Yes, Turkey is open for international travel. However, all arrivals are subject to medical evaluation for the symptoms of COVID-19. If you exhibit symptoms on arrival, you will be required to take the test as well.
Any time of the year is the cheapest time to fly to Turkey provided you use our services. However, selecting the best possible time to visit the country can further save you hundreds of pounds. The cheapest time to visit Turkey is after November when the rains come by. Turkey has cold winters, especially its non-coastal regions. Gaining this opportunity could be like picking a low hanging fruit for those who want to travel on a budget.
The best time visit Turkey is in either the April to June period or the September to November periods. The summer months in between are just too hot for a relaxed and easy tour of Turkey where there could be a little bit of exploring. The hot and dry Mediterranean and Aegean coast of Turkey can bring back that tan you wanted since Christmas. The milder winters in the country come late in the year after the autumn orange has fully glazed the Turkish inland and the city of Istanbul. Istanbul, being on the cusp of the Black and Mediterranean Sea, can be a bit breezy for some tourists.
There are sixteen international airports in Turkey. Below is a list of the busiest three airports of the country which welcome tourists from all over the world.
- The Ataturk International Airport (IST) has been serving the city of Istanbul since 1912. It is the fifth busiest airport in Europe and tenth busiest airport in the world. It is destined to be replaced as the major international airport in October 2018 by the ‘biggest airport in the world’ –the Istanbul New Airport. A total of 63.5 million people flew in and out of Ataturk International in 2017. It is only 24 kilometres west of the city centre.
- Istanbul is so grand it needs to be served by another major international airport which is the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW). The airport resides on the Asian side of the bi-continental city and is 35 kilometres away from the city centre. It is the second busiest airport in Turkey making it the world’s busiest single runway airport; however, a new runway will be completed by June 2019. 31 million passengers rushed through the gates of the Sabiha Airport in 2017.
- Antalya International Airport (AYT) serves the city of Antalya and is situated 31 kilometres from the city centre. In 2017, the airport managed 25.9 million passengers. The airport resides on the south-west coast of the country and aids the tourists to reach Turkey’s white beaches. The airport is the third busiest in the country and thirteenth busiest in Europe.
A British Citizen is required to have a visa before entering Turkey. British Citizens can apply for an e-Visa that costs USD$ 20 and it can be paid through a credit or a debit card. The e-Visa is valid for a stay of 3 months in the country and can be applied 3 months in advance. Once applied, please carry a paper copy of the e-visa with you in case the need arises. At the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, e-Visa kiosks and Wi-Fi connections are provided to the arriving tourists to apply for e-Visa.
Turkey has been inhabited by human civilizations for the last 12000 years. When Alexander the Great conquered the area he brought with him the sciences and arts of Greece. The Hellenization of Turkey created cities that have been attributed to the Greek gods. The Seljuk Turks later took over the country, conquering the Byzantine Empire. The Islamization of the Asian Minor was greatly enhanced by the Sufi poet Mevlana Rumi.
- The Hagia Sofia was for a thousand years, the largest cathedral in the world. Upon the conquest of Constantinople by the Seljuk Turks, the cathedral was converted into a mosque, its murals were plastered over and six minarets were constructed around the structure. The Turks were so impressed by the design of the cathedral that the Blue Mosque was inspired by the architecture of the building. Later after the independence of the Turkish Republic, the mosque was secularized, shut for four years before being opened as a museum.
- The Library of Celsus in Selcuk was one of the largest libraries of the ancient world. The library was built in 112 AD to house 12,000 scrolls of the ancient arts and sciences. Unfortunately, the library was hit by an earthquake and the knowledge of the scrolls was lost. In 1907, the ruins were reconstructed by fusing the broken pillars and putting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Only the façade of the building could be reconstructed that way but the end result was spectacular. The building is a testament that public libraries in the Roman Empire were not limited to Romans in Rome, but also to Greeks living in Ephesus – Selcuk’s ancient name.
- The Pamukkale or the ‘castle of cotton’ is a natural wonder of Turkey. Legend has it that giants harvested cotton, the main crop of the area, but accidentally got it wet. It entire hill really looks like a wet cotton. In actuality, the springs running through limestone crevasses become loaded with calcium and then deposit their milky sediments in the pools that run over the edges and form stalactites. These cascading pools were therapeutic, in fact, the city’s Roman name was Hierapolis or Holy City, where thousands came to visit and bathe in the healing waters for the site.
In April, in the city of Mugla, a thousand kites fill the sky at the Sarigerme Annual Kite Festival. In May, the international Bordum Dance Festival brings professionals and beginners to the dance stage. The Ankara International Film Festival showcases films from Turkey and other parts of Europe at the end of April. The Izmir International Fair which is the oldest trade fair in Turkey. Buying souvenirs at the fair would be a great idea. Feel the mystic vibes as the Dervishes whirl at the city of Konya, at the Mevlana Rumi Memorial Festival on the 17th of December.
Turkey has the best transport facilities in the world. There are three distinct systems that move people through Turkey’s cities. The trams zip through the cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Bursa, Eskişehir, Konya, Antalya, Kayseri, Gaziantep and Samsun and are a cheap and quick way to move between the city centre and the suburbs. Commuter rails travel at larger distances within urban centres of Turkey. The cities that have commuter rail include Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Metro and subways have also been built in Turkish cities to provide a better travelling experience. Cities with a metro system include Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Bursa. Cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Konya are great to commute through a bicycle as well. Extensive rail and bus networks also make the life of a tourist easy.