Turkey Travel Guide: The Basics
Turkey was our first country we went to in Europe… well it’s part Europe/part Asia so I guess it was the perfect way to ease into it! Istanbul was a definite favourite, with it’s grand architecture, delicious food and streets you could get lost in (in the best way possible). Turkey is also very contrasting, with amazing beach towns catering for the tourists, mixed in with rural villages steeped in traditions and so much in between.
Use our Turkey Guide to help plan your trip or ask us a question in the comments below…
Things To See & Do In Turkey
- Drink Turkish Tea (Cay)
- Visit Hagia Sophia
- Get Lost In The Streets Of Istanbul
- Eat Lots of Borek
- Take A Cruise Up The Bosphorus
- Walk Down Istiklal Street
- See The Ancient Ruins Of Pergamon
- Look Back In Time At Gallipoli
- Visit Pamukkale
- Swim In the Beautiful Waters Of The South Coast Of Turkey
Turkey Planner & FAQ
Where To Go In Turkey?
Turkey is large and vast, with the landscape and lifestyle changing dramatically depending where you are. The obvious choices are Istanbul and Cappadocia (we didn’t get to Cappadocia so I can’t comment, but from research it looks amazing). But Turkey has so much more to offer. From some of the most interesting ruins I have seen, to Gallipoli (a must for your Australian war history), to the beach towns of Turkey, to Pammukale, to it’s capital Ankara or explore the east and up to the Black Sea. Note: Please check latest advice before travelling.When To Go?
We went in early June and this was a great time. The weather wasn’t too hot and the lines weren’t ridiculous for sights. We have heard that Spring and Autumn are popular times to go due to the pleasant weather.How Long To Go For?
If you are just doing Istanbul, I think you would need at least 3 days as a bare minimum, but more like 5 days. You could also stay for much longer, with so much to see and do. Once you add on other areas in Turkey, it really depends on the place, the activity level, and how many places you are going all up. There are some quieter towns in Turkey that you could get away with a night or two, but as a general rule, I think 3 days for each extra place is a good amount.Visa
For your visa requirements, this website, Republic Of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provides a list of countries and what visa they will need. For us, as Australian Passport Holders, we could get a 3 month e-visa online for US $60.Printable Packing List
Find a printable packing list to make life easier here.
Tipping in Turkey does happen, but it’s generally small amounts depending on what it is. Tipping in Turkish Lira’s is preferred, and you could expect as a general average, about 10%.Scams
A scam we encountered in Istanbul was on the Galata Bridge. As you walk over, a shoe shiner will drop his brush in front of you, you pick it up to give it back to him, he is so thankful that he says he will shine your shoes, then he tells you how much you owe him at the end. We saw the brush dropping scam a few times. For other scams, check out one of our favourite shows Scam City – the Istanbul episode.Getting There
Turkey has many international airports, however, it’s most common to fly into Istanbul and start your journey here. If combined with a trip to Greece, you can also get to Turkey via boat, from some of the Greek Islands.Getting Around
You can get around Turkey by bus, flying, ferries and train. In Istanbul, there are many ways to get around, including Tram, Metro and Funicular. You can use an Istanbul Kart, an electronic card to board public transport, often at discounted rates.Travel Resources