The largest city to dwell on two continents, Istanbul truly is an international marvel, and one of a kind travel experience. The culture, food, historical sights, and low price make it one of the best backpacking destinations on the planet. Marvel at the Hagia Sophia and the glorious Topkapi Palace and wander the grand bazaar or Taksim Square, there’s so many amazing tourist attractions in Istanbul to soak in!
But Istanbul is massive. And with over 100 registered hostels it can be overwhelming to know exactly which hostel to stay at and in what neighborhood.
That’s the exact reason why we wrote this guide.
Our ultimate list of the 5 best hostels in Istanbul is made for travellers, by travellers. We have taken the highest-reviewed hostels in this amazing city and put them together so you can see which one is best for you.
The best part? We’ve organised this list to fit YOUR needs.
We know that everyone travels differently. Some travellers are looking to party. Some travelers just need a cheap bed. Sometimes you’re a couple looking for some privacy or a solo traveller looking to make new friends.
Whatever your travel style, our list of the top hostels in Istanbul has got you covered. With the help of this list, you’ll be able to quickly identify the hostel that best suits your travel-style, so you can book quickly and stress-free!
Let’s take a look at the best hostels in Istanbul.
Quick answer: The 5 Best Hostels in Istanbul
- Overall Best Hostel in Istanbul – Cheers Hostel
- Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Istanbul – Big Apple Hostel
- Best Party Hostel in Istanbul – Bahaus Guesthouse Hotel
- Best Cheap Hostel in Istanbul – Cheers Midtown
- Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Istanbul – Hush Hostel Lounge
What to Expect from Hostels in Istanbul?
Hostels are generally known to be the most affordable accommodation on the market. That doesn’t just go for Istanbul, but pretty much every place in the world. However, that’s not the only good reason for staying at a hostel. The unique vibe and social aspect are what makes many Istanbul hostels TRULY special and great for solo travellers. Head down to the common room, make new friends, share travel stories and tips, or just have a great time with like-minded travellers from all over the world – you won’t get that opportunity in any other accommodation.
As we mentioned above, Istanbul is massive. Therefore you’ll find plenty of different hostel options from bunk beds to a private room. Luckily, most of them have an insane amount of value to offer for a pretty low price. Especially the newly built hostel scene is fully up to date with modern standards and great amenities. Staying in an Istanbul hostel means getting some real bang for your buck!
But let’s talk more about the important stuff – money and rooms! Istanbul’s hostels normally have three options: dorms, pods and private rooms (although pods are rare). Some hostels even offer large private rooms for a group of friends. The general rule here is: the more beds in a room, the cheaper the price. Obviously, you won’t have to pay as much for an 8-bed dorm as you would for a single bed private bedroom. To give you a rough overview of Istanbul’s prices, we’ve listed the average numbers below:
- Dorm room (mixed or female-only): $9-16 USD/night
- Private room: $28-39 USD/night
When looking for hostels, you’ll find the best options on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers you a super safe and efficient booking process. All hostels are displayed with a rating and previous guest reviews. You can also filter your personal travel needs easily and find the perfect place for you.
One thing that’ll make your hostel search a lot harder than it should be is deciding where to stay in Istanbul. The city has many cool and interesting neighbourhoods, but it can be hard to choose the right one. To help you out, we’ve listed our favourite ones below:
- Sultanahmet – Sultanahmet is the historic and cultural heart of Istanbul. It’s the oldest part of the city and is surrounded by bodies of water to the north, east and south, and old city walls to the west.
- Galata – Galata is a neighbourhood located north of the Golden Horn. Although technically part of the Beyoglu district, this neighbourhood has a distinct feel and flair and is known for some epic nightlife. It’s also close to Taksim Square.
- Grand Bazaar – The Grand Bazaar is a colourful and chaotic district located in the centre of Istanbul. Built around the centuries-old Grand and Spice Bazaars, this area is where you’ll find a wide variety of vendors, shops and boutiques.
