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Road Signs[edit]

It's not true that there's a lack of road signs in Istanbul. I'm from Bulgaria, first time I visit Istanbul by car few weeks ago. There's road signs practically on every crossing, so I didn't lost myself in anytime. (Par example, I did lost my self so often in Sofia, 10 times smaller than Istanbul). I do not use a GPS navigation, only a paper map of Istanbul. I found my hotel in Sultanahmed from the first try. The parking was adventure, but I found one place near the hotel and immediatelly use it :)

Road signs used to be a problem. now they got common and useful. (WT-en) Ozanbaba 13:24, 17 June 2010 (EDT)


Istanbul is one of the safest metropols in the world.But you should be careful sometimes.Especially when you walk in crowded streets like Istiklal.(I do not recommend you to go there after 10pm)As for historical peninsula,it is safe too but sometimes sellers in the streets can be annoying.But if you have a Turkish with you especially a licenced tourist guide ,they do not come to you.Your guide can tell them to go away kindly in their own language:)and they understand.

On the contrary, being in the crowd is actually much much safer than empty streets. Istiklal and other crowded areas are usually full of civilian dressed cops, which monitor any and all crimes. Although I can definitely say that they observe, they act on crimes around 60 % of the time. Istiklal starts getting livelier after 10 pm, and the crowds start dispersing after 2 am. After 3 am, Istiklal street is literally empty.
As a Turk living in Istanbul, I have not heard the word "Karakoncolos" in my life, ever. I suggest you remove it and get help from some Turkish speaking editors.
Hitchhiking in Turkey is generally not a good idea. It is usually seen as asking to get robbed, or raped. If you don't believe me, refer to Pippa Bacca's case. - Ahmet —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
I haven't personally heard karakoncolos either, but I knew about the concept (there is even a Wikipedia article about it) before that was added to the article recently. Maybe that was a word used for this purpose by the Eski İstanbullular, whose roots in the city go back several generations/centuries, but I just don't know, and I guess it's rare enough that it could be removed from the list.
Hitchhiking in Turkey is most definitely not asking for getting robbed or raped; on the contrary, it is a cheap, easy, and fun way to travel around the country (I'm sorry but when I see such an extremely negative comment about hitchhiking, I immediately think that the comment comes from someone who has not tried to hitchhike even once in his/her lifetime). Pippa Bacca was an unlucky individual whose horrible death deeply saddened me (my grief gets even bigger when I think of why she was hitchhiking in the first place), and you might advice lonely female hitchhikers to be more careful and aware when they hitchhike in Turkey, but rising a thumb beside a highway most likely does not have any other hints than "I need a ride down this road—would you make me a favour and take me in your vehicle?" and is done every year without any problems by lots of individuals—female and male, and single and couple/in groups alike. After all, there is a guide for females on how to hitchhike safely in Turkey, written by a female traveller, who hitchhiked literally everywhere in Turkey, including the most remote town of all, Hakkari. – Vidimian (talk) 11:31, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Water Quality[edit]

The quality of tap water has considerably increased in the past decade. I think current tap water is drinkable. Well at least it is practically drinkable. 01:41, 22 June 2006 (EDT)

I'm not sure what "practically" drinkable could mean. --(WT-en) Evan 10:32, 22 June 2006 (EDT)

i live in istanbul, it is not drinkable ...

I am an American currently on a month long business trip in Istanbul. Not even the locals drink the water. All of the restaurants pour water only directly from the bottle. Outside of restaurants, bottled water is available virtually everywhere, including by merchants and Gypsie children who run around in the middle of traffic to sell it. In the places of the city where I have been, the water seems to be mostly clean. It does not have any funny odors or smell that are typical of many undrinkable water sources. I have found it perfectly acceptable for showers and brushing teeth so long as it is not swallowed. -Scott

Anyone who can afford to buy bottled water does. It is true that you won't get severly ill but it will give you an upset stomach. A bottle of water is 25 cents so why risk it. I think this should be changed and it should say that the water is not drinkable. Turks may be able to drink it but tourists should not. Every hotel I've ever been to has a sign in the bathroom saying not to drink the water. - Kelly

As a citizen, living in Turkey, I don't drink tap water. That has many reasons; first and most important of all is the uncontrollable suburbian living areas, located very close or around the water sources, and the pollution they create.

I was in Turkey August 2007. We often drank tap water in the better hotels (and no, I don't see what that has to do with the municipal water supply!). Out of a group of 34 only one "suffered" and I am not sure it was tap water that did it. We made a conscientious effort to buy bottled water, but it just wasn't always possible. (WT-en) Student7 22:03, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

Living in Istanbul I can say that the water is safe to drink, it however is so over chlorinated as to be unpleasent. Most people here continue to drink bottled water, myself included, because no matter how safe the city government says it is it still just tastes bad. Those who do not posses the mean to buy botled water can fill up their own containers from the corners faucets provided by the city government these are supplied by a seperate source or at least that's what they say. -Amy

i don't drink the tab water but i drink faucets. Amy is right tab water does not taste well, but it got less chlorinated over the years. by the way most of the water source of the faucets are indeed different. they are usually underground water sources. (in kadıköy, mostly kayışdağı is the main source.) (WT-en) Ozanbaba 13:23, 17 June 2010 (EDT)

