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        About Istanbul

        Istanbul is the largest Turkish city. This unique city is located in both Europe and Asia. With 15 million inhabitants, it is the most populous city in Europe. Istanbul is home to 19% of Turkey's population, which speaks for itself as to how large this city actually is. Istanbul was formerly known as Constantinople, but it has changed several names in the past. It was founded in the 7th century BC by the Greeks. It was always an important city, no matter what civilizations or cultures ruled this area, Istanbul gained importance from century to century. It was the capital of Turkey for about 1600 years. This is mainly due to its location, as it was an important trade hub on the Silk Road. In fact, it is one of the most important cities in the history of mankind.

        Today, modern Istanbul is a fascinating tourist destination. You can feel the spirit of the past in every corner of Istanbul, but this spirit of the past combines perfectly with modernity because today Istanbul is undoubtedly a modern city. This city has so many faces and there are so many amazing things to see and do that you definitely need to make a good plan before visiting Istanbul. There are numerous historical, cultural and religious sites here that are worth visiting. Besides that, there are also endless opportunities for shopping, partying, etc. Of course, there are also countless business opportunities in this city. Istanbul is home to numerous headquarters of major Turkish companies. No matter how many days you will spend in Istanbul, one thing is for sure: you will never get bored because there is always something to do or a place to go. Also, there are many fantastic restaurants here in the city, from small family restaurants to some of the most famous places among foodies.

        As you walk through the streets of Istanbul, you will meet so many nice and friendly locals. People here are very talkative and always ready to help, so you will really feel at home here in Istanbul. One of the attractions of this city is also the cats. There are really many cats in Istanbul and people are very threatening. They have a special place in society. It is interesting that in the past cats were a kind of defender of the city. They defended it from rats and mice, which is probably another reason why people respect cats here.

        So, if you are going on a road trip through Turkey, you should definitely put Istanbul on the list of cities where you will stop and spend a few days. Of course, this is also a perfect starting point for your road trip. Renting a car here is very easy and all you need to do is have a good plan and then just buckle up and drive safely.

        Basic info and car hire in Istanbul

        • Location: Turkey
        • Population: 15,840,900
        • Official language: Turkish
        • Currency: Turkish Lira
        • Weather: Istanbul has a borderline Mediterranean climate   
        • Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
        • Road conditions:  Most roads in Istanbul are in good condition.
        • Car hire in Istanbul:  The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Istanbul is at the Istanbul Airport. Please note that prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Istanbul!

         Driving in Istanbul

        Driving in Istanbul can be quite stressful at times. Traffic is very heavy here, so you need to keep your full attention on the road at all times. There are many buses, cars, motorcycles and cabs on the road and many of them honk their horns and are in a hurry, so you can imagine that it can be quite chaotic at times. To explore the city centre, it is best to leave your car and explore the city on foot and in combination with public transport.

        Of course, the streets of Istanbul are not all chaos, there are also traffic jams during rush hour, but once you leave the city centre, the traffic is not so heavy. The roads are in good condition, but the signage is not always easy to see. It is also good to know that local drivers often run red lights. So do not be surprised if this happens while you are waiting in your car for a green light.

        There are interesting facts about traffic in major Turkish cities. The largest city, Istanbul, has the highest percentage of traffic congestion at 51%. Izmir is second with a congestion percentage of 30% and Ankara is third with 28% and Antalya is fourth with 26%.

        • Age limits: The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old and with some suppliers for people over 75 years of age. There is no young drivers fee for any car groups. This information is visible in the search engine with Orbit Car Hire.
        • International Driving Permit:  In case your driver’s license is printed in the Latin alphabet, you do not normally need to have an International Driving Permit for Renting a car in Turkey. An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements.
        • Additional papers:  Identification(passport or ID), a valid driving license, and valid proof of insurance. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.  
        • Additional requirements:  Glasses (in case you need glasses, you must always have a spare pair in the car), light bulbs (are usually already in the car and are provided by the car rental company), 2 warning triangles, First aid kit, fire extinguisher.
        • Children in the car:  If you have a child as a passenger, there are stricter rules that you should follow in Turkey as a driver. An appropriate child restraint is used for children between 3 and 11 years old and less than 1.35 meters tall. As per the country’s laws, a 12-month-old child weighing up to 9 kg should be positioned in the safety seat at the back of the car with the baby’s head facing the rear windows.
        • Driving side of the road: Right hand
        • Lights:  If you are from the UK you need Headlamp converters (stickers you put on your headlights when you're driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way)
        • General speed limits: Urban areas: 50 km/h, Double lane roads: 90 km/h, Motorways: 120 km/h

        Car Hire in Istanbul

        Most popular car hire at Istanbul

        The most selected hire car in Istanbul is the Fiat 500, Renault Clio or Opel Corsa. Renault Captur is also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Istanbul are mini and economy. 

