DIY Travel Guide Exploring the Historical Turkey

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor July 15th, 2015 Posted in DIY Travel, Europe, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 26 Comments

Exploring the Historical Turkey is a backpackers paradise, and surely it’s worth a visit!

diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Scenic view of Rose Red Valley

Located in both Europe and Asia, it’s got everything to offer. Experience modern culture alongside historical landmarks in Sultanahmet, party ’till you drop in Taksim, have a swim in the Aegean and Mediterranean sea, hike in Cappadocia, and eat your way through clay pot kebabs, pies, and seafood, on top of a hefty serving of a signature Turkish breakfast!

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Taksim Square and Cappadocia.

If travel does heal broken hearts, this country definitely to prove it — from ancient ruins, beaches, to natural wonders, fall in love again with its landscape and people, see the east and west and experience Turkey in all its picturesque beauty!

 Travel Tips:

Don’t forget to bring a Universal Charger, gift/token (you’ll meet a lot of nice people and will be making friends –it would be nice to leave them something to remember you by), sarong –that magical piece of fabric that can be your towel/blanket/dress.

Friendly reminder: Don’t EVER get into a stranger’s car alone. The locals are nice, friendly people in general but as of my experience you can’t say that about everyone.

Trip Highlights:  

Istanbul

Hagia Sophia

diy travel guide series: turkey
Hagia Sophia’s Columns

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Istanbul and Hagia Sophia.

Blue Mosque

DIY Travel Guide: Exploring the historical Turkey
The Blue Mosque

Topkapi Palace

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Topkapi Palace.

diy travel guide: Exploring the historical turkey
Facade of Topkapi Palace
diy travel guide: exploring the historical turkey
Courtyard at the Topkapi Palace

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

diy travel guide: exploring the historical turkey
Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Bosphorus Cruise

DIY Travel guide: Exploring the historical Turkey
Sea of Mamara, Istanbul
DIY travel guide series: Exploring the historical turkey
View of Mamara Sea while on Cruise

Other Highlights:
Basilica Cistern, Galata Bridge, and Tower, Pub Crawl Party, Istiklal Cadessi (Taksim), Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Hammam (Turkish Bath)

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Bazaar.

Selcuk

Ephesus

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Selcuk and Ephesus.

DIY Travel Guide: Exploring the Historical Turkey
The Grand Theatre in Ephesus
DIY Travel Guide exploring the historical turkey
Market Ruins from the Byzantine Empire
DIY Travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Inside Ephesus Archaeological Site
Diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Library of Celsus

Sirince (small town) — The Tuscany of  Turkey

diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Scenic view of the town.

Other Highlights:
Temple of Artemis and Pamukach Beach (Aegean Sea)

Related Article: Looking for Luxury accommodation in Turkey? Check out our Ultimate List of Best Luxury Hotels in Turkey.

Fethiye

Paragliding

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Fethiye.

diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Getting Ready for Paragliding

Oludeniz (Mediterranean Sea)

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Oludeniz.

DIy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Swim in the cool waters of the Mediterranean sea!

Cappadocia

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Cappadocia.

diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
This view is worth the hike!

Goreme

diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Scenic view of Goreme
DIY travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Cave houses were a temporary settlement of Christian when they were hiding from prosecution.
Diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Fairy Chimneys in Goreme

Rose Red Valley

diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Rose Red Valley

Ihlara Valley

diy travel guide series exploring the historical turkey
Enjoy your view of greens and rivers at Ihlara Valley
diy travel guide exploring the historical turkey
Ihlara Valley

Other Highlights:
Pigeon Valley, Underground museum, and Open Air Museums.

Daily Budget:
diy travel guide exploring the historical turkeydiy travel guide exploring the historical turkeydiy travel guide exploring the historical turkey

Visa Requirements:

Since I’m a resident of Dubai, it’s quite easy to secure a Turkish visa.

Requirements include:

3 Photos, Salary Certificate

Three months bank statement

Return air tickets

Hotel booking/s

Original passport and residence visa with 1 set of copies.

Apply at the Turkish Consulate at the World Trade Center Building in Dubai. Processing time takes only 2-3 working days.

