Here are the ten most common
errors and misconceptions of travelers to
1. Turkey is Dangerous
It's not. By and large, it's among
the safest destinations in Europe.
Mideast strife may make headlines,
but it's in other countries. Approach Turkey's southeast cautiously for now, but travel freely in the rest of the country. More...
2. Turkey is Cheap
It's no longer the bargain destination
it once was, but recent Turkish lira devaluationshave made it a lot cheaper now, and it's more popular
than ever—6th most popular destination
in the entire world, and moving up
fast. And it's well worth the money.
3. Turkey is Small
Turkey is one of those "little countries," right? Drive it all in a week.
No, Turkey is the 37th largest country
in the world (of 235). It's larger
than France, Germany, Poland, Syria,
New Zealand and most other countries,
larger than Texas and nearly twice
as large as California. Transport can
take time. More...
4. I Can Buy My Visa When I Get There
Not every traveler needs a Turkish visa, but if you do (and if your passport is US, UK, Canadian, Australian, Russian or some European countries, you do), you MUST buy it online BEFORE you travel to Turkey. More...
Motor Fuel Costs the Same
Turks complain that they pay the world's
highest prices for gasoline/petrol
and diesel fuel.
But there are ways to keep the cost
of fuel down. More...
6. Planes & Trains Go Everywhere
don't. Some touristic destinations
have no train service, and most plane
trips involve a connection through
either Istanbul or Ankara, making plane
trips longer. Buses go everywhere (but
see Mistake No. 3). Planning your
transport carefully is essential. More...
7. I Can Plan My Whole Trip Easily
For simple trips, yes. But if you want to visit 3
or 4 areas in 8 to 10 days, you must get all the
the transport—exactly right,
in advance. Don't make any reservations until
you have all details planned, and if you need help,
get it early. Re-making a half-reserved trip is
a nightmare. More...
8. Turkish Hotel Prices are High
Most Turkish hotel rates include a
large daily buffet
breakfast and all hotel taxes and
service charges—unlike, say, New
York City, where
breakfast is rarely included, and taxes and fees
can add more than 17% to your bill. More...
9. Islam in Turkey is Strict
By its constitution, Turkey is a secular
republic with separation of religion and state. Most
Turks consider themselves good Muslims, but as
in many countries, practice of religious observance
varies. A minority is strictly observant, another
minority never goes to mosque, and the majority is
in between. Non-Muslims are not expected to observe
Muslim religious practices. More...
10. I Should Buy a Carpet in Turkey
Most carpets sold in Turkey today are made in other
countries—China, India, Bangladesh, etc. They may
be machine-made, with chemical dyes. This does
not mean you shouldn't buy them, just know what
you're buying. More...
One More Mistake...
The mark of a tourist, for sure. Locals
pronounce it (correctly) "KOOSH-ah-dah-suh" or "koo-SHAH-dah-suh." More...
For more on these and other matters,
see my Travel Details—FAQ.