I haven’t long come back from holiday in Turkey and it’s about my 7th holiday there in total. Having holidayed there a lot in the past few years I thought I would share some of my knowledge of the country and how to get the most out of your visit there.
1. Buy Your Currency Before You Leave
When it comes to money Turkey will accept either Lira or Euros. Currently the best way to get the most of your money is to exchange your money into Lira at home before you fly. Some shops will only advertise their prices in Euros but you can always ask them to convert the price into Lira for you which they are happy to do.
2. Visit a Turkish Market
Turkey is renowned for it’s ‘genuine fakes’. If you haven’t heard about them then get googling now. You can pick up anything from a Prada handbag to Ray Ban Sunglasses. All of which are not genuine but are very good replicas. I never miss the opportunity to pick up something new when I’m in Turkey and I’m always really impressed with the quality. My latest Instagram snap features my beloved Turkey Ray Bans.
3. Barter or Haggle
When you do visit the market or the shops selling clothing and accessories you need to haggle the price. This is expected in Turkey and part of the fun of shopping. If they give you a price don’t be afraid to knock a good 75% off. They may give you a horrified look and try and work up the price but it’s all in good humor. If I get something for about 60% off then I know I’ve bartered well.
4. Buy Your Visa Online
You are now required to purchase a Visa online prior to travelling to Turkey. You can find the Visa application site here. It’s really easy and straightforward to do and you can pay online and directly print off your E-Visa to allow you access into Turkey. This is something you must not forget and will make your travelling so much easier!
5. Travel by Dolmush
A dolmush is essentially a mini bus that will take you to set destinations. These have greatly improved over the years I have been going to Turkey. Dolmush’s will have the name of the city written on the side of the minibus that they are going to. It’s a great way to get around and visit the neighbouring areas to where you are staying. For as little as 2 Lira (about 50p) you can get out of the hotel for the day and explore.
6. If You’re Female Don’t Travel Alone
Unfortunately wherever you go there is always going to be something you need to stay wary of. I would not recommend travelling to Turkey as part of either a female duo or by yourself. In the evenings you should be specifically cautious around the beach areas if you are walking back to your hotel. I’ve been very close to what could have been a horrific situation and will always tell females travelling to Turkey to be aware of their surroundings.
7. Chat with the Locals
The locals in Turkey I find are exceptionally friendly and will try and stop you for a chat here, there and everywhere. I always make time for a quick chat with the people I meet. The Turkish do not like rude or ignorant people, so always stop and say hi.
8. Don’t Flush It
In some parts of Turkey their sewerage system isn’t quite up to our standards at home. I’ve stayed in numerous areas and hotels in Turkey now and I’ve only found that in one hotel I stayed at the toilet paper could not be flushed down the toilet. I think at most 4 and 5 star hotels in Turkey you can flush your loo roll but be aware that if there is a sign that says you shouldn’t, then don’t.
9. Be Prepared for the Heat
Turkeys climate is exceptionally hot and sticky in the summer months and you can see temperatures reaching highs of 40 degrees. Some of us Brits will have never seen temperatures like this before and it can be quite intense. Make sure you stay hydrated and cool down in the shade turning the hottest points of the day to avoid sunburn.
10. Don’t forget to Tip
Tip everyone and anyone is my top tip! (Pun intended) The people I tip most often are the maids, bar staff and waiters. When you tip in Turkey don’t leave it til the end of your stay either. More often than not if you do it early on in your holiday you will get lots of perks from it. From pool side service to your bed being decorated in swans and flowers petals. The Turkish always go out of their way and give above and beyond customer service to those guests who have been friendly and tipped them.
I hope you find these tips helpful if you’re due to visit Turkey. If you have any questions though about particular areas you can always tweet me @neesharees
Have you visited Turkey before? Would you add anything to my list of tips that I’ve left out?