Istanbul guide for beginners


Istanbul guide for beginners

When we plan a trip, we hope to find as much information as possible about our destination - preferably even as easily as possible. As the information is often fragmented, I have compiled in this post both important general information about Istanbul as well as a variety of tips for your visit. In this post you will also find practical information about everyday life for your trip, for example, tips for the ways to commute in Istanbul. And please remember, I will publish new stories about the oriental wonders of dazzling Istanbul on my blog every month.

For the beginning of your trip, in my post below, you’ll find some basic information about Istanbul and its history, as well as overviews of the city’s atmosphere. In addition, you can compare two cities of seven hills with a distance of about 3,000 kilometers, but surprisingly much in common: my homecountry Finland’s Turku and Turkey’s Istanbul:

Istanbul and Turku – the seven hills cities

Composite photo of Turku and Istanbul made by Photoshop

Although Istanbul is a giant metropolis, it is still a scenic place. Istanbul is surrounded by water on almost every side, which makes it particularly charming. In the north the Black Sea, in the south the Marmara Sea. And in addition, the city is crossed by both the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, which separates two continents, Europe and Asia:

The seascapes of Istanbul – part 2: Asia

The seascapes of Istanbul – part 1: Europe and the Princes´ Islands

Rumeli Hisari, Bosphorus, Istanbul, Euroope

The best things and the best places in the city are not always obviously only the tourist destinations. I suggest that you explore the atmosphere of Istanbul and taste its flavors extensively with an open mind, then you will find endless wonderful wonders:

10 most interesting and best things in Istanbul

Liitovarjot lentävät Marmaranmeren yllä Atatürkin muistopäivänä.

Istanbul’s new international airport ´Istanbul Airport´ (İstanbul Havalimanı) is already the world’s largest airport, with a terminal building under one roof. And it will continue to expand. In this post, I’ll tell you about the airport in a practical way and give you important tips for navigating the airport so you can travel without stress:

Ways to commute – part 1: ´Istanbul Airport´ (İstanbul Havalimanı)

Moving around in a metropolis like Istanbul can raise many questions and concerns, especially since the language in Istanbul is usually Turkish. In this post, I have compiled the most important practical information and tips for smoothly negotiating the many different modes of transport on both continents and on the Bosphorus:

Ways to commute – part 2: public transport in Istanbul

The districts of Istanbul are as different as night and day. Therefore, it is good for you to know what your desires are, and what you want to see and experience on your journey. On the European side you will find traditions, the oldest Istanbul, a lot of history and the main tourist attractions. Also a lot of luxury. On the Asian side, of course, you’ll also find traditional life, but also Istanbul’s vibrant, authentic, artistic and modern way of life – without tourists.

The districts: Different areas of Istanbul

The neighborhood of my heart on the Asian side: Crazy Kadıköy

Istanbul’s street life is fantastically lively, and you can’t really avoid encountering street artists. You can find them, for example, in Moda and Kadıköy on the Asian side and in Taksim and Istiklal Street on the European side. In addition, in the trains and on the ferries:

Do you miss the captivating lively street life of Istanbul?

There are an endless number of piquant and hidden treasures in Istanbul that you are unlikely to come across by chance because the city is so vast. You need to know about them. Here are some charming specialties:

’The Istanbul Butcher’ – friendly, luxurious and good quality

Polonezköy – nature holiday in Istanbul Province

Cezayir Street (Cezayir Sokağı)

Even if you live in Istanbul, it’s not easy to experience the whole city in one lifetime. Here are some places worthwhile visiting which are close to my heart:

Istanbul Cable Car, Pierre Loti Hill & Turku Funicular, Kakolanmäki (Finland)

Beylerbeyi Palace (Beylerbeyi Sarayı) – the summer residence of the sultans

Modern Istanbul – skyscrapers & Istanbul Sapphire

Welcome to be amazed: The Rahmi M. Koç Museum (Rahmi M. Koç Müzesi)

Despite some festive moments, all cities live most of their lives in a daily routine. Even if you’re on holiday, you’ll also come across Istanbul’s everyday life, which is immense love for all animals but especially the cats. On the other hand, if Istanbul steals your heart, you might even start considering moving here:

A rental apartment from Istanbul skyscraper

Istanbul cats – from cat hater to cat lover

Or would Istanbul be your place of study? You are guaranteed a unique opportunity to experience the world in many ways and broaden your thoughts when you choose Istanbul as your international internship city. Here’s an authentic story of such an experience:

Istanbul in the eyes of Erasmus intern

Metropoli Istanbul

Istanbul is steeped in world history, and the surrounding area also has an old cultural heritage of different philosophies and religions. Although the hometown of the world’s greatest philosopher, Rumi, is Konya, Turkey, you will also find his important influence in Istanbul:

Rumi (Mevlâna) and Sufism in Istanbul: Galata Mevlevi Museum (Galata Mevlevihanesi Müzesi)

Coming soon:

I write new posts of Istanbul every month. The next interesting topics are, for example, The Princes’ Islands and Büyükada, Istanbul’s bazaars, new Çamlıca Tower (Çamlıca Kulesi) with stunning views, the modern Sufi Metin Hara, the unique, beautiful and colorful district of Kuzguncuk, and the story of how the street cats choose you as their new home. And much more…

A warm welcome to enjoy an amazing and wonderful Istanbul with me!

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