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Which Side of Istanbul Is the Blue Mosque?

Located in the Europe side of İstanbul, the Blue Mosque is one of the most significant examples of classic Turkish architecture, which was constructed in the early 1660s.

I ensure you, you will easily realize the 20,000 blue tiles decorating its domed ceiling when you enter inside.

If you have the plan to visit this unique historical structure, here is an important guideline for you! To begin with, you need to know by which vehicle you can go; from the Europe side or the Asian side of İstanbul? All matters and you can follow all answers below.

Secondly, you should learn some historical pieces of information before visiting, like the Architect Mimar Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa and you should know how to enter in terms of dress code and other matters to this sacred place.

After finalizing your visit, here are also some suggestions to do around the  Blue Mosque such as High Sofia Museum and Topkapi Palace.

You will be informed at the end of the reading, but I still need to remain you the popular and so delicious Sultanahmet Koftesi not to return before testing!

About the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)

The Blue Mosque, known also as Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish, has high historical value. The name of ‘blue’ comes from blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design.

This Mosque visited by many tourists every year was built between 1609 and 1616 years which is the period during the rule of Ahmed I. As one of the popular tourist attraction in İstanbul, this structure comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasa and a hospice.

The number of visitors coming specifically to see this mosque is quite high nowadays. Because of this tourist attraction, and being that much active mosque, there is an arrangement to prevent any possible chaos: it’s closed to non-worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers.

If you approach the Blue Mosque from the west side of the mosque which is from the Hippodrome, you will see great architecture.

The Architecture of the Blue Mosque

The importance of architecture of the Blue Mosque comes from being a sign as a bridge between two periods: both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church developments centuries.

While it combines some Byzantine elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture, it is also seen as the last great mosque of the classical period of Ottoman Empire.​

In terms of Minarets, this one is the first one of the two mosques in Turkey that has six minarets, before the Sabancı Mosque in Adana.

Every four minarets standing at the corners of the Blue Mosque are fluted, pencil-shaped minarets with three balconies (called Serefe) and stalactite corbels, which makes the muezzin had to climb a narrow spiral staircase five times a day to announce the call to prayer. Yet, this system has changed as a public calling system.

As exterior part of the Blue Mosque, the central hexagonal fountain is rather small in contrast with the dimensions of the courtyard, and its semi-dome has a fine stalactite structure, crowned by a small ribbed dome.

There is also an iron chain hangs in the upper part of the court. This heavy iron chain entrance on the western side of the Mosque let the Sultan enter the court of the Blue Mosque on horseback.

The purpose of this is to make the sultan lower his head every time he enters the court so that he can show his humility in the face of the divine with a symbolic gesture.

When it comes to the inside of the Mosque, we see that the floors are covered with carpets. There are also many spacious windows confer a spacious impression, and each exedra of the Mosque has five windows, some of which are blind.

The other element inside is the mihrab. It is made of finely carved and sculptured marble. Also, the design is okay to make anyone see and hear the Imam when it is so crowded.

The interesting part of the design is about lamps. There are many lamps inside the Blue Mosque and they are covered with gold and gems. There are also ostrich eggs and crystal balls inside to make it more beneficial.

Lastly, there are more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles inside. They were produced in İznik, which represents the cultural and artistic zenith of the Ottoman Empire.

History of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque

As one of Istanbul’s most iconic historical sights and an essential part of the city’s skyline with its six magnificent minarets, the Blue Mosque was built by Architect Mimar Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa, who was the last student of Architect Mimar Sinan, Turkey’s most celebrated architect between 1609-1616 during the period of I.Ahmed.

When Sultan Ahmed I get the construction of the mosque started, he was only 19 years old. That is why at first his decision was provoked by some Ottoman scholars and statesmen since they thought he had no right to build a mosque.

However, despite everything, he got the construction started in 1609 on the site of the palace of the Byzantine emperors, which faces the Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome. In fact, it is a site of great symbolic significance.

We have some pieces of information about the opening ceremonies there from the library of the Topkapı Palace. It says the opening ceremonies were held in 1617.

Furthermore, Sultan Ahmed I experienced praying inside of his mosque although he has died only a few months later. Also, Mehmed Ağa died in 1617 at about the same time as his sultan after the construction the mosque was completed.

He did not leave workers alone during the process. For example, he visited the construction site at every opportunity and spent hours watching the erection of the mosque.

Finally, the total cost of the construction of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque was over 180 million akçes.

How to Get to the Blue Mosque from Asian Side

If you want to try going to the Blue Mosque from the Asian side, there are some easy options for you.

Take a Boat to Go Across

You can enjoy with Marmara sea beauty when going across by taking a boat. This boat that you are able to take from Kadikoy or Uskudar will take you Eminonu or Karakoy.

From both Eminonu and Karakoy, you can walk to the Blue Mosque, or as a second choice you can take modern tramway and get off the Blue Mosque station.

Take Metrobus

If you choose to try Metrobus to go across, European side of İstanbul, you should take Metrobus and get off one of the stations of modern tramway such as Edirnekapi.

After Edirnekapi, you should transfer the other tramway in Topkapi station. The name of the metro line that will take you directly to the Blue Mosque station is called as ‘KabatasBagcilar Metro Line.’

The station you get off named the Blue Mosque is already just in front of the Blue Mosque entrance.

Take Marmaray

When coming from Uskudar or Kadikoy, Marmaray is also a good choice because it takes only 7-10 minutes.

You should get off Sirkeci station and then you should find the exit of the Blue Mosque. After that, you can walk through the mosque easily while visiting the old streets of İstanbul.

How to Get to the Blue Mosque from European Side

You are already on the same side as the Blue Mosque which is the European side and tries to go to this place. It is just easy to reach your destination.

Take Modern Tramvay

You can take modern tramway and get off the station named the Blue Mosque. There is already the entrance of the place you intend to visit, and here you go!

Take Marmaray

It is easy for you to take Marmaray if you are near Zeytinburnu in the European side. You can take Marmaray and get off Sirkeci. After finding the exit gate of the Blue Mosque, you will see the minarets of this mosque and the one of High Sofia Museums.

​How to Visit the Blue Mosque?

There is no ticket or money demanded to visit this mosque. The only rule you need to obey when visiting is about clothes. There is a dress code when entering together with taking your shoes off. You can put your shoes in plastic bags provided at the entrance freely.

The reason for this rule is behind the practices of Islam. Muslims tradition is required taking shoes off when entering a mosque to make the place clean.

When it comes to the dress code, you will already see a board telling you what to do at the entrance. If you are women wear a head covering when entering to Blue Mosque.

Needless to say, there is no need to cover your face, but only your hair is where you should cover when entering.

And now, you are inside. You should remain quiet because there might be some people praying there.

Also, you can take a picture but it is better not to use flash because never forget that there is a place of worship so it is needed to be respectful and quiet.

Mosque Rules and Etiquette For Tourists

For some tourists, it might be a different experience to visit Blue Mosque. If you have some questions in your mind such as if there is an entrance fee, dress code, here below is the answers for you:

  • You should plan your visit in terms of the time so that you better arrive mid-morning. The things you need to know is that pray happens five times a day with the first call to prayer at sunrise and the last one at nightfall.

The rule here is that the mosque closes for 90 minutes at each pray time so you might not be able to visit this mosque at prayer time or within a half hour after the call to prayer.

  • How to enter this building is a bit different than other historical places. Before entering into the Blue Mosque, you need to take off your shoes and put in plastic bags provided at the entrance. It is a rule required of all persons as part of Muslim tradition when entering a mosque.
  • For the dress code, it is different for women and men. If you are women wear a head covering when entering to Blue Mosque. Head coverings are available at the Blue Mosque entrance for free.

You should place the fabric cover on top of your head with equal portions hanging on both sides. You do not need to cover other parts of your face

Yet, it is okay to take one side from a piece of fabric and wrap it around your neck, tossing it behind your back with covering your shoulders. In short, you need to cover only hair.

