Turkey: detailed travel guide

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Turkey: detailed travel guide

The disseminated image of the country of all-inclusive hotels, where you can go only if you do not have money for a decent vacation, has long been far from the truth. In this travel guide to Turkey, you can find out why millions of travelers choose this country of culture at the crossroads of East and West every year.

Turkey belongs to the conditionally visa-free countries: for tourists from Russia, there is a rule according to which you can stay in the country for 90 days in half a year, a one-time period of stay should not exceed 60 days.

Despite the oriental temperament of local residents, the country can be safely called safe. Turks have great respect for guests and strive to do everything to please them. In tourist regions, you can safely walk in the evenings without fear of unpleasant meetings. The exception is Istanbul – here you need to be careful enough with your belongings (petty thefts are not uncommon), and for night walks around the city choose crowded streets or taxis.

The national currency is Turkish Lira (TRY).

It is optimal to bring euros or dollars with you – they can be paid in many places (but the exchange rate will not be in your favor) or exchanged for local lira. It is also convenient to pay with bank cards: most shops, restaurants, hotels accept Visa, Mastercard and even Mir cards for payment. You can withdraw money from the card using ATMs (all instructions are most often available in several languages, including English and Russian). It makes no sense to bring cash rubles with you – you will lose a significant amount during the exchange.

If we summarize the interest of various tourists in this country, then undoubtedly Turkey attracts:

  • quality beach holidays (which are really beautiful and very diverse here, like all 4 sea coasts washing the country);

    Aegean Sea, Fethiye surroundings

    Aegean Sea, Fethiye surroundings

  • an excellent climate that gives health and energy (the southern regions of the country are more than 300 sunny days a year, a combination of mountain and sea air);
  • the richest history (countless number of ancient monuments of the Antique, Byzantine, Ottoman eras have been preserved here, any corner of the country is literally an open-air museum);
  • unique nature (you can see the seas, mountain rivers and peaks, canyons, gorges, caves, lakes, islands, hot mineral springs and even extinct volcanoes);
  • inexhaustible opportunities for outdoor activities (hiking, cycling, river rafting, sea travel, yachting, diving, parasailing, paragliding and hot air ballooning, winter sports, etc.);
  • various cultural events (festivals, concerts, exhibitions, museums and other events);
  • ultra-modern cities, where all the novelties and possibilities are available, which easily coexist with completely authentic villages, where life has hardly changed over the past 100 years;
  • attitude to children (this is one of the most “child-loving” countries, where they try to do everything to make you and your child comfortable and interesting);
  • variety of cuisine, hospitality, fresh and delicious products;
  • good shopping and much more.

During the days of national holidays, Turkey becomes especially colorful. During the bayram period (religious holidays of Muslims), literally the whole country goes somewhere – it is customary to visit their relatives, who usually live in various parts of Turkey. Any celebrations, religious and secular, whether it is Spring Meeting, Youth and Sports Day, Flower Festival, wedding or victory of your favorite football team are always held here very brightly, loudly and joyfully, charging all participants with a good dose of positive.

How to get there

From the point of view of transport accessibility, Turkey is very conveniently located – at the junction of Europe and Asia. The easiest and fastest way to get to the country is by air. You can travel from neighboring countries by train, bus, car or water.

By plane

New airport in Istanbul

New airport in Istanbul

Most international flights to Turkey are connecting flights. The transfer is usually in Istanbul – from here, in a few hours of flight, you can get to almost any corner of the country.

The main Turkish air carrier Turkish Airlines has regular flights. You can also get to Turkey by low-cost airlines (such as Pegasus, Atlasglobal and others). During the high season and winter holidays, charter flights appear.

If you are planning a self-connecting flight, please note that there are two arrival points in Istanbul – Sabiha Gokcen Airport and New Airport. There are 97 kilometers between them. It is very long and inconvenient to get there on its own – it is difficult to calculate the travel time taking into account the Istanbul traffic. You can take a special shuttle by HavaIst (route Ist-8). Travel time is about 1.5–2 hours without taking into account the difficulties on the roads.

By bus

There are no direct bus routes from Russia to Turkey. There are such routes between Turkey and its closest neighbors, with whom the country has land borders.

The largest Turkish carrier, Metro Turism, has flights from Bulgaria, Georgia and Greece to Istanbul. Regular bus transportation is established between Turkey and Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Macedonia. Flights are operated by Alpar.

You can also find buses to Turkey from Georgia. Most often they follow to Ankara or Antalya.

On a ferryboat

From Greece, it is convenient to get to Turkey by water. There are ferries from almost any Greek island to Bodrum, Marmaris, Kusadasi and other cities of the Aegean coast (about 10 destination ports). Most often, such Greek islands as Chios, Samos, Kos, Rhodes are used as “gates”.

For a long time, the ferry was a great way to get to Turkey and from Russia. From the Crimean peninsula, ferries went to Istanbul, Trabzon, Zonguldak.

However, this practice has now been suspended indefinitely.

By train

Sirkeci Station, Istanbul

Sirkeci Station, Istanbul

Due to the peculiarities of the landscape, the railway communication in Turkey is not very developed. However, Istanbul can be reached by train from nearby countries. Trains arrive at different points in the city: from Asian countries to Haydarpaşa station, from European countries – to Sirkeci station.

Please note that both stations are currently under reconstruction.

Flights from Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia temporarily arrive at the Halkalı station, from where passengers are transported by a free transfer to Sirkeci station. Check the latest information before traveling.

By car

Many people prefer freedom of movement, and Turkey is famous for its excellent highways, so more and more travelers choose to travel by car.

The main points of entry into the country are the borders with Bulgaria, Greece and Georgia. If you are driving through the northern borders, it would be best to bypass Istanbul with its huge complex traffic and use, for example, the Gelibolu – Lapseki road crossing.

Going on such a trip, take into account the peculiarities of local traffic – in Turkey they drive quickly, not always observing traffic rules and warning about your maneuvers, be careful!
Some of the major autobahns in the country are paid. To pay for such a route, you need to issue an HGS sticker on your car when entering Turkey. This can be done at any post office by immediately depositing a certain amount into the account, which will be debited from you as you use toll roads. The sticker is glued to the windshield. When you enter the toll part of the track, the system automatically reads you and debits the payment.

History of Turkey

The middle part of the territory of Turkey is Asia Minor. These places are called the cradle of civilizations.

Prehistoric times

Even in the Stone Age, nomadic tribes of hunters lived in Anatolia. In the VII millennium BC. e. the nomadic way of life was replaced by the agricultural one. The first cities with stone houses appeared.

The Hittites were the founders of the first states in Asia Minor. There was a struggle for supremacy among the small city-states. The initially victorious Puruskhanda lost the palm to Kussar, whose king Anittas was the founder of the Hittite kingdom at the beginning of the 18th century BC. e. According to the testimony of ancient Greek historians, it was a developed state with its own writing, minted coins from an alloy of silver and gold.

At the dawn of ancient youth

In the XII century BC. e. the Hittite kingdom collapsed. Some of its citizens, having united with local tribes, founded a new state – Lydia. Greek villages were built in the neighborhood, forming city-states. Greek Ionians made up the majority of the population of many Lydian cities, driving all trade.

In the VI century BC. e. this harmony was violated by the Persian army, crushing both Greece and Lydia. Liberation came from Athens, who began to rule the Greek cities on the coast of Asia Minor.

In 283, all these lands became part of the empire of Alexander the Great. The architecture of that era was striking in its grandeur and splendor.

300 years of peace and prosperity

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, legacy of Constantinople

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, legacy of Constantinople

From 63 BC BC, many coastal cities became the favorite resting places of the Roman nobility. Lush villas, rich temples, new amphitheaters, aqueducts for water supply were built here. Reliable roads connected the villages, facilitating the expansion of trade. Agriculture and handicraft developed. The seaports received ships with goods from Egypt, Syria, Africa.

In the 3rd century A.D. e. natural disasters in the form of powerful earthquakes were supplemented by the raids of the warlike Gothic tribes, which weakened the Roman Empire and eventually led to its disintegration.

So it began in 330 A.D. e. Byzantine era.

The city of Byzantium became the capital of the East, later turning into magnificent Constantinople through the efforts of Emperor Constantine. The official religion was Christianity, although Greek and Roman gods were worshiped in many cities for quite some time.

Emperor Justinian, who came to power in 527, united and strengthened the Byzantine Empire, returned to it the lost lands. Public buildings and places of worship were actively built throughout the territory.

The fall of Byzantium became a reality in the 7th century AD. e., when the Arabs came to the Mediterranean. Muslim armies already in 669-678 stood under the walls of Constantinople. In the VIII century, almost all the territories of the great state outside Anatolia were lost, the army was exhausted, and the culture was in decline.

Neighboring peoples began to actively migrate to Anatolia. Among them was the Turkic tribe of the Seljuks. In 1071, they inflicted a decisive defeat on the Byzantine army and founded the Rum Sultanate, subjugating all of Anatolia. The remnants of the Byzantine Empire held on with their last strength to the only remaining stronghold – Constantinople.

Beginning and the end

The Seljuk state, having survived a period of prosperity, fell apart into small principalities. The crusades and the Mongol invasion contributed a lot to this. And Anatoly was covered by a new wave of migration. Newly arrived Turkic tribes built their principalities here – beyliks.

Scientists are still arguing why, out of several dozen beiliks, it was the Ottoman one that laid the foundation for the Great Empire. However, it was the Ottoman warriors who seized new territories, conquered neighboring peoples. In the middle of the 15th century, they owned all the lands around Constantinople, but the city itself was still holding on. And only in 1453 Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror broke the resistance of the defenders and took the city. The last emperor of Byzantium, Constantine XI Palaeologus, died in this battle.

