8 Aralık 2007 Cumartesi


Welcome to Travel Turkey Tips. Oftentimes, it's the little things we learn that help make our travels more enjoyable. If you have a tip to share, e-mail us and we'll spread the news. Please remember to give us your name and country so we can thank you for your tip.


TIP: You will get a better rate of exchange for cash than for travelers cheques. We found that the exchange places charged a commission for travelers cheques, but not for changing cash. -- M. Culshaw, Canada

TIP: When you bring cash make sure that none of the bills have ANY rips in them. We have had bills refused with small rips. -- A. Higgins, Canada

TIP: Credit cards are used most places in Istanbul, but lots of cash or access to it is really necessary. The old thing of tipping with American dollars is not too well received - which is strange due to the strength of the dollar. Good advice was to change money every few days rather than a lot at once due to the unruly fluctuation of the value of the dollar. --L. Durand, USA

TIP: If you are planning to be in Turkey for more than a few days, convert your money a little at a time. Inflation is high in Turkey (50% in 1999) and you will be surprised by the changes a week in exchange rates can bring.

TIP: When you arrive at the airport, the best place to exchange money is at the PTT (post office) inside baggage claim. And always count your money no matter who is making change. Turks do it and so should you!

TIP: If you purchase your visa at your point of entry have cash. They do not take traveler's checks, credit cards or Turkish lira.

What To Wear

TIP: Don't bring too many clothes from home. Buy them there. It is inexpensive, especially if you discuss the price and bargain.-- G.&R Rock, Belgium

TIP: Wear flat shoes for walking, and watch where you are walking. The sidewalks are often not only uneven, but also broken, with lots of unexpected holes. -- M. Culshaw, Canada

TIP: If you are male, don't wear shorts when you visit a mosque, unless you want to walk around it clad in a skirt. The skirt will be provided at the door, and you won't be allowed to enter until you have donned it! -- M. Culshaw, Canada

TIP: Ladies, if you are contemplating eating in small local restaurants you may be well advised to wear a skirt rather than pants. Many of these local places have toilets that are of the 'hole in the floor' variety! 'Nuff said? -- M Culshaw Canada.

TIP: Wear the clothes you would normally wear in your own country, as you will see the same amount of variety in Turkey (I'm often asked if I need to wear a head scarf when I go!!) -- A. Higgins, Canada

TIP: Take some 'water shoes' as many of the beaches are rocky. -- A. Higgins, Canada

Drinking and Eating

TIP: We visited the beautiful city of Marmaris the end of August 1999. We found that if you leave the main road, you can save up to 40% on prices for eating. We found a Restaurant and Bar named EVITA, placed on 165 Sok. across from Fidan Otel, Karsisi No. 8. Here the prices are low and the food is very good and Turkish. Combined with a very nice staff, make this a place you must visit in Marmaris. -- L. & J. Redlef, Denmark

TIP: In the restaurants, keep track of what you ordered and notice the prices. Make your own bill (on a paper or with a pocket calculator). Do it obviously, so the waiters can see it. You will have no surprise when you ask for their "real" bill. Sometimes (often ?) there is a mistake in the addition ... Turkish language is not easy to read, even on a bill. -- G.&R Rock, Belgium

TIP: Drink bottled water, and in restaurants make sure the bottle is unopened when it is brought to the table. Refuse it if it isn't. -- M. Culshaw, Canada

TIP: To really experience the Turkish eating/drinking 'behaviors' go to a restaurant (with a Turk, if possible) and drink Raki while eating mezze, small appetizers. This process should last a number of hours, while you talk about everything. -- A. Higgins, Canada

TIP: Food, glorious food. Eat in tiny places, fancy places, huge places. The food is so superb that one can almost not miss. Our favorite place was the restaurant in Topkapi. And ... if you love creme caramel, you'll be in heaven. -- L. Durand, USA

TIP: Don't drink the tap water. You can purchase water for about $1 a liter at any market. If you're on a budget, then purchase water like the natives do at the “SU” store. Su means water, and they use a hose and meter like a petrol or gas station. Three liters of water is about 10 cents.

Places To Visit
TIP: When in Bodrum, take a one day boat trip from the harbor, about $10-20 CND ($7-14 US) includes lunch. Its very relaxing and beautiful, and will take you to a number of gorgeous little coves. It can be a bit too many people so spend a bit more and go on a day trip with only 5-10 people. -- A. Higgins, Canada

TIP: Go to Dalyan - you can find a pension right on the river that leads from the lake to the sea. On the opposite side of the river are ancient tombs carved into the side of a mountain. During the day you can take a boat to the beach, the beach being a special turtle nesting area. -- A. Higgins, Canada

TIP: Tahtakuslar Gallery, located between Altinoluk and Edremit, is an excellent opportunity to experience how Turkish nomads live and best of all it's free. Visitors can try on some of the clothes the nomads used to wear and have their picture taken. There is a museum that also displays handmade items from a village about a mile away. I believe it is a very good cultural experience for tourists.-- C. Askin, USA

