk it takes about 30-50 minutes by bus to Istanbul. Should you instead travel from Sabiha Gökçen into the city, you can count on about an hour’s travel time.
When it comes to public transport, Istanbul impresses for several different reasons. Prices are low and there are buses, metro and tram. In addition, there are ferries that easily transport you and your travel companions across the Bosphorus. Traveling by boat is also great for sightseeing.
General travel tips for Istanbul
The Turkish Lira is the official currency. ATMs are scattered a bit throughout the city, but it is often possible to get a better exchange rate before departure or at one of the airports near Istanbul. Note, however, that regular cards such as Visa and Mastercard can be used without problems in the city. Regular opening hours for offices and banks are 09:00 to 17:00. No visa is required for Swedish citizens.