Merhaba! Are you planning on traveling to Turkey after the lockdown situation subsides? If yes, then this travel blog will help you with the top tips to consider before traveling to Turkey. This country is one of the most visited nations in the world and for good reason indeed! Turkey is fun, safe, easy and affordable.
1. Visa requirements to enter Turkey
While planning a tour to Turkey, you would need to check the website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to check if your country has any particular visa requirements for entering Turkey. Americans can easily obtain their e-visa within 5 minutes of applying online. You would need to note that e-visa is only valid when the purpose of travel is for tourism or commerce.
Tip: Please remember to take a print or save a screen capture of the bar code and the approval page and number as it will be an online link and not an email.
2. Best time to visit Turkey
Summers can get extremely hot in Turkey with temperatures reaching up to 38 degrees centigrade but with adequate prep, you could still travel to Turkey during summertime. Make sure you carry UV umbrellas, sunscreen creams and drink plenty of water as some places like Ephesus and Cappadocia experience unbearable heat between 12 PM and 5 PM in peak summertime.
Winters can be extremely cold with snow in certain parts of Turkey. The months from November through March witness less tourism.
Springtime is pleasant as nature is in full bloom. The months of April and May are considered their high peak season.
Fall is also a great time to pursue your Turkey travel plans. This is also a peak time for tourists (September and October). The weather is usually temperate around this time in the country.
3. Turkish weather
The weather in Turkey depends on what part of Turkey you want to visit. It is a huge nation spanning across two continents with diverse topography. Turkey’s weather ranges from a dry climate to hot summers to snowy winters.
4. How to get to Turkey?
The most obvious way to reach Turkey is by flight. Air travel is the most convenient and fastest means of traveling to Turkey. To optimize your time nicely, you will have to book a flight to Ankara or Istanbul. You can choose from a range of non-stop and transit flights, depending on your budget or time in hand.
Now, if you are planning to travel by train, then your journey will find trains from Europe or East Asia. You can of avail the services of an efficient and well-connected railway, as trains are reliable and cost-effective means of transportation, although it takes more time in travel as compared to flights.
Another way of getting to Turkey is by ship. The nation is home to some of the most beautiful ports in the world that serve as a docking point for several ships.
5. Getting by in Turkey
It’s easy to travel in and around Turkey. Choose from airport shuttles, vehicles, buses and trains depending on your budget and preferences.
6. Is it safe to travel to Turkey?
Absolutely! Turkey is one of the safest places for women travelers, however, it is recommended that you keep a few basic safety tips or take general precautions to prevent any kind of mishaps (the regular ones like dress modest, keep your belongings close to you and be alert of your surroundings will keep you safe!)
7. Currency in Turkey
Turkey’s currency is called Turkish Lira and there have been a lot of changes to its value in the last few years. The current value of Turkish currency is 6/7 lira = 1 USD and 7/8 lira = 1 Euro (huge value for USD and Euro indeed!)
8. Food in Turkey
Turkish cuisine is largely influenced by Ottoman cuisine (Be it Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European!) and it is delicious! Today, the major flavors/ingredients predominantly used in Turkish food are cumin, red chili pepper, mint, paprika, black pepper, olive oil and yogurt.
Must-try dishes during Turkey travel are Turkish coffee, Baklava, Dolma, Lokum or Turkish delight, Kebap, Mercimek Koftesi, Corba soup, etc.
One of the best ways to study the Turkish food scene is to opt for a cooking class while traveling to Turkey (learn about the historic origins of Turkish food, shop for produce at markets and stores in a local Turkish neighborhood and prepare delicious Turkish dishes). This is an experience that will be completely worth it!
9. Best places to visit in Turkey
The most popular places to visit in Turkey include:
c. Izmir (day trips to Ephesus, Cesme, and Pamukkale)
d. Antalya (trips to the beach towns like Fethiye)
10. Shopping in Turkey
Turkey is a paradise for shopaholics as you will find several shops for rugs, jewelry, books, cooking ware, towels, copper crafts, ceramics, paintings, special souvenirs, antiques and more.
11. Where to stay?
There are hundreds of gorgeous hotels and other options to choose from while on your trip to Turkey. And most of them are relatively affordable! Do sufficient research before making your bookings and enjoy your stay to the fullest.
12. What to pack?
Packing essentials while traveling to Turkey:
a. Suitable electrical adapter
b. A good quality camera
c. Warm clothes for cold nights in the desert
d. Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses for sunny days
e. Travel insurance
f. Flowy long dresses
g. Comfortable walking shoe
h. Bathing suits for Turkish baths/Hamman
13. Brush up on Turkish
It will help you a little if you brush up on your basic Turkish language skills before getting to Turkey. English, is not spoken frequently, hence it is all the more important to keep a few Turkish words at the ready should you need it during your trip! (Turks love it when you attempt to converse with them in their language)
Hello – Merhaba
Yes – Evet
No – Hayir
Please – Lutfen
Thank You – Teşekkür ederim
How are you? – Nasilsin
P.S. Turkish language is fairly easy and it is phonetic, so it is pronounced the same way as it is read.
Top Tip: Turkey travel can be planned more efficiently if you plan to travel with a travel company. Choose from a vast range of travel companies offering tours to Turkey and book the best one for you!
So, go ahead and plan your fairytale trip to this beautiful country and prepare yourself to be spellbound!