Tips on spending money in the Land of Four Seasons

Caroline Bloor
By Caroline Bloor
Financial Expert
Updated 08 April 2024
|Read time: 5 mins

Guide to spending money in Turkey

From the thermal pools of Pamukkale and the 'fairy chimneys' of Cappadocia to the western Turquoise Coast, Turkey is a very special country to explore.

The country is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations for British holidaymakers, and it’s only a three to four-hour flight from the UK. With its bustling cities, breathtaking scenery, rich heritage, shopping and cuisine, there’s much to experience.

Here, we break down the local costs and how best to spend your Turkish lira when visiting the country.

What money is used in Turkey?

The currency is Turkish Lira (Türk Lirası). This is the official tender used in the whole country. You will see how much things cost quoted with TL or TRY and the symbol ₺.

You may also see prices in Euros or Dollars in some places.

How much cash should you take to Turkey from the UK?

Working out how much spending money you’ll need for Turkey can be tricky when there’s so much to see and do. As a rough guide, budget for around £40-£50 a day per person to include food, transport and sightseeing.

Travelling with cash is highly recommended, especially if you plan to visit local markets outside of the main cities. You may need coins and small notes for tipping, public transport tickets, and small purchases as soon as you arrive.

It’s also sensible to have a credit or debit card as a backup, just in case.

How much do things cost in Turkey?

With living costs less than half that of the UK, your holiday spending money will stretch much further here. So make the most of eating out, sightseeing and shopping in the famous bazaars!

Here are some typical costs to help you work out how much money you need to take to Turkey:

The information above is correct as of 23 August 2023. Data sourced from Note that prices are subject to seasonal and inflationary fluctuations.

Tourist tax in Turkey

From 1 January 2023, Turkey introduced a 2% tourist tax. This will already be included in the price of your accommodation if you booked your holiday this year. But if you booked before the new tax came in, check with your tour operator whether you will have to make any additional payment on check-in.

Hotel type The average hotel night cost Tax amount Total
Mid-level 2,000TL per night 40TL 2,040TL
Luxury 10,000TL per night 200TL 10,200TL

Tax costs are correct as of 14 July 2023. Data sourced from

Food costs

There’s so much to explore when it comes to Turkish cuisine. When visiting, it's best to find local restaurants and market stalls if you’re in the mood for something authentic and delicious. You’re also more likely to find more affordable options.

Here’s how much things would typically cost in Turkey:

Cost of beer & beverages

Beer (bottle): 50TL - 150TL

Wine (bottle): 150TL - 1,000TL

Coke/Pepsi (bottle): around 13TL

Mineral water (bottle): 20 - 30TL

Turkish coffee: 30 - 44TL (generally served with water and Turkish delight)

Cost of eating out

Prices are based on eating at a mid-range restaurant, per person:

Breakfast: 120-200TL for a large buffet with tea

Lunch: 60-80TL for a wrap or salad, 30-40TL for a drink

Dinner: 120-200TL for a meat-based dish, 40-50 TL for appetisers (meze)

The information above is correct as of 23 August 2023. Note that prices are subject to seasonal and inflationary fluctuations.

How much does it cost to travel around Turkey?

Stretching from the Aegean Sea to the Caucasus Mountains, there are plenty of ways to get around and explore.

For experienced drivers, hiring a car is a fairly inexpensive option, with prices from around 500TL – 1000TL a day for a compact car (excluding insurance and road tolls). 

There’s a good network of cheap, quick domestic flights for longer journeys. 

For public transport, city metro rides start at a reasonable 10TL. If you plan to explore by public transport, get a discount travel card.

Intercity buses are very affordable and frequent:

Istanbul to Ankara: 300 - 400TL

Antalya to Adana: 300 - 420TL

Airport transfer to city centre

A Private transfer service (usually a fixed price per group/person) is no more expensive than a taxi. It’s also bookable and hassle-free. Some hotels may offer this as a service to guests, so make sure to check their website or contact them directly to arrange an airport pick up.

Taxi: 350TL, 50 mins

Airport bus: 67TL, 1hr 40 mins


Taxi: 250-300TL, 25 mins

Airport bus: 75TL, 1 hour


How much should you tip in Turkey?

When deciding how much money to take to Turkey, don’t forget to factor in tips. Tipping is common in many of the usual situations as a sign of appreciation.

Tipping in restaurants

It’s always advisable to leave a tip in a restaurant as a sign of respect. Tip a small percentage of the total in cash directly to the person who served you. You can’t usually include the tip on a credit card.

Tip The total cost of a meal Tip amount Total
10% 3-course meal for 2, mid-range restaurant 500TL 50TL 550TL
15% 3-course meal for 2, mid range restaurant 500TL 75TL 575TL

Tips for taxi drivers

Tipping isn’t essential, but if you are happy with the service, it’s normal to round up the fare. For instance, a fare of TL96 would round up to TL100.

If you’ve hired a driver for the whole day or for a private airport transfer, it’s customary to tip 5-10% of the agreed total.

Tips for hotel staff

It’s customary to tip the housekeeper at the end of your stay. There may be an envelope with the guest information in your room or a tip box at reception or in the breakfast room.

Shopping and souvenirs

When working out how much spending money you’ll need in Turkey, make sure there’s enough to take full advantage of its open-air markets, covered bazaars, and boutiques.

Prices are around 60% cheaper than in the UK, and haggling is usually all part of the experience!

Other currencies

This article is for promotional or information purposes only. You must not rely on it as advice.
Please contact a financial adviser if you need advice before you buy a financial product or service.

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