Know Before You Go Istanbul

Thinking of joining one of our upcoming Solo Travellers trips to Istanbul? Or maybe you’ve already signed up… either way, here is some useful information to know before you go!


    • You will need a visa to enter Turkey. This is a quick and easy online process and can be applied for here:
    • You will need to carry a copy of your visa with you and show it at immigration when you arrive.


    • Flying into Turkey you will be able to take laptops, tablets and kindles with you inside the cabin. Flying into London from Turkey, you will need to pack these in your hold luggage.
    • Portable chargers of a certain size are not permitted on flights from Turkey to London at all, and if you are carrying one that doesn’t meet the criteria, it will be confiscated and disposed of.


    • The weather in Istanbul is usually hot and dry, but it’s best to take a rain-jacket or umbrella in case of downpours.
    • You will need comfortable walking shoes or trainers, adequate sun protection (hats, sunglasses, sun-cream, etc), and women will need a scarf to cover their heads when entering mosques.
    • Travel plug adapter; you can use the same one you would use for Europe.

Entering Mosques

    • Women will need to have their heads covered when inside the mosques, so we advise carrying with a scarf with you.
    • If you are wearing tight trousers or a short skirt you will also need to cover up. Long skirts and headscarves are available to borrow outside all the main mosques (free of charge).
    • Men will also need to keep their shoulders and knees covered.


    • During Ramadan some restaurants, especially those close to mosques, will not serve alcohol. It is also true that some restaurants never serve alcohol, but fear not, you’ll be able find somewhere to unwind with a cold beer in the evenings.


    • This is a fast-paced trip involving a lot of walking and being on your feet all day, so please bare this in mind when packing shoes!
    • There will be a couple of days which require the use of a mini-bus, but these days also require a fair amount of walking.


    • The food in Istanbul is delicious. You can expect hot and cold meze platters, kebaps, Turkish ravioli known as ‘manti’, and many other wonderful dishes.
    • Vegetarians will always be able to find something good to eat too.
    • We recommend a night at Mikla Restaurant & Bar. Located at the top of the Marmara Hotel, the views from this rooftop restaurant are unrivalled, the cocktail list is inventive and the food is really outstanding – it is the world’s 51st best restaurant after all. You will need to book in advance to eat at this restaurant.


Get yourself booked onto our next East Meets West trip to Istanbul if you haven’t already, this trip sells out fast! Still need convincing? Check out our photo diary from our last trip – guaranteed to have you reaching for your passport!