Turkey Itinerary – How To Make The Most of Your Visit

Turkey Itinerary and how to make the most of your visit

Contents

How To Make The Most of Your Visit – Our Turkey Itinerary

 

Turkey is a fascinating country, and one, by all means, should not be rushed.  Our planned one-month Turkey itinerary took us to the top tourist places to visit in Turkey, although we allowed a month we still did not manage to visit all that Turkey has to offer. The old cliche – where East meets West – still applies for Turkey but we would also add where ancient meets modern, a melting pot of cultures and flavours.

(Updated October 2019)

Wikipedia states that Turkey is in the Middle East. The country straddles both Asia and Europe.

Turkey Itinerary

Bodrum memories of cute cobblestoned streets leading down to the harbour

We started our journey in Bodrum because we were in Kos in the Greek Islands (a 30-minute ferry ride away) but you can use our travel itinerary to start in any one of the locations we travelled to depending on any cheap flights you can find at that time. So let’s go travel and enjoy the delights of this incredible, fun and interesting country.

Our accommodation is based on mid-range properties.  We will share with you articles along the way and our travel tips and tricks. 

Warning: When visiting Turkey don’t be surprised if you fall in love with its people, its history and its traditional food and cuisine and you will return as one visit will never be enough.

When Do You Need To Take Out Travel Insurance

As soon as you start paying for air tickets, deposits on tours or cruises, or accommodation you need to take out travel insurance.  This means that if for any reason you have to cancel you are covered from that date. Compare prices here for your journey.

 

Do You Need a Visa?

It is important to check whether you need a visa, use our tool below for further information.

PRO TIP

To travel you must have at least 6 months on your passport from the end date of your proposed vacation.

Turkey itinerary

Turkey Tourist Map – Our One Month Turkey Itinerary

Turkey Itinerary

Turkey Map

Our one month Turkey itinerary took us from:

  • Bodrum (A) – distance to Fethiye 232 km
  • Fethiye (B) – distance to Antalya 198 km
  • Antalya (C) – distance to Konya 304 km
  • Konya (D) – distance to Cappadocia 242 km
  • Cappadocia (E) – distance to Selcuk 657 km
  • Selcuk (F) – distance to Canakkale 385 km
  • Canakkale (G) – distance to Istanbul 314 km
  • Istanbul (H)

Itinerary Questions

These are some of the Turkey Trip Itinerary questions we have been asked. We are frequently asked what are the best places to visit in Turkey.  The answer depends on what you enjoy doing – shopping, sailing, visiting historical sites, food, markets.  We love to mix it up with food, historical sites, markets and sailing.

What is a good itinerary for a 7-day vacation in Turkey?

This depends on whether you want to fly internally or take the bus.

If you want to fly I would recommend starting and ending your vacation in Istanbul. Allow 2 days on arrival, fly to Cappadocia and spend 3 days there, fly to Antalya for 2 days and then leave from Istanbul.

If you are travelling by bus: 2 days Istanbul, travel to Canakkale visit Gallipoli and Troy, spend 2 days there, bus to Selcuk for 2 days and then head back to Istanbul.

What is a good 10-day itinerary for Turkey, I want to fit in Istanbul, Izmir, Cappadocia and Antalya

Depends if you are flying or travelling by bus we would recommend Istanbul for 3 days, bus or fly to Izmir and spend 2 days, Antalya 2 days and 3 days in Cappadocia to Istanbul flight. The flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia is around 1 hour 20 minutes so you could do this journey in reverse.

This should give you a good 10 days in Turkey to give you a good feel of it and then you can plan to return and add more destinations.

What is the perfect 2 weeks in Turkey itinerary?

If you have only 2 weeks in Turkey you can still see and do a lot.  2 weeks will definitely give you a ‘taster’ on what else you can do and see if you have more time.

Frequently Asked Questions on Travel To Turkey

Is Turkey safe to visit?

Yes, now that we have spent a month there we can honestly say it is.  As a traveller, you still have to be on guard at all times whether you are in Turkey or even in your home town these days. Always be safety conscious and be confident that you know where you are going.  Do not put yourself at risk.

How did we travel around Turkey?

We travelled through Turkey by bus.  They were comfortable, on time and would travel the same way again.

