I will be traveling in Turkey for 2 weeks, and would like to buy a prepaid Turkcell SIM card while traveling. I read that the cost is much higher at the IST airport than in the City. If I purchase in the City (Istanbul), would it be easy to find shops (either TurkCell or 3rd party shops) through out the city? I plan to book a hotel in the Taksim square area so I will need to buy a sim card after checking into my hotel. Is there a price difference between TurkCell or 3rd party store? Thanks in advance for the input. Happy travel.
I did exactly this; went to the TurkCell store on Itstiklal—less than 10 mins walk from Taxim Sq, straight shot. I'd read that in the IST airport was more expensive, but I hate lingering in an airport if I don't have to. (I'm not really price-sensitive, seeing as data is comparatively SO cheap outside the US.)
It used to be that there was some network setting that had to be changed in iPhones, and I made a habit of always going to the phone companies' stores for direct support. The setting now changes automatically, but I still go to the main places—they are always familiar with the "tourist SIM" options.
FYI- I stayed at the Roommate Emir off Istiklal. Was very pleased with my choice.
Scudder, thanks for the response, how was your experience with cell phone reception signal strength / 4G LTE bandwidth? I will be traveling to other cities in Turkey after one week in Istanbul, did you have a chance to use cell phone service in other Turkish cities. Is there an option to replenish the SIM card and do it with English instruction? Thanks.
I spent 5 days in Istanbul before the 13 day RS tour, and a couple of days back in IST after that— so covered a lot of ground. Some dodgy coverage in the hills, but all the populated areas were strong. I usually get SIMs for both my phone and iPad, and tend to err on the side of buying the most data I might use (especially when it's so cheap). I don't remember how much data I bought, but I never restricted my usage, and I never had to reload.