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Flights in and to Turkey

Hello!
We are planning to go in September, so we have plenty of time! Two of us, Seattle to Izmir, then Izmir to Goreme, Goreme to Istanbul and then Istanbul back home. When I plug in multi city the flights inside Turkey, (Izmir to Goreme) are super expensive! Should we book our "outside" trips then go back in and book others for less? $600 from Izmir to Cappadocia is crazy!

Any comments about this rough itinerary are appreciated! Thank you!

Posted by
6850 posts

You could take the bus. I took the bus all over Turkey and enjoyed it. Turkish buses are generally very nice with reclining seats, bathrooms, movies and an attendant who spritzes you with toilet water. :) And they are much much cheaper than flying.

Posted by
40 posts

Thank you. We considered renting a car, but the drive is 10 plus hours. We would rather fly. Thak you!

Posted by
2267 posts

Have you tried separating the internal legs and pricing them as one-way tickets?

Also, maybe look at SAW, Istanbul's second airport for the domestic legs. I believe the discount carriers are based from there.

Posted by
1817 posts

I'm seeing flights from Izmir to Kayseri for about $60 one way, and Kayseri to IST for about $50-60. I'm looking at 2 weeks out. So it could be you're looking too far in advance. Also, you might just be better off booking your overseas flights on one ticket, and then book separate tickets for your domestic flights within Turkey.

Posted by
40 posts

I think that is what I will do. I saw $60, but booking they were $600! It seems that Turkish Air doesn't fly into/out of SAW? I have read that SAW is far superior to fly into.

Second question if I may. We are renting a VRBO in Istanbul and one in Selcuk. Only two of us, but, well, my husband snores and I am a light sleeper! We need one bedroom for part of the trip. I need to sleep! Shhhh....!! Any neighborhoods you suggest in Istanbul that are close but quiet?

Thank you all!

Posted by
7050 posts

Since you are lucky enough to have a local Turkish Air hub at SEATAC, I would consider non-stop, round-trip flights to Istanbul (it's a very long flight, after all, from the West Coast). Turkish Air has really competitive prices and good service. I would deal with the internal flights separately (obviously, that would imply you spend the beginning and end of your trip in Istanbul). I looked at a dummy booking and also found very cheap flights (via SunExpress, which I assume is a budget carrier) between Izmir and Goreme. I don't know how you found a $600 fare since I don't see the schedules for September 2023 up this early. You have a lot of time to book the flights, I would not feel pressured to do so right now.

Do you have a good guide book for Turkey? I used Lonely Planet when I went. I think it will help a lot in stringing together a logical itinerary.

Posted by
2267 posts

TK does use SAW, but not for long-haul flights. You'll definitely arrive and depart the country from IST.

Re: accomidation- I really enjoyed being in Taxim. It's more local feeling, while still very accessible to the main sites. Istiklal is the main pedestrian shopping artery, and it leads to the bridges across the Golden Horn. I stayed at the Roommate Emir, about 500 feet off Istiklal and it seemed plenty quiet. (My room didn't face the street.)

Posted by
548 posts

We flew into Istanbul's new airport. We arrived close to midnight, so we stayed at hotel actually in the hotel without ever leaving the building. It was a bit expensive but the convenience was great.

The next morning we took the H13 bus ($3.60 each) to a place near-ish the grand bizarre, then a tram to our destination. Immediately confronted by aggressive taxi drivers on foot wanting $25 to drive 2 miles. (Tram ride is 40 cents I think)

The tram was the most frustrating tram I have ever used. You buy a ticket from a machine like you would in London or Milan. It has a button for languages, but you quickly learn the buttons often don't work. Then even in English you are confronted with some confusing options. Other people are using red cards (like London Oyster cards) and topping them off but they do not seem to sell those cards from the machine. So you end up buying a card board card with 10 trips on it.

Meanwhile various Turks are trying to "help" you. They stand next to you speaking in Turkish with an occasional word of English. Then they want money. One guy I would not pay seemed to be getting a little hostile. Then a nice lady was helpful and said several times "no money" as if she did not want to be paid and was being helpful. Then at the end she did want money in the form of my buying her tram credit. She first pointed to 5 (which is about 20 cents) so I said ok, and put my credit card, then she pointed to 100 (about $5.50) and I hit the cancel button and thanked her and split.

Then we get on the tram, with luggage, and its Tokyo at 8 am. The door started closing on a few of us, and holding the tram up so it was like first and goal with the quarterback sneak just pushing your way on - then being on a hot sweating tram pressed against strangers holding your phone and security bag.