Turkey has always been a land of contrasts. Cosmopolitan Istanbul stood at the head of the Byzantine Empire for a thousand years, while its Islamic successors, the Ottomans, ruled the Mediterranean and beyond for six centuries more. This long Christian and Islamic history has left a legacy of historical sites, while Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline has long been famous for its beaches and wild nightlife. Travel Turkey east into the interior, however, and a more traditional land unfolds where life moves slowly and the legendary Turkish hospitality lives on.
Currency: Turkish Lira (₺)
Entry requirements: U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least 90 days after your return date, though we strongly recommend at least six months. U.S. passport holders need a visa to enter Turkery for stays up to 90 days. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.
If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.
Electricity & Power Adapters: 230 volts. Plugs C, F & L. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.
Best Time to Visit: The weather in Turkey varies greatly depending on the region. Almost all of Turkey experiences sunny, dry summers. In Istanbul, the summers are especially hot and humid. Eastern Turkey has short summers and bitterly cold winters. Some regions, such as Central Anatolia, are dry and hot in the summer and rainy and snowy in the winter. If you plan to visit beaches, June through September is the best time to travel. Generally, the best months for touring are April-May and September-October, due to less rainfall and more pleasant temperatures.
Shopping: Turkey is a shopper’s paradise! From unique, handmade items to fine leather, there is something to please everyone. Popular items include handwoven rugs and kilims, copper, and brass. Please be aware that some items labeled “antique” are fake. If you purchase an antique, be sure to obtain an official permit to export it. It is always a good idea to comparison-shop, and exercise the “buyer-beware” rule, just as you do at home. Be sure to inspect the merchandise before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.
Tipping Customs: Though not expected, you could give 10-15% at restaurants, if service charge is not included.