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.
Wow! Constantly amazed by your budget. We hope to at some point at least be on budget! Do your monthly budgets include flights?
Thanks Simone! Yes all transportation is included in our budget. We don’t always do so well….January is going to be ugly month for us as we have a big jump to SE Asia. I imagine our budget is also going to look dismal once we reach New Zealand and Australia too 🙂
Way to go! Under budget it always nice 🙂
We were also surprised at how efficient and easy the bus system was in Turkey. We would have loved to have rented a car but after seeing petrol prices it’s probably a good thing we didn’t!
Glad you had such a wonderful time in Turkey, we loved it too!
Yes it is! It helps make up for those months when we don’t do so well. Hope all your travels are going well in Czech Republic!
Turkey seems to capture the hearts of everyone! Can’t wait until we get to Istanbul and wishing we had time to explore more, but can’t this time.
Excellent work on the budget again!
Kirsty, I hope you have a fabulous time in Istanbul.
Heidi @WagonersAbroad says
Wow, looks like our budget could use a little time in Turkey during the off season. Are you making your way via land over to Southeast Asia at all?
No unfortunately we will be flying from Jordan to Bangkok. We found some okay priced tickets, but big jumps like that definitely eat up the budget 🙁 Overland would be exciting, but not practical for us.
I’m so glad you enjoyed Turkey! It’s my favorite country:) The budget was really helpful as we are thinking of going back soon!
I think you did quite well cost-wise; especially since you did so many cool activities. Your apartment worked out quite cheap I thought; we spent £340 for a month-long apartment rental in Thailand (although it was admittedly pretty plush!).
Thanks Amy! I think we just got lucky with our apartment. It has been far the cheapest we have found yet.
Great breakdown for the prices on your trip in Turkey. Turkey can definitely be a budget destination if you allow it. Getting around there is really easy also!
Thanks! Yes1 Turkey really can be a budget destination staying outside of Istanbul. I think that Turkey has been the easiest country to get around so far.
Great article! Can you tell me the apartment you stayed in or how I can find a similar priced one! The ones I have been looking at are about $900p/m which is way out of our budget! What website did you use?
Gretchen Richter de Medeiros says
Wow! This was a really helpful article. We are planning on meeting friends in Turkey in May 2015 (both families are on RTW adventures!). We have been searching for rental cars for 3 of the weeks that we’re in Turkey, but after reading this post, we may only rent for days at a time for longer trips out of our home base. Thank you.