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Istanbul

Home > Cruise Ports > Istanbul

Overview
Destinations
Cruise Lines
Currency
Language
Tourist Attractions
Port Location












Overview

Istanbul, Europe's most populous city, is the cultural center of Turkey. Parts of the city are actually located in both Europe and Asia. Most of the tourist sites (including the port) are located on the European side of the city. Over its long history, this city has served as the capital of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Today, Istanbul is a modern, bustling city with ancient buildings and landmarks throughout it.

Istanbul is nicknamed "The City on Seven Hills" because the most historic section of the city was built on seven hills, with each of the hills bearing an ancient mosque. From the early 5th century up until the early 20th century this city was actually known as Constantinople.

There is a Mediterranean climate in Istanbul. It has hot, humid summers and cold, rainy (and often snowy) winters. July and August are the hottest months of the year, while January and February are usually the coldest.



Destinations
The following destinations can be visited on a cruise leaving from Istanbul, Turkey:
Mediterranean



Cruise Lines Departing Here

Amadeus Waterways
Norwegian Cruise Line
Oceania Cruises
Peter Deilmann Cruises
Pullmantur
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Seabourn Cruise Line
SeaDream Yacht Club
Silversea Cruises
Windstar Cruises



Currency
The official currency of Turkey is the New Turkish Lira (TRY). ATM machines are available, but make sure you use one that works with the card you're using. ATM machines will usually give you a better exchange rate than a bank or hotel. Using a credit card is a great way to avoid having to exchange currency.


Language
The official language of Turkey is Turkish. However, most of the locals in the tourist areas will speak at least some English.


Tourist Attractions
Because of its long and storied history, there are many famous buildings and tourist attractions throughout Istanbul. There are many historic places of worship throughout the city, in addition to various palaces, towers and castles.

The Serpentine Column, also known as the Serpent Column, is one of the oldest surviving monuments still standing in Istanbul. It was built in tribute to the Greek and Roman God Apollo. It is located at the Hippodrome, which used to be a horse racing track but is now a square that is maintained by the Turkish authorities.

Haiga Irene (also known as Haiga Eirene) was built in the 4th century and is the oldest Byzantine church still standing in Istanbul. It is located in the courtyard of Topkapi Palace and functions as a museum today. Special permissions is needed for admission.

Maiden's Tower (also known as Leander's Tower) is located on a small islet off the coast of Istanbul. It was built all the way back in 408 BC and it is quite legendary in Persian history. Today it is a popular tourist destination, with a restaurant now inside of it.

The Column of Constantine is one of the most important monuments in Istanbul. Built in 330 as a tribute to the city becoming the capital of the Roman Empire, it is said to have contained pieces of the True Cross. Today, the column stands 35 meters tall and can be seen from far away as part of the city's skyline.

The Valens Aqueduct, located today in the quarter of Fatih, was the major water-providing system of Constantinople (Istanbul) during medieval times. Today, it is one of the most important landmarks in the city.

The Walls of Constantinople are walls that have surrounded the city since ancient times, built as a means of defense and protection for the city. It's one of the grandest (and most complex) fortification systems ever made. They are excellent example of Byzantine architecture.

The Galata Tower is one of the most noticeable buildings in the skyline of Istanbul. It is located just north of the Golden Horn (an inlet of the Bosphorus strait). Built in 1348, the tower is almost 70 meters tall.

The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge, spans across the Bosphorus strait and connects Europe and Asia.

The Grand Bazaar, also known as the Covered Bazaar, is one of the largest covered markets in the world. It is composed of over 58 streets and 4,000 shops. Some of the most well known items being sold there include jewelry, pottery, carpet and spices. This is an extremely popular area for both locals and tourists. The bazaar has four main gates.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is a historical mosque located in Istanbul. It was built in the early 17th century and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. It gets its nickname because of the blue tiles that line its interior walls.


Port Location
Cruise ships dock in the Bosphorus straight, at Karakoy (a centrally located port). There is usually a line of taxis waiting at the pier to take you downtown, or wherever you wish to go. The Old City is within walking distance of the port; however, it's recommended for you to take a taxi there.
 
Cruise Ship in Istanbul
A Cruise Ship Sailing in Istanbul
Cruise Reviews
Maiden's Tower
Maiden's Tower
Cruise Reviews
Bosphorus Bridge
Bosphorus Bridge
Cruise Reviews
Haiga Irene
Haiga Irene
Cruise Reviews
The Serpentine Column
The Serpentine Column
Cruise Reviews
The Column of Constantine
The Column of Constantine
Cruise Reviews
Valens Aqueduct
Valens Aqueduct
Cruise Reviews
Walls of Constantinople
Walls of Constantinople
Cruise Reviews
Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar



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