Bharti AXA TRAVEL INSURANCE Travel Guide to Istanbul Indian Embassy in Istanbul Indian Embassy in Istanbul is located at: Harbiye Mahallesi, Cumhuriyet Cd. Dortler Apt. No:42 D:11-12, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey Phone: +90 212 296 21 31 Visa Process for Indian Visitors to Istanbul Original passports with 6 months validity from date of arrival in Turkey along with the old passports Cover letter mentioning the details of the traveller, type of travel, and details of the visit. Confirmed hotel reservation for the complete stay Confirmed air tickets Day-to-day itinerary Overseas travel insurance Income tax returns or Form 16 for last 3 years Original and updated personal bank statements for last 6 months with a balance of at least Rs. 1 lac Time required: 5-8 working days Introduction: The city of Istanbul was called Constantinople in the past and came into existence around 1000BC. It was the seat of Byzantine and Ottoman Empire in the medieval period. After the formation of the Turkish republic, the city came to be known as Istanbul. Due to the rich history, the place is a mishmash of traditional and contemporary architecture. Tourists from all over the world arrive in hordes to have an amazing time exploring the history-infused nooks and corners of the city. Some of the places of attractions are given below in detail. Explore tourist places in Istanbul. There are many things to do in Istanbul. Here is the list of Places to visit in Istanbul Aya Sofya: It was the legendary church built in 536 AD, by the famous Byzantine Empire Justinian. In fact, the construction of the building marked the technical and cultural achievement of the Empire. According to the local tradition, the area around the church was transformed into the center of the world. Later on, during the Ottoman rule, it was transformed into the mosque and in the 20th century got converted into a museum. Due to its prominence, the place is now the most cherished landmark of Istanbul. Some of the highlights of the Aya Sofya are the presence of the Virgin Mary Mosaic. It is the image of Mary flanked by Emperor Constantine the Great on the right and Justinian on the left. Ottoman tombs are built inside the Aya Sofya complex beside the original taptistery. 4 Turkish sultans are laid to rest inside the mesmerizing building. One of the most important attributes of the church is the lavish interior that attracts photographers and history enthusiasts alike. Topkapi Palace: It was constructed by the Sultan Mehmet during the Ottoman rule in the 15th century. The palace is an epitome of Islamic architecture and consists of opulent courtyards that have become the cynosure of all eyes. One can visit the place and watch the Harem, second court and Palace kitchens in their impeccable grandeur. You can find the imperial treasury right inside the premises with gold objects and precious gems. Blue Mosque: Sultan Ahmet constructed the grandiose blue mosque in 1609 AD. It took 7 years to complete the magnificent structure frequented by tourists from all over the world. Due to the presence of 6 minarets, the building became the subject of controversy, however, later on, the 7th component was eventually gifted to the secret shrine of Mecca. The name blue is prefixed with the mosque due to the presence of Iznik tiles. The spatial effect inside the mosque goes a long way in highlighting the pinnacle of the Ottoman Empire. A stroll in the garden sandwiched between Aya Sofya, and Blue Mosque is a wonderful experience for travelers. For shoppers, the Arasta Bazaar is not too far away. It is the place where you can buy high-quality souvenirs or visit the neighboring Great Palace Mosaic Museum. It consists of the 250m pathway discovered in 1950 and embedded in mosaic. Blue Mosque is situated at Meydani in Sultanahmet area. Basilica Cistern: It is one of the most famous places of attractions in Istanbul. The cistern consists of 336 columns arranged in 12 rows and was once used to supply water to the Byzantine Empire. Construction work started in the reign of Constantine but could finish only during the rule of Justinian. Medusa stones are one of the most popular columns as they are beautifully lit and transform the surrounding ambiance into a real-world paradise. One can visit the place and admire how the water trickles down into the cistern. The structure remained operational even during Ottoman rule in 15th century AD. One of the fascinating attributes of the basilica is the way the water was supplied from the cistern. A roof space of the attraction was transferred to the column with the assistance of arches. Hippodrome: It was an ancient structure built in the year 203 AD and was accomplished by Emperor