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funtraveler
I am a person who loves to travel and experience new things. I live and grew up in the States, but I take pride in my turkish heritage. I visit Turkey almost every year (for about 2 months) and I absolutely love it there. The people are so friendly and inviting. Also, the atmosphere is great every where you go. I usually do a lot of traveling while I am in Turkey. I have visited many places such as Antalya, Pamukkale, the city of Troy, Cappadocia, and much more. Every where that I have been is absolutely beautiful. Each city or site in Turkey is unique in their own way and gorgeous for various reasons. It amazes me on how much culture and history Turkey has to offer. As you can tell I love Turkey because it is such a beautiful place, but I am curious to see what others think. My question is to those who have visited Turkey: How was your experience there and what do you think about Tukery overall?
sweetfreedomros
Yes, I definitely agree with you! Turkey is so fasinating... I had discovered Turkey in 2005 buy a random meeting on the internet and became friends with several people. I went out there in 2005 to Istanbul.. and loved it so much... I had never seen a Mosque before in person, so I was so fasincated. I returned last summer in August and it was like being home. I travel from Istanbul to Ankara to Hatay... then to Capadocia, then Isparta to Izmir to Ephesus.. then back to Istanbul. I only had 10 days!!! I wish I could take a month... if not 2 months like you!!! And to go every year! That is so awesome.. I am planning to go in March for 10 days just to hang out and take photos... I could wait until 2010 and stay for 3 weeks... well, I am always planning my next trip in my head.

So, yes, I agree with you... Turkey is so amazing!
funtraveler
Sweetfreedomros,
I am very happy to hear that you are so fascinated with Turkey. It gives me this great sense of pride when I hear people say good things about Turkey (especially like the comments you made) because of everything that is going on in the world right now...But, I'm really glad that you took the chance to go to Turkey after meeting friends on the internet. Anyways, I am amazed to see that you actually found a way to fit so much traveling and sightseeing in your ten day trip. That's crazy and seems almost impossible! But, I have to say that when you are Turkey there really is no time to sleep. Life there is an ongoing process that seems to never end. I am sure that your experience there was like none other and hopefully you will have just as much fun on future trips!! I wish you the best of luck and FUN during your next trip!! Get as much time as you possibly can off, because you will need every second of it to continue your adventures there!
Jambo
I like Turkey a lot - such a varied range of attractions, from the cross-continental exotic history of Istanbul to the gorgeous beaches in the south and the bizarrely stunning rock formations of Cappadoccia. I didnt get to the east (apart from Sanliurfa) but the west and centre certainly had a lot to offer.

To balance all this positivity, here are a couple of negatives. One, the cost of things is quite a shock for anyone who has worked their way up from the rest of the Middle East and Africa. See if you can do something about that, eh? Secondly, some of the touristy places are becoming a little too touristy (e.g. Olympos, Patara, Istanbul) but this is hardly unique to Turkey, so I shouldn't complain too much.

And the Gallipoli experience is very moving, particularly for a Kiwi like myself.

Here is our experience of Turkey.
gordon48
I have just found this site recently, and find it very interesting reading about other peoples travels around the world. I have lived and worked in Turkey off and on since 1982, and even have a home there. It is so nice to see all the blogs about Turkey, and how many people have enjoyed there stay their. Turkey is a country that you can spend years on vacation travel around and experiencing the different parts of it. I always recommend it to people who are wanting to go someplace different or have some weird idea about Turkey and the Turkish people. If you are a history buff, then Turkey is the place to go.
charlamae
I went on a Greek Cruise which stopped in Croatia and Turkey. I thought the Greek Islands were going to be the highlight, but it was definitely Turkey: the people, the ruins, the archaelogical sites, the history, the food ... all fantastic. I had no idea -- we don't get alot of news coverage about Turkey over here.