I've been in Istanbul well over a week now now. The water at one hotel tasted truly awful and I almost vomited (I left that hotel mostly because of that). The water at another hotel is pretty bad, but swallowable. In both cases I think it's the pipes, since the water at another hotel tasted fine, as does the water from the hand-washing fountains that are everywhere in the old city. Personally, I think the public water supply tastes better than bottled water. I had an old man warn me against it today, which is why I came here, but I've been drinking the water here my whole time with no problems. I think the Turks warn against it for the same reasons the Koreans and Mexicans in cities where the water *is* drinkable (that varies widely in Mexico), warn against the water--it used to be undrinkable, and old habits die hard. ~ Arthur ( 14:05, 27 August 2011 (EDT))

Rail Travel[edit]

Is it possible now to travel completely by rail from the airport to Levent? (ASM)

yes, it is possible to travel from airport to levent and taksim and more ...

stray cats in Sultanahmet[edit]

Sultanahmet ... has a high number of stray cats, so in some parts of Sultanahmet in March..April you may be rocked to sleep by a lively feline chorus.

Can anyone living with deep knowledge of Istanbul districts confirm/deny that the number (or "density") of stray cats in Sultanahmet is much more than in the rest of the city?

BTW, originally this piece read like this:

Sultanahmet has a high number of stray cats, so no matter where you wind up sleeping you are likely to be rocked to sleep by a lively feline chorus.

and I assumed that it actually refers to some part of spring time, like March or April. However, we'd prefer real experience on dates this fact does/not apply to. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:30, 20 January 2007 (EST)

Stray cats hang out wherever the tourists are as well as near the fish markets and Bosphorous. Sultanahmet has a dense population of cats in contrast to other parts of the city (I'd say 1 for every 100 square meters) but they leave you alone. I was there in December and the cats were everywhere - sleeping on rugs outside shops, inside the Hagia Sophia, begging for food outside the Archaelogy Museum but never heard this chorus at night.

Actually it is always said that the highest concentration of stray cats in Istanbul is in Cihangir, a district near Taksim.

This does seem to be a big exaggeration. Especially given that the mosques broadcast their extremely loud call to prayer at, like 5.00 am each day, who really cares about a few cats. (I stayed there for four nights.) Plenty of cities have hordes of cats hanging around (like in the Roman ruins) and cats don't habitually sing in nighttime choruses. (WT-en) Melbased 21:11, 1 May 2010 (EDT)


Any way you cut it, Istanbul is a "Huge City." It would be far better if this article could be made into a series of districts as is done for other cities in this class. Istanbul is an incredibly important and notable place, and it would be nice to run it as a Destination of the Month, but until a district structure is created and populated, it'll be hard to defend for DotM. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 11:22, 27 October 2007 (EDT)

And for Istanbul I vote for reaching consensus on which districts to create and which borders each of them has. We have detailed recommendations on this in Project:Geographical hierarchy#Districts in cities. BTW, if you feel the recommendations are not perfect, we have a discussion to join. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 15:25, 27 October 2007 (EDT)
I'm not suggesting we use administrative districts, but this will be a great base for a districts map. I know Istanbul reasonably well, and will try to come up with a structure. (But that won't get it to DotM quality alone!) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 05:59, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
I'm also working on a districtification suggestion and I'll post it here soon.--(WT-en) Vidimian 18:24, 7 September 2008 (EDT)
I stalled on my plan when I realized Istanbul is huge and I don't know it well enough. I'm looking forward to seeing your idea! --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:31, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

Districtification suggestion[edit]

Sooner or later, Istanbul article will (have to) be districtified. Istanbul is so big, and attractions are so much (many of which are missing in the article by the way) that, it should already have been districtified in my opinion. Districtification will also help all parts of the city to get their due attention.

Anyway, before I’ve moved to some other place a few months ago, I had lived in Istanbul for seven years, so I assume I know the city pretty well. Here are my suggestions on Wikivoyage districts of Istanbul. I am also writing here the official districts they correspond to make it clear. You can check them on this Wikipedia map of Istanbul Province (the unnamed section between Beyoğlu, Kağıthane and Beşiktaş on the map is also Şişli)

