How to Plan your first visit to Turkey – An Ultimate Guide

April 21, 2017 Bilal Azam 31 comments

 

Istanbul turkey beingatraveler bilalazam

 

How to plan your first visit to Turkey – An Ultimate Guide

Planning to visit turkey and not sure how many days are enough? And what is must to see and good to see? Let me make it easy for you.

How to get Turkish Visa

  • Getting Turkish tourist visa was never easy before. If you are resident of USA, UK, Schengen States or Ireland (or even you have a valid visa of these countries on your passports) then you can get 6-Months Tourist visa through ONLINE system. Just fill the form and pay the fees 60USD and you will receive the PDF copy of visa on your email within a minute. I personally had a USA visa on my Pakistani passport and got the online Turkish visa very easily.

online turkey visa bengatraveler.com

  • (For Pakistani Citizens): In case you guys don’t have valid visa’s of USA, UK, Schengen or Ireland then you have to apply to Turkish Embassy through GERRY’s Pakistan drop box visa service. You must apply for visa atleast 2 ~ 3 weeks before your actual travel to turkey. Gerry’s takes  2500 Rs other than Visa fee to provide their services.

Purchasing the Air ticket

Although the best and cheapest option is to travel through Turkish Airline however before booking your tickets through a Travel Agent, you must check cheapest flight to Turkey using online Flight search engines like SKYSCANNER.COM  or  KAYAK.COM

 

TRAVELING AROUND TURKEY

 

istanbul blog turkey travel beingatraveler bilalazam

 

ISTANBUL !! The only city in the world where you can visit ASIA and EUROPE at the same time.

 

 

Where to Stay:

If you want to experience the deep culture of Istanbul then your Hotel must be in SULTAN AHMET area. However if you want modern touch then you can get your hotel around ISTIKLAL STREET. I personally recommend Sultan Ahmet area because you would love roaming around streets of Istanbul and meeting local Turkish people and eating in local food restaurants

 

Istanbul Sultan Ahmet by beingatraveler
A street in Sultan Ahmet – Istanbul

You can book your Hotel/ Hostel through booking.com or agoda.com. I am personally using booking.com from last 6 years because they dont charge from your credit card before arrival and also their help in case of wrong charging or any dispute with Hotel is remarkable.

What Transport to be used:

Istanbul has a very well established Metro Trains and Bus system. Just buy ISTANBUL KART (Istanbul Metro card) and you can visit around Istanbul from Europe to Asian sides of Istanbul using this card. Never use Private Taxis as these are 10 times expensive. In case you are with family you should use APP Taxis like CAREEM which are much cheaper.

 

Istanbul Metro beingatraveler.com
Tram passing through a street in Sultan Ahmet

 

Day-1 | I S T A N B U L

 

Morning: Start exploring Turkey from the most iconic Sultan Ahmet Mosque which is also called Blue Mosque. I am not writing any history here. Just Go ! and Explore yourself 🙂

 

sultan ahmet istanbul bilalazam beingatraveler.com
sultan ahmet istanbul beingatraveler.com
sultan ahmet istanbul beingatraveler.com
sultan ahmet istanbul beingatraveler.com
sultan ahmet istanbul beingatraveler.com
Arrow
Arrow
Slider

 

 

Afternoon: Topkapi Palace/ Hagia Sofia

For Muslims, Topkapi palace is one of the best History Museum in the world. You would have a chance to see lot personal things of many Prophets and companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) such as

  • Hair of Prophet Muhammad PBUH
  • Foot print of Prophet Muhammad PBUH
  • Sword of Prophet Muhammad PBUH (Azab)
  • Miraculous Stick of Prophet Musa (A.S)
  • Turban of Prophet Yousaf (A.S)
  • Dresses of Hazrat Imam Hussain R.A and Hazrat Fatima R.A

Don’t forget to visit the backside of Topkapi where you would see amazing scenic view of River Marmara

 

Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Topkapi palace turkey istanbul beingatraveler.com bilalazam
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

Useful Info

Topkapi Palace Timings:   9:00 AM to 04:30 PM
Topkapi Entrance: 40 TL (Turkish Lira)
Hagia Sofia (Aya Sofia) Entrance: 40 TL
 

 

Evening  should be spent in Istiklal Street/ Taksim Square , one of the most happening and lively street in the world. You would love walking, shopping, eating and specially THE ISTIKLAL TRAM. I would always love to spend evening in Istiklal street.

