Travel Budget for Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

How much does it cost to travel to Istanbul?

How much money will you need in Istanbul? TRY189 ($32) is the average daily price for traveling in Istanbul. The average price of meals in Istanbul for one day is TRY35 ($5.88). The average price of a hotel in Istanbul for a couple is TRY263 ($45). Additional pricing is in the table below. These average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - Learn more about these numbers.
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How expensive is Istanbul?

How much does a trip to Istanbul cost? Is Istanbul expensive? The average Istanbul trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these Istanbul prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
  • Food2 Meals for one day
  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers
  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
Last Updated: Dec 29, 2018
Flights to Istanbul

How much does it cost to go to Istanbul? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend SkyScanner because they can find the best deals across all of the airlines.

How much money do I need for Istanbul?

Typical travel prices in Istanbul are listed below. These actual costs can give you an idea of the price of travel in Istanbul. Please keep in mind that the cost of travel in Istanbul can vary depending on your specific style of travel.

  • Juice
  • Turkish Delight
  • Dessert
  • Ferry
  • Local Bus
  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
  • Pastries
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
  • Hagia Sofia entrance

Typical tour prices for Istanbul

How much do tours to Istanbul cost? Multi-day tours can often be an effecient way to see the highlights of a country or region.

  • Intrepid Small group tours for everyone
    15 days
    $ 875
  • Contiki Tours for 18-35 year olds
    14 days
    $ 1985
  • G Adventures Adventure and cultural tours
    15 days
    $ 1050
  • Trafalgar Award-winning tours
    11 days
    $ 1250
Find a hostel, guesthouse, or B&B in Istanbul
Istanbul On a Budget
Istanbul Istanbul
Istanbul is strategically located on the Bosphorus and is split between Europe and Asia. It truly is a city where east meets west. Istanbul is the cultural and financial hub of Turkey, and also the most populous city. The sites are countless and there's something for everybody, whether you're interested in art, music, food, or adventure. You can pass many days exploring both the residential and commercial pockets of this city. Much of the appeal is hidden away along back alleys or within corner shops.

The climate in Istanbul is temperate oceanic. The summers are hot and humid and the winters are cold and wet, with occasional snowfalls. There is a surprisingly high amount of rain in the city, more than that of London, Dublin, or Brussels. Rain is most common during the late fall and winter months. Spring and summer are the driest times of year, although there is no time that is considered a "dry" season. Summer months can be quite hot with average temperatures around 27 degrees during the day. Humidity makes it feel even hotter. Winter is cold and damp with temperatures reaching 7 degrees Celsius during the day.
Many of Istanbul's historic sights are found in Sultanahmet. These include the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, and Basilica Cistern. Outside of this neighborhood there is also the Church of St. Savior in Chora, the Galata Tower, and the Galata Whirling Dervish Hall.
Sultanahmet is the Old City in Istanbul. This is where you will find most of the historic sights including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The New City is the main business center and has a much more modern atmosphere. There are many shopping areas and popular districts such as Elmadag, Nisantasi and Etiler. The Bosphorus is lined with beautiful palaces, parks, and mansions. Along the Bosphorus there are popular areas such as Besiktas and Ortakoy. Other neighborhoods include the Golden Horn, where you'll find Eyup, and Princes' Islands, which offers a wonderful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Hamams, or Turkish Baths, are great places to visit while you're in Istanbul. Most neighborhoods have at least one Hamam, but they each vary in cleanliness and quality, so ask around for a recommendation.

Another popular activity is smoking a hooka, or water pipe. There are a good number of places near the Grand Bazaar where you can smoke a hooka.

A Bosphorous Cruise is another great activity.The best option is to take the cruise offered by the state run company Sehir Hatlari. The cruise is 90 minutes each way or you can take a 2 hour non-stop cruise. During the peak season there are three daily departures, but it is still best to arrive early. You can buy tickets near the Eminonu terminal just east of the Galata Bridge.

And if you're looking for even more activities, check out this great 4-day itinerary for Istanbul which covers plenty of things to do.
Food and Dining
As you walk around Istanbul, restaurant employees will do their best to persuade you to come into their restaurant. This is particularly true in the touristy areas. They are generally friendly and welcoming, so a smile as you decline can go a long way. If you're trying to figure out where to eat in Istanbul, there are plenty of affordable restaurants and fast food options in the city. Many of the restaurants in Sultanahmet are geared towards tourists. Taksim has some wonderful restaurants that are upscale in style but still reasonably price. Affordable food options include doner, hamsi and kumpir. Pastry shops are spread throughout the city and have some very delicious desserts that are reasonably priced. Look for one with a rooftop patio so you can enjoy a view of the city at night.

The best prices for buses and trains in Turkey can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.

Although the public transportation system can seem chaotic, it is the best way to travel around the city, particularly when you're on a tight budget. The light rail system has four underground metro lines, four Tramvays, which are aboveground, two Funikulers, two mini-lines, and the Marmaray, or underwater lines. There are also ferries that travel the Bosphorus frequently. The above ground trams must deal with traffic, so they can be frustratingly slow, particularly during rush hour. If you're hoping to explore the Bosphorus, just hop on one of the ferries. These are cheap and efficient, and far more affordable than any private tour that is available.

Private dolmus minivans also follow set routes and offer a good option late at night. They are not on a set schedule but instead wait to fill up before departing. They do run through the night, unlike the public transportation system.
Looking for a party in Athens or Istanbul?
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1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

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Istanbul Travel Costs & Prices - Sultanahmet, Hamams, & the Blue Mosque |
Travel Tips

Istanbul Bosphorus Trip

By wanderinggurl in Entertainment
Catch the public ferry for about US$8 and ride it along the Bosphorus. Don't worry about booking in advance through a travel agency. You can take the public buses back and visit some of the towns or ride the ferry round trip all the way back to Istanbul. It's a beautiful and fun trip.

Save on guides and audio guides!

By lily in All Inclusive Tour or Cruise
Save on guided tours by opting for an audio guide instead and sharing it with your travel partner.

Audio guides are available for all major attractions in Turkey at the cost of 10-30 TL. Bring shareable headphones, or better yet! Bring a headphone jack splitter. You can then share the same audio guide and have the benefit of hearing the same thing at the same time as your friend.

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