We can’t give you a definitive budget – everyone’s travel styles and daily habits are different – but we do hope the following list and resources will help you craft a reasonable budget for your stay in Turkey.
When creating your budget, ask yourself what type of traveler/tourist/seasonal resident/retiree/expat you are: do you enjoy laying on the beach? Seeing all the sights? Sampling local foods at small cafes or going out to big dinners? Staying at posh resorts, renting a flat, or even camping? Do you plan to drive or fly, or are you fine with taking the train and long-distance bus? What does your nightlife look like? All of these factors will play a great part in how you should set our budget. Some students travel through Turkey on a few hundred Euros a month; others spend that much on a half-week gulet tour. Some retirees live off their government pensions with ease; others choose to live off the same budget they would use in the US or UK, only allowing themselves more comforts and luxuries than that income would allow in their home country.
Prices below are all for the area surrounding the popular resort town of Didim, for the summer season. Other areas along the Turkish Riviera may be more or less expensive.
Unless you own property, you have three main choices in Turkey: stay in a hotel, stay in a pansion (pension), or rent an apartment. Prices vary depending on season and locality; for single people and couples, it is often cheapest to stay in a pansion with half board (breakfast and dinner provided) at 30-50 lira/day person; for families, the most economic choice is often renting an apartment by the week or month at 150-300 Euro/week in summer, or 500+ lira/month year round.
- Typical monthly rent for a decent/average 2 BR flat: 600 TL
- Weekly Rent in Summer: 150-700 USD (1 bedroom flat-villa)
- Monthly Electricity Bill (Summer): 100 TL for a family of 5
- Monthly Water Bill (Summer): 50 TL for a family of 5
- Monthly Phone Bill: 90 TL (full plan); 20 TL (texting, calls and minimal internet use)
- Monthly Internet Bill: 60 TL
Food and Dining Out
- Weekly Groceries: 200 TL for a family of 5
- Full Breakfast Out: 8-15 TL/person
- Pastry and Tea: 4 TL
- Lunch Out: 12-30 TL
- Sandwich or Toast: 6-10 TL
- Dinner: 15-30 TL; Many restaurants have 20-25 lira specials with fresh fish and sides
- Drinks at the grocery store: 1 TL water, 5 TL beer
- Drinks in a restaurant: 8-15 TL for beer; 10-20 TL for a glass of wine
- Bus or Subway Ticket: 1-2 TL
- Taxi around town: 10-20 TL
- Shuttle or Taxi to Airport? 40-50 Euro
- Fake designer sunglasses: 5-10 TL
- Casual canvas shoes: 20-50 TL
Travel, Entertainment and Sight-Seeing
- Museum Entrance: 5 TL (Temple of Apollo); 25 TL (Ephesus)
- Full Day Guided Tour to Ephesus + Car from Kusadasi: 50-90 USD (small group or private tour)
- One Day Boat Trip from Kusadasi with Lunch: 20-40 USD
- Ferry Ticket from Bodrum to Rhodes Island and back: 75 EU
- Ferry Ticket from Kusadasi to Samos Island (Greece) and back: 36 EU
- 3-4 Day Gulet (Boat) Trip: 150-300 EU per person (an introduction to gulets here)
- Trip to the Hamam: 15 TL (regular hamam) 15 Euro (tourist hamam)
- Movie Ticket (Regular): 12-20 TL
- Movie Ticket (Matinee or Student/Senior Discount): 7-15 TL
Three things are generally more expensive in Turkey than might be expected: gas, alcohol, and international brand names – all due to high taxes.
Gas is generally 4-5 TL/Litre, making it more expensive than many European countries. For this reason, the budget-savy traveler will often choose to travel between cities by coach bus and locally by dolmus (public minibus). Coachbuses are comfortable and often cost around 10 TL/hour on the road (i.e. the Ankara-Istanbul route takes 4-5 hours and bus seats are 50 TL). When debating between flying and taking the bus between towns, keep in mind that bus stations are often located near the center of town and near other forms of public transportation, like the subway or city buses. For getting the best deals when flying in and out of Turkey, see our guide on finding the lowest-priced airfare here.
Alcohol can also be a considerable expense in Turkey. Grocery store beer prices are around 4-6 TL/bottle. Casual bars around student-friendly locales like Olympos will generally sell beer for 7-12 TL/bottle, but beer and other alcoholic beverages at urban bars and at tourist spots can run upwards of 20 lira/drink.
You will also find that, due to import taxes, international brand items (such as bags, shoes, sunglasses and clothes) will be more expensive in Turkey. If there is something specific you need, bring it with you (see our Summer Packing List for Women here). But, no worries – you can also find high-quality items made in Turkey for a fraction of the price, and unbeatably-priced ‘genuine fakes’ of everything from watches to jeans to purses to crocs.
Worried about any specific expenses? Check out the full statistics on Cost of Living at Numbeo here, or send us a message.