Are you looking for ideas on Cheap Holidays In Turkey? We’ve worked alongside other travel bloggers to bring you Turkey On A Budget; Best Places To Visit in Turkey if you don’t want to spend tons of money. Read on if you’re looking for cities to visit in Turkey, places to go in Turkey and ideas for a Turkey itinerary.
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Best Places To Visit In Turkey On A Budget: Izmir
Formerly known as Smyrna in the early 1800s to 3000 BC, İzmir is one of the most beautiful and affordable cities in Turkey. It’s the third-largest city in the country after Istanbul and Ankara (capital city of Turkey).
İzmir is one of the oldest and most important cities in the world! Excavations show settlement in Izmir is contemporary with that of the first city of Troy in Turkey – dating from the 3rd millennium BCE.
More than 5% of Turkey’s population lives in Izmir. The best way to get to Izmir from Istanbul is by flight (1 hour) or bus (8 hours). The city is known for its ancient ruins, scrumptious seafood and some of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. Virgin Mary is known to have spent her last days in the city, in fact, it’s highly recommended that you visit the House of Virgin Mary in Seluk near Ephesus. Izmir is also home to one of the oldest olive oil factories in the world (dating back to 600 BC).
Some fun things to do in Izmir on a budget include visiting the Ataturk Museum – learn about the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, who served as its first president from 1923 to 1938. Explore the Kemeralti Market – a bazaar known for its antiques and unique shops like the famous Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. See the famous Clock Tower – a symbol of the city of Izmir. A monument built in 1901.
Due to its location, you can easily combine your visit to Izmir with other destinations, like Cappadocia, Pamukkale or Greece.
Travelling from Izmir to Greece by ferry takes about 20 and 30 minutes depending on which Greek Island (Samos, Kos, Rhodes, Lesbos, and Chios) you choose to visit. This could be the perfect weekend getaway for couples in Europe.
Written by Julie from Wandering Sunsets. You can see more from Julie on Facebook.
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Cheap Holidays In Turkey: Cappadocia
Cappadocia, also known as Kapadokya by locals, is one of the most affordable destinations in Turkey. Cappadocia is located in an ancient district in east-central Anatolia in Turkey, about 12 hours from Istanbul by bus or 1.5 hours by flight.
This historic town is home to many biblical sites, it’s famous for its landscapes with distinctive rock formations, and hot air ballooning in Cappadocia is on many bucket lists!
Cappadocia is the name of the region, but the name of the main town where visitors stay is Göreme. The town is known for its cave hotels, churches and underground cities. These caves and underground cities were built by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and used as refuges by early Christians who were trying to escape Roman persecution.
The best time to visit Cappadocia is in Spring (March to May) – it’s not too hot and there are fewer tourists. It’s also highly recommended to spend 2-3 days exploring this historic town. Some amazing things to do in Cappadocia on a budget include exploring the ancient valleys by ATV, horses or car, hiking at Red and Rose Valley, breakfast at one of the rooftop cave hotels during sunrise or joining in on one of the free pottery classes in Avanos.
You don’t have to spend $250 – $350 on an air balloon, you can head to the sunrise spot where all the balloons pass. This is an amazing backdrop and one of the most instagrammable locations in Turkey.
Written By Lerato Bambo from Life from a Bag. See more from Lerato on Facebook.
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Marmaris: Best Places To Visit In Turkey
Located in the southwest of Turkey, Marmaris is a bustling port city and the perfect place to visit on a budget if you are in search of sun, sea, and sand! But don’t be fooled into thinking that Marmaris is just your average popular coastal resort town, as it’s a place full of history, culture, sights, and the most enchanting of scenery too! Surrounded by pine-clad mountains and lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Marmaris has its own fair share of things to do to please the budget traveller.
One of the best free things to do in Marmaris is to wander the Marina, where an abundance of superyachts and colourful boats call home. Marmaris Marina is a beautifully landscaped area dotted with fountains and statues, lined with bars and restaurants, and surrounded by forested hills. But if you want budget options for brunch, you’re probably best to deviate away from the chic and sparkly clean promenades of the Marina.
If you fancy immersing yourself into some Turkish hustle and bustle, then another of the best free things to do in Marmaris is to wander the Grand Bazaar. Of course, it’s only free if you don’t buy any trinkets, and if you do, be sure to haggle for a fair price! A few hours wandering the Grand Bazaar can be followed by something tamer, like a dip in the sea, watching the sunset, or enjoying the mesmerising light and sound show at the Dancing Fountains (around 9.00pm every evening and free to watch).
