I'm sure you've heard about the terrible, almost 100% inflation in Turkey. Having flown to the country three times this year, I confirm that prices in Istanbul are impossible to catch up.
Illustrative example: In March, I got a glass of latte from a coffee shop for 28 lira. In May, the same latte went up in price to 32 liras, and in July … in July it cost all 39 liras! And a massage session in my favorite salon jumped from 360 liras to 480 in a month. By the way, I’ll share the location in the text 🙂
But since the article should remain relevant, and flying to Istanbul once a quarter is not in my plans (air tickets are a separate pain, I’ll tell you about that too!), I came up with this trick: I photographed the qar codes of the menu and other services and placed them in the text. Hover, read and get the latest prices.
Why aren't prices in rubles??
I hope you support my idea that there is no point in duplicating prices in Istanbul and Turkey in rubles — the exchange rate fluctuates every day . If in March I paid 200 rubles for that cup of coffee in terms of our currency, then in July (taking into account the increased cost in lira) – 130 rubles.
What currency to take to Turkey – we solve the financial issue
Turkey is one of the rare countries for Russians where you don't have to worry about solvency. Even after disconnecting bank cards from the global financial system.
Having survived in Turkey in March the very moment of turning my plastic into a “pumpkin” and fighting for the right to get cash from ATMs again, here’s what I can say:
- Take a bank card with the Mir payment system with you. Necessarily physical, virtual will not pass anywhere. In my experience, Tinkoff definitely does not fail. The course is good, almost exchange rate. Sberbank, VTB, Alfa may not work.
With Mir you can withdraw ONLY Turkish Lira directly from the ruble account of your card at Ziraat, HalkBank, Vakif ATMs. Arranged them in order of reliability. They still work with the World. To avoid a 2% commission, withdraw from Tinkof from 3,000 rubles at a time and up to 100,000 rubles per month.
There are a lot of ATMs in Istanbul, starting from the airport. If there is a terminal from these banks in an offline point (cafe or store), then the card will pass. Now, after six months of the invasion of Mir cards in Turkey, you can pay almost anywhere. There was no such luxury in March.
- Of course, the good old exchange of cash dollars and euros for lira in exchangers will also work. But the currency can be saved… It is unprofitable to change rubles. In general, CASH IS WORTH TO HAVE WITH YOU, suddenly the World will be turned off.
Pro level method:open an account in a Turkish bank, receive an extra-sanction Mastercard card. And enter its data, or apply, or paste anywhere in the world and the Internet without restrictions. Well, almost (details in the article at the link). It will be the best way to withdraw money in Turkey and anywhere – throw rubles, convert to currency.
How much are flights to Istanbul in 2022?
< p>Good news– there are so many flights from Russia to Istanbul that you can fly even tomorrow, at any time of the day or night. From Moscow and 9 other cities. You want with a transplant, you don't want a direct one. PCR test, hes- and qr-code – you can forget about all this.
Bad news – cheap tickets to Turkey for 3000 rubles are a thing of the past. The order of prices for flights has changed VERY. Now a good price for a plane ticket from Moscow is 12-15 thousand rubles per person one way. After the September events, I don’t even want to indicate prices. 20, 30, 100 thousand rubles?
The season in Turkey affects the cost, but scheduling flights by months is long and pointless. You can immediately turn to the Airsales widget, and this will be the most up-to-date “menu” and schedule from an airport close to you:
After February 2022, an independent trip to Istanbul emptied my card by a minimum of 24,000 rubles for a round-trip flight on one from Kazan with a transfer in Sochi; and maximum – 50,000 rubles for a direct flight of the Turkish.
Stop stop. Can I have other travel scenarios to Istanbul?
Well, yes. Suddenly you are already in Turkey. Antalya, for example. Or Alanya. In this case, plane tickets will be inexpensive – 3000-4000 rubles one way. The aforementioned site will help you find them and pay with a Russian card.
A voucher to Istanbul also has the right to exist (and buy). You can look at offers and hotels on tour aggregators:
Like the cost of a ticket to Antalya, a trip to Istanbul with tour operator assistance starts from 80,000 rubles for two for 7–8 nights.