For men, there is no rule to wear a speacific clothe when entering inside.

  • After entering the mosque, you should remain quiet as there is a place of worship. Therefore, you should visit the mosque respectfully and quietly.
  • If you want, you can do a donation to help maintain the Mosque at the exit door. It is not compulsory for sure, but if you make the donation you will get the official receipt for it.

Hippodrome of Constantinople

Before entering the mosque, you will see a huge area after the modern tram, including the place between the Blue Mosque and High Sofia Museum. Here is called a Hippodrome of Constantinople.

It is a public arena mainly for chariot races and this word comes from Greek. Hippos mean horse and dromos mean way since this place was used as home to gladiatorial games, official ceremonies, celebrations, protests, and torture to the convicts.

The capacity of the Hippodrome was approximately 40,000 and it was decorated with monuments that were brought in from across the empire including the Serpent Column.

What Else Nearby?

After visiting the Blue Mosque, you can visit many other historical and enchanted places near this mosque. For instance, there are Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, Hagia Sophia Museum, Underground Cistern, Arasta Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace in the heart of İstanbul’s peninsula.

However, you should know that unlike the Blue Mosque, you need a ticket or other types of tickets such as Museum Pass to be able to enter.


The Blue Mosque and the places nearby including Hippodrome of Constantinople is one of the great options you can ever have when roaming İstanbul.

Not only the Blue Mosque, but also some other choices like Great Place Museum, Topkapi Palace, and Underground Cistern are waiting for you there!

Please do not forget to try Sultanahmet Köftesi that Sultanahmet is famous for. This famous meatball is really delicious with its spicy chili sauce and it goes well with rice.

Have a nice visit and enjoy your delicious meal!

The 6 Best Restaurants in Istanbul with a View

Istanbul is a big and cosmopolitan city which can offer people so many trendy, fancy and fascinating restaurants with delicious food and an enchanting view. Being the fact that Istanbul is the unifying city of Europe and Eastern culture, it offers you a wide world cuisine. You may find restaurants with any kind of food you prefer.

For foreigner people, Istanbul can be the best point to explore new cultures via food. Enjoy not only the delicious foods, beverages or cocktails but the stunning views of the Bosphorus and Istanbul skylines.  Discover the perfect spots for romantic dinner or having a good time with friends or drinking with joy or just a place to relax in Istanbul with an enchanting view.

So, are you asking for the best restaurants in Istanbul with a view? There is a list you may be interested in:

First, High-End Restaurants:


Category: World Cuisine.

Details: An amazing place which combines Japanese, Mediterranean and Turkish dishes with the help of Executive chef Hüseyin Arslan and chef Hiroki Takemura. Sunset has a great menu and a sushi bar with an amazing view of Bosphorus. Sunset restaurant serves the best-grilled steaks in Istanbul. The restaurant has a highly professional and skilled kitchen and wait staff. It offers customers a quality service.

Average Price: Minimum Food Price: ₺80-100

                            Minimum Cocktail Price: ₺50-80

Location:  Adnan Saygun Caddesi Yol Sokak No. 2 Ulus Parkı, Ulus; +90 212 287 03 57


Category: World Cuisine, Rooftop bar

Details: The founder of the restaurant Turkish-Swedish chef Mehmet Gürs opened Mikla in 2005. The menu reflects both Turkish and Scandinavian influences. The cherrywood-smoked loin of lamb is the must try. The restaurant offers a very spectacular panorama from the Golden Horn to the Bosphorus. Additionally, the restaurant is located on the rooftop of the chic Marmara Pera Hotel where you can enjoy your drink with a spectacular view.

Average Price: ₺276 – ₺552

Location: The Marmara Pera, 15 Mesrutiyet Caddesi, Beyoglu; +90 212 293 5656


Category: World Cuisine.

Details: With its remarkable view of the city and Bosphorus, Vogue Restaurant offers you tastes from the world cuisine including over 70 varieties of sushi and an extensive beverage list.

Average Price: ₺135 – ₺541

Location: Akaretler Spor Caddesi, No:92 BJK plaza A blok k:13 Beşiktaş, Istanbul; +90 212 227 44 04

  • ULUS 29

Category: The Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine, Restaurant/Bar/Club

Details: Ulus 29 is a versatile restaurant in offerings. As a club, restaurant and a bar, Ulus 29 offers you an amazing view to relax and a wild club scene. 

Average Price: ₺40 -₺850

Location: Adnan Saygun Caddesi Ulus Parkı İçi, Ulus; +90 212 358 29 29


Category: Turkish cuisine, rooftop restaurant.

Details: Safran Restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Intercontinental Hotel. It offers live Fasıl music and the finest dishes of Turkish and Ottoman cuisine with its authentic atmosphere. Also, want to note that this restaurant is Academie Internationale de la Gastronomie awarded.

Average Price: ₺120 -₺175

Location: Asker Ocagi Caddesi. No:1, Taksim, Istanbul; +90 212 368 44 44


Category: Lounge and Terrace bar.

Details: This is the best place for lovers. It has a stunning atmosphere that screams romantic. Tuğra Restaurant is located on the first floor of the original Çırağan Palace and offers live classical Turkish music, rich Ottoman decor, and dining experience. 

Average Price: ₺200 +

Location: Ciragan Caddesi 32,34349 Istanbul; +90 212 236 7333

Secondly, if you choose none of the above and looking for a less fancy place and good value for money, then there are some places more for you to check and visit.


Beykoz Coast Social Facility offers you a unique décor with Ottoman ornaments and an amazing view of the Bosphorus while you can enjoy delicious dishes and high-quality service with a good value for money. It is highly recommended, especially for breakfast. 

Location: Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi Kemerüstü Sokak/Beykoz / 444 10 34


Florya Social Facility is a place where green and blue match perfectly. The place offers delicious foods, calm and peaceful atmosphere with a good value for money.

Location: İtfaiye Arkası Florya / Yeşilköy/ 444 10 34


Moda Pier Restaurant is located on Moda’s historic pier. The place is the best for weekend breakfast experience for a very good value for money. However, the place does not offer alcohol. 

Location: Caferağa Mahallesi, Moda Cd., 34710 Kadıköy/ +90 (216) 349 40 49

Istanbul is a big and crowded city in which people cannot find time to spend with their friends or family sometimes. In this kind of rush in life, food becomes that sweet break which brings family and friends together. Togetherness is one of the most important things in family and friend relationships. Sharing food or sharing a memorable moment with food is a beautiful and delicious way to provide this togetherness. On the other hand, it brings people together to meet and socialize with each other.

Food plays an important role for Turkish people and the culture. It symbolizes sharing, connectedness, good memories, and togetherness. In most of the Turkish homes, food gathers family members together and it is expected to be all members of the family in the table. It signifies respect for each other and good family bond. A sit-down dinner enables you to chat with people you love and find out what’s going on in each person’s life. This is a chance to elders pass on their stories or share their knowledge and advice from their experiences with the young ones and strengthen the bond of family, relatives, friends or neighbors.

The hadith: ‘’A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.'”, is very important to Turkish people and the culture, as well. Religious days such as Ramadan and Festival of sacrifice empower this idea. Throughout Ramadan, people fast to understand how hard is to be hungry and share their food with people in need. In the festival of sacrifice, people share their sacred meat with aidless people and their circle. Sharing food is important to show that you are a good neighbor and a believer.

