18-12-2023 - Tips & Guides

Istanbul Do's and Don'ts: 10 Unspoken Guidelines Every Istanbulite Knows

Istanbul, a city where the past and present coalesce in a harmonious dance, beckons travelers with its vibrant markets, historic landmarks, and warm hospitality. As you embark on your journey through this enchanting metropolis, it's essential to understand the unspoken guidelines that weave through the fabric of Istanbulite culture. Join us on a cultural exploration as we uncover the do's and don'ts that every Istanbulite knows, providing you with insights that will enhance your experience and immerse you in the heart of this fascinating city. From savoring the nuances of Turkish dining to navigating bustling markets with grace, let's unravel the essence of Istanbul together. But first, here is the perfect tool for your journey: Istanbul Tourist Pass®.

The Istanbul Tourist Pass® stands as an indispensable companion for those seeking to unlock the full potential of their Istanbul experience. Crafted by a reputable tourist agency with over 30 years of experience, this digital card offers unparalleled access to over 100 attractions and services across the city. From guided tours to skip-the-ticket-line entrances, discounted hop-on-hop-off bus tours, and captivating cruises, the Istanbul Tourist Pass® is a gateway to a seamless and enriching exploration of Istanbul's cultural tapestry. More than just a convenience, it assures travelers of the reliability and safety of their experiences, guarding against counterfeit guides and tickets. By acquiring the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, visitors can traverse the city effortlessly, ensuring that every moment is filled with discovery and delight, all while enjoying the assurance of trusted resources and exclusive privileges.

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Choose from one of Istanbul Tourist Pass® options below providing Free access to 100+ Top Attractions, Tours and essential Local Services with over 80% savings.

5 Day Pass


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7 Day Pass


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10 Day Pass


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1 Day Pass


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2 Day Pass


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3 Day Pass


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2 Days Pass




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Don’t Rush in Restaurants: Savor the Delicacies

In Istanbul, dining is more than just nourishment; it's a social event. Embrace the unhurried pace at restaurants, allowing yourself to savor the flavors and enjoy the company. Rushing through meals goes against the Istanbulite tradition of savoring every bite. Especially if you choose to try rakı, the famous Turkish liquor, do not rush eating mezes but savor the moment.

Don’t Forget to Tip: Reward the Great Service

Although tipping is not mandatory, it is a common practice in Istanbul, a gesture of gratitude for good service. While it may not be mandatory, leaving a tip is a sign of appreciation. It's a small but meaningful way to acknowledge the effort and hospitality of the service providers. Read our blog post about tipping in Istanbul to learn more insider tips. 

Don’t Engage in Aggressive Haggle: It is for Fun

Haggling is an art form in Istanbul's markets, but it's crucial to keep it amicable. Avoid aggressive negotiation tactics, as it goes against the spirit of the lively bazaars. Approach haggling as a friendly exchange, and you might find yourself striking a fair deal. The best place to experience haggling is the Grand Bazaar and the best way to start your journey in that crazy bazaar is a guided tour!

Respect Personal Space: Be Careful in Crowds

Istanbul can get crowded, but respecting personal space is a priority. Avoid getting too close to strangers, especially in crowded places like public transportation or markets. Istanbulites value their personal space, and observing this unspoken rule fosters a harmonious environment. You can also demand your personal space if you feel overwhelmed.

Be Mindful of Ramadan: Enjoy the Spiritual Atmosphere

During the holy month of Ramadan, it's essential to be considerate of those who are fasting. Refrain from eating or drinking openly in public places during daylight hours. This simple act of mindfulness reflects your respect for the religious practices of the local community. But don’t worry especially in Istanbul, nearly all restaurants and cafes are open. It is important to note that Turkey is not an Islamic state but a secular democracy so not only tourists but also many local people do not fast in Ramadan.

Use Cash in Local Shops: Cash is King Everywhere

While cards are widely accepted, smaller local shops may prefer cash transactions. Be prepared by carrying some cash, especially when exploring the charming narrow streets where local businesses often operate. This ensures smooth transactions and supports local merchants.

Explore Istanbul with Istanbul Tourist Pass®

Discover the city effortlessly with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®. Avoid the pitfalls of counterfeit guides and tickets by utilizing this secure and convenient digital pass. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your exploration of Istanbul's wonders is guided by reliable resources. Click here to see 100+ amazing attractions and services including the first pass of Istanbul.

Purchase an Istanbulkart for Easy Travel

Simplify your travel around the city with Istanbulkart’s special creation for tourists: the Istanbul City Card. This unlimited public transportation card not only provides convenience but also offers a cost-effective way to navigate Istanbul's extensive transportation network. A must-have for seamless urban exploration. Here are all the details about this card, order yours now and get delivered to your hotel.

Discover the Princes’ Islands: Green Islands of the City

When the hustle of the city becomes overwhelming, escape to the Princes’ Islands. These serene retreats offer a tranquil getaway from the bustling urban life of Istanbul. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, explore the islands, and recharge amidst nature's beauty. Here is a great Princes’ Islands tour specially curated for Pass visitors with a complimentary lunch.