Mehmed II added the title of Roman emperor to his many titles. He supported the Greek Church and contributed to the development of Greek culture.

The Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire

Old Ottoman houses, Kaleici, Antalya

Old Ottoman houses, Kaleici, Antalya

The Ottoman family was famous for its talented rulers. Thanks to their competent leadership, the Ottoman Empire became by the 16th century one of the most powerful states in the world, having subjugated half of Europe and Africa. In 1537, the Ottoman army captured even Nice and was about to move to Rome.

The golden age fell on the reign of the tenth sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. The sultan continued his father’s policy of conquest, adding new lands to the sultanate, and received full power over the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

Along with the development of the army and navy, the sultan paid great attention to science, trade and construction. Powerful fortresses, magnificent palaces, mosques, gardens and parks have survived to this day, continuing to amaze modern tourists.

The decline of the Ottoman state

The difficult fate of the ruler and the intrigues of the court led to the execution of the most capable of the sons of the Sultan, Mustafa. As a result, the throne was inherited by the son of Roksolana Selim II. It was with this sultan, who went down in history under the name Selim II the Drunkard, that the decline of the Ottoman Empire began. Military spending rose, trade revenues fell, and inflation began. Victories were replaced by defeats. Christian armies advanced in the west, Persia won in the east, wars with Russia brought only losses.

On the former authority and conquests of the ancestors, the Ottoman Empire held out until the middle of the 19th century. By this time, she no longer had the strength to keep the conquered peoples striving for independence. Constant battles with the Russian Empire for control of the Black Sea finally weakened the sultanate. Participation in the First World War of 1914 on the side of the Entente brought economic decline to Turkey, the occupation of most of the country and the discontent of the population.

Only a miracle could save her. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk became it. On coming to power in 1923, he proclaimed the first Turkish republic and confidently led the backward agrarian country into a prosperous future.

From Ataturk to the present day

Modern Istanbul

Modern Istanbul

The revolutionary reforms carried out by Ataturk turned Turkey into a steadily developing state with proportionally developed sectors of the national economy. Along with the production of agricultural products, the industrial sector was steadily gaining momentum. Despite periodic political upheavals, the Republic of Turkey did not experience any particular shocks in the 20th century. Even the Second World War did not cause much damage to its economy, apparently because Turkey remained neutral throughout the entire war.

Today, in terms of living standards, the country approaches the Western European states, and even surpasses some. The development of the tourism industry and, as a result, the service sector, along with the excellent climate and picturesque nature, attracts millions of people every year, bringing the country income and prosperity. To a large extent, this is facilitated by the rich history of Turkey, which has come down to us in the ruins of ancient cities, historical monuments and artifacts carefully protected by the state.

Climate and weather in Turkey

Turkey is rich not only in history, but also in a variety of climatic and unique natural sites. There are coastal regions here – and depending on the sea (Black, Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean), you will find a very different climate that determines the seasons of the seasons. The central part of the country is more steppe and arid.

Most of the guests coming to Turkey, of course, travel overseas, with great beaches, sunbathing and wonderful mountain air. However, in recent years, a new trend has emerged – snowy peaks have begun to attract connoisseurs of ski holidays and light frost.

Tourist season

The high season depends on the specific coastline, but in general, the peak of the beach holiday is between April and October.

The official opening of the main hotels and beaches usually takes place in the first half of May, the decline in the season is noticeable by mid-September.

However, this does not at all interfere with enjoying the weather in other months. Warm, sunny weather has been on the Mediterranean coast since mid-February. At the end of the tourist season (October-November) you can also “catch” wonderful mild weather.

Lovers of a relaxing holiday, as well as those who prefer a non-aggressive sun, choose this time to travel to Turkey. If, in addition to sunburn and good weather, water temperature is important to you, then stop in the autumn months. The water in the sea keeps warm literally until the beginning of December – only storms can prevent you from swimming perfectly, which gradually come into their own by December. In May, on the contrary, when the air temperature is high, the sea is still quite cool.

Summer in Turkey

June in Bodrum

June in Bodrum

The Marmara and Black Seas are colder. Here, the summer season usually begins two weeks later than in the southern and western regions of the country, and also ends a week or two earlier. In the summer months (June-August) the water temperature in them is +21 … 24°С.

The Aegean coast is hot and sunny, but it is less humid than the Mediterranean.

During the summer holidays and vacations (when most tourists rush to rest in Turkey), real heat comes to the Mediterranean coast. The daytime temperature can steadily stay at +37… 40°С, and due to the humidity it is felt even higher.

The evening brings almost no relief. There is practically no rain during these months.

The heat is most severely endured at the end of July and August, especially by people who are not used to such a climate.

The Velvet season

October, November, March and April in the southern regions of Turkey are an excellent choice for a vacation. The wonderful warm weather at this time, about +25°С (especially against the background of the weather in the colder climate of Russia) makes it possible to enjoy not only the sea and the sun.

This is the best time for interesting excursions, sightseeing, walks, fresh fruits, including in the northern region (for example, in Istanbul at this time +18… 20°С). The number of tourists during these months is several times less than during the high season, prices for everything are also much more adequate.

Winter in Turkey

December in Istanbul

December in Istanbul

The period and features of the low season depend on the region. On the coast of the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea, winters are milder, snowless, but at times very rainy.

The temperature always remains above zero, but usually it is kept within +10… 15°С, in the sun the air sometimes warms up to +20°С.

On the coast of the Black and Marmara seas (which includes the Istanbul region), winters are much colder, with winds and even snow. In January, the thermometer stops at about zero, but with high humidity and wind, this slight cold is quite noticeable.

If you are heading to Turkey in winter, please note that central heating is often not provided here. The deceiving warmth outside (when you can sometimes wear a T-shirt in January) is combined with persistent cold in the houses. This is especially true for the southern regions.

Electric or gas heaters are used to heat the premises. Bring warm clothing for your home or be prepared to pay a substantial utility bill.

Ski season

In the mountainous regions of Turkey, at least 16 winter resorts focused on active sports have been created in recent years. From October to May, the Palandoken ski resort is the most popular. It is suitable for both beginners and firm skiers. Here you can find tracks of various difficulty levels.

Closer to mid-December, the bases of Uludag and Sarikamysh open. Here you can ski until mid-March.

Davraz usually opens last, at the end of December. It works until April.

Cities and regions of Turkey

In the vast territory of Turkey, stretching 1,600 kilometers from west to east and 600 kilometers from north to south, eastern antiquity and western modernity are harmoniously intertwined. This paradise land attracts millions of tourists every year, allowing everyone to choose a vacation to their liking.

Unofficially, the whole of Turkey, which occupies an area of 779,452 square kilometers, is usually divided into 7 regions, each of which is interesting in its own way.

The Aegean region is the westernmost one that includes 8 provinces. Most of them are located on the Aegean coast. There is a mild climate, high-class resorts (and not only sea, but also balneological), many natural and historical attractions.

Fortress Marmaris, Aegean region

Fortress Marmaris, Aegean region

Izmir, the largest city in the region, nestled among the hills on the shores of the Gulf of Izmir, is known not only as a world-class resort, but also as a cultural and business center of the coast. Many museums cherish the history of the city, which goes back several millennia, when it was still biblical Smyrna.

Bodrum, a popular resort town on the shores of the most beautiful Gokova Bay, attracts vacationers with its mild subtropical climate, superbly equipped beaches, and entertainment for every taste. The old castle separates the modern western part of the city, with its chic hotels, nightclubs and restaurants, from the historic eastern part, where you can walk along the ancient streets, see the ruins of the walls and the Myndos Gate. On the stage of the restored ancient theater, performances take place, as in the 4th century BC. e.

Marmaris, a beautiful old city, the most European of all Turkish resorts, is famous for its clean beaches, almost always calm sea, salubrious air, the scent of coniferous forests and many attractions, historical and natural. The fortress of Marmaris, the ancient city of Amos, the legendary island of Sedir and the cave of Nimara are ready to reveal their secrets to guests.

The cities of Ephesus, Troy, Assos, Miletus, known to everyone from history books, are also located in the Aegean region. There are also the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, on the territory of which there is a working thermal pool. Nearby there are terraces of 17 hot springs saturated with calcium.

The Marmara is the most unusual region of Turkey. Located simultaneously in Europe and Asia, it is washed by three seas – the Aegean, Marmara and Black, and two straits (Bosphorus and Dardanelles). It is the smallest, but densely populated region with picturesque valleys, mountain ranges, small fast streams and calm large rivers, seaside and many islands. The most popular city in Turkey is located here.

Color of Istanbul, Marmara region

Color of Istanbul, Marmara region

Istanbul, aka Constantinople, aka Byzantium, a city with a long history. It was the capital of the great empires – Byzantine and Ottoman, crusaders and Russian princes fought for it. Today it is a modern metropolis rich in attractions, in which Europe and Asia peacefully coexist. Galata Bridge, Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque, French Street in Chukurjuma Quarter are all must-see to get an idea of ​​the city.

Bursa is a famous balneological resort located near Istanbul. In summer, tourists are attracted here by healing mineral springs, and in winter – by the wonderful ski resorts of Mount Uludag. The main historical sights of the city are the old mosques (Green, Big, Alaeddin) and the Green Tomb of Mehmed elebi.

Kudashasy (“Bird Island”) is a small fairytale town in which there is almost nothing oriental. Historical and natural attractions (a well-preserved Ottoman fortress, nesting places of many birds), cafes, restaurants, 4 beaches, discos and comfortable hotels await tourists all summer.

