5 Things we were told not to do when visiting Istanbul

We listened to 4 out of these 5 things.


1. The first thing we were told not to do was refuse tea when offered as it is a sign of Turkish hospitality and refusing tea is seen as a rude gesture. 

Turkish Tea

2. Never use a taxi as they tend to take alternate routes to increase the distance on the meter in order to over charge you. We were told that if we really had to use a taxi we should open our google maps and monitor the route that they are using to make sure they take the quickest route.

Istanbul Taxi

3. Another tip we had received was not to use Uber as they are not allowed in Istanbul and if the taxis were to see an Uber being used it could cause some conflict between the two modes of transportation. 

4. We were advised not to ever keep anything in our pockets when using the tram, buses or the metro in Istanbul as these places are notorious for pickpocketing. We were also advised to keep our backpacks in front of us and within sight to avoid anyone opening it if it was on our back.

Istanbul Tram

5. And finally, this was something we were told not to do even before we got to Istanbul. We were told not to take our kids with as it is a busy city with lots of congestion. Long waiting times before entering some of the museums and lots of walking and shopping which could make this trip unenjoyable for both the kids and us. 


With this in mind, we balanced our trip and made sure to include activities which the kids would enjoy. Click here to read about our 5 reasons to visit Istanbul with kids.