I’ve recently noticed an uptick in the number of articles in the blogosphere offering tips and advice about Turkey travel. While I haven’t read every article on the subject, I have perused a few of the more popular ones. Some of them are excellent and offer useful advice for tourists visiting Turkey. Some of them, on the other hand, don’t seem to contain as much useful or relevant information. Or, at least they don’t give the kind of advice that I would want to have as a visitor to Turkey.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d offer a list of what I consider to be some of the best Turkey travel tips that I’ve seen on the web. These articles are relevant, accessible, and thoughtful, and while they certainly don’t cover every imaginable issue that a traveler might run up against in Turkey, I suggest this collection as a good starting point for the would-be Turkey traveler.
The first couple of suggestions aren’t actually blog posts, but they nicely address the practicalities of traveling to and around Turkey. Fodor’s Turkey Travel Guide and Rough Guides Turkey are excellent places to start for basic travel information.
I’m a faithful reader of the blog at Property Turkey. The Property Turkey team regularly publishes some interesting and useful articles on living and traveling in Turkey. Here are a few their recent articles that I believe could be helpful for Turkey travelers:
- 11 Questions First-Time Travelers Ask About Turkey. My wife and I have asked a couple of these questions more than once.
- 13 Unspoken Turkish Rules You Might Not Know and 12 MORE Unspoken Turkish Rules You Might Not Know. I would have liked to have known a few of these sooner!
- Common Tourist Scams to Avoid in Turkey. Sad to say, even I’ve been a victim of number 1.
I really like this list of 6 Tips for Traveling to Turkey by Natalie Jesionka at The Muse. Following these thoughtful tips about culture and history could help make a traveler’s experience in Turkey richer and more meaningful.
Natalie Sayin, author of the popular and respectable Turkish Travel Blog, offers some good pointers about local customs in her post, Turkish Culture – A Guide to Social Traditions.
Before visiting Turkey, it would be good to know just a bit of the Turkish language. Being able to speak even a few words or phrases goes a long way with locals. Here’s a list of 12 Extraordinarily Useful Turkish Phrases published on Matador Network.
Also offered on Matador Network, here’s an insightful list of What NOT to do in Turkey. I wholeheartedly agree with this list of don’ts!
For women, G Adventures offers 10 Tips for Women Traveling in Turkey. Property Turkey also offers an insightful article on the subject from a Western woman’s perspective: Living or Traveling as a Solo Foreign Woman in Turkey.
If you dare to drive in Turkey, I suggest doing a bit of reading on how driving in Turkey differs from driving in Western countries. Start by clicking through the links at Turkey Travel Planner’s Safe Driving in Turkey page, especially the Turkish Road Warrior Driving Tips.
Wondering what to do and where to visit when you’re in Turkey? Well, everyone in Turkey has an opinion or two on this subject. Touropia lists the 10 Best Places to Visit in Turkey, the 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Turkey, the 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Istanbul, and 6 Great Day Trips from Istanbul (which includes Bursa!). The Culture Trip recommends The 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Turkey, and Today’s Zaman suggests a list of Turkey’s Prettiest Villages. If you’re into history, Barefoot Travel lists the 15 UNESCO Sites in Turkey. If you like the beach, Daily Sabah reports that Turkey Ranks Second in Blue Flag Beaches. If you like the Great Outdoors, Banker in the Sun suggests Seven Natural Attractions in Turkey Too Beautiful for Words.
If you’re wondering how much money a visit to Turkey might cost you, read about Travel Costs & Prices in Turkey at Turkey Travel Planner.
At some point during your visit to Turkey, you’ll undoubtedly be invited into a shop to look at Turkish rugs and carpets. Before you do, you may want to read Captivating Cappadocia’s honest and informative Turkish Carpet Buying Guide: 10 Key Characteristics to Understand. For other popular souvenir ideas, take a look at The Best Souvenirs to Buy in Turkey at Turkey Travel Blog or see my suggestions at The Best of Bursa’s Stay, Eat, and Shop page.
One of the quintessential Turkish experiences you may enjoy is a visit to a hamam, or Turkish bath. If so, you can learn What to Expect When Visiting a Turkish Bath or Hamam from Witt Hotels Magazine.
And finally, I can’t resist but to offer a few of my own Turkey travel tips. Some of these are already mentioned in the articles linked above, but for the sake of emphasis…
- If possible, get out of Istanbul. Istanbul is a great city that everyone should visit, but we recommend that you get out of the city and away from the tourist traps and experience the richness of Turkish culture in places a little off the beaten path.
- Don’t be afraid to experience the culture. Do everything, go everywhere, try anything, eat all kinds of food, drink all kinds of drinks. As much as possible, interact with the locals. Learn why they do what they do and say what they say. Ask them about their history, their families, their religion, their customs, and their traditions. Participate in as much of the culture as you comfortably can.
- As mentioned in many of the linked articles, do try to learn a little bit of Turkish before you come. Then make every effort to use what you’ve learned while you’re on the street. Ask locals to help you pronounce new words and phrases. Enjoy the experience and ignore the sense of self-consciousness that you might feel when you stumble over words.
- Appreciate the hospitality that Turkish people offer, and receive that hospitality with grace and gratitude. Look for and respond to invitations to drink tea with locals, eat a meal with locals, enter a Turkish home, or attend a Turkish ceremony. Of course, do this within the bounds of reason and safety.
- Most importantly, of course, make a stop in Bursa part of your itinerary. If you need a little convincing, read Why Visit Bursa? or review The Best of Bursa’s Top 10 Things to do in Bursa on Holiday.
There you go. Though this list of articles and tips is not at all exhaustive, you are now probably ready to start planning your exciting adventure in Turkey. Have fun! Īyi eğlenciler!