Project Description

 History

It is believed that Istanbul has been inhabited since 3000 BCE, although it did not become a city until the Greeks arrived in the 7th century BCE. These colonists, led by King Byzas, settled here due to its strategic location and named the city Byzantium. It eventually became a part of the Roman Empire in the 300s, and Roman emperor Constantine the Great rebuilt the entire city, giving it monuments similar to Rome. It was declared the capital of the Roman Empire in 330 and renamed Constantinople. The city then became a center of Christianity.

In the 400s, Constantinople was divided and became the capital of the Byzantine Empire. It became Greek, rather than Roman. Constantinople eventually declined, and it was pillaged after the Fourth Crusade. It then became the center of the Catholic Latin Empire in the early 1200s. Constantinople began to weaken further as it was put in the middle of conflicts between the Greek Orthodox Byzantine Empire and the Catholic Latin Empire. Shortly afterward, it was recaptured and returned to the Byzantine Empire. It was then that Ottoman Turks began conquering the area.

The Ottomans officially conquered it in 1453, and it was immediately renamed Istanbul and was made the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Sultan Mehmed brought back the Greek Orthodox and Catholic residents who had fled, as well as Jewish, Christian and Muslim people for a mixed population. By the 1500s, Istanbul reached nearly 1 million people, although the Ottoman Empire was defeated and occupied by the allies in WWII. Following occupation, the Turkish War of Independence occurred, and the city became a part of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.

 

Geography:

Istanbul is among the most special cities in the world with its position as a bridge between Europe and Asia. Istanbul lays the Marmara Sea in its South, and to its north the Black Sea. The Western part of the city is in Europe, and the Eastern is in Asia.

 

Population:

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the heart of the country. It is also one of the largest agglomerations in Europe and the fifth largest city in the world in terms of population within city limits. Interestingly, Istanbul is a transcontinental city as it is located on the Bosphorus waterway in northwest Turkey between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. This means the commercial center is in Europe while the rest of the city is in Asia. In 2016, Istanbul had an estimated population of over 14.6 million.

Istanbul has grown very rapidly over the past one hundred years, although it has always had a large population. Istanbul has remained one of the largest cities in the world for most of its long history. Istanbul (then Constantinople) had a population between 400,000 and 500,000 in 500 AD, pushing out Rome as the largest ever city in the world at the time. Currently, the estimated number of residents of Istanbul is 15.52 million (till 31 Dec. 2019).

 

Istanbul Demographics

Istanbul has a tiny foreign population of just 43,000 in 2007, but only 28% of the population originates from Istanbul. Istanbul is home to most of the ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey.

The Kurdish community is the most significant ethnic minority in the city, originating from southeastern and eastern Turkey, with a population of up to 3 million in Istanbul. This is the largest Kurdish population in the world.

Turkey was once home to a sizeable Jewish population numbering 100,000 in 1950, but this number dropped to 18,000 in 2005. Most Jews in the country live in Istanbul or Izmir. There are also 17,000 Assyrians/Syriacs in Istanbul and a large number of Roma people. The Sulukule neighborhood in Istanbul is the oldest Roma settlement in all of Europe.

Through the 1800s, the Christian population of Istanbul was mostly either members of the Armenian Apostolic Church or Greek Orthodox, but this changed in the 20th century due to a population exchange between Turkey and Greece, a wealth tax in the 1940s and riots in the 1950s. The Greek population has since fallen from 130,000 in 1923 to about 3,000 by 2000. The Armenian community has also dropped, partly caused by the Armenian Genocide, but it has rebounded thanks to recent immigration. There are now up to 70,000 Armenians in the city, compared to 164,000 in 1913.

 

Religion:

Religion in Istanbul covers the issue of religion in the city of Istanbul, Turkey. According to the 2000 census, there were 2691 active mosques, 123 active churches and 20 active synagogues in Istanbul; as well as 109 Muslim cemeteries and 57 non-Muslim cemeteries.

Religious minorities include Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Christians, Catholic Levantines and Sephardic Jews. Some neighbourhoods have been known with their sizeable populations of these ethnic groups, such as the Kumkapı neighbourhood, which had a significant Armenian population, the Balat neighbourhood, which used to have a sizeable Jewish population, the Fener neighbourhood with a large Greek population, and some neighbourhoods in Nişantaşı and Pera, which had sizeable Levantine populations. In some quarters, such as Ortaköy or Kuzguncuk, an Armenian church sits next to a synagogue, and on the other side of the road a Greek Orthodox church is found beside a mosque.

Istanbul was the final seat of the Islamic Caliphate, from 1517 to 1924, when the Caliphate was dissolved and its powers were handed over to the Turkish Parliament. The seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople, spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church since the 4th century AD, is located in the Fener (Phanar) district. Also based in Istanbul are the archbishop of the Turkish Orthodox Church, the Armenian Patriarchate, and the Turkish Chief Rabbi (Hahambasi). Istanbul was formerly also the seat of the Bulgarian Exarchate, before its autocephaly was recognized by other Orthodox churches.

Internet condition:

Using Wi-Fi at Istanbul Airport is free. The passengers are offered 1-hour free internet access at Istanbul Airport with the wireless internet kiosks whose infrastructure is provided by Türk Telekom. You can benefit from the service via SMS or by entering your passport number.

When walking from the luggage belts into the arrival hall you can go either right or left. On both sides you can buy a sim card for Turkey, but there are 5 different shops, so 5 different prices and data packages.

If you walk to the right you see Burger King on your right hand side and in front of you will see: Njoy Local SIM and WIFIST. Njoy is an official Turk Telekom store and WIFIST sells Vodafone prepaid sim cards.

If you walk to the left you will see the original Turkey mobile internet provider shops: Turkcell, Vodafone and Turk Telekom. Also there is an Airport WIFI rental company.

 

Best Times to Visit Istanbul

The best times to visit Istanbul are from March to May and between September and November. That’s when crowds at the city’s attractions are manageable, room rates are average and daytime temperatures generally sit in the 60s and 70s. Peak season – from June to August – sees temps soar into the low 60s to low 80s, and accommodation prices increase to match the demand from incoming tourists. December through February, meanwhile, are the cheapest months to visit, but Istanbul’s rainy, snowy and chilly conditions (temps are in the high 30s to high 50s) mean you’ll have to don cold weather attire and lug an umbrella during your stay.

Weather:

Istanbul has a climate combining those of the Mediterranean and Black Sea climate types, with a hot dry summer and pleasantly warm spring and autumn. Winters are cold but snow is rare. The vegetation is predominantly of the Mediterranean type.

AIRPORTS IN ISTANBUL

Located in the heart of the world, Istanbul is easily accessible by air. The city has two international airports; Istanbul Ataturk Airport on the European side and the Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side.

Hezarfen Airport is also Istanbul’s internationally registered, first private airport.

New (3rd) Airport:
Istanbul’s new airport, set to be one of the largest in the world in terms of passenger capacity, is under construction in the Arnavutkoy district of Istanbul. It is due to be completed in 2019, making Istanbul the largest airline hub in the world.

ISTANBUL NEW AIRPORT

The 3rd airport under construction, Istanbul New Airport will provide a capacity of 150 million passengers; the world’s largest in terms of the passenger volume expected to be complete by 2019.

ATATURK AIRPORT

Istanbul Ataturk International Airport is the city’s gateway to the world, hosting millions of passengers every year and servicing airlines from all over the world. With its architecture, speed of passenger throughput, level of service and advanced technology, it is also one of the top airports in the world.

SABIHA GOKCEN AIRPORT

Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is an airport winning Europe’s fastest growing airport title 5 times in its category. The airport has all the advantages of a mature and well qualified airport.

  • Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul

 

Souvenirs:

While being in Istanbul, you won’t find it hard to buy a unique, cultural gift for everyone on your list. Turkish tea for tea lovers, Turkish black soap for the beauty conscious, or Turkish spices for the culinary master. If all else fails, you can always buy the delicious Turkish delight which is a sure hit with everyone.

 

Read on to find out more options. This list features the 10 must-buy souvenirs with information on pricing and where to buy them included in.

 

Turkish Teas:

Turkish tea, locally known as çay, is an integral part of Turkish culture. Throughout history, this was served to guests as a trademark of Turkish hospitality.

The original Turkish tea is a variant of black tea and consumed straight without milk. It is traditionally prepared in a special kettle, called a çaydanlık.

Over the years, variations of herbal tea have become popular in Turkey, especially among tourists.

You can find these teas sold in mounds alongside spices at the Turkish bazaars. Popular flavors include apple, rose hip, linden flower, pomegranate, and hibiscus.

Just like the spices, you can have the tea vacuum-packed by the vendors for easier handling.

 

Turkish Delight

It’s hard not to salivate over Turkish delight (lokum), which is a sweet delicacy made of starch and sugar added with nuts or fruits. Popular flavors include pistachio, rosewater, cinnamon, orange, and lemon.

These sweet bites are available in different sizes, shapes and flavors, but each promises to be a delicious and delightful treat.

Ask the sellers about the ingredients because some flavors, like the buffalo cream, spoil easily so they are not suitable for carrying around on a long journey.

 

Blue Evil Eye

Blue Evil Eye, locally called nazar, is one of the most popular souvenir items from Turkey. It is easily recognizable through its eye shape and blue color.

The Blue Evil Eye was originally used as an amulet to protect the wearer from the bad curse. Today, it is used for aesthetic rather than superstitious reasons.

Celebrities, like Bard Pitt and Rihanna, have been photographed wearing the evil eye amulet.

Aside from the amulets, the blue evil eye design is also used in key chains, refrigerator magnets, bags, bracelets, and other souvenir items.

 

Turkish Spices

Turkey is one of the countries that have distinct flavor in its cuisine, thanks to the spices that help enhance the aroma and taste.

If you have come to love Turkish cooking, then you should bring back some spices and cook your own Turkish meals that you can share with your loved ones back home.

Choose from a wide array of different spices at the Spice Bazaar or Grand Bazaar. You can buy them fresh and have them vacuum-packed by the vendors. The pul biber (red pepper flakes) is a constant bestseller.

 

Iznik Ceramics

Fallen in love with the beauty of Iznik tiles at popular tourist attractions like Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Rustem Pasa Mosque, and Sokollu Mehmet Pasa Mosque? You can’t bring these art works home but you can definitely buy yourself a piece of Iznik ceramic to remember your time in Istanbul.

While it is forbidden to bring antique Iznik ceramics out of Turkey, you can buy modern versions that are equally beautiful. Choose from various items like plates, bowls, and vases.

