Turkey Itinerary: Fantastic 14 Days in Turkey

A lot are asking how I spent my days and how much I spent in Turkey, so I’m sharing our 14-day Turkey itinerary and budget.  The itinerary could, of course, be tailored to suit your pace and preferences.  I hope this helps in your travel planning.

 

Turkey is such a big country and I wouldn’t be surprised if travelers wanting a short visit to Turkey get overwhelmed while planning.  I, myself, shuddered with excitement as I researched more about the country.  However, the more I looked for information and the more I saw stunning pictures of Turkey, the more confused I got on what to include in our 14-day trip.

And so we came up with this Turkey itinerary after all the wanderlusting and prioritizing.  I would say I was happy with this itinerary as it allowed me to see the historical sites, admire stunning architectures, marvel at the turquoise blue seas, see unique out-of-this-planet landscapes, discover countryside life and go on adventures.

Here it goes.

14 Days Turkey Itinerary

Cappadocia
DAY 1 - CAPPADOCIA
Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport from ManilaStop over at Doha, Qatar
Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Nevsehir AirportTurkish Airlines
Nevsehir Airport to Hotel in GöremeAirport pick-up arranged through hotel
DAY 2 - CAPPADOCIA
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Breakfast at Hotel
Green Tour
DAY 3 - CAPPADOCIA
Red and Rose Valley Hike
Cavuşin Village
ATV Sunset Tour
Red Tour
Göreme to Antalya bus night tripSuha Turizm Bus;
We booked a day before the trip at the Göreme bus station

antalya

DAY 5 - ANTALYA
Arrival at Antalya bus station
Antalya bus station to Old Town KaleiçiThere’s a free shuttle from the Antalya bus station going to the Old Town Kaleiçi
Check-in at Hotel in Old Town KaleiçiHired car through hotel
Perge Archaeological SiteHired car through hotel
Aspendos Archaeological SiteHired car through hotel
Duden Waterfalls Hired car through hotel
Walk around Old Town Kaleiçi at night

Kusadasi

DAY 6 - KUSADASI
Hotel to Antalya airportHired car through hotel
Antalya Airport to Izmir AirportPegasus Airlines
Izmir Airport to SelçukBy train
Selçuk Train Station to Hotel in SelçukBy taxi
Selçuk to Kuşadası and backMinibus from the otogar station

ephesus

DAY 7 - EPHESUS, SELÇUKTook a one-day tour
House of Virgin Mary
Ephesus
Isa Bey Mosque
Temple of Artemis
DAY 7 - PAMUKKALETook a one-day tour
Pamukkale from Selçuk and back (Hierapolis and Travertines)

pamukkale

Sirince village

DAY 7 - SELÇUK, ŞIRINCE VILLAGE
Basilica of St. JohnWalking distance from our hotel
Ayaslug CitadelWalking distance from our hotel
Ephesus MuseumWalking distance from our hotel
Selçuk to Şirince Village and backMinibus from the otogar station
Selçuk to Izmir AirportAirport shuttle arranged through hotel
Izmir Airport to Istanbul Ataturk AirportPegasus Airlines
Ataturk Airport to Hotel (Sultanahmet area)Airport transfer arranged through hotel

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

DAY 10 – ISTANBUL: SULTANAHMET AREA
Blue MosqueAll these popular sites are within walking distance from each other.
Sultanahmet Square
Istanbul Mosaic Museum
Hagia Sophia
Basilica Cistern
Sultanahmet Park at night
Ataturk Airport to Hotel (Sultanahmet area)
DAY 11 – ISTANBUL: EUROPEAN SIDE
Sultanahmet to KabatasTram
Kabatas station to TaksimFunicular
Taksim Square
Istiklal Caddessi Walk
Galata Mevleni Museum
Galata Tower
Galata Bridge
Bosphorus Short Cruise (~ 2 hrs)Got boat ticket from Karaköy station
Back to Sultanahmet Tram

Istiklal Caddessi

Princes Island

DAY 12 – ISTANBUL: PRINCES ISLAND OR ADANAR
Sultanahmet to Kabatas stationTram
To Adanar (Buyukada Island or Princes Island)Ferry
Phaeton/Horse Cart Ride
Walk around the island
Back to KabatasFerry
Kabatas to SirkeciTram
Watched Whirling Dervishes At the Hodjapasha Center, walking distance from Sirkeci tram station
DAY 13 – ISTANBUL
Topkapi PalaceTram
Gulhane ParkFunicular
Gulhane to Eminönü
Eminönü bus station to Chora MuseumGot off at Edirnekapi bus stop, then walk to the museum
Chora Museum
Back to EminonuBus
Suleymaniye Mosque
Eminönü to SultanahmetTram
DAY 14 – ISTANBUL
Spice BazaarTram
Rustem Pasa Mosque
Grand Bazaar
Cemberlitas to TophaneTram
Istanbul ModernFrom Tophane tram station, it’s a short walk to the museum
Tophane to SultanahmetTram
Airport transfer to Istanbul Ataturk AirportArranged through hotel
Istanbul Ataturk Airport to ManilaStop-over at Doha, Qatar

Summary of Expenses

 

And here is a summary of our expenses.  Note that the cost reflected is for one person.  Meals and accommodation is shared by two.  The exchange rate I used (3.22 TRY: 1 EUR) was based on the prevailing rate when we traveled, that is, last March 2016.

