How to stay on budget in…Turkey

Lianna Martin April 10, 2012 8

Photo by Nick Kuchmak

Travelling through Turkey can be daunting, given its size of 783,562 square kilometers. With so much to see it warrants much more than a quick stop in Istanbul – the portion of the country that is physically in the European continent. There are many ways to stretch your Lira in order to appreciate such a diverse country.


Something that differs from most other countries is the amazing bus service in Turkey. Overnight buses seem a disheartening, uncomfortable task, and when faced with large distances to travel, people often opt for a flight. In Turkey, overnight buses come complete with white glove service including free snacks, tea and water and comfortable reclining seats.  With air conditioned buses running almost every half hour to and from popular destinations, it’s a simple way to hoard your Liras.

Photo by Nick Kuchmak


Food in Turkey can differ from place to place, but almost always includes tomatoes, cucumber, olives, boiled eggs and beyaz peynir (a chees not un-like feta) for breakfast. If you fill up on your provided breakfast at your guesthouse, along with endless fluffy white bread, you can spoil yourself on street food such as Kebab’s, or the delicious Pide. Pide is a Turkish version of thin crust pizza, which is a long oblong shape, and usually involves minced meat. Not only is Pide tasty, it’s also filling and cheap.

“There are many ways to stretch your Lira in order to appreciate such a diverse country.”


Accommodations and Destinations

The Turkish Mediterranean is a gorgeous 1600 km stretch that understandably draws a huge amount of tourists each year. Because of the sheer size of the area, it is a good opportunity to dodge the most popular expat spots where you will be hard pressed to find a local in the sea of burnt British bodies. Quickly skip by cities like Ölüdeniz where many Western expats spend their winters, and instead end up in a town like Patara, where there are kilometers of uncrowded beach, and Roman ruins you can explore completely alone.

A popular backpacker practice is inquiring into spending the night on the roof of a guesthouse. Sleeping under the stars comes at a much more affordable rate, allowing you to save your lira for other stops on your itinerary.


Turkey has many natural wonders that are free to explore. Cappadocia is comprised of some of the most geographically interesting landscape in the world. Here the most interesting activities are simple day hikes that will awe you as you wander through post volcanic bizarre moon-like rock, referred to as “fairy chimneys.” Here you can spend days roaming around valley and hills for no money at all.

Photo by Nick Kuchmak

For avid hikers, the Lycian way is a 509 kilometer waymarked trail that connects the Mediterranean towns of Fethyie and Antalya. This trail does not collect any fees for hiking or camping, and is an affordable way to experience the famed coast. For those that would prefer more comforts there are family owned guesthouses along the way.

Don’t get too carried away with budget though, make sure to stop and enjoy an apple tea and expertly crafted Baklava.


  1. me April 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    The more interesting part I’d like to hear from such “expert travellers” is how do they earn money to finance the trips.

  2. Lianna Martin April 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Hi me, thanks for commenting! I can only speak for myself, but hard work and a lot of saving is how I finance my trips.

  3. Tara May 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Great tips! Are there any particular bus operators you’d recommend?

  4. Natalie November 30, 2012 at 2:31 am - Reply

    I used to avoid the buses simply because of the state of the toilets when ever we used to stop somewhere. However have done two long distance bus journeys lately and the toilets seem to be a lot cleaner.

    Tara – There are lots of bus companies. some are local and specific to the area however the three most widely known are

    – Metro
    – Pamukkale
    – Kamil Koc

  5. Hugh January 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Turkey sound like a place to visit. Lianna I hope you will travel to Jamaica soon and write a post about keeping in budget in Jamaica. The white sand beaches, food, music and rich history make it a place worth exploring.

  6. telekupon July 18, 2013 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Nice sharing. It is awesome to read it and it is amazing. Thanks for updating.

  7. anthony peart February 2, 2014 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    recently completed a mini bus tour of greater turkey with the most intellegent tour guide named “ERROL’ AND SAM the bus driver i have ever met. it was a buzz.

  8. Shekha May 20, 2014 at 5:32 am - Reply

    Hey Lianna, some great tips here.

    My one request for future posts would be maybe to clarify what kind of budget you are staying within? It’s brilliant to have all this stuff you can do for cheap but saying something like Turkey for under £500 or $100 or whatever would be a really helpful indication of what “on a budget” meant when you were writing.

    Thanks again!


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