Istanbul lies at the colourful heart of Turkey. It’s a place filled to the brim with ancient history, wonderful culture, fascinating architecture, and exotic food. Throw yourself into the buzz of the crossroads of Asia and Europe and experience the magic for yourself. But don’t worry, discovering the pleasures of this amazing city doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some tips and suggestions of how to make the most of Istanbul on a budget:
What’s on in Istanbul?
If you’re into art, you’ll be spoilt for choice here. The Istanbul Modern is free to get into on Thursday’s, so you can gaze upon the incredible photography gallery and enjoy the immersive cinema hall and new media art centre for nothing.
If your taste in art tends to favour the old rather than the new, visit the Museum of Painting and Sculpture. Believed to be the oldest fine arts museum in Turkey, the building itself is a masterpiece. It contains beautiful pieces from the 19th and 20th century, including works by some of Turkey’s most beloved artists such as Osman Hamdi Bey, Bedri Rahmi, and Seker Ahmet Pasa. Again, admission is free every day expect on Monday and Sunday when the museum is closed.
Of course, not everyone wants to spend time in galleries and museums. Peyote Bar is one of the coolest spots in the city. It’s two floors separate alternative rock music and trance, meaning the club can tailor to different tastes.
If live music is more your speed, Mojo Bar is for you. Bands play covers of popular songs as well as classic Turkish tunes. The fun usually goes on until 3:00 in the morning, so its a great place to meet new friends and cut loose.
Flights and Accommodation:
Pegasus offer very cost effective flights with their Istanbul services. If you play your cards right you may be able to secure one of the last available seats on a flight to Istanbul, which tend to drop even further in price. It’s worth keeping an eye out for these sort of perks when travelling on a budget.
Being Europe’s largest city, you can expect an overwhelming amount of choice of accommodation. Trivago is a pretty solid starting place to figure out how much bang you can get for your buck. The Istanbul Dora is a popular choice, as it combines a reasonable rate with a prime location – just half a mile from Taksim Square. Plus breakfast is included in the price.