  1. Istanbul/Old City, or better Istanbul/Historical Peninsula as this is how it’s called in Turkish (Tarihi Yarımada). In the European side, between Marmara and the Golden Horn. From Seraglio Point (Sarayburnu) near Topkapi Palace in the east to all the way to city walls in the west. Also includes Sultanahmet Square. Likely to be the district with the biggest number of see/sleep listings. Official districts: Eminönü, Fatih
  2. Istanbul/Beyoğlu or Istanbul/Beyoglu: North of Golden Horn, includes Galata/Karaköy, Tophane, Cihangir, Beyoğlu, Istiklal Street, and Taksim Square. This will also likely to have lots of listings, especially in sleep/drink sections. Official district: Beyoğlu
  3. Istanbul/Golden Horn: Areas on the both banks of Golden Horn which are not covered by Istanbul/Historical Peninsula or Istanbul/Beyoğlu. Official districts: Eyüp, Kağıthane
  4. Istanbul/New City (this name sounds a little obscure, but I couldn’t find a better one): North of Beyoğlu/Taksim Square, the area along the subway line, including Nişantaşı and adjacent areas (Şişli, Maçka etc), and all the way to high-rise business district around Levent and Maslak in the north. Official districts: Şişli, upper parts of Beşiktaş
  5. Istanbul/Bosphorus or Istanbul/Bosporus (I don’t know which version is used more frequently in English): By this name, I mean not the body of water, but the areas located on its banks. In Turkish there is a different word for it (Boğaziçi, literally ‘inside the Strait/Bosporus’; while Boğaz is the Strait/Bosporus itself) but it seems it doesn’t have an exact English equivalent. This may be a transcontinental district which includes both banks of Bosporus or may be limited to European bank of Bosporus. If we disclude Asian bank, then we have to make up another name such as Istanbul/European Bosporus or Istanbul/European bank of Bosporus (or maybe Istanbul/Bosporus_(Europe)?). I know both names suck, but I can’t think of any better. Official districts: lower parts of Beşiktaş and Sarıyer in Europe; also Üsküdar and Beykoz if we decide to include Asian bank.
  6. Istanbul/Asian Side or Istanbul/Asian side (I don’t know which version is correct), may also be called Istanbul/Anatolian Side as it is how this place is usually called in Turkish (Anadolu Yakası), but I guess this usage is a little rare in English. Includes all of Asian side, except Üsküdar and Beykoz if we decide to put them in Istanbul/Bosporus. Official districts: All mainland districts east of Bosporus except Şile (which, actually, is a town fairly out of city and deserves its own/seperate city article, not a district one), and maybe except Üsküdar and Beykoz (see above).
  7. and finally, Istanbul/Princes' Islands, those nine islands off the Asian coast of Istanbul. Official district: Adalar

As you can see from the map here, after all the district suggestions listed above, we still have a seemingly huge tract of land in the west of the city with no district allocated. They don’t have much to list on a Wikivoyage article (except a few hotels, mainly near the airport, and maybe a few ‘see’ and ‘buy’), and a casual traveller will unlikely visit those places, so we may put them all together into one district article and call it something like Istanbul/Western Suburbs or Istanbul/Western suburbs (I don’t know which version is right). Official districts (east to west): Zeytinburnu, Bayrampaşa, Güngören, Bakırköy, Bahçelievler, Bağcılar, Esenler, Gaziosmanpaşa, Küçükçekmece, Avcılar, Büyükçekmece. Note: This article should not include Çatalca and Silivri, which, actually, are towns fairly out of city and should have their own/seperate city articles (if need be).

We may also have an additional stub article named Istanbul/European Side which includes (in isIn tags, for example) and provides links for all districts on European Side (i.e., all of them except Istanbul/Asian Side and Istanbul/Princes' Islands). (but is it logical and technically possible that a district article to include other district articles?)

With this districtification layout, anywhere in the city is part of a district and we have no overlapping. These districts can also be further fragmanted into new districts with no problems if a need arises (for example, if Bakırköy occupies too much of Istanbul/Western Suburbs some day, then we can create Istanbul/Bakırköy and split the related content and leave Istanbul/Western Suburbs to other official districts it contains). These district suggestions are also in line with the different ‘spirits’ of the different areas of the city as well. For example, mostly Ottoman/Oriental-spirited Istanbul/Historical Peninsula is seperate from Istanbul/Beyoğlu with its late Ottoman/West-inspired spirit, which in turn is seperate from Republican era/High-rise Istanbul/New City.

I say, let’s start with Istanbul/Historical Peninsula, Istanbul/Beyoğlu, Istanbul/Asian Side, and Istanbul/Princes' Islands at least. These have very clear geographical/historical/administrative borders that any opposition will be unlikely.

I volunteer for the work of sorting the existing listings into district articles and checking new listings on the city article (and relocate them into districts if it’s necessary) during a few next months after the districtification would have taken place. But I am not online very frequently (once every couple of weeks for example), so that process can be a little slow.

Also, as far as I can tell, many places are missing especially in see/drink sections. So, until districtification occurs (or until listings are more complete) I suggest to downgrade the status of this article to ‘usable’.

Any opinions? --(WT-en) Vidimian 09:55, 3 October 2008 (EDT)

Districts map draft
This looks great to me. I'm only familiar with three of the proposed districts, but they look absolutely correct to me. My thoughts:
  1. I prefer Istanbul/Old City to Istanbul/Historical Peninsula—the latter is more standard in English, and sounds more natural to my ear
  2. New City sounds fine to me, especially as it would parallel Old City
  3. My hunch is that we should separate the European and Asian divisions along the Bosphorus (and Bosphorus is about 2x more common than Bosporus according to Google), if for no other reason than that the Asian article will not have enough content without including Beykoz and Üsküdar.
  4. Istanbul/European Bosphorus sounds like a fine name to me.
  5. Maybe Istanbul/Asia would be a better name? That would convey what is meant clearly. Otherwise, use Istanbul/Asian Side, with the capital S.

