Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Party vs. Boutique Hostel: Make sure you know what type of hostel you want. There is many basic hostels. Many Istanbul hostels are perfect for Backpackers, such as the Cheers Hostel. Set your expectations right and make sure you pick the right type.
In this guide we highlight each traveler type for each hostel e.g. best for families, couples, party and solo-traveller.
Taxi Scams: Please do not trust any random Taxi driver on the street. They might scam you in terms of prices, overcharge and drive off without giving you change. Taxis scams are common here. Here’s a good guide about taxis in Istanbul and what to avoid.
Choose between 4-6 bed mixed/female dorms and private double/twin rooms.
The bespoke bunk beds come with personal reading lights and plugs.
You’ll be happy to hear linen, fluffy towels and pin code operated lockers are all yours for free during your stay.
Let’s touch upon what else to expect at #bunk:
24-hour reception = no curfew
Free continental buffet breakfast
Free secure luggage storage
Air conditioning throughout the hostel
Take the lift and discover the rooftop terrace for awesome views. There is also a bar and cafe up there.
Go on, indulge yourself!
#bunk also has a cinema screen especially dedicated to sports matches and film nights.
Taksim Square is only 750 yards away – the nightlife, shopping and dining district. The Old Town is just over 1 mile away.
If you are more looking for super social vibes, we recommend the hostels #1 and #2. It is a really great hostel with friends, to hang out on the roof top terrace and enjoy one of their famous pizza and cocktails.
The rooftop atmosphere will kick things off. Smoke a hookah, play some games and make new friends here. It is not so much the best party hotel in Istanbul, but more of a hostel really, although it states guesthouse in the name.
Organised activities at Bahaus Hostel Istanbul include:
Bahaus Party Hostel says: “We are a sociable and party-loving hostel- we hope you are social too!”
Catchy name for a backpacker place, right?! After all, a hostel is supposed to be your second home, your home on the road.
Second Home Hostel would be the most typical Istanbul youth hostel you can find: a mix of all ages, nationalities and travel styles! The hostel offers cool services and organizes several events such as:
Delicious Turkish Breakfast
Homemade Turkish Food everyday
Free Walking Tour
City Sightseeing Tours
Also fun to know, it welcomes Social Media & Youtube Phenomenons & Travel Bloggers. A fun hostel for travel bloggers to stay at.
About the location, it is in the heart of Istanbul, just a 5-minute walk from the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. The terrace cafe serves a local and international breakfast.
Located in Istanbul, within a short 5-minute walk of Hagia Sophia and 10 to Blue Mosque, Cheers Vintage has cheap accommodations with a bar and free WiFi. If you are looking for a cheap hostel in Istanbul, it is an ok option for low-season; not great.
In high-season, though Cheers Vintage is a super cool hostel! It really depends on how many people are staying here. If you are the only one, it will be obviously too quiet for a hostel.
Their small roof top terrace is the absolute highlight. Come here to have a drink with the fellow mates.
The dorms come with wooden, bright bunk beds. Unfortunately, they do not have privacy curtains.
A top rated accommodation is the Big Apple Hostel. It was recently renovated, and added a few “perks” to the hostel dorm experience. Now all bunk beds come with curtains.
Yes, we all love curtains in the dorm rooms!
Yet, the dorms feel packed, and could have more space. Nevertheless, a cool place to hang thanks to the atmosphere and location.
Same as Cheers Vintage, in fact it is around the corner, the hostel is located in the old city. It is only a few minutes from the world famous Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Historical Turkish Baths.
Good to know: it takes you 10 minutes to Grand Bazaar; totally worth your time!
Of course, there are always cheap hostels in Istanbul.
We think, it’s not worth it to go with the cheapest hostel out there.
The difference is usually 1-2€ ($1-2), and a lot of amenities are not included. This can be breakfast or linen. Although, keep in mind a bad location far away from the city center costs you more in transport. It is worth it to pick a hostel in the centre of Istanbul to avoid extra transport costs.
However, if you are travelling on a shoe-string budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Istanbul.
It’s a must to cross the Bosporus Bridge into Asia.
By far one of the most liberating experiences in Istanbul is to take a traditional Turkish bath. There are many tourist friendly options, but we suggest going to a local public bath.
We personally went to Sifa Hamami and loved it. It’s the real Turkish experience!