Can you drink the water in Turkey?

You can drink the water but advice states that you may want to use bottled water to guard against upset stomachs. We believe in sustainable travel and always carry our Lifestraw Water Bottle with us so that we can lessen the use of plastic.

What is the currency in Turkey?

Turkish Lire is the official currency.  You can change Euros and USD is most large cities.

Do I need a visa for Turkey?

You will need a visa for Turkey check out I-Visa for the latest information.

What is the voltage in Turkey?

The voltage is 220v with round prong European plugs.

There are two plug types in Turkey. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and Plug type F has two round pins with two earth clips on the side.

 

Is WiFi freely available in Turkey?

All hotels have WiFi these days, but you do need to ask whether they charge or not for the usage.  There are internet cafes in large cities.

What is the best season to travel to Turkey?

Spring and Autumn are the best times to travel to Turkey. Istanbul is a busy city all year round for tourists but it can be very cold in winter and at times it can snow and hot in summer.

Cappadocia is also a year-round travel destination.  In winter it can snow and can very cold.  Hot Air Balloons will operate throughout the year but it does depend on the weather conditions.  Ours was cancelled on the first day but able to fly the 2nd day, so if you are considering this activity allow a few days in case of weather.

The Mediterranean Coast of Turkey is perfect from Spring through to Autumn, Summer is the hottest and also the busiest with tourists.

If you are considering taking a Gulet cruise May to September is recommended.

Is Turkey a suitable country for people with disabilities to visit?

You will need to check with your hotel accommodation whether they have ramps for wheelchairs. Some of the smaller towns may not be geared up for wheelchairs.  If you are considering taking a tour check with the tour operator.

What are the best travel guides for Turkey?

We are big fans of the Lonely Planet Guides.  Here is their Turkey Guide available here.

What Religious Events Should I Be Aware Of:

Turkey has two major religious events and the dates do change.  You will find that banks, schools and offices may close.

  • to celebrate the end of Ramadan there is a 3-day festival called Seker Bayram
  • Kurban Bayram is a 4-day feast celebrating the fact that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his youngest son to Allah

What is the Dress Code for Visiting Mosques?

Men: you must wear long trousers.  You can wear short-sleeved shirts, singlet tops are not allowed nor shorts.

Women: Your hair and arms should be covered and you must wear a head scarf.

Dresses or shorts should sit below the knee.

Are Credit Cards Accepted?

Credit cards are accepted widely.  American Express and Diners Card may include a surcharge and are less accepted than Mastercard or Visa.

Public Holidays in Turkey?

  • 1st January is New Year’s Day
  • 23rd April is Sovereignty and Children’s Day
  • 1st May May Day – a day we would recommend not visiting Taksim Square in Istanbul due to demonstrations
  • 19th May Youth and Sports Day
  • 30th August Victory Day
  • 29th October Republic Day

You will find that on Public Holidays banks, offices and schools will close.

The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul will be closed on religious holidays and Republic Day. They are closed on Sundays.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is open all the time.

All the museums close on Mondays.

During Ramadan cafes and restaurants will be open.  Avoid walking down the streets eating or drinking.

On election days in Turkey, you will not be allowed to drink alcohol until the voting has finished.

Can I Buy A Sim Card in Turkey

You can buy a Sim Card at the airport on arrival in Turkey. It is easy to get the card on arrival as English is spoken widely at either Turkcell or Vodafone and some of the other smaller providers.  If you are in smaller towns it may be more difficult for you.

Latest Flight Deals

When you travel you should always research the latest deals in air tickets a few months before your date of travel. One of our favourite travel sites is Skyscanner.

 

Looking at how to compare prices on flight tickets

 

Our Top Cities To Visit in Turkey

We have included some of the best places to visit in Turkey.  There are many others for us to explore.  We travel slowly and one month was definitely not long enough.

Bodrum

Ancient Ruins in Bodrum

Ancient Ruins in Bodrum one of the many things to do

Why Visit Bodrum

  • Bodrum dates back to the 7th century BC.  It is located on the coastline not far from the Greek Island of Kos.
  • The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and it dates back to 350 BC.
  • Bodrum Castle was built in 1400 and now houses the important Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
  • The Amphitheatre, Bodrum’s open-air museum that was constructed between 330 and 30 BC, and seated 13,000 people.  It was excavated during 1973 and now is in regular use.

