Is Turkey expensive?

Is Turkey expensive?

Sun-soaked beaches, vibrant markets, historic landmarks, and breathtaking landscapes; Turkey is a delightful fusion of rich history, diverse culture, exotic cuisine, and unparalleled hospitality. One question that many prospective travelers often find themselves asking is - ‘Is Turkey expensive?’ This comprehensive guide delves deep into the key financial aspects of traveling to Turkey for an enriched, hassle-free, and budget-friendly vacation.

The Currency of Turkey

The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). The value of the Turkish Lira against the dollar and other major foreign currencies can fluctuate, so be sure to check the current exchange rate before your trip. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Turkey, particularly in big cities like Istanbul and Ankara, although some smaller establishments and rural areas still operate on a cash-only basis.

Cost of Accommodation in Turkey

Accommodation options in Turkey span a wide range – from uber-luxurious five-star hotels to budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses. In general, however, Turkey offers some great value accommodation when compared to Western Europe or North America. A standard double room at a mid-range hotel in Istanbul or Ankara will generally cost you between 200-400 TRY ($25-$50) per night. If you’re on a tight budget, shared dormitory-style rooms in hostels can be found for as little as 40 TRY ($5) per night.

Cost of Food in Turkey

One of the many highlights of any trip to Turkey is the delectable cuisine on offer. The cost of meals in Turkey can vary significantly, depending on where and what you choose to eat. A hearty meal at a mid-range restaurant would typically set you back 40-70 TRY ($5-$9), while a fast-food meal would cost around 20-30 TRY ($3-$4). Street food in Turkey is not only amazingly delicious, but it's also very pocket-friendly, with many dishes, including the popular ‘simit’ and ‘döner kebap’, available for just a few lira.

Cost of Traveling Around Turkey

When it comes to traveling within Turkey, there are plenty of efficient and cost-effective options. The cost of public transportation in Turkey is very reasonable. In Istanbul, a one-way ticket on the city’s metro system costs around 5 TRY ($0.6). Taxis are also fairly affordable, especially if shared. Intercity buses are a great way to travel long distances without breaking the bank, with comfortable, modern buses that connect most major towns and cities.

Cost of Sightseeing in Turkey

Turkey is full of stunning historic sites and natural wonders. The entry fees for most of these attractions are relatively moderate. For example, entrance to the iconic Aya Sofya in Istanbul costs around 100 TRY ($13). There are also many wonderful places to visit in Turkey, such as the astonishing rock formations of Cappadocia and the tranquil beaches of Antalya, which are free to enjoy.

Souvenirs and Shopping in Turkey

Turkey is famous for its colourful bazaars and traditional crafts. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is a shopping paradise, bursting with a wide range of items, from intricate carpets and ceramics to exotic spices and jewelry. Price negotiation is a common practice in Turkish markets, and as a result, you can snag some great deals. However, if you’re after branded goods or high-end fashion, you could find the prices comparable to those in Western Europe or North America.

Tipping Culture in Turkey

In Turkey, tipping is customary but not mandatory. In restaurants, a tip of around 10-15% of the bill is usually appropriate, while for taxi drivers and hotel staff, a small tip is often appreciated.


In conclusion, Turkey can be an extremely affordable destination if you plan carefully and make smart choices. The cost of living is quite low when compared to many other popular tourist destinations, which makes it a great place to extend your travel budget while enjoying a wealth of experiences. With its captivating mix of history and culture, delectable cuisine, and enchanting landscapes, Turkey truly offers unbeatable value for money.

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