How to travel to Istanbul on your own and inexpensively: my advice

The best way to journey to Istanbul by yourself and inexpensively? This query is kind of standard amongst our vacationers. In any case, Turkey is likely one of the few open nations throughout the pandemic, the place not solely charters, but additionally common flights fly. Now right here, too, details about a adverse take a look at for covid is required (on the time of this writing), however this doesn’t cease vacationers a lot.

Sure, many different nations are additionally open and there are flights there, however both they value an order of magnitude extra or the entry necessities are rather more stringent.

As well as, Turkey is a long-known vacation spot for Russian vacationers. And just lately, Istanbul started to achieve increasingly recognition. That is a completely mesmerizing and colourful metropolis. And when you have beforehand solely been to the resorts of the Mediterranean or the Aegean Sea, or have by no means been to Turkey in any respect, then I strongly advise you to go to Istanbul. On this put up I’ll inform you how one can set up a finances journey right here, I’ll give some tips about how one can get monetary savings with out sacrificing the standard of your journey.


By ferry throughout the Bosphorus

The best way to journey to Istanbul by yourself and inexpensively?

Excursions to Istanbul

Now there are fairly a number of affords of cheap bundle excursions to Istanbul, particularly in autumn-winter-spring. For instance, a week-long tour from Moscow can value within the vary of 12-15 thousand rubles per particular person and even cheaper. The value contains roundtrip flights with baggage (which is vital!), Lodge lodging, insurance coverage, transfers from the airport to the resort, usually breakfasts even on excursions on the lowest value. Along with Moscow, there are flights from different giant cities of Russia.

Already upon arrival, you might be free and you’ll see any sights by yourself, it isn’t crucial to purchase some excursions from the tour operator.

Take a look at the excursions, depend. Maybe this will probably be extra worthwhile than reserving air tickets, lodging, transfers by yourself. Even should you purchase a tour, the guidelines beneath will nonetheless turn out to be useful.


0. Visa

A visa will not be required to enter Turkey in case your keep is now not than 60 days. On this half, your bills will probably be equal to zero, which is already good 🙂

1. Take a look at for covid (2 instances – for departure and arrival) / certificates of vaccination

Because the finish of December 2020, one other merchandise of bills has been added when touring to Istanbul and Turkey on the whole. The take a look at should be accomplished no sooner than 72 earlier than getting into / arriving within the nation. With out a adverse take a look at, you’ll merely not be allowed on the airplane.

You may take the PCR take a look at wherever in your metropolis, however take note of the readiness interval, you could merely not be in time. So I like to recommend utilizing the categorical evaluation, for instance, on the Moscow airports Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, Vnukovo, in St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo. It’s higher to enroll upfront, and the end result will probably be prepared in 1-2 hours. Thus, you’ll have to arrive on the airport upfront to cross the take a look at / lay extra time for docking in case you are flying from the areas.


The best way to go to Istanbul

The price of an categorical take a look at in Vnukovo, for instance, is 2750 rubles. And don’t forget that upon arrival again to the Russian Federation from Turkey (and every other nation), you should cross one other take a look at and add the outcomes to the State Providers inside three days. Thus, your take a look at prices will probably be 5000+ rubles. It’s potential and cheaper and even free should you go to state clinics below the obligatory medical insurance coverage coverage, however you need to make an appointment upfront, plus they do it without cost solely in Moscow to residents of the capital. In Omsk, I didn’t discover the place to hire it without cost, however I paid 1600 rubles per particular person, additionally saving.

In case you have a certificates of vaccination, then you’ll not want a take a look at in Turkey, and upon arrival you might be additionally exempt from the take a look at.

2. Flights

A number of airways fly to Istanbul from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Grozny.

Low Worth Calendar

As you may see, the costs are pleasing! Even in summer time, you should purchase a ticket for 10-12 thousand rubles in each instructions, however you need to purchase it upfront). And the remainder of the time is even cheaper.


Pegasus Airplane

You’ll arrive at one of many two airports in Istanbul: the brand new airport or Sabiha Gokcen. We’ve got separate posts on find out how to get to town. Briefly: it is simple to do on devoted buses.

The best way to get to Istanbul from the brand new airport?

The best way to get to Istanbul from Sabiha Gokcen Airport?

3. Season

I like to recommend flying to Istanbul in autumn or spring. March-Could and September-November are nice instances to go to. It will likely be cool and damp in winter and too scorching in summer time. As well as, in autumn and spring, air tickets are normally cheaper than in summer time.


On the streets of Istanbul

Learn additionally:

Holidays in Turkey: find out how to get there, the place to go, the place to e book lodging and rather more. Useful recommendation and our expertise.

What to see in Turkey? Sightseeing overview.

The place to chill out in Turkey: predominant resorts

4. Lodging


Istanbul has many cheap hostels within the coronary heart of Sultanahmet or Taksim. It’s fairly potential to discover a mattress for 4-7 $ per day in a good hostel. For those who stroll across the metropolis all day, and solely come to the room to spend the evening, then the hostel is kind of appropriate. And guesthouses and small resorts within the heart are in abundance.


In fact, you’ll find the most affordable choices nearer to the outskirts or airports, however you’ll spend much more on transportation and it’ll take loads of time too. And residing within the heart, you might have many sights inside strolling distance, the remainder may be simply reached by direct transport.

It is rather good if a Turkish breakfast is included within the value of lodging in a resort or hostel. That is normally very tasty and satisfying, sufficient for half a day of strolling across the metropolis.

View choices for resorts, hostels, guesthouses and e book the one you want I counsel on… We use this specific service.

