Istanbul is one of the greatest historic cities in the world and it’s no wonder. The city straddles Europe and Asia making it as diverse as any capital city can be, while adding a bit of adventure for travelers booking airline tickets to Istanbul. Istanbul is as Turkey’s main seaport and financial center. As one of the most popular destinations in the world, cheap flights to Istanbul can always be found. Whether you plan on touring the European side or the Middle Eastern side of the city, Istanbul won’t disappoint.
For visitors wanting to take a step back in time, visit Istanbul’s Old City and stroll through the historic area. Roman amphitheaters and artifacts decorate the streets and ancient relics from the Byzantine Empire are everywhere. Today, Istanbul is home to more than 14 million people. Take a window seat on your flight to Istanbul and view the skyline from 35,000 feet – it’s one of the most breathtaking views of the city’s domed cathedrals and Islamic mosques.
Winters in Istanbul, though very snowy, aren’t as chilly as one would assume – the temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Summertime in Istanbul is steamy and humid, with average high temperatures of 82 F, driving the inhabitants out of the city to beat the heat.
Getting around Istanbul
There are a lot of transportation options in Istanbul, but the best way to explore is on foot. If walking isn’t your thing, you can always get a rechargeable Akbil transit pass, which you can buy at special kiosks and offers discounted fares on the local buses, trams, metro lines and ferries. Ferries and catamarans will provide great views as you float along the Golden Horn or cruise up the Bosporus. Buses go all over the city, but are usually slow and crowded. Take note that you need to buy bus tickets from ticket stands before boarding. The metro is a good way to avoid traffic jams, and trams provide some great views of the city. Like many cities, public transportation is crowded during rush hour. Ride in comfort by hailing a dolmus (shared minibus taxi) along its route, or picking it up at a dolmus stand. These shared minibuses cost less than regular taxis. When you board you should always give the driver your destination and ask what the cost will be. If you have your hotel call for a private yellow taxi, make sure the meter is running before you leave.