Although not the capital, Istanbul is Turkey’s principal city in terms of population, economy and commerce, as well as cultural and historic attractions. Its location in northeastern Turkey’s Marmara region provides it with an invitingly pleasant climate to complement its city treasures. A past recipient of the European Capital of Culture award, Istanbul has experienced a significant increase in visitors eager to experience the city’s enticing blend of European and exotic, Middle Eastern traditions. At eDreams, we are pleased to offer you our excellent vacation in Istanbul package offering a flight to Istanbul and excellent hotel accommodation so you can experience first-hand the charms of the ancient city of Istanbul.
Things to know before visiting Istanbul
American citizens need to be in possession of a valid visa to visit Turkey. The good news is that you can easily apply for an e-visa online, and it can be applied for and obtained reasonably quickly and without fuss. The currency used in Turkey is the Turkish lira, but you’ll also find many places, such as department stores, that are willing to take US dollars or even euros, so take some extra dollar banknotes and keep them in reserve. If you intend renting a car in Istanbul, your US driving license will be fine; there's no need to apply for an international license provided that your current license is at least a year old and that you don't intend to stay in Turkey longer than 90 days. As with all of mainland Europe, driving is on the right.
What is the weather in Istanbul?
Istanbul’s climate is classed as a Mediterranean climate, although some parts of the city are affected by the cooler maritime climate of the Black Sea. That means predictable and usually pleasant weather throughout the year. Average Fahrenheit temperatures range from the mid 30s in January to the low 80s in August, although temperatures can occasionally rise to the high 90s. The driest months are the summer months, and because of the different climates affecting different parts of the city, the popular southern part of Istanbul receives less rain, is warmer and is less humid than the northern part. Whatever your weather preferences, our flight and hotel in Istanbul travel deals are available all year round and are designed to provide you with an unforgettable experience that you’ll treasure for years to come, no matter what time of year you choose to visit.
What to do in Istanbul?
There’s much to see and do in Istanbul. For exciting shopping or just browsing and admiring the merchandise, the Grand Bazaar is a place not to be missed. Colorful, noisy and buzzing with activity, it has an unbelievable range of goods, and you can find terrific deals provided that you’re not too shy to exercise your bargaining skills. Istanbul is also home to some great museums. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum in the Eminonu district of the city is a fascinating place to visit. It actually comprises three separate museums: the Archaeology Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Museum of Islamic Art.
For a superb panoramic view of Istanbul, visit the observation deck of Galata Tower. The tower stands almost 200 feet tall and provides spectacular 360 degree views of the city. While you're in the town, enjoy a stroll around the pleasant streets of Galata. If you like to wander around palaces, Dolmabahce Palace, built in the middle of the 19th century by Sultan Abdul Mecit, will keep you engrossed. Explore its opulent interior of over 300 rooms and salons with a crystal staircase and a chandelier weighing four and a half tons - an impressive sight. Istanbul is full of historical treasures like these, and a vacation in the city booked via our acclaimed flight deals to Istanbul will be a culturally enriching experience.
What to visit around Istanbul?
How about taking a cruise on the Bosporus Strait all the way to the Black Sea? It’s a fascinating day trip and you can enjoy views of both the Asian side and European side. Shorter cruises, including the popular Sunset Cruise, are also available. Another popular location, just north of the city, is the 730-acre Ataturk Arboretum. It's home to over a thousand different species of trees and plants. With miles of walking trails and lakes, it’s a wonderfully invigorating place to spend time in.
The Black sea coastal town of Sile, less than 50 miles from Istanbul, also attracts visitors from the city. Check out its two famous landmarks: Sile Lighthouse and the Genoese Castle, and also check out the superb seafood sold in restaurants. All of these attractions and many more are there to be discovered and enjoyed, so check out our super all-inclusive deals and enjoy an unbeatable vacation in Istanbul whether you take a flight from New York to Istanbul or a flight from Los Angeles to Istanbul.
What to eat in Istanbul?
Istanbul straddles two separate continents; the dividing line between Europe and Asia runs right through the city, so it’s no surprise that Istanbul’s cuisine is influenced by neighboring European countries as well as the Middle East region. It means you can enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to food. Overall, Istanbul follows Ottoman cuisine, which favors lightly spiced meat, stews, a wide range of vegetables, and dishes served with rice. The city’s proximity to the Black Sea explains the popularity of seafood in Istanbul, too. There are countless restaurants throughout the city offering a vast range of delicious fish and seafood dishes, especially on the shoreline of the Bosporus Strait, the channel that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Take advantage of our excellent travel packages to Istanbul and look forward to delicious dining every day in addition to all the other delights of the city.