Why Turkey is So Cheap? | Budget Travel Destination

Why Turkey is So Cheap

Every time you scroll through your news feed, you see someone taking a ride on hot air balloons in  Cappadocia. A sight you can’t help but marvel at! Where is this, though? To answer your question, here’s another question for you. Can you imagine heaven on Earth with a bit of Asia and Europe? Yes, it’s Turkey, and that’s where Cappadocia is! 

Turkey is a country of four seas where Europe meets Asia. It’s a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a small portion in Southeast Europe. With breathtaking tourist spots having historical values, cultural aspects, and proof of ancient civilization, Turkey has become a massive buzzword for globetrotters! 

This beautiful country borders the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and Marmara Sea for enviable coastal views. You’re guaranteed to love the majestic tourist spots such as the Hagia Sophia, hot air balloons in Cappadocia, marvel at the beauty of Topkapi Palace, admire Troy, cruise around the beautiful Mediterranean sea, or simply enjoy the stunning beaches under the glistening sun! 

What about this beautiful country’s demographic? By December 2022, Turkey has a demographic of over 86 million, based on Worldometer elaborating the latest United Nations data. Turkey’s population is equivalent to 1.08 percent of the total world population.

Despite the country’s attractive offerings, marvelous tourist destinations, impressive hospitality of friendly locals, and high demand among travelers, why is it so cheap to travel in 2022? The Guardian mentioned that Turkey and Bulgaria are likely to be among the cheapest holiday destinations, according to a survey. 

In 2022, this vacation-centric country’s economy is in shambles. Extreme inflation and collapsing Turkish Lira are pushing millions of people to the verge of financial ruin. Euro News stated it’s because the Turkish economy came on leaps and bounds over the last two decades, averaging 5.8 percent yearly GDP growth between 2002 and 2021. In September 2021, 1 US dollar was worth around 8 Turkish Lira, yet by October 2022, this has leapt to around 19 Lira!

US dollar value increased from 8 Turkish Lira in September 2021 to 19 Lira in October 2022.
US dollar value increased from 8 Turkish Lira in September 2021 to 19 Lira in October 2022.

Nonetheless, as unfortunate as it sounds to the local Turks, it’s great news for tourists worldwide as they can have a chance to travel to Turkey is an affordable budget. Not just that, traveling to Turkey is no less than a blessing for this country’s economic boost. Wondering how that is supposed to work? Let us walk you through the details to ease your curiosity stream further as we tell you why Turkey is so cheap!


When you hear someone say Turkey, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? It must be the hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia that the world raves about or the mesmerizing Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It can also be traveling through the beautiful Izmir, Antalya, and Ankara. While these places are the hot spots of Turkey, you’ll find several other hidden gems in this hospitable country that has so much to offer tourists. For example, have you seen the Butterfly Valley, where you can literally find 100 species of butterflies? Or the beautifully cascaded Pamukkale, which translates to “cotton castle”? And how about the lesser-known yet striking Ishak Pasha Palace and the Blue Lagoon? These places may not be on top of a tourist’s checklist, but these are worth a visit to see how Turkey lives up to its full potential as a noteworthy vacation center. With domes and minarets, Roman ruins, and contrast between a coastline stretched against a mountainous backdrop of Lycia as well as Pamphylia’s sunny beaches; Turkey is vivacious and full of wonder. Although Turkey’s beaches are its most prominent feature, you’ll love skiing there between December and March as well.

What about Turkish cuisine? Doesn’t the heavenly Turkish delight come from Turkey? Oh yes! Tourists can’t help but emphasize how amazing their Turkish experience is with the finest Middle Eastern cuisine. The most famous ones are syrup-soaked Baklava, doner kebab, pide, twisted bagel, lentil soup, Turkish tea, and hundreds more.

Now, let’s move on to knowing why Turkey is cheap and what people have said about traveling to Turkey in recent times. 

Turkey is one of the most coveted vacation spots for tourists all around the world. Apart from its beauty and attractions, Turkey being cheap is one of the primary reasons behind it. However, in 2019, Turkey was not the most affordable tourist destination like it is in 2022. Turkey is insanely cheap in 2022! Its flights and accommodations are shockingly affordable too. Why? That’s because this country is amid an economic crisis, as its currency, the Turkish Lira, crashed. In 2021, the Turkish Lira had dropped by 55 percent against the dollar. As a result, the inflation rate has reached 61 percent.

