Visiting Turkey From the USA: What Do I Need to Know?
Updated: Jan 21
If you are visiting Turkey from the USA, here are some general things you need to know.
General information on Turkey:
Turkey is a country rich in culture and history, and a popular destination for first-time travelers. The country, which straddles Europe and Asia, offers a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences, making it a fascinating place to visit.
One of the best things about Turkey is the food. Turkish cuisine is a delicious blend of flavors and spices, and it's a great way to experience the country's culture. Some must-try dishes include dolma (stuffed grape leaves), kebab (grilled meat), and baklava (a sweet pastry made with phyllo dough and honey). Be sure to also try some traditional Turkish coffee or tea, which are often served in small cups and accompanied by a sweet treat.
Another highlight of Turkey is its history and architecture. The country is home to some of the world's most famous historical sites, including the ancient city of Troy, the rock-carved city of Petra, and the stunning Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The Hagia Sophia, which was originally built as a cathedral in the 6th century and later converted into a mosque, is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture.
Istanbul, the country's largest city, is a great place to start your Turkey adventure. This city, which spans two continents, Europe and Asia, is home to a diverse range of cultures and influences. The city is also home to the famous Grand Bazaar, a huge market filled with shops selling everything from spices to textiles to jewelry.
Another must-see city in Turkey is the ancient city of Ephesus. This ancient city is home to some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world, including the famous Celsus Library and the Great Theater. Visitors can also see the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
When visiting Turkey, be sure to also take some time to explore the country's natural beauty. Turkey is home to a diverse range of landscapes, from the snow-capped peaks of Mount Ararat to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. The country is also home to a number of national parks and nature reserves, including the stunning Oludeniz Beach and the picturesque Oludeniz Lagoon.
One of the best ways to experience Turkey's natural beauty is to take a hot air balloon ride over the famous fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. The unique rock formations and cave dwellings in Cappadocia are a sight to behold, and a hot air balloon ride is the perfect way to take it all in.
If you're interested in culture, Turkey is the perfect place to be. The country is home to a number of traditional festivals, such as the Whirling Dervishes Festival in Konya, and the annual Mevlana Festival. The Mevlana Festival is a celebration of the Sufi poet and philosopher, Rumi, and features traditional music, dance, and poetry.
Overall, Turkey is a wonderful destination for first-time travelers, offering a diverse range of experiences and a rich culture that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you're interested in history, architecture, food, or nature, Turkey has something to offer everyone. With its stunning landscapes, delicious food, and rich history, Turkey is a country that will stay with you long after you've left.
If this is your first time traveling turkey this is a great video guide for you! Once you’ve watched this video on the 10 things you must know before visiting to Turkey, you will be ready to explore Istanbul and the whole country even if it is your first time visiting!
What to Pack For your Trip to Turkey
Here's a great 11-minute video on packing for Turkey. I like this video because they are fitting everything they want to pack into a carry-on, which is my preferred suitcase to travel with (as a non-rev traveler).
When packing for a trip to Turkey, it's important to consider the country's climate and cultural customs. Turkey has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. During the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, so it's important to pack lightweight, breathable clothing that will keep you cool. A sunhat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also essential items to pack. In the winter, temperatures can drop to around 10 degrees Celsius, so it's important to bring a jacket or sweater for the evenings.
Comfortable walking shoes are a must, as Turkey is a country rich in history, and there are many ancient sites and landmarks to explore. Turkey is also a country where people love to spend time outdoors, so a pair of comfortable walking shoes will come in handy.
Modest clothing is also important to pack as Turkey is a Muslim country and it's respectful to cover up when entering mosques or other religious sites. Women should bring long skirts or pants, and tops with sleeves, and men should avoid shorts and sleeveless shirts. Also, it is a good idea to bring a scarf or shawl to cover the head when visiting religious sites.
If you're planning on traveling to more remote areas of Turkey, it's also a good idea to pack a small first aid kit, including any prescription medications you may need. It's also a good idea to pack a power adapter as the power outlets in Turkey are different from those in other countries.
Finally, don't forget to bring your camera and a good guidebook or travel app. Turkey is a country rich in history and culture, and there are many beautiful places to take photographs of. A guidebook or travel app will also come in handy for finding your way around, and for learning more about the country's history and culture.
