Travelling to Turkey well prepared
Many people travel to Turkey for business or a holiday each year. Prepare yourself well for your trip to Turkey to fly as comfortably, safely and cheaply to Turkey.
General information about Turkey
With its 780.000 square kilometers, Turkey is over three times the size of the UK. The republic has 79 million inhabitants and consists of 81 provinces. Istanbul is perhaps the most famous and largest city in Turkije, but its capital is Ankara. Turkey is not an official member of the European Union, but it is a candidate member state. This means that Turkey has its own currency, the Turkish lira.
Did you know that it is mandatory to apply for a visa before you can travel to Turkey? Read more about the visa and other tips on travelling to Turkey on this page!
The time difference between Turkey and the UK
Starting 2016, Turkey no longer observes daylight saving. It has reverted to a constant time zone of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) +3. In the summer, the UK is one hour ahead of GMT (GMT+1) meaning that the time difference with Turkey is two hours. In the winter, the UK reverts back to standard GMT, and the time difference with Turkey becomes 3 hours, as Turkey is 3 hours ahead of GMT.
Paying in Turkey
Turkey uses the Turkish lira (TRY) for payments. Regular debit cards are accepted virtually everywhere. It is therefore possible to exchange pounds or euros for liras, but this is often at an unfavorable rates. Credit card companies likewise often charge less favourable exchange rates for credit cards than banks do for debit cards. Take note that some banks charge set transaction costs for each transaction. The cheapest of payment in Turkey is therefore by withdrawing cash liras at an ATM with your debit card, and paying cash. ATM’s often ask if you wish to withdraw money from your own bank account in pounds or liras. Always choose for withdrawing in lirass, you will then use the lower exchange rate from your own bank and not the one from the Turkish bank which controls the ATM.
Vaccinations for trips to Turkey
There are no vaccination requirements for trips to Turkey. However, vaccinations against hepatitis A and DPT are recommended. Malaria occurs in the south-east of Turkey. There are no vaccinations for this; it is recommended to take measures when travellers visit this area. This can include a mosquito net, rubbing DEET on uncovered skin and carrying long sleeves, socks and long trouser legs. For more information on vaccinations and malaria prevention you can visit your physician.
Electricity in Turkey
Turkey uses the same plugs, outlets and voltage (230 volt) as most European countries. Taking a travel plug is not necessary.
Healthcare in Turkey
Turkey has excellent healthcare. Doctors often speak English as well as Turkish. Travellers often have to pay right away for used healthcare. Claiming at an insurance can be done after returning home. Take note: healthcare insurances don’t always pay for all the healthcare costs in Turkey. It is therefore recommended to get travel insurance which also covers all healthcare in Turkey. To be on the safe side, it is advisable to contact your insurance company before a possible hospitalisation. Keep all the bills. Turkey offers most medicine that is prescribed in the UK. However, it is wise to take special medicines in sufficient quantities. Travellers that take prescriptions that fall under the Opium Law (such as certain painkillers and ADD medicine) need to bring a medical statement.
Eating and drinking when journeying in Turkey
The drinking water in Turkey is purified with chlorine. Although it is theoretically safe, it can sometimes cause stomach and bowel problems. Use of bottled waters prevents these problems. Take note to only eat well-cooked meat and fish during your trip in Turkey.
The climate in Turkey
Turkey is located relatively close to the equator. This gives it a warmer weather than a country like the UK. The southwest of Turkey has a mediterranean climate with warm summers, soft winters and little rainfall. The east of Turkey has a temperate land climate with more rainfall. Due to the many hours of sun and high temperature, Turkey is a very popular holiday destination for British travellers. Especially in June to September the weather is often perfect for (beach) holidays and city trips.