This blog post was updated on July 8, 2021.
Asia or Europe? East or West? Istanbul resides in the middle of two continents and countless clashing cultures. From its underground cisterns to its breathtaking mosques, churches and colorful bazaars, it isn’t so difficult for travelers to find out where they stand on Istanbul. Turkey’s largest city is right smack in the middle of things, meaning navigating around its dashes of this and that can take some getting used to for an adventurer. Before you take off and find yourself in Europe or Asia and not know it, here are a few helpful apps to pack in order to get around Istanbul.
Turkish Language Guide and Audio: Getting around Istanbul isn’t always easy, especially if you can’t speak a lick of Turkish. While many language apps will list words and phrases and their meanings, the Turkish Language Guide and Audio from WorldNomads.com provides audio to help travelers pronounce Turkish words and phrases. The language app includes useful travel related words and phrases pertaining to introductions, directions, accommodations, travel safety, food, drink and money. Around 40 phrases come with audio and there are over 100 phrases without audio. The Turkish Language Guide and Audio app is free to download for the iPhone.
TRAFI: Free to download and available for Android and iPhone, TRAFI is a public transport app for several destinations, including Istanbul. The app utilizes custom created algorithms and real time data to lend traffic and transport information. If you are trying to navigate Istanbul on public transport, the app includes information for IETT buses and metrobuses, the metro, trams, funiculars, ferries and minibuses. Travelers can search for a route they want to take, look up schedules and even the next arrival time at your stop. Travelers to Istanbul can find their way around with all of the city’s transportation options in one space.
Culinary Backstreets: Istanbul-An Eater’s Guide to the City: Some may think the way to get around a city involves public transportation and knowing a few local words and phrases. While these practical means of navigating Istanbul will help on your trip, if you want to get around the city by way of your stomach, there is an app for you. Culinary Backstreets: Istanbul-An Eater’s Guide to the City is a food centric app brought to the table by award winning food blog, IstabulEats.com. The app provides a guide to eating locally and authentically in Istanbul. Going far beyond the kebab, travelers can find unique Turkish cuisine and restaurants serving up local specialties. The app costs $4.99 and is available for the iPhone. You can always view the content even if you are offline just in case hunger strikes when Wi-Fi isn’t around.