Turkey Travel: Ultimate travel guide

Turkey Travel: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Turkey

0Shares

Turkey Travel

When you cross the Greek Mainland, you will come across Turkey, which is most of the historic countries of the world. You’ll find western capitalism along with eastern mysticism.

Turkey honestly defines and reinforces its culture as well as tradition, making it one of the most unique places in the world. With the old ruins within the provinces, hot air ballooning, beach resorts, and metropolitan lifestyle, you’ll find everything in Turkey.

General Info

  • Long name: Republic of Turkey
  • Capital: Ankara
  • Language: Turkish
  • Currency: Turkish lira ($0.150)
  • Time Zone: UTC +3
  • Dial Code: +90
  • Population: 84,114,762 (2020)

About Turkey

If you are searching for a tourist vacation spot that offers you lots of fun and pleasure, then Turkey is the right destination for you. you’ll find numerous locations of traveler interest in this country. in case you are one of those who appreciate natural wonders or like to discover the outdoors then Turkey gives you lots of such opportunities. For history fans, there are Ephesus tours where you can discover the rich history of the country.

Things to know before you go to Turkey

If you are trying to travel to Turkey so you must know these things before your trip:

#1 – Currency

In Turkey, people are used Turkish lira and one Turkish lira is about $0.150, With one lira you can buy water, or use a toilet.

#2 – Language and difficultés of communication

Most people travel to Turkey and they say that Turkish people cannot speak English well. that’s true, and many Turkish people cannot speak English they even don’t know how to say yes or no, So, you need to learn some Turkish words to communicate with people out there.

#3 – Apps for traveling to Turkey

#4 – Weather

Weather in Turkey, of course, depends on which month you are coming and which season you want to enjoy. if you love the Summer season or Autumn so you have to travel between April to August. in these months you can visit Turkey and enjoy it.

From July, August, September you can also enjoy the Spring season. and if you are a Winter or Autumn lover, then you can move after October until March.

#5 – Visa Application

As we know Turkey is the most traveling country and most visitors came all around the world to Turkey. like in 2018 it’s about 28 million peoples who visited Turkey. 

So, if you are planning to visit Turkey, every country has to apply for a Turkish visa, and you can apply online easily.

#6 – Banned websites in Turkey

In Turkey, some websites are banned, for example, if you want to book a hotel on booking.com you can’t. we all know that booking.com is a worldwide website, but it’s not working in Turkey, but you can download the trivago app because it’s what working there.

If you want to travel from a city to another (e.g Istanbul to Cappadocia) you can download the Obilet app, it’s very useful if you want to travel by bus or you want to travel by plane. or you can even go for Skyscanner as well.

Transportation: Istanbul public transportation

Istanbul is a huge city with lots of transportation options and it is quite easy to lose your way around.

#1 – Tramway

The Tramway connects the most touristic areas and it passes through the Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet Square, Eminönü, Karaköy, and Kabatas. Kabataş basically is the very last station and you can also change to the Taksim funicular, and will take you all the way to Taksim Square where you can take a very nice walk from the Istiklal street full of stores, restaurants, bars, everything and from there you can easily arrive at the Galata Tower it will take you 10-15 minutes.

#2 – Bus

The main bus stop from the most tourist places once again is Eminonu. From there you can take any bus go EyupSultan (Bus number 99A), where you can find Pierre Loti and it is very famous for having very beautiful views from the Golden Horn especially during the sunset. Also, you can find buses going to Balat and Taksim (99A–99Y–99–36CE). just go there and you will find many buses going to different places in Istanbul.

#3 – Marmaray

It is a train that goes under the Bosphorus and it’s called the Marmaray. This also goes from one continent to the other one and it is a high-speed train. The closest station to the tourist area is Sirkeci station. From this one, you can go from the European side to the Asian side and this one will take you much less time to move but the other option you can take the ferry which obviously will give you better views and you can enjoy more the city but if you want to save time then this is a good option.

#4 – Ferry

These can be found in many ports in Istanbul but the closest port to the most tourist area such as Sultanahmet are Emınonu, Kabataş, and then Beşiktaş. From there you can take any local Ferry going to the Asian side, such as Kadıköy or Üsküdar, as well you can find the Bosphorus tours and the tours going to the islands. These are very easy to find and you can take a guide to the famous Ottoman ships so with this one you won’t get lost.

