Travelling To Turkey 101: Your Ultimate Guide To Everything Turkish

What to know before getting on that flight
By: agnes
August 11, 2022

One of the top travel destinations recently has been Turkey. The middle eastern country has become a top tourist destination due to its beautiful attractions and affordable cost of living. From ancient monuments and museums to natural beaches and caves, Turkey is a country you’ll have to travel to at least once in your life. But before you take the step to book your tickets, here’s a guide to travelling to Turkey. We list everything you need to know from tips and tricks to the top places to visit. 

Tips For Visiting Turkey For The First Time

1. Learn some Turkish words

Credit: Unsplash / Meg Jerrard

The English language is not widely spoken outside of the cities. Thus, if you’re travelling to Turkey, it’s a good idea to brush up on your Turkish skills. Learning Turkish isn’t too difficult as most of their words are spelt with roman letters. Therefore, it’ll definitely help you to communicate with the natives over there. You can find many translation books in bookstores. Alternatively, you can also rely on Google if you have data or wifi throughout your trip. 

2. Dress appropriately

Turkey’s women dress elegantly and fashionably due to the country’s liberal culture, which is unique among West Asian countries. As Turkey allows you to dress how you choose, you’ll see ladies in both Burqas and Western clothing. However, you must keep in mind that when travelling to Turkey, certain areas may require you to cover up. For example, if you’re going to a mosque then you might need to cover your head. Thus, it’s a good idea to carry a scarf or shawl along with you throughout your trip. 

3. Make sure to have cash

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When travelling to Turkey, you should ensure that you have cash with you at all times. This is because not all areas have an ATM machine. Therefore, having some cash on hand is highly recommended in order to avoid any problems. However, credit cards are widely accepted, though sometimes most stalls prefer cash. Furthermore, ATMs can be unpredictable so they may refuse your card which can lead to even bigger problems. 

4. Respect Turkish culture

Turkey is a free country where people are allowed to follow their religion in whatever way they see fit. Visitors from all over the world are always welcomed here, so you’re sure to have a great time while on your trip. It is important, however, to ensure that you treat the people with respect. We recommend that when travelling to Turkey, you be aware of debating political issues with the locals. This is because Turkish Republic’s founder is revered here and it is prohibited to disparage him or make jokes about him.

Must-Visit Places In Turkey

1. Hagia Sophia Mosque

Credit: Unsplash / Lewis J Goetz 

A must-visit spot when travelling to Turkey is the Hagia Sophia Mosque. It is widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful structures and it’s easy to see why. Byzantine Emperor Justinian built it in 537CE and is a popular tourist attraction. The beautiful mix of Christian and Islamic decorations are truly a feast for the eyes. 

2. Cappadocia

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Rippling vistas of wave-like rock formations and bizarrely shaped pinnacles can be found along cliff ridges and hilltops, making this the dream location for photographers. When travelling to Turkey, a trip to Cappadocia to watch the hot air balloons are a must. Other than that, there are also many boutique hotels that allow you to stay in a cave throughout Cappadocia. 

3. Antalya

Credit: Unsplash / Atıf Zafrak

With its cobblestone passageways surrounded by Ottoman-era palaces, the old town area is a fantastic site to explore. In fact, tourists from all across Europe go to the beaches outside the town throughout the summer. So it’s definitely a place to go to if you’re looking to relax when travelling to Turkey. Other than that, you can also visit the Antalya Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Hellenistic and Roman marble statues.

4. Ephesus

Credit: Unsplash / Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz 

Ephesus is an ancient city of towering monuments and marble-columned avenues, making it a must-visit destination when travelling to Turkey. As one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean, this is where you can get a sense of what life was like during the Roman Empire’s height. The Library of Celsus, the terraced mansions with frescoes, and the Great Theater are all evidence of Ephesus’ richness and prominence during the Roman Empire.

5. Pamukkale

Credit: Unsplash / Arnaud Civray

Pamukkale is truly a breathtaking spot and is definitely a place worth visiting when travelling to Turkey. It’s one of Turkey’s most famous natural beauties and looks like a beautiful slope covered in snow. At dusk, the travertine glows as the sun falls beyond the horizon, making it ideal for photographing.

General Travel Tips

1. Research and plan well

Before travelling to Turkey, make sure you research and plan your itinerary well. As with every travel you do, coming up with an itinerary makes travelling easier. When you don’t research and plan, you waste time thinking of what to do next or where to go. Therefore, we highly recommend you take some time to plan what you want to do while you’re in Turkey.

2. Bring along a universal travel adapter

Different countries have different adapters. Thus, your chargers may not fit with the adapters in Turkey. Of course, you can buy a specific adapter that’s made for Turkish plug points. However, if you’re someone who travels often, it’s better to get a universal one. This is because you can use it in any country, which makes things easier when travelling.

3. Pick a suitable accommodation

Credit: Unsplash / Oswald Elsaboath

Booking airplane tickets are fairly easy. But the difficult part about travelling is finding a suitable place to stay throughout your trip. While you might want to save a couple of bucks in terms of your accommodation, do bare in mind that cheaper places may not be convenient. What you’ll want is a place that’s near to public transportation or maybe even near to wherever you’re planning to visit. 

4. Take time to visit the local tourism office

This may be odd, but take your time to visit the local tourism office and trust us, you won’t regret it. The people there know what events or activities are happening around town. In addition, they might direct you to free activities or events that could be the highlight of your trip. Furthermore, they could even offer you special discounts when travelling via public transport. 

5. Photocopy your passport and other important documents

Credit: Unsplash / Levi Ventura

Here’s the thing, when you’re travelling, it’s a hassle to bring your passport everywhere you go. In fact, bringing your passport everywhere could cause you to lose it while travelling. Therefore, we recommend you photocopy your passport and any other important documents. This can include your visa, vaccination status, and any other documents. With this, whenever you’re stopped, you are able to quickly whip up your phone and show your documents when needed.

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