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Travel Guide: Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey #travel

Hagia Sophia

Istanbul, Turkey

Map of Hagia Sophia

More info about Istanbul

Coronavirus in Istanbul

As much as it pains us to say, now is not the best time to be boarding that plane, boat or train. More and more countries are going into COVID-19 lockdown and closing their borders, which is making it virtually impossible to travel anyway. You can track the current coronavirus right now.

Culture in Istanbul

We've written a very extensive guide filled with insightfull comments and handy tips and tricks about all the aspects to traveling in Turkey. We've summarized the most critical things below, but you can discover more information in our detailed guide to Turkey.

Money in Istanbul

Currencie(s): Turkish lira

  • 1 Turkish lira = 0.12 €
  • 1 Turkish lira = 0.14 $
  • 1 Turkish lira = 0.11 £

Tipping: Usually optional and not customary in many places. Though not necessary, a tip of 5–10% is appreciated in restaurants, and is usually paid by "leaving the change". Cab drivers usually do not expect to be tipped, though passengers may round up the fare.

Corruption: Turkey has a corruption score of 59 out of 100.
If your itinerary runs through Turkey, watch out for muggers and beware of corrupt police officers. According to Transparency International, Turkey scores average on the list of corrupt nations around the world.

Turkey is concidered to be a VERY dangerous country, with a Global Peace Index of 3.02 out of 4.
This report is the only one of its kind that measures how dangerous or safe a nation is based on 23 different indicators, including political terror, deaths from internal conflict, murder rate, and ease of access to small arms and light weapons.

Language in Istanbul

Language(s): Turkish

Food & Drinks in Istanbul

2 National dishes: Döner & Kuru Fasulye With Pilav.

Tap Water: Do not drink. According the the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - USA, Source), you might want to drink bottled water because travellers' diarrhoea, hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera are among the illnesses that can be transmitted with bad water.

Drinking age: The minimum age for drinking in Istanbul is 18.

Religion in Istanbul

Turkey is a religious country. According to the Gallup Poll in 2009 research, 82% of the population thinks religion is important in their daily life. More info about this study can be found here. The religous adherents are Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews). Read this article about the impact of religion on your travel plans.

Sex & Relationships in Istanbul

Age of Consent: 18 years.

Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is not legalized in Turkey.

Turkey scores a -6/10 on the 'Gay Travel Index'.

National Sports in Istanbul

A lot of countries and cultures have an obsession with sports, almost reaching religious proportions. In this case, Oil wrestling & Cirit is Turkey their national sport.

Other practical tips for Istanbul

Timezone: UTC+03:00

Driving: Right-hand traffic.

Power adapters and converters: 230 V (50 Hz), Plug C / F

Weather: Currently clear sky, with a temperature between 25 and 27°C (77 and 80.6°F)

Pollution (PM2.5 fine dust particles): 44.31 µg/m3
PM2.5 Fine dust particulates can be carried deep into the lungs where they can cause inflammation and a worsening of the condition of people with heart and lung diseases. The smaller the particles the deeper they travel into the lungs, with more potential for harm. Note that the World Health Organisation's guideline value is 20 µg/m3. So be carefull when travelling to Turkey. Make sure you are prepared by reading our article about effective strategies for a healthier trip.

Fly to Istanbul, Turkey

List of interesting places in Istanbul