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Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul
Country: Turkey
Time Difference:2 hour(s)
Flight time from UK:3 hrs 30 mins
Visa required:Yes. Turkish Visas are issued at the Turkish airport on arrival.
Currency:Turkish Lira
Health advice:Hepatitis A and Typhoid : immunisation or tablets recommended. Malaria : immunisation or tablets recommended, depending on the area visited and depending on the season.

 Average Temperatures:

Istanbul is a blend of Eastern and Western culture, a vibrant, modern city, with an unique identity. Although no longer the capital of Turkey – Atatürk created Ankara as the capital at the heart of his new Turkish Republic, as a symbolic break from the Ottoman Empire – it remains the country’s cultural and business centre. It is set in a stunning location, surrounded by water – the narrow strait of the Bosphorus and the serene Sea of Marmara separating Europe from Asia. Istanbul has a foot in each, celebrating the best of both heritages. As Byzantium, Constantinople and finally, Istanbul, it has been the capital of three Empires, each leaving their mark in the form of stunning palaces, castles, mosques, churches and monuments. The layout of Istanbul can seem confusing at first. The Bosphorus or Bogðaz divides the city into the European and Asian sides, linked by two magnificent bridges, spanning the continents, the first of which was opened in 1973 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Republic. Most visitors to the city, will have little reason to visit the Asian side, except for as part of a Bosphorus tour, on a boat which zigzags from side to side, to take in the best of each. The European side, however, is also divided in two by the Golden Horn or Haliç, which roughly divides the historic part of Old Istanbul, encompassing the areas of Sultanahmet and Laleli, from the modern city. It is crossed by a number of bridges, the most famous of which is the pontoon, the Galata Bridge. Most visitors stay in the old town as the vast majority of the sites which they will be visiting are in this area. Istanbul’s most famous sites – the Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Cami, Aya Sofya, TopkapÝ SarayÝ and the Grand Bazaar – are all within a 30 minute walk of each other. It is easy to get around on foot or by making use of the tram, which provides a regular service on the pedestrianised main street. Atatürk International Airport is about 15 miles from the centre of Istanbul.