Turkish Lira drops 55% against dollar, causing 61% inflation rate.
Turkish Lira drops 55% against dollar, causing 61% inflation rate.

So, what does it mean? While prices may have soared locally, the country has become cheaper than before for foreign visitors. According to a recent survey by Post Office Money, when you consider account currency conversions, prices for a shopping basket of holiday essentials came in at just 32.45 dollars in Marmaris. That’s much cheaper than the 50.90 dollar average in the Algarve in Portugal or the 69.04 dollars in Paphos, Cyprus.

In April 2022, Christian from Lost LeBlanc said the Turkish currency is dealing with hyperinflation, as in 1 US Dollar was equivalent to nearly 14 Liras which is 19 Lira in December 2022, whereas 1 dollar used to get you 2 Turkish Liras in 2017. Locals said prices frequently change, so it’s not easy for them to get by. However, there’s a bright side to it for foreign tourists as it’s a unique opportunity for them to travel to Turkey. Selfishly enough, if you travel with your US dollar, Euro, Pound, or Bitcoin, you can buy more than you could have in the past. That means Turkey being so cheap is a massive appeal for travelers across the world.

For more reference, Uptin said a Big Mac from McDonald’s would cost you 33 Turkish Liras, equivalent to 3 Dollars and 41 Cents, meaning it’s pretty reasonable for a Native American. But, if you’re earning a minimum wage in Turkey, this simple meal will be worth more than 3 hours of work. That sounds just as awful as it really is. If you’re an American, that would be 30 dollars for a burger, fries, and a Coke! Even for a solvent American, that is crazy expensive! And what about other food items? If you think of a global comparison scale, a pack of Oreos will cost you 1.5 hours of wage, while a Starbucks latte will be worth 2.5 hours of wage. Can you imagine how long it will take to afford an iPhone? 9 Months! What about a car? A whopping 31 years! That sounds surreal and outrageous, but it’s true. This is a clear indication that Turkey’s currency has fallen more than 40 percent by the year 2021. As a result, inflation has also soared more than 20 percent, and young people want to leave the country due to uncertainty and frustration.

 McDonald's Big Mac cost 33 Turkish Liras, $3.41 Cents, reasonable for Native American.
McDonald’s Big Mac cost 33 Turkish Liras, $3.41 Cents, reasonable for Native American.

Now, let’s talk about the tourism boost of Turkey despite the circumstances. Turkey’s inflation has worked as a boost in the tourism sector. BBC stated inflation is a battle people all over the world are fighting. But the struggle is particularly severe in Turkey, where people struggle to make ends meet. Inflation surged to 48.7 percent in January 2022, although some economists think the actual rate could be much higher. But a favorable exchange rate has made Turkey a more attractive holiday destination for people in other parts of the world. Before the coronavirus pandemic, in 2019, tourism brought $34 billion into Turkey. Although lockdowns and travel restrictions negatively impacted the tourism sector in 2020, it bounced back in 2021 when Tourist arrivals jumped to 85.5 percent.

Per Statista, in 2021, the total contribution of travel and tourism to Turkey’s GDP amounted to more than 525 billion Turkish liras. Similarly, the contribution of travel and tourism to employment in Turkey partially recovered in 2021, with the sector generating, directly and indirectly, around 2.4 million jobs.

Furthermore, the tourism income in Turkey roughly doubled in 2021 over the previous year after having dropped sharply in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Overall, tourism spending by international travelers and Turkish citizens resident abroad amounted to nearly 24.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.

In 2021, international travelers and Turkish citizens spent $24.5 billion on tourism.
In 2021, international travelers and Turkish citizens spent $24.5 billion on tourism.

Now, let’s point out some suggestions that you can keep in mind while traveling to Turkey. A lot of places increased the price of services and food when the Turkish currency was crashing, but they never reduced the price when it came back up. However, if you’re down to your last couple of dollars, it’s almost not noticeable when it comes to the increased taxi rate and increased food prices. But, the most expensive part of Turkey is booking tours and means of transport through the wrong site or people. If you know someone who speaks Turkish, they can help you find better deals by 30 to 60 percent cheaper. So, be sure to know your way around when you travel to Turkey.

Our Takeaway

Overall, if you look at the broader picture, a beautiful country like Turkey will never lose its ever-lasting charm to globetrotters all around. Given how breathtaking of a tourist destination it is, there’s absolutely no denying travelers can grab the golden opportunity to visit this country, especially when it’s become incredibly affordable. To wrap it up, we believe this is the best time to travel to Turkey. 

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