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How To Reach Istanbul
Istanbul, a city of the past, the present and the future, is a lot like a time machine. With the gemstones of history shining bright amid its back-lit streets and tram-lanes rise minarets and sky scrapers alike. The city is also known to straddle the two continents of Asia and Europe, the only city in the world to have its feet in two places. With such rich culture, heritage and geography, it is no wonder that Istanbul was the 8th most visited city in the year 2016.
Already wondering how are you going to reach Istanbul for your next holiday? Read on for the many travel options.
Direct flights are available from Indian cities like Mumbai and New Delhi to Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport. Turkish Airlines and Air India are the regular airlines serving this route of direct flights. Stopover flights by Oman Air, Etihad and Aeroflot are also abound from Chennai and Bangalore; they take longer and stop at one of the gulf countries. Indians need to apply for visa beforehand through a global website, and are granted one very easily.
Most Asian and European roads lead to Istanbul. You can drive into the country from Asian side (through Iran or Syria) or through European countries like Greece, Bulgaria, Romania. Regular buses also run between these countries, or you can hire a car. A road trip from India to Istanbul is also possible but takes around 12 days of travel through countries like Pakistan and Tehran.
Railways are very well developed in Istanbul and all of Turkey. You can travel to Istanbul from all regions of Turkey, southeastern Anatolia, central Anatolia, Aegean region, Black Sea, Mediterranean or Maramara. A high speed train connects Istanbul to the capital Ankara while trains also come into the city from Europe. Asian side trains are slightly difficult and require you to get off on the Asian Istanbul side and then cross over by ferry.
Istanbul hosts the river Bosphorus as well as touches the Black Sea. Therefore waterways are very well developed and efficiently used here. Quite a few cruises dock at the Karakoy Port of Istanbul while regular ferry and boat services are used across the Bosphorus Strait to cross from the Asian Istanbul to European Istanbul.
Getting Around in Istanbul
Istanbul is a big city, it is a modern city and it is a very traffic prone city. You can book a car or hail a cab to commute but faster and cheaper options here include the subway trains, buses and trams (for the experience) in Taksim.