Tourism in Turkey is a journey rich in astonishment and knowledge, as it is the home of magnificent landscapes, mosques and monuments. Turkey amazes you with charming ruins along the Mediterranean; where east meets west, you will have a unique cultural experience. However, tourism in Turkey is no longer the cheap destination, as it was in the past, especially if you are on a budget. For this reason, we have collected the most important tips for you to save some money whilst on vacation in Turkey!
1. Travel in the off-season
Turkey is the only country that you can visit at any time of the year, whether it is summer, fall, winter, or spring, due to the great weather conditions year-round. You can avoid traveling during the peak time which is from July to September. Instead, consider traveling anytime between October and April as prices may decrease by 20-80%.
2. Book early!
Take into account that the main key to saving money is not to leave things until the last minute, planning early is always best. When booking hotels or booking flights , try booking weeks and even months in advance in order to have more alternatives and probably a cheaper price.
3. Use search engines to find hotel reservations
If you prefer to stay in hotels, use search engines and sites that help you find the best promotions to book hotels. Look for hotels that offer breakfast with the room in order to reduce your overall expenses. Another tip is to look for hotels outside downtown Istanbul as it will be cheaper. If you are traveling as a family of three or four, the price often drops because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. In the event that you plan to stay for more than a month in one place, consider renting a self-catering apartment, or you can try Couchsurfing. You will have the opportunity to experience the lifestyle of local residents for free, as it is a great way to reduce the cost of tourism in Turkey. A final option regarding accommodation in Turkey is to try youth hostels to reduce the cost. They are much cheaper than their counterparts in Western Europe.
4. Take public transportation
Turkey has one of the best transportation systems, its cheap, comfortable, and reliable. Buses in Turkey will take you to any destination you want but the trips can be very long. Night buses are a popular option in the event of moving between cities, it is possible to negotiate the price of the bus ticket in eastern Turkey.
5. Enjoy street food!
Good news for you, the food in Turkey is not only delicious, it is also very cheap! Food carts are abundant on the streets. Breakfast in Turkish is called kahvalti; a word meaning food that precedes coffee, and local breakfast meals in the morning are a favorite among tourists around the world! Freshly baked bread, olives, bacon, tomatoes, hot sausages, delicious cheese, honey, and of course; tea! Finally, stay away from restaurants designated for foreigners, which are mostly located in tourist areas. Ask locals for recommendations on the best food and cheap places, or simply wander around and see restaurants full of locals.
6. Take advantage of free activities
What is really exciting is that there are so many diverse activities and adventures that you can do in Turkey - whether it's riding a hot air balloon at sunrise through Cappadocia, swimming in the salt ponds in Pamukkale, taking a blue cruise, or a picnic in a park. One of the most popular activities in Istanbul is going on a Bosphorus cruise. Passengers can pay up to $20 for "official tickets" from distributors who congregate near the port, but if you take a few minutes to get to Google, you'll find that you can buy the same ferry ticket for only $3. If you are looking for ways to save money on activities in Turkey, consider taking a free walking tour in one of the tourist attractions. However, if you prefer a more organized tour, we recommend that you search within GetYourGuide to find a suitable tour. They have more than 800 tours.
7. Buy souvenirs in stores
Popular markets are always a great way to dive into the local culture of the country. If you don't want to pay expensive prices for souvenirs from tourist stores, you can save money by taking a trip to the local grocery store (like Migros or Carrefour) there, you can find traditional turkish delicacies.