Turkey Travel Tips
Ancient cultures, delicious food, and warm, sunny beaches: We love and Turkey! What tips do you have for your fellow travelers to the East Mediterranean?
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Places to eat
Take the ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul (Kadikoy) and have a meal at Ciya in the market area for some of the best "all-regions" food in Turkey! 3 locations, with smaller one serving beer and wine, also. Here's their website: http://www.ciya.com.tr/index_en.php
Hilo, HI USA 05/31/2013
Chora Church in Istanbul
This is a rave review for Chora Church and for Rick's tour of the church in his Istanbul guide book. I also have a taxi story. The mosaics in Chora are wonderful, but if you went without the guide book you would be disappointed. The beginning of Rick's tour is right by the exit door for the church. That's right, if you started looking at the mosaics from the entrance to the church their order would make no sense. By following the tour, seeing the mosaics in the right sequence, and reading about the significance of them, the church was a wonderful two hour stop. It was also well worth it to walk to the city wall near the church and climb to the top for the view of the city.
We decided to take a taxi to the church from the Sultanahmet area with 5 people crammed in - no problem, the driver turned on the meter and it cost 25 Lira. But coming back from the church is different - there are many people and few taxis so the drivers insist on a fixed fee. The first driver wanted 40 Lira, so we said no. I negotiated with the second driver down to 25 Lira - great! We hopped in, got to our hotel quickly, and a traveling companion leaned in to pay the driver. The driver told him 35 Lira, and my companion assumed that's what I negotiated. The person that negotiates the fare should be sure that is what's paid.
SALEM, Oregon USA 05/14/2013
Airport to Bakirkoy bus service
The Havas bus that connected Ataturk Airport with Bakirkoy ferry terminal no longer is making that run. If you are planning to go from the airport to the Asian side directly you might consider using Havatas bus which goes from the airport to Yenikapi ferry port.
Stevens poit, Wiscon USA 04/15/2013
Hotel in Cappadocia
I have just been to this great hotel in Cappadocia Goreme* www.kismetcavehouse.com
Owner Faruk is very helpful with arranging tours. He arranged local info and tours and transportation back to Kayseri airport. Nice breakfast too. You can contact him directly.
Fremont, CA USA 04/05/2013
Zeugma hotel Istanbul
In RS Istanbul, it states that The Zeugma hotel has a 15% disc. if you show them RS book. That was valid only in 2012.
Rugs in Turkey
After seeing Ephesus our tour guide took us to the rug factory called Carpetium. Since we had read about it in Rick Steves' book, we trusted them. They were not terribly high pressure but there was some pressure to buy the rugs as they threw them out one at a time for us to look at. They started high and dropped the price slowly. We were suckered in and bought two. Once they arrived we had them appraised and to our horror, they were not even made in Turkey and were worth about half what we had paid. We love our rugs and were relieved to find that the quality was good but the price was way too high and it bothers me a lot that they told us they were made in Turkey and they were not, according to the appraiser. Don't buy a rug in Turkey! Go see the place where rugs are made, enjoy the apple tea and then politely refuse to pay that much. You can find better prices at home and you can try them in your home before you buy.
Farmington, Utah USA 03/22/2013
Turkey Tours & Vacations
Hello, I grew up in Turkey and visited many sites before moving to US 16 years ago. As the owner of a travel agency specializing Turkey I recoomend 8-10 days Turkey highlights tour first including Istanbul, Cappadocia, Konya, Pamukkale, Ephesus. Then another 8-10 days to include areas south of Ephesus, Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, Antalya and historic/natural sites there and Pergamon, Troy, Gallipoli. For those interested in nature/eco tours Eastern Black Sea region is the best.
Clifton, NJ USA 10/06/2012
Rent a car for a memorable experience
After 5 days in Istanbul, my family flew to Izmir to spend time down there. We took a bus to Cesme and then a ferry to the Greek island of Chios for 2 days. After returning to Cesme we rented a car and drove to Selcuk, stopping in Alacati for lunch and in many places along the coast for incredible photo ops. From Selcuk, we drove to Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary, then to Kusadasi for an afternoon and evening. Finally, we drove back to the Izmir airport and flew back to Istanbul to catch our flight home. Renting a car was a fantastic and convenient way to experience Turkey and allowed a lot of freedom to enjoy not just the destination but the journey as well. If you can't drive manual, you'll pay more to rent an automatic car, but you'll still find plenty of places that have them.
Houston, TX USA 09/20/2012
We just spent 9 days in Turkey (family of 6). We had the greatest time: hotels, food, internal flights, punctuality, transportation, tours with English speaking guides to places including tickets and transportation... In Cappadoccia we took a hot air balloon flight and stayed in a Boutique cave hotel... all of it coordinated through Backpackers Travels. I have gotten the info through this graffiti wall and we want to confirm that they are the best and that the Graffiti wall was extremely helpful. MariaTB
Totowa, NJ USA 09/09/2012
Travelled with Otto's Tours
My husband and I travelled with Otto's Travel. We found them on the internet. Actually we were unsure to book an online tour but thanx to the girl - whose name I dont remember at the moment - working in that travel agency - I am not sure if she still works there - we had the best trip ever. Honestly we had some problems during the tour but it has nothing to do with the agency. They helped us very much. Thank you again. Recommended!
Guide for Ephesus
Please add Havva Yirtimci to your recommended list of guides to Ephesus. Her number is +90 530 312 79 62; email: email@example.com. We were on a cruise that stopped in Kusadasi and contacted her directly for an excellent tour of the old city.
Great Falls, VA USA 08/01/2012
Hot Air Balloon in Turkey!