Bodrum is well known for its beaches.  There seems to be a different beach for each activity:

  • Fener Beach for watersports
  • Gumusluk Beach for its fish restaurants
  • Karaincir Beach great for small families to enjoy
  • Gumbet Beach is great for families and bars and cafes
  • Torba Beach – a little distance away and perfect for that quiet spot to chill
  • Kadikalesi – if you are new to watersports head to this beach
  • Yahsi boasts crystal clear waters

More Things To Do in Bodrum

Where To Stay in Bodrum

Name: Hotel Gulec, Ockuyular Cad. No. 22 Bodrum Turkey

Why we chose it?
Hotel Gulec had good reviews from TripAdvisor. A double room with ensuite was within our budget. There was a lovely garden area where a Turkish breakfast was served daily and Wi-Fi was provided free of charge for all guests.
The hotel was centrally located in the middle of Bodrum town where there were many shops, an abundance of good restaurants and bars. Two minutes’ walk took you down to the beach area.

What was it like?
We took a local taxi for the short ride to the Hotel, on reflection and with hindsight, we could have walked from the Ferry port to the Hotel. On arrival, we were greeted by the family who owned the hotel. They were really helpful and friendly and welcomed us with open arms, we felt like part of the family too. The hotel is very clean and well maintained and the garden an oasis to relax in. We had a lovely room overlooking the garden on the 2nd floor. The breakfasts were very good consisting of Turkish bread, hummus, eggs, cucumber, tomato, olives, local sauces and coffee or tea.

What was around it?
Bodrum is located on a harbour, so there was an abundance of available daily boat rides to surrounding islands. There are many restaurants serving an array of fresh fish and seafood. There are many bars to choose from that front the marina and beach area. All banks and ATMs are located here in Bodrum town.

Bodrum Castle is a 7-minute walk away and there are other archaeological sites within walking distance such as Myndus Gate, the Amphitheatre and the Mausoleum which is one of the 7 wonders of the world.

For the latest prices and availability on Hotel Gulec click here.

 

 

For the latest prices and availability on Hotels in Bodrum

 

Airport Transfers

For more information on airport transfers from Bodrum Airport to central Bodrum click here.

Pro Tip

One of our favourite Bodrum restaurants is opposite the harbour –  Bodrum Pasaji.


 

Fethiye

Lycian Rock Tombs in Fethiye

One of the many things to do in Fethiye – Lycian Rock Tombs

Why Visit Fethiye

  • Visit the Lycian Rock Tombs above the town of Fethiye they date back to the 4th century BC. The views are incredible from here.
  • Pay a visit to the fish market, select your own fish and have it cooked for you at one of the fish restaurants in the market
  • Go shopping in the old town of Fethiye.  If you would like to buy a carpet sit down and enjoy a Mint Tea whilst learning about the history before you purchase. Do not forget to bargain.
  • Enjoy a cruise from the harbour.

More Things To Do in Fethiye

Where To Stay in Fethiye

Name: Hotel Vanilla, Kocek Mustafa Caddesi 1103 Sokako No 11 Calis Plaji Fethiye Turkey

Why we chose it?
Fethiye was an interesting place to visit. It was a seaside town, scattered with some interesting archaeological sites and a colourful market area in the Old Town. It is popular with European retirees. TripAdvisor had good reviews about Hotel Vanilla. Hotel Vanilla was located a block back from Calis beach and had a swimming pool and garden area for breakfast and chilling in. A double room with ensuite, breakfast and Wi-Fi was well within our budget.

What was it like?
We arrived via bus and took a taxi ride to the Hotel, it did seem far away from the action. We had arrived at the end of the season and found a sleepy town ready to hibernate for the winter. The manager checked us in and showed us to a room with a balcony overlooking the pool on the second floor. He was very helpful, pointing out where the beach was located and the local restaurants and bars. The Hotel also had a dining room and a lounge area if we required it. Our first impressions were that the room could have been cleaner, we found cigarette butts on the balcony (these stayed here the whole time we were there) and in parts, it was a bit tired and worn down. A Turkish breakfast was served daily in the garden area by the pool. The Hotel had a comfortable lounge to rest in which overlooked the verandah and pool area. It did seem the staff and the management were tired and winding down after a busy season.