Some of the Best Chefs and Their Restaurants in Istanbul

Istanbul does not have only acclaimed restaurants but also chefs. Most of these worldwide known Turkish chefs such as Kemal Demirasal, Mehmet Gürs, Civan Er and Maksut Aşkar have their own restaurants in Istanbul. Here are names of the restaurants and their location:

Kemal Demirsal- Alancha:

Alancha, Vişnezade Mahallesi, Şehit Mehmet Sokak No.9, Maçka, Istanbul/+90 212 261 35 35

Mehmet Gürs- Mikla:

Mikla, The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No.15, Tepebaşı, Istanbul/ +90 212 293 56 56

Aylin Yazıcıoğlu- Nicole:

Nicole, Tomtom Mahallesi, Tomtom Kaptan Sk. No:18, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul/ +90 212 292 44 67

Civan Er- Yeni Lokanta:

Yeni Lokanta, Kumbaracı Yokuşu No.66, Tünel, Istanbul/ +90 212 292 25 50

Maksut Aşkar- Neolokal:

Neolokal, Salt Galata, Bankalar Caddesi No.11, Karaköy, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 244 00 16

Famous and Local Dishes of Turkey

All seven regions have their own traditional special foods and people’s taste of food changes from one region to another in Turkey. For instance, in Western regions, olive oil dishes are famous while spicy foods are famous in Eastern regions in general. Also preparing style and ingredients of foods can change one to another. Since Istanbul is a big city, you can find almost every local foods of the regions. 

Here are some of the best known and popular local dishes:

Kebap&Döner: They are very popular both in Turkey and other countries. So, I assume that you don’t need information. Also, they are the most popular street foods. So you can find easily when you travel around.

Mantı: it is likely to say that you can think of mantı as something like dumplings. Mantı has two main ingredients: the dough and grounded beef or lamb filling. Generally, it is served with yogurt and hot tomato sauce.  

Lahmacun: Lahmacun, also known as Turkish pizza, is made with minced meat on the thin dough. Generally, It is served with lettuce and lemon. Most people squeeze lemon on it and roll.

Kurufasulye: Kurufasulye is the most popular dish in Turkish homes. It is technically beans that cooked with or without meat. It is served with pilav (rice), pickles and onions.

Coffee Break with a View in Istanbul

1-Pierre Loti Cafe:

Pierre Loti café has a history of its own. It is named after Pierre Loti (Julien Viaud) who was a French naval officer and wrote novels under the pen name of Pierre Loti. He was in love with this café for its spectacular view of Istanbul.

Location: Eyüp Merkez Mahallesi, İdris Köşkü Cd., 34050 Eyüp / +90 (0212) 497 13 13

2-Aşşk Kahve

The place has a wonderful view that you may enjoy your coffee with.

Location: Kuruçeşme Mahallesi, Muallim Naci Caddesi, No 64/B, Beşiktaş, İstanbul

3-Bebek Kahve

Bebek kahve is a shabby chic café with an amazing view in Bebek.

Location: Bebek Mh. Cevdet Paşa Cd.- Beşiktaş, İstanbul


As a franchised café, Bebek Starbucks is a popular spot to drink coffee and relax with a beautiful view.

Location: Bebek Mh., Cevdet Paşa Cd. No:30, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Must Try Famous Desserts in Turkey

In Turkey, people are very keen on desserts. They have too many dessert types. Also, you are likely to see lots of baklava shops, sweet stores, and patisseries on the streets. You should visit them and try desserts with a cup of tea or Turkish coffee. 

  • Baklava:

It is very debatable when it comes to the origins of Baklava. The Greeks and many other countries in the Middle East could argue that baklava is theirs. But the fact that it doesn’t matter where it belongs, it is very delicious. If you like desserts with syrup, you will love it. There are endless varieties of baklava. You can choose baklava that is made with hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios and more. Also, the shapes and size are various. You can choose your baklava shaped as squares, rolls, diamonds or spirals. Baklava is also served with kaymak which is local sweet clotted cream or with a vanilla ice-cream in some dessert shops.

  • Künefe

Künefe is a dessert with sugar syrup like baklava but it is crafted with a piece of aged cheese (kaşar). It is the great combination of the salty cheese, the sweet syrup, and the crunchy wheat. It is also likely to be served with ice cream or kaymak in some places.

  • Halka Tatlısı/ The Brothel Dessert:

It is not its name what makes it famous but its delicious taste.  Halka tatlısı is like a sticky churro. It is syrup soaked rounds. It is the most famous street-side dessert.

  • Maras Ice Cream:

Maras ice-cream is one of the oldest and the most popular desserts in Turkey. This ice cream is made with goats milk, sugar and salep (special powder). What makes it famous is the sellers. They will show you some tricks and a quick show when you want to buy.

  • Lokum/Turkish Delight:

You should have heard Turkish lokum. It is very world-wide and famous. It is a tiny snack that normally served alongside Turkish coffee. Turkish delight has a wide variety, it will be hard for you to choose.

  • Sütlaç/ Rice Pudding:

Sütlaç is made with rice, sugar, rice flour and milk. It is a mild dessert so you will not be as guilty as you eat baklava.

  • Aşure/ Noah’s Ark Pudding:

Most of the people believe that aşure is what Noah made it up as a celebratory dish when the waters subsided.  It is made with pretty much everything such as beans, nuts, dried fruit, pomegranate, sugar etc. Aşure differs from region to region and people to people.


What to Do in Istanbul in 3 days?

Well, there are so much to do. You may visit cultural sites such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic arts, Dolmabahce Palace etc. Besides, Istanbul is the paradise of shoppers. If you love shopping, then you may want to see Grand Bazaar and the boutiques alongside the streets. Also, the Eminonu Egyptian Spice Bazaar is a famous gastronomic spot. On the other hand, you can visit the restaurants that I addressed before. There are so many places to eat delicious foods, try local dishes and have a fun night with an amazing view in Istanbul.

Is Istanbul Safe to Travel?

In general, Istanbul is a safe city but you need to be careful about your properties while traveling , especially in crowded places and streets. Like in every other big cities in the world, there are always some places and chance with safety risks.

Istanbul Tourist Pass Where to Buy

If you are a tourist willing not to miss even one significant and popular place to visit in İstanbul, İstanbul Tourist Pass is the one what you are looking for.

Where are you able to buy this pass helping you access to Istanbul’s Most Popular Attractions, Museums and Tours with Airport Transfer, Mobile Internet, Fast-Track Access and Personal Guidance in a cheap way.

To purchase İstanbul Tourist Pass, just one click online is enough. You can even make it transfer your hotel before arriving there.

On the other hand, the other options such as İstanbul Museum Card and İstanbul Card for public transportation are options that you can buy from some places such as kiosks and some points of sales such as Topkapi Palace and Harem.

To learn more points to buy and see the advantages of these cards, let’s keep reading together!

What Is Istanbul Tourist Pass?

İstanbul Tourist Pass provides free access to many top places and attractions in İstanbul as a digital city pass. It includes some activities for children, during the days you choose.

The advantage of this one is to help you save money, and explore Istanbul at your own pace.

By having this, you can also skip the ticketing lines, which would make your travel more enjoyable and faster.

In other words, this city pass let you enjoy many attractions and experiences İstanbul has to offer in a simple, convenient, and inexpensive way.

This pass also gives you great opportunity to access chat during available hours with professional guides from Istanbul Tourist Pass over WhatsApp.

Choose Your Pass Online

By selecting the best choice for you, you can have İstanbul Tourist pass online.

Here are four categories for you to choose:

2 Day Pass: It costs €95 total for 1 adult(s) & 0 children. If you have some children, it is 45 EUR/child. Regardless of any discount code, 0-5 years are always free.

3 Day Pass: It costs €115 for total for 1 adult(s) & 0 children. If you have some children, it is 45 EUR/child. Regardless of any discount code, 0-5 years are always free.

5 Day Pass:  It costs €135 for total for 1 adult(s) & 0 children. If you have some children, it is 45 EUR/child. Regardless of any discount code, 0-5 years are always free.

7 Day Pass: It costs €145 for total for 1 adult(s) & 0 children. If you have some children, it is 45 EUR/child. Regardless of any discount code, 0-5 years are always free.

While İstanbul Tourist Pass includes many things such as museums like High Sophia Museum and Topkapi Palace, attractions like dinner cruise, whirling dervishes, and services like airport transfer and mobile Internet, there is another card named Museum Pass İstanbul.

