10 Questions First-time Tourists Ask About Turkey


Turkey has a unique attraction for tourists with its historical, cultural, and natural beauties. Every year more than 50 million tourists from all over the world are to travel to Turkey. What are the most curious issues for tourists before traveling to Turkey?


1.  Is Turkey safe?

Turkey is one of the safest countries to travel to, but some rare crimes and theft happen in major cities. If you want to walk around the city especially at night, leave your valuables, money, and passport in the hotel's safe. Almost every tourist hotel has a free safe for hotel guests.


2.  Do I need a visa to travel to Turkey?

There may be a visa requirement for third-country nationals who wish to travel to Turkey for various purposes. Some nationalities are exempt from visa obligations as part of bilateral visa agreements. Citizens of some countries can also benefit from the electronic visa (e-visa) application system, which can be made quickly. Be sure to check the list published by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find out if you have the right to request an e-visa to travel to Turkey (https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/). Citizens of countries who can travel with their ID cards are also listed online (http://www.mfa.gov.tr/countries-whose-citizens-are-allowed-to-enter-turkey-with-their-national-id_s.en.mfa). 


3.  When is the best time to travel to Turkey and why?

As Turkey has hot summers and cold winters, spring and autumn (April, May, and September to November) is the best time to visit. During these times, the skies can be sunny and the weather pleasant, they are unlikely to be very crowded, and visitors have a higher chance of discounted flights and accommodation. The best time to go to the beach is in summer, especially in July, August, and September, when the weather is generally hot and dry, sea temperatures are warm but ideal for those. September is also a great time for honeymoon couples to visit. Skiing is usually possible between December and March, when the depth of snow can reach about 3 meters at Kartalkaya, Uludag, or Palandoken mountains.


4.  Will I need to speak Turkish?

As in any European country, it benefits vendors and waiters in tourist hotspots to speak English, and many young professionals and students also make learning English a priority. Some schools even have education entirely in English. You will not need to speak any Turkish in main centers and holiday resorts. However, little knowledge of Turkish is always useful for minimal conversation.


5.  What about restaurants and tipping?

Most of the restaurants display their meals in the showcases or waiters can bring them for taste if you want. Besides, the menu showing the available food can also be found in English at your table, in tourist areas. If you are eating at a restaurant, waiters usually “expect” a tip of 5-10% of your bill, you can leave it at the table separately. But this is not a condition sine qua non in Turkey. Just enjoy one of the best cuisines in the world.



6.  Will my credit card work? 

You can use most credit cards and debit cards in Turkey. Sometimes, small restaurants and shops only take cash. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs using your international credit and debit cards. However, in any case, contact the card issuer directly.


7.  Can I use Euros, Dollars, or British Pounds in Turkey?

Tourist shops, restaurants, and travel agents mostly accept currencies other than native lira but it is preferable to use the local currency for the exchange value. Most Turkish ATMs issue only Turkish liras, but some will give you euros, pounds, or US dollars.


8.  Where can I stay in Turkey?

The hotel services and hospitality industry is well developed in Turkey. It is possible to find hundreds of hotels suitable for every budget. You can also rent houses that suit your needs at affordable prices through Airbnb. You can also get services from companies that rent furnished residence-type places for you for a period of 1 month to 1 year. These types of places are more affordable than staying at a hotel.


9.  How is transportation within Turkey?

There are many forms of transportation in Turkey including bus lines and flights for intercity transportation and taxis, trams, and metro for public transport. Many clients prefer to take a domestic flight to get from one city to the next as it can be time efficient and economical. It has a good long-distance bus network with air-conditioned buses, seats booked online, and generally good service quality above European standards. Good drivers and many assistants work on buses. You will be offered free drinks during the cruise. The metro network in the big cities will not force you to take a taxi.


10.  Are Turkish people friendly?

Turks are renowned for their hospitality, and any local will gladly display this reputation. Almost everywhere in the country, Turks show big grins with a friendly, talkative, passionate, and often hidden mischief. As long as you are kind and avoid insulting the nation, its symbols, or politics, you will be treated very well and you will most likely be surprised at how kind and friendly the Turkish people are.



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