Istanbul is an increasingly popular destination for travelers around the globe. It truly is a city where east meets west. The sites are countless and there’s something for everybody, whether you’re interested in art, music, food, or adventure.

Read More: Top 10 Sights in Istanbul (for first time visitors)

Here, we would like to give you a budget guide or enumerate the expenses we have to make our trip to Istanbul possible. All the things that might help you plan your own trip to this city – from flight tickets, visa, transport, accommodation, attractions, food, passes and shopping is right here.

Factors to Consider

  • Visa fees is applicable for residents of Dubai only
  • Airline ticket expense is for those traveling from Dubai only
  • Accommodation is a 4 star property, cost will be inexpensive for less star rating hotels or hostels
  • Cost can be in UAE Dirham (1 AED = 0.82 TL), Turkish Lira, Euro (1 Euro =3.34 TL) or USD (1 USD = 3.02 TL)

Visa Cost

The cost applied for Filipinos with valid UAE residency who wants to apply a Turkish visa.

  • Cost: 225 AED
  • Visa Applied: December 9, 2015
  • Visa Approved: December 13, 2015

Read More: How to Apply a Turkish Visa for Filipinos from Dubai?

Hotel Cost

We stayed in the old city of Istanbul in Yasmak Sultan hotel, a 4 star property located in Sultanahmet – the neighborhood where you will find most of the historic sites including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

  • Date: December 31, 2015 to January 4, 2016 (Peak season)
  • Cost: 4 nights, 503 Euros = 2036 AED = 554 USD (Includes breakfast and one way transfer)
  • Additional Cost: 35 Euros = 142 AED = 39 USD (one way transfer)

Read More: Hotel Review: Yasmak Sultan, Istanbul

Ticket Cost

Only few airlines offer direct flights from Dubai to Istanbul – Turkish, Etihad, FlyDubai, Pegasus and Emirates. We’d chosen Emirates since we have traveled many times with them and never neither got delay nor encounter a problem (so far) and we can’t deny that it’s on top of the line when it comes to safety, service, food. Well, a plus factor that their huge and luxurious terminal is separated from the rest making every travelers checking in experience light and easy.
Cost: AED 1675 for our first booked dates of December 2 to 7. Then additional AED 1000 rebooking fees for our new travel dates Dec. 31-Jan.4, the rebooking fees depend on your new travel dates. This is applicable for one person.

Food Cost

Around the main attractions

  • Cup of tea = 5 TL
  • Hot chocolate = 12 TL
  • Cheese/egg omelette = 20 TL
Restaurant near Yasmak Sultan area, Sultanahmet (forgot name, sorry)

  • Lentil soup 45 TL
  • Beef with rice 65 TL
  • Water 7 TL
  • Hot chocolate 15 TL
Food stand

  • Grilled corn = 2 TL
  • Castañas = 5 TL
  • Bread = 2 TL
Cafeteria in Egyptian Market

  • Chicken soup 12 TL
  • Bread 5 TL
  • Water 3 TL
  • Shawarma 10 TL
Cafeteria just outside the New Mosque

  • Hot chocolate 9 TL
  • Bread with beef 15 TL
  • Chicken rice 15 TL
  • Water 5 TL
Doner Kosesi restaurant in Sultanahmet

  • Parata bread Free
  • French fries with cheese bread 20 TL
  • Beef and rice 25 TL
  • Water 5 TL
Taksim Plaza Mcdonalds

  • Burger 10 TL
  • Quarter pounder 12 TL
  • Hot chocolate 7 TL
  • Water 3 TL
Tea in Balat Neighborhood is relatively cheaper compared in touristic area in Sultanahmet

  • Cup of tea 2 TL

Budget Guide Istanbul

Transportation Cost

  • Bus ride from Sultanahmet 2 TL = 2.53 AED
  • Subway 2 TL = 2.53 AED
  • Taxi 20 TL = 28 AED (10 minutes drive)

Attractions Cost

  • 5 day museum pass 85 TL = 108 AED Buy here
  • Dolmahbace Palace (not included in the museum pass) 40 TL = AED 50 you can buy it from the entrance

Shopping

Shopping outside Grand Bazaar

  • Shirt cost 10 TL
  • Keychains/Magnets 2 TL
  • Mugs 5 TL
  • Winter Shoes 40 TL
  • Men’s gloves 10 TL
  • Winter bonnet 10 TL
  • Women’s scarf 20 TL
Shopping in retail shops like Collezione

  • Men’s Winter Jacket 99 TL
  • Women’s Winter Jacket 89 TL
  • Women’s Leather Gloves 45 TL
Shopping at the airport

  • Shirt 90 TL
  • Starbucks mug 40 TL

Istanbul Gift Ideas

Total Cost We Spend for our 5 days in Istanbul (2 person)

We come up with this budget guide since a lot of our friends/colleagues are asking about our expenses during any trip. So this was created not to brag on it, but to give you an idea of what to expect when in Istanbul and help you in budgeting for this type of trip on a holiday.

  • Visa Fees = AED 450
  • Airline Ticket = AED 4350
  • Hotel = AED 2036
  • Attractions/Pass = AED 316
  • Transportation = AED 100 (estimate)
  • Food = AED 600 (estimate)
  • Shopping = AED 700 (estimate)

Total Cost: AED 8552 (cost for 2 people, estimated for some points)