How is Istanbul for digital nomads?

#1

I’m soon heading out on my first solo international trip as a remote worker.
I’m thinking of starting in Istanbul mid June, and slowly making my way up
north, staying a month or so in cities along the way.

Have any of you stayed in Istanbul for a couple of weeks or longer? Anyone there now?
For accommodation there seems to be some options on airbnb.

  • Which areas are good and which are best avoided?
  • Are there any useful local sites?
  • Would it be worth booking a place for a couple of nights and trying to find a good deal on the ground?
  • What would a good rate be for a room or small apartment for a one month stay?

A lot of questions here, I’d appreciate any bits of advice you can share!

#2

This is my opinion, but we are all really different, so you might just give it a try.

Istanbul is great! My favorite place to stay is Kadiköy on the Asian side. There is a lot of nice people outside at night, small pedestrian streets with nice bars, not as crowded as the european side (but crowded still, don’t misunderstand me).

My experience is that it is hard to get an airbnb late (like, for tonight or tomorrow). Best to plan ahead. Otherwise, tons of cheap hostels in beyoglu and sultanahmet. But they are very un-even, so you can give it a try. I love the hush moda hostel in kadiköy, and Neverland in beyoglu. But if you want to work, the internet can be unreliable, and you’ll have to use the dinning tables as desk. For the price, I find Istanbul expensive in general. stay with hostels or airbnb (the prices are not overrated), the local renting system is not worth playing with if you stay so short.

If you are into coworking, Yazane is the best. I have tried Urban Station in Maslak only. It was very “quiet” (4-5 people, not much interaction), but the one in galata or sisane could be more “alive”.

Hope you will enjoy it!

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#3

Thanks @norydev, I appreciate it.
I found quite a few options on http://www.sublet.com as well, but I don’t think I’d commit to anything on there without going to see the place first.

Would you mind expanding a bit on what you mean when you say you find Istanbul expensive in general? Expensive relative to? I’m going entirely based on projections from airbnb, nomadlist & numbeo.com. Would you say those are fairly accurate or way out?

#4

When I say “it is expensive”, I am comparing to the rest of Turkey, and the big cities in the area (South-east Europe). But it also depends a lot where in Istanbul you want to be. For rents, Airbnb is the best indicator to me. Street food is much more expensive in the touristic areas than in Üsküdar for example, but it would be from 10 to 50 TL without drinks, and restaurants a bit higher.

#5

Thanks for clarifying!

#6

I agree with @norydev. For me Istanbul is a good place for the digital nomads:

  1. It is huge city and there are a lot of things to do and see.
  2. Good public transport
  3. A lot of places to eat out
  4. Good amount of nice coworking spaces
  5. Good prices on AirBnB

Kadiköy is definitely great neighborhood. I also like neighborhood near Cevahir Mall and Sutluce.

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#7

Bad choice.

AirBnB prices are going through the roof IMHO. You should find a flatmate if you want to stay there. Internations forum is a good choice if you want to find one.

#8

Hi all,
@podviaznikov do you have advices for some coworking spaces in Istanbul except Yazane and Urban Station , already listed in this thread, if you have tested one of them.

Thanks

#9

Freakin’ too big city for my taste. Anyone tried Izmir? It may be interesting on may levels, according to my Turkish sources.

Even Antalya; it’s not only about tourists, many expats live there as well. 1/3rd of the population are Russian, I was told. Mostly females, married, or want to marry, a Turk or a nomad.

#10

Hey @AurelienB check out Kolektif House, definitely the coolest coworking space around with great events, live music nights and a super awesome community! I’ve been in Istanbul for 3 months now and tried almost everywhere, Kolektif House is where I meet the most international, friendly and like minded people in the city.

If you’re looking for cafes in the area to work from, anywhere in Karaköy and Cihangir will do, just pop into a cafe when you see someone on their laptop and plug in! Happy to help out if you have any other questions about remote working in Istanbul :slightly_smiling:

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#11

OK. Back to Istanbul. I’d definitely stay on the Asian side, for long term. Of course, it depends on your personal tastes and preferences, but the NY Times video is instructive.

This new shopping mall (under construction; looks good!) will house Apple’s 3rd Istanbul store (Turkey is a mayor power), for some culture on the Asian side.

#12

The asian side is great, Karikoy and Moda are incredible areas but still the same price as somewhere like Cihangir on the european side for long term rent (where I’m staying and love).

Have you checked out the neighborhood Karakoy? Loads of little cafes, shops & more and all very hipster. Reminds me of Shoreditch in London.

#13

@arman Thanks for your answer and the advice. I had seen this coworking space but I thought it was too far from asian part. I will reconsider my point of view and contact them, because I saw they have two spaces.
I’m not yet in Istanbul, it will be the next week but I still have no flat and coworking space so that’s why I asked for your nice advices !
As I have to stay only three weeks in Istanbul I think I might choose the european side to be close to coworking spaces, at least for the first week.

Thanks all for your great answers !

#14

There are frequent ferries across both sides so even if you stay on the Asian side your journey won’t be too painful. If it’s a short-term stay then Airbnb would work great (even though it is a bit pricey), and the best neighborhood on the European side is Cihangir! - although I may be biased as I live here…