I know I was only there for one day, but i dream about going back. When people asked about my cruise, all I did was talk about Turkey.
branefatboy
Turkey has the best hotels and stuff in whole world.There you can fell like home...Turkey is amazing place to visit,especially the sea...
orik
Turkey is always on the top of my travel list.

Great for travelling.

You can find each type of persons there, each type of culture -east, west.

A Lot of things from modern world, a lot of things from ancient world. Member of all religions (Islamic, Christian) live there.

It Is diffcult to find any other country in the world with such culture.

Once we made poll: Where Is The Best travel destination in the East. And Most of people voted for Turkey.
zugma
Anyone interested to see some pictures and info about Turkey might find the following sites interesting.

www.vacationinginturkey.blogspot.com

www.turquoisesail.blogspot.com

Enjoy your tour
evamaria85
I love to travel too, and this past summer I went to Turkey for the first time, on a trip through Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

I have read quite a bit about Turkey in history, Galipoli and all that, and also in travel books and alike, and everybody kept going on how amazing a place it is...I cannot agree.

I arrived in Istanbul, and even though I dressed modestly (losse capri pants and a loose t-shirt) for such a Westernised capital, I kept getting cat calls and the like, not a very nice experience. The only place worse than Turkey in this respect was Cairo, where there are even more turists. But in the more conservative Muslim countries such as Syria and Jordan I got no cat calls, maybe some stares, but that is not too hard to live with.

The tour I was on went down the west coast of Turkey until Antalya, then inland to Cappadocia, and from there to Sanliurfa, via Mt. Nemrut.

I had heard a lot about the sight in Turkey, there were "wonderful" but I just found them...well...not bad, but not amazing either...I have seen many of the "Great" sites of the world, and when comparing the great sites of Turkey to those of other countries, Turkey just fell short.

There were of course highligths too, I was amazed at how many Turkish people spoke very well English and Cappadocia is a very, very amazing place...until we reached Cappadocia I felt that I had been wasting my time in Turkey, but Cappadocia was amazing, those mushrom hat hills, amazing jurasic scenery, now that is what I like.

I think one of the reasons why I didn't quite like the part of Turkey I saw was that I was too many trips to ruins and bland scenery.

I don't know if I'll go to Turkey again any time soon, there are many other places I would rather go, but a trip in a hot air balloon wouldn't be too bad;-)

I'm not saying "don't go to Turkey" I'm just saying that my expectations and the Turkish reality didn't go too well together.

Take care.

Best,

Eva Maria
olwenjlangford
QUOTE(jovanmkd @ Oct 23 2008, 03:45 PM) *

I've heard abouth the turkish hospitality but never been there to actualy see for myselfe.Turkey is not very far from my country so i might go there next summer 2009.

Turkey is a very diverse country - East meets West and has become a favorite holiday destination over the last 10 years.

The Mugla district which takes in Fethiye, Kaya Koy, Olu Deniz, Ovacik and Hisaronu to name a few resorts find Azure Blue seas with a backdrop of Mountains a truly stunning landscape.

The people are extremely friendly and you may be mistaken into believing they have ulterior motives by trust me they don't and are just keen to make friends. Once you have a Turkish friend you have them for life!!

I can recommend this area - there are many privately owned apartments and villas and the owners are happy to rent out in order to cover their costs. This form of accommodation generally of a very high standard as the owners have often spared no expense with furnishing etc. Added to that there are no under occupancy charges as incurred with travel companies.

manzara
I am pleased to see so may positive reports on visits to Turkey and I do think it’s a great shame that Eva Maria’s visit was marred by cat calls in İstanbul and visits to sights which didn’t live up to high expectations.

I hope you will give the country another chance, Eva Marie. We have lived here since 1997, having abandoned the UK Rat Race and we just love the Turkish people for their friendliness and their inane gestures of genuine hospitality.

We have travelled fairly extensively throughout the country, too, and I can’t resist some of our highlights in the past 12 years.

