I am going alone to Istanbul this Saturday for 3 days. I found a website (booking.com) with discounts on activities. For example, "Tour Haga Sofia with a guide" for $15. Or a tour in a city bus and a boat sightseeing tour with discount about 30% (the total around $20).

I wonder if I can get better offers and options when I arrive. If I do the activities I want, I'll be payimg total 100 in advance. I am on a tight budget but at the same time I want to explore Istanbul.

My Experience:

In general it was a good 3 days experience, lot of things to do, lot of places to be visited , its place where the old and modern city are merged.I wish if there is a question that say most of things to be aware when someone travel to a city, or the things that should be done when travel to a touristic city, I met lot of people who guided me and explained many places. Things to be aware are 3 main things: EXCHANGE RATE and People Who makes Tours trips, and TAXI AT THE AIRPORT.

I exchanged my 300$ with a really bad rate(5.2 which at that time was 5.7 lira turkey per 1$). I lost about 25$.

As for the trips , I met a guy said they do daily trips to BURSA city, which they visit Factories( yes its the precise word they used it, Factories), and only for 25$ which I though its a great deal. But they do not send you to factories, they send you to specific shops where they take commissions from them every time you buy something. In general it was a good experience, I met a new city but honestly I wouldn't prefer to go there, because most of the time I was on the road, and just visiting shops no touristic places or factories.

This airport is new and bit far from the main city of Istanbul, so to go there you can use the bus. Dont go with a taxi, unless if you dont have a problem paying 50$-100$. in the bus it cost me less then 5$. and its somehow the same, though you have to buy an Istanbul cart which its is a savior to travel from one place to another in instabull , also you can use it to travel to island.

In summary, in Istanbul you can do activities by your self and ask lot, there a lot of liars there just to convince you to buy their services.

  • 3
    Assuming this is your first trip, and since you’re only there for 3 days, pre-booking some activities can be a good idea to save time when you arrive and give some structure to your visit. Have you checked other sites offering similar tours to compare prices?
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 7:06
  • 3
    In order to avoid opinion based questions we have become so overzealous that any question that even a legitimate question directly related to traveling within the scope gets close votes quickly. Only the visa questions stay because people love to copy paste what Timatic says. Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 16:48
  • 2
    Close voters: Any reason?
    – krubo
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 20:21
  • In retrospect, do you think it was better not to book in advance or you would have saved more had you pre-booked? Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 6:53
  • @HankyPanky Well I spend several weeks on booking.com till I i have find a cheap place, 25$ per night.so yes booking in advanced is way better. my advice is do lot of researches before reserve in an hotel and for Istanbul the Ataturk airport is closed so be aware reserving next to it.
    – Moudiz
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 7:03

2 Answers 2


I am one of the pre-booking type of guys, I plan for any trips months in advance and book everything long before embarking on a trip.

But, in Istanbul, You will considerably save much more by booking in person once you are there. All the tours that appear costly from a distance are actually much cheaper when booked on the spot. Don’t even book from your hotel. Take a bus or tram and go to the spot.

I saved a lot of money and headache by not booking trips in advance for Istanbul.

I mean i am on in a tight budge but at the same time i want to explore istanbul.

Don't book online. For example an online Bosporus tour which is 70 dollars per person can be had for 15 dollars per person by going to the dock and looking around for one.

Should I trust activities offera from famous website when visiting Istanbul?

Obviously booking.com is legitimate, but on a tight budget you don't need to book those activities in advance. Stay in Sultanahmet and the great city of Istanbul will be a walk in the park.

  • If possible, please let us know about your experience once you’re back from Istanbul. It will be very helpful. Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 5:01
  • Well this is my first time I travel out of my country, it was good experience its a lovely place and really crowded. Ill edit my question with my experience and some things to be aware of.
    – Moudiz
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 6:25

The Istanbul Card is worth considering.


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