Flights to Istanbul: practical information
Cheap airlines to Istanbul
Most flights will arrive in Istanbul via Ataturk Airport (IST), just 20km west of Istanbul. The best way to reach the city is by express bus. Alternatively, many low cost airlines flies to Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW).
When to book flights to Istanbul
If you think Istanbul has nice weather all year long, forget it. While the summers are nice and hot here, the winters can get bitterly cold (with snow!) and wet. Spring arrives in May, a perfect time to head to the city. Autumn in September is also very pleasant weather wise.
- Peak season: From May to October.
- Low season: Generally winter means cheap tickets to Istanbul.
Flights to Istanbul take 3h 50min from London.
Experience Istanbul: what to see, what to do
A delightful blend of modern Asian and European with a twist of history added is a way to describe Istanbul. Istanbul is a unique choice, but one you won't soon forget. If you're looking for real experiences while on holidays in Istanbul, head to the bath houses, also called hammams.
Essentials in Istanbul
Aya Sofia: This ancient Christian church is an architectural marvel. Since 1934 it has stopped being a place of worship and instead is visited and admired by millions every year.
Blue Mosque: This was the Muslim's response to the Christian's Aya Sofia. As for the name? It refers to the blue tiles used for the mosaics, a charming feature. With six minarets, it's one of the only mosques to have so many away from Mecca.
Grand Bazaar: Time for shopping! The Grand Bazaar is an assault on all your senses, so be prepared. Winding around street corners, lit up by oil lamps, spices, vendors yelling their best prices. Why not get a Istanbul car hire to carry all that shopping for you?
Hammams: There is at least one main bath house in each of the city's districts. Order yourself a scrubbing or a massage or simply soak in the tub or hit the sauna!
Find more information on Istanbul Tourism Board.
Accommodations in Istanbul
Finding a hotel in Istanbul is never really a problem. There are plenty of youth hostels with roof terrace bars that overlook the mighty Bosphorus River. Most of the city's hotels are located in Sultanahmet, the closest area to the most tourist attractions and monuments.