Turkey

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Turkey? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Ankara
Population:  78.67 million
Currency: Renminbi (RMB or CNY)
Languages: Turkish, Kurdish, English, German, Dutch and French
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: UTC +3

Weather

The coast of Turkey is temperate, warm, and humid in the summer. Eastern Turkey has short summers and bitterly cold winters. Central Anatolia is dry and hot in the summer, rainy and snowy in the winter. If you plan to visit beaches, June thru September is the best time to travel. Southeastern Turkey is very dry and extremely hot in the summer. 

April-May and September-October are the best months for touring with the least amount of rainfall and the most comfortable temperatures. 

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a visa for entry into Turkey. Turkey visas must be obtained prior to departure. Have a passport from another country? Please review the visa requirements.

U.S. citizens traveling to Turkey by cruise ship and disembark for shore excursions may enter Turkey without a visa for a maximum period of 72 hours. U.S. passport holders entering Turkey via Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (or any other border crossing), may obtain their Turkey visa online through www.evisa.gov.tr or through a fee based visa service such as our preferred provider, Visa HQ. A printed receipt must be presented to immigration control upon arrival as a proof of payment. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? We will send visa instructions for U.S. passport holders.

If you hold a passport from another country, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements.

More information about passports & visas.

Shopping

The best items to shop for in Turkey are handwoven rugs and kilims, leather goods, silk, alabaster, copperware and brassware, ceramics, Iznik tiles, brass samovars, and meerschaum pipes. Be cautious of “antiques,” some are fakes. If you do buy an antique, be sure to obtain an official permit to export it.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

There is no risk for malaria in Istanbul. You should check with your doctor about possible vaccinations against typhoid and hepatitis. Take along plenty of insect repellent! 

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Power & Adapters

230 volts. Plugs C & F. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Tipping

Tip 10% in expensive restaurants even if a service charge has been added. Tip porters $1-$3 U.S. per bag, and tour guides around $5-$10 US.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I take my cell phone?

    See our blog post on using your cell phone abroad.

 

Videos

Video

Articles

Tours & Packages to Turkey

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Sort by

Athens & 3 Day Greek Isles Cruise
Ancient Athens, then a 3 day cruise to Mykonos, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Patmos, Santorini & Crete; independent adventure with flights & hotel included
8 days  •  from $2199 $1899
per person, double occupancy*
dates independent stay + cruise + flights
Athens & 4 Day Greek Isles Cruise
Athens, then a 4 day cruise to Mykonos, Kusadasi & Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Santorini & Crete; travel on your own with flights & hotel included
9 days  •  from $2299 $1999
per person, double occupancy*
dates independent stay + cruise + flights
Athens & 7 Day Greek Isles Cruise
Athens, then a 7 day cruise of the Greek Isles plus Kusadasi for Ephesus; independent travel with flights & hotel included
12 days  •  from $3099 $2799
per person, double occupancy*
dates independent stay + cruise + flights
Best of Turkey
Witness continents collide in Istanbul, then explore Ankara, fairy-tale Cappadocia, Mediterranean Antalya, plus the ruins at Ephesus, Troy & more
15 days  •  from $2399 $2099
per person, double occupancy*
dates small group tour + flights
Greek Island Special: 3 Day Cruise & Athens
A 3 day cruise to Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, and more, ending with a half day tour of Athens; independent adventure with flights & hotel included
closed
dates cruise + flights
Greek Island Special: 4 Day Cruise & Athens
A 4 day cruise to Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Crete and more, ending with a half day tour of Athens; independent travel with flights & hotel included
closed
dates cruise + flights
Greek Island Special: 7 Day Cruise & Athens
A 7 day cruise of the Greek Isles plus ports in Turkey, ending with a half day tour of Athens; independent travel with flights & hotel included
closed
dates cruise + flights

Rave Reviews

We have been on many trips using a number of different companies, but we have never experienced the perfection of travel [we saw] on this Friendly Planet tour. I can begin [with] Turkish Airlines: friendly, new spacious planes and great food.

Norm Ivers, Oakland, New Jersey
Kenya Safari Express

Just returned from Turkey and it was wonderful, I am recommending it to all my friends. Isa, our tour director/guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, funny and flexible. This was the third trip we had with Friendly Planet. We greatly enjoyed all the guides, but Isa really excels. He made the trip.

Arlene Coppersmith, Dearborn Heights
Best of Turkey