        Popular Driving Routes

        Popular One-Way car hire from Istanbul

        Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside of Istanbul. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time by not returning to your original location. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the Turkey.

        • Istanbul-Gebze (54km with approximately 1 hour of drive)

        • Istanbul-Izmit (103km with approximately 1,5 hours of drive)

        • Istanbul-Corlu (115km with approximately 1,5hours of drive)

        • Istanbul-Bursa (153km with approximately 1,5 hours of drive)

        Popular day trips from Istanbul

        Princes Islands, Kilyos, Belgrad Ormani, Bursa, Anadolu Kavağı, Gallipoli Historical National Park, Çanakkale, Troy, Golden Horn, Şile and Ağva...

        What to see in Istanbul

        There are so many different things to see and do in Istanbul that you really need to have a good plan if you want to see as many things as possible. There are numerous museums and many other historical, cultural and religious sites that are worth visiting in this amazing city. Hagia Sophia is probably the most famous attraction of Istanbul. This stunning building was built in 537 AD and was the greatest architectural achievement of the Byzantine Empire. It was built as a cathedral and was the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, but in the 15th century, when the Ottomans took over the city, it became a mosque. When you enter this amazing building, you will be fascinated by how beautiful it is. The combination of Christian and Islamic religions can be clearly seen in the decorations.

        Sultanahmet Square or as many would say, the heart of Istanbul is at the centre of the city's main tourist attractions. So, if you want to explore the city properly, you will surely come to this square often. One of the attractions besides the Hagia Sophia in this square is also the Blue Mosque. Admission to this unique mosque is free and it is really a perfect opportunity to see the inside of the mosque and learn more about the Islamic religion and culture.

        The Grand Bazaar is another must-see when visiting Istanbul. This is the main market of the city and the offerings here are amazing. You can stroll around this market for hours and you will not get bored. It is wonderful to have tea or coffee here and just watch the people walking by.

        The Theodosian Walls are an ancient fortification that surrounds Istanbul. The most amazing thing about this attraction is that these fortifications have been there since the beginning of the city. They were built when the city was founded. So this is a great opportunity to see something from the early days of this amazing city.

        Other places you can visit here: Virgin Tower, Hodjapasha Cultural Centre, Çamlıca Hill, Basilica Cistern, Chora Church, Kariye Museum, Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace, Suleyman the Magnificent Mosque, Eminonu Square, Galata Bridge, Rustem Pasha Mosque, Ortakoy, Istiklal Street, Spice Market, Fener Quarter, Balat Quarter, Eyup Sultan Mosque, Hippodrome,...

        Drive your rental car beyond Istanbul

        Turkey is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and travellers from all over the world. This colourful country has so many different things to offer. You can either explore the Mediterranean coast, visit impressive mosques, explore amazing cities and breathtaking natural landscapes, enjoy delicious cuisine, have an unforgettable shopping experience and much more.

        Turkey is divided into 7 main regions and each of them is unique and different from the other six. In each region, you can find something for yourself. In every single region of Turkey, there are both big cities and beautiful untouched nature. The regions are the Eastern Anatolia region, Central Anatolia, the Black Sea region, the Mediterranean region, the Aegean region, the Marmara region and the Southeastern Anatolia region. It is good to know that Turkey has something to offer no matter when you come here. Many people know Turkey only for its cuisine, cities and monuments, but there are many other things in Turkey that will surprise you. For example, you can go skiing, because there are some excellent ski resorts. One of the most popular mountain destinations in Turkey is Palandoken, which is located in the eastern region of Erzurum and is also the highest mountain in the country with 3125 metres. But there are also some other popular ski resorts that you can visit, for example, Saklikent Ski Resort - Antalya, Uludag Ski Resort - Bursa, Ilgaz Mountain Resort - Kastamonu, Davraz Ski Centre - Isparta, Erciyes Ski Resort - Kayseri...

        The largest city in the country is Istanbul, while the capital is Ankara. One of the most interesting facts about Istanbul is certainly the fact that this city is located on two continents, in Europe and in Asia, the two sides being connected by the Galata Bridge. Istanbul is divided by the Bosphorus: the west bank is in Europe and the east bank is again in Asia.

        But of course, there are really countless sights worth visiting in this country. If you are taking a road trip through Turkey, you really should have a good plan because there are so many destinations to visit and so many different things to see and do in each of these places that you just can not go everywhere. It's good to get well informed and then visit the places according to your own preferences and at your own pace. Here are some suggestions: Goebekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill), the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, the Greek temple of Artemis, the archaeological site of Bergama Acropolis,. The ancient city of Aphrodisias, Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Edirne, Bursa, Cesme, Bodrum, Konya, Urfa, Cappadocia, the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) Mosque, the Topkapı Palace, Pamukkale, Mount Nemrut, Oeluedeniz, Aspendos, Patara, Ani, Safranbolu, the Sumela Monastery...

