This article has been reviewed by Wego‘s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Türkiye has perennially stood as a traveler’s haven, boasting an exceptionally diverse array of attractions seldom found in a single destination. In the midst of the current political scenario and the country’s economic challenges, the Turkish lira is experiencing a steady depreciation against other currencies, such as the US dollar and Euro. 

For travelers, this depreciation means more value for their money. They can now enjoy a luxurious vacation in Türkiye, experiencing its myriad attractions at a significantly lower cost than in the past.

In this article, Wego explores the impact of the depreciating lira on travel plans to Türkiye and offers tips for maximizing savings during this period.  If Türkiye has been on your travel wishlist, now might be the perfect time to plan that trip.

*All prices are accurate at the time of writing

Why is the Turkish lira losing its value?

The lira, the nation’s currency, continues to hit unprecedented lows against the US dollar, underscoring the country’s enduring economic frailty. The global pandemic has triggered a worldwide inflation hike, prompting nations to raise interest rates in an attempt to restore balance. 

Yet, Türkiye has chosen a different path. As inflation rates skyrocketed, the Turkish President made the unconventional decision to slash, rather than raise, interest rates. This move, while aimed at stimulating economic growth by making borrowing cheaper, had the potential to exacerbate inflationary pressures and could have contributed to the continued depreciation of the lira.

Recent changes in financial policies have propelled the country’s interest rates to approximately 45%, but achieving stability remains a challenging goal. The complexities of this economic issue highlight the need for comprehensive strategies to revitalize Türkiye’s financial landscape.

United States dollar to Turkish lira

For context, before the pandemic, 5 Turkish lira was equivalent to 1 US dollar. However, the situation has drastically changed, with the current rate standing at 31 Turkish lira for 1 US dollar. To put it bluntly, the Turkish lira has experienced a sixfold devaluation compared to its value in 2019.

Should you convert your currency to lira now?

The recent drop in the lira offers a fantastic chance to convert from the US dollar now, potentially resulting in significant guaranteed savings whenever you plan to visit Türkiye. 

The Turkish lira’s value against the US dollar continues to decrease steadily, and the situation might persist, leading to further devaluation. On the flip side, with the upcoming March election and the potential for President Erdoğan to implement measures to counter the economic decline, there lies an uncertainty. 

While prices may fluctuate, the current exchange rate poses beneficial propositions. However, if you are confident that prices will fall further, you could choose to wait. 

Just remember that your well-timed decision could lead to an even more favorable outcome. Don’t miss out on the potential for a fantastic getaway at a smart price.

Should you make your bookings now?

With the Turkish lira hitting an all-time low against the US dollar, it might be wise to book your holiday trip now if you’re planning a spontaneous trip to Türkiye. However, if you plan to make a booking way ahead, you might want to hold off and make your decision after reading the analysis below.

Book Cheap Flights to Türkiye Book Cheap Flights to Türkiye

 

Hotels

Hotel prices in Türkiye tend to be slightly higher when booked in advance compared to last-minute bookings. Hence, you may want to consider booking closer to your stay dates. 

For instance, the Ritz Carlton, a 5-star hotel in Istanbul, charges USD 502 when booked for a stay in September 2024 but only USD 274 for March stay. Both are booked in February. 

Wego hotel price for September 2024 stay

Wego hotel price for March 2024 stay

Similarly, The St. Regis, another five-star hotel, charges USD 552 for a September 2024 stay compared to USD 322 for a March 2024 stay when booked in February. This pricing trend is consistent across almost all hotels in Türkiye.

Wego hotel price for September 2024 stay

Wego hotel price for March 2024 stay

This phenomenon can be attributed to various factors. Initial hotel prices may be set at a standard high rate, and booking in advance might require paying this standard price. As the date gets closer and if a significant number of rooms remain unbooked, the hotel may choose to lower prices to attract more travelers.

However, relying on this strategy is not always advisable, especially during holidays or peak seasons when hotels can quickly fill up in advance. Therefore, it becomes essential to be aware of the timing of your travel season, enabling you to make an informed decision on whether to book your room in advance or not.

You can secure your hotel bookings on Wego by entering your travel dates and the city you prefer in Türkiye. Wego conducts a comprehensive search across 700 websites to provide you with the best hotels at the most competitive prices.

Book Your Stay in Türkiye Book Your Stay in Türkiye

 

Flights

Globally, flight prices to Türkiye are currently low or on par with pre-pandemic rates. If your vacation plans are imminent, booking your tickets and flying off to Türkiye soon could lead to significant savings.

Keep in mind that peak seasons in Istanbul span from April to May and September to October. These periods will attract tourists and consequently have an impact on flight prices.

Seasonality is only one factor, as airfares to Türkiye will differ from various locations. 

For instance, consider Dubai:

Wego price data

 

Wego has observed a significant post-pandemic increase in airfares from Dubai to Istanbul, reaching an average peak of USD 805 in December 2023. Juxtapose that with 2019 prices, where average flight prices from Dubai to Istanbul typically cost around USD 300, fluctuating by about USD 100. 

This particular hike in airfare might be a last call for “revenge travel” mixed with heightened demand for cooler temperatures and festive moods in Türkiye.

While prices in 2024 have begun to show signs of normalizing, travelers should pick their travel dates carefully.

Flight prices from Dubai to Istanbul on Wego for 1 March 2024

 

Book Cheap Flights from Dubai to Istanbul Book Cheap Flights from Dubai to Istanbul

 

Meanwhile, average New York City to Istanbul airfares for December 2023 were recorded at half its pre-pandemic price for the same period. By January this year, the average price had dropped even further to just USD 491.

Wego price data

 

Book Cheap Flights from New York City to Istanbul Book Cheap Flights from New York City to Istanbul

 

Then there’s Riyadh, where the fare dynamic is exactly the opposite of that in Dubai. The cost of flying to Istanbul from Riyadh has remained stable, both prior to and following the pandemic, possibly becoming even more cost-effective now. 

In February 2023, the peak average ticket price was USD 475. By February 2024, this price had decreased significantly by 68% to just USD 149.

Wego price data

 

With prices consistently dropping for travel dates in the near future, Istanbul emerges as an attractive destination from Riyadh; there has never been a better time to travel to Türkiye for travelers flying in from Saudi Arabia. 

Flight prices from Riyadh to Istanbul on Wego for 1 March 2024

 

Book Cheap Flights from Riyadh to Istanbul Book Cheap Flights from Riyadh to Istanbul

 

The perfect time to explore Türkiye

Türkiye is a year-round destination, with each season offering a unique variety of experiences for tourists. The key to choosing the best time to visit lies in your personal preferences. Summers in Türkiye are hot and dry, while winters are calm and mildly cold, with some coastal region hotels potentially closing due to the cold weather.

For those who enjoy winter exploration, November to January offers fewer tourists, lower prices, and even more favorable economic conditions due to the depreciation of the lira. If you wish to experience the vibrant nature of Türkiye amid a sunnier atmosphere, April or May would be ideal. For a harmonious blend of mildly warm mornings and breezy nights, September to October is often the most preferred season for tourists to explore the country at its best.

Beyond the season, the declining value of the Turkish lira opens up exciting possibilities for a diverse range of global travelers. It’s important to understand that this situation is temporary and is likely to change as Türkiye is actively working to revive its economy. In the meantime, there’s no better time for travelers to seize the opportunity. So, pack your bags, lace up your boots, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history, nature, and the delightful flavors of Turkish baklavas.

 

[Total: 227 Average: 4.8]