When you arrange car hire, Istanbul becomes much more than a fantastic city-break destination...
Formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, the city has a rich history with its centre designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its many historic buildings and mosques. The Bosphorus divides the city into two parts, an Asian side and a European side.
The Topkapi Palace was built in the 15th century and is one of the oldest palaces in the world, with a long history as the seat of government of the Ottoman Empire. Now a museum, the palace is a must-see for every visitor to Istanbul. The city is rich in museums and mosques, offering some rich and diverse architecture spanning many eras of history.
The Hagia Sophia was conceived as a Greek basilica and then became a Roman Catholic cathedral before becoming a mosque in the 15th century. In 1931 it was secularised and is now a museum. The beautiful and imposing Sultan Ahmed Mosque is also known as the Blue Mosque due to its blue-tiled interior. Another beautiful building, the Suleymaniye Mosque, is one of the best-known sights in Istanbul and stands on a hill with views across the city. A further outstanding landmark is the Galata Tower, which dates back to medieval times and now houses a restaurant, cafe and nightclub on its upper floors, offering spectacular views across the Bosphorus.
The Grand Bazaar is the oldest covered market in the world, closely followed by the neighbouring Egyptian or Spice Bazaar and both offer amazing opportunities for shopping. Keep to the European side of the city for the best modern shopping malls offering western names and brands, or cross the Bosphorus to visit Asia for a completely different experience.
Car hire in Istanbul is easily arranged at both Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST), which is situated 15 miles west of the city, or at the low-cost airport at Sabiha Gokcen (SAW), 22 miles south-east of Istanbul. Book car hire in advance and you also have the option of collecting your vehicle at a convenient location in downtown Istanbul. It’s definitely worth booking online before you travel – you are likely to find the cheapest deals this way.
To find the best price on car hire in Istanbul, use TravelSupermarket’s search tool.
City breaks are so much more pleasurable when the heat of summer can be escaped at the beach...
Most of the city is easily accessible on foot or on public transport, but if travelling outside Istanbul, car hire gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. Take a cruise on the Bosphorus or use your hire car to explore the nearby beaches, coves and small villages located outside the city.
Though public transportation options are good, your hire car will have you at the beach in a flash. That’s more time to soak up the sun, paddle in the gentle waves and relax. Head north to the Black Sea or perhaps take a drive south to the Mediterranean. On the European side, Kilyos is one of the more popular beach destinations on the Black Sea and only an hour’s drive from Istanbul. Hopping across to Asia, you could try the sands at Sile (an 80-minute drive) or Agva, which is two hours by road from Istanbul.
For the truly adventurous (and those who don’t mind long drives through magnificent landscapes) the fairy-tale terrain of Cappadocia can be reached from Istanbul in around 10 hours by road. Yes, it’s a long way, and you’ll need to split your holiday and book a hotel in Cappadocia, but this unique destination will never leave your memory. Between the caves and canyons, the chimneys and the hot air balloons, there’s an adventure here for every kind of traveller.
When you book car rental, Istanbul offers you the chance to explore the culture of two continents, making it a fantastic holiday destination.