Turkey is so much more than the gorgeous skyline of Istanbul, its perfection hard to beat with the silhouettes of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque standing proud by the Bosphorus straddling two continents. Being in Turkey cannot be compared to being anywhere else in Asia, the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter! Its landscapes are unbelievable, like a fantastical dream- you only need to lay eyes on Cappadocia or Pamukkale to know this is true. And history is everywhere; in the old town of Istanbul, the underground cave cities in Cappadocia and the ruins of Ephesus. The food is incredible so be prepared for the extra pounds! No matter how much you get to see of the country, you will find yourself awe-struck more than once in Turkey.
What to Pack
For the cities: Smart and stylish casual and evening attire (the locals are fashionable and impeccably dressed in Istanbul), comfortable walking shoes, jackets, gloves and scarves (weather-appropriate). Outside of Istanbul, women dress modestly so carry loose and comfortable clothing. Covering knees, arms and shoulders is a must while visiting mosques.
For the outdoors: Good hiking shoes, layers (jackets, wind-cheaters etc.) that you can take off or put on while hiking in hilly regions or during long treks.
Turkish, Arabic, and English.
While you can get by with English, it’s helpful to learn a few basic Turkish phrases because not everyone speaks English. In Istanbul, many taxi drivers do not speak English. To get you started, here’s the phrase you’ll want to use the most 🙂
Teshekur ederim– Thank you
Need to Know
While shopping in Turkey, don’t forget to bargain. Tourist prices are highly marked up and there is A LOT of room for negotiation! While shopping in tourist areas like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, be careful to check the merchandise for any defects before your item is packed and handed to you.
Booking transport, tours and accommodation in
advance is recommended during the peak tourist seasons, especially if you’re visiting busy places like Istanbul or Cappadocia (where good cave hotels can get booked up fast). In off-peak season, you can book as you go.