#5 – Metro

There are many metro stations in the city, but the ones mostly used by tourists are the line M2 on the European side this one you can find it very close to Eminönü, and the metro station is called Haliç this one will take you also to Taksim and some other areas on the European side, and in the case, if you are going to the Asian side you can use the line M4.

Things to do in Turkey

Hagia Sophia

It started as a Greek Eastern Orthodox Basilica that was home to the patriarch of Constantinople when it was built in 537 for almost six decades in the 12th century it was a Roman Catholic Church it became the mosque in 1453 remaining that way until 1931 when it was closed it reopened as a museum in 1935.

Topkapi palace

It was an official royal residence of the Ottoman Empire Sultan’s and the seat of the Turkish government but is now a museum that is considered the largest and the oldest palace in the world.

Blue Mosque

The mosque built by Sultan Ahmet takes its name from the blue tiles on the dome and the upper levels of the interior. the blue mosque built-in the early 17th century remains an active house of worship today. this means visitors need to time their visits carefully as the mosque is closed to sightseers during the five daily prayer times for Muslims.

Grand Bazaar

Tourists who love to shop shouldn’t miss out on a visit to the Grand Bazaar with 5000 shops making it one of the largest indoor marketplaces in the world. receiving more than a quarter-million visitors a day the bazaar features such items as jewelry, carpets that may or may not fly, spices, antiques, and hand-painted ceramics.

Suleymaniye Mosque

Located on the Third Hill of Istanbul the mosque was ordered built-in 1550 by the Sultan Soliman the Magnificent. the mosque indeed is magnificent blending the best of Islamic and Byzantine architecture.

Dolmabahce palace

Built-in the 19th century using 14 tons of gold leaf turkey’s most glamourous palace blends traditional Ottoman architecture with the European styles of neoclassical, baroque, and Rococo.

Basilica cistern

The Basilica cistern has been providing Istanbul residents with water since the 6th century when it was ordered built by the Roman Emperor.

Chora church

Magnificent mosaics and frescoes depict the life of Jesus and his mother Mary, known as the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora it has been described as one of the most beautiful surviving works of Byzantine architecture.

Archaeological Museum

The archeological museum the ancient Orient and a Tiled Kiosk museum the three museums combined contain more than 1 million objects from civilizations around the world. Founded in 1891 it was the first Turkish Museum and was located on the Topkapi Palace grounds.

Galata Tower

At 67 meters 219 feet high, the Galata tower rolls over the Istanbul skyline offering great views of the old city. the tower is known as the tower of Christ was the tallest building in Istanbul when it was built in 1348.

Turkey Travel: Turkey attractions

Turkey is one of the most stunning countries in the world. it is blessed with wonderful natural beauty, fantastic landmarks, an outstanding lifestyle, and exceptional food. in case you are making plans for a vacation and you are confused about where to go, then turkey maybe one of the great options for you.

If you look at the history of this country, you will discover that it was not so developed in the past, but with the development all around, Turkey has also become a developed country and is attracting visitors from all over the world.

Istanbul

Once serving as the capital of the ottoman and Byzantine empires Istanbul nowadays is the biggest city in Turkey and one of the largest in the world. Istanbul stretches across a narrow strait that connects Asia and Europe making it the only city in the world spanning two continents impressive architecture historic sites dining shopping nightlife and the exotic atmosphere all makes Istanbul one of the best places to visit in Turkey.

Cappadocia

Situated in central Anatolia. Cappadocia is best known for its fairytale the landscape of unusual formations, resembling, chimneys, combs, and pinnacles natural processes, such as ancient volcanic eruptions and erosion have all sculpted these odd formations over the ages today some of the caves in the region are actually hotels and cater to tourists.

Ephesus

Ephesus is an ancient site located in Aegean Turkey by the 1st century. Ephesus was one of the largest cities in all of the Roman Empire boasting one of the seven wonders of the ancient world the Temple of Artemis, the ruins of Ephesus are well preserved and contained within a large archaeological site making it one of the turkey’s most popular tourist attractions.

