Istanbul, the city of the past, the present and the future. Istanbul not only joins continents, it also joins cultures and people. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a city; the mysticism of the East and the modernity of the West, the constant time travel between past and the future, the balance of the traditional and the contemporary.
Istanbul is one of the most visited and important places in the world, a central hub connecting Asia and Europe, blending the past and the future, bringing together cultures and people from all over the world. Visit Istanbul and feel the harmony of the opposites.
- South African passport holders can now apply and purchase a visa for Turkey online.
- A minimum of 48 hours are required to process this application.
- It is recommended to buy travel insurance for any unforeseen situations whilst travelling in Turkey.
Visa Cost: Free
Compulsory Vaccinations Required: No.
Please note: Visa and vaccination information is correct at time of publish and are subject to change
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
Turkey is a destination that can be visited year-round. Summers are hot and dry and temperatures can be particularly high from June through to September – great for the beach worshipper or an island hopper. Generally, the best times to visit are spring (April-May) and autumn (September-November) as the temperature is pleasant but not overbearing.
AREAS TO VISIT AND THEIR MAIN ATTRACTIONS
The colourful and chaotic Grand Bazaar is the heart of İstanbul’s Old City and has been so for centuries. The Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world housing over 3000 shops, is more than just a sightseeing spot. Ever since the 15th century, it has been bustling with activity.
THE BLUE MOSQUE
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque by many tourists because of its bluish interior decoration, is the most important mosque of Istanbul standing next to the Byzantine Hippodrome in the old city centre. When Ahmed I died in 1617, he was buried near the mosque and a mausoleum was built over his tomb.
The Topkapı Palace, or the Seraglio, is a large museum in Istanbul, Turkey. In the 15th century, it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. Construction began in 1459.
The Süleymaniye crowns one of İstanbul’s seven hills and dominates the Golden Horn, providing a landmark for the entire city. Though it’s not the largest of the Ottoman mosques, it is certainly one of the grandest.
KARIYE MUSEUM (CHORA CHURCH)
Istanbul has more than its fair share of Byzantine monuments, but few are as drop-dead gorgeous as this mosaic- and fresco-laden church.
The former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in AD 537, during the reign of Justinian. It is famous for its large dome. It was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time