Both British Airways and Turkish Airlines fly direct between London and Istanbul, but perhaps a cheaper method is to catch a European carrier, which will involve a stop off en route.
The major airport is Atatürk Airport. Once you arrive at the airport the easiest way to get into central Istanbul is to catch the train and tram which costs around TL8 and will take around 1 hour. If you’re going to Sultanahmet (the main accommodation hub in central Istanbul) get off the train at Zeytinburnu and change to the Kabataş tram.
The city’s secondary airport is Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Catch one of the Havas Buses which leave the airport and take you direct to Taksim Square. You can buy your ticket on the bus but a good tip is to have some Turkish Lira. It will cost TL10, but if you pay in Euros it will cost €10 which is almost double.
If you are travelling from within Turkey to Istanbul, you’ll most likely arriving by bus at the main international bus station. The bus station is on the same train line as the aiport so you can catch a train to Zeytinburnu and change to the tram if you’re heading to Sultnahmet.
Most of the major tourist sites are centrally located in Istanbul making it easy to get around. Trams are an easy way to get around quickly and a journey will cost TL4. There is a funicular railway called Tünel which runs from Karakoy on the Bosphorus up to Istiklal Caddesi where there are plenty of restaurants and bars. It’s only a short journey but it will save your legs the pain of a steep hill.
Istanbul taxis are pretty affordable but don’t let any driver talk you into a set fare. It’s cheaper with the metre and if the driver doesn’t agree don’t get in — there are plenty of other taxis to choose from.
Where to stay
Located on the centre of Kadikoy (Historical Bazaar), Hush Hostel Moda is in close proximity to a transportation hub that services the whole city, including the ferry which takes you to the European Side and historical sightseeing just in 20 minutes. The ferry over to Sultanahmet or Beyoglu is cheap, easy, and lends beautiful views of the city.