The vendors always wrap them in bubble wrap for better handling especially when you are traveling. If you buy in bulk, some vendors will ship the items for you.

 

 

Turkish Kilim Rugs and Cushion Covers

Turkish kilim rugs are among the most sought after souvenir items from Istanbul. These beautifully designed rugs can be hung on the wall or used for its original function.

The best, and more expensive, kilim rugs are the hand-woven pieces that often tell a story. Some carpet sellers can interpret the symbols on the rug for you. Machine produced rugs are also widely available at lesser prices. Check the quality of your wanted item and always haggle to get a better price.

If your luggage has limited space, you can opt for the cushion covers. These less bulky beauties can add color to your living room.

 

Turkish Lamps

Turkish lamps can be a hassle souvenir to bring home. However, once you see their beautiful designs, you might find it hard to resist the idea of buying one and you will surely regret it if you pass up the opportunity.

You can find these Turkish lamps in most souvenir shops in different shapes, sizes and colors. Don’t let the vast display overwhelm you. They may all look the same at the shop but each Turkish lamp will definitely show off its unique quality once displayed in its new home.

 

Turkish Bath Towels

You might be asking what is special about bath towels? Turkish bath towels are in a league of their own when it comes to quality and durability. They are extra soft and very absorbent. High quality towels are handmade and can weigh as much as 1 kilo per towel!

There are also cheaper machine-made towels that are of lesser quality. These are usually thinner and lighter. Always check the item you are buying to avoid paying a higher price for a lower quality towel.

 

Turkish Black Soaps

Turkish black soaps are traditionally used in Turkish baths or hamam to exfoliate the skin and make it soft and smooth. They are made of natural ingredients and has a buttery texture.

The good news is that you can relive a part of your hamam experience by bringing home some Turkish black soaps. Why don’t you give them as gifts to share the experience with your family and friends?

 

Turkish Coffee Pot

If you are bringing home some Turkish coffee, why don’t you get a coffee pot as well? Turkish coffee can be brewed using your coffeemaker at home but the taste pales in comparison with the coffee brewed in a Turkish coffee pot.

The traditional Turkish coffee pots, locally called cezves, are made of copper. Turkey has a long tradition of copper pot-making and if you buy from local artisans, you are assured of high quality handmade copper pots.

In Istanbul, copper coffee pots are found at almost all of the bazaars that sell souvenirs. Check out Çadircilar Caddesi near the Grand Bazaar and watch Turkish coppersmiths do their work.

 

 

Bazars and markets:

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar (Kapalicarsi in Turkish) is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. It was built of wood after the Conquest of Istanbul around an old Byzantine building which became the part of Old Bedesten (Old Bazaar) today, and got bigger and larger throughout the centuries with the addition of new sections and inns. The Bazaar initially consisted of two warehouses only, known as Inner Bedesten and Sandal Bedesten. Later on open streets were covered with doomed roofs, and separate buildings connected to each other. Today it covers an area of approximately 31thousand square meters with its over 3000 shops (some even say 4000), 17 inns (Han), 61 streets, over 20thousand employees, 4 fountains, 10 wells, 2 mosques, several cafes and restaurants, change offices, a police station, and 22 gates. It resembles a giant labyrinth and can be a little complicated for the first time visitor, but after a couple of visits there you can familiarize with it because streets are arranged almost on a grid plan, and shops tend to group themselves according to the type of goods they sell.

The old wooden Grand Bazaar built by Mehmet II suffered several fires and earthquakes during centuries but has always been repaired after each disaster. Last restorations were made after a big fire in the mid-fifties when it was finally made of stone. During Ottoman times all kinds of jewelry, fabrics, weaponry and antiques were sold by merchants, unfortunately today quilt makers, slipper makers, turban and fez makers do not exists anymore. Today it’s a heaven for shoppers with its traditional shops and goods. There are thousands of things you can find and buy in the Grand Bazaar, or just enjoy local people and Turkish hospitality with some window shopping. It’s one of the most significant tourist sites in Istanbul owing to its location, architecture, history and fame. Depending on the season, between 250-400thousand people visit the Bazaar everyday.

The Grand Bazaar is open daily between 09:00-19.00 except on Sundays and during public or religious holidays.

 

Egyptian Bazaar

The Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Carsisi in Turkish) is also known as Spice Market. It’s located just behind the Yeni Mosque at Eminonu district, at the entrance of the Golden Horn. The Bazaar was originally made of wood in mid-17th century by the architect Kazim Aga, and got its final restorations during mid-forties. The name comes from the fact that Egyptians used to sell their spices here and that it once received income from taxes levied on Egypt. Instead the English name comes from the days when the Bazaar specialized on selling spices and herbs, medicinal plants and drugs. Lately there are also shops selling stuff other than spices but you can still see and smell many interesting spices, dried fruits and nuts, teas, oils and essences, sweets, honeycombs, and aphrodisiacs.

The Spice Market has 86 shops inside and there stands a plant market on one side and a food market on the other. There are 6 gates on an L-shaped Bazaar. The ceiling is higher respect to Grand Bazaar and this is also covered with domes.

The Egyptian Bazaar is open daily between 09:00-19.00 except during public or religious holidays. Since 2009 the bazaar stays open on Sundays too, between 10:00-18:00.

 

Arasta Bazaar

The Arasta Bazaar, also known as Sipahi Carsisi in Turkish, is located behind the Blue Mosque in the old city center, just next to the entrance of the Mosaics Museum. Despite The Grand Bazaar, Arasta Bazaar is a small and simple traditional market in Istanbul. There are about 40 shops lined on both sides of a street, selling traditional items. Originally this place was built in the 17th century and used to be stables during the Ottoman period. It suffered damage from many fires and left in ruins for a long period. In the eighties it was converted into shops, permitting the money from rents to be used in the restoration works of the Blue Mosque.

 

Sahaflar Carsisi

Sahaflar Carsisi, the second hand book bazaar, stands in the old courtyard between Beyazid Mosque and Grand Bazaar. It’s one of the oldest markets of Istanbul built on the same site as the Chartoprateia, book and paper market of the Byzantines. However it wasn’t until 18th century that booksellers settled their shops here leaving the Grand Bazaar. Printing and publishing legislation introduced soon after thus enabling the trade to expand in the whole courtyard. Also during this century the market remained the main point for book sale and distribution within the Ottoman Empire, and a gathering place for intellectual people. Unfortunately in the last 50-60 years the market lost its importance due to inevitable rise of modern bookstores and lately of the internet. Today there are still some old books, new ones, and examples of Ottoman miniature pages can be found.

The Sahaflar Bazaar is open daily except on Sundays and during public or religious holidays, with the exception of smaller stores.

Others

There are many other small bazaars and old shopping areas in Istanbul, such as; Besiktas Fish market, Sariyer Fish Market, Kadikoy Fish market, Beyoglu Flower & Food market (Cicek Pasaji), and so on. There are also weekly bazaars settled in every neighborhood of the city on one day of the week, frequented mostly by local people.

Istanbul has many ultra modern shopping malls with international and national brand names too, which fits today’s world needs in every aspect. These are mainly located in the new part of the city close to residential or financial districts, and are open every day of the week usually between 10:00 – 22:00. Some of these modern shopping centers are: Akmerkez, Metro City, Kanyon, Istinye Park, Zorlu Center, Astoria, Trump Towers, Nisantasi City’s, Meydan, Buyaka, Brandium, Akbati, Mall of Istanbul, Galleria, Carousel, Olivium, Atakoy Plus, Capacity, Axis, Paladium, Kozzy, 212 Power Outlet, Forum Istanbul, Marmara Forum, Marmara Park, Airport, Viaport, Metroport, Optimum, Kale, Atrium, Capitol, Profilo, Mayadrom, Historia, Tepe Nautilus, Neomarin, Saphire, Cevahir, Torium, Demiroren, Dogus Power Center, Polcenter, Boyner, Carrefour, Bauhaus, Praktiker, Gotzen, Metro, Bricolage, Ikea, etc.

 

Shopping Centers:

Shopping centers can be considered as a very young concept in Turkey, since the history goes back only to the late 80s. However, once the malls appeared on the shopping scene, the Turks embraced them. Almost every neighborhood has at least one. Following you can find some of the biggest and fanciest shopping centers in Istanbul. They are mostly close to the Taksim area, thus very easy to reach by bus, subway, or taxi. Oh yes, as a rule of thumb, we can say that they are open between 10 am and 10 pm.

 

Akmerkez

Akmerkez is located in Etiler, a neighborhood of the Beşiktaş district and one of the favorite areas among Istanbul’s elite. It is also close to the business quarters of Levent and Maslak.

This four-storey mall with almost 250 stores covers an area of 180.000 sq meters. It can be easily reached by tourists and locals alike thanks to their free transportation service from and to close range neighborhoods and hotels. It opened its doors in December 1993 and is open between 10 am and 10 pm every day.

Akmerkez was chosen the best shopping center in Europe in 1995 by ICSC. In 1996 it was recognized as the best shopping center in the world, moreover it also received the International Design and Development Award. Akmerkez is a unique shopping center, since no other shopping center in the world has both of these titles. In 2010, Akmerkez was awarded with the prize for best interior design by the European Commercial Property Awards.

Address: Ulus Caddesi No:3, Etiler – Istanbul
http://www.akmerkez.com.tr/

Istinye Park

 

Located in the Istinye neighborhood of the Sarıyer district, Istinye Park has brought a new dimension to Istanbul’s shopping concept. Spread out over an area of 242.000 sqm, the shopping center offers a variety of outdoor and glass roofed indoor sections such as a green central park, Fashion District, street side shopping, a kids’ entertainment center of 1.500 sqm, Hillside Sports and Leisure Club, The Bazaar — an area inspired by historical Turkish architecture — and 12 movie halls, one of which being IMAX 3D.

Green, eco-friendly, humane and eye for details is how you can best describe Istinye Park. There are three waste collecting centers and a waste oil collector. Wheelchairs, lockers to leave your valuables, baby buggies free of charge and immediate tax refund are only some of the thoughtful services provided.

Address: İstinye Bayırı Cad. No: 73, Sarıyer – Istanbul
http://www.istinyepark.com

Kanyon

 

As a four-storey shopping center located in the financial district of Levent, the 37.500 sqm shopping center has 160 stores among which Turkey’s and the world’s most selected brands, gourmet restaurants, cafes, a health and sports club and movie halls.

