- You will have to exchange money to Turkish liras. You can change at the airport, or ATM along the way.
- 1 US dollar = 1.8 Turkish lira (*NOTE – This is a rough estimate)
- Tax is almost always included in the prices.
- Tipping is not a must, but appreciated a lot in restaurants. Don’t tip for taxis.
- Bargain, bargain bargain. Turks love bargaining, Unless you are in a designer shop you can bargain as much as you want.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
- Taxi drivers: Some of them will give you a long Istanbul ride and try to charge you high amounts for what is supposed to be a short trip. Just remember that no distance in Istanbul costs above 100 liras. Also, some of them will hit the meter several times on your trip to add additional charges to your trip. So watch that hand when they change the gear. Another trick is to tell you that you paid 5 liras when you gave him 50. They look alike so make sure what banknote you are giving him. A way to avoid this is knowing that there are two types of taxis in Istanbul. Ones that work on their own and ones that belong to a taxi shop. If you are stopping a taxi on the street make sure they belong to a taxi shop meaning that they have the name and the number of the shop written on the side. If there is a problem you can always take the number and complain to the shop.
- Traffic: “Oh! we are late! Let’s take a taxi” does NOT work in Istanbul. Istanbul traffic is quite unpredictable and can cost you a lot of valuable time if you do not plan accordingly. Metro and subway works quite well, so even if you have to walk a little bit, try to stick with them. Watch out for the rush hours (5-7pm ), and the busy connection points (Europe-Asia bridges). Leave early if you need to be somewhere on time like flights or weddings!