Ephesus
, of course, but there are other smaller sites with different kinds of appeal. Claros, for example (not far from Ephesus), the ancient oracle and temple of Apollo, set in a lush green valley. Claros rivalled the oracles of Didyma and Delphi during the Roman era. It’s such a peaceful, atmospheric spot and ongoing attempts to prevent flooding from a nearby river are necessary but the resident frogs and terrapins don’t seem to mind!


Aphrodisias in the Central Aegean region is one of Turkey’s most beautifully isolated major archaeological sites. Aphrodite, called Venus by the Romans, meant different things to many people. The goddess of spiritual love to some; to others the goddess of sensual love. Take your pick! Extensive restoration work is taking place here with the hope of this site rivalling Ephesus in years to come. It is certainly an evocative setting. On the day we visited the sky was blue and cloudless and the view through the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite to the snow-capped mountains beyond was stunning. Sensual even! The Theatre is one of the finest examples in Turkey, almost entirely intact and complete with stage area and labelled seats.

Eastwards now to Harran, via the pilgrimage town of Şanlıurfa, birthplace of Abraham. Harran, famous for its beehive shaped houses and one of the oldest settlements on earth having been continually inhabited for at least 6000 years. Another peaceful, evocative, ancient settlement.

Then, of course, Cappadocia. You mentioned a hot air balloon flight, Eva Marie. Our daughter and son-in-law took a dawn flight over Cappadocia last summer. Truly amazing!

Another favourite of ours is Safranbolu, north of Ankara close to the Black Sea coast. There can’t be many towns like it left in Turkey. The Rough Guide describes the town as “stunning” and the Lonely Planet says a highlight of visiting Central Anatolia is “to stay in a restored Ottoman house in Safranbolu”. They’re not wrong! Narrow, cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, 17th century Ottoman baths, the Mosque in the town square and the bazaar where blacksmith, leatherworkers and saddle makers still work, all set in a deep valley where streams run through It’s a real find – and a few years ago declared a World Heritage Site.

So, just a few of our special places and as Turkish hospitality has been mentioned in a few threads, I think one of our experiences deserves a separate Post. I’ll get on with that now!



kitkatgo
I have not been to Turkey, but it is one of the places I want to go to...badly! Someday....

It looks like a wonderful place. smile.gif
ewilder
Hello everyone,
I am so excited to see such positive things about Turkey. I am a teacher from the US and have been teaching in South Korea for the last 10 months. I recently received a job offer in Turkey that I am very seriously considering taking. I will be completely honest that I know close to nothing about Turkey, so any input/suggestions/opinions are greatly welcomed. What to bring, things to see, how life is, etc?
Thanks
thomascullin
I want to visit Turkey once .. can some one provide with more info and details regarding Turkey trips . or if some one has already been there .. what kinda buget i should look into ?
manzara
Hello thomascullin. Have a look here at my starter information on Turkey where we have lived now for over 14 years.

There is a wide range of hotels from small family run places to 5-star resort hotels - and every kind of accommodation in between. The same with restaurants; simple lokantas serving traditional Turkish food to those offering Turkish, European and even international cuisine.

In fact, something for all tastes and pockets! It just depends on your preferences and budget.

