Istanbul

Travel Guide
Istanbul showing a sunset, mist or fog and heritage architecture
Turkey’s largest city is both European and Asian and has been part of many empires. As a result, Istanbul is modern and traditional, familiar and exotic.

It is Istanbul’s unique blend of Western and Eastern heritage and culture that attracts tourists from all over the world. Experience the comforts of modern Turkey in its malls, galleries and clubs, and the delights of traditional Turkish bazaars, palaces, taverns and mosques. Istanbul’s natural beauty, with pleasant Mediterranean climate, completes its glorious appeal.

Located on the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul has the Sea of Marmara to the south and the Black Sea to the north. Istanbul connects Europe with Asia and this strategic position evoked many power struggles. Under its previous names of Byzantium and Constantinople, Istanbul served as the capital of the Roman, the Byzantine, the Latin and the Ottoman empires and was once also the capital of Islam. The Turks started to call it Istanbul, a name that was made official when the Turkish Republic was proclaimed in 1923.

The Sultanahmet peninsula, which is home to the Old City, reflects Istanbul’s diverse political and religious past, particularly in the architecture. The iconic Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), for example, was once a Christian cathedral and later a mosque. Visit the nearby Topkapi Palace (Topkapı Sarayı), Hippodrome (Hipodrom) and Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) and save some of your liras for the souvenirs in the Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı). Get a bird’s-eye view of it all from the top of the 14th-century Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) or visit nearby Miniatürk to see miniature versions of all these buildings. Cool off in the underground Basilica Cistern.

Cross the Galata Bridge, spanning the Golden Horn, to visit Taksim Square and the New City. Enjoy modern skyscrapers, nightclubs and shopping malls and watch hip youngsters mingle with businessmen.

Buy an Istanbulkart, for easy access to all public transport the ferry is a good way to see the Beylerbeyi Palace across the strait.

Over 13 million people live in Istanbul, making it Europe’s most populous city, and it’s easy to see what the attraction is. Istanbul’s fusion of East and West, reflected in the culture, architecture, art and cuisine is truly unique.

Where to stay in Istanbul

The Marmara Pera
The Marmara Pera
4 out of 5
Mesrutiyet Cad. Tepebasi, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34430
The price is CA $177 per night from Aug 30 to Aug 31
Stay at this 4-star family-friendly hotel in Istanbul. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,007 reviews)
"The room are not ready at the check in, se attend in the hall. Cleaning is not so good. The position and the breakfast are top"

Reviewed on Aug. 1, 2022

The Marmara Pera
YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE, City Entrance
YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE, City Entrance
Tayakadin Mah. Terminal Cad. No.: 1, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul, 34283
The price is CA $266 per night from Aug 23 to Aug 24
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Arnavutkoy. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (967 reviews)
"Signage is not the best. Should be more prominent, more frequent as people are walking from the arrival area. If you arrive from a foreign country it is very very challenging to find the hotel. People get really confused between airside and airland. Thank you."

Reviewed on Aug. 6, 2022

YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE, City Entrance
Pera Palace Hotel
Pera Palace Hotel
5 out of 5
Mesrutiyet Cad. No. 52, Tepebasi Beyoglu, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34430
The price is CA $380 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 17
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Istanbul. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 coffee shops/cafes, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (1,005 reviews)
"Great location! Old school charm."

Reviewed on Aug. 7, 2022

Pera Palace Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Quars Suite
Quars Suite
Sultaniye Mahallesi 350.sk No.10/A, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34510
The price is CA $29 per night from Aug 9 to Aug 10
Stay at this business-friendly aparthotel in Istanbul. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Popular attractions Torium Shopping Center and ...
3.2/5 (16 reviews)
"Nice building but suites not clean and roches everywhere in the room"

Reviewed on Jan. 8, 2022

Quars Suite
G Tower Residences
G Tower Residences
Mimar Sinan Cd 35, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34209
Stay at this business-friendly residence in Istanbul. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and an outdoor pool. Popular attractions Mall of Istanbul and Florya Beach ...
4/5 Very Good! (45 reviews)
Excellent hotel
"Amazing hotel with new and very good amenities"

Reviewed on Jul. 25, 2022

G Tower Residences
Ekinci Residence
Ekinci Residence
Yenisehir Mah. Osmanli Bulvari Sümbül, Sok. No:8, Kurtkoy, Istanbul, 34912
The price is CA $69 per night from Aug 31 to Sep 1
Stay at this business-friendly residence in Istanbul. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (300 reviews)
"The room is very big, but WiFi isn't good."

Reviewed on Apr. 14, 2022

Ekinci Residence
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Istanbul

Things to do

Cities near Istanbul