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Turkey inflation and travel

IT looks like Turkey has an inflation rate recently that seems almost unbelievable. How has that affected anyone traveling in or to Turkey as a tourist? Seems like you would only want to take small amounts of money from an ATM because the next day may have a marked change.

Posted by
737 posts

The combination of the plummeting lira and high inflation make things pretty unpredictable. I try not to get too many lira at one time because I know that within a few days it will probably be worth less. The dollar still goes a long way in Turkey.

I got home from Antalya earlier this week. Some observations:

  • There is a big difference in price between local goods and imported goods. The local goods remain an incredibly good deal for Americans.
  • I found a lot of differences in pricing, depending on where you were. At the little market close to my hotel in Antalya, a Diet Coke cost 8TL; in the Istanbul airport, a Diet Coke cost 58TL, closer to what you would expect to pay in Europe or America.
  • I also noticed in Istanbul in November that there was a huge difference between what I would pay in Beyazit and what I would pay in Sultanahmet. Dinner prices in SultanAhmet were 3 or 4 times what they were in Beyazit, probably because most of the folks in Sultanahmet are tourists.
  • Nice Turkish cotton shirts were running around $15. Quite reasonable, I thought.
  • Peshtamal towels, as I recall, were a bit cheaper than you could find on Amazon.
  • A nice dinner would run about 100-120TL -- about $6-$7.
  • A cheap but good dinner -- grilled chicken, pasta, and salad -- from Tavuk Dunyasi (a chain restaurant) was 58TL, about $3.50.
  • A scoop of Turkish ice cream was 30TL, a bit less than $2.
  • A big glass of fresh squeezed fruit juice would run around 25-40TL, roughly $2, depending on what kind of juice you ordered.
  • Art supplies (all imported) were about what I would pay in the US, maybe a little less. (I'll take that back, I paid 450 TL (about $27) for a watercolor block in Antalya. The same exact same thing online in the US runs $43.)
Posted by
7050 posts

Merchants will want to be paid in anything other than Lira (at an unfavorable exchange rate set by them), so tourist beware...stick to the local currency and shop where locals shop (same for eateries) and not the Grand Bazaar or other obvious tourist traps