Fantastic 2 Weeks Turkey Itinerary

A lot had been asking how I spent my trip and how much I spent during our 2 weeks in Turkey, so I’m sharing our 2 Weeks Turkey Itinerary and our cost of travel in Turkey.  The itinerary could, of course, be tailored to suit your time 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 2 weeks Turkey trip.

And so we came up with this Turkey itinerary after all the wanderlusting and prioritizations.  I would say I was happy with our 2 weeks Turkey 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.

2 Weeks Turkey Itinerary

Day 1 - Cappadocia

Cappadocia
Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport from Manila Via Qatar Airways (Check latest deals and airfare here). Stop over at Doha, Qatar, with
Free Doha City Tour (Check here to find out
how to avail a Free Doha City Tour.)
Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Nevsehir Airport Turkish Airlines (Also check cheapest airfares from other airlines here.)
Nevsehir Airport to Hotel in Göreme Airport pick-up arranged through hotel

 

If you decide to explore Istanbul first, you can ask from your hotel if they offer pick-up service from the airport. Alternatively, you may want to check hassle-free private airport transfer or shared airport transfer to Istanbul city center here.

Day 2 - Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloon Ride
Breakfast at Hotel
Green Tour
-Goreme Panorama View / Wish Tree
-Derinkuyu Underground City
-Selime Monastery
-Lunch at Belisirma Village
-Ihlara Valley Hike
-Pigeon Valley

Day 3 - Cappadocia

Red and Rose Valley Hike
Cavuşin Village
ATV Sunset Tour

 

Day 4 - Cappadocia

Red Tour
-Uçhisar panorama
-Göreme Open Air Museum
-Devrent Valley/ Magic Valley
-Lunch in Avanos Village
-Avanos carpet making
-Avanos traditional pottery making
-Paşabağ fairy chimney rock formations
-Love Valley view point
 
Göreme to Antalya bus night trip via Suha Turizm Bus Booked a day before the trip at the Göreme bus station

 

Read more about What to Do in Cappadocia here. You may also browse through Cappadocia activities in the links below:

Klook.com

Klook.com

Day 5 - Antalya

antalya
Arrival at Antalya bus station  
Antalya bus station to Old Town Kaleiçi There’s a free shuttle from the
Antalya bus station going to the
Old Town Kaleiçi
Check-in at Hotel in Old Town Kaleiçi  
Perge Archaeological Site Hired car through hotel
Aspendos Archaeological Site Hired car through hotel
Duden Waterfalls Hired car through hotel
Walk around Old Town Kaleiçi at night  

 

Learn more about places to visit in Antalya in this post.

 

Day 6 - Kuşadası

Kusadasi
Hotel to Antalya airport Hired car through hotel
Antalya Airport to Izmir Airport Pegasus Airlines
Izmir Airport to Selçuk By train
Selçuk Train Station to Hotel in Selçuk By taxi
Selçuk to Kuşadası and back Minibus from the otogar station

 

Learn more about Selçuk in my article here.

 

Day 7 - Ephesus and Selçuk

ephesus
House of Virgin Mary Took a one-day mini-bus tour
Ephesus Archaeological Site Took a one-day mini-bus tour
Isa Bey Mosque Took a one-day mini-bus tour
Temple of Artemis Took a one-day mini-bus tour

Day 8 - Pamukkale

pamukkale
Pamukkale from Selçuk and back
-Hierapolis
-Travertines
Took a one-day mini-bus tour

Day 9 - Selçuk and Şirince Village

Sirince village
Basilica of St. John Walking distance from our hotel
Ayaslug Citadel Walking distance from our hotel
Ephesus Museum Walking distance from our hotel
Selçuk to Şirince Village and back Minibus from the otogar station
Selçuk to Izmir Airport Airport shuttle arranged through hotel
Izmir Airport to Istanbul Ataturk Airport Pegasus Airlines
Ataturk Airport to Hotel (Sultanahmet area) Airport transfer arranged through hotel

Day 10 - Istanbul Sultanahmet Area

Blue Mosque, Istanbul
Blue Mosque
Sultanahmet Square
Istanbul Mosaic Museum
Hagia Sophia
Basilica Cistern
Sultanahmet Park at night

All these popular sites are within walking distance from each other. Hence, booking a hotel within the Sultanahmet area will be advantageous. Check available hotels and latest rates here.

Read more about Places to Visit in Istanbul here.