Please let me know if I can help further with more detailed information once you have read the above overview of this wonderful country.
manzara
So pleased to hear you, too, have enjoyed your visit to Turkey. We also love the country and the people but having lived here for over 14 years, we are rather biased!
bumihills
Turkey is wonderful. I've traveled there several times and each time it seems to get better and better. I've been to Istanbul and Cappadocia several times and have hit virtually all of the major historical/archeological sites along Turkey's coast. The last trip I took, which was in July/August of 2011, took me to destinations along the Black Sea coast (Trabzon and beautiful Sumela Monastery) eastern Turkey (Kars, Erzurum and Van....unfortunately recently hit by sizable earthquakes) back through Cappadocia and south to Antakya near the Syrian border, Adana and Gaziantep which was our gateway to fabulous Mt. Nemrut. The latter was the top spot on this trip. It is Turkey's own "Easter Island". For short time and first trips to Turkey, hit the western coast and Cappadocia, but if you are really interested in history and the varied cultures of Turkey, go east and south. The people are wonderful, the food is great, hotels are good and comfortable. I've traveled to over 80 countries and have been to all seven continents and Turkey is definitely in my top 10 destinations.
sanimaria05
I visited Turkey for hte first time in 1992. The moment I entered Turkey form Bulgaria, it grapped my heart! I was amazed and shocked! Turkey is the country I have visited most times. It has incredible, enchanting atmosphere. I was so lucky to be able to spent 18 days in July 2010 in Istanbul. I was able to discover so much more about that gorgeous, unique city. Now I live in the USA but I am craving to go back to my country Bulgaria. One reason is that I will be so close to Turkey. I have been to other countries but Turkey is the only one that I want to revisit and revist again and again. The more time I spend there, the more I love it. I have collected tens of thousands of photos from Turkey!
manzara
Hello sanimaria05. So glad to read how much you have enjoyed your visits to Turkey. We have lived here for over 15 years now so we share your enthusiasm for the country.

I do hope you manage to return to Bulgaria soon and then we shall be neighbours!


cyntiacampos
Hi,
I'll be in Istambul next September for a few days, on my way to Greece (flying from Sao Paulo on Turkish Airlines). It's gonna be my first time in the city-- eveybody tells me it's fascinating. I'll be traveling alone.

Any tips?

Thak you all for your help
bumihills
If you are into viewing history and culture, find a hotel near the Sultanamet. It will be easy walking distance to this mosque (the Blue Mosque), Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia, and the Bazaars among many other worthwhile, historical sites. The bazaar is a bargaining paradise if you know what you are doing. If you are more interested in shopping, try the Taksim area where you will find regular shops where bargaining is not done. Both of these are on the European side of Istanbul. Istanbul is a modern city and while more secular than other parts of Turkey, I would recommend not wearing shorts. Be sure to carry a sleeved shirt with you so you can enter the mosques and perhaps a shawl. I'd also wear sandals as they are easier to slip on and off while entering.

Try the metro. It is convenient. However, I loved walking. Be sure to get a good map (even these are somewhat hard to follow as many of the streets are maze-like). I've found approaching teenage girls or women the best bet when asking directions. Make sure to walk across the Galata Bridge which spans the Bosporus. I've found the cruises of the Bosporus to be a bit tedious and only worth doing if you have extra time.

Enjoy the food. Turkish food is excellent and I love their yogurt and olives! Be sure to try Turkish ice cream. You will see vendors selling it on the street and "pulling" it like taffy. Their ice cream is delicious as well as chewy. Be sure to get the real stuff as they also sell western ice cream.

It appears that you are a woman traveling alone. I've found Turkish people to be very friendly but I would be hesitant about going about during the night alone. Turkish men would be thrilled to accompany you but unless you know them, I would be careful about this. Pepper spray is legal in Turkey so you might wish to carry this just in case.

You will love Turkey and Istanbul. I consider Istanbul to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world both in sites and in physical location. Enjoy!
cyntiacampos
Thank you very, very much, bumihills!!!

You've been very helpful. I'm very anxious to see Istambul for the first time.

Yes, I'm a woman traveling alone. Although very used to it (I travel alone most of the time), I'm a bit worried about how a solo-female-traveler would be treated in Turkey.

I've read and heard a lot about Sultanamet, guess this will be my bet.

