Practical Information

Discover Turkey and travel tips

Useful Tips for Visitors

If you are planning a trip to Turkey, here are our practical tips and some helpful information to know before you arrive. That way you will be prepared and informed on everything you need to know. Welcome and have a great holiday.

ATMs

ATMs can be found all around the country. All of them offer foreign language options and pay out Turkish liras. Cash withdrawal limits vary from bank to bank and are around 500$/€ to 1000$/€ TL.

Antiquities

Please note that it is strictly forbidden to export antiquities or antiques from Turkey and there are severe penalties for those who attempt to do so. In order to export such items legally it is necessary to obtain a certificate from a directorate of a museum.

Changing Money

Foreign Exchange offices can be found throughout the country. Operating hours are mostly Monday to Friday, from 09:00 to 17:00. In the arrivals section of Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport, there are 24 hour Exchange offices. Also the Exchange offices located in shopping malls and touristic areas are open later and on Saturdays. US Dollars and Euros are accepted in highly touristic districts like Sultanahmet and Taksim but rates are often better.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely used and accepted. Visitors can use their Visa, Mastercards, Amex and Diner's.

Currency

Turkish Lira (TRY) is the official currency of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Turkish Lira is available in the following denominations.

Banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 TL
Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 Kurus and 1 TL.

Customs Regulations

Please note that the following information is intended to cover items usually carried by tourists visiting Turkey. If you are planning a longer stay or are carrying anything unusual into or out of the country, it is best to check the regulations in more detail.

On Entry: It is permitted to bring the following items into Turkey as duty free goods. The following allowances apply to the import of both domestic and foreign goods. Wines, tobacco and other luxury items, valuables, electronic equipment, sports equipment, medical items.

On Exit: For valuable gifts and souvenirs, such as a carpet, proof of purchase is necessary, together with receipts showing that any currency used in its purchase has been legally exchanged. Please note that it is strictly forbidden to export antiques from Turkey. Minerals can only be exported with a special document.

Driving

Driving in Turkey is on the right, as in continental Europe. Turkish road signs conform to the International Protocol on Road Signs and archaeological and historic sites are indicated by yellow signs.

Drugs

Please note that bringing into or out of the country, together with consumption of, marijuana and other narcotics is strictly forbidden and is subject to heavy punishment. If you have prescribed medication, which you need to take on holiday with you, you will need a doctor's note and a copy of your prescription which can be sent to Turkish tourism office in your country for translation.

Electricity

220 volt, 50 cycle. Most hotels have a receptacle with 110 volts. Socket type is standart European two pin.

Emergency Numbers

The following is a list of emergency phone numbers that are available 24/7 in case of an emergency.

110 - Fire
112 - Medical Emergency / Ambulance
154 - Traffic Police
155 - Police
156 - Gendarme
158 - Coast Guard
159 - Highway Department
176 - Ministry of Culture and Tourism Communication Centre
177 - Forest Fire
183 - Missing Child / Women's Helpline.

Filming

Foreign film producers, directors and companies who want to shoot a film (a documentary, motion picture, TV film, TV series, TV programme, short film, video clip or advertisement) in Turkey have to apply to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism / Directorate General of Cinema to obtain filming permit. According to the regulations, during the film shooting it is obligatory to have at least one host who is a citizen of the Turkish Republic.

Medical Treatment

You will need to pay for any medical treatment which you receive in Turkey. For this reason it is advisable to take out medical insurance before travelling.

Hospitals: In Turkey, you can find worldclass hospitals and medical facilities. Many doctors in Turkey speak English. In an emergency, foreigners who do not have social security insurance can go to any hospital, where they will not be charged.

Pharmacies: Pharmacies are open Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 19:30. Most are closed on Sundays, but there is always one pharmacy in an area open 24 hours.

Opening Hours

Offices and banks are generally open 09.00 to 17.00 Mondays to Fridays, and close for lunch 12.00 to 13.30.

Passports

Turks have compulsory ID cards, which they must carry with them at all times. Foreigners are also expected to carry such ID with them, which means that you should keep your passport with you at all times.

Police

There are two types of police in Turkey, civil police and military police. In many areas you will find that there is just one or the other, and that both fulfil the same function. In some places, there are also specialist tourist police. If you need to report a crime you should go to the nearest police station to where the crime occurred.

Post Office

Turkish post offices are easily recognizable by the yellow and black PTT signs. As well as selling stamps and telephone tokens and cards, some post offices will exchange cash as well as international postal orders and travelers' cheques. You will need to produce an ID card or passport when collecting your post.

Public Holidays

There are two types of public holiday in Turkey; those which are decided by the government and which fall on the same day each year; and the religious festivals (Ramadan, Eid Al-Adha) which change according to the lunar calendar, therefore fall on different dates each year.

January 1st - New Year's Day
April 23rd - National Sovereignty and Children's Day
May 1st - Worker's Day
May 19th - The Commemoration of Ataturk Youth and Sports Day
August 30th - Victory Day
October 29th - Republic Day

Time Zone

Time in Turkey is given by UTC+03:00 year-round. This time is also called Turkish Time (TRT). The time is currently same as in the Arabia Standard Time and Moscow Time zone. All of Turkey is on Eastern European time, 3 hours ahead of London and Coordinated Universal Time (GMT/UTC), 7 hours ahead of New York.

Visa

As of April 17, 2013, electronic visa replaced sticker visa which was issued at the border crossings. e-Visa application is possible from any place with internet connection. Applicants just need to log on to evisa.gov.tr, provide the requested information, (after the application is approved) make online payment and download their e-Visa. The whole process takes no more than 10 minutes. Please note that e-visa is only valid when the purpose of travel is tourism or commerce. Other purposes, such as work and study, require regular visa given by Embassies or Consulates.

Since the information of visas is changeable, please contact the visa information for foreigners on Turkish Foreign Ministry website.