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A mesmerizing mix of the exotic and the familiar, Türkiye is much more than its clichéd image of a “bridge between East and West”. Invaded and settled from every direction since the start of recorded history, it combines influences from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Central Asia. A richly historical land with some of the best cuisine you will ever taste, stunning scenery from beaches to mountains, and, of course, the great city of Istanbul.


The Türkiye of today is modern, westernized, and trendy but its exotic and esoteric face exists in tandem - the whirling dervishes and bewitching belly dancers, caliphs on carpets and amazing amulets, bustling bazaars and spicy smells. Discover the cosmic duality of Türkiye that stands with one foot in the Christian European West and the other in the Islamic Middle East ....and happily straddles the east-west divide.

  • Capital: Ankara

  • Currency: Turkish Lira

  • Area: 783,562 km2

  • Population: 82 million (2019)

  • Language; Turkish (official); Kurdish, Zaza, Arabic, Azeri, Laz

  • Religion: Muslim (Sunni majority and Alevi minority) majority with small minorities of Eastern Rite Christians, Jews, Agnostics, and Atheists.

  • Electricity: 220V/50Hz (European plug)




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Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 


Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season



































































Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall


As Türkiye experiences hot summers and cold winters, Spring (April, May) and Fall (mid-September to mid-November) are, generally speaking, the best time to visit. During these seasons, skies are likely to be sunny and temperatures pleasant, it’s unlikely to be too crowded, and you will have a better chance at finding discounted airfare and accommodation.


Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara shores have a relatively damp, Balkan climate, with muggy summers and cool, rainy winters, (although seldom snowy) - with the popular Aegean and Mediterranean coasts uncomfortably hot during July and August - especially between İzmir and Antakya. During spring and autumn, the weather in this area is a lot more bearable and crowds thinner. From late October into early November you might experience the idyllic pastırma yazı or “Indian summer” - a pleasant period of unseasonably warm, dry weather. That said, even during winter, the Turquoise and Mediterranean coasts can still be fairly pleasant (outside the rainy periods of January and February). The Black Sea is an anomaly in all the above, with exceptionally mild winters for being located so far north - with rain likely during the coolest months and subtropical humidity during summer.


Central Anatolia is mostly semi-arid steppe - cut off from the coast by mountains – warm but not unpleasantly so in summer, cool and fairly dry in winter, which is from late November to late March. Cappadocia makes a colourful, quiet treat during spring and autumn with its rock formations dusted in snow.


Traveling in Türkiye during Ramadan offers a unique cultural experience. As a secular country with a predominantly Muslim population, Türkiye presents a liberal approach to the observance of Ramadan. Visitors will find that life continues much as usual with restaurants and attractions remaining open, though some may have altered hours. 

Respect for local customs, such as discreet eating and drinking during fasting hours, is appreciated. The evenings come alive with iftar, the meal to break the fast, providing an opportunity to partake in communal feasts and local hospitality. 

The end of Ramadan is marked by Eid al-Fitr, a festive time of celebration and family gatherings. Travelers can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere, though it's advisable to plan ahead as transportation and accommodations may be busier during this period.


Türkiye offers a stunning array of beaches, each with its unique charm. 

Ölüdeniz, known for its famous Blue Lagoon, is a must-visit for its calm, turquoise waters. Butterfly Valley, accessible only by boat or hike, is an ecotourism haven teeming with diverse butterfly species. For a blend of history and nature, Patara Beach, with its ancient ruins and lengthy sands, is ideal. 

The best time to visit these beaches is during the summer months of June to August, when the weather is hot and sunny, perfect for beach activities and swimming. However, if you prefer fewer crowds and milder temperatures, the shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October are also great times to enjoy Türkiye's coastal beauty.




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Türkiye is no longer the super-cheap destination it used to be; prices in the heavily touristed areas are comparable to many places in Europe. However, considering the weakening of the Turkish Lira, you may still be in for a good value treat. In general, travel costs in Türkiye are highest in Istanbul in April–May, and September–October; and at Turkish beach resorts in July and August; lowest in the small towns of eastern Türkiye, and off-season (November through March).



