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Istanbul has been the gateway between Europe and Asia for centuries and this is where east truly meets west. The largest city in Turkey is festooned with fascinating sights but there’s much more to Istanbul than the Topkapi Palace. Get out to some of the gorgeous beaches, fantastic old mosques and World War One battlefields that are a short drive away. Hiring a carin Istanbul will help you explore the region in no time.
Most visitors arrive at Atatürk Airport , the main hub for flights to Turkey – it’s easy to find a scheduled flight to Istanbul. The airport is 15 miles west of the city centre and has several major car rental companies offering vehicles to suit all budgets.
Perhaps the best way to reach central Istanbul is on the D-100 coastal road, which has some gorgeous scenery to welcome you to Turkey. It’s also possible to collect or drop your rental car in Taksim, close to many of the main attractions.
In both Ataturk Airport and Taksim, there are offices for Europcar, Avis, Budget, Hertz and Sixt, as well as some local Istanbul car hire companies. They are usually open from about 9am til 7pm, including Sundays.
Around Istanbul you’ll discover some marvellous places to visit. About two and a half hours away is Edirne, not far from the Bulgarian border, where you can see beautiful 15th and 16th century mosques.
Gallipoli and the Dardanelles are about three and a half hours’ drive, with much of the route along the coastline of the Sea of Marmara. To the south you can find Ephesus, with ruins from ancient Greece and Roman times including the Library of Celsus. Allow about seven hours for the drive through some of Turkey’s scenic western areas.
Istanbul is a busy city, so expect some congestion and not every driver obeying the road rules. Beyond the city, driving can be very enjoyable in Turkey although there are some things to bear in mind. The speed limit is 31mph in the city, 56mph on open roads and 75mph on motorways – beware of speed traps. Police have the power to issue an on-the-spot fine for an offence and there is a zero drink-drive limit – any trace of alcohol in the bloodstream is considered to be drink-driving.
To start organising your trip to Istanbul and other parts of Turkey, use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.