Live Like a Local in Istanbul, Turkey

One of the most diverse, mystical, and enchanting cities of all the world: Istanbul is a veritable treasure chest waiting for you to dig your hands in and pull out what your heart desires. From the mist-shrouded Asian side of the Bosphorus to the slick European side, there is something for everyone in this captivating city. It’s easy to find a rich, multi-cultural experience in Istanbul if you know what to do.

Stay With A Super – Host

When it comes to travel that gets beneath the surface of a place, there is no better option than staying with locals. Immediately, you are thrown into the daily rhythm of a city, avoiding the tourist traps becomes second nature, and you get to peek at the side of the city of those who know it best.

This Airbnb rental from Carilyn is shared with a host who offers a behind the scenes look at her city. Upon your arrival Carilyn welcomes you with insider tips, complimentary toiletries, maps, guidebooks, and don’t worry about bringing an adapter – she’s got that too. Just a five-minute walk to Taksim metro station means you are staying in the heart of the action.

Photo Courtesy of Moyan Brenn - Flickr

Photo Courtesy of Moyan Brenn – Flickr


Yes, Take a Tour

Of course, if you’re on a whirlwind trip of the city there is no way that you will be able to see all the sights and glean every bit of information without a tour. Try this classic Istanbul tour that is only a half day, leaving you plenty of time to explore on your own the highlights that appealed most to you. Short tours are great, even for very independent travelers; this one is studded with information that many tourists often miss.

Savor the Flavors of Istanbul

One of the most important things to remember to do in Istanbul is eat everything! A special custom that will bring joy to your table for many years to come is the typical Turkish breakfast. This is best enjoyed around a table with friends, family, or in communal restaurants even with strangers! Enjoy it at any of these great locations in the city; locals tend to choose restaurants near the river, donning their sunglasses and basking in food heaven.

Photo courtesy of Volkan_83 Flickr

Photo courtesy of Volkan_83 Flickr

Sometimes an Airbnb can be hard to locate in the city, and that’s when choosing a hotel near the main attractions is key. The Haze Istanbul is perfectly situated, just a few moments  from the amazing Spice Bazaar, which is sure to transport you to another world of colors and scents. The Haze is a four-star hotel with two-star prices, starting as low as $75 a night. This means you can afford to stock up on all the wonderful handcrafts your heart desires, as well as the spices to enjoy Turkish cuisine once you’re back home. If The Haze isn’t your style, you can easily find cheap hotels in Istanbul.

If Istanbul is your first stop, make sure you check out Cappadocia, an otherworldly landscape in the terrain of Turkey. In case you need to find cheap flights to Istanbul, use this handy FAQ guide.

Brandy Bell loves adventuring around the world. She's been a solo female traveler since 2006 and has visited over 25 countries, made countless international friends, and now writes to inspire you to travel in a sustainable and responsible way.

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