Istanbul 1st time

Hello there, Can someone tell me what to expect with prices in Istanbul. ( I know it all depends on budget) I am curious about: Taxi and or bus - tram , cafe type of food, clothing, Grand Bazaar and or prices to Sophia, Museum ETC, Thank you !!

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
805 posts

Very affordable, especially by Western European standards. That's why there is so much tourism to Turkey...of course it's even more affordable outside of Istanbul. Public transport, including ferries to Asia and along the Bosphorus, is very cheap because the locals depend on it. Basically if you stick to what they locals do, you'll be fine...if you go for business hotels and restaurants and services that cater to international business travelers, you'll pay business travel prices. One of my favorite "meals" in Istanbul was a fresh mackerel sandwich that cost less than $3, served right off the Bosphorus on both sides of the Galata Bridge (it's called balik emek). My apartment in Istanbul in a local neighborhood close to everything was 49 euros/night (I did pay cash though and booked in advance). So you can certainly find very good value in Istanbul if you search it out.

Posted by wayner
stevens point, wi, usa
265 posts

Hi, We were in Istanbul for 14 nights this April.
We had a very nice room in a pension with breakfast included for 70 (or was it 60?) Euro per night so close to the Blue Mosque and the Aya Sofia I still can't believe it. A few doors down from the Four Seasons Hotel. We did airbnb in the Taksim area for half that, and then airbnb again on the Asian side for a little more than a quarter of that. Food. Under $3 for a fish sandwich down at the bridge near the Spice Market. But you end up buying a lemonade for a $1. So it can really set you back. A fish sandwich which is composed of a half loaf of bread, and fillet to match, with lettuce and onions. If you check out Fodor's, Rick Steves and other places...a restaurant serving nice food is under $20 per meal per person. We had some pretty lovely meals for under $40 for the two of us. A little wine, dessert, soup, and a main for each. There is a lot of mediocre food, not bad, just mediocre. So do your research ahead of time. Bus/light rail are under $3 per ride. If you are going to be there several days, and will be riding these conveyances, get a metro pass card. Which you charge up with money. If you use one of these your ride are discounted about 50%. Ferries across to Asia are surprisingly inexpensive wit this card. Really, it is worth the price just to ride over there. Get yourself a Museum Pass. Available at the Archeological Museum down the hill from the Aya Sofia. It is about $36 per person good for 72 from first use. The Arkeological Museum wil likely have the shortest lines to get one and you will want to visit there anyway. The $36 isn't a real bargain, but the pass gets into much shorter lines, saving you hours of waiting. wayne iNWI

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

When are you going? Because inflation is definitely affecting prices in Istanbul. I went in 2011 and then again earlier this year and was shocked by the increases. Tram fare doubled - it's now 3-4TL per ride, depending on what type of transportation you take (the funicular might have even been 5TL/person). Museum/Palace admissions are on the rise, and it was 30TL for the Dolmabahçe Palace alone. The combo ticket with the Harem is now 40TL (over $20!) You can still eat cheaply, but there are a lot of higher priced places available as well. ANd as was said earlier, lots of mediocre food available. Prices in the Grand Bazaar -well, depends on what you are interested in. You can get little trinkets for souvenirs for 1TL, or get really expensive turkish carpets for thousands.