Here are the places listed below cost the price just near of the name an easy calculation to see how advantageous this card for you:

Hagia Sophia Museum (Guided Tour) €15

Topkapi Palace Museum (Guided Tour) €15

Basilica Cistern (Guided Tour) €9

BigBus Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour (24 hours) €35

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise With Turkish Shows€50

Whirling Dervishes Show €18

Maiden’s Tower €4

Istanbul Airport Transfer (Shared) €30

Unlimited Mobile Internet Access (3 days) €27

Bosphorus Cruise €4

Madame Tussauds İstanbul €13

Sea Life Aquarium Istanbul €15

Princes’ Islands Boat Trip (round-trip) €4

Hop-on Hop-off Bosphorus Boat Tour €3

Legoland Discovery Centre İstanbul €10

Xtrem Aventures İstanbul €10

Pera Museum €4

Sakip Sabancı Museum €5

Dialogue in the Dark €9

Dialogue in the Silence €9

Hagia Irene Museum (Guided Tour) €10

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (Guided Tour) €11

Although all above costs you €310 without İstanbul Tourist Pass, you can have all just paying €95.

Apart from this you will have Whatsapp Traveler Support online as other advantage of Istanbul Tourist Pass. In short, you can save over €200 with Istanbul Tourist Pass.

What Is Whatsapp Traveler Support ?

This card gives you an opportunity to have one to one guiding advice via Whatsapp.

As long as you have an Internet connection, you can contact your personal online local guide.

You can have it aanytime between 10.00am to 18.30 so that you can ask for help, or whatever you want like directions and recommendations of places to eat or visit.

In fact, if i is your first time to visit this big and crowded country, it is very handy to take some advice or solve your problems if you get confused when roaming.

It is very advantageous and inexpensive since if you hire a private guide, it can cost approximately 20 euros an hour or more.

What Is Museum Pass Istanbul?

Museum Pass İstanbul is one of the museum card served by Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It enables you to get a pass to visit Istanbul’s top museums comfortably.

If you want to be able to visit the historical and cultural treasures of İstanbul, the capital city of three empires, whose history dates back over more than 9 thousand years, this card is suitable for you.

This card is valid for 120 hours and costs 185 TL.

There is one point where you should not get confused. There is a card in Turkey named as MüzeKart that is valid for 300+ museums nationwide.

However, only Turkish nationals and foreigners with a residence permit can obtain it.

When it comes to the Museum Pass Istanbul is for tourists visiting the metropolitan, hence providing access to a limited amount of venues.

In fact, the Museum Pass is the one and only card you can apply for if you are a foreigner in this city.

Where to buy Istanbul Museum Pass?

You can order it online before your visit. Therefore you can have this card delivered to your hotel, waiting for you and ready to use upon your arrival.

Needless to say, you should be very sure about the address of your hotel before ordering so that you will not face any unexpected problems when you arrive at your hotel.

Besides online buying, there are many sales points in İstanbul to buy this card.

Museum Pass Points of Sales

Here is the list of sales points with some informational parts about the places where to buy İstanbul Museum Pass.

Hagia Sophia Museum

Although Hagia Sophia was used as a church for 916 years, it was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed.

After being a mosque for 482 years, this situation has changed under the order of Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, and Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935. Today it is still visited by many tourists as a museum.

Topkapı Palace and Harem (which is a section inside the Topkapı Palace)

As a residence of the Ottoman Sultans, Topkapi Palace is such an important place for history in this country.

Yet, at the same time, this place has a value of the administrative and educational center of the state, which initially constructed between 1460 and 1478 by Sultan Mehmed II.

Also, Harem is a place were the sultans lived together with their families at Topkapi Palace. Especially for architectural history, this place has taken many visitors to analyze with its architectural styles ranging from the 16th century to the early 19th century.

Hagia Irene Museum

As a church dedicated to holly peace, Hagia Irene means ‘divine peace’ in Greek. There are some different beliefs about this museum.

One of them is that the church was first built in the 4th century AD over the ruins of a pagan temple by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine I. What the interesting part is that during the following centuries the church was restored several times because of the earthquakes and some big fires.

Istanbul Archaeological Museums

The Archaeology Museum consists of two separate buildings. They are the main building(old building) and additional building (new building).

However, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums consist of three museums. Those are Archaeology Museum, Old Eastern Works Museum, and Enameled Kiosk Museum.

Museum of  Turkish and Islamic Arts

Turkish and Islamic Works Museum as the first Turkish museum covering the Turkish and Islamic artworks wholly have been started to work at the end of the 19th century.

It has been completed in 1913 and the museum has been opened for visiting in the soup kitchen building located in Süleymaniye Mosque complex, which is one of the most important works of famous architect Mimar Sinan in Ottoman times.

İstanbul Great Palace Mosaic Museum

The Museum of Great Palace Mosaics is located in Arasta Bazaar within the Sultanahmet Mosque compound, which constituted in such a way that containing the mosaic pavement partially intact in the northeast section of the arcaded yard of the Great Palace in East-Roman period.

Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam

Here is quite new when compared to other museums.

It was opened in May 2008 and located in the Gülhane Park (Rose Garden), in one of the most beautiful areas of Istanbul. The museum is such a big that extends over 3500 square meters along the old palace wall, on the former stables of the Sultan’s Has Ahirlar.

Chora Museum

The museum located in the Edirnekapı neighborhood is a church building that constitutes the center of the Chora Monastery, which was a great building complex in the Eastern Roman Empire period.

Actually, it was dedicated to Jesus Christ but the building was called “Chora”, which means “in the country” or “outside of the city” in Greek because it stood outside of the city walls built by Constantine.

Fethiye Museum (Pammakaristos)

The church is in Çarşamba vicinity of Fatih county of İstanbul. Fethiye Museum Pammakaristos (very very happy) Monastery had been built in East-Roman period. However, the north church is used as a mosque today.

Galata Mevlevi House (Galata Mevlevihanesi)

The Galata Mevlevi Lodge (Galata Mevlevihanesi) was built in 1491 as a first Mawlawi house in Istanbul.

It ceased to function as dervish tekke (lodge) in 1925 and opened as a museum in 1975 and underwent a major refurbishment between 2005 and 2009 and now serves as a museum about the Mevlevi Sufi Islam sect.

Rumeli Hisar Museum

It locates within borders of Sarıyer district and gave its name to the location, covering 30.000 m² areas. There is a monument-art built in the narrowest part and flowing (600m) section of the Istanbul Bosphorus just opposite Anadoluhisarı.

You can visit here between 09.00-16.30 everyday except Wednesdays.

Yıldız Palace

Yildiz Palace is located between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy, in the Yıldız Park.

The Yıldız Palace is complex which extends 500,000m2 and consists of several pavilions, palace buildings, and other service and management buildings. You can transfer here by bus and minibus from Beşiktaş to this palace.

Where Not to Use Istanbul Museum Pass?

To be able to use your museum pass in Istanbul, the museum you are planning to use should be operated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Some places managed by other bodies do not accept this card. For example, Dolmabahçe Palace or the Basilica Cistern are the places where the museum pass is invalid to use.

For some museum where museum pass valid, there are separately-ticketed areas within these sites, such as the Harem quarters and Hagia Irene church within the Topkapı Palace complex.

What Is Public Transportation Discount Card?

As a tourist, if you are not willing to take a taxi every time or if you do not intend to rent a car when traveling, you will need a transportation card to roam in İstanbul.

The system of public transportation can only be accessed by using electronic cards in İstanbul. You can purchase 1-ride, 5-ride cards or the Istanbulkart.

Where Can I Buy the Transportation Card?

In every station of the subway, trams, Metrobus, funiculars and some kiosks located near most stops of the public buses have a yellow vending machine. You can buy your transportation card from these places.

If you wonder about the price, here is the updated information for you:

As of February 2019, the cost of the card is only 6 Turkish Liras (TL) if you buy it from the machines but it is 7 TL to purchase from most kiosks.

How Do I Use the Transportation Card?

The card you will buy from the machine or kiosks does not have any credit so you need to credit money to your card for your rides.

