Resources

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/turkey) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Turkish Cultural Foundation (www.turkishculture.org) Culture and heritage; useful for archaeological sites.

Go Turkey (www.goturkeytourism.com) Official tourism portal.

Good Morning Turkey (www.goodmorningturkey.com) Turkish news in English and Turkish.

Hürriyet Daily News (www.hurriyetdailynews.com) The best English-language daily news site.

All About Turkey (www.allaboutturkey.com) Multilingual introduction from a professional tour guide.

Top Tips

  • Turkey is like a few countries rolled into one; the east is sparsely populated and devoutly Muslim, whereas much of the Aegean, Mediterranean and İstanbul are more Westernised.
  • Turkey is predominantly Muslim, but certainly tolerant and welcoming to non-Muslims.
  • Tourist areas are mostly well developed and the infrastructure runs efficiently.
  • Turkey is a nationalistic country: Turkish flags and portraits of founding father Atatürk abound; be respectful, as Turks are extremely proud.
  • Make an effort to get off the beaten track; village hospitality and home cooking are memorable experiences.
  • Turkey is no longer a bargain-basement destination; pensions and local restaurants may offer good value, but cities are generally pricey.
  • Suicide bombers have brought negative publicity, but Turkey remains largely safe.
  • Marches and demonstrations are a regular occurence, but best avoided as they can lead to clashes with the police.

What to Take

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of passport – to take out and about
  • Paper copy of e-visa
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Bank's contact details
  • Back-up euros/dollars
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Conservative clothing for mosque visits
  • Toilet roll/paper
  • Soap or hand sanitiser
  • Chargers and adaptor
  • Cell phone
  • Insurer's contact details

What to Wear

İstanbul and the Aegean and Mediterranean resort towns are used to Western dress, including bikinis on the beach and short skirts in nightclubs. In eastern and central Anatolia, people are conservative; even men should stick to long trousers. In staunchly Islamic cities such as Erzurum, even T-shirts and sandals are inadvisable. Women do not need to cover their head unless they enter a mosque. To decrease the likelihood of receiving unwanted attention from local men with misconceptions about Western women's 'availability', dress on the conservative side throughout Turkey.

Pre-departure Checklist

  • Check your passport will be valid for at least six months after entering Turkey.
  • Check if you need a visa and purchase it at www.evisa.gov.tr.
  • Inform your credit-card provider of your travel plans.
  • Check travel vaccinations are up to date.
  • Book flights and hire car online.
  • Book accommodation for popular areas.
  • Organise airport transfer.