How to Plan a Trip to Turkey: Your 11-Step Checklist
Dreaming of a trip to Turkey, but not sure where to start? Planning a trip to this fascinating country can be overwhelming, but with proper planning, it can be an unforgettable experience. Turkish Airlines offers direct flights from major cities worldwide, including Istanbul, making it easier than ever to reach your destination. Group tours are also a great way to explore Turkey's top attractions and meet new people along the way, with options for day trips to Antalya and Ankara.
While planning your trip to Turkey, don't forget about travel insurance. It's highly recommended for any trip to Istanbul or Antalya to cover unexpected expenses and give you peace of mind. Once you arrive in Turkey, Turkish Airlines offers convenient transportation options to explore the country, and day trips are a great way to see the sights. Public transportation is also affordable and efficient with options such as buses, ferries, and even air balloon rides!
Whether you're traveling on a budget or looking for luxury accommodations, there are plenty of options available in Turkey. From the bustling city of Istanbul to the stunning beaches of Antalya, there's something for everyone. You can easily reach these destinations with Turkish Airlines. Additionally, don't miss out on exploring the beautiful cities of Ankara and Izmir. For a more laid-back vacation, head to the charming town of Fethiye.
So how do you plan a trip to Turkey? We've got you covered with everything from visa requirements to what to wear in this vibrant country. If you're looking for an itinerary, start with the bustling city of Istanbul, explore the historical landmarks in Ankara, soak up the sun in Antalya, and more. Keep reading for our tips on how to plan the ultimate Turkish adventure!
Tips For Turkey Trip Planning: A First-Timer's Guide
If you are planning your first travel to Turkey, there are some essential tips that you should keep in mind. From choosing the right time to visit to finding the best accommodation and transportation options, this comprehensive guide will help you plan a memorable trip to Istanbul, Antalya, Fethiye, and other popular destinations in Turkey.
Choosing the Right Time to Visit
The best time to visit Turkey depends on your preferences and interests. If you want to explore the beaches and enjoy outdoor activities, summer is the ideal time, especially in Antalya and Fethiye. However, it can be crowded and expensive during this season. Spring and autumn offer mild weather with fewer crowds, making them perfect for sightseeing tours in Istanbul or Ankara. Winter is also an excellent option if you love snow sports and winter festivals in the mountainous regions of Turkey.
Turkey offers a wide range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels, you can find something that suits your needs. Istanbul is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in Turkey, while coastal towns like Antalya offer beach resorts with stunning views. Hostels are also popular among backpackers who want affordable accommodation. Additionally, Ankara, Izmir, and Çanakkale also offer various accommodation options. Fethiye is another coastal town that boasts beautiful beach resorts.
Getting around in Turkey is relatively easy thanks to its extensive transportation network. You can travel by bus, train, or plane depending on your destination and budget. Buses are the most common mode of transport for domestic travel as they are affordable and comfortable. If you're traveling to Istanbul, you may also consider taking a taxi for convenience. Ankara is also easily accessible by train or bus. Meanwhile, Izmir can be reached by plane or bus.
Trains are an excellent option for those doing Turkey trip planning and looking for public transport to enjoy a scenic journey through the countryside. The high-speed train between Istanbul and Ankara is one of the most popular routes, but for those looking to add Antalya to their day Turkey itinerary, there are also options available.
Flying within Turkey is also a great option for travel as several airlines operate domestic flights between major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Çanakkale, Fethiye and Gallipoli.
Staying Connected During Your Trip
Accessing the internet during your travel trip can be challenging unless you have a local SIM card or access public Wi-Fi networks available at cafes or restaurants. Don't forget to check your visa requirements before booking tours and flights.
You can purchase a local SIM card from one of the many mobile phone operators in Turkey, including those in Izmir, Istanbul, Fethiye, and Antalya. They offer various data packages that cater to different needs and budgets.
Alternatively, when you travel abroad for tours or flights, you can use a portable Wi-Fi device or rent one from a local provider. These devices allow you to connect multiple devices at once and provide reliable internet access throughout your trip. If you need visa assistance, our team can provide guidance.
