Istanbul has always been one of my favourite cities in the world. It´s the perfect mix of western and eastern culture. With a great nightlife, excellent food and an atmosphere that makes you feel like you are in a sacred and holy country, Istanbul is a place you should see at least once in your lifetime and in this short guide I will tell you number by number how much your stay in the Turkish capital will cost.
Accommodation can vary from 8 EUR upwards and Istanbul has a lot of possibilities for you to find the right one. Whether you are traveling alone, with your family or with your partner, Istanbul has so many options and price ranges. Simply check different websites like Airbnb and a hotel/hostel search engine. You will definitely find something that suits you.
If you don´t know much about Airbnb check my review about it HERE, let me show you why I always stay with Airbnb and get a free 20 USD coupon for your first booking.
Transportation in Istanbul can be a little tricky. There is a very modern and well connected metro system but you need to know exactly which ticket you need and since most of Turkish ticket sellers can´t speak english, buying a ticket can become a 20 min task. You should check in advance how much your tickets cost or how much you want to charge your metro card with.
If you are planning to take only one or two rides during your stay in Istanbul, a single token for each ride should be enough. However, if you are traveling in groups or you are staying in the city for longer than 3 days, I would definitely recommend you to buy the Istanbulkart, a metro card available in many main stations and small shops. With the Istanbulkart you will get a single ticket for almost half the price of a token.
As in any other Muslim destination, alcohol in Istanbul can be very expensive, so expect to pay the same amount of money for a beer you would pay in England or Belgium. On the other hand, food is way cheaper than in many western countries and has a lot of variety. Fast food is also very common in Istanbul, so you can easily realize you have been eating well for a couple of days and you haven´t set foot into a restaurant.
Istanbul has a lot of cultural activities to do. As in any Muslim country, mosques are a very common attraction for western tourists and with some of the most impressive and beautiful mosques in the world, Istanbul is a great option to learn a little bit more about religion. Istanbul also has many museums, one of the biggest markets in the world and one of the best nightlives I´ve ever experienced.
- Book a river cruise directly at the pier next to the fisherman´s bridge. Sellers will aproach you and tell you about their services which are way more expensive than if you go to the pier and book yourself. Sehir Hatlari offers short and long Bosphorus tours for the best price and service.
- Mosques are not open to non-Muslims all the time. Check online when are you allowed to enter and dress appropriately for the visit.
- Istanbul is a great place for shopping, especially at the Grand Bazaar, remember to haggle the price, as the first price you hear is probably twice the real price.
Now is the time for book some flights and start planning your next trip to Istanbul!