5 Travel Tips for First Time Travelers to Istanbul

5 Travel Tips for First Time Travelers to Istanbul

5 Travel Tips for First Time Travelers to Istanbul

5 Travel Tips for First Time Travelers to Istanbul

Istanbul is a large and intriguing city that many tourists want to see. It is the only city in the world located on two continents – Asia and Europe – and has a rich past and a modern side. 

Istanbul is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, attracting approximately 39 million visitors each year (as of 2018 figures). With so many tourists on the go, it may be difficult for first-time visitors to figure out how to experience the city to its fullest.

Visit a Mosque

Tourists are only permitted to enter during non-prayer hours through the North West entrance. Both men and women must dress modestly, with shoulders and knees covered; most big Mosques will allow you to borrow a shawl if you are not covered. Women must also cover their heads with a scarf, which can be borrowed but purchased cheaply at any market. People may be praying even during non-prayer times, so no rushing or screaming. Take no images of worshipers without their consent, just like you would at any other house of worship. Non-Muslims must remain beyond the wooden barrier that surrounds the primary worship area.

Getting Around the City

Istanbul is quite spread out, with many key areas to explore, but a few transit ideas can make traveling about town less stressful. Most of the main areas are simple to walk about, which is beneficial because traffic congestion can cause cabs to be reasonably delayed. Although there are no subway lines in the older portions of town, a pair of essential tram lines and a couple of funicular lifts make navigating between districts much easier.

Where to Stay

Get your hotel info in a non-internet-required format to hand it to border officials. When you arrive in Turkey, you should have your lodging information with you, and the border police may or may not ask for it. If they ask for it, have it printed off or downloaded to your phone because you may not have an internet connection when you initially arrive.

Tipping in Restaurants

Tipping is not as widespread in Istanbul as in the United States, but it does occur. Keep in mind that you will rarely be able to place a tip on a credit card. You must have access to modest sums of cash for tips.


If you are a vegan or vegetarian, Istanbul is a fantastic location to dine. There are many restaurant alternatives that you may still have an unforgettable gastronomic holiday without sacrificing quality. If you're planning a trip to Istanbul and are concerned about how your food allergies will be handled, you'll be relieved to hear that most restaurants in the city's central areas have servers that speak excellent English. You should have no trouble communicating your food allergy while in the city.