Other Essential Tips
Learn some basic Turkish phrases: Knowing some common Turkish phrases will make it easier to communicate with locals and navigate around the country during your Turkey trip planning. Whether you're in Istanbul, Ankara, or Izmir, these phrases will come in handy.
Be respectful of local customs: Turkey, with popular tourist destinations such as Ankara, Istanbul, Fethiye, and Antalya, is a conservative country, and it's essential to respect its culture and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting mosques or religious sites, remove shoes before entering homes, etc.
When planning your Turkey itinerary, don't forget to include stops in Istanbul and Ankara. Try the local cuisine while you're there - Turkish cuisine is diverse and delicious. Don't miss out on trying famous dishes like kebabs, baklava, pide, etc. during your Turkey trip planning.
Plan ahead for popular attractions: Some of Turkey's famous attractions like Hagia Sophia or Cappadocia in Istanbul can get crowded during peak season. It's best to book tickets in advance or visit during off-peak hours. Antalya and Fethiye are also popular tourist destinations, so consider booking tours in advance to avoid missing out on the experience.
Plan Your First Trip to Turkey: An 11-Step Checklist
If you're planning your first trip to Turkey, there are a few things you need to consider before packing your bags and hopping on the next flight. From determining your travel route and itinerary in advance to researching the number of days you need to fully explore Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya, this 11-step checklist will help you plan a smooth and hassle-free trip.
Determine Your Route and Itinerary in Advance
Before booking your travel tickets, it's important to determine your route and itinerary in advance. With so many attractions and cities to explore, it can be overwhelming trying to fit everything into one trip. Start by identifying the top places you want to visit, such as Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia or the beaches of Antalya and Fethiye. Then, plan out how many days you want to spend in each location based on your interests and consider booking tours to make the most out of your travel experience.
Research on the Number of Days You Need to Fully Explore Turkey
Turkey is a vast country with an abundance of sights and experiences. To fully explore all that it has to offer, it's recommended that you spend at least two weeks traveling around the country. However, if time is limited, prioritize the destinations that interest you most such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya. Consider taking a tour to make the most of your time in Turkey.
Book Train Tickets Early to Secure Your Preferred Schedule
If you're planning on taking trains or buses during your trip, make sure to book them early as they can sell out quickly during peak travel season. By securing your preferred schedule ahead of time, you'll have more flexibility in planning out your itinerary. Don't forget to check if you need a visa for your destination and consider booking a tour for convenient transport options.
Plan Ahead for Any Necessary Travel Documents and Visas
Depending on whether you're traveling to Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, or Fethiye and how long you plan on staying in Turkey, there may be certain travel documents or visas required for entry into the country. Make sure to research these requirements well in advance of your trip so that there are no surprises upon arrival.
Keep Emergency Numbers Handy in Case of Any Unforeseen Circumstances
While Turkey is generally a safe country for travel, it's always better to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances, especially if you are visiting popular tourist destinations like Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya. Keep emergency numbers handy in case of any accidents or incidents that may occur during your trip.
Check the Weather Before Packing
Turkey experiences a range of climates depending on the season and location. Before packing for your travel to Istanbul, Antalya, or Ankara, make sure to check the weather forecast for each destination you plan on visiting. This will help you pack appropriately and avoid any unnecessary items.
Pack Comfortable Shoes
With so much to see and explore in Turkey, including the bustling cities of Istanbul and Ankara, comfortable shoes are essential for travel. Whether you're exploring ancient ruins or hiking through scenic landscapes in Fethiye, comfortable footwear is a must.
Try Local Cuisine
One of the best ways to experience Turkish culture during your Turkey itinerary is through its cuisine. From traditional kebabs and baklava to Turkish coffee and tea, there are plenty of delicious dishes to try in Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya.
Learn Basic Turkish Phrases
While English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning basic Turkish phrases can go a long way in making connections with locals and immersing yourself in the culture. This is especially important if you're planning a Turkey trip and visiting cities like Istanbul, Ankara, or Antalya.