Day 11 - Istanbul European Side

Istiklal Caddessi
Sultanahmet to Kabatas By tram (Check Istanbul Tram Guide here.)
Kabatas station to Taksim By funicular
Taksim Square  
Istiklal Caddessi Walk  
Galata Mevleni Museum  
Galata Tower  
Galata Bridge  
Bosphorus Short Cruise ~ 2 hrs
Back to Sultanahmet  

 

Read more about Places to Visit in Istanbul here.

Day 12 - Princes Island or Adanar

Princes Island
Sultanahmet to Kabatas station By tram
To Adanar (Buyukada Island or Princes Island) By ferry
Phaeton/Horse Cart Ride  
Walk around the island  
Back to Kabatas By ferry
Kabatas to Sirkeci By tram
Watched Whirling Dervishes Ceremony At the Hodjapasha Center,
walking distance from Sirkeci tram station

Read more about Princes Island here.

Day 13 - Istanbul

Chora Museum
Topkapi Palace  
Gulhane Park  
Gulhane to Eminonu By tram
Eminönü bus station to Chora Museum Get off at Edirnekapi bus stop,
then walk to the museum
Chora Museum  
Back to Eminonu By bus
Suleymaniye Mosque Walk from the station
Eminonu to Sultanahmet By tram

Day 14 - Istanbul

Istanbul Grand Bazaar
Spice Bazaar By tram
Rustem Pasa Mosque  
Grand Bazaar  
Cemberlitas to Tophane By tram
Istanbul Modern From Tophane tram station,
it’s a short walk to the museum
Tophane to Sultanahmet By tram
Airport transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport Arranged through hotel
Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Manila Stop-over at Doha, Qatar

Klook.com

Turkey Travel Expenses

Here is a summary of our expenses during our 2 weeks in Turkey.  Note that the cost reflected is for one person.  Meals and accommodation are 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.

Item TRY (Turkish Lira)
Food and drinks 658.80
Accommodation 548.00
Transportation 481.48
Istanbul to Nevsehir (Cappadocia) – Turkish Airlines 134.00
Nevsehir Airport to Hotel in Göreme free deal because we
booked tours through the hotel
Göreme to Antalya bus night trip 50.00
Antalya hotel to Antalya airport 22.50
Antalya to Izmir – Pegasus Airlines 49.99
Izmir to Selcuk by train 5.00
Taxi from Selcuk Train Station to Selcuk Hotel 5.00
Minibus from Selcuk to Kusadasi and back 12.00
Selçuk to Sirince Village and back by minibus 6.00
Selçuk to Izmir Airport 20.00
Ataturk Airport to Hotel in Sultanahmet 55.00
Istanbulkart (for tram) load (used for 5 days) 40 (card is 8.50)
Ferry to Adanar and back 12.00
Hotel in Sultanahmet to Ataturk Airport 20.00
Museum, site fees, tours (total) 1,125.00
Turkey Museum Pass – 15 Days 185.00
Hot Air Balloon Ride 120.00
Green Tour Cappadocia 100.00
Red and Rose Valley Walking Tour and Cavusin village 25.00
ATV Sunset Tour 120.00
Red Tour 85.00
Perge, Aspendos, Duden Waterfalls by car hire 37.50
Duden Waterfalls entrance fee 3.00
Ephesus Tour 130.00
Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour 130.00
Basilica Cistern entrance fee 20.00
Bosphorus Short Cruise 12.00
Galata Tower entrance fee 25.00
Phaeton/Horse Cart Ride 37.50
Whirling Dervishes 70.00
Istanbul Modern 25.00
TOTAL 2,813.28 TRY
or 993 USD

 

Other costs such as souvenirs and roundtrip flights to Istanbul from Manila (check latest price from Qatar Airways here) are not included in this summary.  Costs may be reduced if you are a group 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.
  • 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 2 Weeks Turkey itinerary and summary of cost of travel in Turkey helps you with your planning.  Happy travels!

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16 comments

  1. Passports and Pigtails 28 November, 2016 at 00:12 Reply

    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!

    • findingjing 28 November, 2016 at 14:03 Reply

      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.

    • findingjing 28 November, 2016 at 14:08 Reply

      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. 🙂

  2. James 15 February, 2017 at 06:50 Reply

    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!

    • findingjing 15 February, 2017 at 09:37 Reply

      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.

  3. MM Nuera 4 June, 2017 at 15:31 Reply

    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! 🙂

  4. Michelle Yuro 14 June, 2017 at 15:24 Reply

    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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