The Central Anatolian region – the second largest and most populous, seems desolate and harsh. But it was here that many ancient civilizations were born, the very first cities were built, the history of the modern Turkish state began. Instead of seascapes, you will see bizarre weathered rocks, the two-headed stratovolcano Erciyas with a height of almost 4000 meters, the large protected lake Tuz, where many birds nest, and ancient cities that continue to live.

Ankara is the capital of modern Turkey with a history spanning thousands of years. Here the past and the future meet – the Byzantine fortress is adjacent to modern skyscrapers, the temple of Augustus with the mausoleum of Ataturk. You can drink aromatic coffee in a small Turkish coffee shop or dine in a luxurious European restaurant. This is not a seaside resort, but an ideal place to meet history, experience Turkish culture and customs.

Konya is a city that, according to legend, was built immediately after the Great Flood. It is said that it was here that Saint Paraskeva-Friday and the famous sage Khoja Nasreddin were born. The city has many well-preserved architectural monuments, the famous Mevlana Museum (the center of Sufi culture), the Alaeddin Mosque, and the Selimiye Mosque.

In the vicinity of Konya there are picturesque natural attractions – the Tuz salt lake, grottoes and waterfalls. History lovers will find new discoveries in the archaeological region of Chatal-Guyuk.

Cappadocia, Central Anatolian Region

Cappadocia, Central Anatolian Region

Cappadocia is the heart of the Central Anatolian region. This historical area amazes with fantastic landscapes, famous for ancient underground cities (I millennium BC), rock monasteries and churches of the first Christians. Travel back in time to the Argos in Cappadocia cave hotel. 33 rooms of villas cut into the rock are connected by labyrinths of wooden walkways and stone stairs. Modern conveniences coexist with the household items and tools of the monks who once lived here.

The Mediterranean (Antalya) region is a favorite vacation spot for millions of tourists. The gentle Mediterranean Sea, the Taurus Mountains, which protect the coast from the winds, subtropical vegetation, comfortable hotels for every taste and budget, luxurious beaches have made this area a tourist Mecca. It is really “all inclusive” here: beach holidays, discos and bars, excellent shopping and excellent cuisine. Curious travelers will have a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the natural and historical sights of the region.

Antalya is a large city and, perhaps, the most famous resort, the capital of the Turkish Riviera. A mild climate, comfortable beaches, modern hotels, a well-developed entertainment industry are harmoniously combined with carefully preserved historical heritage. You can admire the 13th century buildings in Kaleici, or visit Aqualand with its many attractions, stroll through the wonderful Karaalioglu Park, or spend the day in the cool of the Duden waterfalls (upper or lower).

Alanya is the warmest resort in the country. In terms of popularity, development of tourism infrastructure and an abundance of attractions, the city may well compete with Antalya. The luxurious Cleopatra beach with a length of two kilometers, the Alanya fortress and the famous Tersane shipyard, built in the 13th century, a picturesque lighthouse, the Red Tower – this is not a complete list of places that Alanya can surprise.

Ruins of ancient Side

Ruins of ancient Side

Side is a small town with an ancient history, one of the busiest resorts in the Mediterranean. It is often referred to as the “open air museum”. On both sides of the cape, on which the ancient city stands, there are resort areas. The western part with luxury hotels, beautiful beaches, bars and discos seems to be created for lovers of noisy outdoor activities. The calm and uncrowded east side is ideal for families with children. Having stopped your choice on Side, be sure to visit the Green Canyon and Manavgat Waterfall.

Kemer is a city, port and resort that is always popular with Russian tourists. It is especially suitable for lovers of active recreation, saturated with emotions. People who prefer regularity and silence are better off choosing other places on the coast. The clear sea with pebble beaches and pine forests against the backdrop of the majestic Taurus Mountains create a truly paradise landscape. In addition to picturesque views, Kemer is rich in historical monuments – the ruins of the ancient city of Phaselis, the fiery mountain Chimera, Olympos. Young people with little interest in the past will find bars and nightclubs, many shops and restaurants. Children will love the water park and the Dinopark.

Belek is a modern resort town that has no ancient history, but has already won the right to be called “elite”. Comfortable hotels, comfortable sandy beaches and picturesque landscape attract wealthy couples and families with children here. Belek is considered a status resort with a high level of service and a wide range of services. Luxurious restaurants, clubs and golf courses await guests who are not used to saving on their vacation.

The Black Sea region, which occupies 18% of all Turkish territory, was known in ancient times under the Greek name Pontus. Here, on the coast of the hospitable sea, the Turks themselves prefer to rest. The humid subtropical climate, many forests, mountains and ancient history also attract foreign tourists. A huge number of various attractions:

  • natural (Okhtamysh waterfall, Uzungol glacial lake, Hempshin valley);
  • cult (Fatiha Mosque, which was once a Byzantine church of the 12th century, Ibni Medtszhar Mosque in 1353);
  • historical (Hittite burial mounds of the XIII-X centuries BC, the castle of Kale-i-Bala 200 BC; Byzantine castle Bayburt of the XII century, fortresses of the Genoese).

It is impossible to see all this in one visit, which means that you will have to come again and again. The main cities of the region are Samsun, Trabzon and Sinop.

Panagia Sumela Monastery, Black Sea Region

Panagia Sumela Monastery, Black Sea Region

Trabzon is a legendary city. Once the Greek colony of Trebizond, in the 12th century it was the capital of the Trebizond Empire, and today it is an amazing city in which many peoples, languages, cultures and religions have mixed.

As a resort, Trabzon cannot boast of luxurious beaches, but there are hotels of different comfort categories, lovely guest houses and delicious Turkish cuisine. And, of course, there are a lot of historical sights, including the Panagia Sumela monastery of the 4th century, the Trabzon castle of the 15th century, the mosque and the Gulbahar tomb in 1514.

Samsun, a port city, has stood on the Black Sea coast since the 6th century. It is believed that it was here that the legendary king Mithridates lived and that the warlike Amazon tribe lived. In memory of this, the city hosts an annual Amazon festival.

Among the sights worth mentioning are the Gazi Museum, a wonderful archaeological and ethnographic museum, and the unusual Museum Ship “Bandirma”. There is also a unique monument to Ataturk by the famous Austrian sculptor Heinz Krieffel.

Sinop is the most famous Black Sea port in Turkey and is considered the most beautiful natural harbor on the Black Sea coast. The city is rich in historical monuments: the ruins of the ancient Greek temple Serapium of the 5th century BC. e. and the Byzantine church Balatlar, the 2nd century Sinop fortress. The Sinop resort offers its guests a beach holiday and a decent infrastructure – hotels, a water park, a rich excursion program.

Eastern Anatolia is a highland region of Turkey. It occupies the largest area (almost a fifth of the country) with the lowest population density. The short cool summer and the absence of the sea coast do not allow us to call this region a resort. But it certainly attracts tourists. Here are:

  • valley Munzur;
  • picturesque waterfalls Tortum and Berkri;
  • the volcanoes Syupkhan, Tendurek and Nemrut;
  • glacial lakes Bingol;
  • geothermal springs.
Landscapes of Eastern Anatolia

Landscapes of Eastern Anatolia

It is in this region that the legendary Mount Ararat is located, on the top of which the remains of Noah’s ark should be kept. There are plenty of historical sights in these places, from ancient settlements to the medieval Armenian city of Ani. The most famous cities in the region are Erzurum, Kare and Malatya.

Erzurum is a city on a mountain plateau at an altitude of 1700 meters above sea level, in addition to historical sights, it boasts the wonderful Palandoken ski center. Trails of different difficulty levels attract athletes and tourists here from December to May.

Malatya will interest tourists both with its rich historical past and vibrant modern shopping districts. You can visit the mouth-watering apricot market or visit the exotic copper bazaar. It is worth walking along the streets of the Old Town of Eski-Malatya and visiting the Archaeological Museum.

Southeastern Anatolia is the smallest and least populated region of Turkey. Due to the rather modest natural conditions and the neighborhood with Syria and Iran, it is not attractive for tourists.

What to see in Turkey

Turkey is a country with a rich history that gives its guests the opportunity to combine a comfortable beach holiday with educational excursion tourism.

The country, which has survived several world empires in its history, has carefully preserved important pieces of the heritage of each of these eras: mosques and temples, fountains, unique palaces and parks. You can learn a lot of interesting things by visiting museums in Turkey.

The main attractions of Turkey

Despite the fact that Istanbul occupies a leading position in the concentration of attractions, other regions can boast of unique natural and man-made monuments.

Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, which for 400 years was the seat of the sultans, can be called a city within a city.

On an area of 700,000 square meters, there are many buildings and pavilions. Here were the chambers of Suleiman the Magnificent, his harem and treasury.

Today, tourists can see a rare collection of jewelry and relics, including the Prophet’s sword and cloak, the world’s largest silver-set diamond with small diamonds, and the world’s third rarest porcelain collection.

The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul was built under Emperor Justinian on the site of an ancient basilica and was used as an underground reservoir to supply water to the imperial palace, and later to irrigate the lavish gardens of Topkapi Palace.

The building got its second name “Underground Palace” for the similarity of the interior premises with the luxury of a palace. 336 columns, 28 in each of the 12 rows, support a vaulted ceiling over a huge reservoir 145 meters long and 65 meters wide.

With the advent of the aqueduct, the Basilica Cistern lost its direct purpose and since 1987 has been working as a museum.

The Maiden Tower is one of the symbols of Istanbul. A graceful structure over the Bosphorus, built in the 4th century as a watchtower, during its long history, it managed to be a lighthouse, a prison, and a pier.

