Cheap Hotels in Istanbul

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Cheap areas to stay in Istanbul

Istanbul is home to more endearingly ramshackle hostels and earthy guesthouses than you can shake a cup of cardamom-flavored coffee at, so it's hardly surprising that shoestring travelers have plenty to choose from. And you don't have to sacrifice location for budget either, because many bargain beds can be had between the tight-knit cobbles of Sultanahmet – the heart of old Istanbul – or close to the enthralling emporiums of the Old Bazaar, with cheap digs in historic Eminonu. Other wallet-friendly options are found clustered around buzzing Taksim Square.

Cheap hotels in Istanbul

Giving budget travelers great bang for their buck with 28 plush guestrooms that look like 4-star accommodations, the Manesol Old City Bosphorus also boasts a prime location overlooking the boat-dotted waters of the Bosphorus. On the far side of the Fatih area, where the Blue Mosque peaks above the Byzantine roofs, the trio of cozy Turkic-themed apartments at Sah Otel is great for sightseeing trips. And for those who want to mingle with the backpacker crowd, there's the enchantingly named Rapunzel Hostel, replete with exposed-brick walls, vaulted ceilings, and a breathtaking rooftop terrace.

Where to find cheap food in Istanbul

Between the sizzling kebab houses and the endless streams of kofta holes-in-the-wall that line the maze of crisscrossing roadways in the Galata area, it's hardly surprising that Istanbul’s seriously well primed for foodies on a budget. Alternatively, you could move south to the neighborhood of Sultanahmet, around the giant Blue Mosque, where al fresco mezze restaurants and Middle Eastern grill houses spill out onto the cobbles and the leafy streets. For an even bigger culinary adventure, hop across to the Asian side, where cheap rustic Ottoman tavernas and Anatolian patisseries lurk on every corner.

Cheap things to do in Istanbul

Thanks to its mosaic of Byzantine and Ottoman treasures, the gorgeous Baroque architecture of the old Galata area, and the winding courses of the Bosphorus, there's no shortage of things to see for gratis. Take one of the free walking tours to squeeze the history from each Doric column and arabesque minaret between Sultanahmet and the Galata Tower, and then hit the museums. The big ones might cost money, but there's the fascinating Jewish Museum of Turkey, or the Museum of Painting and Sculpture – this one charges on Mondays and Tuesdays – for nothing. You can also soak up the crash of hagglers and flapping Turkish carpets in the Grand Bazaar, or smoke a shisha pipe over on the Asian side. And if you want to stroll the promenade, head for much-loved Ortakoy – a beautiful suburb on the sea, with Neo-Baroque mosques and al fresco bars.

Cheap ways to get around Istanbul

Istanbul is a real gift for the budget traveler looking to hop from place to place. Although a little complicated, the network of light rail, metro, and bus connections across the city can be used for next-to-nothing with the nifty Istanbulkart. Even cheaper is to walk. Just be sure to pinpoint what area it is you want to explore before you opt to go it on foot – Istanbul is a big place and getting between districts will get tiring.

Istanbul travel guides

Istanbul travel guides