What was around it?
Ideally situated for a walk across to the pebbled beach, there were lots of bars and restaurants overlooking a sheltered bay. In the evening we experienced amazing sunsets as we sat and enjoyed cold beers in a local restaurant. Banks and ATMs were in the town centre of Fethiye. Fethiye is located on a harbourfront where there are much local Fish and Turkish restaurants available. There is an old market area where there are traditional carpet shops, restaurants and bars as well as clothing and gift shops.

Fethiye is famous for the Rock Tombs that are a short climb up the hill that overlooks the harbour. A dolmus (small bus) ran regularly into town from the main road near Hotel Vanilla for TL2 per person. This was the cheapest way to get into the bus station in town and the service was efficient.

For the latest prices and availability on Hotel Vanilla in Fethiye click here.

 

 

 

For the latest prices and availability on Fethiye Hotels click here

 

Airport Transfers

For information on airport transfers click here

Want More Ideas:

Fethiye – One of our 6 Low-Cost Destinations


Antalya

The harbour of Antalya

The colourful Harbour of Antalya

Why Visit Antalya

  • Beach lovers will enjoy the Turquoise Coast of Antalya
  • Wander through the Ottoman architecture in the Old Town
  • Visit the 18th-century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque
  • Enjoy an evening drink overlooking the Old Harbour
  • Visit the excellent Antalya Museum
  • Walk through Hadrians Gate built in AD130 to honour the visit by Emperor Hadrian

Things To Do in Antalya

Antalya Weather

September and October are great months to visit Antalya when the weather is cooler and there are fewer tourists.  Springtime is also recommended.  The summer temperature on average is around 34 – 36 degrees.

Where to Stay in Antalya:

Name: Sabah Pension, Old City, Kilincasian Mh. Hesapci Sok No 60 07100 Antalya, Turkey

Why we chose it?
Sabah Pension was highly rated in TripAdvisor.  Sabah Pension is located in the old city with many old Ottoman buildings and cobblestoned streets. They had a double room with ensuite, swimming pool, garden area, restaurant, free Wi-Fi and a Turkish breakfast provided all within our budget.

What was it like?
The Sabah Pension is within easy distance by tram or by taxi from the central bus station. We arrived at the bus station and took the tram to the Old City (Kaleici) where Sabah Pension is located. We were able to walk along the cobbled streets through Hadrian’s Gate, passing by many shops and restaurants.

The Sabah Family has run this pension since 1986. It was well maintained and very clean. It has grown over the years and now there are many available areas for chilling and lounging around in. Breakfast was provided in a booking fee and it comprised of a free flow Turkish Buffet style in a Hostel atmosphere. The restaurant is of a high standard with a good menu and fresh ingredients, we would recommend it. Our room was on the top floor overlooking the street, the ocean and the mountains in the distance. It had a lot of atmosphere and it was bright and sunny. All the staff were helpful in assisting us in what to do and see around Antalya.

What was around it?
You couldn’t have asked for a better location in the old city where you were close to the Clock Tower, Hadrian’s Gate, and the Old Walls of the city, the marina and the main shopping centre of Antalya. Everything was in walking distance. All the banks and ATMs were situated just outside the walls of the Old City. All types of coffee/tea houses, restaurants, cafes and bars were within walking distance. The Tram to the bus station was situated just outside the Walls.

 

For the latest prices and availability Sabah Pension

 

 

For the latest prices and availability on Hotels in  Antalya

Airport Transfers

For the latest information on Antalya airport transfers click here

More Things To Do in Antalya

 

 

More reading:

Antalya: Turkish Coffee, Harbours and History

 


 

 

 

Konya

Mevlana Museum Konya

Mevlana Museum in Konya

Why Visit Konya

  • The Mevlana Museum is one of the top tourist attractions in Konya. It houses the Islamic Scholar Rumi’s tomb.
  •  The top tourist attraction is the Whirling Dervishes. They are a group of Islamic men who put themselves into a trance by whirling non-stop for 15 minutes to soulful Islamic tunes.
  • Visit the Aziziye Mosque
  • Visit a tea house on Alaeddin Hill
  • Take some time to enjoy the history in the Konya Archaeological Museum

