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Flights to Istanbul

Istanbul, a vibrant city straddling Europe and Asia, is a popular destination for travellers worldwide. Multiple airlines offer flights to Istanbul, providing easy access to its rich history and diverse culture. The main international airport, Istanbul Airport (IST), is a major hub for connecting flights. Visitors can enjoy the city's iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. The city's culinary scene, famous for its delectable kebabs and baklava, is a must-try. Whether you're drawn to its historical sites or modern charm, Istanbul promises a memorable experience for all.

Istanbul

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Fr

£355

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20 Jul 2024

Returning

27 Jul 2024

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47 Minutes

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Manchester

Istanbul

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£161

Departing

29 Sep 2024

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03 Oct 2024

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59 Minutes

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London

Istanbul

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£172

Departing

25 Sep 2024

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07 Oct 2024

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01 Hours

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London

Istanbul

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£264

Departing

18 Oct 2024

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24 Oct 2024

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01 Hours

Departure

Manchester

Istanbul

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Fr

£269

Departing

19 Aug 2024

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25 Aug 2024

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01 Hours

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London

Istanbul

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Fr

£247

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07 Jul 2024

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19 Oct 2024

Offer Age

02 Hours

Departure

London

Istanbul

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Fr

£203

Departing

02 Jul 2024

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06 Jul 2024

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02 Hours

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London

Airports in Istanbul

Istanbul International Airport (IST)
  • Istanbul Airport (IST) is the main international airport serving Istanbul, Turkey.
  • It is one of Europe's busiest airports, offering extensive global connections.
  • Located on the European side of Istanbul, it is well-connected to the city centre.
  • IST boasts modern and spacious terminals with state-of-the-art facilities.
  • The airport features numerous shops, restaurants, and lounges for travellers.
  • It's a major hub for Turkish Airlines and offers a wide range of international and domestic flights.
  • IST provides a convenient gateway to explore Istanbul's attractions.
Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW)
  • Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) is situated on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey.
  • It primarily serves low-cost carriers and handles domestic and international flights.
  • SAW is named after Turkey's first female combat pilot, Sabiha Gökçen.
  • The airport offers modern facilities and terminals, ensuring a comfortable travel experience.
  • It provides an alternative gateway to Istanbul, especially for travellers residing on the Asian side.
  • SAW is well-connected to the city centre and offers a range of transportation options.
  • Passengers can find various amenities, including dining and shopping, at the airport.

Airlines flying to Istanbul from the UK

  • British Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Pegasus Airlines
  • easyJet
  • Ryanair
  • Wizz Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • Lufthansa
  • Air France

What is the best time to get cheapest flights to Istanbul?

  • Off-Peak Seasons: Traveling during the low season, typically in winter (except for the holiday season) or late summer, can yield cheaper flight prices.
  • Booking in Advance: Booking your flight well in advance, usually several months ahead, can help you secure lower fares. Airlines often have promotional prices for early bookers.
  • Avoid Peak Holidays: Try to avoid booking flights during peak holiday seasons, such as Christmas and New Year's, as prices tend to be higher.
  • Midweek Departures: Consider flying midweek, as flights are often less expensive on Tuesdays and Wednesdays compared to weekends.
  • Flexible Dates: If you have flexibility in your travel dates, use fare comparison websites to find the cheapest days to fly.
  • Watch for Special Sales: Keep an eye out for special sales and promotions that airlines may offer. Sign up for fare alerts to stay updated.
  • Clearance Sales: Airlines sometimes offer clearance sales when they want to fill up remaining seats on a flight. These can offer substantial discounts.
  • Consider Nearby Airports: Check if flying to an airport near Istanbul, like Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW), could be more cost-effective.
  • Loyalty Programs: If you frequently travel, consider joining frequent flyer programs or using travel rewards points to offset costs.

How long is a direct and indirect flight to Istanbul from United Kingdom?