Prices for attractions in Istanbul
At the time of writing, the exchange rate of the Turkish lira against the ruble:
1 lira (TRY) = 3.5 rubles
Let's start with a beautiful one. Prices for the main attractions of Istanbul in 2022 and for museums seemed high to me. At the level of the rich countries of Europe. For example, the price of entry to the Topkapi Palace is 420 lira. A thorough run through the heritage sites of Turkish history will cost a good amount of lira.
Let's look at 5 famous sights of Istanbul:
- Basilica Cistern – 190 lira
- Galata tower – 175 lira
- Dolmabahce Palace – 300 lira
- Archaeological Museum – 100 lira
- Observation tower in the Sapphire skyscraper – 250 lire
But Istanbul has a Museum Pass Istanbul program – a card with access to museums and other places for 5 days. It costs 700 lira, which is beneficial if you look into every museum and palace. You can buy online or at the box office.
I confess that for five times in Istanbul I have not visited any of the points on the list. I admired the outside and wandered on. Because there are SO MANY free and impressive things in the city – mosques, parks, bazaars, cats, ferries, streets with a bohemian European touch – that palaces and museums did not attract. Well, choosing between Topkapi and a kilogram of delicious baklava, my hand will still give four hundred lira to the confectioner.
Prices in Istanbul for excursions
In Istanbul, you can walk on your own without a damn thing. The city is huge, different, bright. If you want to understand it, to know it from the inside, take a tour in Russian. Otherwise, you need to delve into the history of Constantinople and Turkey yourself, figure out what Ataturk has to do with it, and how Istanbul turned out to be so pretty in a European way and chaotic in an Oriental way.
If you are reading this text in late autumn or winter, you will notice that seasonal discounts overtake and excursions:
I advise you to look at the prices for excursions in Istanbul online – so they are definitely protected from extra charges “because you are a tourist.” Abroad (in any city in the world!) tourists and Russian-speaking guides are connected by two sites:
Until now I wonder at what level the excursions have reached. Now it's not just sightseeing on a big bus, but leisurely guided walks through unexplored areas, or a Mercedes ride just for your company, or a gastronomic hike for kebabs and baklava with a knowledgeable person. What will you choose? 🙂
If you immediately have a question about payment (prices on sites are indicated in foreign currency), then there is nothing complicated: you pay part of the amount with a ruble card, the rest – on the spot to the guide in cash in euros or dollars.
Price and description of popular excursions in Istanbul:
|♥ Journey along the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus||The main water entertainment of the city is a walk along the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. Tea and coffee included||Group tour,
€30 per person
|♥ Charismatic Istanbul||Sightseeing Tour through the most colorful and eastern places of the city – from Suleymaniye to the Grand Bazaar||Individual up to 4 people,
€125 per tour
|♥ Dervish show < /td>||Mystical show of dervishes, representatives of Sufism, who have become the hallmark of Istanbul||Group tour,
€33 per person
|♥ Bosphorus Night Cruise||Another walk on the water, but this time in the evening. Meze is included in the price, alcohol is paid separately 28 euros per person||Group tour,
€30 per person
|♥ Polygonal Istanbul||An atypical tour of central attractions (and a few that few people know about)||Individual up to 5 people,
€99 per tour
Istanbul has skillfully built a public transport system – buses, metro, trams, ferries, funiculars run here. Until late at night and early in the morning. But it is not very convenient (for tourists) to introduce a payment system: you need a ticket or a travel card, and you can buy them only in the machine. At metro stations, ferries and some trams they are installed, but not at bus stops. You need to look for the nearest one and continue to get yourself an Istanbulkart.
Istanbulkart is a pre-paid travel card, a vital item if you are in Istanbul for 3 days or more. Save nearly half lire on every trip and skip the long lines at the vending machines (although you have to stand behind the card itself). The card can be applied to the turnstile as many times as you like and you can pay with one at least for all.
- The fare for the metro, tram, etc. is 15 lira or 8.7 lira with the card
- Istanbulkart – 25 lira per card + X lira per account
- Ferry to the Princes' Islands – 22 lira
- Yellow taxis – 10 lira per landing + 6.3 lira per km
< li>I'll tell you about the airport below
If you transfer from one mode of transport to another within 2 hours, the trip is considered a transfer and costs about 3 lire.
