I arrived in Istanbul with a negative bank balance and a dire need for employment. I was couchsurfing to tide me over and set out one day to explore the megapolis.

Before I knew it I was on the Asian side – literally a different continent – in a giant bus hub with no English speakers in sight.

Lost and overwhelmed with life in general, I asked for a sign that everything would work out OK. Then I looked up and saw my couchsurfing host – the only person I knew in a city of 20 million. We went back together, I got offered a job that week and stayed for a year.

Hostels in Istanbul

If you are now restless and want to head off to Istanbul, here is our detailed guide to the 3 best hostels in Istanbul.

This guide will help you to spot the coolest budget hostels to stay in and safe places to mingle with fellow mates. And hopefully, your Istanbul experience will be as glowing as the travel story above.