Konya Hotels – Where To Stay

Name: Mevlevi Hotel, Aziziye Mh. Cengaver Sk. No. 1 Konya Turkey

Why we chose it?
We chose the Mevlevi Hotel because of the good reviews from TripAdvisor. It was located close to the Mevlevi Museum and close to the old town;  from our research, it appeared to be a taxi ride from the bus station. They had a double room with ensuite available that included a Turkish breakfast and free Wi-Fi all within our budget.

What was it like?
The location of the Mevlevi Hotel is a simple taxi ride from the bus station. It’s conveniently located in walking distance to all the main Konya attractions. The Mevlevi Hotel is a family-run hotel, very clean and well maintained. We had a great view over one of the Mosques in Konya. English is rarely spoken but the children of the Owners translated for us via Google Translate when they were home if we needed assistance. We were very welcomed into the family atmosphere and times when we were catching up on our blogs and the family was settling down for their evening meal they would offer us some of their food. We had arrived on the eve of their Sacrificial Religious event which is a four-day public holiday. The main street was very busy when we arrived as everyone was preparing for the event. The next day deadly quiet, nothing opened but we did manage to find a restaurant at night for a meal.

What was around it?
There was a supermarket across the road, several banks and ATMs and many restaurants and bars available within walking distance. Buses plied the main street. The Mevlevi Museum was opened on the third day. We would recommend a visit to the Museum and the gardens around it. There are several Mosques close by to visit. Next time we would spend more time in Konya as there are archaeological sites e.g. Meram, Klistra, Sille, Hadim Selale and Gatal Hoysak located outside the city and you do need a few days to see all of them. The Whirling Dervish performance is held on a Saturday night and we missed this as well.

For the latest prices and availability for the Mevlevi Hotel       

 

 

 

 

For the latest prices and availability on Hotels in Konya

 

Cappadocia

Balloons over Cappadocia

Balloons over the eerie landscape of Cappadocia at sunrise

Where is Cappadocia

Cappadocia is the historical region that is located in the centre of Turkey in the area known as Central Anatolia. Goreme is a town within Cappadocia and it is where we recommend that you stay.  The restaurants are very good here.

Why Visit Cappadocia

  • Hot Air Balloon Flight Turkey -fly over the surreal lunar-like landscapes of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon ride with Royal Balloons
  • Sleep in  Cave Hotels in and around Goreme Turkey
  • Visit the Open Air Goreme Museum and its many churches and frescoes that date back to the 9th century

Things To Do in Cappadocia – Cappadocia Tours Available

Where To Stay in Cappadocia

Name: Kismet Cave House, Kagni Yolu No. 9 Goreme  Cappadocia Turkey.

Why we chose it?
Whilst we were researching the area we came across Duke Dillard and his website Captivating Cappadocia highlighting the entire Cappadocia region. He mentioned Faruk Keles and his accommodation at Kismet Cave Hotel located in the centre of Goreme. Kismet Cave House had double rooms with ensuite built inside a cave, within our price range, and also offered breakfast and free Wi-Fi. It was a family run hotel and indications were that it was close by to the transport, restaurants and surrounding attractions. We also checked the reviews out in TripAdvisor.

What was it like?
Our bus ride from Konya took 3 ½ hours and the bus station was in the centre of town, a 5-minute walk from Kismet Cave House.

The accommodation was amazing, carved into the side of the rock formation. Faruk welcomed us into the fold and we felt like family for the next five nights. He is very generous, very knowledgeable and a local character. We learnt so much from him, how to buy carpets, the local traditions and he even took us to a very old 4th century B.C. monastery where we could still view frescoes that were located on his family’s land. We had the best breakfasts in the whole of our journey around Turkey. Fresh fruit from his family orchard, honey from the local bees, a different egg dish each morning, bread, fruit, coffee and tea. The rooms were warm, very well laid out, clean and well maintained. Faruk takes pride in his establishment. Whilst it is a hotel it provided through its common areas and the breakfast area a wonderful opportunity to engage with fellow travellers.

