Turkey, with its vibrant crossroads culture bridging East and West, is an unfortunately oft-overlooked backpacker destination. Those who do visit will find it ideal for budget adventurers, offering a vibrant culture and fascinating history at sometimes astonishingly affordable prices. Make the most of travelling tremendous Turkey with these tips.
Surprisingly Satisfying Shoulder Seasons
In most places, the best weather and the busiest tourism season happen at the same time of year. Not so with Turkey. Thanks to an influx of European tourists in blazing hot July and August, when many get a month off, Turkey’s cheaper shoulder seasons are actually it’s most pleasant in terms of climate. You’ll find both beautiful weather and lower shoulder-season prices April through June and September through November, a rare combination backpackers should take full advantage of.
Full Bellies and Full Hearts
Hungry backpackers will be in heaven filling-up on tantalizing Turkish fare for deliciously affordable prices. As you wander the streets, grab a Turkish doner (wrapped sandwich) for around $2. Take a break to sip strong Turkish coffee or sweet apple tea (and indulge your sweet tooth with buckets of baklava) without worrying about your wallet. For a sit-down meal, meze is a hostel-hopper’s dream. Gather a group and enjoy this wonderfully social dining tradition, sampling delectable small plates as you get to know your fellow backpackers.
Luxuriously Affordable Bus Travel
Unlike much of Europe, train travel isn’t your best bet in Turkey. Taking the bus here is, surprising as it may sound, actually a treat. Competition between local private firms has driven bus fare down and quality up. The buses are affordable and extremely comfortable, boasting spacious coaches with cushy seats and frequently offering free drinks and snacks. They’re not significantly slower than trains either, leaving no disadvantage to choosing the highway over the railway.
Middle Eastern Beauty Without the Worry
Turkey is home to a vibrant Muslim culture devoid of most of the worries travelling in the Middle East implies. Though solo female travellers may find themselves the subject of overly persistent men, it’s more an annoyance than a danger. Recent times have seen some political unrest, but none of the terrorism associated with bordering Middle Eastern regions. Enjoy stunning Islamic architecture, delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, and beautiful Muslim traditions without the worries of visiting more tense regions.
Turkey is bursting at the seams with ancient ruins at accessible prices. From the breathtakingly well-preserved streets of Ephesus to the mysterious megalithic rings of Göbekli Tepe to the treasures lurking amongst the streets of every town, there’s a wide-array of wonders on offer. The best part is that these marvels are accessible for much-lower prices than their more famous Italian or Grecian counterparts.