Turkey Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Turkey in 2023
Welcome to Turkey
Turkey is a country with a long history, where the Roman Empire once ruled and it's now the birthplace of many religions. It has a lot to offer to tourists. Whether you are looking forward to enjoying nature or want to have fun in the city, this country will not let you down.
The first thing you need to know before visiting Turkey is that the country is full of surprises. You don't have to be religious like in Mecca or Jerusalem. Traveling to Turkey, especially Istanbul, will allow you to experience real Turkish culture. If you're planning your tour around some places of interest, you can start with this ultimate Turkey travel guide.
Document Checklist for Turkey
Return airline ticket.
Essential Turkey Travel Information
Turkish Currency - Turkish lira (TRY). $1 is equivalent to approx. TRY 18.58
Daily budget for 1 person - A decent daily budget is around TRY 427 ($23).
Language - Turkish.
Socket type - Turkey has two plug types: C and F. Turkey operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone - Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+ 03:00)
Top 3 cities to visit - Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir.
Top 3 landmarks/monuments - The Blue Mosque, the Fairy Chimneys, and the Travertines in Pamukkale.
Visa Information for Turkey
The visa for Turkey is an electronic travel authorization that allows you to travel to Turkey. We recommend you use our visa checker tool to know if your nationality needs this visa.
Turkey eVisa explained
The Turkey eVisa has a maximum stay of 90 days in Total, depending on your nationality.
Typical Costs and Budget for Turkey
Here you will find an essential guide to the daily average budget inTurkish liras to be ready for Turkey.
Daily spending per person - A daily routine in one of the major cities can be around TRY 427, which is USD 23.
Meals - An estimate for meals per day is TRY 135, which is USD 7,26.
Transport - For local transportation, a daily budget is around TRY 67, which is USD 3,61.
Hotel - A room for 1 person is around TRY 173 (USD 9,31), and for a couple it would be TRY 346 (USD 18,62).
A Turkey trip for one week usually costs around TRY 3,038 (USD 163,47) for one person. Consequently, a Turkey trip for two people costs around TRY 6,077 (USD 327) for the same period.
Transport and Ways to Travel around Turkey
The best way to travel around Turkey is by using public transport to move between major cities, as Turkish citizens do; this way, you will feel more like part of Turkish society. Here we will explain each one of the different transport methods.
- Bus and Dolmuş
This is the most popular local way to move within Turkey, the service can be used within the city or for long-distance trips to other cities or towns, plus it is much more economical than taking a plane.
The largest bus companies for this type of travel are Kamil Koç, Pamukkale Turizm and Varan, which operate between major cities.
To travel with fewer people, you can take a “dolmuş”, which is a minibus. These have established routes, so you have to tell the driver where you want to get off. The driver always starts the journey when the car is completely full. You can confirm that the dolmuş can take you to your destination since each one of them has the name of the place to which they are going in the front of the car.
Trains are slow in Turkey. However, there is an exception with the high-speed line connecting Istanbul, Eskişehir, and Ankara. You must buy tickets well in advance. It is trendy to take the night train, known as the “Doğu Ekspresi” (Eastern Express), for a quiet and pleasant trip.
You’ll find taxis all over Turkey, from metropolitan cities to smaller towns. Taxi drivers in Istanbul have a reputation for being rude to passengers. However, for added comfort, you can use the BiTaksi or Uber app for peace of mind and safety. You can consider using a taxi too when you arrive at Istanbul airport or when your trip is finished.
Although four seas surround Turkey, the ferry option has few routes. The companies dedicated to this transport are limited to Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara to Yolova. There is also a ferry between Bodrum and Datça, two popular holiday destinations in the country's southwest. With the ferry you will have another type of adventure, it is also perfect during the summer.
Depending on your travel plans, you can choose the best option.
Safety in Turkey
Turkey is a safe country to visit. However, you should be aware that you should avoid certain areas that are not touristy and are lonely, and from which you should take care of. It will help if you also take care of your things in more crowded places, like when you visit Istanbul, since you could be the victim of pickpocketing, so always be alert with your belongings.
You should know that Turkey borders Syria, so violent acts are frequent in the part of the country that is close to it; there may be acts of assault, kidnapping, and aggression. There are terrorist groups, so avoid this country area for a quiet trip.
We give you some travel advice for your vacation to Turkey:
If you are a woman, avoid walking alone at night. It is always better if you walk around in a group or with someone else of trust.
During your visit to Turkey, if you need help or are lost, don’t hesitate to ask the Turkish authorities; they will help you.
Get good travel insurance. If you get sick, this will help you with your international travel.
Take care of your belongings all the time.
Following these recommendations, you can feel safe on your Turkish trip.
Weather in Turkey
The best time to visit Turkey is between April, May, September, and October considering its warm climate; this will give you better views of the places you will explore. Between June and August you will find very hot weather; besides, they are high seasons, so there are more tourists in the country. But if you like winter, Turkey has excellent mountains where you can appreciate it in all its splendor with cold nights, and this occurs from November to March.
