Home to gorgeous architecture, delicious foods, intriguing culture, and more than 82 million people, Turkey is quickly becoming a tourist hotspot; to be sure, the nation has attracted more tourists for each of the last 20 years! Accordingly, some extra information, relating to culture, must-see sights, and social customs, will prove useful to potential visitors.
Here are some interesting facts and helpful suggestions for those who’re planning on—or thinking of—taking a trip to Turkey.
Turkish is the National Language and Locals Appreciate Tourists’ Conversational Efforts
Though many believe that Turkey’s national language is Arabic (as 82 to 99 percent of the country’s citizens describe themselves as Muslim), Turkish is the national tongue. Tourists would do well to learn a bit of Turkish; navigation and communication will be easier as a result, and locals will appreciate the effort and initiative.
The Natural Landscapes are One of a Kind
It’s not hard to be enticed by the hustle and bustle of Istanbul and Turkey’s other major cities, but the country also features a wide variety of tremendous landscapes. The tall mountains and crystal-clear waters of Oludeniz are breathtaking, as are the caves and views of Cappadocia; Cappadocia is widely considered to be amongst the best locales for riding in hot air balloons.
Forget Shopping Malls and Visit Turkey’s Grand Bazaar
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar provides tourists and locals with great smells, products, and memories. A staggering 400,000 people visit the Grand Bazaar daily, and other countries simply don’t offer such an intimate cultural snapshot.
Remember to Dress (Reasonably) Modestly
Unlike many other Muslim-majority states, Turkey has a very loose official dress code. Thus, females needn’t wear headscarves, and men have a multitude of attire options. With that said, just because one won’t be punished for wearing revealing clothing doesn’t mean that locals will approve.
Men and women should avoid showing too much skin—shoulders, thighs, and chests especially—and to visit a mosque, one’s head, shoulders, and legs will need to be covered.
As the saying goes, When in Rome, do as the Romans do. The same holds true in Turkey, but instead of doing exactly as the Turks do, tourists should be respectful and come reasonably close to doing the same.
There’s never been a better time than today to visit Turkey—especially because the exchange rate and prices are very favorable to tourists.
Here’s to safe and relaxing travel experiences!