Time zone
Turkey Time (TRT), UTC/GMT +3 hours.
The electric current is 220V with a frequency of 50Hz. Type F/Schuko plugs are used.
The local currency is the Turkish Lira. There are many exchange offices around the city with better rates compared to the rates in the airports.
Credit cards
Credit cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants except for small street vendors.
Public Transportation
Istanbul Kart is used on all public transportation. The card can be purchased and refilled from kiosks at major transit stops and airports. These kiosks accept Turkish Lira or most major credit cards. Some ticket validators on buses, metro and ferries now also accept payment using a contactless credit cards. More information can be found here. The public transportation network is massive. To navigate through it we would recommend using an app like Google Maps or Moovit.
Business hours
Most public offices are open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Most shops are open mainly from 10 am to 10 pm including Sundays.
Telephone and internet access
Wireless connection is free at the venue. WiFi is usually free in all hotels, in many restaurants, cafés and shopping centers however a registration may be required to gain access. Pre-paid cards for cell phones are available for purchase at phone operators’ stores.
Water supply
The tap water in İstanbul is safe to consume, however most locals will not consume it. It may be a good idea for visitors to use bottled water.
The climate of Istanbul, can be defined as transitional Mediterranean, in fact, it has quite cold winters, but otherwise it has Mediterranean characteristics: the rainiest seasons are autumn and winter, and summer is hot and sunny. In May the temperature averages at 22° in the daytime and 13° at night. We maybe getting some occasional rain.
The official language is Turkish. Hotel staff (and often restaurant staff) can communicate in English.
For kids
It’s safe to bring kids with you to Turkey. There are many attractions for kids to enjoy.
Tourist Information
Istanbul is a very touristic city with many places to visit and many activities to do. The official tourism website is here: