Turkey is one of the most popular holiday resorts for UK travellers, and for good reason – it has the complete package. Gorgeous beaches, incredible scenery, a rich culture and its colourful, intriguing history are just a few of the things that attract tourists to this fascinating country in their millions every year.
With coastlines on the Black Sea, the Aegean and the Mediterranean, Turkey offers tourists incredible choice as a holiday destination. You can spend one day lazing on the sand and the next delving into Turkey’s intriguing past at one of its many heritage sites.
Whether you are off to explore the old town of Antalya, taking a cruise from Bodrum to Fethiye or soaking up the Mediterranean charm of Dalaman, there are a few things need to know about Turkey before you get off on you holiday. Read on to find out our most common FAQs.
What is the currency in Turkey?
Although officially the currency is the Turkish lira (TL), euros are also accepted in some parts of the country (particularly those that are most popular with tourists). To avoid difficulty, it is sensible to enter the country with lira and carry some on you at all times.
Paper currency comes in the following notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200. TL is commonly used to signify the price of something, for example 20 TL. Coins (smaller than one lira becomes kuruş) are also found in the form of 5, 10, 25, and 50 kuruş.
The U.S dollar is also accepted sporadically at some big hotels, shopping centres and restaurants.
What is the time zone?
Turkey’s main time zone is GMT +2.
What is the weather like?
Due to Turkey’s size, the weather can vary from region to region. Popular with holidaymakers, the Aegean and the Mediterranean coast can benefit from hot weather that hovers around the high 20s and mid 30s in the peak summer months (June, July, August and September). Rainfall is also at its lowest during this period making it the ideal time for a visit.
The hot weather and intense sunshine mean that it is imperative that you cover up during long periods outside. Drink plenty of water, wear a wide-brimmed hat and use plenty of sun lotion.
Can I use my debit and credit cards?
Larger towns and cities in Turkey have many ATMs that will accept major European bank cards without issue. Look for machines that display the provider that matches the one on your card before attempting to use it.
You should notify your bank of your intention to use the card in Turkey beforehand, and there may also be charges when using your card abroad. Many ATMs have English instructions.
Should I dress a certain way?
Most of Turkey’s tourist centres are very relaxed when it comes to dress, for both men and women. However, there is a degree of common sense to be used. When visiting a mosque of any site of religious significance you should dress respectfully and modestly. This means covering bare arms and legs, women covering their hair and, of course, removing your shoes before entry.
Can I drink the tap water?
Generally, it is safe to drink Turkish tap water, but it is advised that you opt for the bottled variety which is widely available.
Do I need a visa?
Yes you do. You can either apply online at beforehand www.evisa.gov.tr . These visas are issued on arrival and last for 90 days.
What plug sockets do they have in Turkey?
Like continental Europe, two-pin plug sockets are the most common in Turkey. You may wish to purchase an adapter before you travel.
What languages are spoken in Turkey?
The country’s official language is Turkish, but English is widely spoken in the main tourist areas of Turkey and you should have no issues with communication for the duration of your visit. Many Turkish people who work in the hospitality industry are fluent in English due to the large influx of British nationals that visit the country every year.
Will my mobile phone work in Turkey?
This depends on your SIM provider but some should work. Ask your mobile provider beforehand just to be sure.
What is the capital of Turkey?
Many believe that Turkey’s largest city Istanbul is the capital, but it is in fact Ankara which is located in the country’s Central Anatolia region.