Yet, there is no need to get worried; it is just easy as to have the card. From the yellow machines you buy the card, you can load your Istanbulkart.

Or as a second choice, you can loan it from the kiosks where you purchased the card, wait for the card to be scanned and deposit cash to load your Istanbulkart.

When you ride the public transportation machine, you will see a card reader. What you need to do is just to bring your card close once for each passenger you want to pay for.

And here is the last tip:

If you have a child under the age of 6, you do not have to use this card. It is just free for children under the age of 6.

You should load your card with the approximate money you need. You should calculate it more or less not to have any problem when traveling because not every station ( generally bus station) have kiosks to credit money.

The per person per ride cost 2019 will be as follows in Istanbul:

  • Buses: 2.60 TRY
  • Tram: 2.60 TRY
  • Metro: 2.60 TRY
  • Cable Car: 2.60 TRY
  • Funicular: 2.60 TRY
  • Boats: 2.60-4.00 TRY

How to Dress in Istanbul as a Tourist

Some tourists may get confused about dress codes or how to dress in Istanbul. Thus, as an inhabitant, I would like to guide you and answer this question.

So how to dress in Istanbul as a tourist? To say directly, you don’t have to overthink about it. You can wear whatever you want but I recommend you wear comfy outfits to travel more easily. In general, the main concern is how to dress properly according to culture. Actually, there is no specific dress code in Turkey. Although Istanbul has Sunni Muslim inhabitants predominantly, the Muslim dress code is not obligatory for men or women. So, there is no need for you to worry about your dress except if you want to visit mosques or any religious sites. Then you need to dress neatly. Think like dressing for church. You should wear long sleeve tops or dresses that cover your shoulders, knees and for women don’t forget to take a scarf with you.

Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city. She congregates the cultures of Asia and Europe. That’s why you can observe the differences between people’s way of life, their mindset, culture and the way they dress from one to another. If we make a comparison, it is more likely to say some parts of the city are more conservative like Fatih, Ümraniye, Bağcılar, Esenyurt, Gülsuyu etc. So, you may prefer dressing more modest in these parts of the city. But it doesn’t mean that you need to dress according to the Muslim dress codes.

Besides, Istanbul is a big city that gets you fall in love with her immediately after seeing its enchanted structure that connects numerous people from different ethnicity, culture, religion, race, and nation. While you are walking through the streets, you can see people who dress casual or flamboyant, sporty or chic, bohemian or conservative.

 The way we dress reflects our culture and interpretation of ourselves. When we are in our own country, we don’t overthink about what we wear because from our childhood we have grown up by learning codes that guide us subconsciously about social instructions like how to dress, behave and act. However, when we plan to travel to other countries, especially with very distinct cultural motives and codes, we tend to step out of our comfort zone. So, in order to show respect to that culture, act according to it or blend in easily, we make some researches on how to dress, how to act or to learn more about their cultures. That is the reason why most tourists, especially from European countries, tend to research dress codes before visiting Istanbul or any part of Turkey since her confusing yet magical social and cultural construction that ranging from Ottoman Empire to these modern times.

Some people are inclined to think that there are legal and social limitations on dress code, especially for women, in Turkey that inherited from Ottoman Empire, but unlike some Arab countries, there is no limitation or rule on dress code. The main reasons of this confusion are predominant Muslim population, cultural effects of Arab region on Turkey, and its location in the Middle East (apart from its European side) but there is no constraining situation in Turkey, unlike Arab countries. In fact, Turkey, especially Istanbul, hosts many different cultures and way of lives.

Predominant population of Muslim people gives foreigners the idea of likeness between Turkey and Arab countries. Because Muslim countries come to the front with their dress codes and strict rules for that, it makes tourists search for the proper dress code in Turkey, as well. However, due to having no official religion and multicultural characteristic of Turkey, it is not like that.

In fact, not everyone believes or practices the religion of Islam. There are lots of other religions that people practice and believe in. However, Islam is the predominant one. Also, there is one thing to keep in mind; not all Muslim women wear hijab. Everyone has their own interpretation of Islam. Some prefer to wear hijab while others don’t. On the other hand, you may see some women that wear the burka (the black dress that covers the whole body and face with a veil). These women are likely to be from other Muslim countries that have strict dress rules for women. However, some Turkish women may prefer to wear the burka as well according to their thoughts and preferences in terms of religion.  

While I was gathering information on the subject ‘’how to dress in Istanbul as a tourist’’, the first thing that questioned most was ‘’how to dress in Istanbul as a woman’’ and in ‘’People also ask section’’: ‘’How should a woman tourist dress in Turkey?’’. People still feel like they need to search for dress codes before visiting Istanbul or any part of Turkey and that is the reason why I wanted to explain the difference between Arab countries and Turkey in terms of the dress code.  

Dress Code in Istanbul

Istanbul offers people a wide diversity in terms of culture. That’s why it is hard to make sweeping generalizations. There are no rules to limit the way people dress or how they live. Therefore, you can see people who dress very different from each other. However, as I stated before, there are some conservative parts in the city like every other country. To feel more comfortable in these places, you may prefer to choose more modest clothes. But it does not mean that it is a rule or an obligation. Nobody has a right to tell you how to dress. For some parts of the city, we can call them more liberal such as Bebek, Nişantaşı, Etiler, Ortaköy, Kadıköy etc. you may feel more comfortable to wear whatever you want while visiting these places.

Additionally, we can say that dressing is much more context dependent. It is related to the seasons and where you are planning to visit. Thus, it would be more proper packing your luggage according to your prior visiting preferences. If your preferences center around cultural sites generally, especially mosques which are highly recommended, then more modest outfits would be appropriate for you to bring alongside.

Also, there is no need to worry on condition that you forget to bring modest outfits since Istanbul is known for amazing bazaars and streets for shopping. Besides, these bazaars are the right place for you to spice up your closet. On the other hand, there are so many fancy restaurants famous for their delicious foods ranging from Asia to Europe cuisine, or traditional Ottoman food and cocktail bars that you would like to go and have a good time. So, you may want to consider bringing some chic clothes, as well.

In daily life, comfortable clothes like sneakers and jeans would be handier when you consider long-term walking. Istanbul is a big city and has numerous places that await you to wander so comfortable clothes can be more practical and it is important to wear comfortable shoes especially if you are planning to walk around the city.

How to Dress in Istanbul According to Seasons

During summer times, Istanbul is hot with temperatures that rise to 90s or 100s F, especially from July to August. During winter times, the city is generally cold. Snow and rain are common in January and February. During spring and autumn times, the weather can be confusing. It can change from one day to another and day to night. For winter, cold weather clothes, for summer lightweight, light-colored and comfortable clothes and for spring and fall, layered dressing can be the savior. In any season, bringing comfortable shoes is a must because a lot of your time in Istanbul is likely to be spent by walking around. If you are planning to visit Istanbul in winter times, then sturdy boots are needed since sidewalks would probably be icy or wet.

How to Dress in Istanbul as a Woman

As I stated before, there are no rules for the dress code for women or men. Dress code for women is more questioning when you think about visiting some predominant Muslim populated countries due to the strict Muslim dress codes for women. Istanbul is a very crowded and multicultural city. You can see women with hijabs or short skirts. You can observe that dress preferences can change from one person to another. But to generalize, women usually wear casual outfits like jeans and sneakers to be more comfortable. In more conservative areas, you may be stared at with some weird looks in less modest outfits. So, jeans or tracksuits and sneakers or gym & training shoes can be your comfort zone to wander around the city.

Is Istanbul Safe to Travel?

This question was one of the most searched questions. The reason must be the bomb attacks that happened back in 2016. It was dangerous to travel or be in Istanbul at those times, but today Istanbul can be traveled without safety hesitations. However, like in every other country or big cities in the world, there are always some places that contain safety risks mainly about pickpocketing especially in crowded places or streets, so you’d better be careful about your properties while traveling.

