Travel Budget for Istanbul Visit Istanbul on a Budget or Travel in Style

Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

How much does it cost to travel to Istanbul?

Budget-Friendly Travel Planning

How much money will you need for your trip to Istanbul? You should plan to spend around TRY805 ($43) per day on your vacation in Istanbul, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, TRY202 ($11) on meals for one day and TRY47 ($2.50) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Istanbul for a couple is TRY995 ($53). So, a trip to Istanbul for two people for one week costs on average TRY11,264 ($599). All of 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 - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

A vacation to Istanbul for one week usually costs around TRY5,632 for one person. So, a trip to Istanbul for two people costs around TRY11,264 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs TRY22,528 in Istanbul. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Istanbul can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is Istanbul? How much money do I need for 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.

Accommodation Budget in Istanbul
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price for one person for accommodation in Istanbul is TRY497. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price for a hotel room in Istanbul is TRY995.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Featured Properties

Hotels in Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.

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Transportation Budget in Istanbul
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Istanbul is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent TRY47 per person, per day, on local transportation in Istanbul.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Featured Services

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

Rental Cars in Istanbul
The price of renting a car in Istanbul will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.

What did other people spend on Transportation in Istanbul?

Typical prices for Transportation in Istanbul are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in Istanbul, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Ferry
  • Local Bus

Food Budget in Istanbul
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Istanbul can vary, the average cost of food in Istanbul is TRY202 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Istanbul should cost around TRY81 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Istanbul is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day


What did other people spend on Food in Istanbul?

Typical prices for Food in Istanbul are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in Istanbul, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Juice
  • Turkish Delight
  • Dessert
  • Pastries

Entertainment Budget in Istanbul
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Istanbul typically cost an average of TRY293 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Featured Activities

What did other people spend on Entertainment in Istanbul?

Typical prices for Entertainment in Istanbul are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in Istanbul, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
  • Hagia Sofia entrance

Tips and Handouts Budget in Istanbul
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average price for Tips and Handouts in Istanbul is TRY12 per day. The usual amount for a tip in Istanbul is 5% - 15%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps Budget in Istanbul
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Unfortunately, bad things can happen on a trip. Well, you've just got to deal with it! The average price for a scam, robbery, or mishap in Istanbul is TRY27.

  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1

Alcohol Budget in Istanbul
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about TRY72 on alcoholic beverages in Istanbul per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day


Water Budget in Istanbul
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend TRY0.96 on bottled water in Istanbul per day. The public water in Istanbul is considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

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.

The Grand Bazaar is nearby, too. You shouldn't miss it, as this is a great place to go shopping in Istanbul. Even if you don't buy anything, it's a destination itself with plenty of cultural experiences.

Elsewhere in the city you can find other mosques open to the public, as well as tours and trips up the Bosphorus. For more details and ideas about what to do if you're in Istanbul for just a short time, check out this guide to visiting Istanbul in one day on a layover.
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.

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.
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Train and Bus Prices
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 the region.

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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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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