Destination Istanbul (Sabiha Gökçen)Destination Istanbul (Sabiha Gökçen)

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Practical informationPractical information

Passport & visa
To travel to Turkey, you will need a valid passport or a European identity card that must be valid for the period of intended stay.

Apart from a valid passport or European identity card, you also need a visa to travel to Turkey. As of 10 April 2014, you need to apply for the visa before you travel. Visas are no longer issued at airports in Turkey. Payment is by credit card only. We recommend that you arrange your visa at least 24 hours prior to departure in order to ensure that the payment is made on time.

Apply for a visa for your trip to Turkey

From Amsterdam it will take about three hours to fly to Istanbul where you will land at Sabiha Gökçen Airport. A transfer from the airport to the centre of Istanbul takes about 45 minutes.

Public transport
To get a real taste of Istanbul, board a Dolmus! These little buses don’t leave until all the seats are taken, so be prepared to sit among mothers and children and old men until the bus is full.

For a nostalgic tram trip, take the tiny tram that shuttles back and forth over the shopping street Istiklal Caddesi. Tokens cost less than one lira.

Or take a cable car to cross Maçka Park in the valley between Taksim and Maçka. The cable car gets you to the Hilton or Swissotel hotels in just a few minutes.

There is one modern metro line in Istanbul that runs from Taksim Square to Levent.

Travelling between Europe and Asia? The ferryboat is inexpensive, quick and enjoyable as well. The routes are indicated on the boat houses. You can purchase a token at the counter for about one lira that will get you through the gate.

AKBIL smart ticket
The AKBIL smart ticket is a rechargeable public transport ticket that can be used for city buses, the metro, the tram and the ferryboat. You can buy and charge this smart ticket, which looks rather like a key ring, at the AKBIL kiosks located in places as the Taksim Square or in Sultanahmet near the Blue Mosque. The AKBIL smart ticket gives you a 10% discount and is handy to use when travelling with more than one person.

Taxis are yellow and have a taxi sign on their roofs. Try to avoid travelling during rush hour; the city turns into one big traffic snarl after 5:00 p.m. Taxi fares go up by 50% between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

You can recognise Turkish post offices by their PTT symbol. The main post office, called the Merkez Postanesi in Turkish, is open 24/7.

Chemists are called Eczanesi in Turkish. Each chemist’s shop lists its name and telephone number along with the hours it is open at night.

Country code: +90

220 Volt

New Turkish Lira (YTL). 1 YTL is equal to approximately one million old liras.

Business hours
Banks are usually open on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon. In tourist areas, banks are also open from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Istanbul has many ATMs. Shops are open from Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and then from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. There are exceptions, however.

Tourist information offices
Tourist information offices are found in various locations in the city and can be recognised by a white ‘I’ on a green background.

Emergency number

Time difference
GMT +2

Immunisations for Hepatitis A and DTP are recommended for all travellers to this country. The most recent information is available at (in Dutch only).

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adults & children from the age of 12 yrs
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