Istanbul is a mysterious and mesmerizing city located on two continents at the same time. The majestic Bosporus strait divides it into two parts. The European side is separated by the Golden Horn and is occupied by the Old Town with its famous attractions, ancient temples, and Medieval architecture. The other side of the city is the contemporary and vivid business and commercial center. A rental car in Istanbul is an excellent opportunity to start a fascinating trip along the Golden Horn, suburbs, ancient ruins or the Black Sea coastline.
Peculiarities of driving regulations in Istanbul
Turkish people have quite a free driving style. Locals often neglect the road regulations, so it may be hard to get accustomed to their habits. Nevertheless, study the city map, look through the national rules and laws, and you’ll get used to it really quickly. The streets are frequently narrow and twisting, many of them are one-sided. Mind, that there are usually no signs indicating the types of the road.
What do you need to get a rental car in Istanbul
In order to get a rental car in Istanbul, you must have a driving license, your passport, and a credit card with a sum of money enough to cover the cost and the mortgage. Mind, that you must be over 19 or 21 years old to be allowed to rent a vehicle. Moreover, if you are less than 25, you need to pay an extra fee. Your driving experience also matters. It must be not less than 1 year. The mortgage is typically not more than $250 and it will be returned to you after the duration of your booking if everything is ok with the vehicle.
Where to get a rental car in Istanbul?
There are plenty of both local, regional and international car rental agencies who offer their services at competitive prices. One of the most popular and trustworthy companies are Sixt, Budget, National, Avis, Hertz, Budget, Europcar and Alamo.
The offices are scattered all over the town, but you can actually get a rental car right at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport with its 24/7 service providers. Another excellent variant to reserve a vehicle is to choose it online. Online booking gives you a chance to compare the prices at various service providers and find a rental car which fits both your budget and taste.
Price of a rental car in Istanbul
Turkish prices are really flexible and can vary on the season and the day of the week. The minimum rates are around $25 a day.
Hyundai I20 will cost you $32 per day. A bigger car like Nissan Qashqai or similar is available at a fair price of $57 a day. if you book your vehicle for more than 7 days, you’ll get a 30% off.
How can I get a cheap car rental in Istanbul?
Diesel-powered vehicles with a small engine is an excellent chance to cut your expenses. Due to the types of roads in the area, better choose an automobile with a mechanical gearbox. These two features can help you save on booking and fuel.
What’s included in the cost of a rental car in Istanbul
If you book a rental car in Istanbul, you shall get:
Unlimited kilometers per rental;
Road Fee / Road Licensing Fee;
Full gas tank;
Always ask about the insurance before getting your rental car. If it’s not included, you’ll have to pay extra $55 a day.
What to see in Istanbul?
Istanbul is rich in attractions and fascinating places. Research and prepare a list of sights you want to visit during your vacation. This will help you to plan the route accordingly. The city offers an excellent chance to dive into shopping or dance till the dawn at one of the numerous nightclubs or bars. Here are some of the most popular places you can’t miss:
The most outstanding and popular site is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque or the Blue Mosque. It’s the most important mosque in the town which is absolutely amazing not only on the outside but on the inside as well. Located in front of the Hagia Sophia, this building excites by its beauty. The walls in the main hall are painted blue, just like the sky, and the sunlight going through 250 windows create a special light and atmosphere inside the mosque;
Hagia Sophia is a former Christian patriarchal cathedral, later a mosque and now a museum and a symbol of the Byzantine Empire. It still has the remains of the mosaics, frescoes, and panels dating back to the XV century. This grand building with a huge dome, marble pillars, and colorful mosaics is the greatest surviving piece of the Byzantine architecture;
There’s a building which is seen from any district of the town. The Galata Tower is one of the symbols of the town, dating back to the XIV century. Standing on the hill, this tower has a breathtaking view of the Golden Horn and Bosporus. Make sure to charge your camera!
One-day trips from Istanbul in a rental car
In case you’ve suddenly got tired of the vivid and picturesque Istanbul and you want to have a real beach getaway, a rental car is the most efficient way to fulfill your desire. It will give you a chance to sunbathe and enjoy a drive along a beautiful Turkish coastline.
Only 100 km from the city you’ll find a cozy and green town situated on the coastline of the Black Sea called Agva. Its marvelous sandy bays, hidden in rocky cliffs, emerald forests, and deserted beaches won’t leave you indifferent. Agva is a perfect spot to escape from the city fuss and spend some time with your family and friends close to nature;
Şile is a charming town not far from the city. It attracts thousands of citizens during the weekends, so better plan your trip for the weekdays. The nature in the area is stunning. You can visit amazing caves with gigantic stalactites, lie on the white beaches or enjoy a walk to the lighthouse. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes with fresh seafood dishes and delicious local cuisine;
Poyrazköy is a cozy village where Bosporus flows into the Black Sea. Its beaches are almost not touched by the urban hand. Besides, there are plenty of stunning restaurants with phenomenon dishes. Even the most sophisticated gourmets will be satisfied by the quality and taste of the food in this village. Besides, the views from the terraces are adorable!