The Maiden’s Tower is associated with romantic legends and dramatic stories. It was destroyed, burned and rebuilt. And finally, after reconstruction in 1992, it became a cultural center, under the roof of which concerts and art exhibitions are held, a cafe and a restaurant receive guests.

At the top of the tower there is an observation deck and a skylight, and is crowned with a spire with a Turkish flag.

The Sultanahmet Mosque in the very heart of Istanbul was founded in 1609 by Sultan Ahmet I and consecrated by him in 1616. The mosque built by the architect Sedefhar Mehmed Agha in the classical style is one of the symbols of the city.

On its territory there are an elementary school, a madrasah, a bathhouse, a hospital, the Sultan’s wing, a shopping arcade, a canteen and a burial vault.

The majestic construction of multi-colored marble, trimmed with blue-gray tiles and decorated with domes in the same colors, tourists call the Blue Mosque.

The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was the center of the slave trade until the middle of the 19th century. And today it is one of the largest covered markets in the world.

Covering 30,700 square meters, a real oriental bazaar in the old part of Istanbul consists of 66 streets.

More than 4,000 shops and shops offer customers, the number of which reaches 500,000 a day, everything your heart desires – from gold and silver jewelry to ceramics and carpets.

Sometimes shocking prices can be significantly reduced by bargaining, as is customary in the East.

The Princes’ Islands are 9 picturesque islands in the Sea of Marmara, 18-35 kilometers from Istanbul.

In the days of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire, when there were 10 more islands, the nobility who fell out of favor were exiled here. In the 19th century, wealthy people built luxurious villas and country houses on the picturesque islands.

Today, the Islands are home to nearly 10,000 people, and many Istanbulis spend their holidays here. An interesting fact is that on the largest of the islands (Buyukada) it is forbidden to travel by car. Therefore, fiacre became the main means of transportation.

Ruins of ancient Side, founded in the 7th century BC. e., not for nothing is called an open-air museum.

In the old part of the city, behind the fortress walls and towers of the main gates, on two streets, there are magnificent colonnades, the famous antique fountain “Nymphaeum”, the ruins of ancient houses and a huge amphitheater, where 18,000 spectators excitedly watched gladiatorial battles.

On the central square of Agora, where business life once was in full swing, a small bazaar still operates today. The famous temple of Apollo and the ancient aqueduct still admire the skill of the ancient builders.

Cleopatra Beach in Alanya

Cleopatra Beach in Alanya

Cleopatra Beach in Alanya is a two-kilometer long sandy strip of incredible beauty. This place is regularly awarded the EU Blue Flag for its cleanliness and tidiness.

The whole range of entertainment, from passive tanning to riding a “banana” and jet skis, diving and beach volleyball, is available to vacationers. The boulevard along the beach is filled with numerous cafes and restaurants, children’s and sports grounds.

In the evenings, illumination shines here and musicians perform.

Kaleici is the historical heart of modern Antalya.

Several gates led to the ancient city, which had grown up around the old harbor and surrounded by a powerful fortress wall. Since 130 A.D. e. only the arched portal of Hadrian’s gate, decorated with stone images of the emperor and his family, has survived to this day.

Today, Kaleici is a restored old Turkish quarter, where souvenir shops, boutiques, restaurants and art galleries await tourists on the winding cobbled streets.

Goynuk, 7 kilometers from Kemer, got its name – “a fertile valley in the place of sky-blue connection” – for its exceptional natural beauty.

The valley with orange and pomegranate orchards is surrounded by the majestic Taurus Mountains, where the main attraction is located – the Goynuk Canyon.

A narrow gorge 14 kilometers long, surrounded by rocky walls reaching a height of 350 meters, is replete with picturesque grottoes, waterfalls and mysterious caves.

Cappadocia and Goreme National Park at the top of the Anatolian plateau resemble the surface of an alien planet.

Fantastic-looking multi-colored pillars of solidified lava, bizarre rocks and natural pyramids are amazing. “Alien” landscapes of the Valley of Swords at sunset are painted in all colors of the rainbow. Mushroom rocks, sword rocks, palace rocks are best viewed from above.

Panoramic hot air balloon tours are ideal for this, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience and stunning photos.

Pamukkale is a rare natural park with natural baths

Pamukkale is a rare natural park with natural baths

Pamukkale is a rare natural park with natural baths.

Over the centuries, thermal springs have carved whole cascades of snow-white travertine baths-shells and filled them with warm mineral water.

In Roman times, Pamukkale was an imperial health resort. Today, one can walk in fragile fonts only barefoot, and then only on some, but you can plunge into the “Cleopatra pool”, which helped the once legendary queen to preserve her beauty and youth. Water saturated with carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen creates the effect of a champagne bath.

Other interesting places

Regardless of which part of Turkey you are planning your trip to, there are unique places to visit in every corner of the country.

Sapadere canyon

Not all tourists, who have even visited Alanya and the regions closest to it, know that a place of unique beauty and strength is not far away. More than 10 years ago, it was made accessible to the public by equipping a road, pedestrian flooring and all the necessary infrastructure. Now you can admire the intricacies of the mountain river Serde, its waterfalls, natural lakes and clear water that made its way and formed a canyon. If you like cold springs and fonts, immersion in which literally renews, go to Sapadere – the water temperature here is about + 12 ° С throughout the year.

Ukurcuma street in Istanbul

The street of creative people and free artists attracts the residents of Istanbul and the few tourists who know about these places. Chukurjuma are not antique boutiques: there are much more interesting ideas here than the exclusive expensive antiquity. Curious little things, massive inexpensive antiques, interior finds, objects that were given a second life, funny furniture alterations, underground projects.

The entire area around the street is a favorite place for people of art: galleries, exhibitions, the famous Museum of Innocence, recreated from the book of Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk.

Mount Nemrut Dag

Mount Nemrut Dag

Mount Nemrut Dag

Historically, the top of the mountain is the remains of a necropolis – the ruler of the ancient Armenians Antiochus I was buried here. The power of the king was emphasized by the huge figures of gods, heroes and various animals installed around: the famous Hercules, the thundering Zeus, the god of trade Hermes.

From the 30-meter figures, only heads have survived to this day, but they also create a very impressive impression (the place is even often called simply “stone heads”).

However, it is not so easy to see the figures – you have to climb to a height of about 2000 meters.

Lake Tuz

A real salt lake (tuz in translation from Turkish “salt”) has a very shallow depth, barely reaching up to 2 meters in places – you can wade it on foot. The most unusual impressions of the Salt Lake are in the second half of summer, when its waters temporarily turn pink-red. This is due to natural processes.

Lake Tuz is a unique natural area that has been chosen for habitation by dozens of bird species. In the vicinity of the lake, you can observe colonies of flamingos, cranes, bustards and many others.

Lake Van

Far from popular routes, the region on the border of Turkey with Iran has not yet been covered by mass tourism – most often individual travelers come here. And in vain – it is safe enough here, and the stunning landscapes that await you here are not inferior to the surroundings of the Swiss Alps. The lake itself is the largest saline lake in the world. Don’t miss this opportunity and go to Akhtamar, the oldest church of the Holy Cross on this island. And you will definitely not miss the colorful local cats yourself – they are bright white with eyes of different colors, they adore water and swim with pleasure.

Aniktabir

Aniktabir

Aniktabir

The holy of holies for every Turk is the place where the remains of the founders and the first president of the Turkish Republic lie. The mausoleum of Ataturk in Ankara was created in 1953 and is a whole complex. In addition to the burial site itself, you can see the largest museum dedicated to a person who is significant for the country and his struggle for Turkey’s independence. The collection includes the president’s personal belongings, memorabilia, plans of military strategies.

Anitkabir is a place of honorable events. The Lions’ Road leads to the Mausoleum (really decorated with lions on both sides). It ends with a square where up to 15,000 people gather for major ceremonies.

Izmir Toy Museum

Old toy museums are very popular around the world and Turkey is no exception. Their painstaking collectors are in Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul. However, the most interesting is the Izmir Toy Museum. It was carefully collected by a local artist, a talented master of ceramics, Yumran Baradan, on trips around the world. It is not known who is more inspired by visiting such places – curious children or their parents, for whom much of the collection is very recognizable and closely related to their own childhood. The oldest rarity of the museum is a toy stroller, released in the USA in the second half of the 19th century. Slightly “younger” (less than 100 years old) – German porcelain dolls.

The ancient city of Demre Myra

The ancient city of Demre Myra

The ancient city of Demre Myra

The territory of the modern region of Mugla near Antalya once belonged to the ancient state of Lycia.

Very unusual rock burials remained from those times – according to tradition, the dead had to be buried in elevated areas, so the tombs were cut right into the rocks.

The surroundings of Mira and Demre are also famous for the fact that the name of one of the most famous Orthodox saints is associated with these places – Bishop Nicholas of Patara (who remained in history as Nicholas the Wonderworker or Santa Claus, who is most often remembered in connection with the approaching Christmas).

What to do in Turkey

A trip to Turkey is fascinating precisely because the rest here is almost all-format, and you can find exactly the format that is especially close to you. Fascinating museums, many monuments of ancient culture, excursions to unusual natural places, concerts of all kinds and local craft fairs – each city and season offers you its own spectrum. But there are moments that very much reflect the true Turkey. No matter where you are in the country, you can join the spirit of the country.