Now that you know what to expect from hostels in Istanbul, let’s have a look at the best options…
The 5 Top Hostels in Istanbul
If you are backpacking Turkey, then the chances are you’re gonna pass through Istanbul. To help you decide where to stay, we’ve gone and made this list so you can pick the right hostel for you.
1. Cheers Hostel | Best Overall Hostel in Istanbul
The best overall hostel in Istanbul is Cheers Hostel. This place is always pumping! Cheers Hostel has won both best hostel in Istanbul and best worldwide small hostel awards in the last two years and they just keep kicking on! Cheers Hostel is great for solo travellers as being so popular means that there’s always a decent sized crew hanging out here. The Cheers bar is the best place to head if you wanna find a new crew to travel around Turkey with.
With all of the amazing awards that the hostel won, it’s clear that it’ll be a popular choice for travellers. That means that during high season, you’ll need to book well ahead to secure yourself a comfy bed.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Great views of the city
- Seperate building for private rooms
- Cool social events
Speaking of comfy beds, the Cheer Hostel has (according to previous guests) some of the most comfortable beds in all of Istanbul. Each bed is equipped with a reading light, free wifi and a power outlet so you can keep your electronics charged while snoozing the night away. Linen and lockers are free as well.
One of the best things about this hostel is the social area. You can choose from the cosy common room, an outdoor terrace, and a pretty cool bar area with great views of the city. No matter where you decide to mingle around, you can be sure to meet plenty of other backpackers and make new friends.
The hostel also organised walking tours through the city (they’re 10 bucks or person), party nights at the on-site bar, private yacht excursions, pub crawls and much more. You see, Cheer Hostel properly looks after their guests!
2. Big Apple Hostel | Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Istanbul
For solo travellers who are keen to make new friends while in Istanbul you should head to Big Apple. A close contender for the best hostel in Istanbul in 2021, Big Apple has got this hostel lark sorted out! They have a great selection of rooms and an even better hostel vibe.
Big Apple is just a few minutes away from the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. If you’re a solo traveller looking for a cool youth hostel in Istanbul to stay in, Big Apple is a great shout.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Outdoor Terrace
- Free computers
- Multiple room options
Solo travellers that are keen on a bit of privacy while also having the option to socialise will absolutely love this hostel. Each bunk bed is equipped with a curtain, so if you really want to have a bit of you-time, draw the curtains and enjoy the privacy. Once you’ve recharged your social batteries, you’ll still be able to make friends with your roommates and bunk buddies on the outdoor terrace.
Big Apple Hostel has just been renovated and newly refurbished, so you’ll get some real bang for your buck. Previous guests especially praised the incredible cleanliness and value for money you’re getting by staying at the hostel. The staff are also known to go above and beyond for their guests, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help or have any questions.
You can definitely see that the hostel keeps all its promises by having. a look at the reviews. With over 200 reviews, Big Apple Hostel is still going strong with an incredible 9.5 out of 10 ratings. if that’s not impressive, we don’t know what is…
3. Bahaus Guesthouse Hostel | Best Party Hostel in Istanbul
Bahaus is a top party hostel in Istanbul. If you’re in town for a good time, not a long time, you best head to Bahaus. Their bar is pumping and the place is full of easy-going, friendly and adventurous travellers just like you. The outdoor terrace is what makes Bahaus a leading Istanbul backpacker hostel, up there you can smoke hookah and shisha, have a drink or two and just let the good times roll. The staff all know how to run a cracking hostel and set to work making sure you have the best time at Bahaus!
That being said, if you’re not into socialising and meeting new people – or simply just having fun – this hostel might not be the right one for you. The social vibe is insanely good here and you’ll find loads of like-minded travellers that want to enjoy their time together instead of by themselves. It’s ideal if you’re a solo traveller looking to meet new people.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Great social atmosphere
- Epic planned activities
- BBQ nights
Aside from the epic parties that the hostel hosts, there are also plenty of other activities on offer. Bahaus Guesthouse Hostel offers a weekly schedule with tours, activities and events, that reach from exploring the city to enjoying a BBQ dinner together and pub crawls. If you want to know more details about it, make sure to stop by at the reception and ask what’s on the menu for today.