It’s up to you! Hot weather, warm or cold.
Popular Cities and Towns in Turkey
Istanbul - A tremendously vibrant metropolis that will blow you away. This city has many historical monuments and great places like The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya), the Topkapı Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. You can stay more than three days to see many sites, it is a city with a lot for you with its tourist attractions. So the combination of antiquity and modernity makes Istanbul desired by visitors.
Ankara - It is the capital of Turkey. Here, you will find the Turkish government. It also has historical and cultural greatness that you will love. It has many museums and ancient ruins eager to tell you about the past. It also has train connections that will make you travel more comfortably.
İzmir - The İzmir province will take you to the greatness of Turkey in its past. Here you will see how history speaks and tells you about the prosperous years when this city, next to Alexandria in Egypt, was recognized as a cosmopolitan center of the Mediterranean. It’s this port city where the Turks, Greeks, Jews, and Armenians used to trade, which in the past was very important for marketing, from the Roman period until the end of the Ottoman era. In addition to touring the city, you can visit the Kemeralti market to get to know the local life and local products, such as Turkish coffee.
Bursa - This is the original capital of the Ottoman Empire. Today Bursa is a modern city with flashes of the past that make it charming. You can visit the Great Mosque, the mausoleums of the first Ottoman sultans, and many monuments of that era.
Şanlıurfa - It is a city that breathes history. You can enjoy its markets and narrow streets with restaurants and outdoor cafes, stroll through the markets and enjoy local food. You will also find the archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe, which teaches you about the Şanlıurfa region.
Cappadocia - Plan ahead your trip to Cappadocia. You will be amazed by the rock formations that shape the fantastic view of the region. You can enjoy the rocky views taking a balloon ride. In addition to appreciating the fairy chimneys, there are valleys and caves to explore that are thousands of years old. While you are traveling in Cappadocia, you can meet new friends, travelers, or even natives.
Must Do and See in Turkey
The Blue Mosque - It is one of the largest mosques in Istanbul. It will absorb you with its charm and beauty. Visiting mosques is one of the best plans when you enter Turkey.
The Fairy Chimneys- The Fairy Chimneys are located in Cappadocia, a visit you must arrange in your plans. Plus, you can take a balloon and enjoy the view of the rocky splendor of this place.
The travertines in Pamukkale - They are a natural wonder of Turkey. The word Pamukkale, means cotton castle in Turkish; this refers to the pools of white limestone with mineral waters that you find surrounded by mountains. These pools are thermal and attract many tourists who want to enjoy them.
The Grand Bazaar - This is located in Istanbul, one of the most popular places in the city. It has more than 4,000 shops spread over 61 streets and it’s considered one of the oldest markets in the world, a unique experience. Here you can find a lot of Turkish gastronomy offered by locals.
Dolmabahçe Palace - This palace is located on the European side of Istanbul. It is famous for portraying the beauty of the Ottoman Empire. It was initially home to sultans. A place that is a jewel of Turkey.
Typical Turkish Food to Try
Turkey is famous for its street food, like kebabs, which have become very popular throughout European cuisine. However, here we will tell you a little more about some delicious Turkish dishes for you to consider on your visit.
Baklava - It’s a popular dish since the Ottoman Empire, besides being one of the most emblematic dishes for its sweet taste. It has a layered mass covered by nuts, syrup, and ground pistachios, a delicious Mediterranean dessert.
Şiş kebap - Kebab is the term for street food. Şiş kebap is made of meat, fish and also with vegetarian options. Quite a treat if you’re hungry while walking through some Istanbul market.
Lahmacun - It’s a Turkish pizza with ground beef, lettuce, and lemon juice. You can easily find this food in the streets of Turkey, a dish you must eat on your visit.
Vaccine Information for Turkey
Before visiting Turkey it is important that you read about the Covid vaccine information. To this end, we recommend you to click on the CDC website for any other requirements for a vaccine that you need.
Istanbul Is on Two Continents
Istanbul is located on two continents, making it one part European and the other Asian. This is because the city is separated by the Bosphorus Strait, which divides Turkey by separating Anatolia from Thrace.
Fun Facts about Turkey
Turks love tea, although coffee is very popular. You should try the wide variety of flavors of tea they have, which are usually served in small glasses, something charming.
Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world. Due to climatic conditions and diverse topography, hazelnuts are successfully produced in Turkey. These fruits fields are located on the shores of the Black Sea in rural areas.
There are more than 30 ethnic languages in Turkey. Among the local mother tongues we can find Arabic, Kurmanji, Zazaki, and more.
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar has 64 streets and 4,000 shops. It is one of the oldest markets in the world, and it receives up to 400,000 visitors a day. Here you can feel more of a locals’ experience.
There are 82,693 mosques in Turkey. This makes Turkey the country of some of the most beautiful mosques in the world, where 99% of the citizens are Muslims.
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