The best things to do in Turkey

  • The most popular snack in Turkey is traditional bagels (simits). Each region of the country has its own baking characteristics. Hot fresh simits are sold everywhere in small stalls. For those who are especially hungry, the bagel will be smeared with melted cheese or chocolate paste.
  • Orange gardens in Beldibi

    Orange gardens in Beldibi

    Turkey’s favorable climate provides fresh fruits and vegetables all year round, making them accessible to everyone. It doesn’t take any effort to naturally detox yourself – live juices squeezed right in front of you from a mixture of various vegetables and fruits are available anywhere in Turkey.

  • Turkey cannot be imagined without a hammam – the tradition of steaming in this way has been preserved almost unchanged for many centuries. Hammam has a steam room with a low temperature, but very high humidity – such procedures are not contraindicated even for people with heart disease. But the main highlight of the hammam is the large room with a huge heated marble bed. Here you can not only warm up, but also surrender to the hands of experienced bath attendants – a general peeling of the whole body with a special washcloth and foam massage will make you completely renewed.
  • The real Turkey will not open up to you in the summer: the tourist season in any country in the world makes it faceless. Go on vacation at “unpopular” times, for example, in winter, and enjoy the atmosphere of the country as it allows itself to be seen only by its own.
  • While exploring the country, try to deviate as much as possible from the “tourist paths” – forget about hotels, maps, taxis, attempts to explain yourself in Russian. Plunge into the life of the country – use public transport, go to ordinary grocery stores, rent an apartment instead of a hotel, visit restaurants where there are no tourists.
  • The observation deck at the top of Tunektepe

    The observation deck at the top of Tunektepe

    Immerse yourself in the contemplative mood so characteristic of the Turks. The easiest way to “catch” him somewhere on the seashore in the simplest cafe, over a cup of tea or salep, slowly watching the sunset.

  • Visit the weekly mobile bazaar found in every city. Allow yourself to choose, taste farm products, learn a dozen Turkish words, communicate with ordinary locals to feel the whole kaleidoscope of emotions and energies of the East.
  • When going for a walk, grab a bag of dry animal food – you will definitely meet them along the way. The most relaxed dogs and cats live in Turkey. They are absolutely friendly, grateful for every little thing, and communication with them always leaves great joy.

Hiking trails

A trip to the hotel is great when you are not at all familiar with the country or you need a complete vacation with young children. However, the more you get comfortable, the more you will want to go beyond routes, guides and group travel. Below are some hiking trails for the most popular cities in Turkey that you can use to get started.

Hiking route in Istanbul

Choose Sultanahmet Square as your starting point – the most popular place in the city, which is easy to find wherever you stay. We will leave all the sights of this place (Hagia Sophia Cathedral, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, etc.) for another time. In the meantime, we begin to go down along the tram tracks.

Galata Bridge and Galata Tower in the evening lights

Galata Bridge and Galata Tower in the evening lights

On the right side, there is Gulhane Park – a place where you will also need to look at some time. But for now we go further towards the Eminonu ferry pier. Here you can watch huge freight ferries ferrying dozens of cars to the other side. Or choose one of the pleasure ships offering a couple of hours to see the city and the Bosphorus from the deck. Or sit down at a tiny table and feel like a local fisherman over a sandwich with fried fish and a glass of shalgam.

Stand on the Galata Bridge, absorbing all the nuances of the view. Cross the Golden Horn and start climbing towards Istiklal Street and Taksim Square. After walking this route, you can climb the Galata Tower. If you don’t have so much strength, you can leave the tower for later and get to the beginning of Istiklal Street by the Tunel funicular.

Join the bustle of the street with its shops, retro tram, street musicians, consulates and beautiful temples, restaurants and pastry shops for every taste.

The street ends with Taksim Square, the central point of which is the monument in honor of the founding fathers of the Turkish Republic.

Using the second funicular, already from Taksim, you can go down to the Kabatas station. From here, you can go to see Dolmabahce Palace or catch the T1 tram that will take you back to Sultanahmet Square.

Hiking route through the historical part of Antalya

It is most convenient to start your walk in the old part of Antalya from the observation deck near the first beaches of Konyaalti. The landmark is the unusual building of the Falez hotel or the city’s Archaeological Museum. If you have not been to this museum yet, be sure to take a look there at least for a while. Then go along the boulevard that runs along the coast to the center. The same short section of the path can be traveled by retro tram.

Old sea port of Antalya

Old sea port of Antalya

In Ataturk Park along the way, there are many cozy restaurants and cafes offering excellent cuisine and the best views of the mountains surrounding Antalya and the azure sea. Children can spend time at an amusement park nearby.

Just before reaching the Old Town, you will see Republic Square – it is interesting with an excellent observation deck, from where Kaleici and all its sights are visible at a glance.

Then follow the brown signs – many small streets will eventually lead you inside the old city. Surrender to the maze of streets and inspiration – Kaleici will show you himself. Someone will be interested in ancient mosques, minarets, someone will look into local museums, someone will be inspired by Ottoman houses, paving stones, shops with souvenirs. All roads lead to the port – this is a very atmospheric place. You need to stay here at least a little. Over a cup of strong Turkish coffee, watch the ships scurry and loud barkers invite everyone to take a ride.

Tired of the hustle and bustle, go upstairs to the coolness and seclusion of Karaalioglu Park. From here it is easy to get back into the city – go shopping, have lunch at one of the local restaurants or return by bus to the point where you started the route (the stop is called “Müze).

Visit festivals in Turkey

Many secular and religious, state and folk, traditional and modern, Eastern and European holidays in Turkey give a chance to participate in them, no matter what time you arrive.

Istanbul in April blossoms with millions of living symbols of the city. The center of the Tulip Festival is the Emirgan park with a huge platform of flowers of all varieties and shades. The festival days are also decorated with performances by popular musicians.

In autumn, with the support of the Foundation for the Development of Culture and Art, music, theater and poetry festivals are held in Istanbul.

As part of one of the oldest musical festivals, the Jazz Festival, for 30 years, famous performers have appeared on the stage and new jazz stars have been lit up.

The international festival of blues and beer lovers Efes Pilsen Blues combines the opportunity to taste new beers to the sounds of ageless blues from all directions – from classical to modern.

In late spring – early summer, as part of the İstanbul Shopping Fest, shoppers from different countries can visit the sales of famous European boutiques and master classes of various directions, attend fashion shows by local designers, and watch performances by music and theater groups.

Izmir will delight music lovers with the European Jazz Festival, which brings together the best Turkish and European performers. Master classes for young musicians are also held here.

In June – July, Izmir hosts the International Arts Festival. Since 1987, many world stars of opera and ballet, rock bands and symphony orchestras have performed on its stage. Some of the concerts take place in the ancient theaters of Ephesus and Metropolis.

Marmaris annually hosts the largest sailing regatta in the Mediterranean, Marmaris International Race Week. More than 150 yachts take part in it, more than half of which are Russian.

In autumn, Antalya hosts the Golden Orange International Film Festival with more than 100 films screening, concerts, catwalks and master classes.

The Mesir Majunu Festival has been held annually since the 16th century in Manisa. Traditional treats with the legendary healing paste “Mesir” are accompanied by a fancy-dress procession, performances of musicians and dancers.

On the picturesque mountain plateau of Kadirga in Trabzon province, the deeply rooted Kadirga Festival invites you to join the tumultuous fun with Turkish music and dance.

Konya is famous for its unusual Mevlana festival (Festival of the Whirling Dervishes). This mesmerizing spiritual ceremony takes place in December and attracts thousands of pilgrims.

Turkey is a secular state, but Islamic holidays such as Kurban Bayram and Uraza Bayram are celebrated by almost every resident of the country.

High season holidays

Turkey has long and reliably taken one of the leading places in the ranking of countries offering high-quality and affordable vacation. And this is not surprising. Turkey is washed by the seas from almost all sides, and each has its own flavor, character and connoisseurs. The peculiarity of the Turkish mentality is the ability to relax, therefore the Turks very organically create conditions for the rest of other people, maintaining a consistently high standard of service. The nation is friendly and hospitable, patriotically in love with its country and its beauty, willingly shares all this with all visitors.

Beaches

Mediterranean Sea, Antalya

Mediterranean Sea, Antalya

In Turkey, you can find beaches of a wide variety of formats. Sandy and pebbly, well equipped and untouched by civilization, popular and secluded, paid and free, public and those that can be visited, for example, only by women.

The warmest of the Turkish seas is the Mediterranean. They do not cool below +10… 12°C even in winter, and by the end of June it already warms up to +26… 28°C.

The main swimming season in this region is from May to October. However, you can sunbathe almost all year round.

The main resorts of the region are Alania, Side, Belek, Antalya, Kemer.

Hundreds of hotels, diverse in style and services, are designed primarily for families with children. One of the most beautiful beaches in the region is Cleopatra Beach in Alanya with incredible white sand. For connoisseurs of seclusion, the Cirali beach near ancient Olympos can be recommended.

The Aegean coast is slightly cooler and the air is less humid. Yachtsmen and supporters of a more sedate holiday have chosen this coast. The main resorts of the region are Marmaris, Fethiye, Bodrum, Kusadasi. Traditionally, wealthy Europeans of advanced years rest on this coast. Recently, the Aegean Sea has begun to attract Russian tourists. The beautiful sandy beach of Pamucak will appeal to those who value nature and are ready to sacrifice some of the comforts of civilization for the sake of it – the beach is not yet equipped. There are many lagoons around Fethiye, so the water is always calm, and the beaches of Dalyan are famous for their turtles.

The Black Sea coast is the northernmost part of the country. The sea in these parts warms up much less, but the shores are covered with life-saving forests, which perfectly protect from the sweltering heat. The resorts of the Black Sea coast are preferred by the Turks themselves.