Traditional Dress in Turkey

In daily life, Turkish people dress in western ways; however, they have some traditional clothes that originally come from the Ottoman Empire. The salwar and the fez are the ones that generally worn in special events.  Also, in some remote villages, people still may wear some of the traditional clothes. Especially in some traditional weddings, they dress according to the traditions. All seven regions in the country have their own traditional clothing. They wear it in big events and dance with their own traditional music.

How to Dress to the Blue Mosque

Women should choose clothes that cover their arms, shoulders, and legs. You will also need a scarf to cover your hair when you enter the mosque. If you are unprepared then Blue Mosque offers scarves for visitors. Also, you should wear loose-fitting clothes that don’t reveal your body shape. Men should choose clothes that cover their legs and prefer loose clothes while avoiding tank tops and vests.


Is the Dress Code Same Through the Whole Country?

Well, as I addressed before, there is no rule or limitation on how to dress but some parts are likely to be more conservative such as Eastern sides. So, you may feel more comfortable wearing modest clothes while visiting there. On the other hand, coastal areas like İzmir and Antalya, it is likely to say that people are more open-minded and to say liberal. People, especially women, are freer to wear whatever they want.

Is Turkey Part of Europe or Middle East?

It is always confusing when it is questioned especially if you ask it to a Turkish citizen. Turkish people practice Middle Eastern religion in general but culturally Turkey differs from the other Middle Eastern countries. The way Turkish people live and dress are more likely to say in European style. Turkey has a very detailed history of these two regions. So, when all these terms combined, you can think Turkey is a bridge between that bonds Eastern and European cultures both literally and metaphorically. She embodies both Eastern and European ways but also has distinctive characteristics to identify herself as Turkish.   

What Is the Best Time to Visit Istanbul, Turkey?

The best time to visit Istanbul is the last term of spring and the first term of summer. In these times, the weather is the best since it is not too hot or cold to restrain traveling cozily. It is easier to walk around without sweating or an umbrella. However,  You may visit touristic sites in every season and if you are intrigued in and want to spend your traveling with cultural, artistic or any kind of special events, then you can follow agendas on the websites of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), Pera Museum, Istanbul Museum of Modern Arts etc. 

How to Get to the Asian Side of Istanbul from Taksim

Istanbul might be scary for those who do not get used to living in a big city. To be honest, İstanbul might seem quite complex and crowded to handle at first. However, you could be able to understand that everything is located systematically, which makes your life easier in time.

If you want to get the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim which locates in Europe side of İstanbul, you will see multiple ways by various vehicles. Various vehicles mean here bus, boats, Metrobus, Marmaray, and even Havabus.

On one hand, choosing to walk through Eminonu and take a boat to go to the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim might be one of your choices.

On the other hand, you can feel a nostalgic atmosphere by taking nostalgic tramway during Istiklal Street and then you can try other alternatives like tunnel and modern tramway.

In short, there are plenty of choices to get the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim. You can choose whichever you want according to your mood, but it is better to take some parameters such as the rush hours, fares, and travel durations into consideration for your good.

Beyoglu Nostaljik Tramvay (The Historical Tram)

At the end of the 1990s, the historical tramway was ready for its voyage after the USA (Broadway) in 1852, and Paris in 1855 get started to have this type of public transportation.

1.Get off the nostalgic tramway

With very authentic and old movie looking, it takes many people’s attention. Even those who do not use it stand in front of the tram to take a group photo or selfie. It is kind of a symbol of Taksim and Istiklal Street for everyone.

It takes you from Taksim Republic Monument ( Taksim Cumhuriyet Aniti), which is the starting point of Istiklal Street, to the other side of Istiklal Street.

2. Turn the right side after getting off the nostalgic tramway

For weekdays and every Saturday, the working hours are between 7.00 am – 10.45 pm, and for Sunday it is between 7.30 am – 10.45 pm. The distance between the two voyages is approximately 20 minutes.

After running down Istiklal Street from Taksim Square to Tunnel, you can follow two different ways:

  • Tunnel Funikuler Line: By taking this, you can reach Karakoy. It is the second oldest metro line in the world after the one in London and gives a nostalgic feeling like the historical tram.

This funicular allows you to go quickly down Istiklal Street and you will avoid climbing the slopes to get in neighborhoods like Galata, which runs from 7 am to 9 pm.

Now, you are in Karakoy and the beginning of Galata Bridge (Galata Koprusu). When going the opposite of Karakoy, or let’s say when you turn your face into Eminonu, you will see a boat terminal.

It allows you to move from the European Istanbul to the Asian side of Istanbul with so much time saving since the bridges over the Bosphorus are constantly congested.

Also, it is also a good experience to see this lovely city while staying on the water.

There are also other piers in that side. The main piers on the European side are Eminonu, Besiktas and Kabatas, and on the Asian side Uskudar, and Kadikoy.

By taking a boat there, you can go Uskudar or Kadikoy, which are located in the Asian side of İstanbul.

In fact, taking a boat is one of the easiest ways of getting to Asian side because it takes only 15 minutes and you can enjoy with the beauty of Marmara Sea during your journal instead of heavy traffic problem of roadways.

  • The second choice after arriving at the Tunnel side of Istiklal Street is walking down to where Tunnel takes you. It is just walking distance down almost 10-25 minutes.

I suggest you walk from that way down at least one time in your life because that way is one of the places you can feel old Ottoman motifs in İstanbul.

Apart from this, when you are on your way, you can enjoy with Galata Tower view behind you. If you want you can visit the tower first, and then keep walking down but do not forget to know about the legend of Galata Tower!

After arriving at the tunnel station, again you are in Karakoy. You can take the boat now.

What if you are not done with walking towards the beauty and you want to go further by passing from the Galata bridge?

Then, it is time for you to walk on this long bridge. You will see many people fishing here, as a tradition for years. And sometime you might feel like the bridge is shaking, not stable.

Yes, you are right. it is not flexible and it makes you feel it with many cars and people on it. Yet, there is no need to get worried as it is just normal.

After the bridge, you will see many fishing restaurants in Eminonu. If you did not try it before, you should try balik ekmek, which Eminonu is famous for.

After making yourself full, you can take the boat to Uskudar or Kadikoy again just the center of Eminonu near the bus station (here is the first stop of many busses, that is why there is so crowded with people and busses.)

And now, you are in a boat to the way of the Asian side of İstanbul. Enjoy with Marmara sea and your short 15 min trip!

Modern Tramway (Karakoy-Kabatas)

Apart from the historic tramway, there is another alternative in İstanbul goes from Karakoy to Kabatas, which is called modern tramway.

1.Arrive Karakoy tramway statiton

After arriving Karakoy by using one of the ways written above, you can see the station of the modern tramway to the way of Kabatas.

2. Take a boat to go Kadikoy

Although Kabatas is located the Europe side of İstanbul, by boat you can go across, Kadikoy as one of the Asian side places in İstanbul.

You can also take a boat to Princess Island from Kabatas. You will see there many people enjoying their island trip, which is one of the popular activities for those living in this lovely city especially in spring and summer.

Taksim Metro (Subway)

Do not know the location of Taksim Metro Station? There is no need to get worried about.

1.Find Taksim metro statiton

Whoever you ask about Taksim metro, you can find an entrance of Taksim metro just near Taksim Republic Monument and Taksim Square.

2.Transfer Yenikapi Marmaray transit

You should go through ‘Yenikapi’ and after four stations from Taksim stop, you should get off when you are in Yenikapi Station. However, you are still in Europe side.

Yenikapi-Hacıosman (M2) metro line as the longest line among İstanbul subway is very practical for travelers because of its pace and comfort with its big capacity.

However, you are still in the  European side of İstanbul. The next step after getting off Yenikapi is to stay underground and find ‘Marmaray’.

3. Get off Uskudar or Kadikoy Marmaray statiton

Marmaray will take you Asian side. It goes from Sirkeci first, and then by passing under the Marmara Sea, you will be in Uskudar as a first station.

