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Useful Tips about Istanbul

 

Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey, though not the capital city (Ankara). Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, Istanbul is the only city in the world located in Europe and Asia at the same time.

Besides its incredible location, Istanbul has a lot to offer in terms of culture and history with historical works remaining from the Byzantium and Ottoman periods.

Hereafter, you will find a few practical tips about Istanbul.

Transportation

Taxis

All taxis are yellow in Istanbul and they all have taximeters. Please make sure that the taxi driver turns on the taximeter (if not, leave the taxi). The opening charge is 2,50 TL and charge per km. is 1,40.- TL. There are no price difference between the day & night charge, it’s a flat rate for 24 hrs.

Important: If you catch a taxi over one of the Bosphorus Bridges, you will have to cover the toll and the driver will add this to your fare.

There are no central taxi numbers in Istanbul.

Public transportation

The traffic can be very heavy in Istanbul. Public transportation like metro or tramway may be a good option to avoid being stuck in the traffic.

You can refer to the Lonely Planet Guide on Istanbul that provides, among many useful information, very detailed information on the local transports in Istanbul: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/turkey/istanbul/transport/getting-there-around#138950

From/To the Atatürk Airport

Taxi is the easiest solution if you stay in the Taksim area.

[IMPORTANT: The Havas shuttle service is temporarily suspended to and from Atatürk Airport since January 14, 2012.]

The Havas shuttles leave every 30 minutes from Atatürk (taxi area) and the fare (one way) is 10TL. The terminus is located 100m from the Taksim Square and hotels. Schedule and fare information can be found here: http://www.havas.net/en/shuttle-par....

Opening Hours

Banks are open weekdays from 9:00 AM until noon and from 1:30 PM until 5.00 PM. However, there are some banks which continue to serve during lunch breaks.

Museums are generally open from Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 AM until 5.00 PM or 5:30 PM and closed on Mondays.

Shops and bazaars are normally open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 AM to 7.00 PM, and closed all day on Sunday. But most stores in shopping malls and crowded streets are open seven days a week, including lunch breaks. You can find restaurants or cafes open virtually at any time of the day or night (on Istiklal Street for instance).

Shopping in Istanbul

Istanbul has been a shopper’s paradise for more than 1,500 years, famed as the trading point connecting the Silk Road from China with Europe. Visitors tend to flock to the famous Grand Bazaar in Beyazit, with what’s left of its Ottoman atmosphere and cool covered streets. This is a good place for an overview of goods and prices, however better bargains can often be found in the smaller shopping areas of Sultanahmet and Beyazit. Likewise, the famous Spice Bazaar in Eminönü is a must see, if only for the mountains of Turkish delight and its busy surrounding streets selling delicious olives, cheeses and dried fruits. Outside of the state-owned markets, most shops stay open until late evening, although the official opening hours are Monday to Saturday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Even at midnight, however, there are traders on the main pedestrian thoroughfares selling toys, socks and even antiques laid out on the ground.

Emergency Numbers

Ambulance: 112

Police: 155

Private hospitals in the near vicinity of the Conference Centre:

German Hospital (Universal Taksim Alman Hospital)

Sıraselviler Cad. No:119

Taksim Beyoğlu / Istanbul

Tel : 0 (212) 293 21 50

American Hospital

Güzelbahçe Sok. No:20 Nişantaşı / Istanbul

Tel: 0 (212) 311 20 00


Our partner Dekon Congress & Turism will be available on the conference web site to help you with local issues.

You can also find more extensive information on Istanbul in the sites below:

Official Istanbul site: http://english.istanbul.com/

A useful city guide: http://www.timeout.com/istanbul/

 
 
Update Tuesday 27 March 2012
 
 
 
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  Update Thursday 11 October 2012