Istanbul is located at the meeting point of two seas – the Black and the Marmara. Even in this multi-million dollar metropolis there is an opportunity to have a great time at sea. The famous beaches of Dalia Beach, True Blue Beach and the beaches of the Princes’ Islands offer excellent conditions for this. Most of the services here are paid, but the quality of the rest definitely justifies the costs.

Low season in Turkey

The end of the summer season does not mean at all that there is nothing to do in Turkey until the next one opens. The decline in heat and the total number of tourists makes it possible to enjoy what is practically inaccessible in summer.

November is an excellent choice for a holiday on the Mediterranean Sea: warm water, soft sun, peace around them contribute to a much more comfortable recuperation than in summer.

The sea on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts can be enjoyed almost all year round. Even in January, when powerful showers and sometimes hurricane winds come here, the weather is very changeable: two hours of rain can instantly be replaced by wonderful sunny weather. Sea air, freshness, wonderful views, deserted beaches, meditative lapping of waves, a cup of hot tea or salep in a cafe right on the shore will leave you with a lot of impressions.

November, March and April are the best times to travel around the country and take a thoughtful acquaintance with natural attractions.

For example, it is almost impossible to see the ruins of ancient cities or the travertines of Pamukkale on an ordinary summer day. They are located in open spaces, and there is not the slightest shadow around.

Spring is the best time to visit Istanbul. In April, you will find the city the most beautiful and freshest – the rapid natural bloom complements the Tulip Festival, which takes place throughout the month in all parks of the city.

Low season is the time when you can safely go shopping. The most attractive prices during the big winter discounts.

An interesting nuance: during the period of tourist influx, it is very important for local merchants to have time to sell as much as possible, and they sometimes become unnecessarily intrusive, in winter most often everyone is relaxed and does not interfere with your choice.

Most of the exhibitions, museums, aquariums at this time of the year are practically empty and you can see the exhibitions without pushing through the crowd and standing in hourly queues, for example, near the Hagia Sophia Cathedral or the Galata Tower.

Outside the tourist season, it is much more free on the roads: by renting a car, you can easily go around the whole of Turkey. This also fully applies to airports: at the peak of summer, you can stand for several hours at passport control in Istanbul or Antalya, in winter these procedures usually take just a few minutes.

Ski resorts

Ski resorts in Turkey allow you to fully relax even in winter.

Uludag is a popular winter resort in the Marmara region. The snow cover lies approximately from December 20 to March 20, reaching a thickness of three meters. 15 comfortable hotels surrounded by pine forests have their own lifts. Wide ski slopes are located at an altitude of 1750 to 2547 meters above sea level. They are great for beginners and lovers of calm descents. More experienced skiers are offered more steeper and more authentic routes outside the forest zone.

Palandoken

Palandoken

Palandoken near Erzurum is a young but comfortable resort with all inclusive hotels, a children’s sports school and well-equipped tracks of varying degrees of difficulty.

Sarikamis is a cozy and comfortable ski resort. From October 20 to April 15, high-quality tracks with excellent snow, 16,300 meters long and up to 2,700 meters high, picturesque landscapes, well-developed infrastructure guarantee those who like to ride on slopes with excellent rest.

Kartalkaya occupies the territory of the Koroglu National Park at an altitude of 2000 meters. Snow lies here throughout the winter season. Beautiful nature, comfortable hotels and hotels, a professional snow park, simple tracks for beginners and inexperienced skiers are perfect for families.

Erciyes on the slope of the mountain of the same name 3916 meters above sea level offers tourists 34 trails with a total length of more than 100 kilometers. Slopes of varying degrees of difficulty are equipped with 14 lifts. Both experienced skiers and beginners can ski here – 5 tracks are provided especially for them.

Saklikent on Bakyrlydag Mountain, which has only 6 kilometers of trails at an altitude of 2000 to 2400 meters and 2 lifts, is suitable for beginners. From December to early April, a quiet winter holiday is guaranteed here.

Vacation with children

Turkey is perfectly adapted for family holidays. A mild climate, warm sea, well-maintained beaches, all inclusive hotels and animators who are ready to entertain children from morning to evening – this is not all the fun. Each resort offers exciting excursions and activities for all tastes. You just have to choose – water parks, zoos, amusement parks, dolphinariums, jeep safaris or rafting on the river.

For kids, there will be enough entertainment in the hotel itself. Playrooms, funny shows and entertainment programs, mini-water parks with slides will not let children get bored and will allow parents to relax.

Miniaturk Park, Istanbul

Miniaturk Park, Istanbul

Children and adults will be happy to visit the water parks that Turkey is famous for. In Antalya, don’t miss the Oceanarium with the world’s longest underwater tunnel. You will see a variety of marine life, the ruins of a sunken city and a treasure ship. There is also an unusual attraction “Snow World”, which allows you to travel from a hot summer to a winter fairy tale.

There are two beautiful water parks Aquadream and Atlantis in Marmaris. There are slides for children and adults, including those for extreme lovers, swimming pools with artificial waves, a foam show, and water playgrounds for kids.

Istanbul offers the most entertainment for young tourists. In addition to the Vialand amusement park, there is an aquarium and an aquarium, a zoo and a dinosaur park, “Snow Town”, the city of professions “KidZania” and the Miniature Park, where in the open air there are exact reduced copies of interesting sights of Turkey.

The magical amusement park Arctur Park in Antalya will delight both children and adults. More than 40 attractions are waiting for you, including a Ferris wheel, extreme roller coasters, a 5D cinema and a games salon.

For teenagers, boat trips along the Bosphorus, boat trips along the Green Canyon and Köprülü Canyon, descent into the mysterious Damlatas cave and a trip to the Valley of the Butterflies will be interesting.

On the beaches you can not only ride a “banana” or jet ski, but also take windsurfing and diving lessons.

Getting around the country

The developed transport system of Turkey makes it easy to move within the country. From north to south and from west to east, there is a whole network of quality roads. This is a great chance if you like to travel by car. If you don’t drive, it doesn’t matter. You can get anywhere in the country by bus – this is one of the most developed and demanded modes of transport here. In addition, in recent years, domestic flights have become very popular: even small cities have their own airports and low-cost ticket offers.

Buses

Small bus station and sales offices

Small bus station and sales offices

Bus is often the best way to get around. Modern companies make comfortable cabins of the level of a good plane, so even 10 hours of travel pass almost unnoticed. Comfortable large armchairs, climate control, sockets, internet, individual TV-system, which contains films, games, music, are waiting for you. A large luggage compartment downstairs, where you can safely leave your suitcases without worrying about safety. The service includes water, tea, coffee and other small gifts from the company.

Approximately every 3 hours, the bus makes a half-hour pit stop in specially equipped places where there are good toilets, hot food, small shops with souvenirs, local products and goods needed on the way.

The crew of such a bus usually consists of two rotating drivers and a steward who will help you solve any problems that arise along the way.

There are dozens of shipping companies operating in the country. The largest of them with a long history and experience are Metro Turizm, Ulusoy, Kamil Koç, Pamukkale.

Bus companies’ offices, where you can buy a ticket and ask all your questions, are located at bus stations, in big cities – in every district, as well as on highways near key embarkation points.

Please note that bus tickets can only be purchased with cash lira (if you buy from sales offices) or using your local bank card (if you buy online). Cards of Russian banks are not accepted for payment!

If you want to be able to choose a specific flight and suitable seat, it makes sense to buy tickets in advance. A special excitement in transportation falls on the days of big religious holidays – bayram. On such days, it is customary for the Turks to visit numerous relatives throughout the country.

There is no single timetable at the bus stations in Turkey – on the scoreboard you will see flights departing in the next half hour. You can find a flight that suits you in advance on the websites of the carrier companies – then, having come to the bus station, immediately go to the counter of the required company.

Aircraft

If you value time, pay attention to domestic flights. You can often fly from point A to point B for almost the same money that you pay for a bus ticket. There are especially lucrative offers for those who are not ready to buy plane tickets at the last moment.

The main low-cost airlines are Sun Express and Pegasus Airlines. For example, flights between Antalya, Izmir, Adana, Istanbul and Ankara are made several times a day. By purchasing such a ticket in advance, while the early booking promotions are in effect, you can cross the whole country for literally 20 Turkish lira.

Please note that the ticket price includes a minimum set of services. Usually it is hand luggage (about 8 kilograms). Full baggage, meals on board, insurance, the ability to choose a seat or change the departure date, if necessary, will need to be paid separately.

A separate advantage of the Pegasus company is the version of the site in Russian, the ability to buy a ticket there using a Russian bank card (usually, when buying tickets via the Internet, Turkish companies only accept cards from local banks).

In addition, you can view tickets from other airlines – Turkish Airlines, Onur Air, Atlasglobal.

Dolmushi

Dolmushi

Dolmushi

For trips between small cities and suburbs in Turkey, there is a system of dolmus – minibuses. Usually these are very simple salons with a minimum of amenities. However, for those 15-30 minutes that you drive, this is quite enough. In the southern regions of the country, they must have air conditioning.

Dolmushi move according to a schedule (usually from early morning until about midnight), gathering everyone who needs to get there along the way. You can sit in dolmush at a stop or by raising your hand on the track when you see it.

Rush hours are often overcrowded. The entrance is through the front door, travel is paid by the driver.

Trains

The country’s railway transport is rather poorly developed compared to others. And it is easy to understand – the terrain, numerous mountain ranges, seas, lakes hinder the massive development of this type of movement and make it very expensive.

The trains that exist mainly connect the key cities of Turkey, such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir.

