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Turkey Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Turkey travel guide?

Then you’re in the right place!

Straddling Europe and Asia, the country of Turkey should be high on anyone’s travel must list.

From beautiful beaches to surreal mountains to incredible historic sites, there’s so much to see in this nation of 83 million people.

There’s something for every kind of traveler in Turkey, whether you’re looking for a relaxing coastal vacation or exciting adventures among Roman and Byzantine ruins.

Read on for more travel tips to help make the most of your time in Turkey!

If you can, plan for a longer stay in Turkey, as there are many great places to visit throughout the country.

You’ll need some time to travel between the bustling city of Istanbul, the arid region of Central Anatolia, the Turkish Riviera, and any other sights you might want to see.

There are so many truly unique natural wonders in Turkey; the rock valleys and volcanic peaks of Cappadocia look like something out of a dream while the bright blue, snow-covered pools of Pamukkale will show you why the Ancient Romans loved this country so much.

Turkey is also becoming a top beach destination for those looking for an alternative to places like Greece and Italy.

The Turkish Riviera is also known as the Turquoise Coast for good reason: the clear blue waters really do resemble their namesake gems.

The area offers lots of opportunities for both adventure and relaxation. Check out the local museums and archeological sites to see some of the wonders of antiquity, or just relax at a traditional hammam, or Turkish bath.

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Turkey.

Note: This guide to Turkey travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Turkey Map

Use this Turkey travel map to begin planning your trip to this incredible country!

Turkey map

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

Solo Travel In Turkey

Traveling alone in Turkey? These guides can help you plan a safe & fun trip!

Turkey Travel Itinerary

Explore Turkey through these recommended experiences!

Turkish Cuisine

Explore local culture through Turkish food & recipes!

Top Guided Tours In Turkey

Explore local culture with a Turkey tour guide through these unique excursions:

  • Cappadocia Balloon Ride and Breakfast
  • Full-Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar
  • Perge, Aspendos & Waterfalls Day Tour from Antalya
  • Paragliding from Mount Babadag in Fethiye, Muğla Province, Turkey
  • All-Inclusive Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show in Istanbul
  • Visit Ancient Ephesus, Terrace Houses, & the House of the Virgin Mary with a Local Guide from Kusadasi

Renting A Car In Turkey

Need a rental car for your Turkey trip? Planning a Eurotrip and want to explore by driving?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

Getting Around Turkey

Getting around Turkey by train, bus, or ferry?

Omio is a must! I use this tool for all of my public transportation needs when traveling Europe.

The site is straightforward and user-friendly — and you can pre-book your tickets in advance at a discount.

They even offer flight and car deals!

Turkey Hotels

Click here to browse hotels in Turkey!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

Click here to check out unique local stays from VRBO +! 

You can also use this map to search for local stays and experiences:

Turkey Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a Turkey tour. When visiting Turkey — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Turkey itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Turkey Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling Turkey.

Q: What is the best way to travel around Turkey?

One of the best ways to get around Turkey is by plane. There are several major airports throughout the country and domestic flights have gotten much less expensive in recent years.

Traffic is common on Turkish roads; a trip that would take you one hour by plane could take 10 via bus or car. If you’re planning a shorter trip in Turkey and want to maximize your time in each destination, air travel is probably your best bet.

Coach trips are quite comfortable and generally less expensive than flights, but you’ll spend a lot more time on the road than you will in the air. Ferries are also a great option if you’re planning to explore Turkey’s coast or hop over to the nearby Greek Islands.

Q: How much should I budget for a trip to Turkey?

Your budget for a trip to Turkey certainly depends on your itinerary, but the average traveler spends about $20 USD per day in Turkey on accommodations, food, transportation and activities.

Flights to and from Turkey will likely be your biggest expense if you’re traveling from outside of Europe.

It’s fairly easy to find nonstop flights from North America into bigger cities like Istanbul and deals are certainly available if your travel dates are flexible.

