It doesn't really matter. If you are staying on the European side Atatürk Airport is slightly closer, and Sabiha Gökçen is slightly better for the Asian side, but it doesn't make that much of a difference. Pick whichever one has better / cheaper tickets!
Will I need a Visa?
Most probably! Fortunately it's very straightforward. There are kiosks to buy a visa on arrival (before passport control) or you can apply online here [link].
We will try and organise transport from around the Taksim/Sultanahmet area once we know where everyone is staying. If you prefer to make your own arrangements or are staying elsewhere, your best bet is to hop in a taxi. Taxis in Istanbul are pretty reasonable, and drivers will know the venue (ask for “Suada Club” or “Galatasaray Adası”). You will be dropped off by the jetty, and there’s a shuttle boat that leaves regularly to-from the island.
Where to start? If you’re interested in Roman, Byzantine or Ottoman history the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Basilica Cisterns are a good start. If museums and palaces are your thing then the Chora Church, Archaeological Museum and Topkapı Palace are well worth a look. For shopping, souvenirs, and general entertainment head to the Grand Bazaar or Taksim Square.
Best guess is mild/ warm without much rain [link], with average temperatures around 6 to 14 degrees centigrade. However spring-time is unpredictable. It probably won’t be hot enough for flip-flops and shorts, and bring a coat for the evenings.
We have a small gift list on amazon, however:
We realise it’s a long way to travel, so please don’t worry too much about extra gifts. Given the added difficulty of carrying stuff over, we really do mean it when we say it’s just great to have people come.
If you would like to gift cash, any donations will go towards setting our new home.