Not only is Marmaris a beautiful place to visit in Turkey itself, but it’s also a great base for further exploration of the area. It is perfectly situated to do a day trip to the Greek island of Rhodes, giving you the opportunity to explore another country for just one day! The ferry from Marmaris to Rhodes is operated by Yesil Marmaris Lines, and only takes around 1 hour each way (remember to take your passport and check entry requirements). You can also do an abundance of regional day tours from Marmaris, like to one of the natural wonders of Europe such as Pammukale, or something more adventurous such as diving or quad biking!
The best place to stay in Marmaris is somewhere within walking distance of Marmaris Marina, Marmaris Castle or the Old Quarter. Marmaris is one of Europe’s walkable destinations, and in order to save money on taxis, it’s better to book accommodation near to the centre. One way you can make your holiday to Marmaris cheaper is to book a budget hotel with breakfast included as these are usually around the same price as hotels without, or look into booking an apartment so you can prepare your own meals instead of eating out. A top tip for making your trip to Marmaris more affordable is to go off-peak, outside of the European summer holidays which usually span from June-August, as during these times flight prices can be inflated.
Written by Michelle from The Scrapbook Of Life. To see more from Michelle, you can follow her on Pinterest.
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How Much Money To Bring To Turkey For A Week
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Bodrum: Best Places In Turkey To Visit On A Budget
One of the most unexpectedly beautiful places to visit in Turkey is Bodrum. Located on Turkey’s vibrant turquoise coast, Bodrum is the perfect blend of charming streets, fascinating history, bobbing yachts and an Old Town full of Instagram-ready, whitewashed houses. It’s the perfect escape and, because people usually rush to more popular resorts, it’s ideal for anyone travelling Europe on a budget.
Many people don’t know that Bodrum also used to be the site The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. However, nowadays, the modern resort has a number of great historical attractions and plenty of free things to do too. Make sure to visit the Castle of St. Peter, Myndos Gate, Bodrum’s ancient Roman theatre and the remains of the Mausoleum.
Of course, some of the best things to do in any new travel destination are the free ones. Wandering the whitewashed streets of Bodrum’s Old Town is a delightful way to spend a day and you can easily make it a day by browsing the selection of local shops, cute boutiques and cafés.
This also included the Bodrum Bazaar, which is a modernised upmarket take on an original Turkish market. There are shops rather than stalls but you can still purchase a great selection of trinkets – tasteful Turkish textiles and colourful handmade pottery, snazzy beachwear and scrumptious street food.
Lastly, you can’t visit Turkey and not take a trip to the ocean and Bodrum is all about the sea! Located right on the Aegean coast, the town is almost built for a beachside escape and the beautiful turquoise of the ocean will convince you to take a dip. Swimming in the sea and sunbathing on Bodrum’s beaches are some of the best things to do in the town – and they don’t cost a penny! Of course, you can also take boat trips down the cost which are definitely costlier, but even these are fairly affordable and a great way to view Turkey from the water.’
Written by Alice from Adventures of Alice. See more from Alice on Facebook.
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Kas on the Turquoise Coast is one of the best beaches of Turkey and families who are looking for a relaxing beach holiday on a budget will love Kas.
There is something to do for everyone in Kas. Of course, the best thing to do in Kas is simply to hit one of the stunning beaches to swim and relax. The beaches and laid-back beach clubs of Limanagzi, a short boat ride from Kas harbour, are ideal for spending a whole day on the beach. You can use comfortable beach cabanas all day long for free, as long as you order something to eat or drink from the café.
A little further out of town is another stunning beach, perhaps the best in the whole of Turkey. Kaputas beach with its unreal blue water and sandy beach is free to enter. You can also use the facilities for free, and there are also umbrellas and beach chairs for rent by the day.
This area of Turkey is perfect for exploring by boat, and there are several very affordable boat trips to choose from. The most popular day trip by boat from Kas is to the sunken city at Kekova where you can swim and snorkel over an ancient submerged city.
Another enjoyable day trip is to the Greek island of Kastellorizo (or Meis as it’s known in Turkey) which is less than 3 km away from Kas. If you’re feeling posh and looking for a multi-country holiday, jump on the daily ferry between Kas and Meis!
Kas sits along the Lycian way, an epic hike stretching over 500 km along the Turkish coastline. Hikers can head off to the mountains around Kas to walk sections of the Lycian Way, which will take them past ancient rock-cut tombs and sweeping views of the Mediterranean far below – without spending a penny.
