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Istanbul - backpacking tips...

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Istanbul - backpacking tips...

1. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Hi folks!

If I go all studenty/backpack-esque to Istanbul -

What would I be looking at in GBP per day? For a reasonable hostel which is clean/basic, and one big meal a day...?

Also whats the cheapest airline to get there from the NW of England (Liverpool/Manchester etc)..?

Is there any difference in weather/how busy it is/festivals etc in the months Oct-Dec? I.e. is October pretty much the same as December weather and amount of tourists-wise?

Thanks for the help!

P.S. Any tips on nightlife/sights/culture/customs are welcome.

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

October should be much warmer and thus nicer. December can get pretty cold and rainy.

Cheapest way to get to Turkey from the UK is with charter flights or flying via Germany. For charter flights see thomsonfly and talk to a travel agent about last-minute flight-only deals to Turkey. Another option is to fly from Manchester to Berlin and to catch a cheap flight from Berlin to Istanbul. Play around with www.skyscanner.net for the latter option. For flights to Turkey during Oct-first half of Dec expect to pay around 120 GBP return, maybe a bit more (I only know last year's prices, before the increase in fuel costs.)

Daily budget in Istanbul should be around 35 GBP per day and person, maybe a bit more. A hostel bed is around 9 GBP and a cheap, but decent and filling meal around 4-6 GBP. Istanbul is expensive compared to the rest of Turkey.

You can read more here: www.turkeytravelplanner.com

3. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Cheers t_maia, I'l look into that.

4. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Any tips on what to see in Istanbul, are there enough things to do for a whole week there? Or should I do the city for half a week and the coast for the other half?

All I really know are about the Souks (which one is best?) and the Hagia Sophia...

5. Posted by hmclehto (Full Member 142 posts) 8y

Maybe would be good to check when is Ramadan this year?! And obviously afterwards Eid...

6. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Haha ace Ramadan is September! Does that mean Istanbul essentially shuts down for a month?

What is Eid?

7. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

Quoting bertles86

What is Eid?

Eid ul-Fitr, to be more precise, is a festival marking the end of the month-long fasting in Ramadan. It starts on the day after Ramadan and lasts for a few days.

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Istanbul never shuts down, but what can be a bit of a problem during Ramadan is 1) finding a restaurant that is open during the day and 2) finding an attraction that is not closed during iftar (=breaking the fast).

Ramadan and especially Eid is also high season for Turkish people to travel to Istanbul, so everything might be very crowded. Plus shops close during Eid. (Think of Christmas time in Europe.)

Ramadan in 2008 will be during September and Eid will be around Oct 2nd to Oct 4th.

9. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Ah bugger! Guess I could leave it till Christmas time! Save up a bit more and do it properly!

10. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

I was there during Ramadan last year and never had a problem. Street vendors are closed in the main square, but plenty of side streets restaurants are open. Most looked empty, but they all served food never went hungry.

It's a tourist destination and they cater for you. Don't worry.