Kanyon was awarded with the 2006 Cityscape Architectural Review Award in the “Commercial Built” category.

Address: Büyükdere Caddesi No:185
http://www.kanyon.com.tr/#/en/homepage/

City’s

 

In case you enjoy being in the center of fashion, let alone shopping, you have got to see City’s in Nişantaşı, part of the Şişli district and very close to Taksim. City’s is a shopping center which blends in with the historical texture of the area.

City’s concept is described as a Life Style Center. It sure deserves this stylish title, considering the variety of the stores, cafes, restaurants and the vital 24 hour six-storey parking service it provides to the populous area.

Address: Teşvikiye Mahallesi Teşvikiye Caddesi No:162, Nişantaşı – Istanbul
http://www.citysnisantasi.com/

 

Nişantaşı

 

This is not a shopping center, but a district within walking distance of Taksim known for committed shoppers in search of sophistication.

In the mid 19th century, Sultan Abdülmecid I initiated the decent living in Nişantaşı. Today, Nişantaşı has the third largest community of foreign residents in Istanbul. It is a fashionable shopping and an upper-scale residential area. The locals of the district are known as dignified, well-mannered and educated.

Abdi İpekçi is, based on the monthly lease prices, the most expensive and classy street with prominent Turkish brands as well as world-known luxury retail stores such as Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Cartier, Dior, Gucci, Gianfranco Ferre, DKNY and many more.

Besides the shopping euphoria, Nişantaşı has become a well-known culture and art center. Moreover, its cafes and restaurants in the area, especially on MimKemal Öke and Atiye streets are luscious.

Bağdat Caddesi

 

the Asian side of the city and roughly parallel to the shore of the Marmara Sea, Bağdat Avenue is a rather green and glossy 14 km long high street. The first residential steps in the area were the luxurious wooden chalet mansions built after 1870’s. Some still exist and contribute to the wealthy look of the upper-scale residential area. As well as the shopping exuberance, Bağdat Avenue is famous for international and local cuisine restaurants, pubs and cafes.

Bagdat Avenue scored 83 out of 100 and became 4th (!) on a ranking list of the world’s most famous shopping streets made by a Paris-based market consulting company in 2012.

The criterias of the mystery shoppers were:

  • Appearance (cleanliness, lighting)
  • Welcome (staff greetings, courtesy, availability)
  • Atmosphere (garbage cans available, open space, clean pavement)
  • Contact with passers-by (friendliness, helpfulness to people passing through the store)

The outstanding line for shoppers is the 6 km long stretch with one-way traffic from Bostancı to Kızıltoprak. You can track down most of the shopping malls and fashion stores in the direction westward between SuadiyeŞaşkınbakkalErenköy and Caddebostan neighborhoods.

I recommend you to get to Bostancı and then walk back towards Kadıköy – in the direction of the traffic flow. You will easily spend a full day in the Bağdat Caddesi.

 

Forum Istanbul

 

Whatever you may need, you can almost bet on it that you can find it in Forum Istanbul. The shopping center made its debut in 2009 and is built on an enormous area of 495.000 sq meters. About 8.000 sq meters of it is occupied by Turkey’s first gigantic aquarium Turkuazoo and the first ice museum, Magic Ice.

The rest is shared among big stores like IKEA, the sports store Decathlon, Praktiker, several technology stores, 62 domestic and international clothing and shoe stores, 15 cafes, 34 restaurants and 10 movie halls.

Address: Kocatepe Mahallesi,Paşa Caddesi, Bayrampasa – Istanbul
http://www.forumistanbul.com.tr

Galleria

 

 

You have just left the airport upon arrival and there is an emergency. You need to do some shopping! Tell your taxi driver to take the seaside road because the place to be is Galleria, the very first shopping cente in Istanbul.

In the 80’s Turkey faced a lot of social changes. The mastermind was the innovative Prime Minister Turgut Özal who recommended building such a shopping center since he was inspired by the shopping mall Houston Galleria in Houston, Texas, USA. Located on the seaside of the Ataköy suburb, Galleria was built on a covered area of 77.000 sq meters.

It has several elite stores, restaurants, movie halls, a bowling hall and an ice skating rink. Galleria was recognized as the world’s most outstanding mall in 1990 by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) for sophisticated blueprint design, rapid construction, and unique structural features.

Address: Bakırköy Ataköy arası sahilyolu, Istanbul
http://www.galleria-atakoy.com.tr/

Metrocity

 

A four-storey shopping center housing 140 stores located in the finance district of Levent. Teflon coated fiberglass fabric was used for the roof construction, which brightens up the shopping pleasure.

Metrocity is directly connected to the M2 metro line.

Address: Büyükdere Cad. No:171 1. Levent
http://www.metrocity.com.tr/

 

 

 

 

Bonus: Zorlu Center

 

 

Zorlu is the newest addition to Istanbul’s shopping mall scene. It is built on 105.000 m² of land, including a 10.000 m² main court. There is also a second court of 12.000 m², and a leasable area of 70.000 m², home to about 180 stores.

Zorlu Shopping Mall put the focus on gourmet, with shops and restaurants such as Eataly, Jamie Oliver’s Italian, Tom’s Kitchen and Morini, as well as local restaurants such as Köşebaşı, Günaydın, Far East and Welldone.

Address: Zorlu Center, Beşiktaş – Istanbul
www.zorlucenter.com

 

Restaurants:

As an international tourist, finding a nice, memorable and high quality restaurant in your destination country is very significant. Fortunately, there are many of first class and nice restaurants in Istanbul which will be in your access. Here, we want to introduce some of them to you:

  1. Spago Restaurant & Bar – in Nisantasi

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)

Located in the Nisantasi neighborhood, close to Taksim, Spago is an iconic one, where master chef Wolfgang Puck maintains a cutting-edge role as a culinary force and leader in fine dining. This rooftop restaurant & lounge combines the excellent views over the Macka Park and the Bosphorus with its unique contemporary design and lounge atmosphere. Spago offers an open terrace for all year-round. You can enjoy ambient music, signature cocktails, high-end spirits and fine champagne. This place is also a prime venue for celebrity spotting in Istanbul. (Can be expensive for budget travelers)

 

Opening Hours: 7 Days a week, Bar & Terrace 3:00 pm – 2:00 am, Dinner 6:00 pm – 11:30 pm, Aperitivo 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Dress Code: Smart Casual

Address: The St. Regis Istanbul, Mim Kemal Öke Cad. No: 35, Nisantası

 

  1. Nicole Restaurant – in Beyoglu

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)

Nicole Restaurant is located in Beyoglu district of Istanbul and the name Nicolve is inspired from mother Agnes Marthe Nicole, who healed numerous patients in this historic building that was used as a Franciscan monastery until the early 20th century. Nicole Restaurant offers contemporary mediterranean cuisine served at a chic terrace that has a magnificent view of the Istanbul historical peninsula, the Prince Islands and beyond. The wine cellar of Nicole is vert impressive that includes chateau style local wine producers from the Aegean, Thrace and Anatolia regions as well as imported varieties.

 

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, service starts at 18:30 and last order 21:30, closed on Sunday and Monday.

Address: Tomtom dist. Tomtom Kaptan Str. No:18, Beyoglu, Istanbul

 

  1. Calipso Fish Restaurant – in Kucukyali

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)

Located in Kucukyali coastal road, on the Asian side of Istanbul, Calipso Fish Restaurant is an excellent fish restaurant that its partners has 30 years of Seafood Gastronomy experience. The restaurant is famous for its unique flavors that inclde carefully prepared Aegean herbs, cold and hot appetizers, fastidiously chosen fish, fish specials and sauced sea shells and wonderful selections of deserts and wine. Calipso Fish also gained “The Best 50 Restaurant Oscars” awards with votes of food lovers and gourmet masters after first year of its opening.

 

Address: Turgut Ozal Boulevard, Cumhuriyet Str., No:2 Kucukyali, Istanbul

 

  1. 360Istanbul Restaurant – in Istiklal Street

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)

360Istanbul is a famous roof-top restaurant, bar and night club located in 19th century apartment building overlooking the old embassy row in Beyoglu on the famous Istiklal Street. It offers 360 degrees breathe taking views of Istanbul. 360 is open for lunch and dinner, offering a twist on the modern Turkish meze fused with the traditional Turkish cuisine and international cuisine as well as an exclusive wine selection. Many of the main courses are our original recipes again mixing Turkish and international influences coupled with an ingeniously engineered and extensive wine & dessert menu.

 

Address: Istiklal Street Misirr Apt. No: 163/8, Beyoglu, Istanbul

 

  1. Asmali Cavit – Asmalimescit, Istiklal Street

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)

Located in the famous Asmalimescit Street of Beyoglu, Asmali Cavit can be considered as one of the best Meyhanes (Taverns) in Istanbul. This award winning traditional meyhane serves in a very authentic atmosphere and famous for its mezes (starters) such as kryptonite-green, true octopus salad and hot starters such as yaprak ciger (thin slices of liver fried with onions) and muska boregi (a fried triangle of phyllo dough stuffed with ground beef and onions) and finally the main dishes of great fresh fish and kofte (meatballs) and more. The list may go on and on. If you are looking for a traditional Turkish tavern, than head out to Asmali Cavit.

 

Address: Asmalı Mescit Str. No 16, Beyoglu, Istanbul

 

  1. Beyti – in Florya

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)

Beyti is a very famous meat restaurant designed in a modern architectural style and located in the residential neighborhood of Florya, close to Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Bakirkoy district of Istanbul. Beyti is owned by Mr. Beyti Guler and probably one of the first chefs who gave his name to a meat dish in Turkey as “Beyti” is a special meat dish. Beyti serves in its ten dining rooms and three terraces with an interior decoration inspired by the Ottoman Turkish art. Beyti Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Turkey where you may find excellent meat.

 

Opening Hours: closed on Mondays, other days serve between 11.30 – 23.00

Address: Orman Str. No:8, Florya, Bakirkoy, Istanbul

 

  1. Mikla Restaurant – in Beyoglu

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)

Mikla Restaurant is an award winning restaurant of Mehmet Gürs, located in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, the Chef-Owner who pioneered the contemporary restaurant scene in Istanbul on the roof top floor of the fashionable the Marmara Pera Hotel. Mikla has excellent food, the new Anatolian Kitchen (traditional and true noble products are treated with utmost respect while being transformed with a blend of new and ancient techniques), breathtaking views and inspiring music.

