10 biggest misperceptions about traveling to Turkey by Archaeologous
1 . Turkey is Dangerous....right?
It's not. Of course the media makes every small disturbance sound like it is the whole country, but Turkey is among the safest destinations in Europe. You may hear about the mid-east strife but it is along the central south-eastern Turkey area. Feel free to travel the rest of Turkey and find out why Istanbul was voted #1 travel destination in 2016.
2. I don't need to wears scarves and follow cultural mores... right?
You are not in your home country --as obvious as that sounds--- some people do not look up the cultural do's and don'ts before traveling to a new country. Know that, as a women, you 'must' have your head and shoulders covered in a mosque. Also, never show the bottom of your shoe or foot when sitting across from a Turkish person.
3. I can buy my visa when arriving in Turkey...right?
Whoa there..... This will save you lots of hassle. You MUST buy it "online" BEFORE you travel to Turkey--that is if you hold a US, Canadian, Australian, UK, or some other European country passport (which must be valid from 60-6 mths after your stay. However, not every traveller needs a Turkish visa. Check out this link to find out exactly who is eligible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Turkey
4. Turkish Hotel Prices are high...right?
Not really, you can find fantastic locations and clean beautiful living quarters easily. Be it a small boutique hotel to a large 4 star (approx 70-350 euros) to a cave hotel in Cappadocia (50-185 euros ). Most Turkish hotel prices include a large daily buffet breakfast. Your rate will include all hotel taxes and service charges so there are no added hidden prices-- which is good. Even AirBnB has amazing places throughout Turkey at incredibly low prices.
5. The idea that Turkey is Cheap...right?
It was then it wasn't and now it is again. For food you can buy street food and have a lunch for as little as $5 (figure this way US $1.00= 1.84 TL (Turkish Lira) Plus, remember you can bargain for most things that you are buying in the shops and bazaars. You can get some fabulous buys this way. Note: you will have to have TL, as Turkey is not a part of the EU and as such does not use Euros) .. Good place to change monies is at an ATM machine in 'front' of a Turkish bank.(TIP: airport and hotels give rip off rates). As well, do NOT change the monies in the USA before coming to Turkey as is not a good exchange rate at all.
6. Turkey is a small little country..... right?
If you somehow think Turkey is a small country, you better think again. Not only is it packed with beauty, diverse landscapes, history and ancient treasures, it is the 37th largest country (of 235) on the globe. It's larger than Germany, Poland, Syria, France etc. Many people take one and two week multi-day guided tours all over the country to really get immersed in this mega country.
7. I don't need a guide that speaks my language...right?
I'd definitely rethink 'that' one. Maybe you could get by if you have a Lonely Planet book and are good with hand language. Perhaps in the bigger cities of Istanbul, Izmir and Kusadasi you could find enough people that could help you. However, for the small price of a licensed professional guide you will make your money back in new knowledge, short cuts of how to do things the 'proper' way, not be lost or ripped off and the ease of 'no hassle' vacation days. Your choice. Note: highly recommended for multi-day tours.
8. I'm independent & I can plan my whole trip ... right?
That could be true for a one or two day stay however, we'd caution you to save your time, headaches, and stress and let the professionals that LIVE and WORK right in Turkey to do the planning for you. They know the people, the ins and outs, the possibilities of travel and what rules might have changed. This is especially true if you want to do an extended stay in Turkey and visit 3-4-5 areas in a 8-14 day trip. Working with an experienced, Trip Advisor approved travel experts like Archaeologous.com lets you request your ideal vacation scenario and they put it together for you. No hassles.
9. I don't need to know anything about Islam in Turkey ...right?
Out of respect for a new country of which you will be a ‘guest’, you should know: Islam is more a desire than a demand. Five times a day from the speakers set up in Mosques all over the cities in Turkey, you will hear 'the call to prayer'. The devotee will take out a rug, wherever they are, and face towards Mecca to pray. The proper etiquette is for you’ not’ to stand in front of them, no disparaging remarks, and keep silent and respectful. Helpful tip: if eating in a Turkish home or even a restaurant, never criticize the food. It is the Muslim belief that all food is a blessing.
10. #1 thing to buy in Turkey is a Turkish rug...right?
One must be careful as a lot of the carpets sold in Turkey are from India, Bangladesh even China. Going to a weaving center and watching the rugs be woven in front of you (double weave) is the best way to do it for surety. However, Turkey has many things that are considered fantastic souvenirs. The silver work, the ceramic sets, the leather work and the jewelry all are world class collector items.
A call to prayer.