Gradually, trains of a new generation began to appear in these directions – high-speed trains, developing speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour. There are currently YHT flights on two routes:

  • Istanbul – Ankara
  • Ankara – Konya

The cars in such trains are divided according to the level of comfort: there are business class and economy class cars.

Inside cities

Transport within cities is also developed and very diverse. This is especially true for Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya. In large cities there is a subway, high-speed trams, funiculars.

There are buses, dolmushi, taxis in all settlements. Coastal areas often have ferry stations, allowing you to quickly move from one point in the city to another by water.

Travel tickets

Often, transport travel in Turkey can be paid in cash at the entrance. However, in most cases, this will be the highest tariff available.

In big cities, look for systems such as Istanbulkart, Antalyakart, Alanya KentKart – rechargeable transport cards that save up to 50% on travel. With the prices of travel in Turkey, this is quite significant.

Usually, transport cards can be purchased and recharged at major stops, metro stations, ticket vending machines or shops with a special sticker at the entrance.

Taxi

Taxi is the most convenient mode of transport if you are not familiar with the city, drive late at night, or are simply tired. In Turkey, taxi ranks are equipped everywhere; you can stop a car right in the city.

They can help with a taxi wherever you are – in a hotel, cafe, restaurant, shop.

In tourist regions, an even easier way to call a car has been invented. When you need a taxi, just look around. One of the call buttons is sure to catch your eye. They are usually located on poles, near major intersections and stops. Having pressed the button, you just need to stand still for a couple of minutes – the car will drive up to you by itself. This method is very convenient for tourists: try to explain in an unfamiliar city in a foreign language where you are so that the taxi driver can find you?

Mobile applications for calling a taxi are not yet popular here. In Ankara and Istanbul, you can use the local BiTaksi app.

The fare consists of two parts: the cost of the boarding plus the meter reading.

For longer distances (for example, to the airport), when you can calculate your route in advance, a more economical option would be to book a transfer in advance.

Communication with Turks

Often, people who have seen Turkey only on TV or have heard about local realities only from guides are left with a very distorted picture of the Turkish mentality. If you are planning to visit this country and get real pleasure from travel, it makes sense to at least understand a little about traditions and etiquette. Respectful attitude and adherence to the basic rules of life makes you a long-awaited guest, and not a hero of tales about “these” Russians.

Languages ​​and communication

The state language of the country is Turkish. It is quite simple, but the principles differ significantly from the Russian language. The main advantage of Turkish is in the identity of writing and reading. Having learned the alphabet, you can easily read and pronounce any word. Learn the most frequently used words and constructions – greetings, gratitude, common phrases for acquaintance (a dictionary will help you with this, which can be opened at the link below). Of course, this will not make you a free interlocutor, but it guarantees a special disposition towards you as a person who has taken the trouble to learn new phrases for himself and paid tribute to this country.

Turks often speak English – a universal language that will always help you, both in the tourist area and in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara.

In the middle part of Turkey, it can be quite difficult without a language, since locals usually only understand Turkish.

In the Mediterranean region and in the resorts of the Aegean Sea, German is well spoken (once it was with numerous tourists from Germany that tourism in Turkey began to take off). In the Antalya region, you can often meet Russian-speaking Turks – the number of tourists obliges. However, most often it will be the very basics – the Russian language is one of the most difficult, so be more tolerant of mistakes.

Often, if a Turk himself does not speak the required language, he will certainly have a contact person to call, and he will work as an interpreter for both of you. This practice is common in tourism and in all areas of service.

Often during the season, people from the former Soviet Union work (Georgia, Azerbaijan, etc.), who very easily adapt to Turkish due to the proximity of linguistic cultures and speak Russian quite fluently.

Other important points in communication

Turkey today is a secular state, open and hospitable. However, even now there are topics and situations in which you need to be careful.

Turkey has painful political points, any jokes and discussions about which are inappropriate – this is the problem of the Kurds, the situation with Cyprus and the Syrian conflict.

It makes sense to remember that the capital of the country is Ankara, and not Istanbul, as many believe.

Most of the Turks are Muslims, which is reflected in the peculiarities of the culture. Quite often on the street you can meet Turkish women of various degrees of “closeness”. Most do not attend the mosque every prayer, but many observe the main “Friday” prayer. At this time, near all the mosques, a large number of worshipers, often sitting right on the ground. Do not be overly curious about all this and do not take pictures.

Greetings are also specific. Turkish men (if they are close friends and relatives), when meeting, touch their temples to each other and kiss on the cheek. Any physical contact between a man and a woman (handshake, hugs, kissing – even if you do it purely formally) is read as permission for close acquaintance.

Age is honored in Turkey. When addressing an unfamiliar person older than you, the respectful “beat” (for a man) and “khanim” (for a woman) are added to the name.

The stereotype that you have to bargain everywhere in Turkey is far from reality. This is appropriate in the bazaar and in some other situations, but not universally. However, keep in mind that by starting a trade you are indicating your firm intention to buy. Long bargaining, choosing, trying on and leaving with nothing is bad form. Do not be surprised if you hear something unflattering after.

Turkish cuisine

Turkish cuisine

Turkish cuisine

Many factors have influenced the characteristics of traditional Turkish cuisine. This is the diversity of the peoples living in these territories, which left in the culture, for example, a passion for spices, love for dishes cooked on live fire, very sweet desserts.

And fertile land that allows you to have fresh vegetables and fruits on the table all year round. And the hot climate of many regions, when food is difficult to preserve, so food is most often prepared right before consumption. The seas washing the country added fish and seafood. Religious regulations have limited the use of pork, but other types of meat are abundant here.

The usual Turkish diet looks like this:

  • a main meat dish made from lamb, beef or chicken;
  • a legume dish, for which different types of beans, chickpeas, lentils, mung bean are used;
  • fresh or baked vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, sweet and hot peppers;
  • a lot of fresh herbs (most often these are several types of lettuce, dill, parsley, rucola, young spinach, basil, purslane);
  • boiled rice (pilav);
  • several types of snacks (meze), often quite spicy, warming up the appetite;
  • fresh white bread.

Ayran (a fermented milk drink based on yoghurt), traditional Turkish tea and coffee can most often be used as a completion.

Turkish breakfasts are an independent local “attraction”. On weekdays, when everyone is working and studying, breakfasts are held in a shortened version, but on Saturday or Sunday they unfold in full. Even if you do not yet have a familiar family that would invite you to this action, do not be discouraged. In any region of Turkey on a weekend you will find a restaurant or cafe that makes such breakfasts (açık büfe kahvaltı). Usually there are dozens of types of different dishes and products: cheeses, olives, fresh vegetables, jams, nuts, honey, herbs, guacamole, baked goods. All this can be chosen and tasted, but the most important thing in the process of Sunday breakfast is not only food (although it is incredibly tasty and varied). It is important to choose the right place: there must be a beautiful view that you can enjoy in the process: sea, mountains, valleys, bends of the road, garden. And, of course, communication. They are in no hurry for breakfast – the family has a meal for several hours, drinking all this with liters of delicious tea, communicating, sharing what the past week was filled with.

Everyone is familiar with the so-called “oriental” sweets with which we involuntarily associate Turkey. These are varieties of halva, baklava, Turkish delight, etc. Most often they are sugary sweet for our taste and not very useful: for example, the usual baklava is now prepared not with honey, but with ordinary sugar syrup. If you haven’t tried it yet, be sure to check out the local cakes – they’ll surprise you. Light, with an abundance of fresh fruits and nuts, without preservatives and unnecessary additives, they will be an excellent dessert. In any cafe-confectionery, we can choose both a piece of the cake you like, and order a whole one for some event.

Balık ekmek

Balık ekmek

Turkish cuisine also has its own “fast food”. For more rural or mountainous areas in Turkey, check out one of the roadside cafes labeled Gözleme. It is here, in nature, in the open air, after walks and appetite-filled mountain air, made by the hands of simple local peasants, these stuffed flat cakes are especially wonderful. They will be prepared right in front of you, after specifying what you prefer to put inside. This can usually be spinach, potatoes, cheese, herbs, or minced meat. By the way, buying food like this on the street – be it gözleme or local bagels (simit) with different fillings and other pastries, the famous fish sandwiches (balık ekmek) – is completely safe in Turkey.

In the tourist regions of the country, you can easily find both typically local restaurants and establishments that will prepare for you more familiar international cuisine.

The most economical option for a full meal in town is the lokanta, an inexpensive eatery.

There are usually few dishes in such a place, often there is not even a menu – everything is in front of you. A couple of types of soup (one of which will definitely be lentil puree soup), rice, potatoes, beans or other beans stewed in tomato sauce, several types of meat dishes, green salad. The more local residents dine in such an institution, the more daringly you can enter – such popularity among its own better than any Michelin stars guarantees taste, quality and value for money.

Some restaurants have a narrow specialization: for example, soup restaurants (several dozen types of soups are served here), kebab restaurants, kitchens specializing in cutlets (kefte), fish or pide (a type of open Turkish pizza).

In traditional restaurants à la carte. It is always longer and more expensive, but you can choose something to your liking. In the tourist area, menus have been translated into at least English, and now often into Russian. In addition to Turkish cuisine, you can find fast food chains popular around the world – McDonald’s, Burger King, pizzerias, Georgian, Russian, Asian cuisine establishments.

In the tourist region, dishes are usually adapted for foreigners – they are made less spicy and specific. The deeper into the center of the country, the more authentic cuisine you can taste.

Shopping in Turkey

It is no secret that Turkey is so popular as a tourist destination, not only for its excellent beaches and quality hotels, varied nature and rich history, hospitality of the local population and sunny climate, but also for its extensive shopping opportunities.

