Istanbul is one of the biggest commercial city of Turkey. Located near to Bosphorus and it is parted two sides, Asian and European side. I have visited Istanbul in January and I fall in love with it, so that’s why I would like to share with you my experience and here is a few reason why you should visit this amazing city.
Easy transportation+easy ticket
The public transportaton system of Istanbul is quite flexible and easy. There are trams, metros, bus, funiculars, ferries, shuttle buses. Their connections are also good and easy to get. Talking about the public transport ticket, you have many options to organize your route and you can also save money. There are Istanbulkart, jetons, billetmatik. I don’t really know about billetmatik, but jetons are like a single fare ticket, you use it once and that’s it. It costs 4 turkish liras (TL).
Istanbulkart is really easy and I love it. It’s a card that you buy from a machine or from a private vendor. You buy it for 10 TL, 6TL is for the card, and 4TL you can use for the transportation. You can charge as much money as you want on the card. When you use it, it costs about 2 TL, which is a half of the jeton. You can also use it for more people. In my case I went with my parents, so before we get on the tram, we had to use it. The first person is charged 1.45 TL the second and the third is charged 2.15 TL/each person. If you add it up it’s 5.75 TL, which is more economic than buying a jeton. Of course it also depends how often you will use the public transport.
When I get there I was surprised by the warm-welcoming Turkish people on the street. When I just walked by a shop, the shop assistant just say “Hi, how are you?” to me with a smile, for a polite reason I also say Hi back with a smile. As they can see that you are kind and polite, they might invite you to their shop and offer you a tea. If you don’t want to go in, then just say no and then they will ask where you are from, and then you guys start to talk a bit, and then say goodbye with a good atmosphere. I met a lot of smiley and friendly people, they made me feel like I’m not in a strange country and they made me love Istanbul even more.
Istanbul is not as expensive as in the most European country. Especially when you can bargain for a better price. At the Grand Bazaar, the part I liked the most is the shopping and getting agree on the price. The Turkish are really kind and polite, you can bargain for a lower price and after that they still maintain their kindness.
Istanbul is a city with character of Europe and Asia. While they maintain their politeness toward the customer, and respect their choice, their way of selling their product has an influence of Asia. In Asia people go out to find customer into their shop. They just say Hi to you, invite you to their shop and give you a bit introduction of their product. While in Asia the shop assistant might be a bit aggressive, the Turkish knows the limit. This is why they are succesful in selling, they know how to approach customers and also know how to be polite and don’t make it look like fobbing their stuff on you.
If you are interested in different religion, Istanbul is the best way for you to get to know Islam. I found their costume so interesting, the mosques, the way you have to dress when you enter the mosque. It is definitely a place that people maintain their tradition, but still accomodate to the trend.
With these points I believe you might feel like you want to go there at least once. With the warm-heart welcoming attitude of the Turkish I believe you will feel like this is a city that you have lived for many years, and all of the people that you get to talk to, suddenly become your good friend.