 

Opening Hours: closed on Sundays, other days serve between 18.30 – 23.30

Address: The Marmara Pera, Mesrutiyet Str. No:15, Beyoglu, Istanbul

 

  1. Neolokal – in Karakoy

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)

Neolokal is a fantastic restaurant located in Karakoy. The Neolokal team aims to serve its visitors genuine food inspired by mother earth and modelled and designed from traditions. Main dishes include; Katmer & Tirit (pulled beef in duck juice, pistachio filo, colourful yogurts, tarhana cream), Grilled Seabass (Seafood sausage, potatoes, celery cream, wild mustard greens) and Lamd & Chard Sarma (apple and ‘uveyik’ wheat, lamb jus, rose pickled apples).

 

Opening Hours: open between 19.00 – 23.59 except Sundays and Mondays

Address: SALT Galata, Bankalar Avenue, Karakoy, Istanbul

 

  1. Backyard Restaurant & Bar – in Bebek, Besiktas

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (2020 Insider Guide Advice)Backyard is situated in a fantastic gardens of the historic French Orphanage, in between the Arnavutkoy and Etiler neighborhoods of the Besiktas district. This is a lovely place overlooking the Bebek bay, where you can enjoy great food alongside refreshing drinks and cocktails. They offer variety of egg dishes and Turkish platters for breakfast and brunch, and a selection of salads, pastas and entrées for lunch and dinner, at the Backyard. You can experience their Aperitivo hour tapas selection and enjoy cocktails or a glass of wine in the garden. And at the Backbar, you can enjoy your your drink with DJs transforming the place into a lively venue.

Opening Hours: Backyard – every day dining between 8.30 am and 11 pm; BackBar – music begins at 5 pm and goes on until 1 am, Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, and until 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays, closed on Sundays, other days serve between 18.30 – 23.30

Address: Bebek Mah. Bebeköy Sk., No:4, Bebek, Istanbul

 

Istanbul Currency Exchange

You can use your home bank ATM/cash card or a credit card in Istanbul’s many ATM/bancomat/cash machines. ATMs are all over Istanbul.

Of course, ATMs are run by banks, so there will be not just fees, but significant fees, perhaps 2% or 3% or more of the money you receive. ATMs are an easy, but expensive, way to get money.

If you want to exchange cash, plenty of places will do it for you, and it can be cheaper.

Currency Exchange Offices (Döviz Bürosu) are found at the Atatürk Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW), and in tourist and market areas. Most offer better exchange rates than banks, and may or may not charge a commission (komisyon). Offices in market areas tend to offer better exchange rates than those in tourist areas.

 

Currency exchange rate, Istanbul, Turkey

Except in Sultanahmet and other heavily touristed areas, currency exchange offices usually post their Buy and Sell ratesprominently, so look for both the rates—which may change by the hour—and the spread, or difference between them. Few offices charge commission (basically, a service fee) these days. Don’t use an office that charges commission. More…

 

Atatürk Airport

Currency exchange desks are available in both the Departures and Arrivals areas of the International terminal. In the Departures area, rates are much better after you go through passport control. On 11 November 2012 I saw this rate in the check-in area before passport control:

Grand Bazaar

The best spreads I’ve found in Istanbul are in the gold dealers’ section of the Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı) near the Mahmutpaşa entrance (map). This is Istanbul’s unofficial “spot gold market,” foreign exchange is carried on big time, and exchange rate spreads can be truly minuscule.

Laleli

You can also take the Bağcılar-Kabataş tram westward to the Laleli stop just west of Beyazıt Square and the Grand Bazaar, just east of Aksaray. Right around the tram stop are exchange offices advertising rates as low as 0.003 spread for the US$, 0.004 for the euro. These were the rates at one Laleli döviz bürosu on 10 November 2012:

Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar

Here’s a map showing the location of the Zeki Döviz Bürosu near Istanbul‘s Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar—it usually has better rates than offices in touristy areas, but offices in the Grand Bazaar may have better rates still. There are other exchanges offices near the Egyptian Bazaar as well.

 

Public Transportation in Istanbul

Public transportation in Istanbul has improved for the better over the past few years. A lot of people still take taxis to commute between the various points of interest, but it’s often not the best choice. In this article I’ll point out the benefits of using public transportation, when (not) to use it, and how to pay for it. You will be amazed.

Public Transportation as the Smart Alternative

It’s an understatement to say that Istanbul traffic is a problem. Roads are always heavily used, and gridlocks are common from 07:00 till 10:30 in the morning, and again starting 16:00 until late in the evening. This makes public transportation a nice alternative.

 

When to Use Public Transportation or Take a Taxi?

physical condition — By default, using public transportation requires you to walk a bit more. Some run underground, so be prepared to take stairs although most such stops have moving staircases. Decide according to your physical condition.

fares — The fare to take public transportation is about 2,60 TL per person per ride with an Istanbul Kart. So, let’s take the following example. The cab fare to get from Sultanahmet to Taksim is 15 TL, regardless of the amount of people in the cab and without getting stuck in traffic. From Sultanahmet to Taksim by public transportation requires you to first take the tramway, followed by a funicular. The trip for one person costs about 5 TL thanks to the transfer discount. So, the latter is a great idea when traveling alone, as a couple or even as a party of three. Yes, even three people during rush hour because you’ll win time and money since the taxi meter also adds small amounts when standing still in traffic.

time of the day — Most lines operate between 06:00 and 24:00 (see details below), so outside of these hours you must rely on a taxi which is safer at that time of day anyway.

Is Public Transportation in Istanbul Safe?

Yes. Metro, tram, and funicular lines in the city center are well maintained and constantly supervised by security personnel. The only thing you should watch out for is pickpockets.

 

Is It Comfortable?

Yes, except buses. Metro, tram, funicular and train vehicles are relatively new and air conditioned. Turks tend to leave their seat for pregnant women and senior citizens. There are also designated areas for prams and people using a wheelchair. Istanbul is making efforts to improve accessibility to platforms and vehicles for handicapped people. Major stops are equipped with elevators, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Avoid rush hour to skip very crowded vehicles.

 

How to Pay for Public Transportation?

There are basically two ways to pay for the fare: either you get a token (jeton) from the sales booth or vending machines (jetonmatik), or you use the Istanbul Card (Istanbul Kart) — an electronic boarding pass. If you use a token you’ll pay 5 TL per ride, with an Istanbul Card you only pay 2,60 TL per ride, and get discounts for every transfer you make. So I strongly suggest you to get an Istanbul Kart. Children until the age of six travel free of charge.

 

Details About Common Public Transportation Lines for Tourists

I have two more articles to help you out using public transportation in Istanbul. The first one lists all essential Istanbul metro, tram and funicular lines for tourists, together with the most important stops and operating hours. The second article is basically a printable Istanbul tourist transportation map.

 

Museums and monuments

 

Archaeological Museum

Archaeological museumThis complex was build by the end of 19th century by the architect Vallaury thanks to great efforts of famous Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey. It includes the exquisite Tiled Kiosk and the Museum of the Ancient Orient and houses a large collection of artifacts and works of art belonging to ancient Greek, Roman and other Anatolian civilizations dating back to the 6th century BC. The Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, Sarcophagus of Mourning Ladies, and other ancient sarcophagi and various objects found in the Sidon excavation are among its most interesting pieces.

Ancient Eastern Archeological Museum was designed and open to service in 1917 by Halil Eldem Bey. The collection on displays comprised of about 15000 archeological pieces of Ancient Mesopotamia, Pre-Greek Anatolia, Assyrian, Sumerian, Acadian, Babylonian, Ancient Egyptian and Pre-Islamic Arabic culture.

 

Open daily between 09:00-16:30

Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Gulhane, Eminonu

Tel: (212) 520 77 40 and 41

Admission: 36 TL

 

Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya) Museum

Hagia Sophia (St.Sophia) churchThe ancient Byzantine church, built by Justinian I between 532-537 AD after the Nika Riot, was later converted to a mosque with the addition of minarets in mid-15th century. The remarkable structure with its 56m high immense dome is a museum today in which you can see both Christian and Islamic art. There are good examples of the Byzantine mosaics as well. For about 1000 years this was the largest church in the world, and glory of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Open daily between 09:00-16:30 (except Mondays as of 2017)

Sultanahmet Meydani, Eminonu

Tel: (212) 522 17 50 and 528 45 00

Admission: 72 TL

 

St. Savior in Chora (Kariye) Museum

St. Savior in Chora churchAncient Byzantine church which was first built in the 6th century AD as a monastery and restored several times in the 9th, 11th and 12th centuries, and finally renovated in the 14th by Theodore Metochites, minister of the Byzantine Empire, from which we have the best of mosaics. It was converted into a mosque in the 15th century after the Conquest of the city. Today it’s a museum of Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. The typical Ottoman neighborhood with wooden houses is also very interesting to stroll around.

Open daily between 09:00-16:00

Edirnekapi, Fatih

Tel: (212) 631 92 41

Admission: 54 TL

 

Fethiye Mosque (Pammakaristos Church) Museum

The Byzantine church was built in 1261 and dedicated to the Virgin “Pammakaristos”, The Most Happy. After the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it was used as a nunnery and it became the see of Christian Orthodox Patriarchate from 1455 until 1587, then converted into a mosque changing its name to Fethiye. Its parekleison (burial corridor) was opened as a museum recently where you can see beuatiful Byzantine mosaics and some frescoes from 14th century.

Open daily between 09:30-16:30 except Wednesdays.

PS: Museum is CLOSED for restorations

Fethiye Camii, Çarsamba – Fatih

Admission: 6 TL

 

The Ataturk Museum

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – founder of modern TurkeyHouse where Ataturk lived and worked before the War of Independence during his stay in Istanbul between 1918 and 1919, originally was built in 1908 and restored by the Municipality of Istanbul in 1943, opening to the public in 1981. Top floor of this building was reserved to His mother Zubeyde Hanim and His sister Makbule, meanwhile Ataturk used middle floor for himself and lower floor for His loyal officer.

On display are photographs of Ataturk from his birth until his death, as well as some of his clothes, personal belongings and paintings.

 

Open daily between 09:30-16:00 except Thursdays and Sundays.

Halaskargazi Caddesi No:250, Sisli

Tel: (212) 240 63 19

 

Asiyan Museum

This museum is the former residence of famous Turkish poet Tevfik Fikret (1867-1915) who constructed the building himself. In addition to an exhibit of the personal belongings of Fikret, there is a room devoted to the poet Nigar Hanim and displaying some of the belongings of Abdulhak Hamit. It’s located in Asiyan neighborhood on the Bosphorus.