About taxis: in Istanbul, there is a wave of the hand on the street and Uber apps and local BiTaxi. But in the case of trips around the city, taxi drivers from applications – and there are the same yellow cars, by the way – drop the order after a couple of minutes, because it is too cheap for them. Of the five attempts to call a taxi on the phone, only two were successful. And that's because the first was late at night, and the second cost 500 lira to the airport (whereas the normal price for a taxi in Istanbul to the airport is much less).
Rent a car in Istanbul
They say that owning a car, albeit a rented one, is always freedom… JUST NOT IN ISTANBUL. I turn gray while riding in a taxi, and I would not wish my enemy to be driving a car in the city. Extremely narrow streets, steep ascents and descents, chaotic traffic, scratched sides of cars, problems with parking – in Istanbul, neat driving by the rules is clearly not held in high esteem.
But if you are preparing a road trip with a starting point from Istanbul, this is a different matter. Here the very feeling of sharing the good prompts me to mention the Localrent service – the best car rental site now (favorable to Russian cards), and before that. Somehow we took a car on the site, drove from Fethiye to Cappadocia and wrote a report with all the details. And the video was made to cover all types of audience — both textophiles (hello!), and videophiles.
Prices in Istanbul for car rental for a conditional 4 days start at €80, that is, €20 per day. For registration, you will need a passport, cash to give the rest of the amount to the manager, and Russian rights.
The cost of four wheels is favorable, but the price of gasoline in Istanbul in 2022 is 20 lira per liter (70 rubles), which is unusual for people from countries with cheap fuel. For Turks, this is expensive, given that in November 2021 gasoline cost 8 lira per liter, for us it is still acceptable, but only thanks to the current nice exchange rate.
How much does it cost to get from Istanbul airport to the city?
There is no difference between arriving at Istanbul Airport (IST) or Sabiha Airport (SAW), which also applies to Istanbul. Getting to the city by bus is almost the same in terms of cost and duration (1 hour, but more if you find traffic jams).
There are several ways to get from the airport to the city:
- < li> Optimal – Havaist buses that wait for arrivals at the exit of airports and take them to the bus station at Taksim Square for 67 liras from the main airport and for 50 liras from Sabiha. They go often, including at night, the ticket is paid in cash in lira on the bus.
- The most comfortable is a taxi, but it's impossible to call them in the application, don't even waste your time. There is a rigid monopoly of “official” yellow and blue taxis. Get in the car after leaving the airport, mention “meter?” – which means that you are on the subject of the mandatory inclusion of the meter – and are waiting for the end of the trip and the final amount. On average, we get 300–350 lira to Taksim Square.
- Transfer to the hotel– many companies offer a transfer minibus designed for several people. If you divide the amount among all, then it comes out very cheap. Here is one of these (there are many reviews, the price is for a group of up to 8 people):
Housing prices in Istanbul – where to stay?
Here we are approached the main item of expenditure. That important element of the trip, about which you can’t say “wow, how cheap” – because housing prices in Turkey, alas, are measured in euros and dollars.
Prices for hotels and other accommodation in Istanbul for 1 night:
(location relatively close to the center)
|In season in summer||Out of season in winter|
|Hotel without stars||€25||€20|
|3 star hotel||€30||€20|
|4 star hotel||€60||€45|
|5 star hotel||€100||€85|
|Apartment with Airbnb||€40||€25|
I used to always book something on Booking and Airbnb. The latter fell off completely, and the first does not accept Russian cards, but it works with Russians – you just need to check the box next to “No prepayment” in the filter block so that money is not debited from your “pumpkin”.
But! I have, but! In March, this did not save me from the sudden authorization of the card by the service and the terrible “change the card, otherwise we will cancel everything.” And the cancellation of the reservation on the day of check-in (it’s good that the hotel kept the room at the request).
- Therefore, for the next trips abroad, I was looking for hotels on Ostrovka – while the dollar exchange rate is good, it’s even more pleasant to pay in rubles, than spending currency.
And without a foreign map, the Russian search engine is the only way out to the outside world.
