Quick Facts

Get up to speed on the region

Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is the economic, historical and cultural heart of the country.

A former capital of empires, Istanbul holds a significant place in world history. Today, it is steadily growing into a centre of industry and finance in the region.

Visas

Most international travellers require visas to enter Turkey. Travellers holding passports from Germany, France or Japan, among other countries, can enjoy visa-free access to Turkey for up to 90 days.

For further details, consult your travel agent or any Turkish embassy or consulate.

View visa requirements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Currency

The Turkish currency is known as the Turkish Lira (TRY). Credit cards are accepted in major hotels and most shops and restaurants.

Here are the most recent exchange rates for some common currencies.

EUR 1.00 equals:

Exchange Rates Currency
1.45 Australian Dollar (AUD)
0.79 British Pound (GBP)
9.65 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
76.99 Indian Rupee (INR)
146.85 Japanese Yen (JPY)
1.59 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
2.77 Turkish Lira (TRY)
1.24 US Dollar (USD)

Taxes

A value-added tax (known as KDV in Turkey) of 18% is added to all goods except food items, which are subjected to 8% tax. Tax is included in prices. For purchases made in Tax Free affiliated shops, tourists may claim a tax refund at the airport.


Tipping

It is customary to leave a 10% tip in restaurants and a discretionary tip for hotel chambermaids and reception staff.

While taxi drivers do not normally expect a tip, it is appreciated.


Business Hours

Bank Hours

9am - 5pm, throughout the week

Office Hours

9am - 5pm, Monday through Friday

Shopping Hours

10am - 10pm, throughout the week


Public Health

Medical services are of a reasonable standard, though public hospitals can be crowded and private clinics may be expensive.

The hotel recommends that you drink only boiled or bottled water during your stay in Istanbul. Complimentary bottled drinking water is available in every room and is replenished daily.


Dress

Dress is generally informal, but a suit and tie will be appropriate for social, diplomatic or government events.

In the spring and autumn, temperatures are comfortable during the day, but bring a warm jacket or sweater as nights can be chilly. In the summer, light clothing is appropriate for the day but a light sweater is advised for cool evenings. For winter, warm clothing and rain gear are recommended.


Weather

Istanbul's weather can be described as temperate, with warm and humid summers and mild and wet winters.

Average daytime temperatures vary from 28°C (82°F) in the summer to 7 - 8°C (46 - 50°F) in the winter.

Today

Rain

Rain and drizzle in the morning

High: 9°C / 48°F
Low: 7°C / 44°F

Tomorrow

Showers

Mostly cloudy and chilly with a shower

High: 9°C / 48°F
Low: 6°C / 42°F
Friday:
Intermittent Clouds High: 8°C / 46°F Low: 6°C / 42°F
Saturday:
Mostly Sunny High: 10°C / 50°F Low: 7°C / 44°F
Sunday:
Intermittent Clouds High: 12°C / 53°F Low: 9°C / 48°F
Local Climate
Month High Low
Jan 9.3ºC 4.2ºC
Feb 9.7ºC 4.0ºC
Mar 12.1ºC 5.5ºC
Apr 17.0ºC 9.3ºC
May 22.1ºC 13.5ºC
Jun 26.9ºC 18.0ºC
Jul 29.4ºC 20.4ºC
Aug 29.2ºC 20.5ºC
Sep 25.5ºC 17.4ºC
Oct 20.2ºC 13.6ºC
Nov 15.2ºC 9.3ºC
Dec 11.2ºC 6.2ºC
Facts

Population
14 million

Language
Turkish, English

Time Zone
GMT +2 hours

Measures
Metric System

Voltage
220 volts

Plug Type
 

Mobile Phones
GSM 900 / 1800