 

Open daily between 09:00-16:00 except Sundays and Mondays.

Asiyan Yokusu, Bebek

Tel: (212) 263 69 86

 

Calligraphy Museum

The Beyazid Medresse, which was used as the municipality library since 1945 was evacuated, restored and reorganized as the Turkish Calligraphic Arts Museum. It has interesting and valuable examples of the Turkish art of the pen, Korans, imperial seals, diplomas, Hilye-i serif (descriptions of the Prophet), equipment and apparatus for calligraphic writing, samples of bookbinding, holy relics and miniatures, especially from Ottoman and Seljuk periods.

 

Open daily between 09:00-16:00 except Sundays and Mondays.

Beyazit Meydani, Eminonu

Tel: (212) 527 58 51

 

Sadberk Hanim Museum

Founded by the Vehbi Koc Foundation in 1980 in the historical Azaryan residence along the Bosphorus, this museum is a beautiful three-story “yali” (old Ottoman house) and houses a rich collection of Anatolian-based works of art, antiques and relics dating from 6000 BC. It is the first private museum of Turkey opened by Koc family, the richest of Turkey.

 

Open daily between 10:00-17:00 except Wednesdays.

Piyasa Caddesi No:27-29, Buyukdere – Sariyer

Tel: (212) 242 38 13 and 14

Admission: 10 TL

 

Modern Arts Museum

Opened its doors in December 2004 thanks to Eczacibasi family, this is the first and only Modern Arts museum in Istanbul. It has a rich library, exhibitions, photograph gallery, sculpture courtyard, movie theater, cafe and souvenir shop. One can find in this private museum almost everything on modern Turkish Arts.

 

Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Mondays.

Asmalimescit Mah. Mesrutiyet Cad. No:99, Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 334 73 00

Admission: 32 TL

 

Painting & Sculpture Museum

The museum was opened in 1937 in the crown prince suites of Dolmabahce Palace by the order of Ataturk. It was the first art museum in Turkey and only one in Istanbul until recently. The permanent collection presents a panoramic view of the Turkish plastic arts and also includes works of world famous artists, an impressionist collection, sculptures and works of military painters in several halls and display rooms. Occasionally, there are also painting courses during the year.

 

Open daily between 12.00-16.00 except Mondays and Tuesdays.

Dolmabahce Sarayi yani, Besiktas

Tel: (212) 261 42 98 and 99

 

Caricature Museum

This museum was opened in 1975 in Tepebasi by the Istanbul Municipality through the efforts of the Caricaturists Association, then temporarily closed down in 1980 as the building where it was housed was torn down and later re-opened in its new site in Fatih district.

The Gazanfer Aga complex, which consists of an Ottoman medrese, a shrine and a fountain in Sarachanebasi, was restored for use as the new structure. Re-opened in 1989, the museum contains a rich collection of satirical works, written or drawn, and the exhibits are frequently changed.

 

Open daily between 10.00-18.00

Ataturk Bulvari, Kovacilar Sokak No:12, Fatih

Tel: (212) 521 12 64 or 249 95 65

 

Carpet & Kilim Museum

This museum is located in its new building just behind Hagia Sophia. The museum has unique pieces of old Ottoman prayer rugs and kilims.

 

Open daily between 09.00-16.00 except Sundays and Mondays.

Ayasofya imareti, Sultanahmet

Tel: (212) 518 13 30

 

City Museum

The museum was first located in the Bayezit Municipal Library from the year 1939 until it was moved to the Fine Arts building of the Yildiz Palace complex in 1988. On display are paintings depicting the social life of the Ottoman period in Istanbul, calligraphy, textiles, 18th and 19th century porcelains made in the imperial workshops of Yildiz Palace, various glass objects, calligraphy equipment and other objects of daily life.

 

Open daily between 09.00-16.00 except Mondays and Tuesdays.

Barbaros Bulvari, Yildiz

Tel: (212) 258 53 44

 

Press Museum

A building on the Yeniceri (Janissary) Street in Cemberlitas neighborhood, originally built as a university by Safvet Pasha and having served different purposes from then on, now houses the Press Museum. Its architect is believed to be Fossati. The museum displays documents on the history of the Turkish press and old printing machinery.

 

Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Sundays.

Divanyolu Caddesi No:84, Cemberlitas – Eminonu

Tel: (212) 513 84 57 and 511 08 75

 

Divan Literature Museum

The first dervish lodge in the city was built in 1492 and belongs to the Mevlevi order founded by Mevlana therefore today this museum is known as Galata Mevlevihanesi. The present wooden structure on the site dates from the late 18th century. It is situated in a large garden that includes a cemetery in the Tunel district of Pera. Historical objects and literature of the order are displayed.

 

Open daily between 09:30-17:00 except Mondays.

Galip Dede Caddesi No:15, Tunel – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 245 41 41 and 243 50 45

Admission: 14 TL for museum, extra fee for Dervish performance

 

Tanzimat Museum

19th century documents and objects belonging to the Ottoman Tanzimat period are displayed in this museum. It was first opened in the Ihlamur Mansion in 1952 and moved to its present location in Gulhane Park just below Topkapi Palace in 1983.

 

Open daily between 09:00-16:00 except Sundays.

Gulhane Parki, Eminonu

Tel: (212) 512 63 84

 

Turkish & Islamic Art Museum (Ibrahim Pasha Palace)

Fine collection of art and ethnography in the lovely setting of Ibrahim Pasa Palace in the old Hippodrome area. It was built in the 16th century and donated to Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha by the great sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. He was the first counselor of the Sultan and married Suleyman’s sister as the sultan ascended the throne, thus occupying a very important place in the Ottoman palace hierarchy. After Ibrahim’s death the palace was used as a military barracks for new recruits, and made a museum during the Republic.

 

Open daily between 09:00-16:30

Sultanahmet Meydani, Eminonu

Tel: (212) 518 18 05 and 06

Admission: 42 TL

 

Islamic Sciences & Technology History Museum

One of the newest museums of Istanbul opened by the Metropolitan Municipality in May 2008 at Gulhane Park, near Topkapi Palace. There are plans, copies and replicas of several inventions of Muslim scientists and researches throughout the history of Islam, especially between 8th and 16th centuries AD.

 

Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Tuesdays.

Gulhane Parki, Has Ahirlar binasi, Eminonu

Tel: (212) 528 80 65

Admission: 14 TL

 

Santralistanbul Energy & Arts Museum

The building used to be an electric power plant built in 1914 at the tip of the Golden Horn, and known as Silahtaraga Electric Plant. It produced energy for Istanbul from Ottoman period until 1983 then it was shut down for being out of modern technology. The plants were taken by Istanbul Bilgi University and converted into a modern university campus, restoring the old power plant as well. Santralistanbul was opened as an energy museum displaying old industrial electric machines and for modern art exhibitions in September 2007. There are student guides to direct you inside the museum.

 

Open daily between 10:00-18:00

Eski Silahtaraga Elektrik Santrali, Eyup

Tel: (212) 311 78 78

Admission: 25 TL

 

Bahcesehir College Science Museum

One of the newest museums of Istanbul opened in June 2008 inside the Bahcesehir private highschool. The museum has several tools and work stations aiming young children to explore the scientific world. Young visitors can test and learn several facts of science and physics at the interactive stations and research labs. There is also a Planetarium, sky observation station, and a 3-D movie theater for scientific educational films.

 

Open daily between 10:00-16:00 except weekends.

Bahcesehir Koleji, Bahcesehir

 

Rahmi Koc Industrial Museum

This museum is located in the anchor casting workshop at the docks on the Golden Horn (Halic in Turkish), an area that symbolized industrialization in the Ottoman Empire of the 19th century. The anchor casting workshop was built in the era of Ahmet II (1703-1730) and the building’s foundations go back to a 12th century Byzantine construction. It was restored under Selim III and used by the Finance Ministry until 1951. After a fire in 1984, the building stood in ruins. In 1991, it was bought by the Rahmi Koc Museum and Cultural Foundation, restored and opened to the public in 1994.

On the first floor, motors and steam engines are displayed. On the second floor are the scientific instruments and communications apparatuses. The entrance is reserved for the aircraft department, mint machinery for printing paper money and coins, bicycles and motorcycles, the naval department and ship engines. In the open area, there is a coast guard life-boat, a tram, a narrow gauge steam train, and a vertical steam boiler. There is a submarine in the water.

 

Open daily between 10:00-17:00 except Mondays.

Haskoy Caddesi, No:27, Haskoy – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 369 66 00

Admission: 18 TL for museum, 9 TL for submarine

 

Sakip Sabanci Museum

The building today known as the Horse Mansion on the Bosphorus was built in the 19th century and belonged to Sabanci family for many years. Just before the death of Sakip Sabanci the mansion was converted into a museum and opened to the public with its antique furnishings and art collections. Today the Museum’s collection of precious manuscripts and extensive collection of 19th and 20th century paintings are on permanent exhibition in the rooms of the original house and gallery annex. From time to time, it is also hosting great exhibitions of international artists such as Pablo Picasso, Rodin etc.

 

Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Mondays.

Sakip Sabanci Caddesi No:22, Emirgan – Sariyer

Tel: (212) 277 22 00

Admission: 35 TL

 

Pera Museum

The museum was opened in July 2005 by the Suna-Inan Kirac Foundation, another project of Koc family. The old building was originally constructed in 1893 by architect Achille Manousos and restored recently for the modern museum. Kutahya tiles, Anatolian weights and measurements, and Oriental portraits painting Collections are the permanent exhibitions in the museum. One of the most famous paintings in the museum is of Osman Hamdi’s “The Tortoise Trainer” (Kaplumbaga Terbiyecisi in Turkish). In addition, three art galleries and an auditorium are among the facilities of the museum.

 

Open daily between 10:00-19:00 except Mondays, 12:00-18:00 on Sundays.

Mesrutiyet Caddesi No:141, Tepebasi – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 334 99 00

Admission: 20 TL

 

Borusan Contemporary Museum

The museum is opened in 2011 at the headquarters of Borusan Holding, one of the leading companies in Turkey, located in a historic building. It’s a comtemporary art museum with exhibitions and events in its galleries. The museum has a caffeteria and a panoramic terrace with breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.

 

Open between 10:00-20:00 on Saturdays & Sundays Only, except if the weekend falls on the first days of the religious holidays or on January 1.