I tried to put up a map of Istanbul's districts as you have defined them. If it is necessary to make changes, please let me know. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 11:57, 3 October 2008 (EDT)

My two cents: I think the areas of your districts are OK, but we should use more common names. The name doesn't have to cover the whole region, it's OK to call a district "X" and then define it as "X, Y and Z".
So, what you call "Historical Peninsula" is usually just "Sultanahmet" as far as tourists are concerned, and likewise "Galata" is better known than "Beyoglu". I would suggest moving Taksim out of the Beyoglu section, and renaming "New City" as "Taksim" instead.
We usually don't divide districts by water, so I'd prefer to avoid Bosphorus and Golden Horn: I don't have any better ideas though. (WT-en) Jpatokal 12:40, 3 October 2008 (EDT)

The map seems totally right, except that it needs two tiny changes: The islands (to the lower right of the map) should not be the same colour with Asian Side, as they really deserve their own district article. And as I tried to explain before, Şile (to the above right), and Silivri and Çatalca (both at left) should be greyed out, as they are not really part of the city of Istanbul, so they shouldn’t be given (or made part of) a district of the city of Istanbul.

Regarding the district names:

Galata may indeed be a better name (well, not better exactly in coverage, but better in the sense of being more known). But seperating Taksim from Beyoglu/Istiklal Street area doesn’t make much sense, as Taksim is the transport hub and the most major entry point for Istiklal Street area, and it’s impossible to think of Istiklal Street without Taksim Square, which is one of its two end points. If I were to name one of the proposed districts as ‘Taksim’, I would definitely give it to Galata/Beyoglu/Istiklal Street area. Naming the district (proposed as ‘New City’) which includes the high-rise business district in Maslak (approx. 12 km to Taksim Sq.) or the gentrified residential/commercial zone in Etiler (approx. 8 km to Taksim Sq.) as ‘Taksim’ would be overkill in my opinion.

Although it’s true that ‘Old City’/’Historical Peninsula’ is mostly Sultanahmet for tourists (as that is where most of the frequently visited historical monuments are), the name Sultanahmet is too narrow for such a big part of the city. ‘Old City’/’Historical Peninsula’ does offer way more than Sultanahmet Square, think about it: This part of the city is actually the Constantinople that fell. Even when a traveller with a knowledge of, for example Hagia Sophia or Blue Mosque, comes to this page looking for these two, s/he’ll soon recognize that they should be situated in ‘Old City’ even if s/he can’t see any ‘Sultanahmet’ on distict names (and if s/he hasn’t been to Istanbul yet, it’s likely that s/he hasn’t ever heard about ‘Sultanahmet’). And I guess we’ll have short explanations next to the district names on the main Istanbul article, so we can mention there that the Sultanahmet that has been looked for is in ‘Old City’/’Historical Peninsula’. We can also have a redirect from Sultanahmet to ‘Old City’/’Historical Peninsula’. (‘Old City’ also sounds better to me too, I just proposed ‘Historical Peninsula’, because it’s the local name, and more inscriptive: geographically a peninsula, and also historically important)

‘Golden Horn’ can be avoided as it’s mostly Eyüp, with only a few sights out of it. But still, ‘Golden Horn’ is more inclusive, so if there is no rule against it, I’d prefer naming that district that way. Otherwise ‘Eyüp’ is just as fine. But I still really can’t think of a better alternative to ‘Bosphorus’.

‘Istanbul/Asia’ would be quite incorrect in my opinion, as that is not Asia really (well, of course it’s Asia, but only a very small part of it), and we already have an Asia article – which includes all the places between Üsküdar and Tokyo! Istanbul/Asia would be like subjugating all of Asia under Istanbul (am I getting too emotional?) I couldn’t figure out what’s the problem with side of ’Asian Side’, or why ‘Asia’ would better convey what is meant than ‘Asian Side’ but maybe that’s because I’m not a native English speaker. But I guess there are also ‘sides’ in English-speaking countries too, like New York’s Lower East Side. Also not to forget the fact that ‘Princes' Islands’ are also in ‘Asia’, but not in ‘Asian Side’ as it’s generally used. (‘Asian Side’ = Mainland Asian Istanbul) --(WT-en) Vidimian 08:33, 5 October 2008 (EDT)

Assorted thoughts: One way to get the point across would be to call the district Sultanahmet-Old City—I do agree with Jani that it would be good to have "Sultanahmet" immediately visible in the districts list. Asian Side is fine, although I enjoy the humor of calling that section of town "Asia." And I don't have a problem with either Golden Horn or Bosphorus as names for districts, because if any city should be divided up by bodies of water, it is Istanbul. Plus Golden Horn is easier to remember for native English speakers. I also agree with Vidimian that Taksim shouldn't be separated from Istiklal. And with Jani that Galata is preferable to Beyoglu as a more commonly understood name for visitors to the city. I'll try and remember to make those corrections to the map soon. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:08, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

Can listing this way be a solution for the name of ‘Sultanahmet’/’Old City’ in the districts list of the main article:

By listing it this way, we will both have ‘Sultanahmet’ immediately visible, and also have a more inclusive name for the area and the article. This may also work for other districts too, for example:

and about Asia: I also find it tempting to call that area ‘Istanbul/Asia’, but I don’t know, it just sounds quite wrong… By the way, is ‘Istanbul/Asiatic Side’ better than ‘Istanbul/Asian Side’, since ‘Asian’ has some other meanings too, for example would seeing an ‘Asian Side’ imply that the area is some sort of ‘Chinatown’ (or similar) to eyes that are totally foreign to the city?--(WT-en) Vidimian 07:35, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

I think Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City would work as a district name just fine. For Galata, rather than make the name longer, we could just explain the contents in the district description, like this:
  • Istanbul/Galata — the hub of Istanbul's nightlife and dining scenes, including Beyoğlu, Istiklal Street, and Taksim Square
Though I'm sure you can come up with a better description than I just did! I think Istanbul/Asian Side is preferable—"Asiatic" would have the cultural connotations that you seek to avoid, while Asian sounds in this context pretty purely geographical. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:00, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Okay. So here is the districts list as we have it now:

