Before you come

Before you come

This article is your personal guide to experiencing magical and unforgettable moments in Istanbul!


A Successful Medical Stay in Istanbul: IVF and Practical Preparations

  1. At the Airport

    • Keep all your medical and travel documents within easy reach.
    • If you have prescribed medications, ensure you have a medical prescription with you to avoid any customs issues.
    • Consider arranging transportation from the airport to your accommodation.
  2. Accommodation

    • Try to find lodging close to the clinic to minimize travel.
    • Ensure your accommodation is comfortable and quiet to ensure optimal rest after medical procedures.
  3. Communication

    • Although many Turks speak English, having a translation app on your phone can be helpful.
    • Inform the clinic of your arrival and coordinate with them for your appointments.
  4. Health

    • Strictly follow the instructions from Dr. Aksoy and his team regarding medications and procedures.
    • Avoid consuming foods or drinks you’ve never tried before to prevent any allergic or adverse reactions.
  5. Culture and Leisure

    • Make the most of your stay by exploring the beautiful city of Istanbul. Visit historical sites like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace.
    • Try out the local cuisine, but be cautious if you have dietary restrictions.
  6. Transportation

    • Use official taxis or recognized rideshare apps to avoid scams.
    • Familiarize yourself with the public transportation system if you plan on traveling frequently.
  7. Finances

    • Inform your bank about your trip to prevent your cards from being blocked.
    • Always carry some local currency for small expenses.
  8. Relaxation

    • Istanbul boasts numerous spas and hammams. This could be a great way to relax during your stay.
  9. Emergencies

    • Always have the clinic’s contact details and a local hospital’s details on hand in case of emergencies.

2- How to Obtain a Local SIM Card

Avoiding Thefts in Istanbul:

By following these tips, you can fully enjoy your stay in Istanbul while minimizing risks. Stay alert, but don’t forget to enjoy everything this beautiful city has to offer!

Taxi Issues in Istanbul

Public Transport in Istanbul

Istanbul, being one of the world’s largest metropolises, boasts a diverse and efficient public transportation system. Here’s an overview of the primary public transportation modes in Istanbul and how to access them:

  1. Metro
    Istanbul’s metro network is continually expanding and serves most of the city’s significant districts. Stations are well-marked, and information is available in both Turkish and English. Tokens can be purchased, or the Istanbulkart can be used for metro journeys.

  2. Tramway
    The tramway is a convenient mode of transport, especially in Istanbul’s historical region. It connects major sites like Sultanahmet, the Grand Bazaar, and the Galata Tower. Like the metro, tokens or the Istanbulkart can be used for tram rides.

  3. Bus
    Istanbul has an extensive bus network covering nearly all parts of the city. Buses can be crowded during peak hours, so it’s best to avoid them if possible during these times. Payments can be made using tokens, but using the Istanbulkart is more convenient.

  4. Ferries
    Ferries offer a scenic way to travel between Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. They provide breathtaking views of the city, especially during sunset. Tokens or the Istanbulkart can be used for ferry rides.

  5. Funicular and Cable Car
    The funicular is useful for climbing the hill between Taksim and Kabataş. The city also features several cable cars, offering panoramic views.

Tips for using public transport in Istanbul

With a variety of transport options at your disposal, getting around Istanbul is both convenient and economical.


The Istanbulkart is a rechargeable transportation card that can be used for all public transport modes in Istanbul. It offers discounted fares compared to individual tokens and can be bought and recharged at many kiosks and metro/tram stations. It’s highly recommended for those planning frequent use of public transport.

About Istanbulkart

The Istanbulkart is essential for anyone wanting to explore Istanbul using public transport. It’s a rechargeable electronic card that greatly eases commuting in this bustling metropolis. Here’s what you need to know about the Istanbulkart:

  1. What is Istanbulkart?
    The Istanbulkart is a chip card allowing you to pay for various transport modes in Istanbul, including the metro, tram, buses, ferries, and even some taxis. It operates on a “touch and go” basis, meaning you only need to approach the card to the reader at the entrance and exit of stations or vehicles.

  2. Where to buy Istanbulkart?
    Istanbulkart kiosks are scattered throughout the city, especially near major metro, tram, and ferry stations. They can also be purchased at some newsstands or neighborhood stores. A small deposit is generally required when buying, which is refunded if you return the card.

  3. How to recharge Istanbulkart?
    The card can be recharged at automatic machines located in metro, tram, and ferry stations. These machines accept both cash and credit cards. You can also top up your card at specific kiosks or stores displaying the Istanbulkart logo.