On those rainy days, you can also opt to stay inside and spend the time in the comfy common room. The rooftop terrace isn’t just great for parties, it’s also the ideal spot to read a book, have breakfast or simply admire the views of the city. There’s an indoor space as well where you can chill out when it’s raining.
Partying is all fun and games until you hit the next morning and feel like you’d rather die than drag yourself through the day with a horrible hangover. Luckily, all beds have private curtains which can block the sun completely, so you can sleep all day long and recover from the night before. You could also opt for one of the private rooms, these are even equipped with a TV!
4. Cheers Midtown | Best Cheap Hostel in Istanbul
The best cheap hostel in Istanbul is Cheers Midtown – yup, another Cheers hostel, just like the first one we showed you. It’s part of the Cheers hostel brand. Just like the overall best hostel, Cheers hostel midtown is just as amazing!
This laid-back vintage hostel is perfect for all sorts of travellers, especially budget backpackers and digital nomads who want to stay in a sociable hostel but still have enough quiet time to get all their work done and dusted. What previous guests love about Cheers Midtown is the free tea and coffee served all day in their cafe. If travellers nowadays need anything aside from WiFi to get working it’s copious amounts of Turkish tea and coffee!
Cheers Midtown has spacious dorms and is incredibly clean. The kinda place you could hang out in for a week or more and still enjoy!
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Incredibly clean
- Super modern design
- Spacious rooms
Cheers Midtown is a cosy boutique hostel located in the heart of the typical Ottoman district of Beyoglu near Taksim Square. Its prime location allows easy walking access to main transport systems (tram/ferry at the end of the street so ideal for day trips in Istanbul) and is only 10 minutes from Galata Bridge, connecting you to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, Fish Market, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and an abundance of other tourist attractions. Istiklal Street is only minutes away providing the gateway to the bustling nightlife of Tunel & the many cafe’s, bars, rooftop terraces and memorable Meyhanes of Beyoglu.
The hostel offers a mixture of private rooms, dorms and family rooms (9 rooms), some of which have en-suite bathrooms. Most rooms now have bunk beds with a personal locker. Padlocks for those lockers are provided, but you can also use your own!
Just like all the other Cheers Hostels in Istanbul, this one is known for being pretty modern, being run by the kindest staff and looking after their guests with an insane amount of care! If you’re looking for a safe home away from home, this is definitely an epic spot.
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5. Hush Hostel Lounge | Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Istanbul
Hush Hostel Lounge is a cracking Istanbul backpackers hostel designed for true travellers. This chilled out and happy hostel is a real home from home for backpackers arriving in Istanbul. Hush Hostel is great for digital nomads setting up their temporary office in Istanbul as they have fast free wifi and plenty of common areas to work in and a hammock or two for when you just need to walk away from the laptop at this vintage hostel.
On a sunny day, the Hush Hostel’s sun trapped garden terrace is a gorgeous place to hang out in. And on those not so sunny days, you can stay inside and chill in the cosy common area where you can do work or mingle around with all the other backpackers. It’s a calm hostel, yet it’s still got a very nice social vibe.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Cute outside area
- Rooftop terrace
- Private rooms with balcony
The dorm rooms in this Istanbul hostel are pretty basic, but according to previous guests, all beds are super comfy. You’ve got high-speed internet connections in all parts of the hostel, including the outside areas. This makes it a breeze to get your work done. In case you’re taking a work-rest day, head to the reception and ask about the bike rental. Exploring the streets of Istanbul with a bike is. a lot more efficient and you’ll be able to see a lot more of the city within a short amount of time – perfect if you have to go back to your laptop!
Located on the Asian Side of the city, Hush is in close proximity to a transportation hub that services the whole city, including the ferry which takes you to the European Side and historical sightseeing just in 20 minutes. The ferry over to Sultanahmet or Taksim Square is cheap, easy, and lends beautiful views of the city.
