5 Tips for Visiting Turkey for the First Time
Traveling to Turkey for the first time can be an exciting experience, especially if you want to experience the country’s rich history, beautiful landscapes, and distinctive cuisine. The country has much to offer, but there are also some things that you should know before you go so that your trip goes smoothly and you don’t feel overwhelmed or confused while you’re there. This article gives you five tips that will make your first trip to Turkey less stressful and more enjoyable. If you follow these tips, then you’ll be sure to have the perfect visit to this great country!
1) Planning your trip
Before you even think about booking a trip to Turkey, it’s important to do some planning. While prices may vary based on season and availability, you should expect to pay anywhere from $200-$300/night for a 5-star hotel in Ankara, $300+/night in Istanbul and other major cities. If possible, try to book your hotel before leaving home—it may be more expensive once you’re there. Also be sure to take into account costs associated with travel: food, transportation and activities. If you haven’t booked your flight yet or don’t want to purchase one before visiting, look into flying into Istanbul – chances are that most of your tours will begin here anyway! There are also many airlines offering direct flights to Antalya, Bodrum and Izmir. Be aware that some budget airlines require luggage fees if you have too much luggage (or if they simply can’t fit it all on board). Plan ahead and pack smart!
2) Getting from airport to city
Istanbul is a big, bustling city, so to avoid getting lost in transit and save time, plan on taking a taxi from Ataturk Airport (IST) to your hotel. If you’re more of an adventurous sort and want to go at it alone, hop on one of Istanbul’s buses; they are inexpensive and convenient. Also be aware that most bus lines run between 4am and 11pm—some even less frequently—so plan accordingly. And if you choose to use public transportation, remember that Istanbul has two types of taxis: yellow taxis and private taxis. Yellow taxis can only pick up passengers at designated taxi stands or certain street corners, while private taxis can pick up passengers anywhere—for a price! Private taxis charge by distance traveled rather than by time spent traveling like yellow taxis do. So if you have a long way to travel or don’t mind paying extra for convenience, private taxi may be right for you.
3) Arriving in Istanbul
Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport is just a 30-minute drive from your hotel, so if you’ve come in from another country, you can fly directly into Istanbul without having to transit through another airport. If you’re coming from within Turkey, flights often arrive at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW), which is in southeastern Istanbul on Asia’s side of the Bosphorus. SAW has easier connections with European and Asian cities than Ataturk, so depending on where you’re arriving from, it might be worth flying into SAW instead. Unless your Turkish Airlines flight leaves before 4 a.m., it’ll land after most public transport has shut down; most hotels are happy to pick up guests at either airport free of charge.
4) Must do activities
Each region of Turkey has its own unique appeal, and in general, visitors will fall in love with it very quickly. From hiking to biking and swimming to shopping, there are plenty of things to do while visiting Turkey. So be sure to check out all these activities once you arrive at your destination. However, I suggest that you should make a trip to Cappadocia, Istanbul or Izmir when you first get there. These three cities have something special about them. Cappadocia is known as the land of fairy chimneys because of its stunning rock formations, while Istanbul is one of Europe’s most exciting destinations with an impressive skyline and great shopping opportunities. Izmir is known as the Turkish Riviera due to its beaches and resorts on both sides of the city. These three cities are definitely worth visiting if you want to see what Turkey has to offer!
5) Money saving tips
So, you want to go to Istanbul and take in all of its ancient and beautiful sights? Wonderful! Travelling can be a pain, but with these tips, you’ll find that it isn’t too bad. Just follow our simple instructions and you’ll save money while enjoying your trip: 1) Buy local and cheap food: Bring snacks with you from home or buy them when you land. Trying new foods is fun, but only if they don’t make up a majority of your meals. When travelling, it’s important to keep some variety in your diet; otherwise, health problems might arise. 2) Rent an apartment instead of staying at a hotel: You will spend about half as much by renting an apartment for a week than you would be staying at a hotel for five days. 3) Check out free attractions first: Don’t bother buying tickets to touristy places like Hagia Sophia or Topkapi Palace until after you’ve checked out what else there is to do around town. Many times there are museums, libraries, parks and other interesting sites nearby where admission is free—or close to it—and which won’t require standing in line.s