Best Apps For Visiting Istanbul

Istanbul | © Matthias Ripp/Flickr
Istanbul | © Matthias Ripp/Flickr
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
13 December 2016

Istanbul is definitely a city of endearing chaos, and slowly but surely app developers have begun to release helpful technological tools that make life in the city much easier. From ordering a cab to figuring out the maze that is the Grand Bazaar, we look at the most helpful Istanbul apps.

Grand Bazaar

As one of the largest and most crowded markets in the city, the Grand Bazaar can be a bit tricky to get around. Its maze-like streets are also not much help when you’re trying to find a particular shop or are looking for a particular item. The Grand Bazaar app is a real lifesaver for the covered market, because it not only allows you to search for a particular shop or restaurant but also specific items. You can also use the app to locate a bathroom or an ATM, and all of it is displayed on a map that shows your location and a route to your destination.

Screenshot of Grand Bazaar App

Street Art Istanbul

In recent years Istanbul has become quite the destination for street artists from abroad, as well as local artists who have begun to really get out on the streets and make their marks all over the city’s walls. The Street Art Istanbul app is quite handy in giving you a tour of all the best open-air art pieces strewn across Istanbul, and also includes a short description of the artist. The app is constantly updated with new art, so you’ll have to check back to see if there’s anything you’ve missed out on. Also a great tool for touring the city from a very novel perspective.

Screenshot of Street Art Istanbul App


One of the best apps to figure out how to get from point A to B in Istanbul, Trafi not only shows you which modes of public transportation you need to take but also how long the whole journey will last. The step-by-step instructions are very detailed, leaving no room for doubt, and the best part is that the app also monitors traffic in its time and route calculation. All the major public transit schedules, including ferries, in one app is a pretty great tool for a city where traffic is often a nightmare.

Screenshot of Trafi App


Even though taxicabs are a plenty in Istanbul, like one of life’s sweet paradoxes, it’s almost impossible to find one when you need it most. BiTaksi is one of Istanbul’s most popular apps, and allows you to search for a cab in your vicinity that arrives within minutes as you follow its route from the provided map. Through the app you have all the information regarding your particular cab, from its licence plate to the driver’s name and phone number, so you can contact them if there’s a mix up or you just happen to forget something in the back seat. After every trip, you can also rate your ride, which is a great motivator for drivers to be reliable, as well as the fare calculator that eliminates any chance of foul play.

Screenshot of BiTaksi App

Sesli Sözlük

When in Istanbul, it’s always a great help to know at least some Turkish words or to be able to translate something quickly, such as a sign, to make your life a bit easier. The Sesli Sözlük app is the most reliable dictionary that translates Turkish into English, and also other languages such as German, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Italian, and Spanish (among many others). Sesli Sözlük also has a translation tool where you can enter whole sentences that you’d like to be translated, and if you’re confused about the pronunciation, you can click the audio button to hear it out loud.

Screenshot of Sesli Sözlük App


Another favorite of Istanbul dwellers who sometimes avoid going out for a meal, Yemeksepeti is the ultimate tool for ordering in. After you register with your address, the app provides a comprehensive list of all the restaurants that deliver to your area, after which you can browse until you find exactly what you’re in the mood for. From fast food to the healthier options, Yemeksepeti’s varieties are endless, but it does make sure to save your favorites.

Screenshot of YemekSepeti App

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