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By Air: Türkiye's internal air network is fairly comprehensive, and Turkish airlines link all major cities, including the busy Istanbul-Ankara route.


By Road: A long-distance bus is by far the best way of getting around Türkiye and you will find frequent, cheap and usually comfortable bus services to everywhere in Türkiye. There is no national bus company and most routes are covered by various firms who have their ticket booths at the otogars (bus stations) from which they operate and at offices in the town center.


Car rental can be expensive but local chains tend to charge 20 to 30% less than the multinationals so shop around. A full driving license and Green Card insurance are required in Türkiye. The Turks can be rather rash drivers at times, so driving in cities should be avoided if possible - also due to the unavailability of city parking and general heavy traffic.


However, driving around Türkiye can help you see much more of the country in a shorter time. Though roads are adequate, they are narrow. You drive on the right and give priority to the right, even on roundabouts. The speed limit is 50 kph in towns and 90 kph on the main roads and the highway. Repair service is generally cheap and easily available. The Turkish motoring organization, TTOK, have a breakdown service available free to members of most foreign motoring organizations.


By Waterways: The TML operates everything from shuttle city services, inter-island lines to international services. Overnight services are very popular. Ferries operate from Istanbul to Trabzon (June to September only) while there is a hydrofoil from Istanbul to Bursa. Car ferries give you a free day from driving and also give you an opportunity to take a mini-cruise along the Turkish coasts.


By European standards, Türkiye is a huge country, the size of the UK and France combined; it’s impossible to see it all in a single trip. Lovers of the beach, mountains, and Graeco-Roman sites will be attracted to the beautiful southwest Mediterranean coast. With a little longer, you can combine vibrant İstanbul with Cappadocia’s fairy-tale landscape, while adventurers with more time to spare will be drawn to the spectacular “wild east”.



Aegean Türkiye - Greek and Roman ruins between the azure sea on one side and silvery olive groves on the other.

Black Sea Türkiye - Heavily forested mountains offering great outdoor sports such as trekking and rafting. The northeast has been historically inhabited by Georgians, many of them now identify as Muslim Laz.

Central Anatolia - Tree-poor central steppes with the national capital, Hittite and Phrygian ruins, and moon-like Cappadocia.

Eastern Anatolia - High and mountainous eastern part with harsh winters. Historically inhabited by Armenians.

South-eastern Anatolia - Semi-desert/mountainous part of the country. Primarily Kurdish-inhabited.

Marmara Region - The most urbanized region with Byzantine and Ottoman monuments in some of the country's greatest cities.

Mediterranean Türkiye - Mountains clad with pine woods ascending right from the heavily-indented coastline of the crystal clear sea.



  • İstanbul is truly one of the world’s great cities, straddling Europe and Asia, İstanbul is blessed with fascinating Byzantine churches, curvaceous Ottoman mosques, and bustling bazaars. It even boasts a buzzing nightlife scene.

  • Cappadocia is a unique landscape of weird rock pinnacles and deep valleys are enhanced by rock-cut, frescoed churches and entire underground cities. Two full days is an absolute minimum.

  • Once home to the founder of the mystical “whirling dervish” order, the city of Konya captivates the spiritually inclined.

  • A welcome respite from a surfeit of sightseeing; most visitors to lakeside Eğirdir stay on the tiny island and simply admire the mountains, swim, and eat.

  • Pamukkale's glistening white travertine basins and hot springs form a geological wonder to match Cappadocia. The Greeks and Romans would agree; their ruined spa-city, Hierapolis, remains integral to the experience.

  • The former Greek fishing town of Bodrum is now an all-white architectural treat of a resort. Famed in ancient times for the Mausoleum of Halikarnassos, today it’s better known for its club of (nearly) the same name, Halikarnas.

  • The charming little town of Selçuk offers welcoming places to stay, a good museum, the Basilica of St John, and the remnants of the Temple of Artemis. It’s also handy for both iconic Ephesus and İzmir international airport.



  • The small resort of Dalyan (well served by Dalaman international airport), is unusually but beautifully situated on a reed-fringed river, opposite a superb ancient site and handy for the turtle-nesting beach at İztuzu.