  1. Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City
  2. Istanbul/Galata
  3. Istanbul/Golden Horn
  4. Istanbul/New City
  5. Istanbul/European Bosphorus
  6. Istanbul/Western Suburbs
  7. Istanbul/Asian Side
  8. Istanbul/Princes' Islands

My only hesitation is about 'European Bosphorus'. Maybe naming that district as 'Bosphorus' and then explaining that it only includes European bank of Bosphorus would be better? Anyway, do we have to wait any longer to districtify the city (since only three people has ever left a comment on the issue), or should we plunge forward immediately? And other than creating a 'districts' section on the main article, and sorting the see/eat/drink/sleep listings into new district articles, is there anything else we should do to reformat this article to a 'huge city' article?--(WT-en) Vidimian 09:20, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

I think it's safe to plunge forward now—this looks like a pretty robust districts hierarchy. Maybe it's best to wait a couple days, but I think we've pretty much reached an end to this discussion. And I'm fine with calling the district simply "Bosphorus," since "Asian Side" should make it clear that all of Asian Istanbul is in that article.
The one big task in addition to sorting listings into districts will be to fill up the then empty sections of the main article with prose. E.g., the sleep section should have a couple paragraphs discussing which districts are appropriate for different kinds of visitors (sightseers, diners, business travelers, etc.), what types of accommodations are available where, and where to find good deals. The same goes for see, do, eat, and drink. I haven't finished working on the Washington, D.C. article yet, but I think the sections "see," "eat," "drink," and "sleep" are all good examples of how this should be done.
Lastly, a districts map would be useful so contributors know where to put listings. Could you leave me a message on my talk page to let me know exactly which changes to make to the map I created earlier. Maps of individual districts would be great too, but I can't help with that since there is no suitable base image for me to work from (that I know of). --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:33, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

I’m taking the “districts discussion” notice off the page and plunging forward. I’ll write as much as I can do on some districts, and leave some others with only an introductory paragraph for now. I’ll also start with sorting sleep listings first.--(WT-en) Vidimian 08:19, 28 October 2008 (EDT)

Please note that these district names will confuse locals and travellers alike when talking about istanbul. Galata is in Beyoğlu... not the other way around! —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) (talkcontribs) 20:59, 2 November 2010
I was also in doubt about this in one of my posts two years ago, but given that we use the most common name and we uphold the needs of travellers foremost, and not the locals', we've come to a consensus to name that district as "Galata", which is the most common name for that part of the city, especially amongst English-speaking travellers. And given that the district article gets contributions from both locals and travellers alike with seemingly no problems, I don't think a name change is necessary. Both the description at Istanbul#Districts and the lead of the district article itself make it clear that Beyoğlu is part of that district, anyway. – (WT-en) Vidimian 10:46, 3 November 2010 (EDT)
I think the districts needs some updates. Northern parts of the city, the coasts of Black Sea could be considered as another district. There are beaches and national park areas on both sides of istanbul. There's Marmaracik Nature Park on European side, Avcikoru Nature Park on Asian side, and more parks. So adding one or two more districts on the Black Sea coast would be logical or at least a separate section for natural parks. So Şile and Çatalca should be included in the metropolitan guide as there are now more options for transport and more places to see especially for nature enthusiasts. I think the Asian Bank of Bosphorus is another district, as there are a lot of points of interests which could be considered as one single route and they should be separated from the rest of Asian Side. Asian Side is silent and calm but it is unfair to pack it into one page. Especially Kadikoy is a place that both foreigners and locals prefer for leisure and other activities. Shall we start an update marathon for entire Istanbul? --Hocu (talk) 07:50, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
Why not, I would say, but the usual convention at Wikivoyage is first to have articles so long and full of information that they need to be divided, and only later to create sub-articles. Istanbul/Black Sea (or Istanbul/North coast or whatever) and Istanbul/Asian bank of Bosphorus both could be new districts but I guess we don't currently have enough content to justify such a subdivision. Maybe you could work on a sandbox to show what, for example, a full scale Istanbul/Black Sea article would look like.
I think Çatalca is simply out of the metropolitan area, regardless of what the official designation says. Don't know about Şile as I've never been there, but I would think it is similar to Çatalca in this aspect. Vidimian (talk) 19:15, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Deletion- negative review[edit]

Hi. I deleted this review:

  • Anzac Wooden House, Cad. Konut Sk. NO:17 (Sultanahmet). Whatever you do, do not stay here. Though the rooms are clean, the are extremely noisy. Though they are quiet during the day, in the early morning a local gas company parks their truck right outside (everyday) and bang on the gas tanks to let everyone know they are there (somewhere around 5:30 in the morning). In addition to the ridiculous amount of noise the staff cannot be trusted and often try to rip you off on a variety of items, including your room price. They will often add people to you room without asking you and demand you pay a "check out" fee, which they say is justified because they made your sheets.

As it is such a negative review and the best way not to give the hotel business is not to mention them on wikivoyage. Thanks. --(WT-en) MarinaK 14:13, 10 October 2008 (EDT)MarinaK.


