Istanbul is the only city in the world which is built on two continents. It has been the imperial capital for 1600 years. From the empires of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, this metropolis with its rich history and natural beauty, offers a friendly welcome and genuine hospitality. Numerous museums, ancient churches, synagogues, basilicas, mosques, mausoleums, palaces, bazaars and baths are standing today as the pride of all civilizations. With more than 60 universities and many institutions, Istanbul is the most important centre of Turkish science and culture.

Banking and Exchange Facilities
Foreign money can be changed at banks during normal working days between 09.00-17.00 / Monday-Friday as well as at hotels, at the airport and in exchange offices. Exchange rates are anounced daily by the Central Bank. All major credit cards (VISA-, MASTER-, EURO-, AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD etc.) are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Automated bank machines are available at many points.

During summer the daytime temperatures are in the range of 25-30 ºC and evening temperatures are 20-22 ºC. We recommend you bring light clothes. During the winter daytime temperatures are in the range of 5-15 ºC and evening temperatures are -5 - 5 ºC.

Turkish currency is the Turkish Lira (TL). The actual exchange rate can be find in the website of Turkish Central Bank.

The regular electrical power supply in Turkey is 220 volts and the sockets have two rounded holes. In case you need 110-120 V, it is recommended to take your voltage converter with you.

The official language is Turkish. But Most touristic places, hotels restaurants etc. are employed with personnel which can well foreign languages such as English, German, French.

Restaurants and Turkish Cuisine
A wide range of restaurants are offering excellent national cuisine to first class international dishes. Also the traditional Turkish cuisine is famous for its many specialties prepared with fresh vegetables. Lots of quality restaurants as well as fast-food shops are available.

One of the most enjoyable parts of a trip to Turkey is shopping for the rich variety of Turkish crafts. Istanbul is a shopping paradise with its Covered Bazaar as well as the modern malls. Turkish carpets, kilims, suede and leatherwear as well as other items of clothing are the best buys. Copper, silver, brassware and jewellery are also choices for buying, along with works of ceramics and the famous Turkish meerschaum. In the Covered Bazaar bargaining over the sale price with shop traders is expected.

You have numerous alternatives for you to have your own GSM card. Some of them are TURKCELL, AVEA, TELSIM. All what you need to do is, to ask any GSM shop for Cellphone card. For this you have to present your International password.

Above mentioned GSM operators have also roaming agreements with foreign operators. It is possible to use most of the Cellular phones in Turkey. Also pay phones and credit card phones are available everywhere in the cities.

Turkey is 3 hours during summer and 2 hours during winter ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Service charge is included in most restaurants, to leave a tip is your own discretion.

Travel within Istanbul
Public shuttle buses run between the airport and the city center from 7.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. every half hour for a fee of € 5.- per person. It takes about 40 min from airport to the city centre. Rail transport systems are also available.



Visa Requirements
Your passport should be valid at least for 6 months after departure to Turkey.  It is required to check with the Turkish Consulate in your area, with your travel agency or at Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, In case of necessity of a letter of invitation to obtain visa, please contact your travel agency or the Turkish Consulate in your local area.