TIP: Just 5 - 10 miles away from Tahtakuslar there are thermal hot springs named Gure Kaplicalari. It is very similar to Turkish baths. It is open 24-hours plus you can rent your own room for taking a bath. You pay a flat rate of around $2/room and you can stay as long as you want. They also have beds for people who want to spend the night. It is dirt cheap!! The spa is surrounded by olive trees and the area is referred to as "Oxygen Heaven," because of its clear air.-- C. Askin, USA

TIP: Use "dolmus" (pronounce as "dolmoosh"). It is inexpensive (15 BEF for about 4 km) and very nice. -- G.&R Rock, Belgium

TIP: Use a dolmus - an inexpensive transportation system - using cars from the 50's (in Istanbul) or mini-busses (elsewhere) as a cross between a bus and a taxi. You get on at certain locations, the dolmus has a predefined route, but you can get of f anywhere. It will usually cost 50 cents, and the driver will not take a tip. -- A. Higgins, Canada

TIP: You can make a quick trip from Istanbul to Canakkale via air. Dardanel Air offers a 40-minute flight for about $100 round-trip. Compared to a long bus ride this is worth it! They serve fruit juice & snacks, however, do not expect to find the customer service you find in the USA. My personal experience was not that pleasant, but it was still well worth the time and money savings. --C. Askin, USA

Other Good Tips
TIP: Learn a few words of the Turkish language, such as "Hello", "Thank you", and so on (see http://www.turkey.org and then click on Tourism or go to http://cali.arizona.edu/). Turkish people appreciate this very much. -- G.&R Rock, Belgium

TIP: Always ask a price before you decide to buy a good or a service. e.g., once a shoeshine-boy begins to clean your shoes, you have to pay him anyway, and discussing the price is much more difficult after he did it than before. -- G.&R Rock, Belgium

TIP: In Turkey, there are not fixed prices. Especially on markets and in small shops, you have to discuss the prices. Usually, you can get a discount of 40 % to 60 %. If it is possible, wait until another tourist has bought something and then ask him how much he payed. This can give you a good tip about the prices. -- G&R Rock, Belgium

TIP: I tried the Australia Direct number for many days before I found out that many hotels etc., for reasons best known to themselves, actually block access to the international 00 800 country direct numbers but it does work very well from public telephones and any direct (i.e. not through a switchboard) connected telephone. -- B. Anderson, Australia.

TIP: The supermarket (Migros) takes VISA and has a number of prepared traditional main dishes and deserts in their deli section.-- A. Higgins, Canada

TIP: Take suntan lotion with you. It is quite expensive there.--A. Higgins, Canada

TIP: We learned to enjoy the carpet sales people and played the game with them, listening to any new ploys they tried. We did not enjoy the kids selling shoe shines, etc. REMEMBER THAT NOTHING IS FREE - and often, they would spill polish on a shoe and charge to clean it off - too bad. Their favorite spots appear to be in the Hippodrome area around the mosques and at the fish market.--L. Durand, USA

TIP: We were so very thankful to have been advised to stay in the old part of the city, the Sultanahmet area. It was wonderful being able to walk to the major sites, bazaar, spice bazaar, etc. --L. Durand, USA

TIP: We had a fabulous, fabulous guide in Istanbul. I'll be happy to recommend him if desired. You can e-mail me for the information.--L. Durand, USA

TIP: We found L. Durand's above recommendation for a guide in Istanbul to be just as described: "fabulous"! We, too, heartily recommend him. -- G & K Kokko, USA

TIP: Visit Turkey in the off-season. Our ten days in Istanbul (with two nights out for the Ephesus experience) were some of the best of our lives. I mean it. My husband, son and I have never enjoyed a trip more. We never consider weather in making our plans (other than avoiding horrid extremes, of course) and shocked many people with traveling to Turkey during Christmas. We had perfect weather - two layer outings, rarely wearing coats; no rain. Uncanny! We have also discovered the time to travel. We had Istanbul and Ephesus, etc. to ourselves - no kidding.--L. Durand, USA

TIP: If you buy a "Yagcibedir" rug (they are made mainly in the East of Turkey), get a white handkerchief or piece of cloth or piece of cloth. Wet it a little bit and rub it on the "blue" color. if the blue color comes out, DON'T BUY that rug. Blue is the most difficult color to dye, therefore, the quality of the blue color will give you an idea of the quality of the rug. Also, always turn the back of the rug and look for white threads. The yarn they stretch to weave on is always white. You should not see too much of it.-- C. Askin, USA

TIP: I found a “pansiyon” in Dardanel for $5-$10/night. They only work with tourists. Representatives will pick you up at the bus station at no charge. I would say for someone who is doing adventure travel with a backpack, the Yellow Rose Pansiyon is the place to go. -- C. Askin, USA

TIP: I stayed at a beautiful hotel in Istanbul...excellent service, clean, magnificent view, live music, dancing, indoor pool & sauna, exercise room, nice restaurant, daily tours, etc. I got a special deal on the price through a friend and a U.S. passport, but I understand they offer special prices for tour groups and travel agencies. You can find Hotel Euro Plaza on-line at http://www.hoteleuroplaza.com.tr. -- C. Askin, USA

TIP: In need of a rest room while in Turkey? Look for the nearest mosque. There are both women's and men's rest rooms.

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