Wandering the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, taking a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, and exploring the ruins of Ephesus. Turkey has plenty of bucket-list worthy items that many travellers would love to experience. But, just how much does it cost to go to Turkey? Read on to find out.
For the purpose of this itinerary, I’m going to suggest spending two weeks in Turkey. It’s a big enough country with plenty to see and do. Keep in mind that you’ll likely need a Visa to visit Turkey. This is best obtained ahead of time.
Turkey trip cost
Local transportation $250
Food and drink $490
Random spending $160
Total US $4,400
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency. This guide is based on the costs of a single person, so if you are a couple, make sure to double these estimates (except for hotels).
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, a sign up bonus worth $250 and it comes with airport lounge access.
Flights to Turkey from North America can be expensive in comparison to many other destinations. On average, you can expect to pay about $1,000 for a return trip. You may be able to find a seat sale, especially from Turkish Airlines. However, depending on the season you travel, you may end up paying more (or less).
There are multiple discount carriers in Europe that fly to Turkey, so you could fly into a major hub and then take a budget airline to get you to Turkey. That said, even if that saves you $200-$300 per person, it may not be worth the hassle. It’ll add time to your journey which cuts into your vacation.
Like most popular tourist destinations, Turkey has accommodation options for all budgets in many of the main cities and areas. For the purpose of creating this estimate, I’ve budgeted for a mid-range hotel which averages at about $150 per night.
If you are looking to spend less, there are plenty of budget and hostel options. If you want to splurge, Turkey has some stunning luxury hotels too. I recommend using booking.com to search for hotels as they show many family-run hotels that are in great locations and reasonably priced.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. For example, Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus of $250 when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. This card does have an annual fee of $150 but it’s normally waived for the first year so you’re getting $250 for free. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.
If you are spending two weeks in Turkey, you are definitely going to want to travel around a bit. It’s well connected with bus routes, trains, domestic flights, and even ferries depending on where you want to go. While it may seem a bit intimidating, most travellers agree that getting around Turkey by local transportation is actually pretty easy.
Granted, if you choose to fly around you’ll end up spending a lot more than if you take the bus. However, some flights take an hour while the bus ride can take 12. So, you need to balance the value of money vs your time. That being said, domestic flights re pretty inexpensive. You can go from Istanbul to Cappadocia for about $50 or less. For comparison, an overnight bus for the same route is about $12.
For this budget, I’m suggesting $250. I’ve estimated a bit higher since I’m assuming you’ll prefer to take domestic flights. But, if you’d rather bus and train, you can cut this part of your budget quite a bit.
Turkey has plenty to see and do for free, but you are definitely going to want to fork out the money for some activities and entrance fees. There’s just way too many cool things to see and do. If you stick mainly with sight-seeing type activities, you can get by on the cheap. But, if you are more into hot air balloon rides, adventurous activities, or historical tours then you’ll want to up this budget. For a bit of both I suggest budgeting $400.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are a few things to do in Turkey.
Food and drink
Like public transportation, food and drink is inexpensive, especially if you are interested more in local dishes. Turkish food is cheap! Here’s a sample breakdown of what you can expect to pay for meals in Turkey.
- Breakfast – $7
- Lunch – $13
- Dinner – $15
That’s a total of $35 a day. Admittedly, I’ve budgeted a bit higher for food than you’ll likely spend. You could easily spend less than $5 a meal if you wanted. For example, you can get a freshly grilled fish sandwich for $3. You can also get kebabs or spicy bean strew for about the same price. It’s also worth mentioning that breakfast is often included at many hotels. With this budget, you can enjoy a few nice meals in restaurants guilt free.
The kicker when it comes to food and drink is alcohol. It’s quite expensive so if you want to drink, you’ll need to add more to your budget. Also, tap water is not safe to drink so you will need to buy bottled water or bring a water purifier.
Please note, tipping is common in Turkey (5-10%) so keep that in mind when eating in restaurants.
It’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand when you travel. Maybe you’ll want it for souvenirs, a nice dinner or night out, or an extra tour. I suggest having an extra $100 on hand just in case.
The Grand Bazaar is likely on your list of things to do, but I personally think it’s a hassle to shop here. Not many stores list the price on the items, so you’re expected to haggle which usually means you’ll pay more than you have to. You’re better off shopping at the spice market or individual stores.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, you will need to Visa to visit Turkey. This is an additional cost of $60USD per person (could be more depending on where you get your visa from).
So, how much does it cost to go to Turkey. I recommend budgeting $4,400. While it will be tricky to cut down costs of the international flights, you can definitely spend less in other areas, such as accommodations, transportation, and food. That said, if you are going all the way to Turkey you don’t want to be too cheap and miss out on things. After all, it’s a pretty incredible destination.