Perili Kosk No:5 – Rumelihisar

Tel: (212) 393 52 00

Admission: 20 TL

 

Vedat Nedim Tor Museum

This museum is located in the Yapi Kredi Bank building in Galatasaray neighborhood and contains a collection of coins, embroidered textiles, gold covered copper objects, calligraphy, rosaries, Karagoz figures and ethnographic works. Open to the public during exhibitions around central themes.

 

Open daily between 10:00-18:00, 13:00-18:00 on Sundays.

Istiklal Caddesi No:285, Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 245 20 41 and 293 37 10

 

Rezan Has Museum

This private museum is located inside the Kadir Has University in the Golden Horn, inside an old building which also contains some relics of a Byzantine cistern and Ottoman hamam. The museum displays paintings and documents belonging to important persons who draw the Golden Horn in the past centuries, objects from Anatolia, and so on.

 

Open daily between 09:00-18:00

Kadir Has Üniversitesi, Kadir Has Caddesi, Cibali

Tel: (212) 533 65 32 and 534 10 34

 

Ottoman Bank Museum (SALT)

It’s located in the former head office of the former Ottoman Bank on Bankalar (banks) Street in Karakoy district and operates under the aegis of the Garanti Bank sponsored Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Center. The museum, organized in and around the bank’s safe room and known as SALT, draws on a wealth of information from the bank’s archive to narrate the history of this institution, which operated as the Central Bank, bank of issue, and treasurer of the Ottoman Empire.

 

Open between 12:00-18:00 except on Mondays.

Bankalar Caddesi No:11, Karakoy

Tel: (212) 334 22 00

 

Is Bank Museum

Opened in November 2007 at Eminonu district near the Spice Market, the museum is housed in an old building of one of the oldest banks of Turkey, Is Bank, founded by Ataturk. There is a big collection of many documents, photos, films and objects collected since the foundation of the Is Bank, showing the economic and cultural heritage of Turkey and its recent history.

 

Open to the public between 10:00-18:00 except on Mondays, holidays, and 1st of January.

Hobyar Mah Bankacilar Cad No:2, Eminonu

Tel: (212) 511 13 31

 

Adam Mickiewicz Museum

Adam Mickiewicz, Polish romantic poet and playwright, was born in Zaosie in 1798. He was arrested by the Russian police in 1823 because of taking part in a semisecret group which protested Russian control of Poland, he was jailed and then exiled to Russia. After his release, he spent the rest of his life in Western Europe and in Turkey where he continued to write his poems. He died during a cholera epidemic in Istanbul in 1885. His body was first transported to Paris and than returned to Poland.

His house in Tarlabasi neighborhood near Beyoglu was converted into a museum in 1955 to commemorate 100th year of his death. Inside the museum, there are many documents and information about the poet and his works, photographs of Constantinople of that time, and documents of Polish Liberation struggle. There is also a symbolic grave of the poet in the basement of the building. The museum today is administered by the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum.

 

Open daily between 09:30-16:00, except on Mondays.

Tatli Badem Sokak, Dolapdere – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 237 25 45 and 253 66 98

Admission: Free of charge

 

Ismet Inönü Museum

Inönü was the second president of the Turkish Republic. The summer house on Heybeli Island was bought by him in 1934 and lately it is rennovated and opened as a museum in 2008. There are personal objects and books of Ismet Inönü, as well as some exhibitions. There is no admission fee for the museum.

 

Open from April to November between 10:00-18:00.

Refah Sehitleri Cad. No:59 – Heybeli Ada

Tel: (216) 351 84 49

 

Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpinar Museum

Rahmi Gürpinar was one of the early Republic period writers of Turkey. His house on Heybeli Island, where he lived between 1912-1944, has been rennovated and converted into a museum by the Ministry of Culture and volunteered school theachers in 1999. The house is located on a high hillside of the island, where one can visit his personal objects, books, and some handycrafts made by the writer.

 

Open daily between 10:00-16:00, except on Mondays.

Demirtas Sokak – Heybeli Ada

 

Leyla Gencer Museum

Leyla Gencer was a world famous Turkish opera Diva and the Primadonna of the La Scala opera for 25 years while she lived in Italy. Interior of her house in Milan is reproduced inside the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) building near Galata Tower, where you can see items and furnitures from the life of this great soprano such as her piano, her library, her photographs, her dining room and her bedroom.

 

Open daily between 11.00-16.30 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

IKSV, Sadi Konuralp Cad. No:5, Sishane – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 334 08 21

 

The Florence Nightingale Museum

Florence NightingaleThe museum is opened in memory of the English nurse Florence Nightingale who came to Istanbul in 1854 for taking care of the Turkish and allied soldiers of the Crimean War. The hospital was at the Selimiye Barracks and now the room in the northwest tower has been turned into a tiny museum since 1954.

The exhibits include Florence Nightingale’s personal belongings, photographs, certificates, medallions and the bracelet that Sultan Abdulmecid presented to her. Besides the museum you can also visit the British Cemeteries nearby the Army Headquarters.

 

Open daily between 09:00-16:00 except at weekends (visits with special permission only)

Selimiye Kislasi, Uskudar

Tel: (216) 343 73 10

 

Dogancay Museum

The Dogancay Museum, Turkey’s first modern art museum, was officially opened in 2004. It is centrally located in a 150-year old historic building in the bustling section of Beyoglu in walking distance from Taksim Square. The museum provides a general overview of a small portion of the prolific oeuvre of one of Turkey’s leading artists, Burhan Dogancay, and that of his father, Adil.

 

Open daily between 10:00-18:00

Balo Sokak No:42, Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 244 77 70

Free Admission

 

Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence, inspired by the same name book of the Nobel Prize winner author Orhan Pamuk, was opened in 2012 in a historic building located in a residential area near Galata Tower. The belongings of Fusun collected by Kemal, the two characters of the book, are displayed on all three levels of the museum. These objects, which embody daily life in Istanbul during the second half of the 20th century, are well displayed in boxes and cabinets.

 

Open daily between 10:00-18:00, except on Mondays, on January 1st, and on the first day of religious holidays

Cukurcuma Cad. Dalgic Cikmazi No:2, Tophane – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 252 97 38

Admission: 40 TL

 

Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions is located in the recently restored Narmanli Han on Istiklal street, near Pera. These fascinating illusions will trick your senses in several ways. Its entertaining exhibits and areas such as infinity room, the vortex tunnel, the Beuchet Chair illusion and Ames room is lots of fun both for kids and adults. There is also a small shop and a great candy shop at the entrance of the museum.

 

Open daily between 10:00-22:00

Narmanli Han, Istiklal Cad. No:18 – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 244 06 64

Admission: Adults 49 TL – Kids 35 TL

 

Miniaturk

Miniaturk is also named as the “Showcase of Turkey”, where you can find many important structures of Turkey in small scales, models of architectural masterpieces representing the Anatolian and Ottoman civilizations.

Models of 105 historical and architectural works, all made in the scale of 1/25, including the Library of Celsus at Ephesus, the Malabadi Bridge in Diyarbakir, Grand Mosque of Bursa, the Tomb of Mevlana in Konya, Dome of the Rock (Mescid-i Aksa), the Church of St. Antoine in Istanbul, the Ottoman galley, Savarona (Ataturk’s boat), the Underground Cistern (Yerebatan), Stone houses of Mardin, Fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, Ataturk’s Mausoleum in Ankara, Aspendos theater in Antalya, Hagia Sophia and the Maiden’s Tower of Istanbul, can all be seen in one single place. There is also a miniature railway network, a motorway with moving vehicles, an airport with moving airplanes, thousands of human figures, and ships sailing across the Bosphorus. These dynamic models make Miniaturk a living park.

Built in 2003 on a 60,000-square-meter site in the Golden Horn, it is the largest miniature city in the world and has attracted lots of interest and is located opposite the Pierre Loti Coffee House in Eyup district, a favorite with tourists.

Open daily between 09:00-18:00

Imrahor Caddesi Borsa Duragi Mevkii, Sutluce – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 222 28 82

Admission: 15 TL

 

Toy Museum

This is a private museum founded by Sunay Akin in a historical residence that belongs to his family, in Goztepe district of Istanbul. Approximately 2000 toys and miniatures are exhibited in the museum that occupies 500 square meters of land. Sunay Akin has collected some 4000 toys from Turkey and abroad. The oldest is a miniature violin manufactured in 1817 in France. A doll made in 1820 in United States, marbles from United States dating back to 1860 and German toys made from tin, and porcelain dolls are other items of the extensive collection.

The museum has a cafeteria and a very small theater as well.

Open daily between 09:30-18:00 except Mondays.

Omerpasa Caddesi Dr. Zeki Zeren Sokak No:17, Goztepe

Tel: (216) 359 45 50 and 51

Admission: 18 TL

 

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds wax museum in Istanbul is opened on November 2016. It’s located inside a historical building on Istiklal street with 55 wax statues of well-known Turkish and foreign personalities such as Ataturk, Einstein, Steve Jobs, Brad Pitt, Anjelina Jolie, Bob Marley, Messi, and so on.

 

Open daily between 10:00-20:00

Tel: (212) 444 3 253

Admission: 64 TL

 

Wax Museum

A private museum opened in 2012 in the modern Sapphire shopping mall located in a residential area. The wax statues were made by Mrs. Jale Kushan, using very realistic materials and the wax. There are around 60 wax statues of many important figures such as Attila, Elvis Presley, Da Vinci, Karl Marx, Mevlana, Ataturk, Napoleon, Beatles, and many other historic and popular personalities around the world.

 

Open daily between 10:00-22:00

Tel: (212) 268 80 80

Admission: 30 TL

 

SAV Automobile Museum

The Sabri Artam Vakfi Antique Automotive museum has the largest collection of antique cars in Turkey with its over 100 vehicles collected privately in a record time frame of 15-20 years by Artam family. The museum is recognized by FIVA (Federation Internationale des Vehicule Anciens – International Federation of Antique Vehicles) as well. There are many special cars in the collection from last century, such as 1907 model Panhard-Levassor, 1912 model Mercer, 1926 model Bugatti, and 1929 model Packard. There is also the largest collection of Ferrari’s in Turkey, and special models of Maserati, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini and Fiat cars are on display.

The museum is located in Cengelkoy, near Uskudar on the Asian side of Istanbul, and has a total of 5 floors; in the basement there are cars produced after 1960’s, on the second floor cars from 1950’s, on the third floor a cafeteria and antique cars, and on the roof there are model cars.

