Turkey is one of those countries that is starting to get more popular as a tourist destination because of the power of social media. It's definitely still a hidden gem in my opinion- it has so much to offer! Let me help you with everything you need to know before you visit this amazing country.
First things first, watch out for taxi scams:
Taxi drivers are known in Turkey as major scammers. So when you get into a regular taxi, make sure they turn on their meter right away. You can opt to do ride hailing apps like Uber or iTaksi, but I highly recommend switching your payment method to cash because the drivers are able to type in any amount once you leave the car and have it automatically charge your card. Which is exactly what happened to me:
Where to visit?
Now when I say Turkey has ENDLESS possibilities of gorgeous places to visit, I absolutely mean it. I have a more in-depth itinerary here, but if you only have a week or 2 in Turkey make sure you hit these main tourist destinations:
ISTANBUL: many people think this is the capital city of Turkey, but it's actually not! It is the most visited city though. The only city in the world that's located on 2 continents- and you can see that blend of Asia and Europe coming together. It's so awesome.
PAMUKKALE: this is a place to spend just a day or 2, but it's an absolute must see. Check out the video below for some quick facts about this awesome place.
CAPPADOCIA: this was my favorite place in all of Turkey- and honestly probably the reason why tourism is getting more popular in this country. I guarantee if you've seen a photo of Turkey on your social media it's probably a photo of those magical fairy chimneys with hot air balloons all around- that's Cappadocia.
Check out this awesome cave hotel in Cappadocia for only $16/night:
How to get around?
A lot of people opt to rent a car, but it can get pretty expensive! I highly recommend using their bus system- it is AWESOME. It's comfortable, affordable, and efficient. The 3 main bus companies that have routes all over the country are Kamil Koc (Turkey's version of FlixBus), Pamukkale, and Metro. You can look up bus times and purchase tickets on each individual company's website. We always opted to just buy the bus tickets once we arrived at the bus station- so whichever method you prefer. Here are the bus journeys we took and their cost so you can see how affordable it is:
Istanbul - Ephesus: 139 TL ($16 USD) | 9 hours
Ephesus - Pamukkale: 60 TL ($7 USD) | 3 hours
Pamukkale - Fethiye: 60 TL ($7 USD) | 3 hours
Fethiye - Patara: 25 TL ($3 USD) | 1 hour
Fethiye - Konya: 139 TL ($16 USD) | 8 hours
Konya - Goreme (Cappadocia): 80 TL ($9 USD) | 3 hours
Goreme - Ankara: 90 TL ($10 USD) | 3 hours
Foods to try
As beautiful as Turkey is, my favorite part of visiting was actually the FOOD. I got excited to eat every single meal. Honestly you can't go wrong with any meal you decide to try, but here are some absolute must-try dishes:
Iskender: doner meat on bread pieces, topped with veggies, tomato sauce and yogurt
Begendi: eggplant puree topped with marinated chicken
Pide: basically a Turkish version of a pizza with no marinara sauce
Gozeleme: basically a stuffed Crepe
Baklava: layered filo pastry stuffed with honey and pistachios
Interesting facts about Turkey:
Here's a glimpse at the highlights of my time traveling this beautiful country!
& all my VLOGS about Turkey:
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