 

 

Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

 

Day-2 | I S T A N B U L

 

Morning: Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar (constructed in 1455 AD) in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 04 Gates, 60 streets and 5,000 shops. In Turkish it is named as Kapalıçarşı, meaning ‘Covered Market’

Useful Info

Opening Times: Monday to Saturday  9:00 – 19:00 hrs
The Grand Bazaar is around 15 minutes walk from the Aya Sofya/Blue Mosque area.
 
 
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

 

Afternoon: Spice Bazaar

I could not visit Spice bazar during my first visit to Istanbul. However lot of people recommend it and I would definitely visit spice bazar during my next visit.

 

Evening: Bosphorus Cruise and Dance Dinner

This is must to experience! You can book this tour through any tour operator in Istanbul however if you want it cheap, directly go to KABATASH PIER and book your tour from ticket window. It includes dinner, Turkish girls dance, Sufi Dance at bottom deck and then Turkish Belly dance at the Top Deck of cruise.

Useful Info

Timing: 7.30 PM to 10.30 PM

Dinner Cruise Ticket:  120 TL (You will get expensive rates if you book it through tour agents)

 

 

Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

 

Day-3 | I S T A N B U L

 

Morning: Buyuk Ada – Prince’s Island

Lets relax today and have a visit to famous Prince’s Island. You can take the Ferry from KABATASH PIER that will drop you at Buyuk Ada island. Don’t forget to taste delicious 5-Scoops ice cream there. You must know that no fuel car/ motorbike is allowed in Buyuk Ada. You can only roam around beautiful streets either renting a Horse Carriage or Riding on a bicycle. If you are young and have enough time then Cycling is recommended.

Useful Info

Ferry Fare (one side) = 7.5 TL
Bicycle Rent = 10 TL for one hour and 20 TL for full day
 

 

 

Buyukada turkey beingatraveler.com
Buyukada turkey beingatraveler.com
Buyukada turkey beingatraveler.com
Buyukada turkey beingatraveler.com
Buyukada turkey beingatraveler.com
Buyukada turkey beingatraveler.com
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

 

Late Afternoon: Asian side of Istanbul

Take the Marmara Metro Train (which travel under the sea) from EMINONU station and travel from Europe to Asian side of Istanbul. You would love walking along Marmara and beautiful view of Bosphorus Bridge that is connecting Europe and Asia in air.

 

istanbul bosphorus bridge beingatraveler.com bilal azam

(Standing at Asian side, lookiking towards Europian side)

 

 

Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler BILAL AZAM

 

IMPORTANT! Everything related to your Kapadokya tour should be “pre-booked” from Istanbul.  Otherwise you will waste your time in managing things after arrival.

Travelling to Kapadokya

  1. BY AIR: If you have less time in turkey (and also you can afford it) then you should take flight from Istanbul to NEVSEHIR or KAYSERIA Airports (as Kapadokya has no airport). From there your hotel van will pick you and take you to Goreme town in Kapadokya
  2. BY BUS: If you are on budget travel then you should take a night bus from Istanbul main Bus station. As i was traveling solo so i chose this option.

Useful Info

Bus Starte at: 9:00 PM and reach at: 07:45 AM (Nevsehir Main Bus station)
Then further 1 hour travel to your hotel in  Goreme Caves Valley
Bus Fare: 65 TL
 
 

Where to stay in Kapadokya

Kapadokya is a valley of Fairy chimney having caves. Make sure you experience your stay in a Cave Hotel. However you should always pre-book your hotel before leaving for Kapadokya because you need their pickup service at Airport or Bus station which is 1 hour away from Goreme Valley of Kapadokya.

