BACKPACKER INDEX: US$35.20
Istanbul hotel prices
Hotels in Istanbul are more expensive than many people expect based on the city’s reputation, but good bargains are available during the off season. Unfortunately, the high season generally lasts from sometime in March through sometime in November, and also includes the time around the Christmas holidays. The low season starts sometime in November and goes through most of March, and during this period prices can be nearly cut in half. The peak is July and August, and outside of those months you can often find good prices on hotel-booking sites.
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Istanbul used to be considered a great budget destination, but things have changed a bit recently and now it’s nearly as expensive as many other large cities in southern Europe. It’s true that there are individual bargains to be had still, though if you want to live it up a bit it will definitely cost you.
Hotels in Istanbul are more expensive than you might have guessed, at least during prime tourism season in the warm months. Hostel beds continue to be a great deal, as do private rooms at many of these hostels, so that’s an area where you can keep costs lower. For some great bargains with excellent central locations check out our recommended Istanbul hotels list.
The main attractions and the popular tours are also fairly expensive, so it’s a good idea to figure out the highest priorities rather than just rushing around trying to do it all. Food and drinks are relatively cheap, and especially if you go for street food or the places aimed at the local crowd.
Istanbul attraction prices
|Hagia Sophia||This 6th century temple is the city's most famous attraction.||adults||12.25|
|Museum of Archeology||This popular museum is a look into the numerous ancient specimens in the region.||adults||4.90|
|Topkap? Palace||This wonderfully decorated Ottoman palace is a top draw.||adults||12.25|
Istanbul Transportation prices
|Taxi from airport to city center||17.16 - 22.06|
|Express bus from airport to city center||4.90|
|3km taxi ride in Istanbul||3.68 - 5.88|
|Metro ride in Istanbul||1.47|
|Tram ride in Istanbul||0.98|
Istanbul food and drink prices
|Budget breakfast||Your hotel will likely include breakfast, but if it doesn't you'll have many options of local favorites nearby.||1.96 - 3.92|
|Budget lunch||Sandwiches and other Mediterranean dishes are usually good bargains in local shops.||2.45 - 4.90|
|Budget dinner||Avoiding the most touristy places should find you with high quality at reasonable prices.||3.92 - 7.35|
|Beer (pint)||Restaurants and local pubs will be cheaper than night clubs for beer in Istanbul.||2.94 - 4.41|
|Raki (.17L pitcher)||This anise-flavored local liquor is traditionally diluted with water.||3.43 - 4.90|
|McDonald's Big Mac||A Big Mac is not much of a bargain in Istanbul.||2.94|
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|Airports||Atatürk International Airport (IST), Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW)|
Avg temps & precip
|Hi F||Lo F||Precip Inch|
The weather in Istanbul is usually rather pleasant all summer, as long as you don’t mind a bit of humidity. There’s almost no rain between May and September, so it’s generally the best time to visit, though it’s also the most crowded time.
Things can get cool and wet from December through March so this period is not ideal for the many outdoor attractions in the city. April, October, and November are recommended for shoulder season travelers who want smaller crowds and slightly lower prices.
Sunrise and sunset