  • Patara makes for a superb coastal retreat, with low-key accommodation in the village of Gelemiş, a Roman site peeking from the dunes, and Türkiye's longest beach.

  • Türkiye's self-styled adventure capital of Kaş is located at the feet of towering mountains and makes for an excellent base to try scuba diving, sea kayaking, paragliding, canyoning, or hiking the Lycian Way – or just chill.

  • Çıralı is a relaxed resort hidden in citrus groves, backed by mountains and home to the romantic Roman ruins at adjoining Olympos, the eternal flames of the Chimaera, and a great sweep of shingle beach.

  • Antalya is a bustling city and home to a superb archaeological museum as well as the old walled quarter of Kaleiçi, which offers characterful accommodation, great nightlife, and a tiny but pretty beach.



  • For a perfect gateway to Türkiye's east, explore Gaziantep’s Arab-like bazaars, taste some of the country’s finest cuisine, and admire the fantastic Roman mosaics at the state-of-the-art Zeugma Mosaic Museum.

  • The colossal Hellenistic statues that dominate the remote mountaintop of Nemrut Dağı fully reward the effort it takes to reach them.

  • Famed for its pool of sacred carp, the traditional bazaar city of Şanlıurfa makes the perfect base to visit the unique Neolithic temple sanctuary of Göbeklitepe and the beehive houses at Harran.

  • For a real understanding of what makes eastern Türkiye tick head to the impoverished but fascinating village of Yuvacalı to “homestay” with a local Kurdish family, and sleep beneath a star-washed sky on the flat roof of their simple abode.

  • In Mardin you will find honey-colored medieval houses clustered beneath an ancient citadel, looking out over the checkerboard fields of the impossibly flat Mesopotamian plain.

  • Going but not yet gone, the incredible medieval ruined city of Hasankeyf, perched above the Tigris, will soon disappear beneath the waters of a controversial dam.

  • Explore the vivid blue-soda Lake Van and its high-mountain hinterland, studded with unique Urartian sites and atmospheric Armenian churches – notably on Akdamar island.

  • Doğubeyazıt is the base for assaults on nearby Mt Ararat, and more sedate visits to the fairy-tale palace of a Kurdish chieftain, İshak Paşa Sarayı.

  • Set in vast, rolling tablelands, Kars was brought to life in Orhan Pamuk’s Snow. Take a day-trip to the long-abandoned Armenian city of Ani.

  • Erzurum is an upland city that holds fascinating Islamic monuments and is the gateway to Türkiye's best ski resort, Palandöken.

  • The beautiful, green alpine mountain ranges range, dominated by Mt Kaçkar, spangled with yaylas (alpine pastures), glacier lakes, and flowers, is perfect for trekking.

  • Ancient Trebizond, a fiercely proud Black Sea port, has a superbly frescoed Byzantine church, the Aya Sofya, and is the base for day trips to the spectacular cliff-hanging monastery of Sumela.


Turkish cuisine combines Mediterranean, Eastern European, Caucasian, and Levantine influences, and can be extremely rich in flavor. Beef is the most important meat (lamb is also common but pork is very hard to find), and eggplant (aubergine), onion, lentil, bean, tomato, garlic, and cucumber are the primary vegetables. An abundance of spices is also used. The main staples are rice (pilav), bulgur wheat, and bread, and dishes are typically cooked in vegetable oil or sometimes butter.


A full Turkish meal at Kebab restaurant starts with a soup, often lentil soup (mercimek çorbasi), and a set of meze appetizers featuring olives, cheese, pickles, and a wide variety of small dishes. Meze can easily be made into a full meal, especially if they are consumed along with rakı.


şiş Kebap (Shish Kebab) - lamb grilled on a skewer is originally a Turkish dish.

Doner Kebap - lamb packed into a vertical revolving spit and sliced off in pieces when cooked is popular and delicious.

Köfte (meatball) is a variation of the kebab. There are hundreds of kinds of köfte throughout Anatolia

Pide or Turkish pizza is a cheap and tasty meal.

Dolma or stuffed vegetables served cold, and eggplant is most popular in Türkiye.

Among desserts, baklava (flaky pastry stuffed with walnuts and pistachios soaked in honey) is delicious.