Location tip: wait for my article about the districts of Istanbul, which is about to come out, where I will show you why this area – yes, but this one – no; or take our word for it and book hotels across the bay from the mosques, in Cihangir, Pera, possibly Besiktas.
Here are several booking options for different wallets:
Taksim Nacre is a good hotel, especially in its price category. 3 nights will cost 7000-12000 rubles depending on the room. The hotel is located a 10-15 minute walk to the central Istiklal Street, close to shops and cafes “for their own”, which are cheap and tasty.
Ferman Hotel is the most famous “All Inclusive” only in Istanbul. Buffet, large rooms and fitness room. An option for those who decide to relax to the fullest, but not go bankrupt. The most affordable double room for 3 nights will cost a little less than 20,000 rubles, including discounts. Grab it before it's taken apart.
Stay Inn is a budget hotel for those who are not going to stay in the room longer than the night and hope to make friends from the most unexpected places on the planet. Neat quadruple and double rooms with internet, heating and bars nearby. The most affordable option is 3000 rubles for 3 nights.
To begin with, it's hard to find a large supermarket in the city center like this. There are many small shops scattered in the corners where you can buy water, Snickers and a pack of tea, but in order to thoroughly stock up, you need to get out of the “old city”. In Cihangir, there is a beautiful and good selection of Carrefour Gourmet, it helps out.
I noticed that the prices for food in Istanbul in 2022 in a pretentious store (Carrefour Gourmet) and an ordinary supermarket (Migros) are almost the same.< /p>
- Water, 1.5 l – 5.5-6 lire
- Coca-Cola, 1.5 l – 15 lire
- Eggs — 30 lire
- Pasta, 500 gr — 12–15 lire
- Salmon, 1 kg — 400 lire
- Ayran — from 2.5 lire
- Snickers – 8–10 lira
- Avocado, pcs. — 10 lira
- Local beer, 0.5 — 30 lira
The cheapest alcohol is beer and cider, not the worst Turkish wine starts from 100 lira. You can find cheaper, but is it worth it? Stronger alcohol – from 200 lira.
The markets mainly offer a huge range of spices and sweets, but I'm not a fan of these places, so I can't tell you the prices. Can you help?
The ubiquitous carts of popcorn, chestnuts, and simits sell their stuff for 15, 30, and 4 lira, respectively. Only chestnuts per 100 grams. Pomegranate juice will be squeezed out of a fresh fruit for 15-35 lire, depending on the size of the glass.
Baklava! How much does baklava cost. From 200 to 400 lira per kilogram, not a cheap thing. Most likely, if you read something about Istanbul, you saw the name of the famous network of baklava Hafiz Mustafa 1864. I didn’t like it: every time I was severely ignored, and the crowd there is terrible.
Note for the future: do not forget to buy buns, nuts or yogurt with you before leaving the city – the prices at Istanbul airport are astounding. For example, for a miniature piece of pizza you will give 100 lire. The same applies to mobile communications (Internet) – do not buy a SIM card at the airport. On Istiklal in a large office of the operator (the same Turkcell) you can take a SIM card for 300 liras with 20 gigabytes.
Food prices in Istanbul cafes
In general, for Turkey, prices in cafes in Istanbul are not low. But for tourists – especially those with a dollar income – they make you want to not restrain yourself, and sometimes not even look at the bill. Let me remind you that the exchange rate is 1 lira = 3.5 rubles.
Food prices in Istanbul in 2022:
- In a cafe for locals, you can eat well for 50 liras per person
- Omelettes or benedicts in a trendy place – 60-80 lire
- A glass of cappuccino or latte, 0.3 – 30-35 lire
- Filter coffee, 0.3 – 25-30 lire
- Dessert in a coffee shop – 30-50 lire
- Big Mac – 40 lira
- Balyk ekmek – 45 lira
- Shawarma or kebab in a decent place – from 60 lira
- Lentil soup – 15–25 lira
In individual cafes and restaurants, as in many large or resort cities, there is a menu in front of the entrance. There you will see prices and assortment, but here, in Istanbul, an administrator who speaks bad Russian will instantly jump up to you and drag you inside. So we tried to gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool?
