Welcome to my list of travel resources that I love and hopefully will help you plan a trip to Turkey. Why have I made this list?
Quite often, I receive e-mails from readers asking numerous questions including how to organize a trip, methods of travel, finding places to stay etc.
It is a great ego boost that people want my advice but unfortunately, I don’t have time to answer all emails. So, this is intended to be a complete list of the sites I use, guide books I read, equipment that I use etc.
Some of the resources are free while others require a purchase. There are also some sites of which I am part of their affiliate scheme. Don’t worry about this because it does not incur any extra cost to you and it just helps me earn some extra pennies to keep the Turkish tax man happy.
So, let’s get to the details. What resources do I recommend?
Resources to Help Plan a Trip to Turkey
International and Domestic Flights
Turkish Airlines operate hundreds of flights daily from many countries and often receive awards for “Best Airline.” They are a professional airline but also sponsor good looking footballers to feature in their inflight magazine. Nice eye candy! This is a useful airline if you plan to fly into Istanbul from abroad or catch connecting flights to other places in Turkey. See their website. This post on websites to use for domestic flights, also lists other airline operators travelling across Turkey.
Cross Country Bus Companies
Bus travel in Turkey is cheap, and comfortable. For buses from Istanbul, check out Istanbul Seyahat otherwise Pamukkale Turizm is another option. Routes and departure times can be viewed on their website and by downloading their apps. Book your ticket online or buy it from the local bus station. Lastly Kamil Koc are well established and their website can be viewed in English.
Don’t Forget Your Visa!
A reminder that Turkey no longer issues paper visa at customs, so you need to apply for one before you leave your home country. There are a lot of sites on the Internet that act as a middle man but you end up paying more. Buy your visa direct from the official government website.
Istanbul Select guidebook fits snuggly into any handbag and gives information about local neighbourhoods, tourist attractions, where to shop, eat, and party. All information is by Pat Yale, an established name in the Turkish Travel writing industry. (Purchase Istanbul Select by Pat Yale from Amazon) Alternatively, for the rest of the country, 448 pages make up the Insight Guides book of Turkey. Covering the East to the West, it gives a brief introduction to each area before mentioning recommended restaurants, local scams, ideal hotels, and regional culture. Find out more about Turkey (Insight Guides) on Amazon
Most hotels and restaurants let you tap into their Wi-Fi for free but for travellers on the go, Rent and Connect Turkey is unlimited 3G wireless connection no matter where you are. They offer discounts from time to time so it is worth following them on Facebook. I tested their tablet and 3G dongle which provided super speed Internet, no matter where I was. I was impressed with their product and customer service. Visit their website here
Accommodation and Hotels
It seems every hotel in Turkey is advertising on Booking.com, so you get a wide selection to choose from. For each area, you can compare hotels, their prices, map locations and most importantly read reviews from previous customers. Booking.com in my experience offer the best prices for hotels across the country of Turkey. See the range of hotels for Turkey on Booking.com or use the search box here…
Tours and Excursions
Efendi Travel prides themselves on offering self guided tours of Turkey so if you prefer to deal direct with the tour companies, take a look at their website or nip into their offices in the Sultan ahmet area of Istanbul. They have an excellent reputation on Trip Advisor and are a friendly bunch of Turks who are eager to show you the delights of Istanbul and Turkey.
International Money Transfers
Expatriates who live in Turkey have to constantly transfer funds from abroad. To reduce the costs of exchanging foreign currency into TRY, it is advisable to contact currency specialists who only deal with expats, immigrants and overseas investors, and thus, offer wholesale rates (up to 80% cheaper than banks). There are more than 30 currency firms which are listed and rated on MoneyTransferComparison.com.
Other Posts to Help You Plan a Turkey Trip
Top Ten Turkey Blogs : A list of regional blogs by expats who love to share stories about their lives in the country. They also give great destination info and provide a good insight into Turkish culture.
Map Of Turkey and Provinces : The geographical layout of Turkey is quite mind boggling. This Google maps helps you to figure out distances and locations.
About Turkey : If it is your first time in the country, this posts highlights the basic facts to know.
Souvenir Shopping: A must read for shopping fanatics or anyone who wants to purchase souvenirs
Independent or Guided Travel : Not sure which is the best way to see the country? This post will help you make up your mind
Travel Tips : Ten tips to help your trip go smoothly
Suggested Places To Visit : If you are looking for ideas of where to go and what are the highlighted attractions of Turkey, this post will help.