The Ultimate Turkey Itinerary 10 Days - Top Places to Visit
If you're planning to travel to Turkey and have ten days to spare, this ultimate itinerary covers the most popular places in the country including Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya. From historical landmarks to natural wonders and cultural experiences, this itinerary has something for everyone.
Istanbul: Explore the City's Rich History and Vibrant Culture
Istanbul, a top travel destination in Turkey, is a city that bridges two continents, Europe and Asia. It's a melting pot of cultures with an incredibly rich history. If you're planning to travel to Turkey, make sure to add Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya to your must-visit places list.
Hagia Sophia: This ancient cathedral-turned-mosque is one of Turkey's most iconic landmarks, perfect for a tour in Istanbul, Ankara, or Antalya.
Blue Mosque: Also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, this stunning mosque in Istanbul, Turkey is famous for its blue tiles. It's a must-see attraction for anyone on a tour of Ankara or Istanbul.
Grand Bazaar, located in Istanbul, is one of the world's largest indoor markets with over 4,000 shops selling everything from textiles to jewelry. It's a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Istanbul and taking a tour of the city. If you're planning a trip to Ankara, don't miss the opportunity to explore this iconic market.
Topkapi Palace: Once home to Ottoman sultans, this palace in Istanbul now serves as a museum showcasing Ottoman artifacts and treasures. Take a tour of this historical landmark on your next visit to Turkey's capital city, Ankara.
Cappadocia: Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Stunning Landscapes
Cappadocia, located in Turkey, is known for its unique rock formations and hot air balloon rides. Here are some things to do in Cappadocia on a tour from Istanbul or Ankara:
Hot air balloon ride: Experience the stunning landscapes of Cappadocia in Turkey from above on a hot air balloon ride, as part of your tour of Istanbul, Ankara and other cities.
Goreme Open-Air Museum: A UNESCO World Heritage site featuring ancient cave churches carved into rocks located in Turkey, perfect for a tour from Istanbul or Ankara.
Uchisar Castle: A fortress carved into a natural rock formation with panoramic views of Cappadocia, Turkey. Perfect for a tour of Istanbul or Ankara.
Ephesus: Discover Ancient Ruins and Historical Sites
Ephesus, located in Turkey, was once an important Greek city during the Roman Empire. Today, it's an open-air museum showcasing ancient ruins and historical sites. If you're planning a tour of Turkey, don't miss the opportunity to visit Ephesus, located between Istanbul and Ankara.
Library of Celsus: An ancient Roman building that once served as a library and is now one of the most photographed landmarks in Ephesus, Turkey. It's a must-visit destination for anyone on a tour of Turkey, including Istanbul and Ankara.
Ancient Theatre: A well-preserved theater built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC with a capacity of over 25,000 people. Tourists visiting Turkey can explore this historic site in Istanbul or Ankara.
Temple of Artemis: One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, this temple was dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis in Turkey. It's a must-visit destination for anyone on a tour of Istanbul or Ankara.
Pamukkale: Relax in Natural Hot Springs and See Stunning Terraces
Pamukkale, located in Turkey, is known for its natural hot springs and stunning terraces made of travertine. Here are some things to do in Pamukkale: take a train from Istanbul for a tour of the beautiful landscape.
Join a day tour to Hierapolis, an ancient city in Turkey built on top of hot springs, featuring ruins such as a theater, temples, and baths. Located near Istanbul, this historical site is a must-visit for those exploring the wonders of Turkey.
Cleopatra's Pool in Turkey is a must-visit on your Istanbul tour, where you can take a train and swim among ancient ruins and columns.
Travertine terraces: These stunning white terraces, located in Pamukkale near Istanbul, are formed by mineral-rich water flowing down from the hot springs. It's a must-visit tour destination and can be reached by train, making it a convenient stop for those short on time.
