Essential Tips for Tourists in Istanbul – Avoid scams – Don’t get ripped off – Worst tourist traps
Istanbul is very beautiful city. You will love Istanbul very much. As in every city, there are issues that you need to be careful about in Istanbul. In this video we will give you some important information. Please be careful and enjoy Istanbul.
PROTECT YOUR SHOES
When visiting a mosque, you shouldn’t leave your shoes at the entrance. They could be stolen or someone could take them by mistake. Always have a very light plastic bag in your pocket. Put your shoes in the bag and carry them or put them into your bag.
CHECK EVERY TIME THE PRICELIST
To avoid paying more than the expected price, always check the price list or menu prices before ordering.
In tourist areas prices tend to be overly priced and this could cause some problems when it comes to paying the restaurant bill.
Sometimes they’ll bring appetizers.
Ask if they are included in the menu or not.
If you don’t ask, they’ll charge you extra money for that.
For this, don’t eat close to touristic places.
Go a bit farther from the sights and you will find really nice and cheap places to eat.
DON’T EAT FROM STREET
Don’t eat food from street stands or kiosks selling meat in sandwiches etc. it may not be healthy or hygienically prepared.
Also, don’t buy or eat food such as simit rings and other bakery products from street sellers as they are often hard and are not sold in hygienic conditions.
DON’T BUY PERFUME, CLOTHES, SHOES, BAGS ETC. FROM STREET SELLERS
Don’t buy perfume, clothes, shoes, bags etc. from street sellers. They are mostly smuggled or not genuine.
One of the easiest and cheapest methods of travelling around Istanbul by public transport (bus, ferry, tram…) is to get an Istanbul Card. This is a card which looks a bit like a credit card with a nice picture of Istanbul skyline on it. You can get it and put credit on it from the machines. When you enter a bus, tram or ferry you just simply run it across the machine by the driver and it automatically devaluates the card for the price of a bus ride.
DO NOT APPROACH THE FISHERMEN
Fishing hooks and weights have even caused serious injuries to some people, due to careless fishermen.
AVOID TAKING TAXIS
Avoid taking taxis as much as possible. There are a lot of tourists who scammed and attacked by taxi drivers. Use public transport vehicles.
IF YOU NEED A TAXI
If you need to take a taxi, be very careful. Insist that the taximeter must be started. They’ll not start it to get much more money.
Check the route with Google maps. They will try to take you by a very long route.
In an emergency call 112.
Be very careful when giving and getting your money back. They can try to trick you with very quick acting while giving you your change.
HIRE AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER
Instead of taking taxis you can hire electric scooters (BINBIN, HOP, LINK, MARTI).
Download the app to your mobile phone.
Find electric scooters close to your location.
Check the charge of the battery of the electric scooter.
Scan the QR code with the app.
Press “Start the ride.”
The lock of the chain will release.
Now you can use the electric scooter.
After your ride is over you have to lock the electric scooter to a safe place.
Take a photo, that you locked it correctly.
Press “Finish the ride.”
Please be careful on wet roads and avoid high speed.
Don’t forget, you will be lowering your “carbon footprint” in the environment by using an electric scooter.
NIGHT CLUB SCAM
It happens mostly in Taksim area, especially at Istiklal Avenue. Some people are approaching especially solo male travellers and try to start a conversation. After a conversation they invite you to drink a beer. After getting your trust they invite you to go to a night club or bar. Then after a while maybe nice women will join you. Then they slowly disappear and you’ll be there alone. The real surprise of the night is to get bill with hundreds or thousands of USD. If you’ll not pay they’ll force you and put you in a very dangerous situation.
For this, avoid talking to strangers, don’t accept their fake friendship requests, keep going. Be very very careful in clubs.
DON’T GO TO DESOLATE, SECLUDED PLACES
Walk around crowded places as much as possible. Avoid desolate, secluded places.
In January 2013, US citizen Sarai Sierra was alone touring the abandoned old city walls of Istanbul. A man approached the woman. After a while he tried to rape her and then killed her. Therefore, avoid going to such places.
IN EMERGENCY CALL 112
In emergency situations call 112 directly (without the international code for Turkey +90) on your mobile phone 7/24. There is always someone available who can speak foreign languages. They can redirect you to other services (police, ambulance…).
The Tourism Police are situated on the tram road very close to the Blue Mosque.