Turkey and Greece are both Mediterranean countries with amazing weather, beautiful beaches, and mouthwatering cuisine. At first glance, these two countries look very similar, but when you look at them a little deeper, you notice how different they are at the same time! Each one of them got a unique culture, food, and history. Do you want to travel to either Turkey or Greece but can’t choose which one is the right choice for you? Keep reading then, as, in this post, we’ll discuss Turkey vs. Greece: Which one is a better destination?
Greece: Greece’s national language is Greek which has a unique writing font and the words won’t sound that familiar, no matter which other European languages you speak. All Greek students learn English after grade 3rd which means if you find anyone younger than 40 years old, they would speak at least basic English. If you’re in the tourism industry tho, don’t worry as everyone in this industry speaks enough English to suffice your needs.
Turkey: Turkey’s official language is Turkish, and its font is similar to English. English is mostly spoken in Touristic places like some parts of Istanbul, Antalya, and Bodrum. But other than those parts, most people don’t speak English at all, but they try their best to communicate with you which makes it interesting sometimes.
Winner: Greece ranks 22nd on “English Proficiency Index” while Turkey is ranked 79th, so the official winner in the language is Greece, but the good thing about Turkey is their writing font which is like English, so, once you learn a few Turkish words, it’s not that hard!
Greece: Greek cuisine is completely Mediterranean with olive oil, f wheat, and wine being the non-separable triad of it. A lot of meat gets used too. If you’ve been to a Greek Taverna before and loved it, just wait until you visit a real Greek Taverna in Greece! The tastes are mind-blowing! Imagine eating the original Greek Salad, Roast Lamb, and Gyros at a local Greek restaurant! Heavenly, right?
Turkey: Thanks to its’ Social media famous chefs like “Salt Bae” and “CZN Burak”, Turkish cuisine has just started becoming more popular around the world. But the main dish every Turk is proud of would be Turkish Donair. Almost all dishes in Turkey have something to do with meat which is why Turkey is one of the best destinations in the world for meat-lovers.
Winner: Both countries have Mediterranean-style cuisine, full of olive oil, bread, cheese, and meat. If you’re a meat-lover, Turkey is the winner, but if you are more of a vegetarian or vegan, Greek cuisine is the way to go!
Greece: Greece takes credit for Frappe (a combination of coffee, milk, ice, and sugar). Greek people are also wine drinkers with high tolerance. With a great alcoholic drink like Ouzo, Metaxa, and tsipouro, alcoholic beverages can’t go wrong in Greece.
Turkey: The uniquely strong and rich Turkish coffee is one of the most popular coffee brewing methods in the world. But Turkish Ottoman-style Sherbets are everyone’s darlings as well! Turkish sherbets have a lot of varieties, with the most favorite one being Lohusa şerbeti. On the other hand, Turkey has no shortage of Alcoholic beverages. You probably had a shot of rakı before, haven’t you?
Winner: If you are more of an alcoholic drinks fan, Greece has more options while Turkey is great if you are a coffee drinker or simply like to try delicious, yet unknown drinks like salep.
Greece: Tourists in Greece usually like to visit Athens if they’re interested in the old and new side of Greece. A lot of people are obsessed with Santorini Island (You’ve definitely seen it on Instagram) and Mykonos island for their stunning Mediterranean beaches.
Turkey: Turkey’s most visited city is Istanbul, which happens to be Turkey’s largest city, and one of the world’s most populated cities. But there are tons of other popular cities such as Antalya and Bodrum for their breathtaking world-class beaches, Cappadocia for its views and hot-air balloons, and Gaziantep for food-lovers.
If you need help with Turkey’s visa program, make sure to get professional help.
Winner: Both Greece and Turkey would satisfy your destination needs. Turkey receives more visitors than Greece in general, if you’re interested in more of a Western-style destination, Greece is the winner while Turkey is a magical country for those who like to see what happens when West and East meet!
Cost of Travel
Greece: Greece is a part of the EU zone and uses Euro € as its currency which is not that affordable. Depending on where you go, Greece can be one of the cheapest countries to travel to in Europe. Although it’s possible to splurge on high-end hotels and fancy dinners, you can still travel through Greece on a budget.
$44 for accommodation and $13 for meals is what a budget trip in Greece would cost.
Turkey: Turkey’s currency, Lira ₺ makes Turkey one of the most affordable countries in the world for travelers.
On a small budget trip, travelers can expect to pay an average of $10 per day for usual activities and an estimated $15 for hotels in Turkey.
Winner: Turkey is the absolute winner in this section as Greece can’t even get close to Turkey’s affordability.
History and Culture
Greece: Greece is known as the base of today’s Western civilization. With countless historical places like Acropolis, philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, and Greek mythology places like Mount Olympus. The history of Greece goes back to the 11th century BC.
Greek people are very proud of who they are and speak of their heritage with great passion. They are united by their traditions, religion, language, music, food, and wine. All of these form the backdrop of Modern Greek culture and Greece’s cultural identity.
Turkey: Turkey is proud of its 4,000 years of history. But the Turkish history is mostly Eastern up to a point and then it becomes a mixture of the West and the East. Even though this country has a unique, interesting history, not a lot of people travel to Turkey for its history.
