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Istanbul Travel Photography Guide

Istanbul Travel & Photography Guide

Istanbul Travel & Photography Guide

In my humble opinion, Istanbul could be argued as one of the best cities in the world for Street Photography. I don’t know of any city that has more to offer a photographer. Culture, history, religion, politics, people, diversity, conflict, architecture, water, sunlight, color, old world, new world, and the list goes on. All of this in a city that spans two continents. I’ve actually been living here, I decided to put even more time than usual into this Istanbul Travel & Photography Guide to make it the most expansive yet.

You Should Know Before Go

Welcome to Istanbul! on both sides of the Bosphorus. Istanbul was an important city in both the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Today, the city is a bit chaotic but still very beautiful.

Language: Turkish
Population: 18,000,000
Currency Unit: Turkish Lira
Visa and Entry: No visa required for many country citizens

  • Constantine the Great made it the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire in 330 CE, the city became widely known as “Constantinopolis” (Constantinople), means the “City of Constantine”. Its name became Konstantiniye in Ottoman era and Istanbul in Turkish republic.
  • In Roman Empire times It was the largest city in the world.
  • Istanbul’s population was 300.000 in 7th century, 200.000 in 1500, 700.000 in year of 1700. In 1900 population of Istanbul became 1million.
  • Istanbul’s commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives on the Anatolian side.
  • 7th largest city in the world.
  • The world’s fifth most popular tourist destination.

Things to Do in Istanbul, Turkey

1. Taksim Square – Taksim is the heart of Istanbul. The largest metro station is here, the largest pedestrian street starts here, the famous red trolley is here and the largest celebrations and protests are here too. So it’s a giant mix of people, from locals and students to expats and tourists.

2. Istiklal Street – The most famous street in Turkey. This 1,3 km long street starts from Taksim Square and ends in Tunel Square. France, Sweden, Russia, Greece and the Netherlands consulates located in here. And also you may find famous Flower Passage, Grand Pera Mall, Galatasaray High School, St. Antoine Church, Santa Maria Church and histoical metro station in Istiklal. Istiklal can get so packed with people moving everywhere that it’s not always easy to capture a good photograph.

3. Galata Bridge and Eminonu – So touristy but it’s also so full of everything that makes Istanbul famous. Eminonu is a major destination for catching the ferry, getting a fish sandwich or enjoying the view of the sea and city line. This is also one of the best spots for great light in the city. It’s wide open and that golden light Istanbul is famous for really shines beautifully here.

Galata is the most popular hood for tourists and photographers in Istanbul.
People are walking in Galata Neighborhood in winter time in Istanbul

Other Places for Best Photo Shooting

4.New Mosque & Bazaars – New Mosque is always full of life with great light. It’s also the most popular place to feed the pigeons so you can try to catch something there before you head into the bazaars.

5. Balat – Balat does attract some tourists because of its colorful, old Istanbul styled neighborhood, but most people just stay in the touristic pockets. Some areas can get pretty eye opening with crumbling buildings, but most have colorful old houses and apartment buildings. There’s a diverse mix of turkish, kurdish, gypsies and some syrian refugees living in the neighborhoods here.

6. North Part of Bosphorus – While Fatih gives you a more old world look at Istanbul, Northern part of Istanbul gives you a look at the trendy and chic Istanbul. Bebek is a beautiful area along the Bosphorus waterfront where you’ll walk by expensive boats and yachts, fancy cafes and restaurants, and a beautiful park. Arnavutkoy and its narrow streets and Rumeli Castle are other photo spots of the North.

Private Preofessional Photo Shooting For Honey Moon, Fashion, Portrait and Marriage Shootings in Istanbul, Turkey by Kivanc Turkalp
Private Photo Shooting in Istanbul, Turkey

Best Things to Photo Capture in Istanbul

The Sea, Color and Light, Cats,  Cultural mix, Politics and Religion, Turkish Tea, Ferry Life.

Istanbul is a city built on hills. It gives amazing city views, but when walking the streets, it also gives you a work out. So be ready for lots of stairs and steep climbs.

Istanbul Travel & Photography Guide. Istanbul Photography Workshops by Kivanc Turkalp
İstanbul Photo Workshop by Kıvanç TÜRKALP

Istanbul Weather for Travellers

Winter is colder in Istanbul than in most other cities around the Mediterranean Basin, with low temperatures averaging 1–4 °C (34–39 °F).  Spring and autumn are mild, but often wet and unpredictable. In summer high temperatures average around 29 °C (84 °F) and rainfall is uncommon.

Highest average in August is 27 °C (80 °F). Lowest average in February is is 3 °C (37 °F).

Accomodation Istanbul Travel & Photography Guide

Taksim Area

The Marmara Taksim – The Marmara Pera  :

Located in the Taksim Square, The Marmara epitomizes the essence of harmonious, yet sleek shapes and colors in an alluring and sophisticated place which makes it the first choice for the epicurean traveler.

Travel to Istanbul

From Athens, Greece to Istanbul is 1,090km and trip takes 12 hours by car and 1 hour 15 min by plane. Sofia, Bulgaria is 548km and 6 and half hours by car, 16 hours by train and 40 min by plane. Skopje, N.Macedonia is 900km and it takes 9 and half hours by car and 1 hour 10 min by plane. London, UK is 3 hours 50 min by plane. Paris is 3 hours and 40 min, Berlin is 2 hours 50 min, Moscow is 2 hours 50 min, Vienna is 2 hours, Skopje is 1 hour 10 min, Tbilisi is 2 hours 15 min, Budapest is 2 hours, New York is 11 hours, Tokyo is 12 hours, New Delhi is 6 hours by flight.

Other Travel Guides :

AthensPodgoricaPragueSkopjeTbilisiBest Cities for Street Photography  – How to always find cheep flights

© Copyright Kivanc Turkalp Photography, 2016-2019

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