The ancient amphitheatre near the harbour is free to enter and is a great place to watch the sunset from.
Kas is quite popular with Brits looking for a unique place to spend a summer holiday without breaking the bank. However, this resort town is not yet overrun with international tourists, and still remains a traditional Turkish beach town at heart. Like elsewhere in Turkey, Kas offers exceptional value for money.
Friendly Meltem Pansiyon near the waterfront has comfy and clean rooms at very affordable rates. The included breakfast is possibly the best there is in Turkey.
Written by De Wet & Jin from Museum of Wander. See more from them on Facebook.
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Fethiye: Cheap Holidays In Turkey
Fethiye, the small little town in the middle of Istanbul and Cappadocia is slowly grabbing a lot of attention. And rightly so! From pristine white-sand and pebble beaches to shades of aquamarine and turquoise ocean water to UNESCO protected ruins, this location has it all.
Fethiye is the perfect budget-friendly place for family and couples to relax and unwind. There are plenty of things/ activities to do in Fethiye such as:
- Fethiye Museum: If you are a history buff then you will love exploring the Fethiye museum to know about Lycian history. Trilingual stele is a stone that finally helped archaeologists to finally crack the Lycian language.
- Kayakoy: This is located around 8 km from Fethiye. This stone village occupied by Greeks and Turks mutually makes for an interesting throwback in history.
- Letoon: This is a UNESCO site that contains 3 temples dedicated to the Greek gods. Explore the mosaic floors of Apollo temple.
- Xanthos: Another UNESCO site worth visiting. Known as the oldest republic of the world, the walls of the city probably date back to the 3rd century BC
The cost of these activities is Fethiye is approx. 3-5 TL per person.
- Oludeniz: One of my favourite places to visit in Fethiye is Oludeniz. Situated approx. 12 km away from Fethiye town, its Blue lagoon is a UNESCO site. There are many adventures activities that one can opt for here such as:
- a) Tandem Paragliding from Mount Babadag from a height of 6550 feet and flying over the Blue Lagoon is an experience not to be missed.
- b) Opt for a private scuba dive course.
- c) Opt for the Gocek 12 islands boat experience.
- d) Hit the pebble beach and relax and get some sun.
- e) Hire a private speed boat to Butterfly beach and spend a good time away from the crowded Oludeniz beach.
Not all things in Fethiye will cost you a dime. Enjoy a walk down Old town Fethiye or Calis beach, bargain in the Fethiye Market for a good piece of clothing or enjoy a sip of coffee in one of the restaurants or hike up to Taurus mountain.
I would recommend staying in Oludeniz due to its interesting nightlife and night flea market. Liberty hotel situated right on the beach would be a good choice.
Written by Jesal from Tourist To Travellers. See more from Jesal on Instagram.
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Antalya is an incredible city located in the south of Turkey. With an urban population of over 2,5 million, it is quite large with plenty to see and do. Larger cities might not always be as budget-friendly as smaller towns but Antalya is actually a great place to come even if you’re trying to save some money on your trip. You’ll find a great selection of budget-friendly hotels or hostels starting as low as 20$ per night depending on the season. Most tourists will visit Antalya in the summer months between June and September. If your budget is tight you should definitely consider coming in the off-season in early spring or late autumn. Prices will be much lower during this time although temperatures can of course be a lot cooler. However, you’ll get to enjoy the city without the crowds.
Antalya is a great spot for finding free or cheap attractions to see. Make sure to add the old town of Antalya or Kaleici to the top of your itinerary. This beautiful neighbourhood is full of stunning architecture and lots of little streets to explore, all for free!
Of course, no trip to Turkey is complete without some time at the beach. Head to Lara Beach and admire the crystal clear waters and beautiful scenery. No need to break the bank for a relaxing day by the water.
The Duden Falls are arguably one of Antalya’s most famous attractions. These incredible waterfalls are well worth a trip and can be enjoyed even if you’re on a budget. While most people take an expensive boat tour to see them, they are actually accessible by land as well and your experience will be just as good, if not better!
Of course, Antalya is home to some delicious and authentic Turkish food. You’ll find very affordable meals from little street food stands as well as local restaurants which will make your trip even more enjoyable.
Written by Victoria from Guide Your Travel. See more from Victoria on Instagram.
Antalya; Search For Somewhere To Stay With This Map
Many people may be put off visiting Alanya due to the distance from the airport. It can take about three hours to get there. However, if you make the trip, you won’t be disappointed. Alanya is full of things to do from castles and boat trips to caves and canyons.