Make sure you go to Cappadocia and do the hot air balloon ride--I think the best place in the world to do this! Our club did this and you can check out our pics! http://photoflytravel.com/
Somerville, MA USA 07/23/2012
Arranging travel in Turkey
We worked with Attila Yurttas at Backpackers & Efendi Travel to organize several domestic flights within Turkey as well as a rental car. Everything went very smoothly and Atilla provided excellent customer service and extremely fast response times. Highly recommended!
Washington, DC USA 06/06/2012
Skip Efes/Ephesus and visit Aphrodisias; it's about 2 hours from Efes (half way between Selcuk and Pamukkale). Smaller site, but better excavated meaning better ruins, and far less people.
Cairo, Egypt 05/31/2012
We just returned from an awesome week in Istanbul. We really enjoyed spending a day on the island of Buyukada-the largest of the islands. It was a short, inexpensive, beautiful ferry trip over from Kabatas. We rented bikes for the day, and toured around the whole island in several hours. There are no cars allowed on the island, many horse and carriages to rent. The town is very relaxed and picturesque. When in Istanbul we also enjoyed taking the ferry to Uskadar, then a bus to Camlica Hill, the highest point of Istanbul. It was a pretty parklike area, with tremendous views of the Sea, the Bosphorus, and all of Istanbul.
Mary Jo Hoeksema
Holland, MI USA 04/01/2012
I just watched a great Turkish movie called "Bliss". It's a wonderful story contrasting the different cultures in Turkey and has some great cinematography. I felt like I was back in Istanbul and Capadoccia. You can rent it or watch it instantly on Netflix.
Salinas, CA USA 03/01/2012
one week stay at Sultanīs Inn in Istanbul
Dear Sirs, I have stayed at the Sultanīs Inn in Istanbul in week 7 2012 and had a very pleasant stay there. The staff was very polite and eager to help us with any information we wanted. The room was nice and warm, and the morning buffet delicious. All people working at the hotel were friendly. Transfer from and to the airport functioned perfectly and is not too expensive. I would love to come back to this beautiful city with its friendly and helpful people.
Husum, Germany 02/27/2012
Staying in Istanbul
My mom and I stayed at Sultans Inn (sultansinn.com) and we were very pleased! It was clean, the staff was very friendly and helpful, and the breakfasts were delicious. It is not a far walk to Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque and the price for 2 nights and a transfer from and to the airport was incredibly reasonable. The drivers were safe and polite as well!! Highly recommend!
CA USA 02/19/2012
Turkey is Spectacular
We just returned home from our first ever trip to Turkey. The experience was great. We toured Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadocia and Istanbul over a 7 days 6 nights tour that we had organized with One Nation Travel Agency before we left home. It was a lot of places to cover in a short time as we only had a week to spend in Turkey (having just completed a tour in Greece). Turkey was just spectacular. There are a lot of places worth visiting both historically important and scenic. There is a change in landscape as you move from Istanbul to central Anatolia. We had booked all our tours, pick-ups, drop-offs from and to airports, hotel accomodations and other logistical needs with One Nation Travel who performed quite well and were present for all the connections and needs. We really felt quite spoilt by them as all our needs were taken care of and they did not have an expensive price tag to their excellent services. We would recommend future travellers to visit Turkey knowing that an experienced travel agency can really help take your worries away and give you the time and hasslefree environment you need to enjoy the experience. In retrospect, however, we should have toured Turkey first and caught a ferry across from Kusadasi to the Greek Islands. The food in Turkey is quite good. Enjoy a nice lamb kebob (or two) when you get a chance. Not quite like the New Zealand lamb but still good. It was a trip worth doing.
Bus travel to Cappadocia
I made a trip to Cappadocia by bus, visiting valleys and natural castle around the region. 2 days 3 night trip that I found at www.travelcappadociatours.com was really complete and great. You can learn a lot about history and see many beautiful places. The hot air ballon is the top atraction of the place and I really recomend it. I followed suggestions from the manager of the tour agency Huseyin and I found everything very well organized beleived his experiences
London, Australia 01/25/2012
Very easy to see Turkey by bus!!!
My husband and I toured Turkey for 16 days in December and highly recommend using the bus system. It's very easy to do, and extremely economical. We used a travel agency affiliated with the Marmara Guesthouse in Istanbul (Shashot Travel) to book our daytours in several places and to reserve several of our hotels; we also spent about half the trip on our own...We flew into Istanbul and spent the first 3 days at the Marmara before flying to Cappadocia for two days...from there, we took a bus to the Mediterranean Coast (Antalya, then on to Kas and Fethiye ) and then took a bus inland and toured Pumakkale, Ephesus, and finally, the Aegean Coast (Mesme Penninsula) We flew back to Istanbul from Izmir...very easy to take Turkish Airlines flights within the country for the longer distances. Research your trip and make plans to see the country by bus..we avoided overnight bus rides and instead traveled during the day in order to see the countryside!! We LOVED Turkey and hope to go back very soon! It's SO interesting culturally and historically and the scenery is spectacular...the people are super friendly and it's easily half the cost of Europe or less!!!! Check it out for the adventure of a lifetime!!!
EDMONDS, WA USA 01/13/2012
Re Deniz House
When we first arrived in Turkey the airport recommended another accomodation provider .. it was terrible ; night 3 we arrived at Deniz House and everything was perfect, the hospitality, room service, breakfast, cleanliness, room decorations, bedding ... all faultless. The view from our room was lovely and staff could not have been more helpful. I look forward to seeing beautiful Turkey again and staying at Deniz House.
Adelaide, SA AUS 01/11/2012