Thanks again

Cyntia

QUOTE(bumihills @ May 12 2012, 09:40 AM) *

If you are into viewing history and culture, find a hotel near the Sultanamet. It will be easy walking distance to this mosque (the Blue Mosque), Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia, and the Bazaars among many other worthwhile, historical sites. The bazaar is a bargaining paradise if you know what you are doing. If you are more interested in shopping, try the Taksim area where you will find regular shops where bargaining is not done. Both of these are on the European side of Istanbul. Istanbul is a modern city and while more secular than other parts of Turkey, I would recommend not wearing shorts. Be sure to carry a sleeved shirt with you so you can enter the mosques and perhaps a shawl. I'd also wear sandals as they are easier to slip on and off while entering.

Try the metro. It is convenient. However, I loved walking. Be sure to get a good map (even these are somewhat hard to follow as many of the streets are maze-like). I've found approaching teenage girls or women the best bet when asking directions. Make sure to walk across the Galata Bridge which spans the Bosporus. I've found the cruises of the Bosporus to be a bit tedious and only worth doing if you have extra time.

Enjoy the food. Turkish food is excellent and I love their yogurt and olives! Be sure to try Turkish ice cream. You will see vendors selling it on the street and "pulling" it like taffy. Their ice cream is delicious as well as chewy. Be sure to get the real stuff as they also sell western ice cream.

It appears that you are a woman traveling alone. I've found Turkish people to be very friendly but I would be hesitant about going about during the night alone. Turkish men would be thrilled to accompany you but unless you know them, I would be careful about this. Pepper spray is legal in Turkey so you might wish to carry this just in case.

You will love Turkey and Istanbul. I consider Istanbul to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world both in sites and in physical location. Enjoy!
manzara
Sorry I’m a little late joining this thread but you’ve been given excellent advice so far.

Sultanahmet is certainly the place to stay as you are within easy walking distance of the city’s main attractions. I can recommend a hotel right in the heart of Siultahmet where we have stayed many time and members of our family and friends. Have a look at their website here.

They have Hotel and Pansiyon rooms and offer comfortable and spotlessly clean accommodation in a secure environment with customer-friendly staff and offer a great deal of helpful ,local information. It is a few metres from the Four Seasons Hotel at a fraction of the price and extremely close to:

Aya Sofia: One of the most impressive and important buildings ever constructed. For almost a thousand years, Aya Sofia was the largest enclosed space in the world. The building has been a mosque and a church over time. Aya Sofya is impressive — one of the first things most visitors want to see when they're in Istanbul.

Topkapı Palace: Home of the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 400 years, Topkapı Sarayı was the heart of the vast Ottoman Empire, ruled by the monarchs who lived in Topkapı's hundreds of rooms with hundreds of concubines, children, and white and black servants. Don't miss the Treasury with its incredible gems, gold, and works of art.

Blue Mosque: Free entrance, but donations will be requested. With six minarets it was said to rival the design of the mosque at Mecca and the mosque’s imposing size is impressive.

Basilica Underground Cistern. Ancient water storage with over 21 million gallons of water and 336 marble columns. In the James Bond film “From Russia with Love, the scene when Bond is rowing in a small boat through a forest of marble columns was filmed here

Grand Bazaar. One of the largest covered shopping markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops. Free (unless you buy anything, of course!)

As you are only visiting for a few days ou may also want to consider the Short Circle Bosphoros Cruise, along the straits of water separating Europe and Asia towards the Black Sea and lasting about two hours. You'll see Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace, Maiden's Tower (also seen in "From Russia with Love"), the Selimiye Barracks (where Florence Nightingale worked), Dolmabahçe Palace, the Bosphorus Bridge (linking Europe and Asia) and much, much more. The ferry leaves the Eminönü docks at 14:30, arrives at Üsküdar around 14:50 to pick up passengers from the Asian side, and then continues its two hour non-stop tour.

Do let me know if I can help with any more detailed information. I am sure you will have a great time in this fascinating city.
cyntiacampos
Thank you, manzara! Great tips and I will definitely try the hotel you've suggested. Unfortunately, I'll be on Istambul only for three full days, but even if I haven't seen it yet, I'm already sure to come back.

Do you guys have any tips about security?

Tks

Cyntia
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