The duration of flights from the United Kingdom (UK) to Istanbul can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the departure city in the UK, the specific airports in Istanbul, and whether it's a direct or indirect flight. Direct flights from major UK airports like London Heathrow, Gatwick, or Manchester to Istanbul Airport (IST) usually take around 3 to 4 hours. If you're taking an indirect flight with a layover or stopover, the total travel time can be considerably longer. Depending on the location and duration of the layover, indirect flights can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours or more.

What is the time difference between the United Kingdom and Istanbul?

The time difference between the United Kingdom and Istanbul, Turkey, typically varies depending on the time of year because of daylight saving time changes. Here's a general guideline:

  • Standard Time (Winter): Istanbul is 2 hours ahead of the United Kingdom. For example, when it's 12:00 PM (noon) in the UK, it's 2:00 PM in Istanbul.
  • Daylight Saving Time (Summer): The United Kingdom observes daylight saving time, shifting its clocks forward by 1 hour in the last Sunday of March. When this occurs, the time difference between the UK and Istanbul reduces to 1 hour.

How much is a return flight from United Kingdom to Istanbul?

The cost of a return flight from the United Kingdom to Istanbul can vary depending on several factors, such as the airline, the time of year, how far in advance you book, and the class of travel. As a rough estimate, prices can start from around £80 to £150 for a one-way ticket and £150 to £300 for a return ticket, depending on the factors mentioned above. However, prices can fluctuate greatly, and it's always a good idea to compare prices across different airlines and booking platforms to find the best deal.

Which United Kingdom Airport can I fly to Istanbul?

  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
  • London Gatwick Airport (LGW)
  • London Stansted Airport (STN)
  • Manchester Airport (MAN)
  • Birmingham Airport (BHX)
  • Edinburgh Airport (EDI)
  • Glasgow Airport (GLA)
  • Bristol Airport (BRS)

Baggage Allowance on flights to Istanbul from the United Kingdom

Economy Class:
  • Turkish Airlines: Turkish Airlines allows economy class passengers to bring one piece of carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 8 kg (17.6 lbs) and one checked bag with a maximum weight of 23 kg (50 lbs).
  • British Airways: British Airways allows economy class passengers to bring one piece of carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 23 kg (51 lbs) and one checked bag with a maximum weight of 23 kg (51 lbs).
  • Pegasus Airlines: Pegasus Airlines allows economy class passengers to bring one piece of carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 8 kg (17.6 lbs) and one checked bag with a maximum weight of 20 kg (44 lbs).
  • Qatar Airways: Qatar Airways allows economy class passengers to bring one piece of carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 7 kg (15 lbs) and one checked bag with a maximum weight of 30 kg (66 lbs).
Premium Economy Class:
  • Premium economy typically allows more baggage than economy but less than business or first class.
  • British Airways': World Traveller Plus (premium economy) permits two pieces of checked luggage, each weighing up to 23 kg (50 lb).
  • Passengers are also allowed one piece of hand luggage and one personal item on British Airways premium economy.
  • Turkish Airlines': Comfort Class offers a similar allowance of two pieces of checked luggage, each weighing up to 23 kg (50 lb).
  • In addition to checked luggage, passengers flying Comfort Class with Turkish Airlines can bring one piece of hand luggage and one personal item.
Business Class:
  • Turkish Airlines: Turkish Airlines allows business class passengers to bring two pieces of carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 8 kg (17.6 lbs) each and two checked bags with a maximum weight of 32 kg (70.5 lbs) each.
  • British Airways: British Airways allows business class passengers to bring two pieces of carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 32 kg (70.5 lbs) each and two checked bags with a maximum weight of 32 kg (70.5 lbs) each.
  • Pegasus Airlines: Pegasus Airlines allows business class passengers to bring two pieces of carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 8 kg (17.6 lbs) each and two checked bags with a maximum weight of 30 kg (66 lbs) each.
  • Qatar Airways: Qatar Airways allows business class passengers to bring two pieces of carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 15 kg (33 lbs) each and two checked bags with a maximum weight of 40 kg (88 lbs) each.