5 Local Things to do in Istanbul, Turkey
Besides this guide on where you can sleep, we put together a simple travel guide, featuring 5 unique local recommendations. Sounds awesome? Indeed! You won’t find these recommendations in any top ten Istanbul guides.
Besides all the classics, here is your answer to what are good places to visit in Istanbul:
1. Sunset: Ortaköy
This is one of the best spots get a beautiful view of the sunset and the Bosporus Bridge, connecting the two continents of Europe and Asia. You can enjoy traditional stuffed potatoes, local beers, coffee shops and waffles there.
Address: Mecidiye Köprü Sk. No. 11 Ortaköy, Istanbul
2. Food: Karaköy Lokantası
This family-run restaurant lays just a stone’s throw away from the shipping docks at the Bosporus and is one of the popular lunch spots.
The menu is classic Turkish food with a lot of attention to detail and very reasonable prices. The best spot for cheap food Istanbul has in place for you.
Especially famous is their Hünkar beğendi, a leftover from the Ottoman imperial kitchen: slow-cooked beef served on a bed of smoky eggplant puree. For dinner, they offer various mezes, grilled fish and meat dishes. We love the delicious, very tender grilled octopus. And make sure to not miss their homemade yoghurt on the side.
Address: Kemankes Cad. No: 37, Karaköy, 34425 Istanbul
3. Shopping: Bağdat Caddesi
Bağdat Caddesi is located on the Asian side of Istanbul.
This part of the city is where the locals live. The street is approximately 14 km long.
It is full of local and international brands, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. After shopping at a very well-known street, you can enjoy a bottle of cold beer near seaside on the grass.
Address: Kiziltoprak – Bostanci arasi, Istanbul
4. Coffee Shop: Kronotrop
Kronotrop Coffee Bar & Roastery aims to take the “specialty coffee” trend to its highest level.
It is located in Cihangir.
According to the owner: “Kronotrop isn’t merely a place where you can find coffee beans and roasting techniques, but also somewhere where we can organize free workshops which allow coffee enthusiasts to become intimately acquainted with coffee, and where we can become a kind of spokesman for decent coffee.”
If you are into coffee, check out that place.
Address: Kuloğlu Mah. Firüzağa Cami Sok. No. 2/B, Istanbul
5. Nightlife: Fosil Lounge
Fosil is in Karaköy, located directly on the Bosporus and offers a breath-taking view to the historical peninsula Sultanahmet as well as to the Asian side.
Often you can even catch a glimpse of the enormous world cruisers there. If one needs a breeze of fresh air, step out onto one of the little balconies and enjoy the view. Although Fosil also offers finger food and some dishes, most people come here to have some drinks, especially the different flavored shots Fosil is known for.
Later in the night it gets really crowded and DJs ensure the vibe to stay vibrant and fun.
Address: Kemankeş Mah. Kemankeş cad. No. 34/C K:3 Karaköy, Istanbul
Alright, you should have found your accommodation already. Below we list all the frequently asked questions. Have a look.
Which are some cheap safe hostels in Istanbul?
All hostels mentioned in this guide are safe!
Some of them are cheaper though, others come with a higher price. The best way to compare prices is by visiting Hostelworld and Booking.com. Check the above links, they take you directly to each hostel profile.
What are some good hostels in Istanbul?
As a regular backpacker looking for a good place, I would pick Cheers Hostel. It really depends on your personal travel style.
Cheers Hostel - top pick for solo-traveller (both male and female!)
What is a good source to find hostels in Istanbul?
Well, you have just found the absolute best source! In case you have any questions left, then please leave us a comment below!
What should I pack for staying in a hostel?
There is a few things you always have to pack.
This is for instance the ear plugs, sleeping mask, flip-flops, light towel.
We have written up the perfect hostel packing list. We also included a downloadable PDF for print.
Should I stay on the European or Asian side of Istanbul for a visit and why?
That is a fantastic question and there is a fairly simple answer: The European side!
All the major tourist spots are located on the European side. The Asian side does not have too many things to see. We really preferred the European side. Plus, the majority of hostels in Istanbul are located on the European side.
Flights to Istanbul?
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over Istanbul and find the cheapest rates for the area.
Maybe there is a cheaper flight to Ankara and Izmir? If your plan is backpacking Turkey, it won’t make a big difference starting in one of these places.
Especially the area around Izmir is beautiful!
We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.
Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.