Suggested Length of Stay
Turkey is a country that one can not always do in one trip, a good start is 7-14 days that will highlight the best in the country.
Modes of transport
Driving around Turkey gives you unparalleled freedom to explore the marvellous countryside and coastline, and to follow back roads to hidden villages and mysterious ruins.
For Most city buses you must buy your bilet (ticket) in advance at a special ticket kiosk. Kiosks are found at major bus terminals and transfer points and sometimes attached to shops near bus stops.
Train travel through Turkey is becoming increasingly popular as improvements are made, with high-speed lines such as İstanbul–Ankara appearing.
Turkish Taxis are fitted with digital meters. If your driver doesn't start his, mention it right away by saying 'saatiniz' (your meter). Check your driver is running the right rate, which varies from city to city. The gece (night) rate is 50% more than the gündüz (daytime) rate, but some places, including İstanbul, do not have a night rate.
Turkey is well connected by air throughout the country, although many flights go via the hubs of İstanbul or Ankara.
The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey have very hot and dry summers. Winters, between October and April, are mild and wet, and Turkey's coastal towns shut down. Winter in Istanbul and Cappadocia can be very cold, sometimes with light snow cover. The peak tourist season is during high summer, roughly between July and September, and this is the ideal time for a beach holiday in Turkey.
The Spring and autumn months are also an excellent time to visit, with warm days, cool evenings, and no mosquitos. Eastern Turkey should be visited during summer as roads and mountain passes may close due to winter ice and snow.
There are no vaccination requirements for travelling to Turkey.
Food and Drink
Turks love to eat out, particularly in restaurants serving their beloved national cuisine. It's a good idea to book tables in advance when dining on Friday and Saturday evenings or when by the seaside in summer.
The the official currency is the Turkish Lira (TRY), which is divided into 100 kurus. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports, and ferry ports. Note that banks have the worst rates but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas.
ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but Turkish ATM keypads usually, do not have letters of the English alphabet on their keys. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is also accepted in some areas.
If you are visiting Turkey for tourism or business and less than 90 days in a 180 day period, you'll need to get an electronic visa ('e-visa'). Apply online at the Turkish government's official e-visa website. There have been reports of unauthorised visa websites charging for information on e-visas.
Australian Embassy & Consulate contacts in Turkey
Uğur Mumcu Caddesi No: 88, Level 7
Ankara / TURKEY
Ph: +90 312 459 95 00
Turkey Embassy & Consulate contacts in Australia
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
6 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Ph: +61 02 6234 0000
220 Volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is standard.
Getting there (stopovers)
Most Middle Eastern airlines fly daily to Istanbul from most Australian cities, Singapore Airlines fly to Istanbul via Singapore, or Turkish Airlines fly direct to Istanbul from Bangkok.
Tipping is a way of life in Turkey, and it is customary to give some small change for most services or a small per cent of the bill. In more prominent hotels and restaurants, if a service charge is not added to the bill, it is customary to tip between 10 and 15 per cent. For taxi fares, it is enough to round up the bill. Attendants at Turkish baths expect to share about 15 per cent of the total bill if service has been excellent.