Day-4 | K A P A D O K Y A

Red Tour: After your arrival, you would be taken to Red tour which includes visiting ancient times  Cave City. The reason of calling this tour “Red” because chimney rocks gives reddish shades.

Useful Info

Tour Avg Booking Price: 100 ~ 120 TL
Tour Timings: 9.30 AM to 04:00 PM
 

 

 

Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Kapadoky Capaducia turkey beingatraveler
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

 

Day-5 | K A P A D O K Y A

Hot Air Baloon: Next day you will be picked early morning before sunrise and will taken for amazing Hot Air Baloon ride.

Useful Info

Balloon ride cost = 75 ~ 100 Euro
Pickup time from Hotel: 04:00 AM
Flight time: 1 hour (5:00 AM to 6:00 AM)
Drop off back to Hotel: 07:00 am
 

 

hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
hot air baloon turkey capaducia kapadokya beingatraveler bilal azam
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

 

Green Tour: After coming back from Hot Air balloon , you will be taken to Green Tour at 0930 hrs. This includes visiting under ground city and Ihlara Valley and Selime Cathedrale. This tour is called “Green” because you would see more greenery and trees in this tour as compared to Red Tour

Useful Info

 Green Tour Cost = 100 ~ 120 TL
Timing: 09:30 AM to 06:30 PM
 

 

Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

 

NOTE: Red and Green are the most famous tours in Kapadokya however it has another tour named as BLUE TOUR. If you are staying another day in Goreme valley then you must take this tour aswel

 

Fethiye turkey beingatraveler bilalazam

 

 

Day-6 | F E T H I Y E

Getting there: You can travel from Kapadokya to Fethiye using Night Bus. These buses starts in the evening at center of Goreme Valley nearby all hotels and arrives at Fethiye in the early morning.

 

Useful Info

Bus Fare = 70 TL
Bus starts from Kapadokya : 07:00 PM and arrives Fethiye next day at 06:30 AM
 

 

Paragliding: Although Fethiye is a beach city but I recommend visiting this place to experience adventurous Para-gliding flight over an amazing landscape. You can book it from your Hotel reception. The tour includes Pick/ drop , Paragliding jump, official Pictures and Videos (they do not allow to take your personal camera)

 

fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
fethiye paragliding turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

Useful Info

Price = 250 ~ 340 TL (depends on season to season)

Pickup time from Hotel: 04:30 PM

Arrival at Jump location: 05:45 PM

Total Para-gliding time: 30 ~ 40 min

Drop off back to your hotel: 07:30 PM

 

 

OPTIONAL Day: Visiting Saklikent Gorge

If you have an extra day or time other than para-gliding then you must visit this place. You have to walk through knee high cold rushing water stream and then you walk along the gorge.

saklikent fethiye beingatraveler bilal azam

Useful Info

Getting there: Using local van from Fethiye bus stop to Saklikent

Van fare: 11 TL (one side)

Travel time: 1 hour (one side)

Entrance ticket for Saklikent = 6 TL

 

pamukkale turkey beingatraveler.com bilal azam

 

Day-7 | P A M U K K A L E

 

Getting There: Take evening bus from Fethiye at 1800 hours and you will arrive Pamukkale at 10:30 PM in 55 TL. Make sure your next day tour is already booked which should cover visiting Hierapolis and Thermal Pools

Morning: Visit Hierapolis

Hierapolis (Holy City in Greek) ruins are UNESCO World Heritage site, adjacent to Pamukkale Thermal pools. You must read its details HERE before visiting.

 

hierapolis pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
hierapolis pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
hierapolis pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
hierapolis pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
hierapolis pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
hierapolis pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
hierapolis pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

Afternoon: Visit Thermal Pools

Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural site having hot springs (natural hot water due to underground volcanic activity) and terraces of white colored carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. There are 17 hot water springs in which the temperature ranges from 35 °C (95 °F) to 100 °C (212 °F)

 

pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
pamukkale turkey beingatraveler bilalazam
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

Useful Info

Tour Cost = 100 TL (Includes Pick and Drop + Hierapolis and Thermal Pools entry tickets and a Guide)

Tour timing : 0930 AM to 4:00 PM

Shoes are not allowed while entering in Thermal Pools

(You can go to both places on your own too however it will waste lot of your time in managing transport etc)

 

ephesus izmir turkey beingatraveler bilalazam

 

Getting There: You should book your travel from Pamukkale to Izmir through tour agent (within 40 ~ 50 TL). The van will pick you in the evening and will drop at your Izmir hotel in the night. Izmir is 4 hours away from Pamukkale.