If you need some inspiration on what to do or see in the city, join one of the free events and walking tours that the hostel offers. Alternatively, you could also ask the staff about their recommendations. Local knowledge always goes a long way!
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More Epic Hostels in Istanbul
Haven’t found the right Istanbul hostel for you yet? Don’t worry, there are plenty more options waiting for you. To make the search a bit easier, we’ve listed more epic hostels in Istanbul below.
Agora Hostel & Guesthouse | Overall Best Hostel in Istanbul
Agora Hostel is the overall best hostel in Istanbul in 2021 and one of Turkey’s best hostels too. A vintage hostel with a cosy feel, Agora have been stunning travellers with a high standard of service for years. The free breakfast is a total bonus and part of the reason why Agora is the best hostel in Istanbul. The rooms are simple, stylish, and inexpensive; everything you could ask for in a hostel really! A great all-rounder, Agora is a great Istanbul hostel regardless of whether you’re travelling solo, with your crew or lover.
Chillout Lya Hostel & Bar | Another Party Hostel in Istanbul
The best party hostel in Istanbul is Chillout Lya, they’re quick to tell guests that they’re just 15-seconds away from Istanbul’s nightlife and host some awesome pub crawls. To me and you that means they’re right in the party of Istanbul’s nightlife district. With their own bar on the ground floor, Chillout Lya is a top hostel in Istanbul for all those party animals out there. Chillout Lya is located in the vibrant Beyoglu district, a liberal and happening part of the city with a wild party scene.
Sultan Hostel | Another Cheap Hostel in Istanbul #1
The best cheap hostel in Istanbul is Sultan Hostel. They not only offer a free Turkish breakfast, free WiFi and bed linen but they have clean, spacious and, most importantly, cheap dorm rooms too. Sultan Hostel is the coolest hostel in Istanbul if you’re on a tight budget. On top of cracking value for money, Sultan Hostel also has its own bar and cafe serving up backpacker budget-friendly food and booze every day of the week, as well as epic pub crawls. If you’re looking at the best Istanbul hostels on a budget, this is the one!
Harmony Hostel | Another Cheap Hostel in Istanbul #2
Harmony Hostel is a top hostel in Istanbul for travellers who are keen to meet and mingle but don’t want to break the bank. Harmony Hostel is a super welcoming and chilled out Istanbul backpackers hostel right in the centre of the city, between Sultanahmet and Sirkeci. If you’re keen to get the most out of backpacking Istanbul, then swing by the Harmony Hostel tours and travel desk to see what deals and discounts they can offer you.
Avrasya Hostel | Another Cheap Hostel in Istanbul #3
Avrasaya is a much loved and highly recommended hostel in Istanbul and you’re gonna love it too. Humble, simple and homely, Avrasaya Hostel can be found in the Sultanahmet district. You couldn’t stay closer to Istanbul’s famous landmarks if you tried. Both the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are just 150m away! You shouldn’t need directions but the Avrasaya will be more than happy to show you the way. As a top hostel in Istanbul Avrasaya has its own cafe and restaurant on the roof, their awesome menu must be tried!
Istanbul Taksim Hostel Green House | Best Hostel for Couples in Istanbul
The best hostel for couples in Istanbul is Green House, it’s a little bit of luxury, to say the least! Where else can you and your lover sleep in a 4-poster bed for less than $30 a night?! Green House is a highly recommended hostel in Istanbul ideal for couples who want to spend some quality time together while in Turkey.
Being in the Taksim Square area means that you’re super close to all of Istanbul’s must-visit tourist hotspots. If you come to Istanbul at the weekend, Taksim does get lively in the evenings but it’s all good fun. It’s one of the best Istanbul hostels for the location for sure!
If you’re seeking a top hostel in Istanbul to stay in with your lover you have to check out Bucoleon by Cheers. Cheers have a number of hostels in Istanbul and Bucoleon is their boutique, luxury edition. You and your partner can check into one of Bucoleon’s lavish private ensuite rooms complete with a view of the Blue Mosque. Bucoleon is the coolest hostel in Istanbul if a touch of luxury is what you’re after. Embrace the romance and share a glass of wine with bae while you watch the sunset over the Blue Mosque from your own private balcony.
