Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West, Turkey Seeks its Way

An emblematic and grandiose metropolis, Istanbul lives at a crossroads. As Turkey in general, divided between secularism and Islam, tradition and modernity, it still doesn't know which way to go

Islamic silhouettes

Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West, Turkey Seeks its Way

An emblematic and grandiose metropolis, Istanbul lives at a crossroads. As Turkey in general, divided between secularism and Islam, tradition and modernity, it still doesn't know which way to go


How to go

A TAP flies directly from Lisbon to Istanbul on flights operated by Turkish Airlines. The flight lasts approximately 4h 30 and costs from €150.


Must Do's

  • Istanbul
  • Bursa
  • Çanakale, Troia and Gallipoli
  • ​Ephesus
  • Cappadocia
  • Pamukkale-Hierapolis
  • Nov
  • Antalya
  • Olympos
  • Lethon/Xanthos
  • Goreme Museum
  • Hattusa
  • ​Diverted
  • lake van
  • Mount nemrut



Turkey is served by a good network of flights that connect the main cities and even smaller towns but with great tourist interest. the companies with more relevant operation are the Turkish Airlines, Onur Airlines, Pegasus and Atlasjet. Most major cities have regular direct flights to Ankara and Istanbul, others only on specific days of the week. 

Flights are by far the best solution for those who have little time to explore Turkey.


The rental of cars and other vehicles is easy to secure, online, even in the country of origin and with pick-up at the counters of car companies. rent-a-car nationals and multinationals present at the arrival airports, these are always well equipped with vehicles that can cost as little as €10 a day, in low season, for small cars.

Fuel is very expensive, even more so for a country surrounded by others rich in oil. Expect to pay more than €1.5 for a liter of unleaded gasoline. With the exception of intercity highways that have tolls with prices that increase with the km travelled, at the time this guide was created, no other road had tolls.


The Turkish railway network was underdeveloped if we take into account the size of the country, less than 11.000 km of lines, mostly counted on the route between Istanbul and the capital Ankara. These are the only ones electrified and, since 2014, served by a fast service that has shortened the journey time, from 6 to 10 hours (depending on the train in question), to just over four hours. The national railway company is the TCDD.  

The main villages with direct service from Istanbul and Ankara are Edirne, Eskişehir, Konya, Adana, Kayseri (at the “entrance” of Cappadocia), Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Kars, and Tatvan, by Lake Van.

The Inter Rail ticket is valid in Turkey and TCDD sells its own pass that allows you to travel by train for one month at no extra cost.


Turkey is served by a number of good quality bus companies that ensure good quality services, with reserved seats, air conditioning, bathroom, TV and even Wi Fi on board. They are punctual and safe. As a rule, they are a better solution than the train, with the exception of the faster rail route between Istanbul and Ankara.

Among the companies with the most popular services are the Metro Bus, the balcony, Otobusbileti.


Catamaran-style fast ferries connect Istanbul to the opposite side of the Marmara Sea from the Yenikapı dock. With this service, Bursa is just 2 hours away. Different routes connect Istanbul to other cities on the Asian side and even further afield on the Bosphorus, Izmir and Trabzon.

Virtually all of Turkey's inhabited islands are served by ferry connections that decrease in frequency in winter or can even be suspended in harsh sea conditions.

When to go

Spring and Autumn are the ideal times of year to visit most of Turkey. In these more stable periods in terms of climate, temperatures are milder, far from the extremes of summer and winter, especially the winter of the Anatolian Plateau, when snow is almost guaranteed and temperatures dip to many minus degrees.

If you want to take a bathing holiday in the Mediterranean and Aegean resorts, summer will obviously be the best time but you can count on a flood of tourists, higher prices and very high temperatures, with maximum temperatures of 30 and many degrees. 



Money and costs

The currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). ATMs are abundant in cities and even in smaller towns. Withdrawals with credit cards are almost always possible and practical, as are payments, at least in the most modern establishments. None of this is obviously guaranteed in the small towns in the interior of the country. 

After the time of the overvalued Turkish Lira, where €1 was worth many millions of lira and prices reflected it, Turkey now has a new lira and the cost of living is somewhat higher, although in general the country remains inexpensive by Western European standards.


Like most heavily tourist countries, Turkey is endowed with all sorts of solutions, from campsites to some of the most luxurious historic hotels in Europe. On the most attractive coastline of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, resorts dedicated to mass tourism abound. The prices of stays at these resorts are substantially lower if booked in advance and online or at agencies and operators in the countries of origin, even more if they are part of more complete packages, with flights and transfers included.

Between the campsites and the luxury hotels, there is a panoply of commercial hotels, hostels, inns and pensions (including B&B) With regard to prices, stays start at around €10 per night for a double room in a hostel Istanbul, at several tens of euros a night at the best hotels and resorts of international chains.


With Mediterranean, Arab, Central Asian and Caucasus influences, Turkish cuisine is extremely rich. In the image of your stay, you can find a little of everything, from basic but delicious street meals at a very low cost (2 to 3€) to hyper-luxury meals in the restaurants of the most renowned international hotels and resorts, in the order of several tens of euros . 

As in any country, the best strategy to eat well at low prices is to realize which restaurants are frequented by residents of a certain area. The food that is more faithful to tradition and more accessible is most likely to be found in these establishments.


As the ADSL service began to reach more and more homes, hotels, bars, restaurants and others, Internet Cafés were decreasing. As long as you are in a large city or tourist town, you will have no great difficulty in getting Internet access in all types of establishments and even in squares and central or more tourist areas. Even when traveling across the country, you can easily rent a Hotspot which provides signal to various devices, in much of the territory, 3G. The values ​​depend on the tariff you choose, but the Internet in Turkey has very affordable prices.