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Traveling to Turkey? Here is What You Need to Know
With over 38 million tourists in 2018, Turkey is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Turkey is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination, and for a good reason. Are you planning a trip to Turkey?
To help, we’ve put together a guide for first-time visitors to Turkey. Before heading off to the journey, you must have Google Travel in your mobile. It is an incredible tool for travelers providing them with every information they need.
1. To Enter Turkey, You Would Likely Need To Apply For A Visa, And This Includes American Citizens.
Please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to find out if you need any additional documentation to enter Turkey. You can receive a visa in as little as 5 minutes if you’re an American and pay $20 online.
The barcode and approval page/number will be internet links, so be sure to print them down or take a screenshot. Neither the approval nor any related information will be sent to you via electronic mail. The maximum period of validity for the multiple entry visa is ninety days.
2. Foreigners May Experience Unreliable or Limited Wi-Fi
Most locations demand a European or Turkish phone number to access free Wi-Fi. It includes the Istanbul airport, which is essential because you may need to pick up your electronic visa upon arrival. If you want to get past this, you should either have an international phone plan, get a Turkish SIM card, or have a buddy who already has a Turkish number and can spot the passcodes to use the internet.
To insert your new Turkish sim card into your phone, you’ll need to remove the tray from your phone; therefore, remember to pack a sim card ejector tool. You can avoid carrying around a physical sim card by opting for a Turkish e-Sim if your phone is relatively fresh (released between 2020 and 2022). You can keep using your current sim card with an e-Sim card because it is downloaded to your phone.
Renting a portable Wi-Fi hotspot is another option; you can do so online and pick one up at your hotel or another lodging place (someone must be available to take the delivery).
3. Some Websites Are Banned In Turkey
If you are currently located in Turkey, you will not be able to make a reservation with Booking.com. Not being able to use the platform to reserve a hotel room at the last minute was a major hassle for me.
It’s illegal to use Wikipedia in Turkey. And here’s why. Get your homework done ahead of time, or use Google’s cache feature if it applies to your search query.
In Turkey, you won’t be able to use PayPal. Forget about using a proxy server.
4. Turkey’s Atmosphere
The weather in Turkey can vary widely depending on where you go. This massive country straddles two continents and features a wide range of landscapes. The temperature of Turkey varies greatly, from dry and hot in the desert to freezing and snowy in the mountains. The north and northeast are often cooler, whereas the center (near and west of Cappadocia) is desert hot/cold. The Mediterranean region, including Istanbul, has hot summers and pleasant winters.
5. Top Season to Visit Turkey
Even if temperatures in the summer can easily reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), there is still a lot of fun to be had if you are well prepared. Be sure to bring a UV umbrella, sunscreen, and lots of water. However, during the hottest part of the day (12-5 pm) in the summer, Ephesus, and Cappadocia can feel like ovens.
In some places, winters can get rather chilly and snowy. November through March is traditionally a slow time for the tourism industry. Everything is in blossom in the spring, yet the weather isn’t too hot just yet. For them, right now is the height of their busy season (April & May).
The fall is also beautiful, but it’s peak season so expect crowds (September & October). Most of Turkey enjoys mild temperatures at this time of year.
6. Guidelines for Appropriate Attire in Turkey
The landscape, government, and culture of Turkey are all quite varied. So, you might go past a lady in an LBD and, around the next corner, see a lady who has her face wholly concealed. Kayseri, a more traditional city in Turkey, stands in contrast to the more liberal Atatürk and Los Angeles (like Izmir). There are several unique communities within Istanbul itself. The Moda area, filled with young, trendy people, is like Brooklyn. While Sultanahmet, its historic quarter, is full of museums, markets, and century-old buildings.
Bring more conservative clothes for times when you encounter a change in culture and don’t want to stand out and your more “summery” clothes for times when you’re in an area of Turkey where you feel more at ease.
7. Communication Problems, Especially Relating To Language
In Turkey, few people speak English. The majority of folks did not understand or speak English. Not many people even knew how to answer yes or no in English. Learning some basic Turkish words and playing Pictionary is required.
Learn the fundamentals for expressing your dietary restrictions, food allergies, and other special needs in Turkish.
8. Turkey’s Travel and Living Expenses
The price of a meal might be anywhere from $1 for street food to $5 at a cozy restaurant. Upscale eateries can get a cocktail, appetizer, dessert, and main dish for under $20. These are excellent deals when compared to pricing in the West:
- Domestic flights might cost anywhere from $20 to $60.
- Roughly $1 per hour for a Bla Bla Car ride.
- The cheapest fare on public transit is 15 cents (1 lira). Usually, no more than $4 (or $1) total.
- Foreigners should expect to pay between $30 and $60 to enter museums.
- Price ranges from approximately $30 for a full day of fun and lunch on an organized day tour.
Where in Turkey your stay will determine the availability of such amenities. Hotels start at $30 a night, while Airbnbs and hostels charge $10 a night.
An Istanbul Welcome Card can be purchased for as little as $75. The Bosphorus Cruise and visits to significant museums including Hagia Sophia are included of the welcome card. You will also receive ten tickets for usage on buses, trams, ferries, and the metro.
