Visiting Turkey? Know These Tips Before You Go

To discover the true essence of Turkish charm, a unique blend of fascinating history and delicious cuisine, try these following tips
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Turkey is a stunning travel destination known for its rich history, gorgeous landscapes, and vibrant culture. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it offers a unique blend of influences from both continents. You will be enchanted by the iconic city of Istanbul, where historic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque stand alongside bustling markets with a lively culinary scene.

Beyond Istanbul, Turkey's diverse landscapes lures travellers with their beauty. From the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia, featuring hot air balloon rides over fairy chimneys, to the ancient ruins of Ephesus and the pristine beaches of the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, the country is a treasure trove of natural wonders and historical marvels. However, there are a few things that you need to know before planning a trip so it gets easier to embrace the country's culture and have an immersive experience.

Carry Cash, Always

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Though credit cards are widely accepted and used in major cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir you'll still have to keep some cash as many smaller towns and independent shops want payments in cash. So be sure to carry some extra change for tipping waiters, paying taxi fares and using public bathrooms. 

Vegetarian-Friendly Cuisine 

Even though Turkey is known for being a nation of meat lovers, most local restaurants in Turkey also offer a wide variety of vegetarian options. Hummus, yoghurt, herbs and eggplant salad are some of the best meat-free options on the menus of every fish and kebab restaurant. 

Cats and Dogs Galore

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From busy city squares to the Mediterranean coast beaches, one can find stray cats and dogs roaming everywhere in Turkey. The locals usually take care of the animals and are very friendly, so there's no reason to fear them. 

Avoid Drinking Tap Water

Though tap water quality in Turkey differs from region to region, it is not used for drinking anywhere. You can, however, use the tap water to cook, make tea and brush your teeth. To be on the safer side, locals in big cities choose not to drink tap water even after the presence of filtration systems there.  

Different Greetings

People in Turkey are generally quite loving, which is visible in how they greet others. First encounters typically consist of a handshake, but if you're meeting a friend or someone you already know, it's a general rule there to kiss both cheeks, irrespective of gender. 

Exercise Caution When Crossing the Street

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Traffic in Turkey is a serious issue; however, even for pedestrians, it is a challenge. The zebra line doesn't have much significance here, so don't expect anyone to stop their cars so you can cross the street. Cross the roads only when the traffic lights are turned on, and vehicles are not moving. 

Istanbul: Tip of the Iceberg

When planning your trip to Turkey, try to go beyond Istanbul and other famous historical sites to experience the true charm of Turkey. From the valleys of the black sea region and the hiking routes of Lycia to the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia and Lake Van, the "land of the Turks" has a wide variety of landscapes to explore. 

Tea Is Hospitality

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As you navigate your way towards the timeless neighbourhoods of Istanbul or through the smaller towns of Turkey, be prepared to indulge yourself in several cups of honeyed Turkish tea every day. When out shopping, you'll notice the shopkeepers serving tea to each of their customers. The best way to enjoy this tea is by visiting a Turkish household. Since it is a sign of hospitality and generosity, it is usually advisable not to turn down the drink. 

 Alla Turca Toilets are Abundant 

One might not find these traditional squat-style alla turca toilets if they are only visiting Istanbul or any other famous city. If you like to explore the other side of life away from the bustle of cities, you better be accustomed to one of these. 

Getting There

Indian nationals can enter Turkey through any air, sea or land port using e-visa. The most convenient way is to take the flight. Check out flights from India to Turkey here.

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