If you want to go Kadikoy, you should get off the last station. Both Uskudar and Kadikoy are the places located in the Asian side of İstanbul, so both might work for you.

The subway in İstanbul is open from 6:15 am to 0:00 am.

Carte des transports en commun à Istanbul


What about if you are a tourist who came to visit İstanbul and needs to return by using Sabiha Gokcen Airport?

Or as a person living in İstanbul but going somewhere else by using the same airport, there is a shuttle named Havabusthat will take you directly in front of Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

It is a good alternative because it goes directly to the airport and it is quite comfortable than other public transportation vehicles to carry your luggage that you need during the travel. Just for the ticket, you might pay a bit more than usual public transportation vehicles.


Although roadway is the most annoying one in Istanbul, it is good to now that you have this alternative.

It is quite boring than boats or Marmaray as there is almost every hour high traffic in İstanbul because of the number of vehicles and the number of such a crowded population.

By using the IETT numbered 129T Taksim-Bostanci Bus Line, you can go Bostanci in the Asian side of İstanbul.

By getting off Bostanci or former stops, you can go wherever you want to go to the Asian side by taking another transfer, bus or Metrobus. The rest depends on where you are planning to go.


As one of the popular and practical ways to travel in İstanbul, Many people love to use Metrobus. It has its own way to go, so there is no traffic there and it is so fast than compared to the other vehicles on roadways.

1.Go to Mecidiyekoy by using Taksim subway

However, there is no station in Taksim or near Taksim like walking distance to a Metrobus station. The way you can take Metrobus is that you can go to Mecidiyekoy by using metro and can take Metrobus there.

2. Take Metrobus from Mecidiyekoy stop

After passing from Zincirlikuyu and the Bosporus Bridge, you can arrive the Asian side of İstanbul within 15-20 minutes.

Here are some pieces informations about three of Metrobus lines:


Line distance: 30 kilometers

Voyage duration: 120 minutes (round trip)

Number of station: 26

Avcılar Campus – Şükrübey – İBB Social Facilities – Küçükçekmece – Cennet Mah. –Florya – Beşyol – Sefaköy – Yenibosna – Şirinevler – Bahçelievler – İncirli – Zeytinburnu – Merter – Cevizlibağ – Topkapı – Bayrampaşa (Maltepe) – Edirnekapı – Ayvansaray – Halıcıoğlu – Okmeydanı – Darülaceze – Okmeydanı Hospital – Çağlayan – Mecidiyeköy – Zincirlikuyu


(working hours 01:30 – 05:00)

Line distance: 52 kilometers

Voyage duration: 200 minutes (round trip)

Number of stations: 44

Beylikdüzü Last Station – Hadımköy – Cumhuriyet Mah. – Beylikdüzü Municipality – Beylikdüzü – Güzelyurt – Haramidere – Haramidere Sanayi – Saadetdere Mah. – Mustafa Kemal Paşa – Avcılar Center – Avcılar Campus -Şükrübey – İBB Social Facilities – Küçükçekmece – Cennet Mah. – Florya – Beşyol – Sefaköy – Yenibosna – Şirinevler – Bahçelievler – İncirli – Zeytinburnu – Merter – Cevizlibağ -Topkapı – Bayrampaşa (Maltepe) – Edirnekapı – Ayvansaray – Halıcıoğlu – Okmeydanı – Darülaceze – Okmeydanı Hospital – Çağlayan – Mecidiyeköy – Zincirlikuyu – Boğaziçi Köprüsü – Burhaniye – Altunizade – Acıbadem – Uzunçayır – Fikirtepe – Söğütlüçeşme


Line distance: 11,5 kilometers

Voyage duration: 60 minutes (round trip)

Number of stations: 8

Zincirlikuyu – Boğaziçi Bridge – Burhaniye – Altunizade – Acıbadem – Uzunçayır – Fikirtepe – Söğütlüçeşme

How to Get Public Transportation On? Istanbul Travel Card

Except for HAVABUS ( you can use both İstanbul Card and cash here), other public transportations are needed to use a card called İstanbul Travel Card or One passing (or more) Tickets.

You can buy Standard Fare Transit Cards you can get off public transportations or you can buy a card for only one or few passing that you will throw after using it. Otherwise, it is not possible to get those public transportation vehicles.

La "Istanbulkart"

Is Public Transportation in Istanbul Safe?

With its well maintained and constantly supervised by security personnel metro, Metrobus, tramway, buses, and boats are safe in İstanbul.

However, it is still important to be careful about some dangerous potential such as watching out for pickpockets is important because especially some places like Taksim are very crowded with the local population and the number of tourists here.

When it comes to being comfortable or not, as I mentioned a bit above, except buses, metro, tram, funicular and train vehicles are relatively new, and air-conditioned.

Also, the Turkish people are famous for being hospitality. For example, they always leave their seat for pregnant women and senior citizens.

In fact, there are also some designated areas for pregnant women and people using a wheelchair.

Another advantage is to have some stops equipped with elevators. It is also very beneficial for a big percentage of the population but not every station has it today; it is still in progress.


Istanbul is such a big city located over 5,000 km ², which makes the travel from one place to another harder and harder.

Yet, luckily you have many choices and alternatives that you might not find in the other cities of Turkey; they can be listed as bus, minibus, metro, tunnel, and boat to get to the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim.

All give you a great opportunity to get to the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim.

Is Istanbul Safe for a Woman Traveling Alone?

I never see a person who hates Istanbul, a combination of East and West, which is such a good and breathtaking city you can ever see in your life.

I think everyone should experience the uniqueness of Istanbul with Bosphorus, Maiden Tower, Blue Mosque, and many other places Istanbul is famous for. However, on the other hand, the reputation of Istanbul with crowded makes tourist and local travelers scared.

Is there any possibility to make money stolen? Will I face dangerous people who want to harm me?

These kinds of questions might be more in your mind, especially if you are a woman. In fact, is Istanbul safe for a woman traveling alone?

You will feel more relax when it comes to travel alone in İstanbul after reading my article as a person who was born in Istanbul and visited many places in this lovely city alone.

Why Are People Afraid of Traveling to Istanbul Alone?

Almost everyone agrees about the beauty of İstanbul, but what is the reason behind the scare of travelers toward İstanbul?

This purpose of this article to fix the misconception of being unsafe. At first sight, you can think that Turkey is a Middle East country with the majority of Muslims and it makes more dangerous this county.

One of the reasons for this misconception is the population of different ethnic groups in Turkey. According to Turkish Statistical Institute 2012 data, there are many ethnic groups living in this city such as Kurds, Zaza, Circassian, Arab, and Laz people.

There is a percentage of groups in Turkey and many of them living in Istanbul depending on economic and social status. This comes from Ottoman Empire times and there is no need to get worried about security issue as they live in a feeling of peace from those times.

There is a percentage of groups in Turkey and many of them living in Istanbul depending on economic and social status. This comes from Ottoman Empire times and there is no need to get worried about security issue as they live in a feeling of peace from those times.

However, Turkey and especially Istanbul is quite different when it comes to freedom of life and voice.

Unless you do start your travel with a kind of prejudice or bias, you will see how kind people here are. Unlike this, travelers coming to İstanbul generally see that people tripped over themselves to assist others who do not the place.

Is Istanbul Is Safe to Visit as Solo Female Traveler in Terms of Terrorism

Despite the peaceful corners of Istanbul, it is a fact that this city is such chaotic because of the population and tourist coming to travel this beauty.

This might make solo female travelers scared but there is no need to get worried. I will show you it is kind of misunderstanding of others living outside of İstanbul.

To begin with, it is hard to deny that there are some ‘bad guys’ in İstanbul, just like many modern and big cities. However, compared to other cities like Texas or other crowded cities in America, İstanbul is quite safe.

There are many security precautions. Especially when it comes to the touristic places, you will see how strong some regulations are to control in case any terror attack or that kind of things.

Should you worry about terrorism?  According to some statics, you are more likely to be shot at home than killed by a terrorist in İstanbul because İstanbul is such a big city and it makes the percentage decrease.

