Tips about Turkey


We recently made a trip to Turkey to test our circuit to Istanbul and Cappadocia. Based on our experience we give you our tips for your trips to Turkey, for any questions do not hesitate to call us or write us, we will be happy to solve all your concerns prior to the trip to Turkey. If you have enough time, you can also extend your stay with Greece tours as well with a easy ferry connection from Turkey to Rhodes, Lesvos, Chios or Samos Island.

Advice on documentation and entrance requirements to Turkey:

You will need a passport and visa. More information on documentation needed to travel to Turkey.

Tips on using mobile and Internet in Turkey:

Our advice is that you remove the data and activate your corresponding roaming rate.

For Internet connections, Mapatours buses have Wi-Fi, and hotels also. If you need internet and have free mobile phones at the airport, they sell sim cards for € 25 with data, sms, minutes, enough for a month.

Currency and tips on change in Turkey:

The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira. The change is usually made in banks, hotels and exchange houses. There is the possibility of paying directly with a credit card or directly taking Turkish liras from your ATM. The places with better change are exchange houses and banks, the difference is that in the bank they charge you commission.

Those who exchanged money at the Madrid airport (Barajas) for € 50 got 120 Turkish lira, while those who exchanged money at the exchange offices at the Istanbul airport obtained a change of 150 Turkish lira for € 50.

More information about the currency in Turkey.

Electricity and plugs
The electric current is 220 volts. The plug in Turkey is the same as the European plug, so you do not need a plug adapter to travel to Turkey.

Time difference and schedules
The time in Turkey is GMT + 2 so one hour more than in Spain.

Store hours are usually from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm, except on Sundays.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul opens from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

In tourist areas of Turkey some establishments remain open 24:00 hours.

The official language of Turkey is Turkish, although Kurdish, Armenian, Greek and Arabic are also spoken in some regions of the country. However, in English you will understand each other perfectly, and in many places also in Spanish.

Gastronomy and tips for eating well in Turkey
Turkish restaurants usually open 24 hours and usually offer a large selection of soups, entrees, salads, vegetables, meat and fish, as well as Turkish delights, desserts and magnificent fruit. Turkey beer and wine are of high quality.

You can not leave Turkey without having tried:

– Soups: the lentil soup, does not sound as rich as you know.

– Arnavut cigeri, çerkez tavugu, or tarama: roe sauce with fish.

– Their meats: the lamb prepared in an authentic doner kebap.

– The typical baklavas: puff pastries and honey filled with pistachios

– Pilav: dishes of puff pastry borekler of minced meat, vegetables and cheese, cheeses and aubergines and Turkish cucumbers

We recommend you accommodation with breakfast or half board just to enjoy Turkish cuisine.

Shopping tips in Turkey
The items you must buy in Turkey and nowhere else in the world are carpets, kilims, embroidery, jewelry, copperware, leather, jewelry, precious stones, oriental fabrics, silks, marquetry, spices, Turkish coffee, tea and antiques. More information about good and cheap good shopping in Turkey.

Do not forget to haggle down to half the first price they offer and take a look at everything before deciding where to make purchases.

Tips on what clothes to take to Turkey
The recommended clothing is adaptable to different temperatures (strategy of carrying as many layers as onions), light cotton garments and comfortable shoes and already used to avoid surprises. Our advice is that you look at the weather in the different areas of Turkey that you are going to visit because it varies a lot. In areas like Cappadocia, the temperatures between day and night vary more than 20º.

For visits to the mosques, wear modest clothes and do not mark the forms, plus a handkerchief to cover the head. If you forget this advice do not worry because in the Blue Mosque, they lend you a habit to enter.

Do not forget the sunglasses and the umbrella, you might need them, as the time varies constantly.

The country very safe, people especially in Cappadocia and Istanbul is charming and we had no problem at any time, rather the opposite. As an example, we lacked a lira to enter a road bathroom and a small child appeared and he lent it without asking us. We did not have any problems with robberies, harassment going out at night, etc. The Turks are charming, respectful and educated. They are also a hospitable culture, if a traveler arrives and has nowhere to stay they have to costubmre to lodge him in their house for free.

As an exception, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises to avoid the area of ​​eastern Turkey bordering Kurdistan.

Transportation tips and how to get around in Turkey
We advise you to cross the Bosphorus, to be at the same time between 4 seas (Black, Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean) and between two continents: Europe and Asia.

Boat trips from Istanbul are made from the Galata Bridge (Karaköy), Sirkeci or Eminönü.

In Turkey, rail transport has lines connecting the most important cities. The trains are modern and have restaurant and sleeper cars of different kinds.

The yellow taxis can stand on the street without problems, all have a meter. There is a collective taxi known as dolmus. They have fixed rates given by the city council. It is better to negotiate a price previously, since with taximeter it is possible that the taxi driver lengthens the route, while fixing a previous price (about 15 liras, € 5 for a 15-minute journey) we make sure they take us along the way more short, and the price difference will be one or two lire with respect to the meter, according to our experience is better to prevent scams.

Traditions, customs and culture to enjoy
Tradition and custom that you can not miss: the Turkish baths or Haman.

They have their origin due to the strict cleanliness imposed by the Turkish religion and culture, thanks to which haman were present in all populations as early as the Middle Ages. You cover yourself with a fine cloth towel, and you go to the massage area, called tellak the masculine and natir the feminine, these massages serve for deep cleansing of the skin and improve blood circulation. Then we go to the Turkish baths, with benches and marble piles, the sensation when lying on the hot marble is indescribable, salts of the Turkish baths being a new person.

Art and culture that you can not miss: music and typical dances.
Dancing is one of the richest and most varied forms of artistic expression in Turkey. On the tour through Istanbul and Cappadocia there is a show of typical dances, among which we can highlight the magical dance of the belly and the whirling dervishes, which do not stop spin around themselves until you almost go into a trance.

On Turkish music: there are two branches: the music of the Ottoman court and popular music, coming from the Asian steppes.

Tips on mobile and Internet in Turkey
Remember to call your mobile company to activate the roaming rate.
The best option is to deactivate the tariff data and the itinerant data when they board the plane, since once abroad the cost is exorbitant. To connect to the Internet in Turkey, you can do it for free in places with wifim such as hotels and buses.
If you need Internet more frequently we recommend you buy a sim at the airport in Istanbul, which for € 25 has sms, minutes of calls and Internet to spare for the trip, is much cheaper than Internet roaming rates.
Other tips for your trips to Turkey
– In Istanbul, visits are better done on foot than by bus due to traffic. However, in Cappadocia distances are greater and transportation is better.
– If you want you can visit Turkey for free but that you explain the underground cities and the Gorëme valley in Cappadocia and Hagia Sophia and Topkapi to be able to feel part of the history and appreciate the beauty of these places.
– Turkey is not a poor country, do not imagine it like India or some areas of Morocco, a few years ago there was no beggar and now there are very respectful and are not of Turkish origin but Syrian, due to the unstable situation what’s in Syria today.