What was around it?
Kismet Cave House was located 5 minutes’ walk from town where there were supermarkets, mini markets, plenty of really good restaurants, cafes, banks and ATMs. One of our favourite restaurants was the Old Cappadocia Restaurant. The highlight was our Royal Balloon Flight over Cappadocia. The scenery was stunning as the early morning rays came over the horizon. There are many balloon companies in Cappadocia but we would highly recommend a hot air balloon ride with Royal Balloons

For the latest prices and availability Kismet Cave House

 

For the latest prices and availability on Goreme/Cappadocia Hotels click here

 

Airport Transfers

For information on Cappadocia, airport transfers click here

More Things To Do in Cappadocia

 

Read More

Hot Air Balloon Ride with Royal Balloons

Our Favourite Coffee Locations in Europe

 


 

 

Selcuk

Ephesus Ruins outside Selcuk

The ancient ruins of Ephesus

Why Visit Selcuk

  • The main reason to visit Selcuk is to visit the ancient site of Ephesus in Turkey. Ephesus is one of the best preserved Roman ruins. Ask your driver to drop you off at the top of the site – this means that you wander downhill instead, worth remembering if you are visiting at the height of summer. You can take a full day tour more details here.
  • Visit the Isa Bey Mosque outside prayer times
  • Ephesus Museum houses the artefacts from Ephesus
  • Roman aqueduct
  • Day tour from Selcuk to Pamakkale to view the cotton cliffs and visit the ancient site of Hierapolis

Where To Stay in Selcuk

Name: Tuncay Pension, Isabey Mah. 2015 Sok No.1 Efes Selcuk  Turkey

Why we chose it?

We chose the Tuncay Pension because of the good reviews on TripAdvisor.  They offered double rooms with ensuite, breakfast, free Wi-Fi plus there is a lovely garden area to relax in. It was also located centrally within town. Pick up service was offered from the bus station.

What was it like?
We arrived at Tuncay Pension after a very long bus trip from Goreme that took about fourteen hours. We took a short taxi ride as it turned out although if we had given our details to the owner he would have arranged a pick-up. It is quite possible to walk from the bus station to the accommodation. The owner greeted us and arranged for sandwiches to be delivered as we had missed breakfast. We enjoyed the feast and coffee in the garden area. Our double room with ensuite looked over the garden area and was bright and cheery. The owner advised us on how best to visit Ephesus in the time that we had and where the location of the restaurants are within the town. The whole complex was very clean and well maintained.

What was around it?
Ephesus is a ten-minute taxi ride away. Supermarkets, banks, ATMs, bars and restaurants within a block or two of the Pension. The Bus Station is within a ten-minute walk. Ephesus is one of the main attractions in Selcuk, there is also a castle situated on top of the hill in town that is worth a visit.

 

For the latest prices and availability click here

 

For the latest prices and availability on Selcuk Hotels click here

 

Read More:

Secrets of Ephesus Revealed


Canakkale

Lone Pine Cemetery at Gallipoli

Lone Pine Cemetery at Canakkale

Why Visit Canakkale

  • Cannakale is an easy destination to base yourself to visit Gallipoli. We would recommend taking a Gallipoli Battlefields Tour.
  • The ancient city of Troy is located 37 km from the city centre. You can take a guided tour to Troy from Canakkale.
  • Get lost in the Aynali Bazaar
  • Visit the Archaeological Museum
  • If you enjoy ceramics there is a Ceramics Museum to wander around for a couple of hours
  • Visit the Naval Museum
  • Cimenlik Castle – collect your ticket from the Naval Museum.

Where to Stay in Canakkale

Name: Anzac Hotel, Saat Kulesi Meydani Clock Tower Square No 8 Canakkale Turkey

Why we chose it?
The Anzac Hotel had good reviews on TripAdvisor.  It was centrally located in town and by the waterfront. They had available a private room with ensuite, provided a buffet breakfast and offered free Wi-Fi.

What was it like?
The bus from Selcuk dropped us at the Ferry terminal in Canakkale this was confusing but turned out to be convenient as the Anzac Hotel was a short walk away from the ferry terminal. We originally checked in at The Anzac Hotel and were then taken to another Anzac Hotel around the corner and checked in at this reception. The accommodation was split across two properties in the same street and we were housed in the newer addition and recently renovated property.