 

Open daily between 10:00-19:00 except Sundays & Mondays.

Bosna Bulvari No:104, Cengelkoy

Tel: (216) 329 50 30

Admission: 10 TL

 

TURVAK Cinema & TV Museum

The TURVAK is a private foundation established by Turker Inanoglu, one of the most known movie directors in Turkey. The Cinema and Television Museum was founded to show the development of Turkish movie and television industry from the beginning until today. On the displays in several halls one can see old film and recording machines of 8, 16 and 35 mm, illuminating projectors, editing consoles, turntables, dolly, carriages, studio and laboratory devices, posters, photographs, leaflets, brochures, advertising material, scripts, books and magazines on cinema. In the same building there is also a Theater Museum by TURVAK, with masks and play accessories, stage costumes, tickets and invitation cards, posters, brochures and photographs, samples of our traditional theater such as the Ortaoyunu (a special theatrical genre in Turkish Theater) Section and Hacivat – Karagoz shadow theater characters. The museum used to be located on the Asian side of Istanbul but in January 2011 it has moved to its new location near Taksim Square.

 

Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Mondays.

Yeni Carsi Cad. No:24, Galatasaray Meydani – Beyoglu

Tel: (212) 245 80 91 and 92

Admission: 10 TL

 

Illumination & Heating Appliances Museum

This is a small private museum owned by Mr. Mehmet Yaldiz. The museum is located in an old mansion in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Eminonu district, near the Blue Mosque. There is a large collection of antique and historic lighting and heating appliances such as oil and stone lamps, gas lamps, cooking stoves, candle sticks, wood and coal stoves, braziers and incense burners, chandeliers, and other related materials from Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

 

Important note: Closed for restorations.

Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Dalbasti Sokak No:16, Sultanahmet – Eminonu

Tel: (212) 517 66 08

 

PTT (Postal Service) Museum

The PTT (Post – Telephone – Telegram company) museum in Istanbul is located inside the historic building of main post office at Sirkeci neighborhood. It houses several old phone units, telegram machines, first stamp from 1863 and other late Ottoman or early Republic period stamps, old seals and mail boxes, postal clerk uniforms, and some photos of the first communication systems in Turkey.

 

Open daily except weekends and holidays, between 08:30-12:30 and 13:30-17:30

Büyük Postane, Yeni Postane Sok. Zaptiye Cad. No:25, Sirkeci – Eminonu

Tel: (212) 520 90 37

 

Photograpy Museum

The Photography museum is opened in 2011 in the historic neighbourhood of Kadirga, in order to witness the past and present of the Turkish photography. The museum contains works of various Turkish photographers, archive of photos and a library.

Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except on Mondays and on national and religious holidays

Sehsuvar Bey Mah. Kadirga Liman Cad. No:60, Kadirga

Tel: (212) 458 88 42

Admission: 3 TL

 

Museum of the Princes’ Islands

The Museum of the Princes’ Islands is a contemporary city museum of Istanbul opened in 2010 at Buyukada, one of the Princes’ Islands. The museum tells the story of the islands from the geological formation of them to the present day, displaying hundreds of objects, Ottoman archival documents, photographs, documentary films, and so on.

Open daily between 09:00-18:00, except on Mondays

Hangar Muze Alani, Aya Nikola Mevkii, Büyükada

Tel: (216) 382 64 30

Admission: 5 TL

 

Panorama 1453 History Museum

One of the newest sights of Istanbul and the first and the only panoramic museum in Turkey, describing the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453 with 3-D objects and paintings, including sounds too. The museum is located in front of the ancient city walls where the Janissaries were first able to breach the city during the siege. Inside the museum you can have a 360 degrees of vision when you look at the wall paintings from a distance giving you a 3 dimensional impression. This 3-D effect makes you think that the picture is without boundaries.

Open daily between 09:00-17:00

Merkez Efendi Mahallesi – Topkapi

Tel: (212) 467 07 00

Admission: 15 TL

 

Military Museum

The museum consists of many interesting military pieces such as uniforms belonging to every period of Ottoman army, various weapons from bow and arrow to triggered guns, seals, armors, tent of the sultan, sultan swords, flags, photos of ministers of defense, Byzantine Cavalry Flag, various warfare pieces used from the Seljuk period to the Republic period, and the chain with which Byzantines closed the Golden Horn before the Conquest. There is also a Janissary Band show daily between 3-4 pm.

Open daily between 09:00-17:00 except Mondays and Tuesdays and 1st of January.

Cumhuriyet Caddesi, Harbiye – Sisli

Tel: (212) 233 27 20

Admission: 4 TL

 

Naval Museum

The museum was opened to public in 1960 and renewed recently. It displays the uniforms of the Turkish sailors, models of Turkish naval vessels, and paintings, engravings and maps related to Turkish maritime history. Also the materials and souvenirs from the vessels used in the first years of Ottoman Empire and the Republic, pictures of some navy disasters and martyrs, wartime weapons such as hand-bombs, torpedo, fire gun and sketches of several fleet commanders are amongst the display. A great collection of Sultans’ row-boats (Saltanat Kayigi in Turkish) are on display in the main large halls, as well as coat of arms and wooden decorations from these old vessels. You can also see the the chain which blocked the entrance of the Golden Horn during the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453. In the courtyard of the museum, cannonballs of various sizes and a part of German Battleship which sunk in our coastline during Second World War are also displayed.

 

Open daily between 09:00-17:00 except Mondays.

Hayrettin Iskelesi Sokak, Besiktas

Tel: (212) 327 43 45 and 46

Admission: 8,50 TL

 

Aviation Museum

The museum stands within the Air Command Headquarters of Istanbul and has both indoor and outdoor exhibition sections; jet-motor and hovercrafts, cargo planes, helicopters, some aviation arms, pictures, emblems, medallions and belongings of Turkish air pilots are displayed. The Museum also features movie theater, conference room and a cafeteria.

Open daily between 09:30-16:30 (excluding lunch time) except Mondays and Tuesdays.

Hava Harp Okulu, Yesilyurt

Tel: (212) 663 24 90

 

Fire Brigade Museum

This museum presents a chronological history of fire fighting in Istanbul starting with the water pumpers (tulumbaci in Turkish) of Ottoman times. All kinds of fire brigade equipment, from the first motorized fire engines to firemen’s clothing and tools, are displayed. The museum in its present building opened in 1992 within the main Fire Brigade headquarters in Fatih district, after many years of collecting and repairing the objects.

Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except weekends.

Itfaiye Caddesi No:9, Fatih

Tel: (212) 524 11 25 or 635 71 74

 

Mosaics Museum

This museum, opened to the public in 1953 behind Blue Mosque, consists of the remains of the Great Palace of the Byzantine Empire built by Constantine the Great (324-337). These remains consists of mosaics, columns and other architectural pieces which had once been part of the Great Palace. They show scenes with human figures, daily life in Byzantium, hunting incidents, landscapes and animal figures.

Open daily between 09:30-16:30 except Mondays.

Sultanahmet, Eminonu

Tel: (212) 518 12 05 or 528 45 00

Admission: 20 TL

 

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)

the Underground CisternByzantine cistern from the 6th century built by Justinian I and is located to the south-west of Hagia Sophia. The water was brought from Belgrade Forest, 19 kilometers to the north of Istanbul, and it had a capacity to store 100.000 tons of water. It features fine brick vaulting supported by 336 various type of columns brought here from different parts of the Empire. The Basilica Cistern, or Underground (Yerebatan) Cistern as locals call it, used to host musical and theatrical performances and a Biannual. There are also two Medusa friezes brought from the Temple of Apollo in Didyma (today’s Didim). Its dimensions are 140x70x9 meters. Part of the cistern is under restorations.

Open daily between 09:00-17:30

Yerebatan Caddesi No:13, Sultanahmet

Tel: (212) 522 12 59

Admission: 20 TL

 

Binbirdirek Cistern (Binbirdirek Sarnici)

It’s one of the oldest Byzantine cisterns of Istanbul; it was built by Philoxenus to the west of the Hippodrome as a huge water storage in the 4th century AD during the reign of Constantine the Great. The dimensions of the cistern are 64 x 56 meters with 15 meters of height and there were 224 original columns, out of which 212 of them survived until our days. The brick arches and the roof surrounded by tick walls are supported by these columns. It’s beleived that it was connected to Serefiye cistern nearby. Binbirdirek in Turkish means “Thousand and one columns”, referring probably to its many columns. During the Ottoman period it was used as a silk threads production atelier and unfortunately as a dump during the Republic period. It was opened to the public in 2002 after a long restoration period. Besides being a museum, today there are small shops, a restaurant, the cistern is also used for special events and for small scale music concerts.

Open daily between 09:00-17:30

Adliye Karsisi, Sultanahmet

Tel: (212) 518 10 01

 

Camlica Hill

Situated on the Asian side of Istanbul, this 229 meter hill called as Kücük (Small) Camlica provides a panoramic view of the city and has nice cafeterias to enjoy Turkish tea or coffee. There is also a second hill named Büyük (Grand) Camlica, 262 meters high, where several TV and radio station antennas have been placed. Camlica Hill is also a well-known spot for watching migrating birds over the Bosphorus.

Open every day. Admission is free.

 

Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome)

Egyptian ObeliskScene of horse and chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. It was the place where the Nika Riot started in 532 AD. There is an Egyptian Obelisk, a stone obelisk and the Serpentine Column which were originally brought by the Byzantine emperors and used for the decoration of the Hippodrome. At the other end of the Hippodrome, the German Fountain still functions today. The imperial lodge was located to the west of the Hippodrome where Ibrahim Pasha Palace stands now. Today, Sultanahmet Square is a nice pedestrian area for picnics and meetings.

Open every day. Admission is free.

 

Beautiful Parks, Groves & Gardens of Istanbul

Here, you can find the most visited and the most beautiful groves, parks and gardens suitable for great day out activities in the company of green and nature in Istanbul. You can spend a great and peaceful day out at these popular Istanbul parks during your Istanbul stay.

 

Gulhane Park between Sirkeci & Sultanahmet

Located in between the Sultanahmet and Sirkeci, Gulhane Park (Rose Garden) is one of the most beautiful parks in Istanbul for both tourists and locals. The park covers a huge area. There are variety of very beautiful gardens, trees, pools and outdoor cafes with the impressive views of the Bosphorus. There is also a Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam in the park, a unique one in the world that worth a see.