Bodrum

Bodrum one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. today it’s intriguing ruins stunning beaches and clifftop resorts attract people from all over the world. 

No visit to Bodrum would be complete without seeing the castle of St. Peter is also known as body dream castle on Bodrum’s eastern side tourists will find a beautiful beach overlooking brilliant blue water.

Side

Side today is a picturesque town of classic ruins and modern-day resorts overlooking sandy white beaches located on a small Peninsula. 

The Side offers fantastic sight scene dining and nightlife is an excavated site of ancient Hellenistic and Roman ruins that include the remnants of a colossal Amphitheatre in various temples.

Marmaris

One of Turkey’s most popular seaside resorts. Marmaris is a picture-perfect setting of pine clogged mountains, sandy white beaches, and turquoise waters.

In ancient architecture located along the Turkish Riviera in southwest Turkey, this beautiful cruise port is a tourist paradise with fantastic sightseeing opportunities, water sports adventure, incredible dining, and buzzing nightlife.

Antalya

Antalya is a large vibrant city welcoming tourists with numerous resorts, hotels, bars, and restaurants. spectacular scenery frames, the city with gorgeous beaches and lush green mountains dotted with ancient ruins from swimming and sailing to mountain climbing singing and family fun Antalya offers something for everyone.

Konya

One of the oldest cities in the world and best known for its remarkable Seljuk architecture and whirling dervishes Konya is a large city in Turkey’s central Anatolia region.

Mardin

One of the oldest settlements in the region Mardin is best known for its cultural diversity an old city of sandstone buildings that cascade down the hill. Mardin’s old city is easily toured by walking the maze of meandering streets lead visitors along with terraced houses and popular sights.

Ankara

turkey’s capital city Ankara is a sprawling modern city home to government, buildings commercial businesses, located right in the center of the country and the Anatolia area Ankara is an essential transportation hub linking tourists to different principal locations in Turkey.

Pamukkale

Pamukkale’s terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs. In this area, there are 17 hot water springs in which the temperature ranges from 35 °C (95 °F) to 100 °C (212 °F).

THE DON’TS OF Turkey

Don’t ignore Ramadan

It’s a month-long Muslim holiday in which Muslims can’t eat or drink anything between sunup and sundown the dates changes every year so do some research don’t eat or drink in public and don’t offer anything to a Muslim during daylight hours.

Don’t ignore the dress code

Women especially should consider headcovers and both should leave shorts at home the further, you get from big cities the more likely you are to find Muslims who take offense at what they deem is a lascivious dress.

Don’t walk in front of a praying person

Muslim tradition holds that if you walk in front of someone who’s praying then their prayer will not be counted this holds especially true while you’re visiting a mosque.

Don’t discuss politics

The political scene in Turkey is very heated people are very nice and generally don’t want to discuss politics it’s sort of a lose-lose for both sides

Don’t go without learning Turkish

A lot of people living in Turkey don’t speak English so if you’re planning on visiting the country it’s a good idea to learn a few basic words and phrases to communicate more efficiently.

Turkish men only talk to men

If you’re a woman you may run across Turkish men who only speak to your male counterparts this is common in rural areas the man isn’t dismissing you he’s trying to protect your virtue it’s a tradition he’s just being polite

Likewise

Men shouldn’t directly address a single Turkish woman it’s expected that male tourists do not talk to young or single women without proper supervision or prompting simply walking up and saying hello is considered threatening.

Don’t leave any food on your plate

If you leave anything behind you risk insulting your host as this is an indication that you didn’t like the meal of course since Turkish cuisine is pretty freaking awesome. cleaning your plate shouldn’t be a problem.

Don’t miss the coastline

Turkey has lots of stunning coastal cities that often have great temperatures in Turkey not too hot not too cold and they may be often complete of culture as properly.

Don’t forget to haggle

If you intend to buy something you find in a shop it’s polite to try and haggle with the shop proprietor do not push too hard but make sure to push a bit it’s taken into consideration proper social discourse.

Turkey Travel: Accommodations

When planning your trip to Turkey you will need to find a nice and comfortable Turkish hotel to stay especially in Istanbul. at ensuring that you have a wonderful and memorable stay we would recommend some of the best hotels in Istanbul.