Antalya: Enjoy Beautiful Beaches and Scenic Views
Antalya is a coastal city known for its beautiful beaches and scenic views. If you're planning a day tour in Turkey, consider adding Antalya to your itinerary alongside Istanbul.
Planning the Perfect Turkey Trip Itinerary for 10 Days
If you're planning a trip to Turkey, allocating your time wisely is crucial. With so much to see and do, it can be challenging to decide where to go and how long to stay in each place. Consider taking a tour of Istanbul to make the most of your day, or take a scenic train ride through the countryside.
Allocate at least 2 days in Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey is a city that demands your attention. From its rich history and culture to its bustling markets and stunning architecture, there's so much to explore. To make the most of your time here, allocate at least two full days for sightseeing. Consider taking a tour to fully experience the city's highlights or take a train ride to see the scenic views of the surrounding countryside.
Some must-see attractions include:
The Hagia Sophia, located in Istanbul, Turkey, has served as both a church and mosque throughout history. If you have time, it's worth taking a tour of this iconic building.
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul: Known for its stunning blue tiles and impressive domes, it is a must-visit on any Turkey tour. Spend a day exploring its beauty.
Topkapi Palace: A former residence of Ottoman sultans with beautiful gardens and courtyards in Istanbul, Turkey. Perfect for a day tour.
Grand Bazaar: A vibrant market in Istanbul with over 4,000 shops selling everything from spices to jewelry. Perfect for a day tour in Turkey.
Spend 2-3 days in Cappadocia
Cappadocia, located in Turkey, is unlike anywhere else on earth. Its unique landscapes are dotted with fairy chimneys (tall cone-shaped rock formations) that have formed over millions of years due to volcanic activity. One of the best ways to experience these surreal landscapes is by taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise during a day tour from Istanbul.
Other activities in Cappadocia include:
Hiking in Rose Valley or Love Valley
Visiting underground cities like Kaymakli or Derinkuyu
Exploring ancient churches carved into rock formations such as Goreme Open Air Museum is a must-see during your day tour in Turkey, especially if you're visiting Istanbul.
To fully appreciate all that Cappadocia in Turkey has to offer, it is recommended to spend at least two or three days here on a tour before moving on to Istanbul. Take the time to explore the stunning landscapes and unique rock formations that make this region so special.
The Aegean Coast
The Aegean Coast is a beautiful region of Turkey that offers stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and picturesque towns. One of the highlights of this area is the opportunity to take a day tour by bus from Istanbul to visit the legendary city of Troy.
Other must-see attractions along the Aegean Coast include:
Ephesus, an ancient city in Turkey, is a must-visit destination for a day tour from Istanbul. The well-preserved ruins of the grand theater and library are sure to impress.
Pamukkale: A natural wonder in Turkey with terraced pools filled with mineral-rich water. Take a day tour from Istanbul to experience it.
Bodrum Castle: A medieval castle built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century. If you're planning a day tour in Turkey, don't miss the chance to visit this historical monument located in Bodrum, just a few hours away from Istanbul.
Consider the best time to visit Turkey
The best time to visit Turkey, including Istanbul, is during the spring (April-May) or fall (September-November) months when temperatures are mild, crowds are smaller, and prices are more reasonable. If you're planning a tour and want to explore Istanbul in a day, consider taking a bus tour. If you plan to visit during peak season (June-August), be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices.
With only ten days to explore Turkey, it's important to allocate your time wisely. Consider taking a tour bus in Istanbul to make the most of your trip.
2 Weeks in Turkey: The Perfect Turkey Itinerary
If you're planning a tour to Turkey and wondering how many days you should spend there, we recommend setting aside two weeks to fully explore the country's rich history, culture, and natural beauty. In this itinerary, we'll guide you through the perfect two-week trip to Turkey by bus.
Week 1: Istanbul
Start your tour in Istanbul, Turkey, where you can spend an entire week exploring the city's iconic landmarks and vibrant neighborhoods. Take a day trip outside the city by bus to see more of the beautiful country.
