How do I plan to visit Istanbul without taking packages?- 9 easy steps

Answered for Quora

It is easy to travel on your own and avoid tour packages which usually cost you a lot. Remember, there would be other recreational expenses over your package cost. Planning a solo trip without packages is not arduous task and following are the steps below:

1. Buy air tickets- From India, Indigo flies to Turkey with return fares of Rs.23000/- inclusive of all taxes. Prices may vary and depends when you are traveling.

2. Book hotels- use Air BnB or The budget stay would cost Rs. 2500/- minimum per day.

3. Apply for Turkey visa– which is easy to procure without any help from agents.

Visa requirements:

  1. Application form
  2. Original Passport and copy
  3. Form 16
  4. Cover letter from your employer (employment proof)
  5. Salary statements for the last three months
  6. Air tickets and hotel reservations
  7. Photos
  8. Visa fees – which is Rs.4500/- approx. (You need to check).

For more specific requirements refer to the official site of Turkey consulate. e-Visa Turkey

Take all these documents with you and submit at the consulate, however, if you are willing to use agent service than go for VFS Turkey. Turkey Visa Information – India – Home Page

You should get your visa between 3–4 working days.

4. Procure the currency– check with online agents if you are striking a good deal, at the same time contact your banks and see what services charges they levy on the top of conversion rate. You would able to determine whether you need to buy currency or use cards in Istanbul. But I would still suggest that you carry a little amount of Turkish Lira even if you are willing to use cards.

5. Prepare Itinerary-Prepare your itinerary and look for popular destinations to visit in Istanbul OR search with “things to do in the city”. Search on google and write down all desired places to visit. All these activities will help to save on unnecessary expenses and be precise in your action. I would be posting a detailed itinerary soon.

6. Google maps-Download Google offline map. Always useful.

7. Tourist pass-Get a tourist pass once you arrive there. A bit of online research would be good. However, a tourist pass would be expensive. You can opt for online passes and travel Istanbul at your own pace with a 3, 5 or 7-day Istanbul Tourist Pass. Explore 30+ top attractions and services. Get a free guided access to Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia and other top museums or visit the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar using the pass. For more info:

8. Food-Carry packed food OR ready-to-cook meals so you can save a bit on it for the first few days.

9. Medicines-Carry all generic medicines.

Rest, you know what all things are closer to you so add it to your backpack.

I hope this helps.


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