Istanbul is the biggest city of Turkey, about 8 millions inhabitants. It is the main point-of-entry to the country if you come by air.
Planes arrive at the modern Ataturk airport (code IST), about 25km east of the city centre. There are various options for getting into Istanbul, you can take a taxi (about $10-$15), the express bus service (half-hourly, about $5 to Taksim),or a metro to Aksaray, and a tram on to Sultanahmet.
International trains from across Europe arrive at the Gar in Emionu, close to Sultanahmet. Asian trains arrive at Haydarpasha station. To get between the two, catch a ferry across the Bosophorous (see Get around).
Buses and coaches terminate at the colossal Otogar, about 10km east of the centre. Courtesy minibuses or taxis will easily get you into the centre.
Traffic in Istanbul can be manic, expect a stressful drive. It is necessary to pay a toll to cross the Bosphorous bridges.
Taxi is an easy and cheap way to get around. A taxi from Taksim to Sultahmet should cost only a few million lira. Hail any yellow taxi, all rides are metered and tipping is unnecessary.
Ferries travel between the European and Asian sides of the city. The crossing takes about 20 minutes and costs 1,000,000 lira, and gives great views of the Bosphorous.
A new tram service serves Sultanahmet and the suburbs South of the Golden Horn. Tickets can be bought on the platform.
The best area for nightlife is in Beyoglu, north of the Golden Horn.