About Turkey - General Information About Turkey

About Turkey - General Information About Turkey

Learn the basics that every traveler should know about Turkey, such as where is Turkey, when to go to Turkey, and where to visit in Turkey.

If you want to visit Turkey, but feeling overwhelmed about how little information you have about it, don’t worry. Here is some essential information on the basics you should know before visiting Turkey.

Where is Turkey?

Where is Turkey

Turkey is the country that works as a bridge between Asia and Europe. It’s on the northern latitudes of 36-42 degrees and the eastern meridians of 26-45 degrees. Turkey is surrounded by seas on three sides, and it’s neighbors are the following countries: Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Syria, Iran, and Iraq.

When to Go to Turkey?

Balloon in Cappadocia

Turkey is a fairly large country (37th in the world to be precise) that has different climates in different regions. This makes it difficult to give a straight forward answer about when to visit Turkey. It is important to time your travel according to the things you want to do in Turkey. Do you want to see ancient ruins? Or do you want to go on a proper seaside holiday? Different activities will take you to different locations that have different weather patterns.

In general, we can say:

  • For outdoor activities such as hiking and visiting sites, the best time is during the spring months with long and warm days. Autumn is the second-best with again warm days, which are relatively shorter.
  • For summer holidays by the beach, anytime between May and October is good. Keep in mind that the sea might still be chilly in May, and the second half of October is when the hotels start closing off for the year.
  • For Istanbul, places to visit are available all year, and the time you choose depends on your preference. However, Istanbul might get a bit too hot to enjoy during the peak of summer.

January-March

Winter in Cappadocia

January and February are the coldest months in Turkey, where tourism is at its lowest levels. During March, the weather starts to get warmer, but still, it is not the most preferred time to visit Turkey by many people.

Southern beach holidays can only be done by the bravest at this time of year, with the temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius and sea itself much colder. Hotel prices get very cheap at this time if they are not closed.

Cappadocia is in the inner part of the country, where winters are tougher than the seaside cities. You can expect to see temperatures of 3 to 10 degrees Celsius through these months. With some thick clothes, you can enjoy Cappadocia without masses and take amazing photos while taking a hot air balloon trip. Hotel prices get lower at this time as well. Since hot air balloon rides need stable conditions and winter in Cappadocia is windy with chances of rain and snow, the rides might get canceled. If looking over Cappadocia in a hot air balloon is your first priority, it is best not to choose this time.

Istanbul and Ephesus have a warmer climate in these months compared to Cappadocia, and temperatures are between 9-13 degrees Celsius. It might get a bit chilly being outdoors all the time, but sites are very calm and enjoyable at this time.

April-May

Istanbul in Spring

This is a great time for anything outdoors. If you are planning to discover Turkey thoroughly, this is your time. Warm-but-not-too-hot weather makes activities such as visiting ancient sites or hiking around trails very pleasant. It is also the blooming season, so if you are in nature, you can enjoy wonderful views. In Istanbul, you can view colorful tulips and many other flowers. You can expect to get caught in the rain once in a while, but they are mostly quick showers.

If you are thinking about a beach holiday, April might still get chilly and rainy at times. Specifically, the temperature of the sea might still be too cold.

June-August

Ölüdeniz in Summer

Early June can still be good for outdoor activities, but the rest of the summer is too hot to be anywhere too far away from the Mediterranean coast in Turkey. It is a great time for the beach holiday, but prices are higher than any other time of year as well.

Cappadocia gets quieter during this time, and you can enjoy the colorful flowers during this season. Ephesus, on the other hand, tends to be busy. Usually, cruise ships drop a lot of tourists at once to these ancient sites. Making it too hot and crowded at times. If you are visiting Ephesus and other ruins such as Troy at this time of year, please make sure to carry plenty of water with you.

September-October

İzmir in Autumn

The start of September can still be too hot for being too active at times. But the rest of these months are very similar to springtime, and it is a very good time for the same activities as spring.

It is also a good time for a coastal holiday, the sea temperature is still very comfortable, and prices are lower. Still, it might get very quiet and deserted by the end of October.

November-December

İstanbul in November

Except for the most southern part of Turkey, the country gets cold during this time, and the central cities can get snow. In Istanbul, snow doesn’t really stay on the ground for more than a few days, and during this time, you can capture some wonderful scenery with your camera.

