Close this search box.

Istanbul Unveiled

Getting There

Flying in from Mauritius? Istanbul is well-connected through various airlines such as Emirates and Turkish Airlines to Istanbul Airport (IST).

Essential Tourist Information

Before you embark on your Istanbul adventure, keep these tips in mind:

  • Language: Turkish is the official language, but English is widely spoken.
  • Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY) is the official currency.
  • Weather: Plan your visit according to Istanbul’s Mediterranean climate.


Must-Visit Places

  1. Hagia Sophia: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this architectural wonder boasts a rich history.
  2. Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque): Immerse yourself in the beauty of this iconic mosque with its mesmerizing blue tiles.
  3. Topkapi Palace: Explore the opulent palace complex, once the residence of Ottoman sultans.
  4. Basilica Cistern: Discover the underground water reservoir with stunning columns and meditative ambience.
  5. Dolmabahçe Palace: Admire the grandeur of this 19th-century palace on the Bosphorus waterfront.


Food Delights

Expand your culinary horizons:

  • Turkish Breakfast (Kahvaltı): Indulge in a hearty spread featuring cheeses, olives, and pastries.
  • Manti (Turkish Dumplings): Savor tiny dumplings filled with spiced meat, topped with yoghurt and garlic.
  • Balik Ekmek (Fish Sandwich): Taste the delicious simplicity of a fish sandwich by the Bosphorus.
  • Kebabs: Try the famous Turkish kebabs, a flavorful combination of grilled meat and spices.
  • Baklava: Savor the sweet layers of pastry, nuts, and honey that make up this traditional Turkish dessert.
  • Turkish Tea and Coffee: Relax with a cup of Turkish tea or savour the strong flavours of Turkish coffee.



Best Spots to Visit

  1. Galata Tower: Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Istanbul’s skyline.
  2. Bosphorus Cruise: Take a boat trip along the strait, passing historic landmarks.
  3. Istiklal Avenue: Stroll down this vibrant street, filled with shops, cafes, and street performers.
  4. Chora Church (Kariye Museum): Admire the stunning mosaics depicting biblical scenes.


Public Transport

Navigate the city efficiently:

  • Metro and Trams: Fast and reliable for reaching key attractions.
  • Buses: Extensive network covering the city.
  • Taxi: Readily available, but ensure the meter is used.


Shopping Extravaganza

Indulge in retail therapy:

  • Grand Bazaar: Haggle for spices, textiles, ceramics, and unique souvenirs in this historic market.
  • Spice Bazaar: Immerse yourself in a sensory delight with the aroma of spices, Turkish delights, and traditional sweets.
  • Istinye Park: A luxurious shopping mall housing international and Turkish designer stores.
  • Nisantasi: A chic district with high-end boutiques, trendy shops, and fashionable cafes.
  • Arasta Bazaar: Located near the Blue Mosque, offering carpets, jewellery, and traditional Turkish crafts.
  • Kadikoy Market: Explore the Asian side for a local market experience with fresh produce, spices, and unique finds.


Places to Explore Outside Istanbul

Plan day trips to nearby gems:

  1. Cappadocia (730 km from Istanbul): Witness surreal landscapes and take a hot air balloon ride.
  2. Ephesus (640 km from Istanbul): Explore well-preserved ancient ruins.
  3. Bursa (240 km from Istanbul): Known for its Ottoman architecture and silk markets.


Emergency Numbers

In case of emergencies, dial:

  • Medical Emergency: 112
  • Police: 155
  • Fire Department: 110


Shamal Travels – Your Travel Partner

At Shamal Travels, we specialise in creating tailored travel experiences. Contact us to customise your journey to Istanbul, Bursa, Cappadocia, or Ephesus, ensuring an unforgettable adventure designed to suit your preferences.