Map of resorts in Istanbul:

Condo hire

I additionally advise you to concentrate to the flats which are rented on airbnb. Costs for easy choices begin from $ 15-20 per day, however you’ll have a separate dwelling, more than likely with a kitchen, washer and different acquainted family attributes.

In the identical place, on airbnb, you may hire a separate room, not the entire house. The plus is you could make fascinating acquaintances with the locals, have a pleasant dialog within the kitchen within the night, get some helpful recommendation, and so forth.

Learn additionally:

The place to remain in Istanbul’s districts


With airbnb, you may make sure that you might be reserving precisely the place indicated within the itemizing. However I counsel you to decide on solely housing with critiques on the service, it’s fascinating that there are extra of them. Now we use airbnb on virtually each journey and are all the time glad, with uncommon exceptions. In fact, renting an house is extra worthwhile / extra handy for a household or a big firm, however even for 2 it comes out nice when it comes to value / high quality ratio.

In case you are not registered with airbnb but, please our hyperlink get a reduction of as much as 4000 rubles in your first reserving.

The choice to remain virtually free is couchsurfing. However I might not contemplate couchsurfing solely as a possibility for a free in a single day keep, it’s extra of a cultural expertise, very beneficial on any journey.

5. Transport

Istanbul has a metro, tram strains, ferries, buses, funiculars, cable automobiles, and there’s additionally a metropolis practice.


To avoid wasting on metropolis journeys instantly upon arrival, purchase transport card IstanbulKart… One-time journey tokens are virtually a 3rd costlier, so the cardboard will certainly prevent cash. In addition to, it is simply handy, put it to the turnstile or validator and undergo. IstanbulKart can be utilized by a number of individuals.

Learn additionally:

Ferries in Istanbul: berths, route map, value

Metro in Istanbul: scheme and predominant stations

I wrote intimately about all public transport within the metropolis in this put up

When touring by taxi, be sure the meter is turned on. The fee for touchdown is 5 lira, then 3.1 lira per kilometer. It’s higher to provide the quantity to the taxi driver for calculation, with out change, so have a provide of small money. Alternatively, use your common Uber.

6. Sights and locations of curiosity

From the cool and free (or virtually free), I can advise you to take a ferry trip by the Bosphorus or the Golden Horn, stroll alongside the Asian half and the Berat area within the European half. Anyway, strolling round any a part of Istanbul is fascinating.

Learn additionally:

Istanbul landmarks – nice overview of the highest 30 locations


Maiden’s Tower


Ortakoy Mosque

For those who love museums and historic monuments, then I counsel you to purchase Museum Move Istanbul. It prices 85 lire and is legitimate for 5 days. On it you may go to such standard locations as: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul Archaeological Museum, Grand Mosaic Museum, Yildiz Palace, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Artwork and lots of different locations.


An important factor is that the cardboard permits you to cross with out queues, and there may be lots of people throughout the season. This fashion you save your effort and time.

7. Vitamin

Turkish meals is a should for an excellent journey to Istanbul. Do not be afraid to seize road meals, it isn’t solely tasty but additionally cheap. And the selection is nice – road meals is actually on each nook.


Corn vendor

For a very good lunch, cease by the so-called Lokantasi – native eateries with ready-to-eat meals. For instance, within the heart you can find Balkan Lokantasi, the place you may eat deliciously for 15-18 liras. These locations are likely to have extra locals than vacationers, particularly at lunchtime.

And I already wrote above that the included Turkish breakfast on the resort is an effective choice to recharge for half a day.


8. Purchasing

Shopping for as quickly as potential, with out figuring out actual costs and with out bargaining, is a foul tactic. Stroll round, ask the worth. discover out the worth degree, then you should purchase one thing, remembering to cut price properly – that is a part of the method 🙂 Ideally, if these are native and never standard locations amongst vacationers.


Do not forget about Tax Free. Search for shops with particular stickers on doorways and home windows, and you’ll return as much as 18% relying on the kind of product. However a number of situations should be met:

  • Your buy should be greater than 118 liras
  • When shopping for, you should ask the vendor to problem a particular test, you will want your passport or a replica of it
  • Earlier than departure, contact the particular counter on the airport with receipts and paperwork

Fisherman Istanbul

Fisherman on Galata Bridge

9. Communication

We normally attempt to purchase an area SIM card upon arrival in a brand new nation. Native vacationer SIM playing cards are fairly costly – about 140 liras (about 1400 rubles). You should purchase a SIM card for locals solely with a Turkish passport. Generally, an advanced process, nowhere in standard nations have I encountered such difficulties.

Wi-Fi within the resort / house is ok, plus fairly a number of networks function in public areas. Register by your cellphone quantity and use. You may go for a cup of tea in a restaurant and catch a web there. It is usually helpful to obtain the Wi-Fi Map app and obtain the Istanbul space. This utility reveals passwords from wifi cafes, resorts, outlets. It does not all the time match, however it usually works.


10. Medical insurance coverage

What is best to not save on journey insurance coverage, particularly now, when the epidemiological state of affairs is unstable. Through which case, the prices of medical care overseas will probably be very giant, and insurance coverage will not be so costly. Personally, I purchase my peace of thoughts. I’ve already written loads of materials concerning the selection of insurance coverage when touring to this put up.

As you may see, it’s fairly potential to go to Istanbul by yourself and inexpensively! That is one in all my favourite cities, the place I need to return, and greater than as soon as. Comparatively cheap air tickets, historic monuments, scrumptious meals, native ambiance and well-developed infrastructure make for an excellent journey.


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