Constantine the great in 330 AD. The place used to epitomize the Byzantine life where royalties indulged in sports and games in style. Chariot races were organized and watched by a large number of people of the kingdom. Through the years, the Hippodrome has become dilapidated, but the associated Meydani Park is inundated with monuments that are the centers of attractions for the tourists. Some of the famous structures in the close vicinity of the Hippodrome include the great Egyptian Obelisk, Serpent column brought in by Constantine the Great and stone obelisk that was draped in gold plated bronze. Later on, the precious metals were stolen by Crusaders in 1204. However, the rich history of the area is intact as people come in hordes to visit the place. Istanbul Archeology Museum: Archeology Museum of Istanbul is one of the most popular places of attraction. It is quite near to Topkapi Palace and houses numerous artifacts sourced from around the world and the Middle East. The museum is divided into 3 sections, namely Museum of the ancient orient, main archeology museum and the tiled pavilion of the Mehmet, the conqueror. Inside the main archeology museum, you can also track the history of the beautiful city through the ages. The tiled pavilion is one of the oldest Ottoman buildings located inside the museum. One can notice the Persian influence on the structure along with heavy ceramic work. Mehmet, the conqueror, used the pavilion to watch games and sports. One of the most important attributes of the museum is that it comprises of the artifact that was sourced from Lebanon by Ottoman archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey. He discovered the hidden wealth of ancient Sidon royalty in the region. People can view the Sarcophagus of the Satrap in its original grandeur at the museum. Grand Bazaar: Apart from sightseeing, Istanbul is a shopping paradise for the visitors. Grand Bazaar is one of the most important places of attractions, capturing the attention of the shopaholics. It is covered and impeccably extends across the city quarter. There are 11 gates providing entrance to the bazaar where you can find a large number of vaulted ceilings lined with shops selling numerous Turkish souvenirs. Since items are sold into different categories, browsing bazaar is quite an easy job for the users. One can also encounter burned column near the bazaar's Divanyolu Caddesi entrance, a renowned structure built during the reign of Constantine the Great. Süleymaniye Mosque The mosque is considered as one of the most historical and cultural landmarks of Istanbul. It stands high on the hills and was built by the famous architect Sinan as a tribute to Suleiman the magnificent. Huge dome is accentuated by the harmony is designed and imbibes traditional Ottoman architecture. The tranquil garden situated in the close vicinity houses ottoman cemetery that is home to the tombs of a sultan and his wife. A huge terrace can be seen behind the mosque offering a wonderful view of not only the golden horn but also Bosphorus. The size of the building can be compared to the basilica of the Ottoman Empire. Mihrab of the building is draped in Iznik tiles, adding grandeur and splendor to the beautiful place of attraction. Streets surrounding the mosque comprise of the extensive network of Ottoman timber houses nearby. In short, exploring the tourist places in Istanbul will take you back in the history. There are many things to do in Istanbul, explore the famous places in Istanbul with friends and family and learn about various points of interest that this beautiful city offers. Explore the famous places in Istanbul and learn about Istanbul points of interest. How to reach Istanbul? The city of Istanbul is well; connected to different cities across the world. International carriers operate directly to and from Ataturk and sabiha Gokcen airport. Apart from domestic and international flights, you can also commute by bus and train to Istanbul from Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. The bus terminal in Istanbul is quite big and is connected to the countries such as Germany, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, and Bulgaria. On the Asian side, it is connected to Anatolia and other destinations of the Middle East. Travelling in Istanbul: As far as local transportation is concerned, taxis are in abundance at the bus station and the airports. The fare is not too expensive as one has to pay only by a meter. The tram is one of the most popular means of transport as it connects famous places of attractions inside the city. It runs after every 15 minutes from major stations to popular locations. Dolmus or Yellow taxi operating with full capacity is not only popular