Turkey is undeniably stunning, from breathtaking mountain ranges to gorgeous beaches. Its culture blends both modern and traditional traditions, and the food is simply irresistible.
Traveling across Turkey is simple with buses that are comfortable yet cost-effective; however, there are certain things you should keep in mind before visiting Turkey.
1. Learn the Language
There are numerous methods for learning the Turkish language before traveling, from textbooks that provide basic vocabulary and grammar lessons to audio resources that enable you to practice Turkish while listening to music or watching television. You could also enroll in classroom learning with an experienced Turkish instructor who can correct as you go – although this option might be better suited for people looking to pick it up quickly or who are unable to commit fully-time classes.
As part of your Turkish language learning experience, it’s also beneficial to become acquainted with its basic grammar structures such as its agglutinative structure and complex system of vowel harmony that organizes depth, rounding and aperture of each sound. Doing this will make understanding pronunciation of words and phrases much simpler when learning a new vocabulary.
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all method of studying a foreign language, it’s wise to experiment with various approaches until you find something that suits you. Some use flashcards, sticky notes or quizzing a friend before traveling while others prefer learning through an app or video series that provides real world dialogue lessons.
2. Keep a Scarf or Shawl in Your Bag
Turkey is an intriguing, dynamic country. Boasting an expansive past as an empire and being home to one of the 15th largest economies globally, Turkey serves as an impressive cultural crossroads where Eastern and Western influences collide, creating a fascinating fusion of history, culture and cuisine.
Scarves or shawls are essential travel accessories in Turkey, as it may be required in more conservative areas to cover shoulders and head. Furthermore, it would be wise to bring one if visiting mosques or similar religious centers as these places tend to be stricter when it comes to covering your body properly.
Foreign women traveling in Turkey rarely draw much of an audience; however, to avoid unwanted stares and catcalls it would be beneficial to pack a scarf or shawl in your bag for protection.
Booking a small-group adventure tour is the best way to see Turkey. Discover top historical sites on a visit to Istanbul or experience Cappadocia through balloon tour with Culture Trip.
3. Take Vaccinations
Turkey offers an abundance of diverse climate and topography features, from world-famous beaches to its legendary hot air balloons. Additionally, Turkey boasts rich history, a flourishing arts scene, and delectable cuisine; and is best enjoyed during spring and fall when temperatures remain relatively stable.
Peak season in Turkey typically begins around mid to late June when schools close for summer vacation, attracting large numbers of visitors at higher prices and reduced availability at hotels and other accommodations. July and August see the temperature reach its apex, yet seaside resorts and cities still provide pleasant experiences for visitors.
Spring and early fall provide more comfortable weather, with cooler temperatures and minimal precipitation. This makes spring an excellent time to visit Istanbul without being overwhelmed by crowds, or Cappadocia with less-crowded hot air balloon flights. As winter creeps closer, temperatures become significantly colder; airfares become more cost-effective; there may even be offers on accommodation or activity packages!
4. Don’t Forget to Bring Cash
Turkish lira is the official currency used in Turkey, while traders tend to accept other types of money due to high bank fees and less-than-favorable exchange rates. Hotels may accept other forms of currency; whenever possible, though, try paying with local currency as this will give you the best overall exchange rate.
Credit cards are widely accepted in Turkey, although it’s advisable to keep some cash handy for tips and smaller purchases. Certain ATMs may not accept certain card types; as a precautionary measure it’s wise to carry an alternate card just in case anything arises that requires using it. When possible opt for ATMs attached to banks rather than freestanding booths; they tend to be safer and less vulnerable to being tampered with.
Turkey offers numerous transportation options to get around, including trains, buses, and flights. Flying between cities is usually the fastest and cheapest way, while busses may provide another form of travel but are usually inconvenient to use overnight due to limited leg room and difficulty sleeping on board.
5. Be Careful with Your Words
Turkey is an incredible and diverse nation, full of fascinating sites to see and experiences to enjoy, yet due to the recent political unrest many are reluctant to visit this cross-continental nation.
If you plan to travel, it’s wise to keep a few key details in mind when planning. Learning the local language will not only make your trip much simpler but will also allow you to impress locals!
Be mindful when using words and gestures; even gestures you might use without thinking could be considered offensive in Turkey, such as making an “o” shape with thumb and forefinger to indicate homosexuality; clicking your tongue acts like giving someone the middle finger;
Learn Turkish well enough to know how to say thank you when dealing with any service industry workers, especially as the Turks appreciate being thanked in their native tongue. Educating yourself about Turkish can also make for a more pleasant and efficient travel experience, so take time out of your day to study their language – you may even find books at local bookstores that provide English-to-Turkish translations!