Q: Is Turkey safe for a female traveler?

Turkey as a whole is pretty safe; their crime rate is fairly low compared to other countries (including the U.S.).

That said, the country has different gender dynamics and harassment can happen.

Common sense, vigilance, and a bit of confidence will generally help you when it comes to staying safe in Turkey. Keep your wits about you, move around as though you belong, and never leave your drink unattended.

Wondering where to start your trip? Solo female travel in Istanbul is a fun and memorable experience and is typically the gateway to the rest of the country.

Q: What should female tourists wear in Turkey?

While in Istanbul and other seaside destinations along the Mediterranean coast locals are accustomed to Western clothing, it’s recommended to dress in a more smart casual manner when heading east or into more rural parts of the country.

Cover knees and shoulders, and avoid clothing that is too tight or form-fitting. You only need a headscarf if visiting a mosque — which you absolutely should when traveling around Turkey!

Q: What should you not miss in Turkey?

While visiting Turkey, you’ll probably want to spend some time in Istanbul, the country’s former capital and biggest metropolis. Here, you can visit the iconic Hagia Sophia, a staggering church-turned-mosque-turned-museum that is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture.

You can also visit the Blue Mosque, featuring incredible tile work that dates back to the 1600s.

And of course, you’ll want to do a bit of shopping at the Grand Bazaar, one of the most famous markets in the world.

A trip to Ephesus is also an absolute must. This archeological site just off the Mediterranean coast is one of the most complete Roman cities in the region and is home to some of the best remaining examples of Roman architecture.

Throughout the site, you’ll find Roman baths, theatres, and churches that will impress any history buff.

Just a few miles from Ephesus is the House of the Virgin Mary, where the mother of Jesus is said to have spent her last days. It is a sacred site for both Christians and Muslims and one you should visit regardless of your religious beliefs.

The region of Cappadocia is also one you’ll have to see to believe. Located in Central Anatolia, the area is full of volcanic peaks that create unique shapes in the skyline. Residents have since built around these peaks to create cities that seem like they belong in another world.

To top it all off, hot air balloons dot the sky around sunset, taking tourists up in the air for some of the best views of the valley. You definitely won’t want to miss this one!

Q: How many days do you need for Turkey?

Turkey’s sheer size definitely makes a longer trip necessary; most experts suggest spending about ten days in Turkey to get a real feel for the country.

If you only have a few days to spend in Turkey, focus on one city or region, like Istanbul or the coast.

Q: Do I need a Turkey travel visa?

Citizens of the United States do need a visa to visit Turkey for travel up to 90 days within a 180 day period. However, they can apply for visas online via the e-Visa system and usually do not need to visit the local consulate or embassy.

U.S. citizens visiting Turkey via Mediterranean cruise ships do not need a visa to enter the country as long as their stay is under 72 hours.

Citizens of the United Kingdom, European Union, New Zealand and several other nations do not need a visa to enter Turkey.

It’s recommended to view your country’s Turkey International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit requirements. You can also contact the Turkish Consulate General in New York.

Q: What is the best month to visit Turkey?

Turkey is truly a year-round destination with four seasons. Note that peak season is June through August, which is also when prices and temperatures rise, so you may want to avoid this time.

For mild weather and fewer crowds, opt for spring (April and May) or fall (mid-September through mid-November).

Q: Where is Turkey?

Turkey straddles Western Asia and Southeastern Europe. In fact, the capital of Istanbul is the world’s only city residing on two continents.

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Turkey?

Credit cards are widely accepted in Turkey, though it’s always wise to carry some cash on you, especially when frequenting smaller mom-and-pop-type establishments and street stalls.

Q: Can you drink tap water in Turkey?

To avoid issues, it is best to avoid drinking the tap water in Turkey.

Q: What is the local currency in Turkey?

The local currency in Turkey is the Turkish lira.

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The Ultimate Turkey Travel Guide
Turkey travel guide