Turkey Travel Tips
Turkey is a big country with seven geographical regions which have different culture, climate and achitectıre. On aegeon and mediterranian cost, winters are fresh but not too cold, most of the time rainy, so provide an umbrella or raincoat with you.
In the summer, it is wise to bring along a hat and drink plenty of bottled water, which is sold everywhere.
In innerland, it is quiet cold and snowy in winter time. You will need warm clothes and winter boots. Summers are hot and dry so keep your suncreme or hydrating creme with you.
It is wise to have Turkish lira for your shopping although it is accepted euro or dolar currencies. You will find exchange office in the center of cities. Hotels and shops charge comission as airports.
You can always find available flights intercities or to many capital cities of the world directly form Istanbul. Intercitiy buses are quiet comfortable but they have half an hour stop ever 4-5 hours. Many of them do not have toilet inside, even they have passengers are not allowed to use.
Train connections are limited by big cities but timetable is not always suitable.
You need to have travel insurance. In case of getting hospitalised you will inform your insurance company if it is private one. Or not you will need your public security card. After the treatment in some cases you will pay the amount, then you will be reimboursed in your country.
Many medicines usually only available on prescription or you can take without prescription. Also the quality of medical care in Turkey is high. Not only is the Turkish medical care excellent it is also very cheap. In some resort areas there are clinics where basic assessment and investigations will be provided free of charge on production of a valid travel insurance certificate. The private hospitals are efficent. Usually you will be provided with an English speaker to accompany on your appointment.
Dentists are also much less expensive. It’s often best to find a recommendation but most are very accommodating and no long waits for treatment.
There have been some posts where women traveling in coastal regions have been hassled. Try to avoid beach wear while visiting places other than the beach. In cities remember that Turkey is a Muslim culture it is wise to dress like you are in a big city. For visiting religious sites women should wear a long sleeved tops, long skirt or pants and cover their heads with a scarf. This type of respect for the religion and culture in Turkey is always greatly appreciated. Going about alone in Turkey is fine, in East Turkey, it is wise to travel with a group, people have walked about alone all over Turkey day or night and have never had a problem but common sense should prevail in any foreign place.
Be careful of anyone who offers to take you to a great place with drinks, ladies, disco, etc. If you find yourself there and feel uncomfortable, Leave, don’t be embarassed, if you find you have been victimised report it to the Tourist Police and local police. If you feel uncomfortble in any situation not just the one mentioned above, just leave. Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption is also a good idea. You’re on holiday but use your good sense. Avoid places where there is no menu or where prices are not clearly posted. If in doubt about meal or drink price, simply ask! And also bear in mind that the legislation in touristic areas forbids sales persons to “touch” or “hassle” tourists. If you are asked to buy stuff and you will be asked for sure, just say “no thank you” and keep moving. Just be polite and you won’t have a problem. “Hasslers” are also not supposed to hassle you in the street. They should remain on their own premises – can be worth pointing this out!
When you leave your hotel during your stay always tell the staff where you are going. Take along the number of the consular office for your country just in case you encounter a problem and need some help. Keep your money in a safe place, not in your suitcase or backpack. Use the convenient ATMs and be careful when using them just like you would do in your home country. You need a 4 digit PIN to use ATMs in Turkey. The Turkish people are friendly and helpful, they will help you get where you are going. Some of the best experiences in Turkey just walking around the various districts and talking to people. Go to the local stores to get in the culture.
Perhaps the most important: open yourself to the friendliness and culture of Turkey, talk to people, learn a few phrases, hello, please, thank you. Also take the time to talk to people. Their outlook on life is fascinating and you’ll learn so much more about the country, its culture and customs. In most of the tourist areas the waiters, barmen etc are a long way from their homes as well as they have travelled to work for the season. They appreciate some time out and enjoy a chat. They love to improve their English and take every opportunity to do so.