Visiting Ephesus

Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ancient Greek city built in the 10th century BC, three kilometers southwest of present-day Selçuk in Izmir.

 

izmir ephesus turkey beingatraveler bilal azam
izmir ephesus turkey beingatraveler bilal azam
izmir ephesus turkey beingatraveler bilal azam
izmir ephesus turkey beingatraveler bilal azam
izmir ephesus turkey beingatraveler bilal azam
izmir ephesus turkey beingatraveler bilal azam
izmir ephesus turkey beingatraveler bilal azam
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Slider

 

Useful Info

Ephesus Tour cost = 100 ~ 120 TL

Tour Timing: 09:30 AM to 0:30 PM

OPTIONAL CITIES

You can always customise your tour and can include cities/places like Antalya, Konya, Bodrum etc

 

 

Turkey Travel Video Highlights

 

 

 

Plan your Tour with Ibrahim

 

If you want your customize tour then do contact my friend Ibrahim in Istanbul. He provides Travel, Tours and accommodation services throughout Turkey.

Ibrahim rocktown travel turkey beingatraveler bilalazam

Ibrahim Whatsapp: +905316548393

Email: sarikuzuibrahim@gmail.com

Note: Do not forget to mention my reference while contacting him so that he can give you special discount

 

Disclaimer: All images used in this blog are my personal and subject to copyright

 

JOIN TO RECEIVE TRAVEL UPDATES
Join over 1000s of visitors who are receiving my travel updates and getting tips on how to budget travel around the world
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

31 Comments on “How to Plan your first visit to Turkey – An Ultimate Guide

  1. Bringing the Turkey experience to life for those of us who haven’t yet had the chance to visit! Good travel writing 🙂

    1. Thanks Tanvi for pointing it our. I have fixed the issue. I remember what a hot sunny day we spent together along with Khoi in Pamukkale. Waiting for your blog too

      1. Dear Bilal, it is very informative and have complete details for visitors of Turkey. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. A very detailed and comprehensive plan. Specially it is great to see that someone has finally mentiomed the costs and flight times.
    I can definitely plan my next trip to Turkey!

  3. Very useful information for the first time travelers to Turkey. Thanks for the contact details of the agent. A recommended blog for new explorers!

  4. Great effort very helpful for new guys like me .. keep sharing this sort of guideline’s.
    Am Looking froward for information about Pakistan’s places.

  5. Good comprehensive description of one of the most fascinating tourist destination in the world. I would recommend tourists interested in visiting istanbul to follow the plan given in the blog without wasting any time on further research. Good effort by the blogger.

  6. Wow!! simply awesome . Definitely its an ultimate guide. The way you wrote “Useful info” part, it made things so much easier for us. such a great effort. Keep it up brother.

    1. Turkey is best for your upcoming Honey Moon trip, let me know if anything you want to ask on couple travel places

  7. Thank you Bilal for the informative article!! I am still afraid to travel alone in turkey. Is it safe?

    1. Yes Koko. It is thoroughly safe traveling in Turkey. You must include it in your upcoming list

  8. Very informative, useful and a well written blog..your efforts would definitely make someone’s tour smooth and enjoyable..well done .keep it up

  9. Simply awesome! A much needed blog that too at the very right time! Solved the planning part completely! Many thanks Bilal!

  10. BAz nicely captured and quite brief tour details..really helpful.
    Also please narrate on how to have mobile internet access while in turkey, also share if you had experienced Antalya

    1. Thanks Abdur Rehman…. You can get Vodafone or Turkcell sim cards easily anywhere in Instanbul to use mobile internet.
      I could not visit Antalya as i preferred visiting Fethiye because of Paragliding there…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *