You must present your passport and visa, depending on your nationality. Check with your Embassy or Consulate about the requirements to travel to Turkey and the corresponding procedures. In the case of Spaniards, only present their passport with a minimum validity of six months. Other nationalities need to apply for the visa in advance in their respective countries.
The average visa price, requested at the ports of entry, is 15 euros and has a maximum validity of 3 months, in case you decide to return to Istanbul.
The national currency is the Turkish Lira, with respect to the Euro it is 1.00 Euro = 2.3 TL (Turkish lira). There are coins of 5, 10, 25 and 50 kuruş (cents) and 1 lira, as well as 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 200 lire bills. In shops or taxis do not usually accept large bills, so you should try to carry change over to make payments of small amounts and always check the change well.
We can use ATMs (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Eurocard), since almost all ATMs offer their instructions in several languages. You can also change money in hotels, exchange offices and banks. Credit cards are accepted without problems in hotels, restaurants and shops in the tourist area. The Euro is also accepted with pleasure, but if they have to give us change they will surely give it in Turkish lira.
The local call prefix is 0. The international call prefix is 00. To call Spain, for example, you must dial: 00 34 + the full province prefix + the subscriber number. GSM system mobiles are valid in Turkey. Before the trip, consult the GSM operator that authorizes you to make an international call. Mobile phones in general automatically choose a local operator, but if it does not work or there is no coverage you have to change the local operator manually. In Turkey there are currently three companies: Vodafone, Turkcell and Avea.
No vaccination is necessary to enter Turkey.
Transportation in the city:
In Istanbul, due to its large size and geographical irregularities, there are the most diverse means of transport, which generally work correctly:
Tram: According to some, it is the most convenient means of transportation to get around the city. The T1 line runs through the main points of interest in Istanbul (from Bagcilar to Kabataş, passes through the Grand Bazaar, the Sultanahmet Square, the Galata Bridge, etc.). There is also a “historic” or “nostalgic” tram, which leaves from Taksim Square and runs along Istiklal Street, a boulevard that is one of the main arteries on the European side of the city. Another vintage tram connects the Fashion district with Kadiköy, as well as the Asian part of the city.
Funicular: There are two underground funiculars, one between Kabataş and Taksim Square and another between Tünel and Karaköy, passing under the Galata Tower; the latter one of the oldest in the world.
Metro: The Istanbul metro network is quite limited and does not have much interest for travelers, although it is useful to get to the airport. Recently a new metro network opened in the Asian part of the city.
Buses: Although it is the cheapest means of transport, buses in Istanbul can be complex to understand. There are private and public but in general they are an important and popular means of transport.
Ferries, ferries and “sea buses”: In general, the boats communicate the European part with the Asian part, being an indispensable option for locals and foreigners, although excursions are very common through the Bosphorus, Black Sea, Marmara Sea and Horn of Gold and the rent of these boats for parties and private events. They also connect Istanbul with the Prince Islands, from the stations of Kabataş and Bostanci, on both sides of the city.
Suburban train: One of the lines runs between Sirkeci, the main railway station of the European part and Halkali, in a 48-minute journey. The other suburban line is in the Asian area, from the Haydarpaşa to Gebze railway station, in a journey of approximately 65 minutes.
Taxis: In Turkish it is called “Taksi” and they are yellow. It is very easy to find them all day. They are generally quite cheap and safe and are a good option to reach certain points in the city. They work with a meter and the flag descent is 2.50 TL. The price is calculated according to the kilometer, so the traffic jams do not affect much. There is no nightly rate. In tourist areas it is common for taxi drivers to prefer to negotiate the price.
Forms of payment in public transport: The two most popular types of “tickets” are the Jeton and the Istanbulkart: the first is for a journey and the second is a card with a balance that is valid for all means of transport. The general criterion is that jets are the easiest way to use public transport for travelers who are not going to make intensive use of it, while the Istanbulkart is saving and comfort.
The time in Istanbul is typically continental; variable, depending on the seasons of the year and even, from one point of the city to another, if we take into account that the city is around 100 kilometers long. In general terms, it can be said that the temperature in Istanbul is very similar to that of Madrid, with much more frequent rains. In Istanbul it can snow in the months of January or February and in summer there are usually high degrees of humidity.
We recommend you to wear comfortable clothes, casual and light, but something more warm for the nights, because they are cooler. The humidity level is high. To visit mosques you have to take off your shoes so it is advisable to wear socks. In summer, women are recommended to wear a shawl if they are wearing suspenders.
Photography and video:
In all the monuments of the city it is allowed to take pictures, but it is normally forbidden to use flash or tripod.
Turkey is a shopping paradise. There are large modern shopping centers, with objects of the latest design and the best national and international fashion. But there are also old bazaars with carpets, kilims, jewelery, precious and semiprecious stones, sea foam, ceramics, oriental fabrics and silk, leather and leather, objects in copper, objects and silver ornaments, marquetry, spices, Turkish coffee and tea. They are specialties that can be found in various regions and in the bazaars of large cities.
Turkey’s hourly usage is +2: 00 B. It is +1 hour from Spain all year.
The base of Turkish food is Mediterranean, then fruits and vegetables abound. No pork is eaten, but beef, poultry and fish. The cuisine is very rich and varied, while healthy and balanced. During centuries, product of the frequent displacement of different towns, customs and recipes between civilizations were exchanged. The most popular Turkish dishes are the different variants of kebabs or desserts like baklava, to name some example.
Airlines in the region usually accept 20-23 kilos of checked baggage and 8-10 kilos of carry-on luggage. It is advisable not to carry your suitcases full and leave space for purchases.
They are common in hotels, restaurants and anywhere where they provide a service.
Turkish belongs to the uraloaltaic linguistic family. Since 1928 in Turkey is written with the Latin alphabet of 8 vowels and 21 consonants. Like Spanish, Turkish is read as it is written.
Places of worship:
This is a short list of some places of worship for Christians and Jews in Istanbul. Catholics: San Antonio and Santa Maria, in the neighborhood of Beyoğlu (in the pedestrian Istiklal). On Cumhurriyet Caddesi street is the Cathedral of Santo Espírituö where Pope John XXIII spent 10 years before his appointment. Orthodox: Istanbul is the headquarters of the Orthodox Patriarchate in the Fener neighborhood. There is also Aya Triada, in Taksim Square. Anglicans: Chapel of St. Helena in the Tepebasi district and Crimean Church in the Tophane district. Protestants: Dutch Chapel, in the neighborhood of Beyoğlu. Jews: The Synagogue of Neva Shalom and the Ashkenazi Synagogue, in the neighborhood of Karaköy.
Telephone numbers of interest:
Tourist Office of Turkey in Madrid: 9 1 559 70 14/559 71 14
Turkish Airlines: Madrid: 902 111 235 / Barcelona: 93 298 41 70
Office of the Chilean Embassy in Ankara, Turkey: +90.312.438 94 44
Office of the Venezuelan Embassy in Ankara, Turkey: +90.312.438 7135
Office of the Embassy of Mexico in Ankara, Turkey: +90.312.446 0335
Office of the Embassy of Argentina in Turkey: +90.312.446 2061
Office of the Embassy of Turkey in Argentina: 54-1-787 1245
Office of the Embassy of Turkey in Chile: 56-2-231 8952
Office of the Embassy of Turkey in Venezuela: 58-2-993 9202
Office of the Embassy of Turkey in Mexico: 52-55 52 02 36 82