5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to Turkey

Plus it is a country with amazing and diverse landscapes, people, cuisine, history, art and boundless adventure opportunities.
Here are 5 tips from Trish Sare, Founder and Director of BikeHike Adventures that will make your Turkish vacation a delight.

1. You Need a Visa

Turkish customs require nationals from many countries to obtain visas to enter Turkey. Visit Turizmfor details on whether you will require one. Before getting a visa, ensure that your passport has 6 months of validity from the date of entry into Turkey or you may be refused entry into Turkey. Visas generally take a couple of weeks to obtain.

2. A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

Turkish people are very friendly and if you think it would be a rewarding experience to get invited into a family home for Turkish coffee or tea, then learn a little of their langauge.

WorldNomads: But watch out for the men who take advantage of that friendly nature. Find out why “Hello, my friend!” is not always what you want to hear.

3. Carry Cash, in Different Currencies

The easiest currencies to convert into Turkish Lira are US dollars and Euro and change offices offer the best rates. There are also ATM machines throughout Turkey, however don’t solely rely on your ATM card as your main source of cash in the event that you cannot find a machine that will accept your card. Always have a mixture of cash (in small denominations), an ATM card and major credit cards. Traveler’s checks are not advisable as most stores won’t accept them and banks and post offices with very long wait times are the only places to cash them.

WorldNomads: Make sure you keep your cash and cards safe by following a few simple money security tips.

4. Cover Up

Turkey’s location, in both Europe and Asia, has created a fusion where east meets west and while cities can be quite cosmopolitan, the rural communities retain their old customs and traditions. Wherever you chose to travel to in Turkey, you should be aware of the proper dress etiquette. If you are a woman travelling outside of tourist areas then you should you learn how to dress to avoid unwanted attention.

WorldNomads: Women travellers can pick up a few more tips from Nomad Jade who’s also a police officer!

5. Traditional Turkish Toilets Abound

While many Turkish hotels, museums, restaurants, etc have western toilets, you‘ll definitely encounter a few squats as well. Beginners may feel challenged initially but soon enough will become accustomed and might even start to enjoy them. We recommend removing objects and wallets from your pockets in advance. There is generally a tap with running water located next to the squat which you can use to flush. Also always carry toilet paper and small coins with you as most public toilets (and the paper in them) are not free. Antiseptic wipes are also highly recommended.

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