For digital nomads who fancy escaping the dorms when in Turkey Sultans Inn is the place to book. As a highly recommended hostel in Istanbul Sultans Inn has a number of single private rooms at dorm-like prices perfect for digital nomads. Each room has its own working desk, TV, mini-fridge and ensuite too. Admittedly Sultans Inn is more of a hotel than it is an Istanbul backpackers hostel but it’s ideal for digital nomads nonetheless. The dining terrace is the best place to meet fellow digital nomads and travellers and revel at the Blue Mosque in the distance.
Moda Hostel is a great youth hostel in Istanbul for travellers looking for a modern yet homely place to stay in the city. Moda is a light, spacious and colourful hostel on the Asian side of Istanbul. Located in the vibrant, artistic district of Kadikoy, Moda Hostel incorporates these vibes into its hostel’s atmosphere. If you’re keen to stay on the Asian side of Istanbul and experience literally and metaphorically a different side of the city Moda Hostel is where you need to go.
Cheers Lighthouse is the cosiest and most homely of Cheers’ Istanbul backpackers hostels. Lighthouse offers travellers amazing views of the Asian side of Istanbul from some of their rooms; from others, you look out onto the charming cobbled streets of Istanbul’s Old Town. The Cheers Lighthouse restaurant is fabulous, you needn’t eat anywhere else when you’re in Istanbul in all fairness. Lighthouse is a really sociable hostel that attracts a chilled out and friendly group of backpackers throughout the year.
Hanchi is one of only a few Istanbul backpackers hostels to have a guest kitchen. If you’re on the road long term you’ll know it’s the little things like cooking that you start to miss. Hanchi is close to the local bazaars and provides you with a great opportunity to explore the markets, put your haggling skills to good use so you can return to Hanchi and cook up a meal to share with your hostel mates. The Hanchi staff are super professional and very accommodating, just holla for help!
Old Mile Suites – Best Hostel with a Private Room in Istanbul
If you’re looking for the best budget hostel in Istanbul you should check out Old Mile Suites. Ideal for travellers jet-setting solo or those who are travelling with their beau as they have tonnes of private rooms and plenty of dorms too. Old Mile is a brilliant Istanbul backpackers hostel for travellers on a shoestring budget. Both the dorm rooms and private doubles are cheap and chips throughout the year. Old Mile has everything you could need including their own cafe on the ground floor.
What to Pack for your Istanbul Hostel
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.
Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.
Hanging Laundry Bag
Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.
Sea To Summit Micro Towel
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
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Grayl Geopress Water Bottle
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Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!
FAQ about Hostels in Istanbul
Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Istanbul.
How much does a hostel cost in Istanbul?
The average price of hostels in Istanbul ranges from $9-16 USD/night for a dorm room (mixed or female-only), while a private room costs $28-39 USD/night.
What are the best hostels in Istanbul for couples?
Istanbul Taksim Hostel Green House is our best hostel for couples in Istanbul. It is comfy and in a great central location, close to all of Istanbul’s must-visit tourist hotspots.
What are the best hostels in Istanbul near the airport?
Chillout Lya Hostel & Bar , another party hostel in Istanbul, can provide an airport shuttle service for an additional fee.
Travel Safety Tips for Istanbul
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SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
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Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in Istanbul
Istanbul is an absolute marvel. You can spend a lifetime there and still only see a fraction of what this amazing city has to offer. With so much to see, don’t waste any unnecessary time trying to find an Istanbul hostel!
With the help of this guide to the best hostels in Istanbul, you’ll be able to book your hostel quickly and focus on what matters – eating baklava and drinking Turkish tea.
And remember, if you are having a tough time picking, just go with our top hostel in Istanbul for 2021- Agora Hostel & Guesthouse.
By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Istanbul has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!