For the month of November we were in Turkey. We spent 5 days in the Cappadocia region and then the rest of the month in Calis Beach (Fethiye), which is on the Aegean Sea. Turkey has been one of those places that has stolen my heart, as it has stunning natural beauty, amazing ruins, and the people are so very friendly. I could have easily stayed longer.
So how did we do for a month in Turkey? I am really excited to say that we came in under budget. Our total expenditures were $2299.98. That works out to be $76.66 per day or $25.55 per person per day! For the month of November, 1 USD equaled approximately 2.02 Turkish Lira.
After being surprised by how expensive Istanbul was, we found the prices outside of Istanbul to be significantly cheaper. Since it was cheaper this allowed us to explore much more of Turkey.
Our biggest expenditure for the month was for food for a total of $777.18. We spent $559.52 on groceries and $217.66 on dining out. We spent a total of 6 days in hotels, so we ate out for most of those meals. One of the nice things about the hotels in Turkey is that they provided breakfast, kind of like many of the hotels in London. This really helped us save money on food costs. Overall, we found that Turkish cuisine, especially the street food, to be tasty and cheap. I especially enjoyed eating gozleme also known as Turkish pancakes. Sydney and Jason really liked the Kofte.
Total expenditures for transportation were $565.48. We took the bus from Istanbul to Goreme and then a night bus from Goreme to Fethiye for a total cost of $191.92. As I have mentioned before, I continue to be impressed by how nice the buses are in Turkey with frequent stops, free snacks and drinks and even movies. I don’t think it can get plusher than that.
We spent a total of $50.63 on local transportation. Dolmus, which are essentially a “minibus” with a set route, are the main mode of transportation for around town and also to get in-between towns. We found them to be cheap and efficient. Between Calis Beach, where we were staying, to Fethiye it cost us approximately $1 USD per person per trip.
A word of advice, avoid taxis if at all possible, as this is the most expensive mode of transportation in Turkey even in a small town like Fethiye. A short 6 km ride from to the bus station to Calis Beach cost us $17.50 and this was with the meter running.
While in Fethiye we also rented a car for a week to give us more freedom in seeing several of the historical sites outside the city and for Sydney to be able to do some horse riding. The car rental cost $187.28. Just as a side note, many of the historical sites we saw can easily be reached by dolmus or bus for a reasonable cost. We just really liked the freedom that a car offered.
Anyway, remember how I just complained about the cost of the taxi. Well, I now know why taxis are so darn expensive in Turkey. When we went to fill up our our small fuel efficient car in Fethiye, it cost $98.52. No this is not a typo and let me tell you it was a bit shocking paying approximately 200 Turkish Lira just for petrol. Afterwards we calculated the price per gallon. It worked out to be approximately $9.17 per gallon! This is the most we have paid so far for fuel. Our total expenditure for fuel for the week rental was $135.65.
Our next biggest expenditure was for lodging for a total of $520.91. Our apartment in Fethiye cost $312.98 for a month. Really, that is also not a typo. Visiting in the off-season can have some definite perks especially on the cost for lodging. We also spent $207.93 for 6 nights in hotels. This is the least amount we have spent on lodging since leaving on our around the world adventure.
Out total expenditures under entertainment were $232.75. While in Cappadocia, we splurged and went on the Green Tour where we got to explore the underground city of Derinkuyu, hike in the Ilhara valley, and see Selime Monastery. Overall it was nice packaged tour. But, all these sites can also be seen on your own if you have a car and are not one for package tours.
Entertainment also included a 12 island cruise on the Aegean to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary, seeing the Whirling Dervishes, and Sydney jumping on the trampoline at Olgun Trampoline in Fethiye.
Our next biggest expenditure was under miscellaneous category for a total of $127.12. This included horse riding lessons for Sydney, new pj’s for Sydney, pay bathroom, ibuprofen, and fishing line. Our best miscellaneous purchase was the fishing line. We spent many enjoyable days acting like a local by sitting on the beach at Calis trying to catch a fish. Our efforts were eventually rewarded with a small fish.
Our total expenditures for entrance fees were $76.04. Thankfully outside Istanbul the historical sites are significantly cheaper. During the month of November, we visited the following sites: the Goreme Open Air Museum, Kayakoy Ghost Town (3 times), the eternal flame of Chimaera, Olympos, Xanthos, Patara and Letoon. The highlights for the month were Goreme, which is otherworldly and the eternal flame of Chimaera. There are no sites this month that I regretted seeing. All were worth the price of admittance.
We spent a total of 0.50 for postcards. We did not mail these post cards until December. So the expenditure is seen on next months budget.
- Driving in Turkey is a breeze with excellent paved roads and good signage. But be prepared to pay a lot for petrol. This was a bit shock for us. Apparently Turkey and Norway have the highest costs for fuel.
- The bus is an easy, comfortable and cheap way to get around Turkey.
- For local transportation Dolmus are the way to get around. Taxis will cost you.
- Consider seeing Turkey during the off-season. Accommodations are cheaper, there won’t be the crowds at some of the better-known sites and the weather in the Southern Turkey is really nice not too hot.
We absolutely loved Turkey and found that outside of Istanbul, Turkey is definitely a cheaper country to visit. Despite spending a month and a half we did not even begin to scratch the surface. Hopefully we will be returning to Turkey in our future travels.