        If you are planning a visit to Turkey, you can be sure that you will have a great time. This country really has so many different things to offer that every tourist and traveller will find something for them here. You can either explore history by visiting museums, historical sites, monuments, etc. Or you can come here to spend an active holiday with numerous sports activities that you can do here. You can also just come here and relax on the beaches, in spas or wellness facilities... then you can explore the untouched nature and eat delicious food, so as written, there is something for every type of traveller. Fasten your seatbelts and drive safely!


        Visit Istanbul

        Where to eat, drink, and party in Istanbul

        Istanbul is a fantastic place for all foodies. There are so many great restaurants here. And most importantly, there are many local dishes that you must try. It is common knowledge that Turkish cuisine is delicious and special. There are so many dishes that originated in Turkey that we order slightly modified in some western countries. When you are in Istanbul, you have the perfect opportunity to try some truly authentic Turkish cuisine. Of course, here in Istanbul, you have a choice of many restaurants where you can order dishes from other parts of the world, but it is best to take the opportunity to discover the local cuisine.

        Here are some dishes that you have to try while you are in Istanbul: Döner, Lahmacun, İçli Köfte, Meze, Kebap, Balık Ekmek, Mantı, Karnıyarık, Kadınbudu Köfte, Hünkar Beğendi, Kuzu Tandır, Pide, Yaprak Sarma, Izgara Balık, Su Böreği...

        Best restaurant in Istanbul

        Mivan Restaurant Cafe

        Kosk 1981 Cafe & Restaurant

        Sultan Palace Cafe Restaurant

        Rainbow Fish & Meat Restaurant

        Pepo Restaurant

        Garden 1897 Restaurant


        What you need to know about renting a car

        What do I need to hire a car in Turkey?

        credit card in the name of the main driver needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle as well as on your voucher. It is important to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver as well as additional drivers when it applies. An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not clearly identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements. You will need to have identification with you such as a passport and ID cards. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.

        How old do I need to be to rent a car in Turkey?

        The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old and with some suppliers for people over 75 years of age. There is no young drivers fee for any car groups. This information is visible in the search engine with Orbit Car Hire.

        Do I need car insurance in Turkey?

        Insurances are very important when renting a car and can be different between countries. When renting a car in Turkey with Orbit Car Hire the prices will include mandatory insurances in the country.

        Do I need a credit card to rent a car in Turkey?

        In most cases, a credit card is required to be presented in the name of the main driver. A security deposit may be required when renting a car so it is important to have sufficient funds on the credit card. When searching for a car at Orbit you can see credit card requirements from all our suppliers.

        Do I need an international driving license in Turkey?

        In case your driver’s license is printed in the Latin alphabet, you do not normally need to have an International Driving Permit for Renting a car in Turkey. 

        How do I find the cheapest car hire in Turkey?

        You can find cheap car hire by comparing prices with all major car rentals at Orbit Car Hire. A good idea can be to book in advance as the prices can increase closer to the travel period.

        What is the cheapest rental car in Turkey?

        You will find the mini car category or economy cars to be the cheapest car categories. Vehicles such as Renault Clio and Hyundai i20 often provide the best prices. 

        What is the best car rental company in Turkey?

        You may find excellent service provided by companies such as Alamo, Enterprise, Europcar, Keddy, Auto union, Pandora Car Hire and NoktAuto rent a Car Companies. 

        What types and makes of rental car deals can I find in Turkey?

        You will find car types such as mini, economy, compact, Full-Size, and luxury cars. Popular rental cars are Hyundai i20, Renault Clio, Peugeot 308, Ford Fiesta. 

        Does my rental car have unlimited mileage when I book it for Turkey?

        Most car rentals in Turkey offer unlimited mileage in their offers. 

        Is it safe to hire a car in Turkey?

        It is perfectly safe to hire a car in Turkey. Driving in Turkey can be a challenge, but it is completely safe. 

        Car Hire Locations in Istanbul 2 location(s) found

        Find The Best Car Hire Companies In Istanbul

        • AbbyCar
        • AcaRent
        • Alamo Car Hire
        • AutoUnion Car Rental
        • Autovia Car Rental
        • Car Hire with Keddy by Europcar
        • Carwiz Rent a Car
        • Enterprise Rent a Car
        • Europcar
        • GoldCar Rental
        • Green Motion Car Rental
        • National
        • Noktauto
        • Optimo Rent a Car
        • Pandora Car Hire
        • Right Cars
        • Sixt Rent a Car
        • SurPrice