The Republic of Turkey is a country mostly located in Western Asia with some part of its landmass also considered as Southeastern Europe. The largest city is Istanbul, which straddles both Europe and Asia in its location. The capital of Turkey is Ankara. Turkey shares borders with Bulgaria, Greece, the Black Sea, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Turkey is home to a variety of ethnic groups, but the official language is Turkish.
Turkey has a temperate Mediterranean climate in the west, a temperate oceanic climate along the Black Sea and a continental climate inland on the Anatolian Plateau. Tourism is an important part of the Turkish economy, and top spots include the beaches on the Turkish Riviera as well as several historic spots like Göbekli Tepe, which is the oldest religious site in the world, and a number of other World Heritage Sites.
Vacation in Turkey: Information
Best time to travel
Many Turkey vacationers arrive in July and August, when the calm, hot weather is ideal for beach visits.
Istanbul and Cappadocia are best visited from March to June and in September and October, when the weather is milder.
Away from the coast, winters are cold and often snowy.
German and Liechtenstein, Swiss and Luxembourg citizens can enter the country with an identity card or passport. For tourists, a stay of 90 days within a period of 180 days is possible without a visa.
If the entry is from a country that is not a member state of the Council of Europe, a passport must be presented.
Passports must still contain at least one blank page.
For children, a separate identity document is required.
Austrians need a passport and an eVisa entry permit, which can be purchased at airport kiosks or in advance online.
With Turkish Airlines and Pegasus you can get from many cities in Central Europe to their bases at the two Istanbul airports. This way you can reach most of the bigger cities in Turkey with a change of planes.
There are many daily non-stop scheduled flights from many German cities to Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul or Izmir.
By train there are only connections with multiple changes. The Bosphorus Express from Bucharest to Istanbul operates only in summer.
From the direction of Austria, it is possible to reach Istanbul by car train from Villach in a scheduled time of 32 hours, but only in the season.
The train connections from Greece have been discontinued for several years.
The international long-distance bus network to Turkey is excellently developed.
The journey to Turkey via the Balkan route is unproblematic. Visa and Carnet are not required.
Attention. At peak travel times, the road border crossings of the “guest worker route” are heavily congested, waiting times of several hours can occur.
From Ukraine Ukrferry sails to Istanbul-Haydarpasa and seasonally to Samsun.
A passenger ferry connects Istanbul with Burgas in Bulgaria in summer.
From Taşucu, the port of Silifke, there is at least one ship a day all year round to Northern Cyprus.
There are regular connections between several Greek islands and the nearby Turkish mainland.
On the way in…
Between the larger cities there are air connections at reasonable prices.
Driving a rental car in Turkey is unproblematic. The requirements of the rental car companies are different, but at the latest with 21 years you get a car everywhere.
The national driving license is sufficient.
- Car and motorcycle: town 50 km/h
- Car: country road 90 km/h
- Motorcycle: country road 70 km/h
- Car: freeway 120 km/h
- Motorcycle: Motorway 80 km/h
Traffic offenses are expensive!
Most highways no longer have toll booths. Instead, they have lanes that automatically scan for the RFID stickers (HGS) on the window. HGS stickers can be purchased at service buildings at major toll plazas, post offices PTT, at highway rest stops and at some Shell gas stations.
Prices for gasoline and diesel are significantly higher than in Germany.
The situation for rail travelers has improved in recent decades. Modern and clean vehicles are now used on numerous routes. In addition, the first new lines are in operation, on which trains travel at speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour.
Rail fares are cheaper than bus fares.
Within Turkey, even small towns are easily accessible by bus.
If you travel as a couple or a group, you should buy the tickets together, otherwise the seats are separated by gender.
The buses leave on time at fixed times and are in most cases neat and clean.
Shared cabs are a convenient and inexpensive means of local transportation. They are very heavily used by locals as well and offer little in the way of comfort. Stops are usually marked with a large D (for “Durak,” stop). A ride is inexpensive.
The national language is Turkish. Other languages spoken are Kurdish and Arabic.
In the tourist centers it is often no problem to communicate with English or German. Russian is also spoken in some regions.
Outside the tourist centers, communication is often only possible in the national language.
In Turkey, the type F sockets are used. The mains voltage is 220 V at a frequency of 50 Hz.