local info for visitors

Dear partners of Trans-making!

Welcome to Istanbul… We wish you a pleasant stay and hope that you make fruitful acquaintances in terms of your profession. amberPlatform team has prepared this guide to help and guide you during your stay in Istanbul.

What is included in this guide?

    • Brief information about the city
    • Venues
    • Accommodation
    • Where to go dining and/or partying
    • Art locations to visit
    • English bookstores and music stores
    • Emergency numbers
    • Other related and/or useful information

This is an exclusive guide meant to orient you about the places to eat, drink, visit and hang out in the larger Beyoglu, Sisli, Beşiktaş and Kadıköy regions that include Gümüşsuyu, Taksim, Istiklal Street, Cihangir, Karakoy;  Harbiye, Feriköy, Bomonti, Pangaltı; Türkali; Osmanağa, Caferağa, Rasimpaşa neighborhoods. In many ways, the areas are central ones loved and frequented by many Istanbulites  with lots of opportunities to eat, drink, listen to music and to go out and have fun. This guide is by no means exhaustive and reflects the preferences and experiences of the organization committee. You are equally welcome to explore the city on your own.

Should you have any further questions please feel free to contact Zeynep. She will be glad to assist you!

Brief Information About Istanbul

Beyoglu and Taksim are relatively young neighborhoods compared to the old parts of Istanbul, which are located the other side of the Golden Horn. To visit the old city, you take the short subway ride from Taksim to Kabatas and take the tram that travels through the old peninsula, as we call it here and continues onto the outskirts of the city. If you want to see the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace, your stop is Sultanahmet.

As for the larger and newer Beyoglu area where the festival takes place, you will notice many 19th century buildings. These neighbourhoods were mostly inhabited by the non-Muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire i.e. Greeks, Jews and Armenians. In the course of Turkey’s modern history, these neighbourhoods experienced ups and downs in terms of popularity and safety.

Istiklal Street used to be the hippest, most chic neighborhood at different points of the 20th century, the place where a bourgeois urban modernity rst arose. Nowadays it is not as posh as some other parts of Istanbul but is considered a cultural and political center. In addition to many embassies, churches, synagogues etc. it houses many bars, cafes, restaurants, clubs as well as bookstores, music stores and the like. It is also home to more than a hundred NGOs and other organizations that operate in Turkey.

Restaurant/Café/Bar/Club List 

Here you may find the link of the map with places mentioned below

Here you will find a list of some restaurants/cafés/bars/clubs. Most restaurants oering Turkish food will be equally suitable for vegetarians. The category “zeytinyagli” stands for light dishes without meat cooked with olive oil, served cold or lukewarm and the selection will be satisfactory. Meat eaters will of course have no problem!

Cafés, Restaurants and Clubs

EspressoLab Right next to the ferry station at Karaköy
Tips:Take first floor. There is a lovely

Kuçe Food Collective
Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi, Öğüt Sk. No:18, 34435 Beyoğlu
$ – no alcool

Zencefil (Vegetarian)
– very near to Taksim square –
Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi, Kurabiye Sk. 8-10, 34435 Beyoğlu

Hayata Sarıl Lokantası
– very near to Taksim square –
Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi, Kurabiye Sokak No:1 D:No: 3, 34435 Beyoğlu
$ – no alcool

Ek Biç Ye İç
– 12 minutes walk away –
Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi  İnönü Cd. No:9, 34437 Beyoğlu

– 24 minutes walk away –
Bozkurt Mahallesi, Eşref Efendi Sk No:44, 34375 Şişli

Places near Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Univertsity
– 12 minutes walk away –
Lovely café with photo books.

– 12 minutes walk away –
A café, an exhibition place, an open space for meetings.

Karaköy Çorba Evi
– 14 minutes walk away –
It’s not a fancy place, but offers really good quality (and quantity 🙂 ) of soups.

– 13 minutes walk away –
It can be a good option for vegetarians and vegans.

– 14 minutes walk away –
Turkish “lokanta” with a modern touch

Küff Yeldeğirmeni

Garda Cafe


Levent Pide borek salonu

Benazio Coffee


Yeldegirmeni Sandviccisi

Emergency Numbers

AMBULANCE: 112 (all over Turkey)

International Hospital Ambulance

Tel: +90 212 663 30 00

On Arrival

You are allowed to buy things at the Duty Free shop on arrival, e.g. 3 boxes of cigarettes. The Duty Free in Istanbul is cheaper than the ones in Western Europe.
Transportation From the Airport to the Hotel Havatas shuttle buses frequently travel between the airports and Taksim. They cost 12TL from AHL (Ataturk Airport-European side) and take off every half an hour from AHL. (www.havatas.com.tr)


Citizens of some countries are required to obtain a visa before arrival and some may obtain it at the airport upon arrival. There is a counter at the airport, before you pass the passport control, where you can buy the visa (a stamp in your passport). You can find the most updated visa information on the website



Turkey is 1 (one) hour ahead of GMT.


The electric current is 220V AC with a frequency of 50 Hertz. European standard plugs with two round pins are used.

Money and Credit Cards

TL is the currency in Turkey. Approximate Exchange rate in August 2018:

1 € =  6,56TL.

In the city centers you will find many banks and cash machines where you can get money with your bank card or credit card. There are many exchange offices as well. Major credit cards like VISA, MasterCard are accepted in most of the hotels, restaurants and shops.


Istanbul is a relatively safe city compared to cities of its own size but a word of precaution about being street-smart seems necessary. It is not that we mean to teach you how to be one; just a few points about the specific aspects of our city. Please do not follow anyone oering to lure you away from a main street under the pretext of selling something or inviting you into a club or other joint. The exception to this is the ordinary shopkeepers who have a habit of talking to and inviting tourists to their shops. What you want to do is up to you if the establishment looks respectable and the people decent. If you don’t want to deal with sellers or anyone for that matter, polite ignorance is the best way. Just say no and keep going on.

Please beware that like in any other metropole, people inviting you for a drink or dinner may seem friendly but there is always a chance that you end up paying a huge bill…

Note that all taxis have taximeters installed (either right beside the gear box or reflected on the rear view mirror). The meter starts standard at 4 Turkish Lira (TL) and charges 2.5 TL per km. The minimum amount they charge is 10 TL.There is no night rate.