Few things to know about Istanbul
1. If you are traveling with a UK passport, prepare 10 pounds for visa at the airport! It was shocking as I thought I was the one who may need a visa to enter the country. Countries that are listed are USA, UK, Australia, some european countries and the prices vary. So check it before you enter and don’t panic if you need a visa!
2. Don’t pay fix prices for cabs. On our first day, we thought it was less tricky to pay a fix price but it turns out meter is extremely affordable!
3. Prepare comfy walking shoes and walk through the city. We walked from Taksim square all the way to the old town and saw so many little sights of Istanbul. It was definitely a good way to get a feel of the place.
4. Don’t get cheated at Bazaars! The spice bazaar actually has decent baklava but I am not entirely sure about buying spices or tea there. You may have better luck getting more genuine products at the Asian side or the market behind Spice Bazaar!
5. Don’t eat at the main street but google little authentic restaurants around! They are better priced and taste better!
6. Don’t trust trip advisor with directions! We got really lost one night using trip advisor and that lead us to God-knows-where. Double check with your hostel/hotel reception!
7. Take a day to the Asian side. It is beautiful to take the ferry across the Bosphorus River and spend an afternoon walking through the less crowded, calmer bit of Istanbul.
8. There are many refugees in Istanbul at this moment. You will notice many children walking around the street without shoes and begging for money. Prepare some food or chocolates in your bag and give it to them. You never know how little actions can mean a lot.
It is a really great city. Highly recommended 🙂