Mini Travel Guide of Istanbul, Turkey

Best Things to Do in Istanbul

  • Visit the Hagia Sophia: Explore this iconic historical structure, once a church, then a mosque, and now a museum showcasing incredible architecture and art.
  • Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque): Admire the stunning interior and exterior of this historic mosque with its impressive blue tiles.
  • Topkapi Palace: Discover the opulent former residence of Ottoman sultans, featuring beautiful courtyards and fascinating exhibits.
  • Grand Bazaar: Shop for souvenirs, textiles, spices, and more in one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets.
  • Bosphorus Cruise: Take a boat ride along the Bosphorus Strait to enjoy panoramic views of the city's skyline and historic landmarks.
  • Basilica Cistern: Explore this ancient underground reservoir with its eerie, atmospheric lighting and Medusa head columns.
  • Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar): Experience the fragrant and colourful stalls selling spices, sweets, and other delights.
  • Galata Tower: Climb to the top of this medieval tower for breathtaking views of Istanbul and the Golden Horn.
  • Chora Church (Kariye Museum): Admire the beautifully preserved mosaics and frescoes that depict religious stories.
  • Istiklal Avenue and Taksim Square: Stroll along this bustling street, lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, and experience the vibrant atmosphere.

Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in Istanbul

  • Sultanahmet: Stay in the heart of historic Istanbul, close to major attractions like the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.
  • Taksim: Experience the lively atmosphere with a wide range of restaurants, bars, and shops. It's a great choice for nightlife.
  • Galata: Enjoy the historic charm of this area, which is known for its narrow streets, art galleries, and the iconic Galata Tower.
  • Beyoglu: Located near Taksim, it offers a mix of modern and historic elements, making it a trendy and vibrant neighbourhood.
  • Karakoy: Known for its emerging art scene, this neighbourhood offers boutique hotels, eateries, and galleries.
  • Sisli: A more residential area with shopping districts and upscale hotels, ideal for a quieter stay.
  • Besiktas: Home to Besiktas Square and close to the Bosphorus, offering a blend of local culture and waterfront views.
  • Kadikoy: On the Asian side of Istanbul, Kadikoy is a bustling district known for its markets and lively atmosphere.
  • Fatih: Experience the authentic, less touristy side of Istanbul while staying in this historic district.
  • Ortakoy: Located along the Bosphorus, this neighbourhood is famous for its waterfront dining and picturesque mosque.

Best Time to Visit Istanbul

  • Spring (March to May): This is a great time to visit Istanbul if you prefer milder weather and fewer crowds. The temperatures start to warm up, and the city starts to bloom with colourful tulips and cherry blossoms. It's also a good time to explore the city's outdoor attractions such as the parks, gardens, and historical sites.
  • Summer (June to August): The summer season in Istanbul is hot and humid, with temperatures averaging around 30°C (86°F). This is the peak tourist season, and the city can get quite crowded. However, it's also the best time to enjoy the city's many outdoor cafes, rooftop bars, and Bosphorus boat tours.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall is another great time to visit Istanbul, with milder weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices than in the summer. The autumn foliage is also stunning, making it a great time to visit the city's parks and gardens.
  • Winter (December to February): Istanbul can get quite cold and rainy in the winter, with temperatures averaging around 10°C (50°F). However, if you don't mind the chilly weather, you can enjoy the city's winter festivals, such as the Istanbul International Film Festival, and take advantage of the lower prices and fewer crowds.

