Practical information and useful contacts Istanbul

Practical information and useful contacts Istanbul

Tourist information

Tourist offices:

- AT87-54. In a small pavilion on the edge of the racecourse. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 22 p.m.
Rather competent.

- At58-88. Every day from 9 a.m. to 20 p.m.

- At the Eminönü pier: on the dock. Open every day from 8:30 am to 20 pm; reduced hours in winter.
Tourist office of the municipality. Mainly to check the boat times.

- À Taksim: at the beginning of İstiklâl Cad. ; just before the French consulate. Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 18:30 p.m.
Tourist office of the municipality.

For diplomatic representations and entry formalities in Turkey, see the section "Before departure" from Turkey.

Budget in Istanbul

Hotel (for a double room)

- Very Cheap Average prices: from 40 to From average prices to From chic to more chic: from 70 to 100 €.

Restaurant (per person, without drink)

- Cheap Average prices: from 50 to Chic: from 90 to 180 TL (around 15 to 30 €).

Istanbul Museum Pass

Sophie & rsquo rates, 72 TL (around € 12) for Topkapı Palace and 42 TL (around € 7) for the harem. Access to mosques is free.

A tip Sophie, Topkapı Palace and Harem, l & rsquoIrèéSauveur-in-Chora), Divan Edebiyatı Museum, Yıldız Palace Museum and European Castle (Rumeli Hisarı). It also offers reductions in other museums (they are mentioned in their respective texts) as well as in certain shops of the sites concerned.

This card (type magnéSophie and 2 muséSophie). Then, no need to queue at the ticket office anymore ; you cut the line and the gantry opens when you present your card. Which often represents a hell of a time saver!

Postal addresses

A few years ago you told yourself that it even happens in the mail! And do not fall into the game of certain touts who take advantage of it by claiming that the address no longer exists ...

Istanbul shopping and souvenirs

Turkey is one of the world's leading producers of counterfeit products. These imitations, of poor quality and banned in Europe, are liable to a severe fine (twice the price of the original), in addition to being confiscated. Prefer a real souvenir of the country.

The rugs

- There is no longer any reward The price of On the subject of sumak (weaving that wraps around the chains Prayer rugs: it is not the size that matters but rather a specific pattern, a mihrab, the niche of prayer directed towards Mecca.

The narghile (nargile or hookah)

If you want to bring back a narghile it is always ready, it is better to have a transparent vase to control the column, before the best stoves are those in terracotta or in cé vé do not forget to also think of the small cylinders of coal. They can be found, for example, at the Fuel Bazaar ”. There are some very beautiful water pipes in Uzunçarşı Caddesi, near Büyük Valide Hanı. The price varies depending on its size, quality and materials used

Meerschaum pipes

Nothing to do with the sea that we see dancing. This is a distortion of the name of Kumer, its inventor. It is not clay, as is often believed, but silicate of magnesia. Sea foam is a porous material and this is its advantage, because it absorbs nicotine and filters the smoke. This is why there is no filter in these pipes.

The lighter the material, the more porous and filtering but also fragile. We prefer beige sea foam (krem) to white sea foam, less filtering but more resistant and a little less expensive.

At first, when you smoke your new pipe, be careful not to stain it with dirty hands. It would lose a lot of its value.
The price varies from simple to quintuple depending on the quality of the stone. Beware of the pipes that represent a face: the sculpture often hides flaws. This is why very simple pipes which cannot hide anything are as expensive as sculpted ones.
We do not recommend sea foam shilum because they are often in 3 parts which are assembled with a thread that melts in the heat.


The quality is green with good veins, then light brown with veins, white with veins and then plain white.
The degree of polishing is then taken into account, as well as the patina.


All over Turkey, beautiful hand-crafted copper objects can be found. In Istanbul, the Egyptian Bazaar district seems ideal for this. 

Antiquities and fossils

Their trade and export are formally prohibited in Turkey. Prison sentence and heavy fine rigorously applied.

Don't buy any souvenir of this style, even if it is available over the counter in a store. While these are often fake, you run the risk of being stopped at the border for archaeologist checking and missing your plane.

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