Shopping centers

In most more or less large cities, especially in the tourist regions, you will find modern shopping centers. They usually work from morning to evening, seven days a week. During the summer season, working hours are sometimes extended even to midnight, allowing everyone to shop while taking advantage of the evening heat decline.

A shopping center is not just a place for shopping. The more shopping centers (often called malls), the more various opportunities to spend time interestingly you can find.

Cash and bank cards are usually accepted for payment. Most often, there is an exchange office on the territory of the shopping center, where, if necessary, you can change the available currency.

In Istanbul, one of the most convenient shopping centers that is easy to get to if you are staying in the city center (Sultanahmet and Taksim districts) is the Marmara Forum.

MarkAntalya Shopping Center

MarkAntalya Shopping Center

In Antalya, the choice of shopping center will depend on the part of the city that is closer to the place where you are resting. For those who have chosen hotels or apartments in the area of ​​Lara and Kundu beaches, the most convenient way is to get to AVM TerraCity. For those closer to the center or the Old Town (Kaleici), AVM MarkAntalya is perfect. If you have chosen the Konyaalti region or suburban Kemer for recreation, go to AVM 5 M Migros. The largest shopping center of the city – Alanyum – awaits guests of Alanya.

Connoisseurs of expensive but high-quality brands often use the opportunity to buy them in outlets at a substantial discount. In Antalya you will find the Deepo outlet (it is located near the city’s international airport). Once in Ankara, take a look at Forum Outlet – these are 140 stores under one roof, where you can “catch” discounts up to 90%! The main outlet in Istanbul is Olivium. It is appreciated not only by guests of the city, but also by local residents.

In Istanbul, you can get to the shopping festival. It is held in the summer (usually June). At this time, the city’s shopping centers literally organize a festival of discounts on leather and fur products, clothes, shoes and much more.

The most compelling shopping moments are the annual sales. In Turkey they are held twice a year. The best summer prices can be found between July and September. Winter promotions start in January and end in March. All this practice applies to shopping malls and large stores. The rest and small traders usually get interesting discounts at the end of the season: the need to buy goods for the new season or to close the store before the next influx of tourists makes them lower prices.

Souvenirs

Rating of the most popular goods that tourists bring from Turkey:

  • local textiles (natural cotton clothes, bamboo bedding sets, towels, blankets);
  • colored ceramics and houseware;
  • spices, sweets and nuts;
  • clothing made of leather and fur;
  • hookahs and cezves;
  • bright colored glass lamps and souvenir floor lamps from dried pumpkin;
  • jewelry (including special local samples);
  • handmade carpets.

Bazaars

Like any truly eastern nation, Turkey cannot be imagined without noisy bazaars. Even if you prefer more “civilized” shopping, the local market is well worth a visit for the experience. You will definitely get a whole charge of emotions: it is always bright, colorful, aromas and sounds literally whirl you into a whirlwind.

Everywhere in Turkey you will find mobile markets – once or twice a week in a large marked area or right on city streets in certain places during the night, rows of tents grow up so that trade goes on here the next day.

Part of the market is always grocery – and to this day the Turks are the most popular way to buy groceries for a week for their large families.

Here are the freshest vegetables, fruits and herbs, village milk, eggs and a variety of cheeses, olives and homemade pickles, spices, nuts and dried fruits.

The markets sell seasonal products, so there is always the freshest at the most reasonable prices. Usually in the morning, at the beginning of trading, prices are higher. Towards evening, eager to sell perishable goods, sellers make good discounts, especially if you take a few kilograms. Come to the market hungry and do not be afraid to try everything that is offered to you: it is so accepted here, and it is really safe.

It is best to have local lira in cash as payment.

The second part of such a mobile market is usually real. The assortment here is the simplest – inexpensive knitwear, sportswear and jeans, home textiles, unpretentious souvenirs, wallets and bags made “for” famous brands. Be adequate – the probability of meeting real brands, real leather goods or natural silk is scanty. The bazaar is convenient for buying everyday clothes, especially for children – it is well worn, but without regret it is thrown away after the usual children’s experiments with felt-tip pens, paints, roller coasters or food stains.

There is more swing in this part of the market, especially for more expensive positions. You can agree on payment in lira, dollars, euros, and in some regions, rubles.

Stationary bazaars can be found in big cities. Perhaps the most famous among them are the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Market in Istanbul.

These are places literally filled with history and tradition. Even going “just to see”, take with you only the amount that you are ready to spend – then it will be almost impossible to stop.

  • The Grand Bazaar is a city within a city. Here, as in Greece, you can find everything. The main thing in the shopping process is not to get lost in the intricacies of shopping streets.
  • The Egyptian market specializes in real spices (hence its second name “Spice Market”).

Communications in Turkey

Over the past decades, Turkey has rapidly caught up with many technologically highly developed countries. The level of mobile communications, postal services, the quality and prevalence of Internet communications have risen to the level of global ones.

Mobile connection

The choice of mobile communication option depends on the length of the planned stay in the country. For short trips, most often the most justified is the roaming connection with your base operator.

Turkcell

Turkcell

If you are a frequent visitor to Turkey or intend to stay in the country for more than a few weeks, choose any of the main operators. Turkcell, Vodafon and Avea occupy the bulk of the mobile communications market. In any part of the country you can find the official offices of these companies, accredited to sell SIM cards. To buy a card, you will need a passport and a mobile phone to which a new SIM card will be installed.

At the moment, on average, buying a number costs 70–90 Turkish lira. Most of the available rates are prepaid. Please note that after purchasing a C-card, you need to immediately activate one of the current tariffs.

If you use your phone to call Russia and other countries, see separate offers for that. The price of such a package of services is up to 100 Turkish liras.

If you are in Turkey for more than 30 days and plan to use a Turkish mobile number, you need to register your mobile phone or buy a local one. Registration of your phone currently costs 1,500 liras (the tax was introduced on 19.07.2019).

If you use a number on an unregistered phone or someone else’s phone, do not use the number for a long time or do not replenish the balance on it, the number is blocked without the possibility of restoration. If you want to keep the number, even outside of Turkey, turn on your SIM card from time to time so that activity is visible.

Emergency phone numbers

  • Municipal Police 153
  • Traffic Police 154
  • Police 155
  • Gendarmerie 156
  • Fire brigade 110
  • Ambulance 112
  • Duty pharmacies 011
  • Tourist information 170

Officially, all phones in the country start with the international code +90.

Often you will be dictated to a number without a nine. In this format, you can call within the country. When making calls from other countries to local numbers, as well as for use in WhatsApp, you need to write down the entire number.

Post office

There are post offices in every locality in Turkey. They are easy to find – look for the letters PTT on the yellow signs. You will need mail if you want to please someone with a real paper letter or a postcard, send or receive a parcel, arrange a postal order (one of the most convenient ways to transfer money within the country in the absence of a local bank card).

In addition, most of the bills can be paid by mail. Most often, it is in PTT that the offices of the Western Union system are located.

Internet

In large cities and tourist places in Turkey, Internet communication is much better developed than in the periphery. In recent years, the availability of access to the Internet has become one of the prerequisites for any self-respecting institution: hotels, beaches, restaurants and cafes, shopping centers, banks, park recreation areas are constantly working to make you feel more comfortable, and without the Network, imagine it already impossible.

Public Wi-Fi is increasingly common on the embankments of major resorts, central city squares, parks and other places popular with tourists and locals.
The quality of the provided communication is getting better every year, but it is still very dependent on the user load and weather conditions. Squall wind, snow, thunderstorms in different regions of the country often make the connection “torn” or significantly reduce the speed.

On the territory of Turkey, some of the world’s resources are often closed for access. From time to time, social networks, YouTube, Wikipedia are blocked here, access to the Booking website is limited for several years, etc.

Accommodation in Turkey

Almost every region of Turkey will offer you hotels to choose from. In the regions of Antalya, Belek, Side, Alanya and Kemer, familiar tourists, most of the hotels open only during the high season.

In the winter, popular hotels in the center of Alanya and Antalya, as well as hotels with indoor pools or their own golf courses, remain open.

Apartments in Istanbul

Apartments in Istanbul

If you value tourism with immersion in the real life of the country, it is optimal to rent an apartment. This is the most economical option if you are traveling with a large family or company for more than 2 weeks. Standard Turkish apartments have bedrooms and a living room (connected to the kitchen or separate from it). Therefore, apartments are designated, for example, as follows: 2 + 1 (2 bedrooms and a hall).

The experience of a trip to Istanbul often depends on where you are staying. There are famous chain hotels (such as the Marriott Hotel or the Hilton), luxury villas, apartments for rent and a huge number of small hotels and hostels.

In Sultanahmet and Taksim, where guests of the city are most often accommodated, old historical buildings have been converted into hotels. You live in the epicenter of attractions, but you cannot count on comfort and silence here. If you want a more comfortable accommodation with spacious rooms, amenities and services, it is optimal to choose areas slightly more distant from the center.

It is important to remember that if you book your accommodation on your own through the website booking.com, all the necessary changes to your reservation must be made before entering Turkey – this resource does not work for local accommodation options in the country.

Focus on real reviews, if possible – make a decision right on the spot, after looking at the hotel. The fact is that despite the generally accepted “star” system, the quality of a hotel depends on the owners who keep it. Photos and descriptions from time to time do not reflect the true picture. Do not tune in to the specific interiors seen in the photo: the rooms you booked may not always be free, you will be accommodated in similar conditions in this, and possibly in a neighboring hotel – this is a common practice in Turkey.