Essential Travel Information for Turkey
When to Go
Turkey is a perfect all-year-round destination, depending on your schedule and personal requirements. Although the tourist "high season" is from middle June through middle September, Spring and Fall are the best seasons to travel as the sun is warm and skies are generally clear. You can expect mild to warm temperatures and some rain during this time. The high, mid and low tourist seasons of Turkey may differ by just as little as a few days, and it may save you thousands if you go in mid or low season rather than in high season.
Turkey generally has hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters with a very high rainfall. The weather of Turkey shouldn't have a huge influence on your decision of when you should visit. Turkey is a good all-year-round travel destination, with the most extreme reported winter temperature of -9°C and a 31°C in summer. Spring in Turkey is from March to May, summer is from June to August, Fall is from September to November and winter is from December to February.
Health and Safety
Your health shouldn't be affected by a visit to Turkey, although you should as with all tourist destinations make sure that the water and food you take or not contaminated and that the food is properly cooked. Travelers diarrhea is a common ailment, due to overindulgence and maybe the difference in food types and water. You should however make sure to keep hydrated all the time by drinking plenty water while traveling and always use sunblock. Safety is not a very big issue in Turkey, although a few terrorist attacks where experienced in the past. As with any big city you should always be alert, and try to avoid particularly dangerous places, such as, deserted alleys and dark corners. Woman should not walk alone at night and they should never admit that they are traveling alone. It is advisable to leave big amounts of money and valuable goods in the hotel safe if possible.
Visas and Passports
All US, UK, Australian, South African, Canadian, and Irish citizens must have a valid (for 6 months after entry) passport. A visa is required for stays of up to three months. New Zealand nationals require a valid passport, but no visa is necessary for a stay of up to three months.
Money and Currency
The currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL). A new currency, the New Turkish Lira (YTL), was introduced on 1 January 2005. Both currencies will be used side by side until 31 December 2005. Shops are legally obliged to display prices in both currencies during 2005. ATM's are widely available in Turkey and accept most major credit cards, such as, Cirrus, Plus, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Travelers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and exchange offices, but are generally not as welcome as cash or credit cards.