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Turkey Travel Tips

Turkey travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.

Turkey travel tips
Submitted by M16426
- Learn a few words of the Turkish language, such as "Hello", "Thank you", and so on. Turkish people appreciate this very much.

- Always ask a price before you decide to buy a good or a service. e.g., once a shoeshine-boy begins to clean your shoes, you have to pay him anyway, and discussing the price is much more difficult after he did it than before.

- In Turkey, there are not fixed prices. Especially on markets and in small shops, you have to discuss the prices. Usually, you can get a ... view more discount of 40 % to 60 %. If it is possible, wait until another tourist has bought something and then ask him how much he payed. This can give you a good tip about the prices.

- Take suntan lotion with you. It is quite expensive there.

- In need of a rest room while in Turkey? Look for the nearest mosque. There are both women's and men's rest rooms.

Turkey travel tips: Transportation
Submitted by M16426
- Use a dolmus - an inexpensive transportation system - using cars from the 50's (in Istanbul) or mini-buses (elsewhere) as a cross between a bus and a taxi. You get on at certain locations, the dolmus has a predefined route, but you can get off anywhere. It will usually cost 50 cents, and the driver will not take a tip.

- You can make a quick trip from Istanbul to Canakkale via air. Dardanel Air offers a 40-minute flight for about $100 round-trip. Compared to a long bus ride this is worth it! They serve ... view more fruit juice & snacks, however, do not expect to find the customer service you find in the USA.
Turkey travel tips : Don't miss
Submitted by M16426
- When in Bodrum, take a one day boat trip from the harbor, about $10-20 CND ($7-14 US) includes lunch. Its very relaxing and beautiful, and will take you to a number of gorgeous little coves. It can be a bit too many people so spend a bit more and go on a day trip with only 5-10 people.

- Go to Dalyan - you can find a pension right on the river that leads from the lake to the sea. On the opposite side of the river are ancient tombs carved into the side of a mountain. During the day you can take a boat to the ... view more beach, the beach being a special turtle nesting area.

- Tahtakuslar Gallery, located between Altinoluk and Edremit, is an excellent opportunity to experience how Turkish nomads live and best of all it's free. Visitors can try on some of the clothes the nomads used to wear and have their picture taken. There is a museum that also displays handmade items from a village about a mile away. I believe it is a very good cultural experience for tourists

- Just 5 - 10 miles away from Tahtakuslar there are thermal hot springs named Gure Kaplicalari. It is very similar to Turkish baths. It is open 24-hours plus you can rent your own room for taking a bath. You pay a flat rate of around $2/room and you can stay as long as you want. They also have beds for people who want to spend the night. It is dirt cheap!! The spa is surrounded by olive trees and the area is referred to as "Oxygen Heaven" because of its clear air.

Turkey travel tips: Food
Submitted by M16426
- In the restaurants, keep track of what you ordered and notice the prices. Make your own bill (on a paper or with a pocket calculator). Do it obviously, so the waiters can see it. You will have no surprise when you ask for their "real" bill. Sometimes (often ?) there is a mistake in the addition ... Turkish language is not easy to read, even on a bill.

- Drink bottled water, and in restaurants make sure the bottle is unopened when it is brought to the table. Refuse it if it isn't.

- To ... view more really experience the Turkish eating/drinking 'behaviors' go to a restaurant (with a Turk, if possible) and drink Raki while eating mezze, small appetizers. This process should last a number of hours, while you talk about everything.

- Food, glorious food. Eat in tiny places, fancy places, huge places. The food is so superb that one can almost not miss.

- Don't drink the tap water. You can purchase water for about $1 a liter at any market. If you're on a budget, then purchase water like the natives do at the “SU” store. Su means water, and they use a hose and meter like a petrol or gas station. Three liters of water is about 10 cents.

Turkey Travel Tips: How to dress?
Submitted by M16426
- Don't bring too many clothes from home. Buy them there. It is inexpensive, especially if you discuss the price and bargain.

- Wear flat shoes for walking, and watch where you are walking. The sidewalks are often not only uneven, but also broken, with lots of unexpected holes.

- If you are male, don't wear shorts when you visit a mosque, unless you want to walk around it clad in a skirt. The skirt will be provided at the door, and you won't be allowed to enter until you have donned it!

- ... view more Ladies, if you are contemplating eating in small local restaurants you may be well advised to wear a skirt rather than pants. Many of these local places have toilets that are of the 'hole in the floor' variety!

- Wear the clothes you would normally wear in your own country, as you will see the same amount of variety in Turkey (I'm often asked if I need to wear a head scarf when I go!!)

- Take some 'water shoes' as many of the beaches are rocky.

Turkey Travel Tips : Money issues
Submitted by M16426
Oftentimes, it's the little things we learn that help make our travels more enjoyable.
Money Tips:

- You will get a better rate of exchange for cash than for travelers cheques. We found that the exchange places charged a commission for travelers cheques, but not for changing cash.

- When you bring cash make sure that none of the bills have ANY rips in them. We have had bills refused with small rips.

- Credit cards are used most places in Istanbul, but lots of cash or access to it is really ... view more necessary. The old thing of tipping with American dollars is not too well received - which is strange due to the strength of the dollar. Good advice was to change money every few days rather than a lot at once due to the unruly fluctuation of the value of the dollar.

- If you are planning to be in Turkey for more than a few days, convert your money a little at a time. Inflation is high in Turkey (50% in 1999) and you will be surprised by the changes a week in exchange rates can bring.

- When you arrive at the airport, the best place to exchange money is at the PTT (post office) inside baggage claim. And always count your money no matter who is making change. Turks do it and so should you!

- If you purchase your visa at your point of entry have cash. They do not take traveler's checks, credit cards or Turkish lira.

Do Not Change Cash at the Airport
Submitted by M05462
The banks at the airport charge commission to change money; in the city there are plenty of private exchange shops to be preferred to the banks (banks waste time and offer worse rate). They do not charge a commission in the city (except some exchange shops at the grand bazaar i.e. the one next to gate 1 ).

Using ATM for cash works fine everywhere. US$ and Euros are welcomed by almost any vendor, except museums. Credit cards are also good almost anywhere, though at times you are quoted a more competitive rate ... view more for cash.

Enjoy your visit!
Oguz Kosebalaban
Your host in Istanbul