Istanbul: Bada Bing Hostel
Get There: Kemeralti Caddesi, Arapoglan, Serce Sokagi no 6, Karakoy, Beyoglu – just a short walk from Tophane tram stop
Cost: From 10AD
Free Breaky: Yep – and dinner
Free WiFi: Yes
Renowned for its great location and friendly staff, Bada Bing Hostel was on my to-do list when visiting Istanbul.
Facilities here are great: the room itself and bathrooms are clean, beautifully decorated and spacious. The hostel has its own travel desk with staff who are more than happy to help you plan out and book your time in Istanbul as well as point you where to head off to next. Breakfast is the standard Turkish Breakfast that, if backpacking through Turkey, you will becoming overwhelmingly accustomed to/sick of eating – Turkish bread, goats cheese, cucumber, tomato and the like. It’s a good meal, but one you’re guaranteed to get bored of if you spend a decent amount of time in Turkey (which you should – it’s an absolutely beautiful country with incredibly welcoming people). If you do want to mix things up, there’s a kitchen to create your own masterpieces (or microwave meals). I would suggest grabbing an avocado and indulging in a typical Melbourne breakfast of avo mash with the courtesy feta cheese, tomato and bread.
The hostel was pretty quiet when I was there, which was suprising given the rooftop terrace makes for a welcoming drinking spot complete with board games, shisha and a basic bar. The hostel also throws a few events per week, including pub crawls, barbeques and dinners, so if you’re struggling to meet people this might be your best option.
In terms of location, I found being on the tram line really helpful in terms of getting across to the old side of Istanbul (especially if you’re too hobo to pay for a ticket and want to risk it), and generally felt as though everything I needed was fairly close, with Taksim being just walking distance away.