In these months, the temperature in Istanbul is around 10-15 degrees Celsius. Cappadocia tends to get colder, 5 to 12 degrees Celsius at this time.

What Places to Visit in Turkey?

Pamukkale

Many people ask the same question, where is the most beautiful place in Turkey? Though Turkey has lots to offer, according to the data provided by the Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Culture and Tourism, in 2018, most of the travelers have mainly chosen to visit Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Troia, and Pamukkale.

Things to Do in Turkey

Turkey is a very versatile country with many different activity options for every taste and every age. Whether you want to go for a hike on an ancient trail, dive to the site of a shipwreck, see the ancient ruins of the Roman Empire, or rare natural phenomenon, you’ll find a piece in Turkey offering it.

Best Things to Do in Turkey

Turkey is a big country with lots of different things to do for different tastes, but still, there are some things that every visitor should experience. Having dinner while watching the sunset in Istanbul, for example, is a great experience that’s best not to miss. Seeing the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys, Pamukkale’s cotton-like terraces are all wonderful experiences for visitors.

Fun Things to Do in Turkey

You can find many exciting activities in Turkey. Especially in the southern beaches, you can fill your days with canoeing, windsurfing, boat trips, and canyon hiking trips. You can fly over Cappadocia in a hot air balloon and relax in the cotton pools of Pamukkale. If you are a winter person, you can go to Uludağ for a skiing trip and try a variety of winter sports there.

Things Not to Do in Turkey

Turkish people are ready to welcome you, but how can you make sure you won’t disrespect them and enjoy Turkey to the fullest? By simply avoiding the following things:

  • You should make sure you are not entering mosques with shorts or small dresses. Both genders need to pay attention to showing respect to sacred places.
  • Better avoid diets; Turkish food is just too good for that.
  • Random taxis without a company name or logo are to be avoided. Make sure to take a taxi that works for a taxi company; otherwise, you might be on a long, long ride (unnecessarily).
  • Shopping malls. They are filled with the same old stuff, while Turkish markets and bazaars are filled with unique things to take home. Don’t forget to bargain!

List of Things to Do in Turkey

# Name City
1. Hagia Sophia Museum Istanbul
2. Blue Mosque Istanbul
3. Basilica Cistern Istanbul
4. Topkapı Palace Istanbul
5. Süleymaniye Mosque Istanbul
6. Grand Bazaar Istanbul
7. Historic Areas of Istanbul Istanbul
8. Ancient City of Ephesus İzmir
9. Galata Tower Istanbul
10. Dolmabahçe Palace Istanbul
11. Göreme Open Air Museum Nevşehir
12. Chora Church Istanbul
13. Temple of Apollo, Side Antalya
14. İstanbul Archaeology Museums Istanbul
15. Anıtkabir Ankara
16. Göreme National Park Nevşehir
17. Hierapolis Denizli
18. Side Theatre Antalya
19. Alanya Castle Antalya
20. The Virgin Mary's House İzmir
21. Mevlana Museum Konya
22. Bodrum Castle Muğla
23. Antalya Museum Antalya
24. Zonguldak Mining Museum Zonguldak
25. Phaselis Antalya
26. Zeugma Mosaic Museum Gaziantep
27. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations Ankara
28. Eyüp Sultan Mosque Istanbul
29. İstanbul Modern Istanbul
30. Troy Ruins Çanakkale
31. Library of Celsus İzmir
32. Miniaturk Istanbul
33. Perge Antalya

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Frequently Asked Questions About Turkey

Is Turkey Safe to Visit in 2020?

Turkey is generally a safe country to visit. Foreign and Commonwealth Office suggests that Turkey is a safe country except the areas within 10 km of the border with Syria and the province of Kilis.

Is Turkey Expensive?

If you are traveling on a tight budget, we have good news for you. Turkey is one of the cheapest places you can visit around the Mediterranean coast.

Özge Erdem

Özge’s career goals changed big time during the third year of her major, when she realized she had no wish to be a chemical engineer. After traveling Asia and doing various nomadic jobs, she settled back in Turkey to start her dream job of building websites and copy-writing with her high school friend.

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