#1 – Peyk Hotel

The Peyk hotel is located in Sultanahmet street which is very close to the center of Istanbul near the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul. thanks to its great location you will be able to save a lot of money on transportation because most of the attractions are closed and can be reached by walking. some of them include Hagia Sofia, Sultan Ahmet tram station, and Galata Tower. since this hotel is one of the best you can find in Istanbul. it has almost everything that a tourist could wish for if you plan to visit Istanbul with a car, we would like to inform you that unfortunately, this hotel doesn’t have parking. the hotel is equipped with Wi-Fi that is available in all areas of the hotel and it is free of charge. each of the rooms is unique in its own way and you can choose the room size before you book.

The rooms themselves are pretty clean and every room has a daily maid service which will take care of the room’s hygiene. we would also like to inform you that the rooms have air-conditioning, satellite TV, and a minibar if you want to eat or drink something during your stay, we recommend you to visit this hotel’s restaurant and bar which will offer you a wide variety of great appetizers.

The reception is available 24/7 and they speak English and Turkish so communication with the staff won’t be a problem to conclude if you want to see the beauties of Istanbul while having a great experience in a well-equipped hotel then the Peyk hotel would be a top choice for you.

Official Website → Peyk Hotel

#2 – Neorion Hotel

The Neorion Hotel is very close to the center of Istanbul near the most popular tourist attractions. some of them include the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, Suleymaniye mosque, and the Column of Constantine. since this hotel is one of the best you can find in Istanbul it has almost everything that a tourist could wish for. if you plan to visit Istanbul by car, we would like to inform you that this hotel offers private parking that is positioned nearby the hotel.

This hotel is equipped with Wi-Fi that is available in all areas of the hotel and it is free of charge. and you can choose the room Size before you book.

The reception is available 24/7 and they speak English, French, Italian, Russian, and Turkish so communication with the staff won’t be a problem.

Official Website → Neorion Hotel

#3 – FER Hotel

The Fer hotel is very close to the center of Istanbul near the most popular tourist attractions. some of them include Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sofia, and the Column of Constantine since this hotel is one of the best you can find in Istanbul it has almost everything that a tourist could wish for. if you plan to visit Istanbul by car, we would like to inform you that this hotel offers private parking that doesn’t have to be previously reserved.

Also, this hotel is equipped with Wi-Fi that is available in all areas of the hotel and it is free of charge. each of the rooms is unique in its own way and you can choose the room size before you book.

The rooms themselves are pretty clean and every room has a daily maid service which will take care of the room’s hygiene. we would also like to inform you that the rooms have air-conditioning, satellite TV, and a minibar if you want to eat or drink something during your stay, we recommend you to visit this hotel’s restaurant and bar which will offer you a wide variety of great appetizers.

The reception is available 24/7 and they speak English, Russian, German and Turkish, so communication with the staff won’t be a problem.

Official Website → FER Hotel

#4 – The St. Regis Istanbul

The St. Regis Istanbul is very close to the center of Istanbul near the most popular tourist attractions. If you plan to visit Istanbul by car, we would like to inform you that this hotel offers private parking that doesn’t have to be previously reserved. this hotel is equipped with Wi-Fi that is available in all areas of the hotel and it is free of charge each of the rooms is unique in its own way and you can choose the room size before you book.

The reception is available 24/7 and they speak English and Turkish so communication with the staff won’t be a problem.

#5 – Renata Boutique Hotel Sisli

The Renata Boutique Hotel Sisli is very close to the center of Istanbul near the most popular tourist attractions. Since this hotel is one of the best you can find in Istanbul it has almost Everything that a tourist could wish for.

If you plan to visit Istanbul by car, we would like to inform you that this hotel offers private parking that is positioned nearby the hotel. The hotel is equipped with Wi-Fi that is available in all areas of the hotel and it is free of charge.

The reception is available 24/7 and they speak English German and Turkish so communication with the staff won’t be a problem to conclude if you want to see the beauties of Istanbul while having a great experience in a well-equipped hotel then the Renata boutique hotel Sisli would be a top choice for you.