The double bedroom with ensuite was modern and new, with TV and Wi-Fi. The staff were very helpful explaining the many tours available. We did not realize that we were so close to Gallipoli and booked a half day tour for the next day. Gallipoli is significant for ANZAC Cove for which during the First World War, Great Britain, Australian, New Zealand and French forces attempted to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople and secure a sea route to Russia. We wished to see with our own eyes the landscape and where the Gallipoli Battle took place.

In the early hours we were woken by the couple next door having a very long Skype call to India indicating that the walls are very thin. We were also disappointed with the buffet breakfast; the choices available were limited and the food cold it was clearly catering for the large groups and lacked the warmth and comfort.

What was around it?
There were great bars and restaurants within walking distance as well as banks and ATMs. There are several mini markets. Being so close to the wharf transport was plentiful. Tours to Gallipoli left from either your hotel or at the wharf. As we booked Gallipoli we missed out on visiting the ancient city of Troy which needs a full day to experience it all.

 

For the latest prices and availability click here

 

 

For the latest prices and availability on Cannakale Hotels

 

 


 

 

 

Istanbul

Istanbul Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

Why Visit Istanbul

Istanbul is always busy with tourists especially in high season during the summer.  There is so much to see and do we would recommend that you pre-purchase your tickets for the major sites and skip the long queues, especially when a bus load or two of tourists turn up at the same time. If you have time we would recommend a 5 day Istanbul Itinerary so that you do not have to rush visiting the sites.

Istanbul Hotels – Where to Stay

Name: Old City Sultanahmet Hotel, Emin Sinan Mahallesi Piyerlotti Cadesi No 41 Cemberlitas Istanbul Turkey (***name change Hotel Pelda)

Why we chose it?
We chose Hotel Old City Sultanahmet due to its location being right in the centre of the old part of Istanbul. The hotel had good reviews in TripAdvisor.  It was right on our budget and offered a double room with ensuite, Wi-Fi and breakfast in their rooftop restaurant with views over Istanbul. For booking 7 nights they provided a one-way free transfer to the hotel which is a cost saving for us.

What was it like?
We arrived after a seven-hour bus ride from Canakkale and a short taxi ride to the hotel. On checking in there was an issue and we were relocated for a night to the Home Stay hotel two doors up. We were put into a very small double room with ensuite. The next morning we could have breakfast in either hotel but we chose our original hotel with the view over Istanbul which is impressive. The breakfast is your typical Turkish breakfast. We were given our double room with ensuite and promised a better room with a small balcony the next day for the remaining five nights of our trip. Both rooms were very small in size and it was a squeeze with our two travel suitcases. Rooms were cleaned daily and the rest of the hotel was well maintained. Staff were helpful and friendly and assisted in any advice that we required on how to get around and what to see and do.

What was around it?
The major tourist sites e.g. the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace that we were keen to visit were right on our doorstep within a 5-minute walk. There are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants within walking distance. There were plenty of banks and ATMs available dispensing Euros, Turkish Lira and USD. Trams and buses were in walking distance from the hotel. We walked to Taksim Square, viewing Galata Tower on the way and having a great fish meal at Egyun Balik Pazari in Beyoglu.

Would we return?
No. If we returned to Istanbul we would base ourselves on the other side of the river close to Istiklal Street, it had a different vibe and atmosphere. We believe that this is one of the best areas to stay in Istanbul. That being said we would certainly suggest a stay in the Old City as a must and it was wonderful to be able to walk between the highlights.

For the latest prices and availability Old City Sultanahmet Hotel,

The TripAdvisor review on the Old City Sultanahmet Hotel click here

Top 5 Best Hotels in Istanbul

 

For the latest prices and availability on City Centre Hotels of Istanbul click here

TripAdvisor lists the top 10 hotels in Istanbul click here for more information.

Lonely Planet Istanbul Guide

For more information on Turkey Travel, we can recommend the Lonely Planet Turkey Phrase Book

Istanbul Weather

When is the best time to visit Istanbul? Springtime during April and May and Autumn time during September to November is the best time to visit.  Summers can be very hot and winters very cold.  Summer is also high season for tourists.

