Is Greece more expensive than Turkey? If you’re asking that then we can only guess that you’re heading off on a holiday to one of these fantastic Mediterranean jewels. Whatever the price, you can rest assured that you’ll have a vacation to remember…
On the one hand, there are the ancient history sites and glimmering Aegean isles of Greece. On the other, there’s the Turquoise Coast and enthralling cityscape of Istanbul. And that’s really just scratching the surface of what these bucket-list-busting European-come-Asian destinations can offer the would-be traveler.
Of course, one of the main deciding factors is likely to be cost. That’s what we’ll look at here. We’ll first ask is Greece more expensive than turkey on a general level. Then, we’ll delve into various areas of expenditure for travelers to see what you’ll pay in each place for food, hotels, and more. Let’s go…
Is Greece more expensive than Turkey?
Yes, Greece is more expensive than Turkey. Most estimations have it that the land of feta and moussaka is something in the region of 20-40% pricier than its compadre just over the Bosporus Strait.
Our own guess is that a week-long trip to Greece will cost you around $1,900 ($1,500-2,300) in total. That includes EVERYTHING you spend on the holiday, from food to hotels. However, it doesn’t include the cost of flights there in the first place. On the flip side, we’d estimate that a week-long trip to Turkey would cost in the region of $1,100 per person, again without flights. That’s a full $800 cheaper!
Don’t just take our word for it, though. We’ve taken a look at a whole host of travel cost collators and they all seem to agree: Turkey is cheaper than Greece. Here’s a quick rundown of the lot and what they estimate the price of a couples’ trip to be…
- Budget Your Trip: Greece:$1,674; Turkey: $327
- Champion Traveler: Greece: $1,487; Turkey: $1,251
- Nowloan: Greece $1425; Turkey $791
As you can see, Turkey comes out cheaper right across the spectrum, sometimes considerably so. However, there’s quite a bit to break down here, as certain things can skew such price estimations wildly. What’s more, there are some things that are sure to cost you more in Turkey.
It all depends on WHERE you go
$327 per week for a trip to Turkey according to Budget Your Trip? Don’t get too excited just yet. It’s worth remembering that Turkey is a huge country. It runs for nearly 1,000 miles from the heart of the Caucuses to the Mediterranean Sea. Only a portion of that is actually popular with tourists and we’ll hazard a guess that those are the regions you’re looking at visiting most – think everything along the Turkish Riviera, from Antalya to Bodrum, all the way up to Istanbul and to the Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia.
Right? If that’s the case, then you almost certainly won’t get away with spending less than $350/week. Sorry…it just won’t happen unless you limit yourself to hostel accommodation and eat only cheap eats on the street. Popular summer getaways like Marmaris and the Turquoise Coast, along with the larger cities of Turkey, tend to have prices that are more in line with Greece and European destinations. They are still cheaper to the tune of 10-20%, but they aren’t that different.
The same is not really true of Greece. You’ll pay roughly the same rates in this corner of Europe no matter where you go. The reason? It’s almost ALL popular with visitors, from the sun-splashed Aegean in the south to the monasteries of Meteora in the north, the Ionian in the west to the Dodecanese in the east. Only the regions of Macedonia and Epirus offer significant reductions, around the 10% mark compared to most islands.
Certain destinations will be priced differently
There are certain destinations in both Greece and Turkey where you can expect our average price estimations to go completely out of the window. That’s either because they are SO expensive that they demand a lot more cash from holidaymakers or because they are so cheap that you can usually do them for a bit more of a bargain. Here’s a look at a few examples from each…
- Mykonos – Now more in line with Ibiza and the French Cote d’Azur, a trip to Ibiza in the peak summer can set you back thousands of dollars. This is the jet setter of the Aegean Sea.
- Athens – Prices in Athens stay fairly regular throughout the whole year. This is one of the few destinations in Greece that’s doesn’t see big seasonal reductions in hotel rates and whatnot.
- Santorini – Now considered the poster-boy of Greek tourism, Santorini is priced higher than just about anywhere in the Aegean. Come in the winter to get good bargains, but still don’t expect it to be uber cheap.
