Turkey operates under two main currencies at present, the Turkish Lira (YTL) and The Euro. For the latest rates click Here
Time Difference and Climate:
Istanbul is 2 hours ahead of GMT. As for the weather in Istanbul, in April, it ranges from snow to sunshine, Lets hope its the latter. To see the weather forecast for Istanbul click Here
On arrival to Turkey any non-nationals will have to get an entry visa before passing through passport control, these visas' are available after landing in Turkey and cost £10 per person.
Istanbul is absolutely swarming with taxis' just make sure you get the driver to put the meter on. Be warned the roads are very congested so where possible we would recommend you use the excellent metro, vernicular, ferry and tram systems. Public Transport operates using Tokens which are available from all stations and stops.
Turkey is probably the most westernised of the Islamic Nations and Istanbul especially so. There are no restrictions on drinking Alcahol or on how to dress. If you are planning on visiting one of the many Mosques then ladies should cover their heads, arms and legs and everyone is required to remove their footwear.
I am sure most of you have come across the bartering system before but for those who haven't the basic principle is: If you think its too expensive, don't buy it. If the trader doesn't think you're offering enough, he won't sell it. The general idea is to meet somewhere in the middle where both parties feel they have a good deal. Remember, NEVER PAY THE ASKING PRICE! Bartering has largely gone from the main-stream shopping malls, but for some truly Oscar winning performances and to test your haggling skills, a visit to The Grand Bazaar is a must.
Istanbul is a thriving energetic city where, on the whole, the locals are friendly and helpful to visitors. Unfortunately, like most major cities, pick pockets do operate so remember to take care when out and about.
Lonely Planet Guide to Istanbul
Time Out Istanbul