Airport Transfers

For details on Airport transfers click here.

What To Do in Istanbul

An 8-hour cruise of the Bosphorus to see the panoramic sights of the Golden Horn and get a glimpse of the Balat, the Jewish Hospital, and much more on this tour. Learn true history and experience a bustling urban lifestyle in the city’s colorful shops. A visit to the Spice Bazaar is included. This day trip is suitable for families.

On Mondays and Thursdays Dolmabahçe Palace is closed, so on these days of the week the tour will make 3 different stops: Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Tomb, Pierre Loti Coffee House, and Miniatürk Park. There are transfers available from certain city hotels but no drop-off. Click here for more details.

 

 

Read More:

Grand Bazaar – To Shop or Not

5 Reasons to Visit The Topkapi Palace

Spicy Tour in Istanbul


 

 

If you enjoyed our article why not PIN it for later:

 

 

Turkey Itinerary

 

 

 

Turkey Itinerary

 

 

 

 

Turkey Itinerary

 

 

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17 Comments

  • Anda says:

    What a great Turkey itinerary, Jane! I’m sure you guys had a blast there. We have only visited Istanbul so far, but I would surely love to go beyond that. Antalya, Ephesus and Cappadocia are three of the places on your list that would be of great interest for us. I’ll bookmark your post for future reference. Hope to make it there next year.

    • Hi Anda
      Thanks for your comments.Hope you get to visit your 3 places it is definitely well worth the trip. It is easy to get there as well.
      Cheers Jane and Duncan

  • Daniel says:

    I visited Turkey a lot of times and also read a lot about this beautiful country’s culture and history. It’s also one of my favorite holiday destinations but I still enjoyed reading your article. I think everyone planning to visit should check out your article before doing so. Your pictures look absolutely stunning too.

  • Ofcourse Turkey is in my future plans. Esp., Cappadocia is such a tempting place with all those hot air balloons!
    1 month itinerary??? Whoa! That’s something I’d never be able to do. Your 7-day itinerary sounds perfect for me, but I wouldn’t miss Bodrum. Its my kinda place!
    Thanks for all the tips, esp about the dress codes.

  • Leah says:

    This is an awesome, comprehensive guide to Turkey! I feel like you covered everything. We hope to go there, so this was very helpful. Great tips on how to dress in the mosques. I think it would be fun to travel there during a festival, but it good to know that some things might be closed.

  • Must say, this is one of the most detailed itineraries i have come across. You have nailed all the possible queries while recommending based on your experience.
    I so want to visit Turkey now, and definitely following your lead and spending more than a week for sure. There’s just so much to do.

    • Hi Arnav
      Thanks for your comments. Hopefully you can visit Turkey and spend more than a week, you will fall in love with the country and its people.
      Cheers Jane and Duncan

  • Adele Gee says:

    ok! this is a comprehensive list. One I am grateful for as I have been looking into visiting Turkey finally. Cappadocia is high on my list and your photo just reaffirms that its a must-go. Your detailed tips are definitely useful for planning transportation and where to stay. Thank you!

  • I have wanted to visit Capadoccia and Istanbul for a while but I see there’s so much more to see in Turkey. I’m glad you addressed the safety question – to hear from someone who traveled during an entire month by bus and would do it again puts me at ease. Your other tips on currency, WiFi and electricity help answer so many travel questions that we have and are seldom answered.

    • Hi Annick
      Thanks for your comments. Turkey has some great memories for us we will return and visit many of the other areas that we missed in that month. Of course, we will be travelling by bus again a great way to get around.
      Cheers Jane and Duncan

  • Martha says:

    Turkey has always been really high on my bucket list. I love that you ventured outside of Istanbul and Cappadocia. Those are the two cities I always hear about and I love to visit cities that are not so saturated with tourism and more authentic to the culture. I love all the ruins and ancient cities that you visited and included in this itinerary.

  • Andreja says:

    I have been to Turkey once, I only have couple of days so of course I visited Istanbul. Its good to know there are also other places to explore, I have only heard of Cappadocia and Im dying to go there, hot air balloons look absolutely stunning! Thanks for including off the beaten path towns and cities – there is always more to explore!

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