General Information

About Istanbul

The strategic setting of Istanbul, the only city in the world built on two continents, has formed its destiny as an imperial capital for 1600 years. From the empires of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, this metropolis with its rich history and natural beauty, offers a friendly welcome and genuine hospitality. Numerous museums, ancient churches, synagogues, basilicas, mosques, mausoleums, palaces, bazaars and baths are standing today as the pride of all civilizations. With more than ten universities and many institutions, Istanbul is the most important centre of Turkish science and culture.

Moreover, useful information about Istanbul such as the news about Istanbul, transportation (car rental, air travel, land transportation, transportation by sea, travel by rail, Istanbul’s traffic), accomodation, shopping facilities, restaurants ( Turkish and world cuisines), art and culture (museums, culture and art center, concerthalls and venues, movie theatres, art galeries, libraries, theatres), Community and Government (consulates, embasies, tourism information, governorship, metropolitan municipality, local services and emergency phone numbers) is available at the following web site:


About Conference Venue

The EGEE'08 Conference will be held in Istanbul on 22-26 September 2008. The conference venue, the Harbiye Askeri Museum, is located centrally in Istanbul, within walking distance from Taksim Square, major hotels, restaurants and shopping areas. More information on the conference venue and meeting rooms can be found here.

You can also have a look at the conference map, which shows the conference venue and the airport as well as the recommended hotels.


How to get to Istanbul

Travel to Istanbul
The travel duration to Istanbul from most major cities of Europe is between two and four hours. Istanbul is served by more than 50 airlines from all parts of the world. The national carrier of Turkey, Turkish Airlines has branches in nearly all of the European countries.

By Plane

On arrival at the Ataturk International Airport (about 30 km from Taksim Square), you have the following options to go to the city center, Taksim:

  • Take a private transfer

  • Take a taxi to the hotels (approx 20 euro daytime and 30 euro nighttime)

  • Take a Havas shuttle service, which has the final stop at Taksim Square (approx 4,5 euro)

By Train
Istanbul has one main railway station on the European side. You can take a taxi from the station to reach your hotel or the conference venue.

For more information, please visit TCDD website.


By Car
If you are coming to Istanbul on the motorway 01, take the direction to Aksaray and then to Taksim. After Taksim, continue in the direction of Harbiye. The Conference Centre is situated next to the Hilton Hotel, Istanbul.


How to Get to the Harbiye Askeri Museum

The Harbiye Askeri Museum is within walking distance to most of the conference hotels around the Taksim Square. From the Taksim square it takes approximately 10 minutes to the conference center on foot. You can also have a look at the conference map.


Visa Requirements

Visa requirements for Turkey are depending upon the diplomatic agreements between the countries. Entry visa to Turkey can also be obtained at Istanbul Ataturk Airport for some countries. Participants are recommended to check with a Turkish consulate in their home country or with their travel agency for visa requirements.

You can also learn your visa requirements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.To avoid any inconvenience, apply for your visa in person and 1 month before you proceed to Turkey.

You may need an invitation letter from the EGEE08 local organisers in order to get your visa, in which case please contact: egee08(at)


Travel within Istanbul


Public transportation
The information about public transportation (bus, metro,tramway, light railway, nostalgic tramway, tunnel) is available here.
The information about the rail system network and geographical map is available here.
The information about the fast ferry’s, sea buses’s and conventional ferry’s time table and map is available here.


All taxis have taximeters, and the rates are reasonable. You can call the taxi station of Talimhane Region (which is the region most of conference hotels are situated in) at +90 212 254 11 12.


Other information


The Turkish language belongs to Ural-Altaic group and has an affinity to the Finno-Ugrian languages. Turkish is written in Latin alphabet and spoken by some 150-200 million people around the world.


99 % of the population is Muslim. In the large cities and especially in Istanbul, there are also many churches (Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian, protestant) and synagogues.


Banking and Exchange Facilities
Foreign money can be changed at banks during normal business days (09.00-17.00 Monday-Friday) as well as at hotels, at the airport and in exchange offices. Exchange rates are set daily by the Central Bank. All major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Automated bank machines are available at many points throughout the city and at the airport.


The Turkish lira is available in notes and coins. The exchange rate is determined daily; several banks and exchange offices are available. Travelers checks can be cashed in most banks. Hotels, some shops and some restaurants accept foreign currency. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that travelers can bring cash. Hotels, most restaurants and shops accept all major credit cards. (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Euro Card, Diners' Club)


Climate and Clothing
The dress is generally informal in Turkey. It’s nearly summer time in Istanbul during September and it’s sunny, rarely rainy and hot, temperature is app. 22-27 C during day-time and 18-20 C during night time.

It is advised to bring light clothing, raincoats and umbrellas.


Turkey operates on 220 volts, 50 Hz, with round-prong European-style plugs that fit into recessed wall sockets/points. Most hotels have a receptacle with 110 volts.


Turkey is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


Although service charge is included in most restaurants, leaving a tip at one's own discretion is appreciated.


Weight and measures

Turkey uses the metric system for weight and measures.




If you have further questions about the Conference, please contact the Local Organising Committee at egee08(at) or egee08(at)

The Professional Conference Organiser, Visitur, can also be contacted through congress(at)

  • Visitur Seyahat Ticaret A.S.
  • Sehit Muhtar Caddesi Ozerk Han No:17 Kat 2-3 Taksim - Istanbul
  • Phone: +90 212 254 32 30 pbx
  • Fax: +90 212 254 27 83

EGEE'08 Local Organisers