I'm editing the Istanbul article and was struck by this comment in the Cope section- For mid-range and cheap hotels/restaurants, you may actually have a better time if you avoid places listed in your guide! Trust your nose.

I understand what the writer was trying to explain, but believe this comment is unnecessary and goes against what we are trying to achieve with our reviews. Can we please delete this comment? The intent of the original writer can still be conveyed through the wording before this paragraph. Thanks. --(WT-en) MarinaK 17:43, 10 October 2008 (EDT)MarinaK.

Actually, I think this section is dead on—this was my experience exactly. As soon as a place gets favorable reviews in popular tourist guides, particularly LP, the place is suddenly crawling with foreign tourists, touting of the review, jacked up prices, and terrible service. Wikivoyage can hopefully avoid some of this problem by keeping the guides very up to date. That is, if a business owner tries this nonsense, a traveler can log on to Wikivoyage and immediately remove the review. But this is important information—I learned within about a day and a half there to never go to any establishment listed in my heretofore reliable LP guide to Turkey. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 18:21, 10 October 2008 (EDT)
I personally would tend to avoid places reviewed positively by Lonely Planet for these reasons, but wouldn't this be the same in any place? (WT-en) Melbased 21:15, 1 May 2010 (EDT)
Presumably in other places too, but those reviews have never been exploited so efficiently and effectively as they are by Istanbul's enterprising business owners! Nowhere else I have been, in any rate. In eastern/northeastern Turkey I found that the business owners featured in LP were delighted and proud about it, and happy to continue providing the same great service to the guests that followed—but that was a lot further off the beaten path. In a place like, say, St Petersburg or Chicago, local buzz will drive traffic much more efficiently than any travel guides. Istanbul's merchants are, I think, rightly famous for knowing how to run a proper hustle. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:44, 1 May 2010 (EDT)
Yes Istanbul's merchants sure know how to run proper hustle. Made me long for the comparitively gentle Bangkok. (WT-en) Melbased 00:45, 2 May 2010 (EDT)

Hospitals and Clinics / Medical Info[edit]

I was wondering if anyone could add any info about hospitals, clinics, and medical centers for travelers, that are free or low-cost. Something specific: any info out there for STD testing, at a facility that doesn't charge an arm-and-a-leg. Are there any municipal health services that offer free testing and/or treatments? Where should foreigners even search for this information? —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) (talkcontribs)

There's no free testing or treatment facilities for STDs, and also no anon. testing. Best bet is to go to another country for this (sorry). You can also donate blood and they'll test you for HIV and a few other blood-born STDs. As for medical help, again, there's no free clinics, except for rabies vaccines. However, city hospitals are quite affordable, though the level of service may vary based on hospital; private hospitals will have staff that speaks English, but they are more expensive. Does this section need to be added -- I can if so. 07:11, 23 May 2011 (EDT)


Upon arriving I saw that the visa-stickers for EU-citizens are overstamped and the price is now 15 euro.

Race, Ethnicity and Religion[edit]

People living in Istanbul like myself clearly and definitely know that "Istanbul is not famous with having a great tolerance on different cultures, ethnicities and religions." as the contrary stated within the article. I don't believe so.

If you are black, people will stare at you. A nearly racist statement in the article says that "most of the black people who settled in Istanbul have a poor economical background". So, how can people understand what others have in their wallets? Also, is it a good reason "to have a negative attitude towards black people"?

If you have something that identifies your culture, ethnicity, religion or preference on you, people will try to avoid having a conversation/relationship with you. Also, people may consider the abnormal as a sign of disrespect against their ethnicity or religion.

The fact that people will stare at you with smiling faces doesn't at all mean that this is tolerance. Tolerance is entirely something else. —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) (talkcontribs)

I too think that section can be reworked. Please plunge forward and fix it as you see fit. – (WT-en) Vidimian 18:53, 4 April 2010 (EDT)


Patso consists of only french fries. artiz is the one consists of hotdog and french flies. of course it's not sold as artiz, i saw patsosis, patso sosis and similar ones (sosis=sausage)(WT-en) Ozanbaba 13:32, 17 June 2010 (EDT)

Shoebrush scam[edit]

Thanks to someone who posted information about the scam. I was almost tricked into it today near Sirkeci train station, so I modified the entry a little bit. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

I don't know who wrote that section (it's there for years as far as I can remember), but it's good to hear that Wikivoyage was useful during your trip. – (WT-en) Vidimian 04:08, 3 January 2012 (EST)
Found it. That section was started here, in Sept 2008, by User:(WT-en) Taksim (who has been inactive since then, though). – (WT-en) Vidimian 04:16, 3 January 2012 (EST)

Pre-organized tourist packages[edit]

Is there a way to include information about places that offer packages? Would it be better to wait until arriving or buy something online? —The preceding comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs)

Our policy on when it is appropriate to offer tours/tour packages can be found at [[Wikivoyage:Activity listings#Tour listings|]]. AHeneen (talk) 01:55, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


It literally means "boogeyman" in Turkish. Why would anyone say "boogeyman" to someone harrasing? This word is not an insult and most of the Turkish people does not even know what is means. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

There was also a short discussion about this earlier today at #Safety above. I've removed it from the list in the article, as it is possibly used extremely rarely, if ever. Vidimian (talk) 16:13, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

No warning box?[edit]

