I'm looking for a new destination to explore and I've been drawn to Istanbul and Turkey, mainly for its food.
Whats the backpacking scene like in Istanbul? Is it expensive? Are there plenty of options?
Its a little expensive compared to Eastern Europe but definitely cheaper than Western Europe! I'd recommend Cheers hostel located in the Sultanahmet district (which is where all the touristy sites are located) from memory they were charging 15 euros a night in march this year. Food is cheap as chips in Istanbul, excuse the pun - most hostels have free breakfast, and lunch/dinner combined will set you back 20 liras, and that's eating well. Be sure to try the stuffed mussells. The majority of your money will go towards alcohol though, as the nightlife can get pretty crazy in the Taksim district, where the bars are located.
All in all, not the cheapest city but definitely worth it for food, sights & nightlife. about 10 years ago
Turkey is great for those on a limited budget with options to fit a whole range of pockets.
The public transport (bus) is cheap and gets you from A to B easily. The network covers pretty much the whole of Turkey and is definitely cheaper than flying, although you would need to work out the time spent on the bus -v- the quickness of a plane -v- cost.
For food - its cheap and plentiful. Eat at a local Lokantasi or similar where a plate of beans in a tomato sauce and rice is a staple and very cheap. Pide (bread with a filling and baked in the oven) is good as is lahmahcun - all cheap and easily available.
Something that I did a lot was to buy fresh bread, a couple of tomato and a lump of cheese - delicisious!
Accommodation could be expensive, but you may be able to barter - especially if its out of season. There are also some areas with camp sites which might work, or just travel overnight on the bus :-)
There are loads of backpackers throughout Turkey and you will meet lots of different nationalities if you travel through. about 10 years ago