Straddling Asia and Europe across the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey is a culturally rich and budget-friendly city for travelers—especially this time of year. Airbnb rentals average just $45/night, while you can rent an entire apartment—many run by agencies solely for tourists—for an average of $64/night. From a sprawling library-like flat with city views to a modern spot with a Turkish spa included, these are 10 of our favorite Airbnbs in Istanbul for $100 or less.
1. Onat’s studio apartment 2. Aziz’s loft-like spot 3. Mehmet’s studio apartment 4. Yusuf’s studio suite 5. Omer’s one-bedroom apartment 6. One-bedroom apartment 7. Library flat 8. Yasemin’s chic and colorful apartment 9. Design-forward flat 10. Alev’s apartment
Paste’s Airbnb columnist Erica Jackson Curran is a former alt-weekly editor turned moonlight freelancer based in Richmond, Virginia.
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At an average of $24/night, Onat's studio apartment is one of the best values on our list. It's in the central Beyoglu district, close to attractions like busy Istiklal Avenue, Galata Tower, and Taksim Square. The soundproof space has a full-size bed, a kitchenette, and bathroom, plus plenty of windows to let in the sunlight. There are two metro stations, a tram stop, and ferry stations all within walking distance. Past guests call the apartment cozy, clean, and comfortable.
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In the same neighborhood, Aziz's loft-like spot has one bedroom with a full-sized bed along with a sofa bed in the living room. There's also a dining area and a kitchen with a dishwasher and washer-dryer. With exposed brick walls and Turkish antiques and artwork scattered throughout, the apartment has an eclectic feel. Recent guest Nandini says the best part of the rental is waking up in the bright, airy room, and that Aziz is a "phenomenal" host.
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Touted as the oldest apartment on the block, Mehmet's studio apartment was built in 1881. It boasts beautiful details like stained glass, a painted ceiling, intricate tilework, and an antique chandelier and furniture. The kitchen and bathroom are thoroughly modern—and the bathroom even has a gold sink. There's also a little patio with a table for two and a heater for chilly days. It's less than a five-minute walk to Taksim Square.
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Yusuf's studio suite averages less than $40/night, but it includes access to a 24-hour doorman, a fitness center, a rooftop terrace, and a Turkish bath and sauna, plus a daily cleaning service. The apartment itself has a kitchenette and a bathroom with a Jacuzzi. It's in the heart of the old city Suntanahmet, just a few minutes away from landmarks like the stunning Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Recent guest Tahseen says Superhost Yusuf greeted her with tea and cookies, offered a sightseeing route, and even let her borrow his coats for the unseasonably cold weather.
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The (shared) rooftop of Omer's one-bedroom apartment is what guests rave about—some claim it has the best view in the city. Inside, the renovated space has a bedroom with a full-sized bed, a living room with a fold-out couch, a kitchenette, and a bathroom with a rain shower and towel warmer. It's located right beside the medieval stone Galata Tower, and close to many cafes, a jazz club, and shops. There's also a 24-hour doorman.
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Superhost Alexis rents out this one-bedroom apartment in Beyoglu, two minutes from Istiklal Avenue. The historic apartment has high ceilings, original frescos on the walls, and tall windows overlooking the street. There's an eat-in kitchen with a dishwasher and washer-dryer, a bathroom with a roomy walk-in shower, and a small balcony. The old Ottoman Firuz Aga Mosque is around the corner.
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Dating back to 1913, Iason's "library flat" has—you guessed it—a whole lot of books, with a focus on Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African literature, philosophy, and current affairs. Located on the fourth floor, the apartment has an impressive view of the city from the study, and it's a quick walk away from Istiklal and the trendy Cihangir and Galata districts. There are two bedrooms along with an updated kitchen and bathroom, all decorated with documentary photography shot by the apartment's owner.
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Yasemin's chic and colorful apartment has two sunny bedrooms with exposed brick walls, a dining room, and a living room that opens up onto a balcony. The fully equipped kitchen has Moroccan tiles on the walls and floors. The apartment is decorated with artwork by one of the hosts, and it's five minutes from the metro. Coffee shops, antique shops, galleries and the Modern Art Museum are all easily accessible.
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Situated right on Istiklal Avenue, this design-forward flat has plenty of room for lounging, with two seating areas and an open kitchen with an island and a dining area. There's a bedroom with a king-sized bed, plus two couches for sleeping. Light sleepers should know there's a nightclub on the ground floor that gets pretty lively on weekend nights. Superhosts Nuran and Meltem get a lot of praise for being attentive and responsive.
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Alev's apartment is on the first floor of a late-19th-century Greek building in bustling Beyoglu. There's a view of the Golden Horn harbor along with several famous mosques and monuments. The bedroom has a queen-sized bed, desk, and closets, as well as a cumba, "a traditional protrusion of the room over the street which captures the breeze and provides a cosy seating and reading area," according to the host. There's also a living room with a fold-out couch, a kitchen, a terrace.