The picturesque town is home to a 13th-century castle. It is located at the top of a huge hill and the views from the top are breathtaking. It is easy to catch the dolmus to the top and only costs a few pence. Once you are at the top, feel free to walk around the castle grounds and take amazing photos of the view.
If you are feeling energetic, then swap the dolmus ride for a walk on your return journey. As well as breathtaking views, you can get to meet the locals and shop at some of the market stalls. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes to stop for a quick bite to eat.
Antalya is known for its luxury hotels, but Alanya is the perfect place to stay on a budget. You have plenty of budget-friendly hotels to choose from that are located right in the city centre and near the beach.
Alanya is home to many international restaurants. If you are wanting to save a bit of money, then it is better to eat local food. There are plenty of Turkish restaurants that offer quality and delicious food for a fraction of the price.After dinner, take a walk around the harbour. There is always plenty going on, but it really comes to life at night. With nightclubs and discos, there is music and atmosphere. The drinks can be pricey, but many local musicians play outdoors also, so you can enjoy the music.
DimCay attracts both tourists and locals and it is just a short drive from Alanya. If a tour is out of your budget, then consider using the local transport. The restaurants at Dimcay serve some of the best Turkish breakfasts in the area. After you eat, you can take a dip in the ice-cold pools for free.
No matter what you decide to do in Alanya, you are sure to have a holiday to remember.
Written by Karen from Travel Mad Mum. You can see more from Karen on Facebook.
Will Alanya Be Your Next Turkish Getaway?
Turkey Budget Travel. Stay In A Hostel In Turkey To Keep Your Prices Low
Even though we have three kids we love staying in hostels. We book private family rooms to maintain privacy but still benefit from the hostel experience. We’ve met some wonderful people and had great experiences with hostels around the world.
Diyarbakır: Budget Holidays In Turkey
Diyarbakır is situated on the banks of the Tigris River in the southeastern part of Turkey and it is one of the most fascinating and remarkable places not only in Southeastern Anatolia but in Turkey and for a multitude of reasons.
It has several thousands of years of history and throughout this time it’s been a cradle for dozens of different civilizations like the Roman, Ottoman, or Byzantine civilizations. The basalt walls and towers of the buildings and mosques of the city centre are simply mind-blowing.
But what makes this place truly special is its extraordinary atmosphere. The locals in Diyarbakır are so incredibly friendly, warm-hearted, and talkative. Its streets are busy and bustling day and night. While roaming the streets of the city while, you will be continuously being entertained by street vendors, dancers, singers, and storytellers in front of the Grand Mosque of Diyarbakir, Ulu Cami. They will really make you feel part of their community.
The street vendors will spoil you with a great deal of coffee and sweets. Diyarbakir offers one of the most unique coffees in the world: Dibek made of high-quality coffee beans or Menengic made of roasted Pistachio seeds. Having the local coffee accompanied by roasted hazelnuts while listening to street music in this ancient town is an unquestionably once-in-a-lifetime experience.
To see the touristic attractions in Diyarbakir are all free. If you want to explore Diyarbakir, you should see the most beautiful mosques of Diyarbakir, namely the Grand Mosque, Ulu Cami; Fatih Pasha Mosque; Nebi Mosque, Behram Pasa Mosque, and Hz. Süleyman Mosque. Furthermore, the major highlights of Diyarbakir also include the majestic Diyarbakir Castle and some really impressive historical Islamic schools such as the Zinciriye Madrasah and Mesudiye Madrasah.
The gastronomy scene is also remarkable. The traditional local dishes every visitor must try are ciğer (liver), kaburga dolması (stuffed lamb ribs) and dolma (stuffed vegetables).
These meals cost around 1-2 € including water and ayran depending on how fancy the restaurant is. You can also get street food such as simit for 0.10 €. For a traditional coffee or tea, you will pay around 0.50 €.
In Diyarbakir, there are no hostels, only hotels. The cheapest hotels are definitely not backpacker-friendly in terms of their price. Therefore, the most cost-effective accommodation option is Couchsurfing.
Given that you use Couchsurfing, your host lives close to the city centre so that you don’t have to use a taxi or bus, you eat one proper meal a day, sit in for a coffee or tea a couple of times, buy snacks on the street, you will end up spending 4-5 € per day.
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Van: Cheap Weekends Away From The UK
The city of Van in Eastern Turkey is probably best known for the stunning Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island. Dated back to the 10th century, the Armenian church stands as the unique building on the small island in Lake Van, which is surrounded by the Armenian Highlands mountains.