In summary, when packing for a trip to Turkey, it's important to consider the climate, cultural customs and the type of activities you'll be doing. Pack comfortable walking shoes, modest clothing, a sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, jacket or sweater, a small first aid kit, power adapter, camera, and a guidebook or travel app. With these essentials, you'll be well prepared to fully enjoy your trip to Turkey
Climate in turkey in April and May?
The climate in Turkey in April and May is generally mild and pleasant. In April, temperatures typically range from around 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day, and can drop to around 5 to 10 degrees Celsius (41 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) at night. The weather can be unpredictable, with occasional rain and even snow in some parts of the country.
By May, the weather starts to warm up, with temperatures ranging from around 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day, and dropping to around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius (50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) at night. The weather is generally sunny and dry, making it an ideal time to visit the country. The coastal areas of the country are warmer and milder compared to the inland areas, and the sea temperature is also warmer in May.
Overall, April and May are good months to visit Turkey, as the weather is mild and pleasant, and there are fewer tourists compared to the peak summer months. However, it is still a good idea to bring a light jacket or sweater for the evenings, as temperatures can drop, especially in the mountainous regions.
Currency and How Much Money to Bring to Turkey:
It depends on your travel style and the duration of your stay in Turkey, but a rough estimate would be around $25-50 per day per person. This should cover costs for food, souvenirs, and any additional activities you wish to partake in. Of course, your expenses may be higher or lower depending on your travel style and the type of activities you plan to do.
It is important to note that Turkey is generally a very affordable country to visit, with good value for money. You can find good quality budget accommodation for as little as $20 per night, and street food or local restaurants can cost as little as $5-10 per meal. Public transportation is also relatively cheap, with a single trip on the metro or bus costing around $1-2.
However, if you plan to do more expensive activities such as hot air balloon rides, visit museums and historical sites, or shop in luxury boutiques, your expenses will be higher. Additionally, if you plan to travel to more remote or touristy areas, prices for accommodation and activities may be higher.
In terms of currency, the Turkish Lira (TRY) is the official currency in Turkey, but most places will also accept the US dollar and Euro, especially in tourist areas. It is always good to have some cash with you as not all places accept credit cards, and it is also a good idea to have some Turkish Lira with you for small purchases and tips.
It is also important to note that as of 2021, Turkey is experiencing high inflation, and the value of the Turkish Lira has been fluctuating, so it is a good idea to check the current exchange rate before your trip and to keep an eye on it during your stay.
Overall, it's best to have a flexible budget when traveling to Turkey and to be prepared for unexpected expenses. It's also important to keep in mind that the cost of living in Turkey can vary depending on where you go and what you plan to do.
Getting a Visa for Turkey for USA Travelers
As of 2021, American citizens can obtain a Turkish visa for tourism or business purposes by applying for an e-Visa online before their trip. The e-Visa is a single-entry visa and allows for a stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. To apply for an e-Visa, American citizens must have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining before its expiration, and a valid credit or debit card to pay the visa fee. The e-Visa application process can be completed online and typically takes about 3 business days to process. The visa fee for US citizens is $20 as of 2021.
To apply for an e-Visa, American citizens must go to the official e-Visa website and fill out the online application form. The form will ask for personal information, such as name, address, and passport details, and may also require additional information, such as travel itinerary, proof of accommodation, and proof of financial means. It is important to fill out the form accurately and completely and to have all required documents ready before starting the application process.
Once the application is submitted, the applicant will receive an email confirmation, and the visa will be sent to the email address provided on the application form. It is important to print out a copy of the e-Visa and to have it with you when entering Turkey.
It is important to note that the e-Visa is only valid for tourism or business purposes and not for work or study. American citizens planning to stay in Turkey for longer than 90 days or for other purposes, such as work or study, will need to apply for a different type of visa. Additionally, it is also important to note that the entry requirements and visa regulations are subject to change, and it is always best to check the official website of the Turkish government for the most up-to-date information before your trip. In summary, American citizens can obtain a Turkish visa for tourism or business purposes by applying for an e-Visa online before their trip. They must have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining before its expiration, and a valid credit or debit card to pay the visa fee. The application process is done online and takes about 3 business days to process. It's important to double-check the official website for the most up-to-date information and to have all the required documents ready before starting the application process.
Explore Turkey trips with me at You Can't Steal My Happy.