Photo Courtesy of Dustin Aksland

The biggest and fastest-growing airport in the world is Atatürk International Airport (IST), located on the European shores. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW), on the Asian side, also caters to a range of commercial airlines. International buses from Greece and Bulgaria, the Bosporus Express train between Bucharest and Istanbul, and the daily flotilla of luxury cruise liners also bring travelers to the shores of Istanbul.

Pack a pair of comfy walking shoes. Your two feet paired with Istanbul’s public transportation network is the easiest and cheapest way to get around. Most Istanbulites don’t own a vehicle because, at 3TL (US$1.50) per person per trip, the Metro (trains), trams, ferries, and buses are a faster, more affordable way to get through Istanbul traffic. Purchase an Istanbulkart for discounts on public transit, or revel in the pace of life in old Istanbul where most attractions are within easy walking distance. Taxis are available, as are dolmu┼čes (literally meaning "stuffed"), which are shared taxis traveling popular city routes.