This seems to be a risky time to visit Istanbul. Here's one of dozens of news stories: [1] Why don't we have a warning box? Pashley (talk) 12:37, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Warning box added. Feel free to expand. --Saqib (talk) 12:52, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Does that need an update? I have not been following events. Pashley (talk) 14:06, 2 October 2013 (UTC)


I am concerned that Istanbul#Stay_safe may be too long & detailed. I think it could be much shorter and link to Common scams and Pickpockets for more detail. Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 14:06, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Sabiha Gökçen Airport[edit]

I suggest it to be put on the city map. Only Ataturk Airport is featured. Ibaman (talk) 12:52, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

I think that's a good idea, unfortunately I do not know how to change the map to feature the second airport as well. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:59, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Minor change to the district borders[edit]

I propose to detach anywhere west of the Unkapanı Bridge that is close enough to the shoreline, i.e. west of Cibali and west of Kasımpaşa, from the Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City and Istanbul/Galata districts respectively, and add them to the Istanbul/Golden Horn district. These areas have always been associated with the Golden Horn by the locals, and combined with a trip to elsewhere on the Horn (Eyüp, for example) by the travellers, unlike, say Eminönü or Karaköy which are technically also on the Golden Horn. I'm not really sure why I didn't propose this set up in the first place back in 2008.

If this proposal gets accepted, the districts map will need to be updated to reflect the change, which I'm unfortunately incapable of. Vidimian (talk) 11:47, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

The second district map[edit]

Who made that one (presumably it's based on an existing or prior governmental subdivision) what benefit for the traveler does that map have? Should it be kept in the article? Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:58, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Someone intent on overcorrecting our use of the "districts" terminology should have placed it would be my guess, and I'd say it is of little use — not many casual travellers would be aware of which district municipality they are located in and even the locals' perception of the city's areas is quite different from the official designation. For example, when someone says s/he's going to Üsküdar, what s/he means is the immediate area around the large square with lots of mosques on the Bosphorus, not a large slice of the city going up along the Bosphorus or the residential areas around the Çamlıca Hill inland. Vidimian (talk) 19:30, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
So we should likely remove the map as not helpful for the traveler Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:37, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
My opinion is that the mentioned static map should go. It doesn't benefit the traveler as much as the dynamic ones on the districts' articles. The districts' WV-style static map is enough. Ibaman (talk) 19:46, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
I went ahead and removed it. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:18, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Help with a change to Istanbul's map[edit]

Swept in from the pub

As User:Ibaman pointed out some time ago, the secondary airport of Istanbul on the Asian side is not displayed on the static city map (and there is no dynamic map). I think this should be remedied, but I don't know who'd be the map-drawing expert to do that. So this is me calling for map drawing experts. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:00, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

User:LtPowers? User:Saqib? Those are two great mapmakers I thought of. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:02, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Unless of course there is any reason not to make this change, but I couldn't think of any unless the airport would be outside the scope of the current map. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:06, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Added. On my first visit to Istanbul few years ago, I by mistake came to wrong airport and missed my flight so it is for sure due to highlight that this city got two airports . --Saqib (talk) 18:46, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Out of date dynamic metro map[edit]

First of all many thanks for adding the metro map. Unfortunately, as I can attest from a visit this April, the dynamic map is outdated, lacking among others the line on the Asian side all the way to Pendik. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:51, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

Destination of the month: what's needed?[edit]

Istanbul has been proposed as "destination of the month". I suggest that we use this section to collect together any aspects of these pages that particularly merit early attention before it receives that accolade. Couple from me for starters:

"Get in" needs a look-at. My edits earlier today haven't improved matters, apologies and I'll revisit these.

"Go next" has lengthy descriptions. These should reduce to signposting, eg the nearby places do or should feature in "Istanbul Province". Grahamsands (talk) 14:52, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

And another: Istanbul Ataturk Airport closes at the end of October 2018. So there needs to be content for the new airport ready to be pasted in. This can probably only be done mid-Oct as the transport links and passenger facilities become known. Grahamsands (talk) 17:32, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

If the airport opens in time, that is, megaprojects have a tendency to get delayed no matter where in the world they are located. Anyway, thanks for starting this thread (though there's no rush because I'm afraid there won't be available space for Istanbul on the Main Page before autumn 2019 anyway). ϒpsilon (talk) 17:49, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Even if you have legitimate points of criticism against Atatürk (and there are!), please spell him with an ü! Anyway, I think the whole Istanbul Airport situation might end up meriting us actually deleting an airport article, but that's for whenever (if ever) that airport does indeed shut down. Any word on the other airport? Will it remain open, or will they go the "single airport" route? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:41, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
w:Istanbul New Airport: "Atatürk Airport will be closed down for scheduled passenger flights once the new airport is operational; and its IATA code IST will be transferred to the new airport." --ϒpsilon (talk) 18:54, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
The other airport. Not IST. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:57, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
They're apparently building a new runway there, which means that that airport will still be in (some kind of) use. --ϒpsilon (talk) 19:54, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

In "Talk" (but not on main pages) I suggest IST-NEW as temporary shorthand for the new airport and IST-OLD for guess where; the other airport is SAW. My expectation is that this change will happen on time. Major infrastructure completions don't have a happy record, especially in Turkey, but airports have prestigious (and litiginous) users who cannot be messed about as we mere travellers often are. With just over three months to go, VIPs and travel journalists must already have the date in their diary. Airlines already need to warn passengers, who may fly into one and back from another. There are flight paths to adjust and staff to be given notice that their place of employment is re-locating. There are animal pens and currency vaults and medical rooms and bonded liquor stores and fire stations all to be certified as good to go. Victoria's Secret will have already signed leases for the retail concourse: slippage will not be tolerated.