Official Website → Renata Boutique Hotel Sisli

Turkish Food & Dishes

Menemen

Menemen is a scrambled egg dish that has tomato green peppers feta cheese or served with bread. this is an amazingly tasty dish they can eat for breakfast lunch or dinner. Its available throughout the country. add some spices on top and then it will give you a firing start to the day.

Turkish coffee (Turk Kahvesi)

Also known as Turk Kahvesi it is a type of very finely ground unfiltered coffee. cream or milk is not included and they serve sugar on the side.

Turkish Tea

Also known as chai. Turkish tea is black and is a very popular drink in Turkey it is typically served in a small glass and a small saucer there’s a saying that you haven’t visited Turkey unless if you had Turkish tea.

Turkish ice cream (Dondurma)

Also known as Dondurma. its ingredients include cream, whipped cream, Salep, mastic, and sugar. Salep is the flower that allows the ice cream to resist the melting and can be picked up easily. this can be found in many tourist places throughout Istanbul, it is also worth the experience of being trolled by the ice cream man.

Iskender Kebap

This dish has doner kebap with thin cut grilled lamb top up with top tomato sauce along with pieces of pita bread and finally add it with some sheep, cream and yogurt.

Baklava, Turkish Delights, and various Turkish sweets

For those who have a sweet tooth, you cannot miss these delights. baklava is a rich sweet dessert pastry which is composed of layers of phyllo with generous servings of nuts and sweetener mainly honey and syrup. Turkish delights also known as Lokum, are confectionary that is based on starch and sugar there are original versions and there are diabetic versions available.

Turkish Pide

It is a Turkish bread traditionally cooked in hot clay ovens with different condiments. Anything with flour or bread is one of those foods that are definitely worth trying in Turkey due to its freshness.

Turkish Kebabs

This can be typically found anywhere in Istanbul but this is a must-try when you are around you can see the layers of meat being cut with all the fat and juices around it is served with bread and servings of vegetables as well.

Travel to Turkey on a budget

#1 – Transportation

Public transport is very affordable and you can use the public bus to get anywhere throughout the country at cheap prices, which is great news for backpackers and those traveling on a tight budget.

#2 – Profit from discounts

Try and book your cheap Turkey holiday as early as possible. As soon as you know you have holidays coming up, get online and start shopping around.

A majority of the online travel companies will offer discounted rates for booking in advance, enabling you to secure your accommodation and flights at cheaper prices, giving you more spending money to your budget to really explore all that Turkey has to offer.

#3 – Off-Peak

Plan to travel off-peak. Traveling outside peak times can help you save a considerable amount of money.

If you’re looking for cheap Turkey holidays consider traveling outside of school holidays and during the week. When hotels quieten down outside their peak times, they drop the prices to get people into rooms. A hotel doesn’t want to be empty, it costs too much money, so they will reduce their prices to ensure the highest percentage of occupancy.

#4 – Be flexible

Be flexible in terms of your travel dates. You may be planning to travel on a Friday afternoon and come home on a Thursday, but when you view the flights and cheap Turkey holiday accommodation prices, you may find that being slightly flexible and leaving a day before or a day after may reduce the cost considerably.

#5 – Where to Stay

Consider staying just outside the major cities. The outlying areas of Istanbul can provide you with an enjoyable and cultural holiday experience with plenty to do and see, but can also be much cheaper than staying in the city itself, though you still enjoy easy access to the city to enjoy all it has to offer.

#6 – Turkey Attractions

Finally, you will find once you have secured a cheap Turkey holiday online, there are plenty of free attractions you can take advantage of once you arrive, ideal for those traveling on a tight travel budget.

FAQ: First-Timer’s Guide to Turkey

Q: When is the best season for visiting Turkey?

Basically, everything depends on your taste. but generally, the best time will range between April to late May and also from late September to the beginning of November. This way the weather is very nice and also the prices are more affordable than during the summer as well, we do not recommend coming to Turkey during the big holidays for Turkish citizens. This includes the last days of Ramadan and also for the sacrifice season because during this holiday, usually the locals tend to go to some other touristic sites to celebrate with their families and the places are very crowded. As well, the airfare tickets within the country will dramatically increase and also the accommodation.

Q: What are the best places to stay in Istanbul?

