Cultural Trails

You are here: Home arrow Travel Tips
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • Increase font size
Travel Tips Print E-mail


Passports and Visas

Visa requierements vary depending upon your nationality. As regulations change frequently, we recommend that you check with your nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate for the latest information on visa and passport requierements for entering Turkey. You will need a passport which does not expire less than six months after the end of your holiday. 3 month visas for UK nationals cost 10, and visas for US nationals cost $20.

Health and Insurance

It is a requirement of the booking that you have sufficient holiday insurance. Comprehensive cover for medical treatment, repatriation, cancellation charges, and property loss must be part of the policy.  No vaccinations are currently required for Turkey. It is best to bring your own medication along in its original prescription bottle

Time Difference

Turkish Standard time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, one hour ahead of Central European time and seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard time. There is one time zone in Turkey


In the south and west the weather follows normal Mediterranean climate patterns with warm, mostly dry summers and mild winters. In the high plateau of Central Anatolia the summers are also hot and dry, but winters can be very cold, with varying precipitation (nights are mostly cool). In the north, especially the Black Sea region, rain is frequent, and in the mountains of the east is an alpine climate. The southeast, on the other hand, has a near desert climate.  Check the weather in Turkey   

Currency information for Turkey

  • There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into Turkey, but as you leave Turkey, it is wise to spend or exchange your Turkish Lira for foreign currency. Currency and Exchange: The currency unit in Turkey is the New Turkish Lira (YTL or TRY).
  • Traveler's checks are not widely accepted and will generally get a less favorable rate of exchange than cash. American Express traveler's checks should be cashed at Akbank.
  • The best place to exchange cash is around the "Doviz" offices near the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, but may also be done at P.T.T. (Post) offices in other areas. In small towns, it is hard to find exchange offices so be sure that you have enough amount of cash while you are travelling out of Istanbul.
  • There are bank machines almost everywhere in Turkey now and cash advance offices in tourist areas where you can use a credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard etc. Larger shops generally accept US dollars, Euro, traveler's checks and credit cards, but small shops will accept only cash and you will need Turkish lira for local convenience stores or grocers.
  • You might get a 10% discount  for cash payments. It is good to check ahead of time.
  • American Express is not widely accepted and personal checks almost impossible to cash.
  • Be aware of  that  your bank might have a block on all of its ATM cards in Turkey because of excessive fraud from that country.  Therefore, please deal with it before your departure.
    You can check International Exchange Rates


Banks are open from 8.30 until 12.00 and 13.30 until 17.00 (Monday-Friday). Some banks are open during lunch hours. Post Offices in the large cities are open Monday-Saturday 8.00 to midnight and Sunday 9.00 to 19.00. Smaller post offices are open Monday to Saturday from 8.30 to 17.00. Shop hours are generally from 9.00 to 21.00 Monday to Saturday, but mostly every day and later in tourist areas.


We recommend using a long distance calling card or buying a telephone card from a local kiosk or post office. For international calls dial the country code preceded by two zeros (i.e. 001 for the U.S. and Canada, 0044 for England etc). When calling from abroad remember that the country code of Turkey is 90. You may have to dial a prefix. For intercity calls within Turkey, you must first dial a 0, then the city code. When making a local call (inside a city or area) omit the city code. Istanbul has two city codes: 212 (European Side), 216 (Asian Side).


In a restaurant tip around 10%. For porters you should pay around 1 EURO per bag. Round up the bill for taxis. On large group tours it is customary to pay around 5 EURO per person per day to the guide and about half of the amount to the minibus driver (up to your discretion). For small group or private tours the amount should be higher.
Have small change when visiting a public toilet, as you will pay when exiting. Bring your own paper. There are two kinds of toilets in Turkey. One is the toilet you are used to at home, available in all hotels and almost everywhere, and the other is a squat toilet. Make sure that your pockets are empty before using the latter. BAY = Men BAYAN = Women


Electrical appliances manufactured in the U.S. and various countries require the use of a standard two-prong adapter (continental style). A converter is also needed if the appliance doesn't have dual voltage (220 V). Hair dryers are available at all 5 star hotels and most 4 star hotels.


Taxis are yellow. Fare is shown on the meter according to distance. It is best to go by the meter: showing "Gunduz" during the day until around midnight, and "Gece" after midnight to early morning (fare increases 50%). Most taxi drivers do not speak English.


Turkish cuisine is considered one of the finest in the world and mostly you will encounter fresh meats and vegetable in a clean atmosphere. You will experience a wide variety of regtional culinary dishes on a typical tour. Although water is chlorinated in larger cities we highly recommend drinking bottled water only. During the month of Ramadan meals will be served as usual.