Probably IST-NEW's big publicity drive will only launch end of Sept, to avoid confusing the myriads who are completing their summer holidays via IST-OLD. At that point we can create relevant text on main page: transport links etc. Right now we can't even place a marker, since the access route isn't defined. Grahamsands (talk) 11:48, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Cough BER cough Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:31, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Well said, and you were too polite to mention Abu Dhabi, Bicol, Enugu, Dubai, Islamabad, Kannur . . . Grahamsands (talk) 14:24, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
The official opening is still happening on 29 Oct, but until the end of 2018 only Turkish Airlines will fly to IST-NEW, with just five routes - Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Baku, Ercan. These are extra flights, with all services currently scheduled for IST-OLD continuing unchanged until 30 Dec. So that's probably enough of a fudgey opening to avoid political and commercial-legal recriminations, but it's telling that the main car rental firms have yet to announce locations at the new place. Grahamsands (talk) 10:21, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

There are reports that the two downtown railway stations, Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa, will re-open as mainline stations soon, perhaps as early as Dec 2018. For now I'm putting this in the "too good to be true, believe it when I see it" category, so I haven't posted anything yet on main pages. If indeed they do re-open, it will greatly enhance Istanbul's claims to be DOTM. Grahamsands (talk) 21:48, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

Outcome: Istanbul was DOTM in April 2019. This was very good timing, as the new airport opened fully at last, a cross-city rail link opened, and fast trains to Ankara began departing from a point much nearer city centre. If only dotm nominations always had such a positive outcome, we'd all have a very long list. Grahamsands (talk) 12:20, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Wikidata items for dynamic map[edit]

To the right is the map with all Wikidata items for the districts of Istanbul. This should simplify the work in case we want to change the district set-up in the future. The tool Wikidata Extractor has been used to create the mapshapes. Missing shapes will show up in the coming days. --Renek78 (talk) 20:55, 21 August 2018 (UTC)


possible replacement

Would the new banner (from Wiki Loves Monuments) be better than the existing one? --Alexander (talk) 00:00, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Districts vs. Neighborhoods[edit]

In the "Districts" table, Beyoğlu and Galata were inverted. I edited to reflect that Beyoğlu is a district while Galata is a neighborhood within Beyoğlu proper. Wikimikey423 (talk) 03:12, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

We do not necessarily follow official boundaries and names. I think "Galata" is the better known term. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:40, 24 November 2018 (UTC)

Province is same as City[edit]

Istanbul City and Istanbul Province became the same entity in 2005, so WV is past due for reflecting that. The city needs to move up a level in the hierarchy.

That's the easy bit, but views please on how the city pages should then re-structure. The simplest approach would be for the rest of the European province to be incorporated into City-Western Suburbs, and the Asian province into City-Asian side, with no new districts created. Currently Çatalca (Thrace) has its own page, but an unusual one where "go next" exceeds other content. Likewise Polonezkoy (Anatolia) has a page that is only an outline. Thus, neither stand up as independent destinations. Grahamsands (talk) 20:54, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Wikivoyage does not have to - and indeed frequently doesn't - follow official boundaries... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:52, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
I agree. See the rationale at Istanbul Province#Understand. Some explanation should probably be added to Istanbul#Understand. Oahu is a similar situation, with Honolulu officially extending throughout the island. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:18, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
Right enough, it doesn't, the question is whether such a change would enhance the descriptions or be irrelevant. Really I wouldn't have suggested it if the Istanbul Province content was good quality, but it's a bit of a dog's breakfast, and needs rationalising. One straightforward & timely way to do so is to migrate content into the "Greater City" pages.

So how about this: suppose I make a start by migrating the Asia-side province content, where there's no candidate for a secondary population hub or obvious internal boundary? Then we stand back and take a view on whether that was helpful, and what to do about Europe-side. Would that work? Grahamsands (talk) 14:21, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

No voices for or against so I went ahead and copied / updated stuff to "Istanbul / Asia-side". I'll leave it a week for reactions, then propose doing likewise for Europe-side. I'll not delete any old material either side until folk say they're okay with the results, so there'll be duplicate content while this is in progress. Grahamsands (talk)
Done. Europe-side "Province" content has migrated, mostly to "Western Suburbs", but one large northern chunk went to "Bosphorus" where it should have been all along. Views please on whether this looks about right; if not, what other disposition of content you'd prefer. If folk are okay with the new version, the two further tasks will be i) re-work the dynamic map boundaries, and ii) take down "Province" content - is there an archive protocol for obsolete material, or do we just delete and leave the back-up tapes to do the rest? Grahamsands (talk) 21:01, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
No further comment, so "Istanbul" now links directly to Marmara Region, with edits accordingly. However I had problems with the map frame, which seemed to be over-riding the edits, so I suppressed it by brackets - can someone take a look at this? Istanbul Province page hasn't been deleted but floats detached, with a caution box that it's now obsolete. Grahamsands (talk) 21:12, 20 January 2019 (UTC)