9. An Orientation to Turkey’s Transportation
Turkey’s infrastructure facilitates travel throughout the country. Buses cost between $10 and $20 one way and are a good option if you’re strapped for cash but have plenty of time on your hands.
Shuttle service to and from the airport can be arranged through your hotel or homestay for around $12. When booked in advance, though, flights within Turkey can be had for as little as $20 to $60. Considering the time and effort savings, this is the most sensible mode of transportation. Is it worth losing $10-$30 and a few hours of your time and rest?
Public transit within cities is reliable and easy to use. Trains, such as the Dogu Express, travel through the country. Interstate bus travel is an option for those who want to travel between cities.
10. Taxis in Turkey; is Uber available there?
There is a well-known problem of taxi drivers in Turkey taking advantage of their passengers. They should always carry modest bills for taxi rides to pretend they don’t have change. But occasionally, they’ll act confused or uncooperative to run up the meter’s price. As soon as the total cost is reached, they will rapidly switch off the meter. Make sure your GPS is on at all times, so they know you’re not lost.
You should document the meter by photographing it and displaying the evidence. The final meter reading would then be input into the Uber app. It’s terrible that there are so many safety measures to follow; the whole process can feel overwhelming and stressful.
Also, please DO NOT provide cash to Uber drivers. Money has been taken out of your Uber app credit card account.
One of the advantages of using Uber is that the drivers of the cabs you hire through the service are generally more excellent than those of regular taxis, presumably because they are aware of and care about their star rating. One drawback is that they demand a hefty commission, which isn’t fair. However, cab scams are sadly common, and this seemed like the best method to protect oneself.
11. Plug adapter for use in Turkey
The standard European plug is an F type. In this country, 220 V is the norm. Don’t waste time in vain looking for one here, though; bring your own.
12. Currencies in Turkey
The Turkish Lira is the country’s currency; its value has fluctuated widely over the past few years. Following political and economic upheaval, the government removed the zeros from the inflation rate and set the exchange rate at par with the US dollar. Unfortunately, this was just temporary. It means the current exchange rate is 15 lira to $1 USD. Wow! In other words, if you’re an American, European, or British consumer, you’ll get a lot of bang for your dollars here.
13. The Turkish Diet and Turkish Cooking
The cuisine of Turkey is heavily inspired by the cuisine of the Ottoman Empire (Central Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe) and the cuisines of the many cultures that conquered and occupied Turkey along its silk road. These days, red chili pepper, black pepper, mint, paprika, olive oil, cumin, and yogurt are among the most popular seasonings.
Taking a cooking class is one of the most acceptable methods to learn about Turkish cuisine. An essential cultural and culinary activity in Turkey is taking a cooking class.
Take a private guided culinary tour of Istanbul and spend 6 hours or more eating your way through some of the city’s most excellent restaurants and regional sampling specialties like tantuni and liver wraps. You will also go to Misir Carsisi, one of the leading spice markets in Istanbul, where residents have been shopping for spices for centuries.
Here are a few Turkish foods you must taste before leaving the country. Put them on paper!
Typical Turkish cuisine includes baklava, dolma, lokum (Turkish delight), kebap, mercimek koftesi, corba soup, kunefe, and Turkish coffee.
14. Best Tourist Attractions of Turkey
The following is a sample itinerary for a vacation in Turkey geared toward first-time visitors. The best hotels, restaurants, and attractions in each location are detailed. The top tourist destinations in Turkey are as follows.
- When visiting Turkey, a trip to Cappadocia is an absolute must. Don’t let a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this hot air balloon flight pass you.
- Izmir (with day trips to Ephesus, Cesme/Alacati, and Pamukkale).
- Antalya (including trips to the beach towns like Fethiye). This tour of Antalya via cable car, boat, and waterfalls is a beautiful way to see the city.
- Marmaris/Fethiye. Enjoy a mud bath, stop at Turtle Beach, and take a boat ride along the Dalyan Canal.
15. Traveling to Turkey by Yourself
Hostels in Turkey are a riot and a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow backpackers. Look no further than Moda Drei, a hostel with free Wi-Fi and a shared kitchen, if you’re traveling on a budget. The Sureyya Opera House and the Moda Coastal Park are both easily accessible on foot from your hotel. In just three minutes, you can walk to Kilise Station, connecting you to the rest of Istanbul’s public transportation system.
16. Shopping Paradise
When I return to Turkey, I’ll bring an extra empty duffel bag for souvenir purchasing. Rugs, towels, jewelry, books, cooking utensils, copper crafts, ceramics, paintings, pillows, unique souvenirs, antiques, and more may be found at bargain prices in the many markets, bazaars, and artist craft shops.
Turkey is a remarkable destination thanks to its breathtaking landscapes and diverse, well-preserved architectural styles. The town of Göreme is home to hot air balloon flights, and the city of Kaş is home to scuba diving excursions sure to please the adrenaline junkies among you. Besides these, there are many other unmissable places there. Hope this guide will help make your trip to Turkey remarkable. Wishing you a wonderful experience and safe travels!