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Istanbul Traveler's Guide for the Holiday Season

Visiting Istanbul during the holiday season? We’ve got you covered. From booking early and planning ahead to skipping the lines and staying cool, we’ve created a quick traveler’s guide for our wonderful guests.

Book Early

The odds of escaping from paying top dollar for flights and accommodation are slim to none if you’re traveling to Istanbul during the festive season, also known as peak season. Unless you’re one of the select handful of us savvy travelers who know to snoop around for flight and hotel deals early! When you book ahead of time you’re less likely to fall victim to inflated prices due to the heavy demand in high season. Schedule dates into your calendar to meet with travel agencies and allocate time to research and compare travel sites.

Plan Ahead

We’re not just talking about flights and accommodation. We’re talking about itinerary. Istanbul boasts a string of never-ending sights around each and every corner. That’s why we highly recommend you plan ahead, research and prioritize these sites according to how tight your schedule is and your individual preferences. The city’s top 10 attractions include:

⦁ Süleymaniye Mosque

⦁ Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque

⦁ Topkapi Palace

⦁ Hagia Sophia

⦁ Basilica Cistern

⦁ Galata Tower

⦁ Chora Church

⦁ Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

⦁ Istanbul Archaeology Museum

⦁ Gülhane Park

Skip the Lines

The Empire State Building. Taj Mahal. Our very own Süleymaniye Mosque. If you’re an experienced globe trotter, you already know how discouraging the long lines can be, especially during the holiday season. The last thing anyone who’s traveled from half way across the world with a serious case of jetlag wants to do is waste valuable time standing in queue for your turn to enter Istanbul’s never-ending sights. There are two ways to skip the lines. Wake up early and get a head start on the day or look into paying a little extra for express passes.

Stay Cool

Istanbul’s winter is cold enough to turn even the bravest of travelers away. That’s why many adventurists choose to visit the city during the hot, hot holiday season. A word of caution, however, be very aware of the reality that you will be spending the vast majority of your time standing in lines under the blistering Turkey sun and walking around visiting one of hundreds of spectacular sites. Don’t forget to pack the sun lotion, dress light (wear white!) and always stay hydrated as air conditioning is a luxury only offered in high caliber hotels.

Eat, Pray, Love

Delicious baklava. Turkish delight. Mouthwatering kebabs. It’s been said that you can build up quite an appetite when you’re happy. Happy to be holidaying in Istanbul, of course! Istanbul is the perfect city for hungry tourists to eat their hearts out. Authentic Turkish cuisine awaits in each and every alleyway. The scrumptious aromas, exotic flavors and unique culinary combinations will be sure to open up your taste pallets. Don’t forget to visit the Süleymaniye and Blue Mosques after a hearty meal as you may find yourself visiting during the religious months. Eat, Pray, Love is the motto!

We hope you’ve found our traveler’s guide useful for your trip to Istanbul this holiday season. Contact Hotel Büyük Keban ahead of time to book your stay at low prices!

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