among locals but also the tourists. It carries a maximum of 8 passengers and runs on fixed routes. The city is well served by government and private buses that operate not only on paper tickets but also on the money. Some people may like to use a ferry boat to travel between islands while the metro passes across the length and breadth of the city. Best Time to Visit: Best time to visit the city is in March and May. However, some may also like to visit during November due to lower hotel rates and less crowd. What to pack? While going to Istanbul, make sure to wear the Sarong on the head, especially when inside the mosque. It should be long enough to cover the head so that you do not have to loan it from others. Crowded bazaars can create problems for the people because theft cannot be ruled out. Therefore, it is vital to buy a theft-proof purse as a part of the gear to stay safe and secured. Buy shoes that are comfortable for feet even when worn for long hours. Top delicacies: Some of the top-class delicacies of Istanbul are as follows: Authentic Turkish breakfast includes tea, cucumbers, white and grainy bread. Ground beef with garlic is converted into sausages and served as breakfast to the guests. Menemen is a type of omelette cooked in Turkish style for the users. In addition, Meze as a cold starter is also available to the foodies. It consists of tomato paste, eggplants, and Yogurt Dip. Indian Restaurants in Istanbul Dubb Indian Restaurant at Alemdar Mh., İncili Çavuş Sk. No:10, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey. Serves Indian and Asian cuisine. Call the restaurant at +90 212 513 73 08 Musafir Restaurant at Kocatepe Mahallesi, Recep Paşa Cd. 7/C, 34437 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey. Serves Indian and Asian cuisine. Call the restaurant at +90 212 235 27 41 Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant at Asmalı Mescid mah, Nergis Sok. 4/A, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey. Serves Indian and Asian cuisine. Call the restaurant at +90 538 898 94 96 Shopping List Essentials: While visiting Istanbul, you can shop rugs that are available in silk threads. Antique shops in Bazaar sell similar stuff to the visitors. Foods and spices in the form of honey and gums are available to the users. Moreover, spices, dried fruits as well as nuts can be found close vicinity. Healthcare Centers: Getting medical treatment at the private hospital goes a long way in taking care of the health of the patients. Anadolu medical center and Estethica surgical, medical center are some of the prominent hospitals that can be a boon during the time of health emergency. Emergency Contact Numbers Medical emergency / Ambulance: 112 Fire: 110 Police: 155 Coastguard: 158 Currency Turkish Lira is the choice of currency when you are in Istanbul. If you see the word DOVIZ, it is called change office, and the place is responsible for changing the currency. Inside the town, you have to give 9% as commission while converting the dollar into Lira. Local Do’s & Don’ts Do’s Learn some common Turkish phrases before you travel here You can bargain in the Turkish markets Don’ts Do not buy stones or fossils Do not indulge in public displays of affection Basics of Local Communication: Greeting among men is carried out with the help of handshake. Similarly, among women light handshake goes a long way in melting the ice between both parties. Maintaining direct eye contact is very important among the Turks. Turkish is the most used language in Istanbul. Here are few common phrases in the Turkish language: English Turkish Good morning Günaydın My name is… ad-ın Where is…? nerede Yes Evet No yok hayır Please Lütfen Sorry afedersiniz How much is this…? bu ne kadar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Planning on an international trip? Take a look at our FAQ section that resolves commonly-asked queries on travel insurance. How do I benefit with Travel Insurance? Overseas travel insurance protects you when you are travelling in a foreign land. The insurance covers the expenses incurred during events like flight cancellation, illness, injury, misplaced baggage, loss of passport, etc. There would be financial reimbursement offered to cover the financial risk. Are Children and Senior citizens covered? Children from the age group of 3 months are covered.Senior citizens are also covered, with maximum entry age restricted to 85 years.For buying a policy covering people above 60 years of age kindly contact our representative at 080- 49010200. MORE FAQs Why choose Bharati AXA Travel Insurance Travelling overseas is always fun. its more fun when you know your trip financialy secure. 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