Never been to Turkey before? Here are some handy hints about visiting one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world:
- Do I need a Visa?
Yes, tourists do need a visa. This visa entitles you to stay in the country for 90 days out of 180. You can’t get them at the airport in Turkey anymore so it’s best to apply online before you travel at the official government website. You’ll need to check you have at least 90 days left on your passport before it expires. For top Turkish accommodation, see Kas Villa Rental at kas4villarentals.com
- Are any vaccinations required?
In the past, travellers would have been vaccinated for travel to Turkey, but this is no longer the case. Doctors only recommend that you might consider tetanus and hepatitis A jabs, but this is recommended for travel anywhere in the world.
- Do women need to wear a head scarf?
While most coastal resorts in Turkey are liberal and relaxed, it is recommended to dress modestly and cover hair when visiting rural locations and traditional villages. In the towns and cities, it’s sensible to cover up but you don’t need to wear a head scarf. Of course, if you want to visit a mosque, you will need to cover your head.
You might have heard that many places in Turkey still use traditional squat toilets. Don’t be put off though, as most restaurants, hotels and bars have western-style toilets. Travelling around rural Turkey, you will undoubtedly come across the squat toilet and these are also found in modern airports at Dalaman and Izmir, but here you’ll find a combination of both. If you must use one, don’t panic, you’ll soon get the hang of it.
- Money matters
Try to familiarise with the Turkish Lira in its note and coin form before you travel. You’ll get a better exchange rate if you use banks and shops in Turkey and not ones at the airport or agencies in the UK. Let your bank know if you intend to use a card in Turkey so they don’t put any security restrictions on it while you’re away. Cash machines are widely available in populated areas.
Using your own network can prove very pricey indeed, so you might wish to rely on the Wi-Fi on offer at most hotels, restaurants and bars in Turkey. Just remember that these are open networks, so security and privacy will be lower. Mobile hotspots are available from Turkish mobile companies for up to 10 devices and this might be a better option for family travel.
You’ll be pleased to learn that the tap water in Turkey is very clean, having been treating by many sanitation processes. However, it does have a high calcium content giving it a rather bitter taste. You might prefer to buy bottled water from shops as the Turks do themselves.