Airfare to Istanbul, Turkey
One of the largest cities in Europe – and oldest – Istanbul gives birth to the cliche ‘where east meets west’. This is best exemplified in the massive Grand Baazar, with more than 4,000 stalls. Other attractions in the city include Topkapi Palace, relaxing hamams – Turkish baths – and the impressive Sultanahmet Mosque.
Airfare to Istanbul will be the cheapest on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday. Mondays are popular with business travellers and weekends are key dates for holidaymakers wanting the longest trips possible – avoid these dates.
Also consider flights into Athens, Greece. To get between the cities, you can grab a spot on a train, bus or flight. Look for cheap flights on no frills Europe airlines. Blue Wings, MNG and Germanwings fly to Istanbul. Although it will take longer to reach your destination, a bus or train could save you enough cash to make it worth your while.
Another possible money-saving tip is to look for flights that go through London, England; Frankfurt, Germany; or another major gateway city instead of flying direct. Because there are more flights – and competition – from these cities on Europe low budget airlines, you can save some cash over flying non-stop to your destination. Flights within Europe rarely exceed two-and-a-half hours. It is very common to layover in one of these main cities.
Finally, consider traveling on a lesser-known carrier. Turkish Airlines is the national airline. However, LOT Polish Airlines, British Airways, Alitalia and other airlines also stop in Istanbul.
The most expensive air tickets to Istanbul are found during peak holiday travel times, such as the summer Eurail season. Also be aware of national events or festivals, which can also cause ticket prices to rise.
Summary of Money Saving Tips:
- Fly mid-week
- Book your holiday during the off-peak winter season, January-March
- Consider flying into Athens, Greece and traveling overland to Istanbul via train or bus
- Look for flights that go through large cities, with many flights
- Check out carriers besides the national airline – they may undercut the monopolistic competition
For more information on Istanbul, check out BootsnAll’s Istanbul Travel Guide.