Guide of Istanbul
Climate of Istanbul
Istanbul has a temperate climate. In summer the weather is hot and humid, the temperature between June and September averaging 28°C (82°F). During winter it is cold, wet and often snowy, averaging 5°C (42°F). The humidity of the city is constantly high which makes the air feel much harsher than the actual temperatures.
Tourism Office of Istanbul
Alay Köşkü, Gülhane Parkı içi, Eminönü - Istanbul
Tel : 00 90(212) 5286821 - 22
Fax: 0090 (212) 5286820.
GET IN ISTANBUL
Planes arrive at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, 20 km west of the city centre. From the airport, there are various options for getting into Istanbul: you can take a taxi, the express bus service run by the local airport service called "Havas" which departs half-hourly, the IETT bus (96T) or by Metro to Aksaray and a tram on to Kabataş, which also passes through Sultanahmet, Eminönu and Tophane. The trip from the airport to Sultanahmet takes about 45 min.
Istanbul also has a smaller airport Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, located in the Anatolian side of the city. Charter flights as well as European low cost carriers operate from here most of the time. A Havas bus connects this airport with Taksim in the city center and takes about an hour.
International trains from across Europe arrive at the station in Sirkeci, close to Sultanahmet. Asian trains arrive at Haydarpasa station. To get between the two, catch a ferry across the Bosphorus.
International trains to and from Sirkeci:
- Daily overnight trains from Sofia (Bulgaria) - coming from Belgrade (Serbia) and Budapest (Hungary)
- Daily overnight "Bosphorus train" from Bucharest (Romania)
- Twice a day there are trains to Thessaloniki (Greece)
International trains to and from Haydarpasa:
- Weekly trains to Aleppo (Syria)
- Weekly train to Teheran (Iran) (from Haydarpasa station) every Wednesday.
Buses and coaches terminate at the colossal Esenler Otogar, about 10 km west of the city center, located on the European side. Courtesy minibuses or taxis will easily get you into the center. The metro also stops at the Otogar. There are several daily buses to/from cities in Romania and Bulgaria.
"Harem" is the major hub for the buses on the Anatolian (Asian) side, which can be reached easily from the European side with a Ferryboat.
International ferries, carrying tourist groups from outside Turkey stop at Karakoy Port. The port is ideally located close to Sultanahmet and Taksim.
Cruise ships often dock close to downtown. Passengers not on tours will find taxis readily available at the port entrance, and modern streetcars a short walk away.
The city, lying on two different continents and separated by the Bosphorus, is connected by two bridges. The bridge on the south, closer to the Marmara Sea, is called the "Bosphorus Bridge". The bridge closer to the Black Sea is named "Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge" and is longer than the first one. Both are toll bridges, and you must pay a fee to cross.
On weekdays, drivers should be aware of potentially hour-long traffic jams on the highways leading to both bridges, particularly heading west in the mornings and east in the evenings, since most people live on the Anatolian side but work on the European side.
There is a great shortage of parking in Istanbul, and existing lots are quite expensive.
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