Turkey may be the only country that contains every extreme of Eastern and Western culture. A series of radical reforms changed Turkey deeply enough to make it one of the most Westernized majority-Muslim nations.
Winner: If you like to see how the Western civilization came to life, Greece is the country to visit, whereas if you like visiting an amazing mixture of the West and the East, Turkey would be the winner.
Greece: Greece has a modern infrastructure complete with airports, railways, and paved roads and highways.
Driving in Athens can be challenging at first but once you get out of the city you should be fine as long as you pay attention to your surrounding. The roads are pretty good and there is very little of the US Interstate-Autobahn kind of highway driving that makes driving boring.
Regarding public transport, the Greek bus system can reach even the smallest of villages in the country, as well as inner-city transport.
Turkey: As an emerging market, Turkey has a competitive commercial infrastructure.
Driving in Turkey is not easy thou, not because of the road conditions, but because of the drivers. Most tourists would agree that you shouldn’t drive in Turkey unless you have to.
On the other hand, Turkey offers excellent public transport in major cities, including buses, trams, minibusses, and taxis. All Turkish cities offer local buses which are super cheap and reliable too.
Winner: If you’re traveling by air, Turkey, if traveling by car, Greece, and if relying on public transport, both are great.
Greece: According to Numbeo, the Safety of walking alone during daylight in Greece is 77.56 (Very safe) and the Safety of walking alone during the night is 53.24 (moderate).
Turkey: According to Numbeo, the Safety of walking alone during daylight in Turkey is 76.08 (Very safe) and the Safety of walking alone during the night is 51.40 (moderate).
19 thoughts on “Turkey vs. Greece: which one is a better destination?”
Interesting! And I have it completely the other way around after traveking to both. While I love the highlights of both countries, which are incredible, in Turkey however inbetween and especially on its massive inland plateau its much more boring and dull looming than Greece. Greece is 80% mountains which means stunning views everywhere unlike Turkeys inland plateau which is simply far less beautiful than its side areas where the mountains rise and Greece as a whole.
Also. Aside of Greece being a consistently far more beautiful country, its also a much safer country for women. Also. Architecture is incomparable. Greece is famous for its wonderful architectures while Turkey isnt. And the more east you go the worse it gets.
So really, if Turkey isnt consistently as beautiful as Greece gor the logical reasons mentioned in both nature and architecture and on top of that Greece having 2x longer coastline than Turkey of which half of Turkeys coastline is in the Black Sea which is not even closely as beautiful, meaning Greece has 16.000 km of the most crystal clear coastlines on the planet with many beaches better than anything Turkey has to offer. Just Egremni, Fteri, Navagio, voutoumi, Myrtos, Balos lagoon, etc alone blows Turkey out of the water. So natural beauty, sea and architecture are clearly overwhelmingly in favor of Greece on average. The rest is history. Both countries offer perfect food, history and hoslitality for a lifetime. Bottomline Greece is way better than Turkey.
Interesting comparison. I have no idea about them. I would like to visit these two beautiful countries soon.
They’re both amazing, and their best thing about both is the cuisine! Lol!
You’ll love them both.
Thank you for your comment! 😊
I’ll definitely pick Greece over Turkey anyday, sorry. I’m biased about it because I love Greek Mythos so much and will like to see the Parthenon someday. Ha! Everyone’s obviously seen Santorini. The blue roofs and white clad buildings are gorgeous.
Finally, I haven’t heard of the English Proficiency Index before now. Any idea what Nigeria is ranked on that list?
I hear you. I tried to write this neutrally thou! Don’t know how successful it was!
I just linked the the English Proficiency Index to its name on the post. Thanks for reminding me.
Nigeria is 29 on the list which is incredible!
Thanks for your comment!
Oh that’s surprising! Thanks for sharing!
Great information as we’re looking at both for a future trip! Maggie
Wow! I posted it at perfect timing then! lol!
Which one did you choose?
Probably Turkey but we’re not 100%.
Be a 100% sure because you won’t regret it!
Thank you for your comment!
Love this blog! I was stationed in Turkey for two years. I visited some wonderful places, but not as many as I would have liked. Unfortunately, I never made it to Greece. It’s still on my list of places to visit. Hopefully this pandemic will end soon. Thanks for sharing!
Wow! Good for you! I would love to live there someday.
Thank you for your kind comment! 😊
What an amazing comparison!
I vote for Turkey as it’s way better than Greece!
Well, I went to both before I was a year old and I was born in a UN country, so I am going to be neutral on the subject! My parents have stories but I want to see both of them now that I’m older and can create my own stories! Lol
lol! Makes sense.
I got sides too but have to write them as neutral as possible!
Thank you for your comment.
Will have to visit both some day.
Both are amazing!
Thank you for your comment.
Last year we hosted an exchange student from Istanbul. She introduced us to some great cuisine. We hope to visit her when the pandemic subsides.
Wow, that’s very interesting.
I should tell you a funny story.
I was almost a vegetarian until I visited Turkey for the first time. The first bite of a Turkish donair at a very cheap local restaurant in the middle of Ankara changed my whole life! lol!
After that, I started eating meat and practiced some Turkish recipes, and now I’m one of the most radical meat-lovers you could ever meet! lol!
Greece and all Balkans nations have the same kind of cuisine too. It just tastes so much better than what we call meat in North America!
Thank you for your comment!