Travelling to Turkey

Straddling the border between Europe and Asia, east meets west right in the heart of Turkey’s largest city Istanbul.

It's overall landmass is approximately the size of the American state of Texas, and whilst 97% of it sits within Asia, 3% of it lies within the continent of Europe, making Istanbul the only city in the world to span two continents. It is one of the most populous in the region, just behind the likes of Paris and Moscow.

The country shares a border with eight other countries; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Bulgaria, Greece, and Georgia, as well as three seas; The Black Sea, The Mediterranean Sea and The Aegean Sea.

The Republic of Turkey (so called since 1923) therefore offers holidaymakers a unique blend of cultural heritage, landscape and history like few other destinations can. Approximately 30 million tourists a year agree. Turkey has been a holiday hotspot for some time and visitors are welcomed by incredibly hospitable and friendly locals, who are pleased to offer insight into their heritage.

Don’t be put off by the large tourist numbers though - mountain scenery, stunning beaches, cosmopolitan cities, rich culture and some of the world’s most delicious cuisine means there’s still so much to discover.

90% of the population speak Turkish but there are many minority languages including Kurdish, Arabic and Armenian.
The curreny is the Turkish Lira. ATMs are widely available in cities and tourist spots.
Predominantly Muslim.
Turkey is two hours ahead of GMT time.
Songkran is a three day celebration of what was traditionally Thai New Year, taking place between the 13th and 15th April. During Songkran, the Thai people prepare for the new year by cleaning their houses, visiting temples and reuniting with their families. They also wash themselves of misfortune – literally throwing water over each other during large street parties, where tourists are more than welcome to join in the festivities (as long as they are prepared for a drenching!). As April is generally Thailand’s hottest month, the water-fights are also a welcome respite from the humidity. 

If you are visiting the country from the UK, you require a visa. This can be purchased on arrival and is valid for multiple stays of up to 90 days, within a 180 day period. A payment of £20 will need to be paid in cash but Scottish and Northern Irish currency is not accepted. Please note though that visas on arrival are likely to be phased out at some point in the near future. To avoid any issues, you can now purchase an e-visa online before you travel. These cost $20 and can be purchased using a credit or debit card, up to three months in advance of your travel date.

Just in case of any technical issues at the Turkish border, take a printed paper copy with you and an electronic version on your smart device. Be wary of fake e-visa websites, only purchase your e-visa at the official site:

Visit the Foreign Office website for more information.

Contact your GP before you travel to arrange any vaccinations you need, you can find information on these on the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NATHAC) website.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), is not valid in Turkey. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Due to recent troubles, the Foreign Office currently advise against travel to areas of Turkey within 10km of the border of Syria as well as all but essential travel to the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanlurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis and Hatay provinces, as well as Siirt Tunnel and Hakkai provinces. Keep up to date with the latest safety news by checking the Foreign Office website and ensure you check before you travel.
Click here for: Places To Visit In Turkey