Although it is enjoyable to walk in Istanbul, the city is equiped with convenient tram, metro and city ferry systems going to the main sites. We definitely recommend you to obtain a city pass "Istanbul Card" for you to use for any kind of public transportation to avoid all the queues. Please ask to the guest relations & reception desk to obtain one.
If you need to take a taxi please be sure that you have with you the complete address and a small map/kroki of the place you want to reach. Taxi drivers are not always comfortable with addresses.
In Istanbul, tipping a taxi driver is not a custom. If the cost of the taxi is 23 or 24 Turkish Liras, it is normal to leave 25 Turkish Liras, not more. Yellow taxies have taximeters that measure 2 parameters, distance and period of driving. It means that during heavy traffic the price for the same distance will be higher than during normal times.
Money & Shopping
Always make sure you have plenty of small bank notes of Turkish Lira and even some coins with you. It will be useful for the street shopping, transportation, etc.
Except for transportation and street food spots, you can pay for nearly everything by your credit cards (even at the small restaurants).
If you use an ATM in Turkey, use the one that is located outside of a national bank during regular business hours “Mon-Fri 9am-5pm”. This way if you experience any problems with your card you can directly report it to the bank. Also do make sure that you inform your bank about your planned travel to Turkey. If not, the bank may freeze your card after one or two transactions.
While visiting mosques both men and women are expected to wear clothing below knee level length and to have their shoulders and chests covered. Shorts, tank tops and halters are completely inappropriate. Women must cover their hair with a hat or scarf, and men should be bareheaded. Shoes must be removed before entering the mosque; carry them with you unless you are with a guide who instructs you to leave them outside. Many of the larger mosques provide plastic sacks for you to carry your shoes in. There are usually signs which indicate whether picture taking is allowed; pay attention to whether flash is allowed. Do not aim your camera at anyone who may be praying.
If you plan to make museum visits, we recommend you to obtain a “Museum Pass” which is a one-time payment card that provides you access to 9 historical museums and cultural points of interest in Istanbul. It is valid for 72 hours, starting from the moment of you first entrance (not the moment of the purchase). The most important advantage of it is the ease of use. You no longer need to wait in the queue to buy your tickets. Also, it is a much cheaper alternative to visit the must-sees of Istanbul.
Istanbul is a safe city but please note that it is a big city like all others. So please keep the most important things in your safe case.