  4. Benefits of Istanbulkart

    • Savings: Using Istanbulkart is typically cheaper than buying individual tokens for each journey.
    • Convenience: No need to look for exact change or queue to buy tokens each time. The card also allows easy transfers between different transport modes.
    • Flexibility: The card is valid on almost all public transport modes, giving you total freedom to explore the city as you wish.
  5. Usage Tips

    • Always maintain a sufficient balance on your card, especially if you plan to make multiple trips in a day.
    • If traveling in a group, one Istanbulkart can be used for several people. However, ensure you “tap” the card for each person upon entry.
    • Keep the card in a safe place to avoid losing it. Even if replaced, the balance won’t be.

In conclusion, the Istanbulkart is a must-have tool for both residents and visitors of Istanbul. It offers a simple, economical, and efficient way to navigate this vast city. If you’re planning to spend time in Istanbul, investing in an Istanbulkart is highly recommended.

Finding Accommodation in Istanbul Before Your Arrival

If you’re planning to come to Istanbul, be it for a medical, professional, or leisurely stay, it’s essential to organize your accommodation in advance. Here are some steps and tips to help you find the ideal lodging before your arrival:

Define your needs

Online Booking Sites

Local Real Estate Agencies

If planning an extended stay or seeking a furnished apartment, contacting a local real estate agency is advisable. They can assist in finding short-term or long-term rentals.

Online Groups and Forums

Join Facebook groups or forums dedicated to expatriates or travelers in Istanbul. Members frequently share recommendations or announcements for available accommodations.

Ask for Recommendations

If you know individuals who have visited or lived in Istanbul, ask them for advice. They might have valuable tips or contacts to share.

Consider Temporary Residency

If unsure about where you’d like to stay, consider booking a temporary residence for the initial days of your trip. This will allow you to explore various neighborhoods and find the perfect spot.

Examine Reviews

Before finalizing your booking, read reviews from other travelers. This can offer insight into the accommodation’s quality, location, and provided services.

Review Cancellation Policy

Ensure you understand the cancellation policy of the accommodation you’re booking. This can be vital if your plans might change.

By following these steps and investing time in research, you should be able to locate accommodation that meets your requirements and ensures a comfortable stay in Istanbul.

Must-Visit Places and Activities in Istanbul

Historical Sites

Hagia Sophia (Sainte-Sophie): Initially a Christian basilica during the Eastern Roman Empire, it was converted into a mosque post the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. Today, it’s a museum blending Christian and Islamic influences. Its grand domes, golden mosaics, and towering pillars showcase architectural brilliance.

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii): Recognized by its unique six minarets, a count traditionally reserved for Mecca. Inside, visitors marvel at thousands of blue tiles adorning the walls with various floral and geometric patterns.

Topkapi Palace: The heart of the vast Ottoman Empire, from where sultans governed their territory spanning three continents. Now a museum, it displays treasures like the Kasikci diamond and revered Islamic relics.

Basilica Cistern: A massive underground water reservoir supported by 336 columns. The mystical ambiance is enhanced by dim lighting and water reflections, with the inverted Medusa heads being a peculiar highlight.

Markets and Bazaars

Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı): A maze of covered lanes home to thousands of shops. From handcrafted jewelry, Anatolian rugs, colorful ceramics to exotic spices, it’s all available here.

Spice Bazaar (Misir Çarşısı): The intoxicating aromas of spices, herbs, and teas waft through this bazaar. It’s the go-to place for Turkish delight (lokum), nuts, dried fruits, and spice blends for kebab and pilaf.

Relaxation and Recreation

Bosphorus Cruise: Cruising along the Bosphorus Strait offers a unique city perspective, showcasing Ottoman palaces, ancient wooden villas (yali), and medieval fortresses.

Hammams: Traditional Turkish baths offer deep relaxation. Post a steam bath, masseurs exfoliate the skin with a coarse mitt, followed by an oil massage.

Beyoğlu District and Istiklal Street: Istanbul’s modern heart, featuring trendy shops, cafes, cinemas, and art galleries. The historical tramway traversing the street is an attraction in itself.

Green Spaces and Views

Gülhane Park: Formerly a palace garden, this park provides a serene green oasis in the city’s heart. During spring, the tulip bloom is a must-see spectacle.

Galata Tower: Erected in the 14th century, this tower provides a 360° panorama of Istanbul, especially breathtaking at sunset.


Bosphorus Seafood Restaurants: Waterside eateries not only offer fresh seafood but also a stunning view, particularly at sunset.

Neighborhoods to Explore

Sultanahmet: Istanbul’s historical center, where most iconic sites are within walking distance of each other.

Ortaköy: Famous for its quaint seaside mosque and artisanal market. It’s also popular for “kumpir”, a baked potato stuffed with various toppings.

Istanbul is a city that lives and breathes history, culture, and art. Every street corner tells a story, every bazaar is filled with treasures, and every view is a living painting of this fascinating metropolis.”