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


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.



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


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


  • Learn some common Turkish phrases before you travel here
  • You can bargain in the Turkish markets


  • 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

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What kinds of medical coverage’s are provided??

The following medical expenses are covered: 

  • Travel insurance includes medical expenses, repatriation, and emergency medical evacuation. Even dental care expenses such as acute anesthetic treatment of teeth are covered.

What is a deductible?

“Deductible”means a cost-sharing requirement under this policy, that provides that the insurer will not be liable for a specified rupee amount or percentage of claim amount or number of days or number of hours, as specified in the policy schedule and which will apply before any benefits are payable by the insurer. A deductible does not reduce the sum insured and is applicable per event, upto the specified limits mentioned.

What Is Not Covered Under the Travel Insurance Plan?

  • Medical Expenses (inclusive of Repatriation and Emergency Medical Evacuation), Daily Allowance in case of hospitalization, Compassionate Visit benefits, the following will not be payable for Any pre-existing condition, Routine examinations, Expenses for rest or recuperation at spa/ health resort/ sanatorium, Pregnancy (including childbirth, miscarriage, abortion or related complications ) or treatment relating to the removal of physical flaws or anomalies (cosmetic treatment or plastic surgery).
  • Cosmetic surgery, unless such cosmetic surgery is rendered medically necessary as part of treatment for accidents and burns whilst being abroad.
  • Suicide, attempted or wilfully self inflicted injury or illness, mental disorder, anxiety, stress or depression, venereal disease, alcoholism, drunkenness or the abuse of drugs, or any loss arising, directly or indirectly, from any injury, illness, death, loss, expense, or other liability attributable to HIV and/or any HIV related illness including AIDS and/or any mutant derivative or variation thereof however caused.
  • Treatment which could be reasonably delayed until the Insured’s return to India, which will be decided jointly by the treating Physician and the Emergency Assistance Service Provider and shall be in accordance with accepted standards of medical care.
  • The Insured taking part in naval, military or air force operations; war and nuclear perils.
  • Insured engaging in air travel unless he or she flies as a Fare Paying passenger in an aircraft licensed to carry passengers.
  • Participation of the Insured in winter sports, mountaineering and such other professional sports or any other hazardous or potentially dangerous sport for which the Insured members are adequately trained, physically fit and using proper equipment. and that too only if specifically agreed and mentioned in the policy schedule.
  • Hazardous occupation, or if engaged in any criminal or illegal act.
  • Medical Expenses in respect of Experimental, investigational or unproven treatments or treatments which are not consistent with or incidental to the diagnosis and treatment of the positive existence or presence of any Illness for which confinement is required at a Hospital. Any Illness or treatment which is a result or a consequence of undergoing such experimental or unproven treatment.
  • Naturopathy treatment.
  • Non Allopathic treatment e.g. - Ayurvedic, Yogic, Homeopathic, Unani treatment(s).
  • Under no circumstances shall this insurance contract be deemed to provide cover and no liability be incurred to pay any claim or provide any benefit hereunder to the extent that the provision of such cover, payment of such claim or provision of such benefit would expose us to any sanction, prohibition, or restriction under United Nations resolutions or the trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of the European Union, United Kingdom, United States of America & India

You can avail the Travel Insurance online and enjoy the benefits offered by ICICI Lombard General Insurance (Bharti AXA General Insurance*)

What Is Covered Under Travel Insurance?

Loss of passport and documents:

Reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in connection with obtaining a duplicate or fresh passport or reasonable cost of replacing/obtaining the stolen documents/ tickets if the passport belonging to the Insured / Insured Person be lost

Home Fire Insurance Contents & Home Burglary Insurance (contents):

Cover against any loss or damage of the Contents at Home of the Insured in India caused by Fire and Allied perils or through burglary and/or housebreaking while the Insured is on a trip abroad.

Hijack Distress Allowance

Payment of distress allowance in case of hijack of a common carrier for more than certain number of hours whilst on the trip. You can easily avail the allowance by filing a claim online through Travel Insurance cover online process.

Medical Expensesinclusive of Repartration  and Emergency Medical Evacuation

If you are sick or injured during the journey, your medical expenses can prove to be costly. In such cases,  Travel Insurance cover greatly helps. The insurance company also offers a cashless settlement with the network hospitals or you can also opt for the reimbursement process within 30 days of hospitalization.

Legal Expenses

Payment of legal costs and expenses incurred by the Insured towards claims from third Parties for compensation in respect of death or disablement arising due to an injury whilst on a trip abroad.

Personal Accident

Payment of compensation if the Insured sustains accidental bodily injury during a trip resulting in death or Permanent Total Disablement or Permanent Partial Disablement within 12 months of occurrence of such injury.

Trip Cancellation/Or Interruption

Payment towards the non-refundable prepaid payments incurred on the trip being cancelled and additional cost of transportation in case of Interruption: due to medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters or other listed reason in policy wordings.

Trip Delay

 Reimbursement of additional expenses if trip is delayed beyond a period, due to airline problems, medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters.

 Daily Allowance in case of Hospitalisation

 Payment of daily allowance for the days the Insured is hospitalised beyond a specified number of days, as mentioned in the Policy Schedule, for which a valid claim is admissible under the Policy whilst on a trip abroad.Emergency Accommodation

 Payment of compensation for the additional cost of emergency accommodation if the Insured/ Insured Person could not stay in the accommodation originally booked due to ­fire& flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane, explosion, outbreak of major infectious diseases.

Why do I need Travel insurance?

During a trip there are chances of unfortunate events such as loss of checked in baggage, medical emergency, loss of passport that can spoil your international trip, be it business or leisure. Travel insurance can protect you from such events ensuring that you are left stuck in foreign land.