Best Hotels to Stay in Istanbul

  • Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet: A luxurious option in the heart of the historic Sultanahmet district with stunning views of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
  • Ritz-Carlton Istanbul: Located in the lively Taksim Square, offering elegant rooms and panoramic views of the Bosphorus.
  • Hotel Amira Istanbul: A boutique hotel in Sultanahmet, known for its personalised service and comfortable rooms.
  • The Marmara Taksim: A contemporary hotel overlooking Taksim Square and the Bosphorus, offering a range of amenities.
  • W Istanbul: A trendy hotel in Akaretler, known for its stylish design and vibrant nightlife.
  • Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel: A convenient choice for exploring the historic area, offering modern comforts and easy access to landmarks.
  • Georges Hotel Galata: A boutique hotel with a rooftop terrace in the Galata district, providing fantastic views of the Golden Horn.
  • Sumahan on the Water: Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, this waterside hotel offers a serene escape from the city's hustle and bustle.
  • The House Hotel Karakoy: A chic hotel in the Karakoy neighbourhood, known for its industrial-chic design and proximity to art galleries.
  • Hotel Ibrahim Pasha: Situated in Sultanahmet, it's a charming boutique hotel with a cosy atmosphere and a short walk to major attractions.

Best Restaurants to Eat in Istanbul

  • Mikla: Located on the rooftop of The Marmara Pera Hotel, it offers modern Turkish cuisine with stunning views of the city.
  • Lokanta Maya: A popular spot in Karakoy, known for its creative approach to traditional Turkish dishes.
  • Ciya Sofrasi: Located in Kadikoy on the Asian side, it serves a wide range of authentic regional Turkish dishes.
  • Hamdi Restaurant: Situated near the Spice Bazaar, it's famous for its kebabs and Turkish cuisine, with views of the Golden Horn.
  • Asitane Restaurant: Specializes in Ottoman cuisine, offering a unique dining experience with historical recipes.
  • Balikci Sabahattin: A seafood restaurant near the Blue Mosque, known for its fresh fish and meze selection.
  • Sultanahmet Koftecisi: A historic establishment famous for its Turkish meatballs (kofte) and pide.
  • Karakoy Lokantasi: A trendy eatery in Karakoy, offering a mix of traditional and contemporary Turkish dishes.
  • 360 Istanbul: Located in Istiklal Caddesi, it's a popular rooftop restaurant with panoramic views and international cuisine.
  • Cezayir Istanbul: Situated in a historic building, it offers a Mediterranean and Turkish menu in a stylish setting.

How to Travel Within Istanbul

  • Trams: Istanbul has a modern tram system, including the T1 line, which connects many of the city's major attractions, making it an efficient way to travel within the historic areas.
  • Metro: The metro system connects various parts of the city, including the Asian side, with the European side. It's a quick and convenient way to avoid traffic.
  • Buses: Istanbul has an extensive bus network that covers the entire city. Public buses are marked with different route numbers and connect various neighbourhoods.
  • Dolmuses: These shared minivans are a popular mode of transport for short distances within neighbourhoods. They follow specific routes and are often used by locals.
  • Ferries: Istanbul's iconic ferries connect the European and Asian sides of the city and are a pleasant way to enjoy views of the Bosphorus.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Istanbul and can be a convenient way to reach your destination. Ensure the meter is used or agree on a fare before starting the journey.
  • Uber: Uber operates in Istanbul, providing an alternative to traditional taxis.
  • Funicular: The city has a few funicular lines, such as the one connecting Taksim Square to Kabatas, which can be a quick way to navigate steep hills.
  • Cable Cars: On the Asian side, you can use cable cars to reach higher areas, such as Camlica Hill.
  • Trains: The suburban train system connects various parts of Istanbul, making it a useful option for traveling to distant neighbourhoods.

Visa Requirements for Istanbul, Turkey

UK residents visiting Istanbul, Turkey, for tourism purposes can obtain a tourist e-visa online, valid for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. To apply, you need a valid passport with at least six months' validity from your entry date. The e-visa can be purchased through the official Turkish government website or at the port of entry, but it's recommended to apply online before your trip. Please check for any updates or changes in visa regulations as requirements can vary, and it's advisable to verify the latest information with the Turkish consulate or embassy before your travel.

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