Tips for Travelling in Turkey by @Alethia
Turkey is a country with amazing, diverse landscapes, people, cuisine, history, art, and culture. There are boundless journeys to take and many adventure opportunities.
Here are 10 tips for travelling around Turkey.
image source: Joseph Kranak (Flickr)1. You Need a Visa
Turkish customs require nationals from many countries to obtain visas to enter Turkey. Visit https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
to apply for your visa. It’s very quick and easy. Make a copy of your passport and keep it safe, in case you lose your passport.2. A Little Effort Goes a Long Way
Turkish people are very friendly and it would be a rewarding experience to know more of their culture so learn a little Turkish before you go, you will pick up more along the way.
Bear in mind that many areas of Turkey are incredibly conservative. Most of the resort towns adjust this attitude to cater for foreign tourists, but if you’re venturing off-track on an excursion to Ephesus or one of the smaller villages, remember that respect and politeness are key.3. Carry Cash in Different Currencies and Cards
The easiest currencies to convert into Turkish Lira are US dollars, Pound Sterling and Euros - change offices offer the best rates. There are also ATM machines throughout Turkey, but don't rely solely on your ATM card as your main source of cash in the event that you cannot find a machine that will accept your card.
Always have a mixture of cash (in small denominations), an ATM card, and major credit cards. Traveller’s checks are not advisable and inconvenient as most stores won't accept them and banks and post offices with very long wait times are the only places to cash them.
Never carry all of your cash in your wallet/purse. Instead, break it up and hide various amounts of it in different spots to reduce the impact of theft. For example, you might keep some money in your wallet, and hide the remaining funds in a shoe or sock inside your suitcase/bag. Make copies of the front and back of your credit and debit cards before leaving home, or write down your account and customer service numbers. Keep this information in a safe location separate from your credit cards. 4. Pack clothes like you’d pack for Western Europe.
Turkey is a secular and liberal Muslim country, which means that while you still see women wearing turbans and fully covered, you also see most Turkish women smartly dressed in western-style clothing. At this junction where the east meets the west, Turkey gives you the freedom to dress as you please. Travel light if you intend to
move around a lot, and pick a backpack over a suitcase. Turkey can be very hot in summer and extremely cold in winter. 5. Revel in Turkish food.
Traditional Turkish food is one of the richest and most varied cuisines in the world, Turkey is a large country and every region has its own specialities. You can eat very cheaply in Turkey but you can also find some of the world’s finest restaurants in Istanbul.
There is food for everyone, meat eaters to vegans, you will find fabulous fresh food.
Mezes, kebabs, pide, lahmucan, sarma, borek, delicious soups known as corba,
salads , fresh vegetables and beans are just a few of the foods you will encounter.
Turkey, is one of the seven countries in the world which produces enough food to feed their own country and then some.
As well as Turkish coffee, tea (cay) you can find cherry juice (visne) and scented sherbet. The sherbet is so delicious that Lord Byron, on an a visit to Turkey in 1813, once remarked, “Give me a sun, I care not how hot, and sherbet, I care not how cool, and my Heaven is as easily made as your Persian's.”
Turkey also makes some marvelous wines and lovers of malted alcohol are sure to enjoy the famous Efes beer. Cheers!
Part 2 of this travel advice will be posted tomorrow, in the meantime, take a look at the Word Travels guide to Turkey