During the height of this city’s glory, truly all roads led to it. After all, it served as the capital for several great empires. Even up to now, you still can have easy access to Istanbul and to Turkey.
Your options would be to get into Istanbul by plane, by bus or train and by ship or ferry. The local carrier (Turkish Airlines), as well as most major international airlines offer non-stop flights to Turkey. The city has two international airports, one on each side. On the European side is the Sabiha Gokcen Airport and on the Asian side is the Ataturk Airport.
If you are already in Europe and are thinking of going by land, there are highways that provide a link to most European cities – Germany, France, Bulgaria, Greece, Syria, Russia, Romania and even Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria are but a land trip away from Istanbul. As for bus trips to Istanbul, you will find that when you are in Turkey, there are a great number of luxury buses that ply the roads to Istanbul. You don’t need to make your reservations. However, you should take note that during major holidays, all the transport systems can get a bit crowded.
Now, if you prefer the privacy of driving your own car and traveling at your own pace, you can rent a car and drive to the city. There are two borders you can cross to get into Turkey. You can either get into the country via Ipsala in Greece and Kapikule in Edirne. However, if you are considering driving to Turkey, it would be best that you are an experienced driver, as driving along the streets of Turkey and Istanbul will require all of your skills. Prepare yourself for heavy and crazy traffic.
You can also make your visits to Istanbul by way of the trains. Although the Orient Express is no longer available, there still are not-so-modern trains that you can ride en route to Istanbul. These are somewhat slower when compared to traveling by bus, but for those who have all the time in the world and who are traveling on a budget, train travel is an excellent option. You get to see more of the countryside while enjoying more comfort and seating room.
And because Istanbul is virtually bordered by water – the Bosphorus, the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea, you can choose to ride the ferry or come in style by riding on a cruise ship. The city has a number of ports by which the ferries can dock. There are ferries plying the route along Greece’s Aegean Sea and can bring you from Italy to Turkey. The most common train terminals are the Sirkeci station or the Haydarpasa station.