I pride myself on being a budget traveler who is most comfortable in hostels. I can discern what makes a great hostel and what doesn’t. And lucky for me, I only experienced the best Turkish hostels. I can’t complain about a single place I stayed, which is truly unique. Remember what I said about how lovely the people of Turkey are? That had a lot to do with it, but more than anything, you knew you were going to be taken care of. So here goes, my favorite budget accommodations from my trip from Istanbul down the Aegean, through the Mediterranean and back again. Some are not officially hostels, but are guesthouses or hotels with multi-share options. Note that outside of Istanbul, many of these hostels are open seasonally from March to October, so check before booking.
Located in the Beyoglu side of Istanbul, #bunk is right outside of the Fish Market and Iskitlal Caddesi shopping district. It’s certainly one of the hipper places to stay in the city and feels more local. They offer free breakfast every morning and sell water, beer and sandwiches at the desk throughout the day. They have computers for public use and free WiFi so that you can Instagram your stay. Rooms are on the smaller end, but come in 32 dorm and private varieties, complete with reading lights and plugs. Bathrooms are down the hall. There is no elevator, but there are only four floors. At the top you’ll find a patio and a small kitchenette with a kettle and microwave. While it may be across the river from the tourist sights, the neighborhood itself is worth exploring and lucky for you, the hostel offers tours. They’ll be opening a second location in Taksim Square in January 2014. Beds start at $40 USD for a 4 bed dorm and go up from there for private rooms.
Crowded House, Eceabat
In essence, Crowded House is a hotel that just happens to have a shared rooms in addition to private rooms. They’re known for their tours, which leave from the town of Eceabat to nearby Cannakkale, Gallipoli, Troy and Pergamum. You won’t find an empty bed in April when it’s packed to the rafters with Aussies and Kiwis honoring ANZAC Day. The beds are soft with thick comforters and bathrooms are ensuite. Rooms also have televisions and free WiFi. Breakfast is free and for 10 lira you can get a full barbecue dinner, which includes mezze, bread, vegetables and your choice of meat with rice and fries as well as dessert and a drink. Rooms start at $30 for single rooms.
Atilla’s Getaway, Selcuk
Set in the mountains outside of Selcuk lies Atilla’s Getaway, a Turkey overland institution. Atilla, the Turkish-Aussie proprietor, has been running this property for years. They run shuttles into town, but most of what you need is right here. The pool is welcoming and the 10 lira dinners are delicious. Breakfast is included and you have your choice, but I recommend the fruit salad. The property has over 80 beds, including private rooms, dorm rooms and cabins. There’s even a bar that has beer, wine and liquors. You can check out the volleyball court, play a game of pool or lounge about with a shisha pipe. Bathrooms are ensuite and WiFi is available throughout the property. The getaway is open seasonally and caters to tour groups like the one I was on. Selcuk is a good location for day trips to Ephesus and Pamukkale. Rooms start at $24 for an 8 bed mixed dorm.
Saklikent Gorge Club, Saklikent Gorge
The Gorge Club in Saklikent Gorge, around an hour from Fethiye, is one of the most unique places I stayed in Turkey. Settled at the base of the deepest and longest gorge in the country, there’s no shortage of activities at the Gorge Club. Once you’ve had your night’s sleep in a treehouse (yes! a treehouse!), grab your free breakfast and explore the gorge. Afterwards, go tubing down the river, which finishes with a mud bath. Treehouses have multiple beds and bathrooms are outside next to the restaurant. The restaurant is open daily, serving up Turkish and continental favorites. If you’re not up for getting wet, you can lounge in the area next to the river or cross the bridge to check out the shops. Rooms start at $40 for a double room, but camping is also available.
V-Go Hotel and Guesthouse, Fethiye
If you hear the name V-Go in Fethiye, you know you’re in good hands. They own this hotel and guesthouse, tour company, sailing excursions and even a cafe. The facility has both dorm rooms, of which I stayed in an 8 bed ensuite, as well as private rooms with terraces. The pool and terrace overlooking the harbor are always full of people soaking up sun. V-Go has free WiFi and computers for you to use. In addition to the free breakfast, the restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily for reasonable prices, as does the bar in terms of drinks. The staff is always ready to help you flag down a dolmus or print off your boarding pass. It may be a 15 minute walk from the rest of Fethiye, but that just makes you want to stay put. Rooms start at $13 for a dorm.
Cheers Lighthouse, Istanbul
Cheers Lighthouse is a brand new (open less than two months) hostel in the Cheers chain a short walk from the Blue Mosque. Its great location in Sultanahment makes it ideal for exploring the area’s attractions like Ayasofya and Tokapi Palace. The rooms are cleaned daily and have an ensuite bathroom, lockers and include linens and towels. Both private and dorm rooms are available and while there are less beds here than in other hostels, it just means you get to know the other guests better. There’s free breakfast and the in house restaurant has cheap and delicious meals. WiFi is free and guests are welcome to use the facilities of the other Cheers hostel on the other side of Sultanahmet. The helpful staff are what make the hostel so great, as they allowed me to stay all day after checking out when I had a late flight. Rooms start at $24 for a 6 bed mixed dorm.
My stays in many of these hostels were organized through my tours with BusAbout while others were arranged through my partnership with Hostelworld, but all opinions are my own. All images are made on Canva, which I recommend you check out!