- Marmaris – Marmaris has risen to be the mainstay luxury destinations on the Turkish Riviera. It’s still not likely to be as pricy as the nearby Greek isles of Rhodes and Symi, but it will be more than other seaside spots like Bodrum, for example.
- Van – The far eastern town of Van is so off the beaten track that you’re likely to pay prices more in line with Central Asia than Europe. AKA – it’s cheaper than western Turkey but it’s nowhere near the popular beaches and whatnot.
- Istanbul – A city-break destination all year round, Istanbul sees only small seasonal variations in prices for travelers.
The cost of travel to Turkey and Greece will be different
One thing to remember is that, while Greece might be the pricier of these two places once you’re on the ground, there’s a good chance that it will prove the cheaper to reach in the first place. The reason for that is the sheer abundance of arrival airports – there are now 15 islands that have their own airports, plus major airport hubs in Athens, Thessaloniki, Kalamata, and others on the mainland. That translates into more flight options, and that, in turn, means more competition on routes to keep costs down.
As an example, we’ve flown to Greece in the midsummer for around $100 return with bags. At the same time, the cost of routes in Turkey were well over $150 each. Plus, then you have to add on the cost of getting to where you actually want to holiday on the other side. In Turkey that can mean a few hours in a taxi transfer, while the more bite-sized nature of Greece means you can be sunning yourself by the hotel poolside usually less than an hour out of the airport.
Is Greece more expensive than Turkey for hotels?
Greece is generally a little more expensive than Turkey for hotels. Of course, what you pay per night really depends on the quality of hotel you want. A five-star beach resort in Marmaris will certainly cost you more than a backpacker hostel in Athens, for example. In fact, beach hotels in Turkey often prove more in the midsummer than they do in Greece.
Let’s take a look at some examples of hotels from across the spectrum in both places…
- TUI BLUE Grand Azur ($$$) – You’ll drop around $380 per night for a summer stay in this colossal resort on the Marmaris coastline. It’s like a mini city, with a huge outdoor pool and palm-filled gardens, plus walking access to a beachfront.
- Edibe Sultan Hotel ($$) – It’s around $90-130/night for a stay in this traditional Turkish B&B in the heart of Istanbul.
- Lily Town Boutique Hotel ($) – A backpacker hostel with a boutique edge in the sunny city of Antalya, comes in at under $30 a night for most of the year.
- All Senses Nautica Blue Exclusive Resort & Spa – All Inclusive ($$$) – A deluxe spa hotel right on the edge of Rhodes, this one has garden-fronted rooms and its own wellness facility. You’re looking at $180/night in peak season.
- The Authentic Village ($$) – A lovely hotel set out like a traditional Cretan village near the gorgeous of the Crete south coast, costs between $60-80 per night.
- Complex Lemon Grove ($-$$) – A ticket to the mad party town of Kavos on Corfu, this B&B guesthouse has its own pool and simple double and twin rooms. It will cost $30-45 a night.
The cost of food in Greece and Turkey
Food is where you’re likely to really notice the difference in price between these two places. Most estimations have it that you’ll spend near $35/day on grub in Greece but could get by dining in Turkey with just $7 a day!
We don’t think that the difference is quite that stark. However, it’s true that a mezze meal with wine or beer in a Greek taverna is now roughly $20 per head. Compare that to the tavernas of Turkey, where a similar meal will set you back closer to $10-15 per head.
The abundance of street food in Turkey, particularly in larger cities like Istanbul and Ankara, also helps to keep the price of chow on the down low. You can spend a dollar a pop on proper souvlaki and kepab dishes or grab sweet Turkish coffees and baklava to go for under 50 cents. That’s not possible in Greece.
Is Greece more expensive than Turkey? Our conclusion
Yes, Greece is more expensive than Turkey. We’d estimate that it’s something around 20-30% pricier for most things. We think you’ll mainly notice that in the cost of food and drink. It’s much cheaper to dine out in Turkey than in Greece. The price of hotels in Greece is also generally higher across the board, but that’s not always the case – you can spend the same or more on big resorts on the Turkish coast, though Turkish hostels will be cheaper. Meanwhile, the cost of getting to Turkey in the first place might prove a touch higher since there are less airport and flight options heading that way.