Well, basically there are three main areas. The first one I will recommend Sultanahmet. In this area, you will find the most tourist attractions because basically is the historical Peninsula you can as well consider the nearby little districts in Sultanahmet which are Çemberlitaş, Laleli, Gülhane, and also Sirkeci everything will be within walking distance. 

The second one will be Taksim and the Galata tower. Although this area it’s a bit noisier and more active especially at night also this will offer you very good rates for accommodation and as well, it is very well connected to many other areas. And the last one will be Kadıköy. This one is on the Asian side of Istanbul but many travelers also decide to go and look for something more local at more affordable prices. Even though it is on the Asian side of Istanbul It’s very easy to go to the European side such as Sultanahmet or Taksim because the ferry takes only 20 minutes.

Q: Is Turkey safe?

Yes, in general, Turkey is a very safe country to travel to. if you’re coming with the family, with friends or only as a solo traveler also as a female, you don’t have to worry about anything, of course as in any other country We have to have those precautions just in case if we’re going out to have some drinks We don’t have to accept drinks from any strangers and if you’re going to any crowded place we just need to be aware of our belongings just in case for those pickpockets around the area.

Q: what hostel, hotel, or even Airbnb is the best one to stay at?

My recommendation is to go personally and check them online. Why? because everything depends on the budget that we have and also depending on the season, the prices tend to increase or decrease You can check online on these pages such as hotels.com, Expedia, Airbnb, and booking.com.

Q: Do I have to cover in Turkey?

The answer is no. Remember that Turkey is a secular country and therefore the women don’t have to cover their bodies or hair unless we are visiting a mosque or any religious places.

If you are going to the street if you travel during the summer, you will see many local Turkish women and also foreigners even wearing miniskirts, shorts So that way you don’t have to worry.

Q: What is the best way of going to Cappadocia from Istanbul?

Well, basically everything depends on the time you have for traveling in Turkey and also on your budget. The first one will be by plane. For this one, we will recommend you looking for airfare tickets and their prices in Pegasus Airlines or even Turkish Airlines. The two airports that you can arrive at will be one in Nevşehir and the other one in Kayseri. In Kayseri you can get transfers even you can get them from the hotels and they will take you directly to Göreme. The second option will be by bus.

Although it’s a very long trip, you have to take an overnight bus and it will take around 10 to 12 hours but it will take you directly from Istanbul to Göreme and the prices are almost the same. Sometimes you can get even cheaper airfare tickets than the bus tickets. For the buses, I will recommend you looking either in Nevşehir Seyehat company or KamilKoç. These are the best bus companies in Turkey.

Q: What are the most visited places in Turkey?

First of all, we have Istanbul then we have a Cappadocia region, as well as Pamukkale, İzmir for the Ephesus and during the summer the best places are Antalya and Fethiye.

Q: How much money do you need to travel to Istanbul?

Everything as well depends on the activities you’re planning on doing and on your budget. Fortunately, this city, at least Istanbul is a very budget-friendly city and it could be as cheap as you want or as expensive as you wish. So, everything depends on each one of us.

Q: Is tipping obligatory in Turkey?

No, it isn’t but if you wanted to give a tip, you can give 10%. As well some restaurants in the country already include that percent in their bills.

Q: Where can I get a SIM card for my holidays in Turkey?

There are 3 main companies where you can buy a SIM card, and these companies are Vodafone, Türk Telekom, and Turkcell. In my opinion, I would definitely recommend you buying it from Turkcell. The service is great, and you can find different prices they will range from 150 Turkish liras up to 200 and everything depends on the GB and your preferences.

You can find them inside the airport and also in the most touristic areas such as Taksim and Sultanahmet, and there are little stores where you can go and activate

Q: What are the most important and the most celebrated holidays in Turkey?

Those are the Ramadan month and the Sacrifice holiday. Remember that every year it changes because it depends on the calendar.

If you are traveling during that period to Turkey, let me tell you that you will experience a very nice environment in the country and if you are trying to get to know more about the Muslim culture It’s a great opportunity for that. Now, consider that if you are traveling during that season everything will be more crowded and the prices will dramatically increase.

You may also like

travel resources
Subscribe Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and stay updated with the latest deals, guides and offers!

0Shares