ItemTRY (Turkish Lira)
FOOD AND DRINKS (TOTAL)658.80
ACCOMMODATION (TOTAL)548.00
TRANSPORTATION (TOTAL)481.48
Istanbul to Nevsehir (Cappadocia) – Turkish Airlines134
Nevsehir Airport to Hotel in Göremefree because we booked tours through the hotel
Göreme to Antalya bus night trip50.00
Antalya hotel to Antalya airport22.50
Antalya to Izmir – Pegasus Airlines49.99
Izmir to Selcuk by train5.00
Taxi from Selcuk Train Station to Selcuk Hotel5.00
Minibus from Selcuk to Kusadasi and back12.00
Selçuk to Sirince Village and back by minibus6.00
Selçuk to Izmir Airport20.00
Izmir to Ataturk – Pegasus Airlines49.99
Ataturk Airport to Hotel in Sultanahmet55.00
Istanbulkart (for tram) load (used for 5 days)40.00
Ferry to Adanar and back12.00
Hotel in Sultanahmet to Ataturk Airport20.00
MUSEUM, SITE FEES, TOURS (TOTAL)1,125.00
Turkey Museum Pass – 15 Days185.00
Hot Air Balloon Ride120.00
Green Tour Cappadocia100.00
Red and Rose Valley Walking Tour and Cavusin village25.00
ATV Sunset Tour100.00
Red Tour Cappadocia85.00
Perge, Aspendos, Duden Waterfalls by car hire37.50
Duden Waterfalls entrance fee3.00
Ephesus Tour130.00
Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour130.00
Basilica Cistern entrance fee20.00
Galata Tower entrance fee25.00
Bosphorus Short Cruise12.00
Phaeton/Horse Cart Ride37.50
Whirling Dervishes70.00
Istanbul Modern25.00
TOTAL2,813.28 TRY
or 993 USD

Other costs such as souvenirs and roundtrip flights to Istanbul from Manila is not included in this summary.  Costs may be reduced if you are a company of more than three when taking taxis.

Notes:
  • If you plan to visit historical places or archaeological sites in Turkey, consider buying a Museum Pass. Depending on the sites you plan to visit, they have a Museum Pass Istanbul for 5 days, Museum Pass Cappadocia, Museum Pass the Aegean, Museum Pass Mediterranean and Museum Pass Turkey.
  • We bought the latter, which is valid for 15 days.  This could be bought at any of the ticket booths of the sites where the pass can be used.  Check out my itinerary and the cost summary.  If the sites are not included in the cost, it’s because these are included in the pass.
  • When joining guided tours, check whether your itinerary includes sites that are covered by the Museum Pass. The cost of guided tours normally includes entrance fees to sights.  If this is the case, you can tell your tour operator that you’ll use your pass.  They should be able to refund or deduct this cost from the total package cost.  Deduction is, however, not the full cost as the single ticket cost because of guide/operator fees.   Nevertheless, using the Museum Pass still proved to have saved us money.
  • Be ready to always make small coins available (1 – 1 TRY) for public toilet fees. These are also not included in the summary.  I don’t want anyone to be counting how many times I used the toilets. Hehe.
  • Istanbulkart can be used for tram, bus and metro rides. One card can be used to pay for more than one passenger. Simply tap up the card on the sensor, allow a passenger to go through the turnstile.  Repeat using the same card for the next passenger.  Hence, when you’re traveling with a group, you can buy just one card and just reload as necessary.
  • If you’re planning to watch the Whirling Dervishes, which I recommend that you do, check for the schedules right away. The Whirling Dervish is a religious ceremony held only in specific venues, days and time.  You may ask help from the hotel staff.  They could even book tickets for you.  The best place to see this is in Konya, but they also have rites in Istanbul.

That’s it! I hope this Turkey itinerary helps you with your planning.  Happy travels!

 

15 thoughts on “Turkey Itinerary: Fantastic 14 Days in Turkey

  1. Pingback: How to Get a Turkish Tourist Visa from the Philippines - Finding Jing

  2. Passports and Pigtails

    I love that you have included a budget! So helpful for places so distant and dreamy. I believe the hot air balloon ride of Cappadocia is something every traveler should experience, it is so high on my list! Turkey looks incredible, can hardly wait to visit for ourselves someday!

    1. findingjing Post author

      Hey, thanks! Turkey is a really great country with wonderful landscapes and wonderful people. Hope that “someday” will be soon for you. Even I wanted to go back. I just couldn’t get enough of Turkey and would have wanted to stay longer.

    1. findingjing Post author

      I bet you’ll want to stay for more than two weeks once you’re there. The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia was my first and it’s definitely worth it! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  3. James

    Hi Jing! You may have addressed this question before, but scanning the comments in your old posts, I found none. Just wanna know if you really booked and paid for travel tickets and hotels prior to applying for a visa? Or can we do the ticket reservation and the booking.com reservation only just in case? Thank you. Lovely post and very informative. Thankful for taking the time in posting these info to help other newbie travelers. Blessings!

    1. findingjing Post author

      Hi James. I’m glad you found this useful. Yes, I had confirmed plane bookings prior to my visa application. As for the hotels, I selected bookings that have free cancellations, just in case. I re-checked the confirmation email I received after I submitted online and they’ve listed “flight reservation” as one of the requirements. This is just my interpretation, but maybe, they accept ticket reservation.

  4. MM Nuera

    Hello jing, your blog is really helpful. Can I ask for a copy of your detailed itinerary? I’m going to the Turkish embassy this week, and I’m trying to arrange my schedule now. Please send me a copy of your itinerary at mm.nuera@gmail.com. Thank you very much! 🙂

  5. Michelle Yuro

    Hi Jing,thanks for your detailed iti,i will be going to Istanbul tmrw,but i spent 3weeks in Antalaya Province stayed in Kas Turkey.Your blog is very helpful since i have only 3days to explore Istanbul before going back to Cebu.

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