Begin your day tour in Turkey by visiting some of Istanbul's most famous landmarks - the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. These three sites are all located within walking distance of each other in Sultanahmet Square. Be sure to arrive early in the morning to avoid crowds and consider taking a bus tour for a more convenient experience.
Join a Turkey day tour by bus and head over to the Grand Bazaar for some shopping. This historic market is one of the largest covered markets in the world and offers everything from traditional Turkish textiles to intricate ceramics.
Take a break from your Turkey tour and relax for a day at a traditional Turkish bath or hammam. There are many options throughout Istanbul that can be reached by bus, but we recommend Cagaloglu Hamami or Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami for an authentic experience.
During the day, take a bus tour to explore the sights of Turkey. In the evening, discover Istanbul's nightlife scene in neighborhoods like Beyoglu or Karakoy. You'll find plenty of bars, clubs, and live music venues here.
Spend your last two days in Turkey exploring some of Istanbul's lesser-known neighborhoods like Kadikoy on the Asian side of Istanbul or Balat on the European side. Take a tour bus to these areas to offer a glimpse into local life with colorful streets filled with cafes, shops, and street art.
Week 2: Cappadocia
For your second week in Turkey, take a day tour by bus to Cappadocia where you can marvel at unique rock formations and take hot air balloon rides.
Start your day tour in Turkey by taking a bus to the Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features cave churches and monasteries carved into the rock formations. Afterwards, hike through the Rose Valley for stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Take an early morning hot air balloon ride over Turkey's Cappadocia fairy chimneys and valleys for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can book these tours in advance or through your hotel. Make sure to plan your day accordingly as the balloon ride can take a few hours. If you prefer to travel by land, you can also opt for a bus tour to explore the beautiful scenery of Cappadocia.
In the afternoons, go on a day tour to explore some of Turkey's underground cities in Cappadocia like Derinkuyu or Kaymakli. These ancient cities were carved out of soft volcanic rock and served as hiding places for early Christians.
Spend your last two days in Cappadocia exploring some of its lesser-known towns like Urgup or Uchisar. These areas offer charming streets filled with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants serving delicious Turkish cuisine. If you want to experience the best of Turkey, take a tour of these towns.
Exploring Different Areas of Turkey During Your Trip
Istanbul: A City of Historical Landmarks and Breathtaking Views
Istanbul is one of the most visited cities in Turkey, and for a good reason. It's a city that blends history, culture, and modernity seamlessly. The iconic Sultanahmet area is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Istanbul. Here are some places to check out while you're there:
Hagia Sophia: This architectural marvel in Turkey was once a church, then a mosque, and now it's a museum. It's an excellent place to learn about the city's rich history.
Blue Mosque: Also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, this stunning building in Turkey features six minarets and intricate blue tiles adorning its interior.
Topkapi Palace Museum: This palace, located in Turkey, was once home to Ottoman sultans and their families. Today it serves as a museum where visitors can explore the lavish lifestyle of Ottoman royalty.
One unique way to see the city of Istanbul, Turkey from another perspective is by taking a Bosphorus cruise. You'll get breathtaking views of both Europe and Asia while sailing down the strait that separates them.
Antalya: A Coastal Paradise with Rich History
Antalya is located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and offers visitors both natural beauty and historical landmarks. The old town of Kaleici is an excellent place to start your exploration of Antalya. Here are some other places worth checking out:
Aspendos Theatre: This ancient Roman theatre in Turkey dates back to 155 AD and has been well-preserved over time.
Pamukkale hot springs: While not technically in Antalya itself, these stunning hot springs in Turkey are just a day trip away and are definitely worth the visit.
Düden Waterfalls: These waterfalls are located just outside of Antalya, Turkey and offer a refreshing break from the city's heat.
There are plenty of options ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts in Turkey. Some popular areas to stay include Kaleici, Lara Beach, and Konyaalti Beach.
