Backpacking is a budget-conscious way to see a new place without missing anything. You get more in touch with the local experience, and you see just as much as the other tourists, but at a fraction of the cost. It’s just crucial to tailor your trip to the backpacking lifestyle.
Packing for the Season Is Essential
Image via Flickr by TijsB
Travelers who have never been to Istanbul, or to Turkey in general, often have the idea that the city enjoys a hot, dry climate throughout the year. It’s not a desert, however. The weather is seasonal, and it’s not so far off the mark from the seasons experienced in the U.S. or in parts of Europe.
You might not see much snow in the winter, but you’ll feel the bite in the air. Spring is typically wet and a bit chilly, but later in the season, Istanbul’s parks blossom with tulips. Summers are just as hot as you might imagine, though. Fall is a lovely time of year, with moderately warm days and a slight crispness in the evening air.
Not only should you pack for the season, but you should travel for the season as well. You don’t want to backpack through the city during a damp spring, nor do you want to battle insanely hot temperatures. Late spring, early summer, and fall are among the best times to visit. Bring items you can layer, including jackets and pants, along with your warm-weather wear. Light colors and lightweight fabrics are best. Include talcum powder, bug spray, antihistamines, sunscreen, and aloe—just in case.
Eating on the Streets Is More Authentic
Turkish cuisine is tops, but the city boasts a number of fine dining establishments that might not fit your budget—and with your backpacking attire, you might not fit their dress code. Be kind to both your budget and your stomach by turning your attention to street food. It’s nothing new, but it’s making its mark. Vendors are more than happy to entice you with kebabs, Balik Ekmek—a scrumptious fish sandwich—and assortments of grilled meats with savory yogurts, along with salty snacks and sweet treats.
Sleeping on the Cheap Is Easy
Even backpackers need accommodation, but where you stay depends on your budget. Have you set aside money to spend a few nights in a nice hotel? Finding accommodations for less than $100 per night is possible. Take a look at an Istanbul city guide to discover where all the other backpackers go. You might have the option to share a room with other transient travelers. The city has an array of hostels with varying amenities and rates as well.
There Are Options for Getting Around
Most of the time, you probably want to walk through the city. Fortunately, the layout lends itself well to shank’s mare. It also boasts an excellent public transportation system. Take the bus or the subway one trip at a time if you don’t often need to get somewhere quickly. Otherwise, a transport pass might make the most sense.
Have you ever backpacked anywhere? What got you through the adventure?