The Ultimate Guide to Turkey

Cappadocia Turkey

Traveling to Turkey is a unique experience that combines ancient history, diverse landscapes, and rich culture. Whether you’re a budget backpacker, a digital nomad, or traveling with family, this guide has got you covered.

Table of Contents

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Where is Turkey

Turkey is a transcontinental country, primarily located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion in Southeastern Europe. It shares borders with eight countries and is surrounded by three different seas: the Aegean, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea.

Geography of Turkey

From the rugged mountain ranges to the serene beaches, Turkey offers a diverse geographical landscape. The country is also known for its unique natural wonders, such as the travertine terraces of Pamukkale and the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.

Climate

  • Current Weather: Varies from Mediterranean to continental
  • Historical Weather: Hot summers and cold winters in most regions

What Makes Turkey Unique

Turkey is known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and diverse culture. The country has been home to several ancient civilizations, including the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, making it a treasure trove of historic sites.

Overall Safety, Safest Neighborhoods, Least Safe Neighborhoods in Turkey

Generally speaking, Turkey is considered a safe destination for tourists. However, like any other country, some areas are safer than others. Safest neighborhoods include districts like Nişantaşı in Istanbul or Alsancak in Izmir. It’s advisable to avoid areas near the Syrian border due to ongoing conflict.

Best Neighborhoods in Turkey

  • Istanbul: Bebek, Nişantaşı
  • Ankara: Çankaya, Kavaklıdere
  • Izmir: Alsancak, Karşıyaka

Famous Places to Visit in Turkey

  • Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
  • Blue Mosque, Istanbul
  • Cappadocia
  • Ephesus
  • Pamukkale

Hidden Gems in Turkey

  • Akyaka
  • Amasra
  • Patara Beach

Best Places to Stay in Turkey

  • For Families: Lara Beach, Antalya
  • For Couples: Bodrum
  • For Singles: Taksim, Istanbul
  • Budget: Sultanahmet, Istanbul
  • Midrange: Alsancak, Izmir
  • Luxury-Expense: Çeşme

Average Cost of Living Breakdown for Turkey

Price for Shared Housing in Airbnb

  • Per Day: $20-$40
  • Per Week: $130-$250
  • Per Month: $500-$900

Price for Own Housing in Airbnb

  • Per Day: $50-$100
  • Per Week: $300-$600
  • Per Month: $1,200-$2,500

Price for Hotel

  • Per Day: $40-$200
  • Per Week: $280-$1,400
  • Per Month: $1,200-$6,000

Price Range for Food for 1 Person

  • Per Day: $10-$30
  • Per Week: $70-$210
  • Per Month: $300-$900

Food Apps and Websites

  • Yemeksepeti – The most popular food delivery app in Turkey. You can order prepared food from local restaurants or groceries Trenon the app. Note – in order to use this app, you must have a Turkish number. To get a Turkish phone number we recommend you visit Turk Cell and buy a tourist plan. Also, many stores on this app are only available in Turkish, so you need to use a translator like Google Translator to understand what you’re ordering.
  • Trendyol – The largest online shopping market in Turkey. It’s the Turkish version of Amazon. If you don’t understand Turkish, we recommend using a computer and Google Translate to understand how to use the website.

Price of Transportation

  • Bus: $0.50-$2
  • Train: $1-$4
  • Taxi: Starting fare $1, $0.5 per km
  • Uber: Available in some cities, roughly 20% more expensive than taxis.

Price of Flights

Cheapest Flight Dates

Learn how to find the cheapest flights everywhere

Demographics

  • Population: Approximately 82 million
  • Education System: Compulsory education up to the age of 18
  • Religions: Predominantly Islam
  • Human Rights: Progressing but with areas of concern
  • Languages Spoken: Turkish (90%), Kurdish (6%), Other (4%)

Basic Phrases

Important Things to Have in Turkey

  • Sunscreen
  • Pack a physical and digital copy of your passport and important paperwork.
  • Important Things to Pack: Sunscreen, backup of passport, universal travel adaptor
  • Purchase Health Insurance: Our top recommendation are SafetyWing.
  • Bring Cash and a Travel Card: Cash is king in Turkey. Many restaurants only accept cash. To get the best conversion rate, use an ATM with a travel card like Wise. Credit cards are also widely accepted in Turkey. We recommend using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Talk with your bank or update your travel details online to make sure your cards aren’t blocked when you use them in Turkey.
  • Get a local SIM card to make and receive local calls and use popular apps or purchase an eSIM card online to have internet immediately available when you arrive.

How to Stay Safe While Traveling

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don’t flaunt wealth or expensive gadgets.
  • Stay in well-lit, populated areas.

How to Avoid Common Scams in Turkey

  • Be cautious of overly friendly locals.
  • Always confirm taxi fares before getting in.
  • Be cautious when exchanging money; use reputable services.

Other Things to Avoid in Turkey

  • Discussing politics or sensitive cultural issues.
  • Taking photographs in military zones.

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