In winter, the snow-covered peaks make for incredible scenery. Both the interior and exterior of the church are pieces of art. On the outside, the walls present stonework elements like the one featuring David and Goliath. Boats, or animals. Inside, several mural paintings remain, the frescos still showing vivid details of scenes from the life of Christ. The church is accessible by ferry.
Other things to see around Van are the medieval Hoşap Castle, the Çavuştepe fortress, and the Varagavank monastery.
Make sure to try on some street kebab, grab fresh bread from one of the bakeries. Turkish breakfasts are delicious, filled with several kinds of feta cheese, olives, and usually come with a vegetable omelette. For budget accommodation, try the rustic Otel Şehrivan.
Spring and Falls are the best time to visit this part of Turkey, as summer can be really hot, and winter cold with snow at higher elevations. The city of Van is well deserved by bus from major cities and would be an excellent hub to explore the Eastern part of Turkey.
Written by Patricia from Ze Wandering Frogs. See more from Patricia on Instagram.
Go To Van & Visit The Fortress
Get The Best From Your Turkey Holiday By Renting A Car Through Rentalcars
You can keep your Turkey budget holiday cheap by renting a car and self-driving to multiple locations. This way you’ll see the best places to visit in Turkey and can plan your own Turkey itinerary.
Istanbul On A Budget
Istanbul is such a fantastic multi-cultural city, with so many amazing things to do on not just one, but two continents. For budget travellers, visiting Istanbul can also be a cheap but authentic experience.
Firstly, there are plenty of free travel tours of the city. It doesn’t matter if you have a layover in Istanbul or if you are spending a week in the city, there will always be a free walking tour available.
Istanbul has many different neighbours which can be easily reached by metro. Step away from the touristy Sultanahmet area, where all the popular attractions of the city are, and explore more local areas such as Kadiköy, Ortaköy or Taksim. Here you will find local priced restaurants where you can enjoy traditional food for a fraction of the price in Sultanahmet.
No trip to Istanbul is complete without a cruise on the Bosphorus, but this can be quite costly, especially that most tours include dinner and a show. There is however a government-owned cruise that costs 25 lira and lasts for two hours.
From all the popular monuments in central Istanbul, the only one you can visit free of charge is the Blue Mosque. However, even if you are on a budget, you cannot miss visiting Hagia Sophia from your itinerary in the city. A ticket to Hagia Sophia costs 40 lira.
Other monuments that you can visit for free in Istanbul include Suleymaniye Camii – the biggest mosque in Istanbul, the Zülfaris Synagogue and the Zeyrek Camii.
If you can’t afford to eat at fancy restaurants, don’t worry, Istanbul has so many amazing street food places where you can buy kebabs or fish sandwiches – which are a must. Walking around the bazaars, you can also sample quite a bit of delicious Turkish treats such as nuts, baklava or Turkish delight.
Written by Joanna from The World In My Pocket. See more from Joanna on Instagram.
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Bursa is a gem of a city in northwestern Turkey, often called “Yeşil Bursa,” or Green Bursa, for its many lush, green parks and the abundant forests surrounding it. Bursa was one of the early capitals of the Ottoman Empire, and has a rich and interesting history.
During the days of the Silk Road, it was the central hub for the silk trade, and “Bursa silk” is still a sought-after silk variety today. For fans of history, there are Ottoman mausoleums, Seljuk arches, and many historic markets, mosques, and a great archaeological museum to explore.
A few can’t-miss places to visit include the Bursa Grand Mosque, ot Ulu Camii, which was built in 1396 and has exquisite calligraphy and architecture, as well as the Green Mosque and its adjacent Green Tomb, an opulent mausoleum to Mehmed I, the fifth Ottoman sultan. As a former mecca of the Silk Road, it is absolutely worth visiting one of Bursa’s markets– the Koza Han is located in the middle of the historic area, and dates back to the late 1400s. Don’t miss its gorgeous doors!
If you visit in the winter, Bursa is located on the slopes of Mount Uludağ, which has a very popular ski resort. If it isn’t skiing season when you visit, you should absolutely visit the Uludağ National Park for some hiking, mountain biking, or camping, as well as a ride on its funicular, said to be one of the longest in the world.
Lastly, Bursa has a wide variety of thermal baths to explore, such as the Kervansaray Termal Hotel’s thermal bath, which is over 700 years old and a real treat to visit. It is easy to get around via Bursa’s extensive metro and bus system to save money on cab fare, and there are many budget accommodations and street food to enjoy in the area.
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