Eating on the cheap is mostly done at Kebab stands, which can be found everywhere in Istanbul and other major cities. For the equivalent of a couple of dollars, you get a full loaf of bread sliced down the middle, filled with broiled meat, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. If you want to really taste the real Turkish food and have time, try to go where the locals go.


Turkish breakfast options tend to comprise of çay (tea), bread, olives, feta cheese, tomato, cucumber, and occasionally spreads such as honey and jam. An alternative is menemen - a Turkish variation on scrambled eggs/omelet - usually with red bell pepper, onion, garlic, and tomato combined with eggs.


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When visiting Türkiye for the first time, there are several regions to consider, each offering its unique attractions and experiences. Here are some options along with reasons and accommodation suggestions for each:

Where To Stay In Istanbul

Istanbul is a vibrant city that straddles two continents, offering a rich tapestry of history, culture, and modernity. It's home to iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar.

  • Budget accommodation: Cheers Hostel - Located in the lively Sultanahmet district, this hostel offers affordable dormitory beds and private rooms, along with a friendly atmosphere and helpful staff.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Hotel Amira Istanbul - Situated within walking distance of major attractions, this hotel offers stylish rooms, complimentary breakfast, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city.

  • Luxury accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet - Housed in a beautifully restored neoclassical building, this luxurious hotel offers spacious rooms, impeccable service, and a prime location near the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.

Where To Stay In Cappadocia

Cappadocia is known for its surreal landscape of fairy chimneys, cave dwellings, and ancient rock-cut churches. Visitors can explore the region by hot air balloon, hike through valleys, and discover underground cities.

  • Budget accommodation: Traveller's Cave Hotel - Offering cave-style rooms with modern amenities, this hotel provides budget-conscious travelers with a unique and authentic Cappadocian experience.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Sultan Cave Suites - Located in the heart of Goreme, this hotel features charming cave rooms, a rooftop terrace with panoramic views, and attentive service.

  • Luxury accommodation: Museum Hotel - Set in a restored ancient cave dwelling, this luxury hotel offers lavish rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, and gourmet dining options overlooking the stunning landscape of Cappadocia.

Where To Stay In Antalya (Turkish Riviera)

Antalya is a resort city on the Mediterranean coast known for its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and vibrant nightlife. Visitors can explore ancient ruins, relax on sandy beaches, and enjoy water sports activities.

  • Budget accommodation: Secret Palace Pansion - Situated in the historic Kaleici district, this budget-friendly guesthouse offers comfortable rooms and a charming atmosphere within walking distance of the city's attractions.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Akra Hotel - Located on the waterfront, this modern hotel offers stylish rooms, multiple swimming pools, a spa, and easy access to the beach and Old Town.

  • Luxury accommodation: Rixos Premium Belek - This luxurious all-inclusive resort features elegant rooms and suites, a private beach, multiple restaurants and bars, a water park, and a championship golf course.

Apart from Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Antalya, there are several other regions in Turkey worth considering for your visit:

Where To Stay In Pamukkale and Hierapolis: 

Located in southwestern Turkey, Pamukkale is famous for its travertine terraces of thermal pools and the ancient city of Hierapolis. Visitors can soak in the mineral-rich waters and explore the archaeological site with its well-preserved ruins.

  • Budget accommodation: Venus Hotel - Offering comfortable rooms and a rooftop terrace with views of Pamukkale, this hotel provides affordable accommodations close to the travertine terraces.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Melrose House Hotel - Situated near the entrance of Pamukkale, this hotel features modern rooms, a swimming pool, and a garden, providing a relaxing stay experience.

  • Luxury accommodation: Doga Thermal Health & Spa - Set amidst lush greenery, this luxurious hotel offers thermal spa facilities, elegant rooms, and gourmet dining options, providing a rejuvenating retreat in Pamukkale.

Where To Stay In Ephesus: 

Near the city of Izmir on the Aegean coast, Ephesus is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean region. Highlights include the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Artemis, and the Great Theatre, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

  • Budget accommodation: Hotel Kalehan - Located in the town of Selçuk, this budget-friendly hotel offers comfortable rooms and easy access to the ancient city of Ephesus and other nearby attractions.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Hotel Nilya - Situated in a historic Ottoman house, this boutique hotel provides stylish rooms, personalized service, and a charming courtyard, creating a cozy atmosphere for guests.