A few cafes that left good memories:
- 22 Restorant Bar is a great bar
- Keyfeder Kunefe – for katmer and kunefe desserts
- Vegan Istanbul – vegan Turkish cuisine (I love to try new things)
- Doyum Café Manti – dumplings! but, keep in mind, Turkish dumplings
- Ali Baba – the ratio “quality-portion size-price” is nowhere better
- Balik Durum Mehmet Usta — for me, this is the best place with balyk ekmek
- Cuppa and everything in the area — for great breakfasts
- Bir Ben< /em>– if you are hungry after walking along Eminonu, then this is an option. Relatively inexpensive restaurant (for the area) with a large selection of halal meat dishes.
And I'll say separately about good coffee. Modern, not a mini cup of Turkish 🙂 Istanbul has a lot of it: Kronotrop, Petra and Cup of Joy chains, Norm Coffee, Old Java Coffee Roasters. Not bad in Coffeetopia, but the huge and stylish rooms of EspressoLab are only suitable for a couple of hours with a laptop, coffee here is like in Starbucks.
What do I advise you to try?
What is Istanbul without street food? Throughout the city you will find wagons with corn, chestnuts, mussels with rice, simits and sweets. The prices are listed above.
What to try in the cafe:
– Turkish eggplant (or karnyyaryk)
– Shrimp casserole (or gyuvech)
– Kokorech (offal in the gut. yes-yes)
– Turkish pizza or khachapuri (pide)
– Tursu pickles are given as a bonus to a good order in a cafe
How much money do you need to travel to Istanbul in 2022?
We count how much money is needed for a holiday in Istanbul. Or not a vacation, but a stay for an indefinite period.
- Let's omit air tickets, Aviasales will set its own price for each city, it is impossible to predict.
- Housing – deposit €50 per day for two . Ostrovok or Hotellook is here to help if you don't have a foreign card.
- Food – eating shawarma from a stall 3 times a day will cost 120-150 lira per person; one trip to the cafe – about 150 lira for two.
- Movement – travel from Istanbulkart costs 9 lira, taxi from the airport – 300-350 lira.
- Cultural program – too individual, plus sums from the section above.
Thus, if you calculate everything in euros, the cost of a trip to Istanbul for a week – without museums and entertainment, purely everyday experience – will come out to about €600–€700 per two excluding airfare.
Istanbul is an expensive city for Turkey, and even with unpredictable, rather unpleasant weather in the off-season. If you are staying for a long time, it is better to choose the towns and villages of the southern coast.
Insurance in Turkey
If you are traveling to Istanbul on your own, do not forget about travel insurance. Calm down if she is. Does the bank owe you an annual policy? Super! Not? Take it for a week/month on Cherehap. It costs from 400/1500 rubles. Even better, if necessary, take annual coverage for all countries of the world – from 5000 rubles.
Shopping in Istanbul
Many people come to rest in Istanbul for the sake of shopping. Someone flies in for clothes, which are much cheaper here than in Russia, someone urgently needs Turkish sweets and souvenirs, and someone goes for something more specific, for example, unusual musical instruments or religious attributes. In any case, you are unlikely to leave Istanbul empty-handed.
I advise you to visit:
- Antique Bookshop on Istiklal Street, not far from Russian embassy. A nice place that has sunk into the soul for a long time. There you can buy an old book or notebook as a souvenir or diary. Books are more expensive, and I would classify them as luxury gifts, but it's free to come and look.
- Alleys near the Galata Tower. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of shops in that area, but especially interesting are not those that offer magnets and postcards, but those rare hipster shops of ethnic clothing, leather shoes and young Turkish designers. A few specific names – Kaft, Dogo, Los Banditos.
The prices for clothes in Istanbul are low, it's not for nothing that people come here to dress up. The same Zara, Mango, Bershka can be compared on official websites.
Ethnic and national goods deserve special mention. For example, fezzes, rosaries, slippers with pointed toes, percussion drums like shakers, closed clothes, and the like. This can be found in small private shops near the Flower Passage and in the back streets of the Beyoglu district.
Ahh, she promised to leave the location of the salon with an excellent massage. Note: Let's Relax Spa. Interestingly, in tourist areas, the cost of a session is higher than in bedrooms!