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Turkey Travel Guide

A riot of colours awaits you in Turkey along with the ancient markets of Istanbul, the surreal landscape of Cappadocia and the staggering travertine terraces of Pamukkale. Straddling two different continents, it’s a place where the East meets West and two civilisations collide. You’re in for an incredible treat.

The Highlights

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    April to May, September to mid-November

    Due to its size and diverse landscape, Turkey’s high season depends on the region. Istanbul and the inland areas are best visited in the spring or autumn months when they’re enjoying the warm weather and clear, blue skies. Unfortunately, as these are the busiest months – the spring months especially is when prices skyrocket and the tourist crowds are thick so it is best to book well in advance. If it’s not within your budget, consider visiting the resort towns along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, which enjoys off-season traffic and rates as well as the mild weather during this time. 

  2. Low Season

    November to February

    In the summertime from June to early September, everything switches. The hot weather draws the crowds to the beaches in the Aegean and Mediterranean, taking some of the visitor traffic away from the inland regions. Prices soar at beach resorts, leaving the rest of the country to offer affordable rates and more available to travellers. In the winter months, everything dies down as temperatures drop and the rains come. If you are on a budget, this is the time to score great bargains. You’d have to contend with the rain, but the sun does come out to play every now and then.

Turkey Tours

FAQs about Turkey

  • Do you tip in Turkey?

    Tipping is a modest and cash-based affair in Turkey. Give porters 2-3TL per bag; hotel staff 5TL; and Turkish bath attendants 10-20% of service provided. Tip tour guides collectively 10-20 TL, cab drivers by rounding up your fare and servers 10-15% of your total bill.
  • What is the internet access like?

    Internet, as well as WiFi access, is available throughout Turkey, and free in most accommodations, restaurants and cafes, public transportation and airports. Mobile hotspots, which you can rent, are also on hand to give you constant access during your visit.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Tap water in big cities goes through filtration, however, the plumbing in some places aren’t the best. Locals traditionally drink bottled water, which is readily available and affordable, so you should follow suit.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted while the more high-end businesses also accept American Express. Cash is still king, however, so it’s good practice to keep enough on your person at all times.
     
  • What are the public holidays?

    Turkey’s public holidays include National Sovereignty Day on April 23, Labour and Solidarity Day on May 1, Democracy and National Unity Day on July 15, Victory Day on August 30, Republic Day on October 29, Ramadan, and Sacrifice Feast on the tenth day of the Islamic month Dhu'l-Hijjah. 
  • What are the toilets like?

    You’ll find both sit down and squat toilets all over the country. It’s important to bring your own toilet paper as it is not always available, and it’s good practice to throw used toilet paper in the rubbish bin instead of flushing them.
  • What should you wear in Turkey?

    In most areas everyday clothing is acceptable, but a good rule of thumb is to stay on the conservative side where possible. In mosques, it is essential that you cover your knees and shoulders, don socks instead of going barefoot and cover your head in a light scarf.
  • Is Turkey safe for solo travellers?

    Although Turkey is by no means a dangerous country, petty crime, assaults, scams and even druggings are not uncommon, and solo travellers (both men and women) are often the target. It’s best to travel in groups or with a companion.
A TRAVEL MAGAZINE BY TOURRADAR