All About Istanbul
Let your self experience a great city where the Continents meet.

Latest News

Underground Cistern

The Byzantine underground cistern (Yerebatan), Blue Mosque, Maiden's Tower (Kizkulesi), Treasury at Topkapi Palace are re-opened after restorations.

Museum Pass

You can buy the "Museum Pass" for foreigners which is valid for 5 days in various museums of Istanbul.

Museums open 7 days

The museums in Istanbul will operate 7 days a week, except Topkapi Palace.

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How to get to Istanbul?

By air

The easiest way to get to Istanbul is by plane of course. Turkish Airlines and many other world airlines have regular daily flights to Istanbul. There are also local airliners that run charter flights to Istanbul especially during holiday season such as summer months or Easter and New Year's period. Some of the direct flying times are: Newyork - Istanbul 10:20 hours, London - Istanbul 3:45, Milan - Istanbul 2:45, Hong Kong - Istanbul 11:50, Moscow - Istanbul 3:05, and so on.

Istanbul has two international airports; one on the European side (New Istanbul Airport) and the other one on the Asian side (Sabiha Gokcen Airport). From Istanbul you can fly to many other cities of Turkey as there are frequent daily flights of different airline companies. Istanbul - Izmir or Istanbul - Ankara flight takes about 1 hour, Istanbul - Adana about 1:30.

By land

Istanbul is well connected to many European cities by highways. Some private Turkish bus companies run scheduled buses to Istanbul from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Greece, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Jordan, Russia, Georgia, and Romania. Once you're in Istanbul, there are countless of local bus companies that can take you to all corners of Turkey with their modern buses. Buses are frequent and plentiful, they usually depart from the Bus Station (Otogar) in Esenler neighborhood but they also have ticket offices all around the city, especially in Taksim, Sultanahmet, Besiktas, Kadiköy etc.

You can also easily drive to Istanbul from any European country with your own car or motorbike. By car, there are mainly two borders to get into Turkey: Kapikule in Edirne coming from Bulgaria, or Ipsala coming from Greece. There is a nice highway between Edirne and Istanbul, it's about 225 kilometers (140 miles). After Istanbul, you can drive anywhere in Turkey as there is an extensive road network. However, it's not recommend to drive with your own car in Istanbul because the traffic in this mega-city is pretty dense and sometimes caotic. The best way would be to park your car and use public transportation or taxis.

By rail

Turkish Railways Authority (TCDD) has regular train schedules from Istanbul to Budapest - Hungary, Bucarest - Romania, Kishinev - Moldova, Salonica - Greece and Sofia - Bulgaria in Europe, or to Tehran - Iran in the Middle East. For example, Istanbul - Salonica takes over 12 hours by train, Istanbul - Tehran takes about 68 hours.

International trains arrive at Halkali station on the European side. Meanwhile Haydarpasa station on the Asian side of Istanbul is closed nowadays. Once you're in Istanbul, you can get a train mainly to Ankara first, and then a connection to Eskisehir, Denizli, Van, Kars, Gaziantep, Adana, and Konya.

Important note: Lately many railroad tracks to/from Istanbul are on the phase of re-construction therefore many national and international trains do not arrive all the way to Istanbul !

By sea

There are several maritime companies that run car and passenger ferries from Greek islands or from Italy to Turkey. Most of these arrive at Çesme port near Izmir. There was also a regular ferry line between Odessa (Ukraine) and Istanbul but stopped due to the war. Many cruise ships dock at Istanbul for daily excursions.

From Istanbul, you can get a ferry connection to Bandirma near Balikesir, to Mudanya near Bursa, to Yalova, or to Marmara Island. Within the city, Urban Maritime Transportation (IDO and Sehir Hatlari companies) and many private companies (Turyol and Dentur) run passenger ferries between both sides of the Bosphorus.

Hope to see you soon in Istanbul.