FAIRYTALE LANDSCAPES AND ANCIENT HISTORY

Turkey is one of my all time favorite travel destinations and I am happy to say that I’ve already visited it a couple of times!

Actually my very first blogging trip was to Turkey! Together with my mom I traveled to the fairytale land of Cappadocia! We went on a hot air balloon ride and discovered this wonderful region during 4 incredible days.

My second blogging trip to Turkey took me to the buzzing city of Istanbul and the travertine terraces of Pamukkale. Both destinations are very different but unforgettable in their own way.

But I already visited a couple of places in Turkey before I started my blogging and photography adventure. I went on a river cruise on the Dalyan river and drenched myself in a mud bad. I also had the pleasure of visiting the ancient city of Ephesus. Both of them are included in my Turkey itinerary.

One of my favorite things about visiting Turkey is tasting all of the local food. There’s nothing as fun as sitting down in a quiet street in Istanbul and indulging in a mezze platter. Or maybe try a testi kebap in Cappadocia, an Anatolian speciality prepared in a clay pot or jug. When ready, the jug is brought out and cracked at your table.

Make sure to save up when visiting Turkey cause it’s truly a shopping and souvenir paradise! Bring your best haggling tricks with you and go home with something that will forever remind you of this once in a lifetime holiday.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT TURKEY

Turkey experiences very hot summers and cold winters so visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are pretty ideal.

Especially April is very nice month to visit Turkey. The temperatures are already nice, you’ll have sunny weather and tourist lines won’t be as long as during the summer months.

No matter what the season, with the exception of winter, plan to visit sights early in the morning, right at opening, or late in the day, for the best experience.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN TRAVELING TO TURKEY

Language – The official language of Turkey is Turkish but English is widely spoken in the touristic areas of Istanbul, Pamukkale and Cappadocia.

Currency – The official currency in Turkey is Turkish Lira (TRY) and 1 TYR equals €0.06. The Euro is widely accepted as currency in Turkey in tourist areas. However, the rate that you will be given will likely be much worse than the actual value of the Euro, which means that you will lose a lot of money by paying in Euros in Turkey.

Credit cards & ATM’s – Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Turkey, especially Visa and Mastercard. American Express payment is typically only available in high-end hotels and restaurants. It’s advised to use the ATMs that are attached to banks when possible. These tend to be safer and are less likely to be tampered with. When you go shopping at the local markets it’s best to have some cash on you for payment.

Safety – Turkey is safe to visit if you avoid some parts of it – namely those near the border with Syria. You should be aware that tourist hotspots, restaurants, shops, and public transportation are places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur. Places, where you should watch out for pickpockets, are Taksim Square, Sultanahmet, the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul. However, lately, with the newly developed camera network that supervises the streets of Istanbul 24/7, the mugging and purse snatching declined.

Plugs – In Turkey, the standard plug is type F, the standard voltage is 220 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT TO TURKEY

Don’t drink the tap water – As a general rule, tap water is not potable in Turkey. While it may be okay in smaller cities, larger ones like Istanbul often source their waters from dams.

Be conscious of what you’re wearing – Turkey is predominantly a Muslim country an dit’s important to be respectful of local culture if you’re visiting a new country. Make sure to cover up your knees and shoulders when walking through the bigger cities. As a woman I recommend bringing a scarf with you. there are a ton of beautiful mosques that you can visit in Turkey but you’ll be denied access if you don’t cover up.

Taxi vs. Uber – Taxis in Turkey are notorious for cheating and scamming. I highly recommend booking an Uber, especially when you’re in Istanbul. The correct amount will automatically be deducted through the Uber app so you don’t need to pay the drive in cash.

Do you need a VISA? – For example, if you have a passport from the European Union, you can visit Turkey for up to 90 days (within a 180-day time period) without a visa. United States and Canadian citizens need to apply for an electronic visa (e-visa) ahead of time, but the process is extremely simple and will only take a few minutes

Banned websites – If you’re in Turkey you’ll find that a couple of websites won’t work for you. Booking.com for instance will not let you book a hotel once you’re in Turkey. So come prepared and don’t try to book your hotel last minute upon arrival. Wikipedia also doesn’t work and neither does Paypal.

WiFi sucks – The WiFi in Turkey is truly terrible so the best thing you can do to stay connected is to buy a local SIM-card at the airport upon your arrival. This way you’ll immediately have access to data and you can use the Uber app to call a car to take you to the city.

Download Google Translate – While English is spoken in certain areas it will mainly be very limited. If you have any food allergies etc it may come in very handy if you can tell this to your waiter in his own language to avoid problems.

Don’t forget to haggle – Especially if you’re shopping at the bazaar you will need to do this! Usually, the actual price of an item is half of the price that the seller quotes you. 

🚘 ROAD TRIPPING THROUGH TURKEY

When it comes to choosing a rental car company things can get a little confusing cause there’s a lot of companies out there ready to rip you off.

Horror Story: In South Africa the rental car company that I booked with actually copied my credit card details and 1 day later my card was blocked. So there I was, in the middle of South Africa and without a credit card. Luckily we would switch to a different company the next day for the further duration of our trip but you really don’t want this to happen on your holiday.

You also don’t want any hidden costs added to your bill.

A good rental car company should include the following in your rental price: unlimited mileage and a fair fuel arrangement, third-party insurance of at least €7.5 million, damage insurance, theft insurance, towing cost if your car breaks down and cancel or change your reservation without any hassle.

For my road trips I always prefer booking with SunnyCars. Here you can already rent a car for as little as €27 per day and every single cost is included upon check out. Oh, and all of the things that I mentioned above that should be included are also included with them!

💡 TIP – Sometimes the local rental company will try to make you pay for additional insurance. This is in no way necessary cause SunnyCars offers you full coverage.

CHECK OUT THE RATES AT SUNNY CARS

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ALL TURKEY TRAVEL GUIDES

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