Worth the Money for an Extra Day?

So this question probably has little to do with experiences and more with personal opinion.

I am going to be in Athens and Istanbul from 11/21 until 11/30. To get from Athens to Istanbul I was going to fly, as it is the quickiest and eaisiest. The cheapest airfare I've found is through Aegean Airlines, and is $114 US one way. The problem is, that flight is at 1:00PM and get into Istanbul at about 2:30PM. By the time I'm into the Old Town and at my hostel, most of the day is shot.

Conversely, Olympic Airlines has a flight at 7:45AM and I'm in Istanbul by 9:00AM. This means that day is not a waste, and is the best possible scenario. The problem is, the Olympic flight is $250 US one way. That's about a $135 US difference.

So, as fellow travelers, what is your opinion. Would you personally spend the extra $135 for a full extra day in Istanbul. If you do the cheaper flight, you have to be at the Athens airport by 9:00AM, and aren't into your hostel in istanbul until probably 4:00PM. The day is mostly shot. Is the extra money worth being in Istanbul bright and early at 9:00AM for a full day?


Posted by Sharon
2725 posts

Hi Matt,

Since you're spending 6 full days in Istanbul, I'd opt for the less expensive flight--use the savings for your hostel, a great meal somewhere or something cool to bring home.

Posted by Greg
Palm Beach, Florida, United States
536 posts

Hi Matt - istanbul is one of the most exciting cities on the planet. A full day will at least allow you to visit a few of the high spots - The Grand Bazaar, The Spice Market, Taksim's famous Pedestrian Street - Istiklal Caddesi, filkled with shops, music,etc.,walking across The galata Bridge with all it's charm and fisherman, shops, cafes,Topkapi Palace, The Blue Mosque, - WOW - So Much - So Little Tme BUT try Matt to spend at least one whole day savoring Istanbul!!


Posted by Arnold
Denver, CO, USA
1024 posts

It isn't clear from your post exactly how you are dividing your time between Athens and Istanbul.

I wouldn't pay the extra 135 for just a few more hours.

Posted by Matt S
Buffalo, NY, USA
27 posts

Sorry, to be clear, I arrive at 9:00 in Athens on 11/21. I was planing on 2 days in Athens, and flying to Istanbul on 11/23. This would be 2 full days in Athens, 1 day of flight between, and then 6 full days in istanbul.

If I did the more expensive flight, I would move the flight back to 11/24, and do 3 full days in Athens, fly to istanbul by 9:00AM on 11/24, for about 6 full days there.

It would essentially buy me an extra day in Athens.

Posted by Matt S
Buffalo, NY, USA
27 posts

Do you think 2 days in Athens would be enough? Rick suggests only two and general consensus is see the major sights and get out of Athens. The first day I'll be tired from jet lag, but I don't want to spend 3 days in Athens if I only really need to, and miss out on a day in Istanbul which I'm much more excited for.

So 2 in Athens and 6 in Istanbul, or 3 in Athens and 5 in Istanbul?