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‘Magnificent’ city is one of Europe’s ‘cheapest’ – with meals for £7

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The largest city in , straddling the boundary between and Asia, Istanbul has been described as a “magnificent” destination that has also made its way onto a new index of Europe’s cheapest break destinations. The vast city reflects the many cultural influencers of the empires which historically ruled over it, separated into an Old City and newer pockets.

According to experts from travel insurance firm Quotezone, it’s also on the list of most budget-friendly city break destinations in Europe, with the experts highlighting just how affordable it is to dine out here.

The experts looked at the 12 most visited cities across Europe including Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Rome, and analysed the cost of tourist tax, hotels, dining and drinking and public transport.

Though Istanbul was , in Poland, and , it still scored well for affordability.

Quotezone’s report said: “Istanbul ranks as the third best city for holidaying this summer, with the cheapest meal prices in the index, despite being 34.74 km away from the airport.”

According to the study, you can expect to pay less than £8 for a meal out. The experts found that the average price of a meal cost €8.65 – which is roughly £7.39.

And if you are partial to a beer, the study found that the average price of a local beer in Istanbul is €3.17 – which is approximately £2.71.

Istanbul is a cosmopolitan metropolis and a traditional, conservative city all in one. So, if you are a foodie, the good news is that Istanbul offers a fantastic amalgamation of local goods and more contemporary fusion foods.

One of the top-rated restaurants on Tripadvisor, which also scored a Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award for 2023, is Gulhane Sark Sofrasi. The menu serves up a mix of seafood, Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine.

However, based on recent reviews, it’s well worth booking as it can get busy in the evenings.

A visit to Istanbul is also not complete without experiencing a cup of Turkish coffee. The beverage is known for being thick and sweet, and has a strong cultural significance from its use in fortune-telling and traditional marriage arrangements.

Fazıl Bey’s Turkish Coffee in the vibrant Kadıköy Bazaar is a recommended hotspot and is popular with locals.

The café is known for playing Turkish folk music and offers a wide selection of coffee flavours.

A previous visitor to Istanbul said: “Istanbul is a magnificent city…one full of beauty, history, spectacular architecture, amazing restaurants, views to die for, wonderful little family-owned hotels, exceptionally kind and honest people, fun-filled nightclubs, exotic sounds, exotic smells, and many other fabulous things too numerous to mention.”

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