 

Yildiz Park & Grove in Besiktas

Yildiz Grove is one of the most beautiful parks in Istanbul consists of many beautiful pools, waterfalls and ponds, as well as fascinating gardens and trees. Some of the trees are about more than 400 years old. It is one of the best parks in Istanbul. A great day out at the park, walking in the gardens and having a rest at the cafes and restaurants will make you feel very peaceful.

 

Emirgan Park & Grove in Emirgan

Emirgan Park (Emirgan Grove) is located in Emirgan, Istanbul and covers an area of 325,000 square meters. has variety of pine, umbrella pine, cypress, fir, willow and lime trees.

 

Bebek Park in Bebek

Bebek Park is located on the Bosphorus shores of Bebek, Besiktas. There are variety of dining and wining alternatives in and around the park for the visitors. The park and the area are always lively and full of people.

 

Ulus Park in Besiktas

The Ulus Park is located on the Adnan Saygun Street in Ulus, on the hills through Besiktas. Ulus Park is a well preserved one and has an outstanding panorama through the Bosphorus. There are also several restaurants and cafes for the visitors.

 

Rumeli Hisarustu Duatepe Park in Sariyer 

Located by the Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridge, in the Sariyer district on the European side, the Rumeli Hisarustu Duatepe Park offers spectacular views of Istanbul. You can see the Hidiv Pavilion and Anatolian Fortress, and combined with the unique Bosphorus view. Great place to watch the scenery while having your drink at the cafes.

 

Fethi Pasa Grove in Uskudar

Located at the back hills of Uskudar and Belerbeyi, the Fethi Pasha Grove is a great place to have a rest with your drink and watching the beautiful views of the city and the Bosphorus. It covers a 16 hectares of green area and has an outstanding panorama of the Bosphorus. It takes great number of visitors especially at the weekends.

 

 

Camlica Hill Park

Camlica Hill is a great leisure and tourist area located in the Asian side of Istanbul. Camlica Hill offers great panoramic views of the city. The hill is the highest one to find the best views of Istanbul from 265 meters above the sea level. There are also several cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy your views. Address: Kısıklı, Turistik Çamlıca Cd., 34692 Üsküdar/Istanbul.

 

 

Romantika Fenerbahçe Park in Kadikoy

The Romantika Fenerbahce Park is located on the Fenerbahce Peninsula in the Fenerbahce neighborhood of Kadikoy. The park is very popular with the Istanbul locals and has beautiful open and closed areas.

 

Cubuklu Grove in Kanlica

The Cubuklu Hidiv Ismail Pasa Grove is a beautiful grove located in Cubuklu, Beykoz. It is kind of a small grove but it is beautiful with pine trees, firs and cedars. Also the Misir Hidivi Abbas Hilmi Pasa palace nearby the grove is a great architectural masterpiece.

 

 

Mihrabad Grove in Kanlica

Mihrabad Grove is a beautiful grove overlooking Bosphorus and covers an area of 25 hectares, located in Kanlica, Bosphorus Asian shore, close to the Black Sea. There are variety of gardens as well as with monumental cypresses, umbrella pines, Judas and bay trees. It is also a favorite place for the ones who want to have an open buffet breakfast and dinner at the weekends.

 

Otagtepe Park (Fatih Grove) in Beykoz

Located by the Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridge, along Kavacik, in the Beykoz district on the Asian side, the Fatih Grove Tema Vehbi Koç Nature Culture Center (formerly known as Otağtepe Park) offers spectacular views of Istanbul and so called as fake heaven. You can see the two bridges and the city’s best scenery with a bird’s eye view, and combined with the unique Bosphorus view. No cafes or restaurants.

 

Istanbul Tulip Festival (annual, last 3 weeks of April)

Istanbul Tulip Festival (annual, last 3 weeks of April)

Tulips are very important for the Ottoman Empire and Turkish culture. And to celebrate both spring and this fact, this annual festival takes place at the city’s most famous parks, such as the Gulhane Park in Sirkeci, Sultanahmet Square in Sultanahmet, Yildiz Park in Besiktas, Emirgan Park in Emirgan in the European side, and Fethi Pasa‌Grove and Camlica Hill in Uskudar, Cubuklu Hidiv Grove in Cubuklu and Beykoz Park in Beykoz ain the Asian side. This is a free festival and visitors may enjoy billions of tulips in 120 different types that blossoms in April, as well as several culture and art activities that are organized in the Emirgan Park and Sultanahmet Square. There is also a tulip photo contest and the winners are awarded.

List of hospitals and emergency medical centers

Name Address Telephone Fax
Bakirkoy State Hospital Bakirkoy-Istanbul 0212 543 6565 0212 542 4491
Istanbul SSK Hospital Samatya-Istanbul 0212 632 0060 0212 588 4400
Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Hospital Cerrahpasa Caddesi
Cerrahpasa-Istanbul
0212 414 3000 0212 632 0050
Etfal State Hospital Etfal Sokak No:10
Sisli-Istanbul
0212 231 2209 0212 234 1121
Siyami Ersek Cardiology Hospital Asian side of the city
Haydarpasa-Istanbul
0216 418 9610 0216 337 9719
Marmara University Hospital Tophanelioglu Caddesi 13/15
Goztepe-Istanbul
0216 327 1010 0216 326 9578
Istinye State Hospital Emirgan Cad. No:98
Istinye-Istanbul
0212 277 4912 0212 277 7074
Kartal State Hospital Kartal-Istanbul 0216 306 6850 0216 389 3171
American Hospital Guzelbahce Sokak No:20
Nisantasi-Istanbul
0212 311 2000 0212 311 2190
Florence Nightingale Hospital Abide Hurriyet Caddesi No:290
Caglayan-Sisli-Istanbul
0212 224 4950 0212 224 4982
Metropolitan Florence Nightingale Hospital Cemil Aslan Guder Sokak No:8
Gayrettepe-Istanbul
0212 288 3400 0212 288 9812
Kadikoy Florence Nightingale Hospital Bagdat Caddesi No:63
Kiziltoprak-Kadikoy-Istanbul
0216 450 0303  
French La Paix Hospital Buyukdere Cad. No:22/24
Sisli-Istanbul
0212 246 1020-24 0212 233 6989
Austrian St. George-Hospital Bereketzade Medrese Sok. No.5/7
Karakoy-Istanbul
0212 292 6220 0212 245 5463
International Hospital Istanbul Cad. No:82
Yesilyurt-Istanbul
0212 468 4444 0212 663 2862
Acibadem Hospital Tekin Sokak No.18
Acibadem-Kadikoy-Istanbul
0216 544 4444 0216 544 4000
Acibadem Maslak Hospital Buyukdere Cad. No:40
Maslak-Istanbul
0212 304 4444 0212 286 6131
Dogan Hospital Ziya Gokalp Cad. No.2
Kucukcekmece-Istanbul
0212 624 3434 0212 579 9198
Academic Hospital Nuh Kuyusu Caddesi No.88
Uskudar-Istanbul
0216 651 0000-14 0216 651 0040
Johns Hopkins Anadolu Saglik Merkezi Hospital Anadolu Cad. No.1, Bayramoglu Cikisi
Cayirova Mevkii-Gebze-Kocaeli
0262 678 5000 0262 654 0055
Cevre Hospital 2.Tasocagi Cad. No:31
Mecidiyekoy-
0212 274 6925-26 0212 275 9426
Dunya Eye Hospital Zeytinlik Mah. Sahilyolu Cad. No:18
Atakoy-
0212 444 4469 0212 413 7576
Dunya Etiler Eye Hospital Nispetiye Cad. Yanarsu Sok. No:1
Etiler-Istanbul
0212 362 3232 0212 257 0580
Hizmet Hospital E-5 highway
Bahcelievler-Istanbul
0212 444 8111 0212 505 0837
Cerrahi Hospital Ferah Sokak No.18
Tesvikiye-Istanbul
0212 296 9450 0212 296 9482
Medipol Hospital E-5 Ankara Asfalti, Kosuyolu Duragi
Kadikoy-Istanbul
0216 545 4545 0216 339 4444
Memorial Hospital Piyale Pasa Bulvari
Okmeydani-Istanbul
0212 444 7888 0212 210 1777
Medical Park Hospital Fevzipasa Cad. Sarachane parki yani
Fatih-Istanbul
0212 531 1313 0212 531 0481
JF Kennedy Hospital Talatpasa Bulv. Begonya Sok. No.7-9
Bahcelievler-Istanbul
0212 441 2121 0212 441 3000
Levent Hospital Eski Buyukdere Cad. No.31
4.Levent-Istanbul
0212 270 0022 0212 283 2670
Sifa Hospital Sakiz Sokak No.7
Caferaga-Kadikoy-Istanbul
0216 449 2222 0216 449 3333
Surp Agop Hospital Yedikuyular Cad. No.6/1
Elmadag-Istanbul
0212 230 1718 0212 233 6828
Or-Ahayim Jewish Hospital Demirhisar Cad. No:46-48
Ayvansaray/Balat-Istanbul
0212 491 0000 0212 635 9080
Hayrunnisa Hospital Fatih Caddesi
Yenibosna-Istanbul
0212 452 3535 0212 653 8604
Turk Diabetes Hospital Dr. Celal Oker Sok. No.10
Harbiye-Istanbul
0212 230 4900 0212 248 5523
Incirli Hospital Incirli Cad. Pelinli Sok. No.14
Incirli-

 

 

 

0212 543 6890 0212 561 2702
TEM Hospital Akarsu 1 Sok. No:11-12
Ikitelli-Istanbul
0212 471 3150 0212 698 5884
Dentistanbul Tooth Hospital Yildiz Caddesi No:55
Besiktas-
0212 327 4020 0212 260 6307
Bursa State Hospital Hasta Yurdu Caddesi
Osmangazi-

 

0224 220 0020  
Iznik State Hospital Selcuk Mah. Uvecik Mevkii
Iznik-Bursa
0224 757 7580  
Bursa Private Konur Hospital Zubeyde Hanim Cad. No:12/2
Cekirge-Bursa
0224 233 9340 0224 233 9346
Bursa Private Vatan Hospital Fevzi Cakmak Cad. No:55
Bursa
0224 220 1040 0224 225 1192
Canakkale State Hospital Canakkale 0286 217 1098 0286 212 0611
Gallipoli State Hospital -Canakkale 0286 566 1035 0286 566 5908
Private Canakkale Hospital Barbaros Mah. Ataturk Cad. No:296
Canakkale
0286 217 7461  
Tekirdag State Hospital Tekirdag 0282 262 5355 0282 261 2078