Bearing in mind a few practical tips while visiting Turkey will help you save time and money and perhaps avoid finding yourself in difficult situations. In many circumstances, you will find that people are friendly and helpful and willing to rush to your aid, however it is always worth keeping the following practical advice in the back of your mind just in case:
Flying should be your first choice for travel between cities. The rail system network is very limited and the bus options are low on comfort.
If you find yourself using the bus for travel between cities, then try and select a very established bus company which operates on a national level.
For inner-city travel, buying a public transport pass will ensure you can use all of public transport easily and seamlessly. If you intend to stay for longer than a month, then a monthly pass will be even more economical.
You can choose to use a taxi for travelling inside the metropolis. When getting into a taxi, make sure that the meter has been cleared and started over for your journey.
In more rural areas, special ‘dolmus’ or minibus routes are usually the only public transport option available. These are not the most comfortable way to travel and their timing is irregular.
For a long stay in a rural area, it may make more sense to rent a car.
You must be aware of street peddlers when shopping, especially in terms of price and quality. There will always be some peddlers who will try to sell cheap and low quality items to tourists at extortionate prices. Before embarking on this kind of shopping venture, make sure you have researched well and are ready for a good bout of haggling during the sale process as this will certainly end in a good deal for you.
Before buying from shops selling tourists items such as rugs, gifts, etc. make sure to research similar items in order to gain an understanding of prices.
Try to ensure that you have your tour guide, or someone local who you know, with you while carrying out shopping transactions.
If your trip to Turkey is for vacation purposes rather than business, then it is a good idea to stay in smaller hotels or motels in larger cities and pensions in vacation resorts rather than large expensive hotels.
You can find many inexpensive small yet good quality hotels in Istanbul and Ankara which are practical from a location perspective to ensure you can get around the city.
If you plan to stay longer than a month, you could rent an apartment from an estate agent, or use the popular Craigslist to find many alternative accommodation options.
When visiting holy places of worship, make sure you are appropriately dressed. This will be seen by the religious order and the other visitors as a mark of respect on your behalf.
Exchange bureaus are open for all business hours during the week. Don’t forget to get your currency before the evening and the weekends. Exchange bureaus are open for all business hours during the week. Don’t forget to get your currency before the evening and the weekends.
Try the Turkish Baths in the local districts rather than the hotels.
When eating out at restaurants which don’t have menus, make sure to ask the prices of the dishes before ordering, otherwise you will be charged very high tourist prices.
Be careful when choosing where to eat spicy foods and offal dishes, especially during the hot summer months.
Food sold outside and in the open is a part of the local culture and is very delicious. However, show diligence with these foods during the hot summer months and choose wisely.