It is normal to be afraid of this kind of possibilities, but what I think is that you should not miss the chance to visit this beautiful city as a solo female traveler because I am sure it will expand your horizon and make your self-esteem increase when learning lots of historical stories and witness of ancient times architecture.

Just as a short reminder, I can say that the news about violence and terror attacks in Turkey is mostly about the southeastern part of Turkey. It might be because of the Syrian civil war, or mixed ethnic rooted people and their fighting, unfortunately.

Yet, İstanbul is different and as I said above there are many security precautions against the possible attacks. Therefore, there is no reason to make you scared when you see any news online or in your newspaper about Turkey.

What About Crime Rate in Istanbul?

It is a more complicated question because, with the high rate of population, it is quite inevitable to have relatively less crime rate in this city.

However, the places to travel are not a suitable one to live for those crimes. In other words, those who crime live in some rural side or the places with low economic facilities.

Despite this reality, again compared to other big cities including the biggest cities in the United States, the tare of murder and rapes are less.

Turkey is pretty safe actually when you come to travel. You can see almost everywhere police and police stations if you need something.

For example, according to statistics made by Statista in 2019, Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is in the list of the most visited tourist attractions worldwide top ten. Each year, 15 million people visit there and most of them is a solo traveler.

The other advantage, let assume that you witness any kind of crime, is that you can find police who will help you. And generally, there is at least one police officers knowing English if you are a foreigner traveling alone as a female traveler.

If your worries are about women violence and harassment, you can be sure about the respect of Turkish people to women.

You can hear many times that they call you ‘abla’ or ‘teyze’, if you are older. It is kind of saying that “I see you as my sister or mother and it means there is no harm to you from me.”

However, it is still better not to share your personal pieces of information such as your phone number, hotel address, and other personal pieces of information.

There is no need to say also that you should keep an eye on your belongings just in case because you know there are many other people in Istanbul other than Turkish people.

the Risk of on Being Catcalled in Istanbul?

It is another risk of making solo woman travelers afraid of. In fact, if you go to Grand Bazaar, you will see how many languages traders know there such as English, Malaysian language, Bahasa Indonesian and many more.

If you are a Turkish traveler from the rural side of Turkey, again it might make you shocked how traders and sellers behave you in Istanbul.

Yes, you can see many sincere behaviors or they can insist on you in order to make you buy more stuff but there is no way to be catcalled by them.

People in İstanbul know how to respect others especially travelers. In fact, Turkish people are such hospitable rooted society and you will see how helpful they are if you are into trouble.

Unlike other Middle East countries, Turkey and especially İstanbul is not strick when it comes to the dressing of women. Therefore, there is no rule like you can cover your hair. In other words, if you prefer to wear something like a short skirt, it is okay to walk in Istanbul street like that.

You will already see starting from the airport of İstanbul or bus station that there is a great many different dress choices people choice and nobody intervenes each other.

I think this is the best part for me when traveling İstanbul alone, which makes you free. Is not it one of the meanings of traveling alone as a woman.

Language Barrier When Travelling Alone in Istanbul for Tourists

Despite the fact that English is not a formal language in Turkey, as a center of civilization Istanbul is a city where you can find many people knowing English if you are a foreigner solo woman traveler knowing English.

Sellers, hotel waiters, policemen, and even local people generally know English. Their level is at least enough to direct you when you have a problem.

Apart from this, you can see the English version of Menus in a restaurant, or in transportation vehicles, which will make your life easier. In museums or the historical places you will visit in İstanbul, there are many language options to guide you.

Therefore, it does not really matter if you know Turkish or not when traveling alone in İstanbul. Actually, it is quite obvious that Turkish people in İstanbul are really willing to guide you and suggest some places to go and some foods to try and taste.

High Sofia Museum

Those people fall in love with this city and introducing the beauty of this city foreigners makes them happier. You will see how they will try to make you feel welcome and at ease.

In short, there is no language barrier when traveling Turkey alone but here is a tip for you:

If you lean some Turkish words like ‘Merhaba (Hi! Hello!), Tesekkur Ederim (Thank You!), Kendine iyi bak! (Take Care!) would make you seem more sympathetic and at the same time, you will see how happy it will make Turkish people happy when they hear something from your broken Turkish.

I recommend this since as you know traveling is to learn about the culture of that place and language cannot be separated from the culture. You will enjoy more if doing so!

the Economist Intelligence Unit Report

Analyzing digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security, this report shows security issue has increased in a good way in this urbanizing world.

By ranking 60 cities across 49 indicators, this report says that man-made risks and increasing population together might be ended with unexpected results unless there is a rapid deployment of digital technologies in pursuit of the “smart city”.

Considering all those variables and dynamics, Istanbul is fortieth placed in the index 2017 after some Asian cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapur.

Istanbul as one of the mega cities in the world is able to follow technological and digital advances when fighting with the problems and challenges of getting wider as a mega city.

Best Things to Do in Istanbul

In this section, I will give you some instances of good places in Istanbul to go. There are quite many options in Istanbul, so I suggest you have some further search to see other wonderful places to go to.

  • Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi): With its enchanted beauty, it is one of the highest and oldest towers of İstanbul.

You can panoramic view of the old city and sense ancient feelings from 63 meters away from the ground. According to legend, those who climb this tower first time together, get married to each other.

  • Maiden Tower (Kiz Kulesi): It is known as Kiz Kulesi located off the coast of Uskudar district. You will read a legend when you go there from Byzantine emperor about a princess putting in this tower built. Go there and learn more about this legend.

  • Hagia Sophia Museum: Although this place is used now as a museum, it was a triumph of Christianity and the symbol of Byzantium, for almost a thousand years. You will a long queue when you go there for many people who are willing to see this beauty.
  • Istanbul Archaeological Museums: If you are interested in history, this place will take your attention. Near Topkapi Palace, you will see three big museums that The İstanbul Archaeological Museums consists: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Museum of Islamic Art.

  • Dolmabahçe Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi): Here is a real place that even will make you feel like you are a princess. In fact, this place witnessed six different sultans towards the end of the Ottoman period.
  • Taksim Square and Istiklal Street: Here is the beating heart of the city of İstanbul. Despite the fact that it is too crowded street, everyone there enjoys walking during the street. Instead of walking 1.4 km long pedestrian walkway, you can just take the historic tram all the way to Taksim Square to view the monument of the republic.

  • Ortakoy: If you want to try kumpir and waffle in front of Bosphorus view, here is the best place. You should not leave there before trying these delicious tastes!
  • Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici):  It is İstanbul’s largest surviving Byzantine cistern as one of the historic sites in the city. Constructed in 532 for Justinianus I, this sprawling underground water reservoir when supplied water to the Great Palace of Constantinople. The story of there is quite interesting and the architecture is breathtaking.
  • Süleymaniye Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii): Located in a famous district of İstanbul, which is Fatih by Golden Horn, Istanbul University, and the Grand Bazaar. It is known as one of the most impressive Ottoman mosques built between 1550 and 1557. This grand structure features multiple gardens and a large dome, and other structures such as mother-of-pearl window shutters, painted corbels, traditional ceramic tiles, and stained-glass windows.


So, you do not need to be worried about walking alone in Taksim Street alone at midnight anymore. You do not need to hesitate to buy something just because you think sellers deceive you by giving an extremely high price.

The only thing in your mind before starting your female solo trip to Istanbul should be the list where to go first and what to eat first. The rest will come easily.

You should not waste more time if you ever come to İstanbul before, regardless of you are Turkish citizen or a foreigner tourist. I believe that you will want to experience this city with the warmest hospitable people, the breathtaking architecture, and its delicious cuisine again after your first visit.

With 36.13 U.S. dollars per day, Istanbul is one of the top countries to visit by backpacking travelers. That means, here is one of the
most affordable cities for backpackers based on daily expenses. according to the European Backpacker Price Index.

It is time for sure to discover this truly wonderful city alone. Enjoy your trip!