Turkey is one of the most visited countries in the whole world and there’s a reason for this. From splendid beaches to striking views, Turkey ensures that you can have a fun and safe experience while enjoying yourself during the holiday. Still, there are some things that you should take into account before planning a visit there.
It’s always a good idea to learn a few basic Turkish phrases to enhance your experience, since most people there do not speak not even a tiny bit of English, not even in banks or customs, so don’t let this become a barrier between you and having fun. However, once a Turk recognizes that you are from a foreign country, you will be quickly adressed in German or, sometimes, Russian.
2. Crossing the street
Crossing the street can be a problem for pedestrians, as Turkey is well-known for its heavy and challenging traffic conditions. You can never guarantee that cars will stop for you. Even when using traffic lights, it is advisable to ensure that all vehicles have come to a complete stop before crossing safely.
Of course, weather can represent an impediment for a lot of people. The weather variation depends on which part of Turkey you are planning to visit. This huge country is stretching over two continents with diversified topography. Weather varies from desert climate to harsh, heavy winters. So when is the best time to visit Turkey?
- Summers in Turkey can get scorching, with temperatures reaching up to 100°F (38°C). However, with proper preparation, it can still be an enjoyable time to visit. Make sure to pack essentials like UV umbrellas, sunscreen, and stay hydrated. Keep in mind that some places, like Ephesus and Cappadocia, can feel unbearable during the peak heat hours between 12 PM and 5 PM.
- Winter in Turkey can be cold, and snowfall is common in certain regions. The tourism low season typically runs from November through March, so this might be a quieter time to visit if you prefer fewer crowds. The harsh continental climate, in Eastern Anatolia, with extremely cold winters, heavy snowfall and temperatures falling below freezing might be something you should consider as well.
- Spring, particularly in April and May, is a splendid time to explore Turkey. The landscape is in full bloom, and the weather is not yet sweltering, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities.
- Autumn, during September and October, is another fantastic time to visit. The weather is still pleasant, and the crowds tend to be smaller compared to the summer months, offering a more tranquil travel experience. Most regions in Turkey experience temperate weather during this period.
Tipping is customary in restaurants, and it’s common to leave ,at least, around 10% of the bill as a tip. Check if a service charge is included before adding an extra tip.
Bargaining in commercial plazas, like the famous Bazars, are common, even mandatory, in Turkey, so do not hesitate to negotiate the price of an item before buying it, but do so respectfully, as shopmen can get angered easily (especially if you leave the shop without buying anything).
Once you step foot on a new land, you must respect its home rules. The dress code in Turkey can vary depending on the region, city, and the specific context. Turkey is a diverse country with a mix of modern and traditional influences, so what is considered appropriate attire may differ from place to place.
- Urban Areas:In major cities, you’ll find a mix of clothing styles, from casual to formal. You can dress comfortably and moderately, but it’s a good idea to dress more conservatively in religious or historic sites.
- Religious Sites: When visiting mosques or other religious sites, both men and women should dress modestly, as a form of respect. Women should cover their heads with a scarf and wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. Men should avoid wearing shorts.
- Rural Areas and Conservative Regions: In rural areas and conservative regions, it’s advisable to dress more modestly, especially if you are a woman. Long skirts or pants and tops with sleeves are recommended.
- Beachwear: Beachwear is acceptable at the beach or by the pool in tourist areas, but it’s not appropriate to wear it in town, shops, or restaurants.
In the end, remember that Turkey is a diverse and welcoming country with a rich history and culture. Being informed and respectful will enhance your travel experience and help you create lasting memories.
Here is a video I made about my experience in Turkey. I recommend watching it, for a better understanding of the way a holiday in Turkey can look like. Enjoy!