Turkey Travel Tips

Visa

Citizens from 78 countries and regions enjoy the policy of entering Turkey without a visa within 180 days for tourism or business purposes. Such countries and regions are Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Brazil, etc.

Citizens from countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, and Ukraine may use their ID cards instead of passports when visiting Turkey.

Citizens from 42 countries and regions can apply for electronic visas to enter Turkey and stay there up to 90 days within 180-day period. These countries include China, US, UK, Spain, Portugal, and Australia.

Expense

Local currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
Except lira, most hotels and hot air balloon and paragliding experience accept Euro cash for payment.
Price reference:
Beer: 4.8TL
Coffee: 6TL
Hamburg: 13TL
T-shirt: 80TL
Walnuts: 9TL/lbs
Bread: 1TL
Juice (1L): 1.75TL

Tipping

Taxi tipping are usually 10%. For hotels and restaurants, 15% of the whole cost as a tip is included in the final bill. It is polite to pay another 10% as a tip to the waiter.

Normally, the tip for tour guide is USD3 (about 5TL) per day. The driver's tip is about USD 2 (3.5TL) per day.

Accommodation

The accommodation cost of many hotels in the Mediterranean area, including four to five stars, is 80 to 120TL per day (with a breakfast buffet). For small hotels around 15 to 40TL are quite common. Please be noted that hotels and restaurants in Turkey do not provide personal care products such as slippers, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Visitors should not bring outside water to luxury hotels in case that there might be fines. Each bottle of mineral water is 1 to 2TL.

Food

The Turkish breakfast consists of freshly baked white bread, jam and honey, black olives, cucumber slices or tomatoes, cooked eggs, white cheese, and fresh Chai tea. For lunch and dinner, traditionally the first course is soup, among which the most common is the red lentil stew with rice soup and tomato soup. Others are fish soup, vegetable soup and mint yoghurt soup. After the soup are some side dishes, main courses (usually with meat), and desserts are served at last.

The most popular meat in Turkish restaurants is beef, then lamb. Meat can be cooked in three common ways: meatballs, stews, and roasts. In addition, various kinds of vegetables with fillings are also very popular. In Turkish food culture, desserts are indispensable.

Shopping

Specialty: rugs, scarves, black tea trays and cups, sepiolite pipes, shawls, leather garments, “Demon Eyes”, decorative plates and eggs, spices, black and apple tea, fudge, essential oil, coffee, olive oil.

Markets

The Grand Bazaar: Istanbul's largest indoor bazaar selling scarves, clothes, gold ornaments, carpets, “blue eyes”, apple tea, desserts, coffee, etc.
Egyptian market: supplying spices, dried fruits, and handicrafts.
Istanbul Cevahir Mall: almost includes all Turkish brands here.

Festivals

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr – Around September

After the end of the month of Ramadan, it has ushered in the nation's grandest festival, the Eid al-Fitr, also known as "Candy Festival". The whole country will have a holiday for three days.

Rumi Commemoration-Mevlana Festival - December 10-17

Lasted for almost a week, Rumi Commemoration-Mevlana Festival is one of the most symbolic Turkey festivals, in which visitors can enjoy the most famous Turkish Dance. The festival is celebrated in memory of the great religious poet and philosopher of Turkey, Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi and it takes place in Central Konya.

Turkish Republic Day - October 29

It is a national holiday to celebrate Ataturk’s Declaration of the Republic. Ataturk was the founder of the Republic of Turkey.

Power Supply

Voltage: 230V/50Hz
Power Outlet: Type A, a converter or an adapter is a necessity.

Telephone and Internet

The three mobile communication operators in Turkey are called Turcell, Vodafone, and Avea, all of which require passport when purchasing cards. The cards are valid for 60 days. The original card containing the SIM card and PIN number information must be kept well, for every time when rebooting, it requires the PIN number. Among the three major operators, Turcell has the most extensive coverage and the best signals and thus is the most expensive.

Mobile Internet access is very convenient. Visitors can choose their internet package when buying SIM card. Turkish hotels and some large restaurants provide free WIFI most of the time.

Emergency call

Police (Zabita): 153
Fire: 110
First aid: 112
Directory Assistance: 118

Dos and Don’ts

Do not bring pork to Turkey.
Do not point at anyone with fingertip.
Do not wear swimming suit outside of pools or beaches.
Do not smoke in the cinema, theater, bus and taxi.
Yellow and purple are taboo colors.
Do take off shoes when visiting a Turkish family.
Woman must wear turban and long dress when entering mosques.

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