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flag Turkey Turkey: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Diplomatic Representations
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
IATA Travel Center

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Means of public transport are not well developed. There are only two metro lines and the tram network is very old. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to travel by bus, even if they are often packed out.
It is better to take a taxi. In this case, collective taxis (dolmus) are a good compromise.
Click here to learn more.
Maps of Urban Networks
İETT website - Network of public transport Istanbul Town Hall
UT Library on line

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Istanbul - Atatürk Intl (IST) 24 km / 15 miles TRY 20-30-USD 15 / 30-50 min Available TRY 1.30 / 30 min Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

The national railway company links the main towns in Turkey, but the train is very slow and the network antiquated. Buses, which cover the whole country or almost, are very comfortable. All the main cities are served by domestic flights, it is the best way to travel to distant cities or those not served by the motorways. Click here for further information.
Rail Companies
Turkish railways

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Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Onur Air Airline company Domestic flights Yes
Atlas Jet Airline company Domestic flights No
Turkish Airlines Airline company Domestic flights Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

It is absolutely not advised to drive in town: traffic is dense and driving extremely dangerous.
Road Maps
Directorate of Turkish road infrastructures
Road map of Turkey
Find an Itinerary
Michelin website

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Different Forms of Tourism

The first known urban community in the world, the town of Çatalhöyük, dates from 6500 BC and is located in Turkey. From then to our day and age, Turkey has prided itself on civilizations which have crossed the centuries and made of the country a paradise of cultural wealth. Not only are ruins and unique remains witnesses to these centuries, but Turkey's contemporary history is fascinating, especially the work of Atatürk.
Istanbul is full of markets, palaces and mosques. The shores of the Aegean Sea shelter archeological sites of leading importance, especially the ancient Greek cities of Ephesus, Pergamon and Troy.
Go Turkey Official Tourism Portal of Turkey
A blend of Mediterranean landscapes and oriental steppes, Turkey is characterized by mountainous lands, crossed by rivers and lakes, bordered by bathing coasts, both ancient and pastoral, and also spiked in the east by the volcano, Mount Ararat, and in the center by the Taurus mountains. Those who enjoy the unusual will be attracted to the coast of the Black Sea which stretches from Amasra to Trabzon. You can also admire some of nature's wonders such as Cappadocia and Pamukkale. To learn more...
Greco-Roman sites are very numerous in Turkey and it is here you find the origins of Christianity. There are, of course, magnificent mosques, the most well-known of which are the Blue Mosque and Suleymaniye and also churches, vestiges of the Byzantine Empire, including the famous Hagia Sophia.
An ideal destination for spas, thalassotherapy and water cures. You will be steeped in tradition and you will benefit from an unequalled quality of care. Situated on an important natural geothermal belt, from which comes the expression "Turkish bath", you will plunge into the heart of hot springs whose benefits were already renowned in Antiquity.
Turkey has a multitude of seaside resorts and beaches in a protected natural paradise environment. You will find many water sports activities on dreamy beaches and a great variety of other sporting activities (sailing, diving...). In Turkey many resorts and beaches have obtained the blue flag.
Winter Sports
With its high mountains, covered with snow in summer and winter alike, and its top of the range resorts, Turkey is an important center for winter tourism, ideal for all sports which involve sliding or gliding, and extreme sports. On average there are 3m of snow all winter. You can practise Alpine skiing, mountain climbing and trekking.
Outdoor Activities
The diversity of the landscape, and the presence of mountains, sea and rivers makes a wide range of activities possible: diving, sailing, surfing, rafting, trekking, potholing, micro lighting, paragliding, horse riding, hunting, golf.....
The bazaars of Istanbul and other large cities in Turkey are fascinating: pleasure for the eyes with refined, high-quality craftsmanship, pleasure for the senses with spices and unusual scents. Big modern shopping malls are side by side with traditional markets.
Tourism Organizations
Ministry of Tourism in Turkey
Turkish Tourist Office

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
There is no obligatory vaccination. It is necessary to update your diphtheria - tetanus - poliomyelitis vaccination. Other vaccinations which can be advisable (according to conditions of hygiene and the length of your stay): typhoid fever, viral hepatitis A and B.
There are sporadic outbreaks of malaria in the south-east of the country. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, transmitted by ticks, is present mainly in central Anatolia and on the Black Sea coast. In Turkey, water and food born diseases are presents. Medical facilities are available, but may be limited outside urban area.
International Hospitals
There are a certain number, especially the International Hospital and the American Hospital . Click here for a more complete list.
In private hospitals, doctors and surgeons mostly speak English. But you may be lucky enough to come across a French-speaking doctor.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Ministry of Foreign Affairs website
Guide du routard website
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
guide du routard
Canadian Foreign Affairs website
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website

Emergency Numbers

Police 155
Emergencies (ambulance) 112
Firemen (only for fires) 110
Gendarmerie (Police in rural areas) 156

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir (GMT+2 in winter, GMT+3 in summer )
Summer Time Period
Summer time from March 30 to October 26

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Hot, dry summers, mild winters, harsher in the interior of the country. Autumn and spring are the most pleasant seasons.
For Further Information
Meteo France website

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Turkish cuisine is well known internationally. It is renowned for its varied, spicy dishes.
Among the many Turkish specialties, we can name the famous kebabs (roast beef or chicken), Lahmacun (ground meat pizza), Cacik (a cold soup), aubergine specialties (Karniyarik and Patlican Tava) and oriental pastries: Baklava and Kadayif.
Ayran, based on yoghurt, is the traditional drink. Turks are also keen on tea (Cay) and coffee (very strong).
There is very good locally produced beer and an aniseed spirit called Raki.
Dietary Restrictions
Pork is prohibited in Turkey.

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Domestic Currency
Turkish New Lira
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
There are many ATMs and they work in several languages. Credit cards, Visa, Eurocard, etc. are taken almost everywhere, as are Euros and Dollars.
Possible Means of Payment
Credit card or cash.

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Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
There are several other Altaic languages as well as minorities speaking Kurdish, Greek, Armenian, Bulgarian, Albanian or Circassian. English, French or German are languages used fairly frequently in trade.
Business Language
English is very commonly used in business.
Getting Some Knowledge
The alphabet is composed of 29 letters, 8 of which are vowels, and writing is phonetic.. The q, the w, the x do not exist, while there are some additional letters: ç, g, i, ö, s and ü.
Free Translation Tools
Lexilogo : On-line French/Turkish dictionary

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
Guide du routard
Directory of hotels
To Find an Apartment
List of real estate agencies by town

Leading website for private individuals' adverts (and also for real estate agents)
To Find a Job
Insan Kaynaklari (Ernest & Young)

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Last Updates: October 2014