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Location:Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria
Currency:Turkish liras (TRY)
Area:783,562 sq km
Population:82,482,383 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages
Religion:Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)
Things to Do
1. Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia
Experience breathtaking views as you float above the unique landscapes of Cappadocia. This hot air balloon ride will take you over the fairy chimneys, ancient cave dwellings, and stunning valleys.
2. Visit the Hagia Sophia
Explore the architectural marvel of the Hagia Sophia, a former Greek Orthodox church, later an Ottoman imperial mosque, and now a museum. Admire the intricate mosaics and stunning domed ceilings.
3. Pamukkale Thermal Pools
Take a dip in the famous terraced hot springs of Pamukkale. The white mineral-rich water cascades down the mountainside, creating a surreal and stunning natural wonder.
4. Explore the Ruins of Ephesus
Step back in time and discover the ancient ruins of Ephesus. Walk along the well-preserved streets, admire the grand theater, and marvel at the iconic Library of Celsus.
5. Cruise the Bosphorus Strait
Embark on a scenic cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, the waterway that separates Europe and Asia. Admire the stunning architecture of Istanbul's waterfront palaces and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
6. Hike the Lycian Way
Embark on a multi-day hiking adventure along the Lycian Way, a scenic trail that stretches along the coast of Turkey. Explore ancient ruins, picturesque villages, and enjoy breathtaking coastal views.
7. Cappadocia Cave Exploration
Go underground and explore the fascinating cave dwellings of Cappadocia. Wander through ancient churches, visit underground cities, and learn about the unique history and culture of the region.
8. Visit the Lycian Rock Tombs
Marvel at the ancient Lycian rock tombs carved into the cliffs in Dalyan. These impressive burial chambers date back to the 4th century BC and offer a glimpse into the region's rich history.
9. Explore the Grand Bazaar
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. Wander through the maze-like alleys filled with shops selling carpets, spices, jewelry, and traditional Turkish crafts.
10. Hot Springs of Hierapolis
Relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs of Hierapolis, located near Pamukkale. The mineral-rich waters are said to have healing properties and offer a peaceful and serene bathing experience.
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Turkey has a diverse climate, with different regions experiencing different weather patterns. The coastal regions have a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. The central regions have a more continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. The eastern regions have a more arid climate, with hot summers and cold winters.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Turkey is during the spring, which runs from April to May. The weather is perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities, with mild temperatures and comfortable conditions. This is also the time when the flowers are in full bloom, making it an ideal time for scenic walks and outdoor excursions.
The fall, which runs from September to October, is also a good time to visit. The weather is still pleasant, and there are fewer tourists, which can make for a more authentic experience. This is also the time when the trees and vineyards are turning into colorful hues and makes it a perfect time for photography.
The summer is not the best time to visit Turkey for sightseeing, as the weather can be hot and dry. However, it is also less crowded and the prices tend to be lower. If you're planning to visit during the summer, it's best to focus on coastal activities or head to the east side of the country where the temperatures are less hot.
Turkey has a wide range of hotels, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Many of the larger hotels are located in tourist hotspots such as Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum and Cappadocia, but there are also many smaller, more intimate hotels located in more remote areas of the country.
Vacation rentals, such as apartments and villas, are becoming increasingly popular in Turkey. They offer more privacy and space than a hotel and are often more affordable than a luxury hotel. Vacation rentals can be found in most towns and cities across Turkey and are a great option for families or groups of friends traveling together.
Guesthouses are a popular accommodation option for budget-conscious travelers in Turkey. These small, family-run establishments offer basic amenities and a homely atmosphere at a fraction of the cost of a hotel. Guesthouses can be found in most towns and cities across Turkey, as well as in rural areas.
Hostels are a popular accommodation option for budget-conscious travelers in Turkey. They offer dormitory-style rooms and shared facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens. Many hostels also offer private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Hostels can be found in most towns and cities across Turkey, and are a great option for solo travelers and backpackers.
Bed and Breakfast
Bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodations are a popular option for travelers looking for a more personal experience. They offer a homey atmosphere, comfortable rooms, and a delicious breakfast. B&Bs can be found in most towns and cities across Turkey, and are a great option for travelers looking for a more authentic experience.
Ottoman Houses (Konak)
An Ottoman house, or Konak, is a traditional Turkish house typically found in the historic districts of cities like Istanbul, Safranbolu, and Edirne. These houses are typically large, multi-level buildings with ornate decor and architecture, and they often feature courtyards and rooftop terraces.
Cappadocia is a region in central Turkey known for its unique landscape of fairy chimneys, cave dwellings and underground cities. These cave houses are carved into the soft volcanic tuff rock and have been converted into charming hotels, providing a unique experience of staying in a cave.
Yurts are traditional tents used by nomadic groups in Central Asia and Turkey. They are circular tents made of felt or canvas and are typically decorated with colorful fabrics and rugs. Yurts can be found in many national parks and tourist areas in Turkey, and are a unique way to experience the country's nomadic heritage.
Traditional Ottoman Hotels
There are also traditional Ottoman hotels in Turkey, which offer a blend of traditional Ottoman architecture and modern amenities. These hotels often feature ornate decor, domed ceilings, and traditional Turkish baths. They can be found in cities such as Istanbul, Safranbolu, and Edirne.
Buses are a popular and inexpensive way to get around Turkey. The bus system is extensive and covers most parts of the country, with frequent services to major cities and towns. Bus travel is a comfortable and efficient way to get around, with many bus companies offering different levels of comfort and amenities.
Trains are a comfortable and efficient way to travel in Turkey, particularly for longer distances. The main railway line, TCDD, connects most major cities and towns, with frequent services and different levels of comfort.
Car rental is a popular option for those who want more flexibility and independence when traveling around Turkey. There are many car rental companies in the country, with a wide range of vehicles available to rent. However, it's important to be aware of the local traffic laws and road conditions before renting a car.
Domestic flights are a convenient and relatively fast way to travel around Turkey, particularly for those who are short on time or want to get to remote areas. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines are the main domestic airlines that operate flights to most of the major tourist destinations, such as Istanbul, Antalya and Izmir.
Taxi and Dolmuş
Taxis and Dolmuş (shared minibuses) are a popular and inexpensive way to get around in cities and towns. They are convenient for short distances, however, it's important to agree on a fare before setting off and be aware of the traffic conditions. Taxis and Dolmuş are not always available in rural areas and remote destinations.
- The currency in Turkey is the Turkish lira (TRY).
- Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas.
Cash And Cards
- It is recommended to carry both cash and cards in Turkey.
- ATMs are widely available in cities and towns.
- ATMs are easily accessible in Turkey.
- Be cautious of skimming devices and always cover your PIN while using an ATM.
- Tipping is common in Turkey.
- It is customary to leave a 10-15% tip in restaurants and cafes.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Turkey is generally lower compared to Western European countries.
- Prices for accommodation, transportation, and food are affordable.
- Be aware of common scams in tourist areas, such as overcharging, fake goods, and taxi scams.
- Always use licensed and metered taxis.