  • Luxury accommodation: Villa Konak Hotel - Offering luxurious accommodations in a beautifully restored mansion, this hotel features elegant rooms, a swimming pool, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Where To Stay In Bodrum: 

A popular resort town on the Aegean coast, Bodrum offers beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and historical sites such as Bodrum Castle and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. It's also a hub for sailing and water sports activities.

  • Budget accommodation: Bodrum Backpackers - Located in the heart of Bodrum, this hostel offers budget-friendly dormitory beds and private rooms, along with a lively social atmosphere and convenient access to the city's attractions.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Bodrium Hotel & YOU Spa - Situated near Bodrum Castle, this hotel offers stylish rooms, a spa, a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool, and easy access to the marina and Old Town.

  • Luxury accommodation: Be Premium Bodrum - This luxurious resort offers lavish rooms and suites, multiple swimming pools, a private beach, gourmet dining options, and a range of recreational activities.

Where To Stay In Fethiye and Ölüdeniz: 

Located on the Turquoise Coast, Fethiye is a charming seaside town known for its marina, bustling market, and Lycian rock tombs. Nearby Ölüdeniz is famous for its stunning Blue Lagoon and is a popular spot for paragliding.

  • Budget accommodation: Yildirim Guest House - Located in the center of Fethiye, this guesthouse offers affordable rooms and a friendly atmosphere, making it a popular choice for budget travelers.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Alesta Yacht Hotel - Situated near the marina, this hotel offers stylish rooms, a swimming pool, a spa, and easy access to the seaside promenade and local attractions.

  • Luxury accommodation: Liberty Hotels Lykia - Set on a private beach in Ölüdeniz, this luxurious resort features elegant rooms and villas, multiple swimming pools, a spa, and a variety of dining options, providing a lavish beachfront retreat.

Where To Stay In Trabzon and the Black Sea Coast: 

Trabzon, situated on the northeastern coast of Turkey, offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Visitors can explore ancient monasteries, lush forests, and picturesque villages along the Black Sea coastline.

  • Budget accommodation: Zorlu Grand Hotel - Located in the city center of Trabzon, this hotel offers affordable rooms and a range of amenities, including a restaurant, fitness center, and business facilities.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Novotel Trabzon - Situated near the coast, this hotel offers modern rooms, a swimming pool, a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, and easy access to Trabzon's attractions and shopping areas.

  • Luxury accommodation: Zorlu Grand Hotel - Offering luxurious rooms and suites with sea views, this hotel provides upscale amenities, including a spa, a rooftop terrace, and gourmet dining options, creating an indulgent stay experience in Trabzon.

Where To Stay In the Gallipoli Peninsula: 

Rich in history and natural beauty, the Gallipoli Peninsula is known for its World War I battlefields and memorials. Visitors can pay their respects at sites like Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery and explore the surrounding coastal landscape.

  • Budget accommodation: Gallipoli Houses - Located near the historical sites of Gallipoli, this guesthouse offers comfortable rooms and a warm hospitality experience, making it a convenient and affordable option for visitors.

  • Mid-range accommodation: Iris Hotel - Situated in the town of Çanakkale, this hotel offers modern rooms, a restaurant serving Turkish cuisine, and easy access to Gallipoli's battlefields and memorials.

  • Luxury accommodation: Kolin Hotel - This luxurious hotel offers elegant rooms and suites, a spa, multiple swimming pools, and panoramic views of the Dardanelles Strait, providing a luxurious retreat for guests exploring Gallipoli.

Each of these regions in Turkey offers its own unique experiences and accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you're interested in exploring historical sites, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or indulging in luxury accommodations, Turkey has something to offer for every traveler.

For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.






Let iVisa take the pain out of travel planning and assist you with Electronic visas, Travel Authorizations, Visas on Arrival, and even Paper Visas. They can also help with Health Declarations and Embassy Registrations. If you're from the US, they also provide a One-Stop Shop to renew your Passport securely and error-free.

Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to, we have found to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

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