Cappadocia: A Land of Fairy Chimneys and Underground Cities
Cappadocia is located in central Turkey and is known for its unique rock formations called fairy chimneys. One of the best ways to see these formations is by taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Here are some other places worth checking out:
Göreme Open-Air Museum in Turkey: This museum features cave churches that date back to the 10th century.
Kaymakli Underground City in Turkey: This ancient underground city was used as a hiding place by early Christians.
Zelve Open-Air Museum: This museum in Turkey features abandoned cave homes that were once inhabited by locals.
Best Time of Year to Visit Turkey and Cost of Travel
When to Go to Turkey?
Turkey is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences. The country has four distinct seasons, each offering a unique experience. However, the most recommended times are during spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November) due to mild weather conditions.
Spring is an excellent time for sightseeing as the flowers bloom, and the temperatures are pleasant. Autumn offers cooler temperatures than summer while still providing ideal weather for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or exploring historical sites. Turkey is a great destination to experience both seasons.
Summer (June to August) is peak travel time in Turkey when the beaches are crowded with tourists from all over the world. Although it's sunny and warm enough for swimming, it can be expensive due to high demand. Winter (December to February) is the low season when travelers can find great deals on flights and accommodations.
How Much Does It Cost To Visit Turkey?
The cost of traveling in Turkey varies depending on your budget and travel style. Typically, accommodation prices range from $20-$200 per night depending on where you stay and what amenities you require. A mid-range hotel room costs around $50 per night.
Food prices in Turkey vary; street food can cost as little as $2-$3 per meal while restaurants charge around $15-$20 per person for dinner. Transportation costs in Turkey depend on how far you need to go; local buses or trams cost around $0.50-$1 per ride.
If you're planning a trip to Turkey with activities such as hot-air balloon rides or boat tours, expect additional expenses ranging from $30-$100 per activity.
When Should You Start Booking Your Trip?
It's best to start booking your trip to Turkey at least three months before your planned departure date if possible. This way, you'll have plenty of time to research options that fit within your budget and preferences while exploring the beauty of Turkey.
Keep in mind that prices for flights and accommodations in Turkey tend to increase as the travel date approaches. Therefore, it's best to book early to secure lower rates.
What Is The Exchange Rate For Turkish Lira?
The exchange rate for Turkish Lira (TRY) in Turkey varies depending on the currency you're exchanging. As of August 2021, one US dollar is equivalent to approximately 8.37 TRY.
It's recommended to exchange money in Turkey at authorized exchange offices or banks rather than street vendors. Also, be sure to check the current exchange rate in Turkey before making any transactions.
Your Ultimate Guide to Planning a Trip to Turkey
In conclusion, planning a trip to Turkey can be overwhelming but with the right information and guidance, it can be an unforgettable experience. By following the 11-step checklist provided in this guide, you can ensure that you have everything covered from visa requirements to transportation arrangements.
Make sure to include some of the top places recommended such as Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Ephesus. Don't forget to explore different areas of Turkey during your trip for a well-rounded experience.
The best time of year to visit Turkey is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-November) when the weather is mild and crowds are smaller. However, keep in mind that costs may vary depending on the season.
To make the most out of your trip to Turkey, consider booking tours or using local guides who can provide insight into Turkish culture and history. And don't forget to try some delicious Turkish cuisine while you're there!
Overall, planning a trip to Turkey requires attention to detail but with proper preparation, it can be an enriching adventure.
Q: Do I need a visa for my trip to Turkey?
Yes, most visitors to Turkey will need a visa which can be obtained online or at Turkish embassies/consulates.
Q: What is the currency used in Turkey?
A: The currency used in Turkey is Turkish Lira (TRY).
Q: Is it safe for solo travelers in Turkey?
A: While incidents do occur, overall Turkey is considered safe for solo travelers. It's important to exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings.
Q: Can I use my credit card in Turkey?
Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in major cities in Turkey but cash may be necessary for smaller businesses or rural areas.
Q: What should I wear when visiting mosques or other religious sites?
Visitors to Turkey should dress modestly and cover their shoulders, arms, and legs. Women may also be required to wear a headscarf.