Itinerary Details:

DAY 1:

I arrived with my aunt at Sabiha Gocken Airport in Istanbul, Turkey (Asian side) around 21:00H.  Our accommodation was in Sultanahmet on the European side which is 1.5 hours drive from the airport.  I booked an airport transfer in advance which was costly (60 euros one way for two people!) but had to do it because my aunt was not comfortable commuting in a place we’re not familiar with.  If it were just me, I’d happily take the Havatas (public airport bus, only 14 liras!).

Hotel Recommendation: Big Apple Hostel/ 60 euros/night for a double room – Good rooms, great location, friendly staff, offers a lot of activities, and…serves excellent buffet breakfast. I stayed in May which was peak season, so rates are higher.  Big Apple also offers dorms, call the reception, and they’ll fill you in with the details.

Hagia Sofia was our first museum stop. I bought a museum pass for 85 liras (5-day validity, single entry only) which give you access to most the major museums in Istanbul. If you’re planning to visit all the museums included in the pass, then you’d save on entrance fees and more importantly save time and energy from queuing!

Day 1 was spent touring Istanbul, we walked the city, took public transportation, and tried the local street food: simit (pretzel), dondurma (ice cream), fish sandwich, medya dolma (stuffed mussels). Buy an Istanbul Kart to use for the trains especially if you’re traveling with a group. It costs 20 liras with 4 liras credit (each trip costs 2.45 liras) and you only need one card for everyone –you just have to load it once the credit runs out!

Hippodrome Park > Hagia Sofia > Tram to Eminonu (docks overlooking the sea of Mamara) > Spice Bazaar > Sulimanye Mosque > Galata Bridge > Galata Tower > Istikal Caddessi (A VERY long street lined with shops and restos, overcrowded by good looking Europeans!)

We got back to the hotel at around 21:00H and by 23:00H were off to a pub crawl organized by the hostel –partied till 04:00H! (45 liras inclusive of entrance fees at four pubs and welcome drinks, for outsiders or those not staying in Big Apple they charge double). They also have a free tour of Princes Islands every Sunday.

DAY 2:

With aching feet and hangover, we decided to take down the touring a notch and simply went for a short shopping at the Grand Bazaar and then had a relaxing (and freezing) 2-hour Bosphorus cruise (12-15 liras for the short tour and 25 liras for the full-day 8-hour tour).  Check out their website for ferry schedules and updated rates. After the cruise, walk around the docks and try the famous Balik Ekmek (fish sandwich), cooked in front of you from an open boat kitchen -–apparently fish sandwiches are an institution in Istanbul –highly recommended!!!

DAY 3:

Last day in Istanbul. Went to Topkapi Palace (inside, queue for the treasury palace where you’ll see a diamond in the flesh!), Istanbul Archaeological Museum, Basilica Cistern (not included with Museum Pass, fee: 15 lines), More souvenir shopping, then, hammam. For a memorable hammam, it is highly recommended to try the Camberlitas Hammam but be aware that the price is also very touristy (160 liras for a full bath with massage).  We went to a cheaper one, paid 100 liras for the same package, but we did not enjoy it at all and was merely a waste of money.  If you’re touring Turkey, I advise trying the hammam in smaller towns such as Selcuk and Goreme where they only charge around 65 liras.  I felt like everything is way cheaper outside Istanbul (or outside the touristy area of Sultanahmet district).

From here I travel solo via overnight bus (Kamel Koh Bus Company, 80 liras) to Selcuk.

Advice on booking tickets: transportation around Turkey is excellent. There’s no need to book tickets through travel agencies, doing so will just cost you an additional 20-25 liras. Don’t believe them when they say you need to pay more to reserve seats –there are a lot of bus companies, and with the presence of mind, you’ll have no trouble buying them yourself.

For day 4-10, or my solo travel itinerary in Selcuk-Fethiye-Goreme
diy travel guide exploring the historical turkeydiy travel guide exploring the historical turkey

Monkey Dividers

About the Writer

diy travel guide exploring the historical turkeyName:  April Anne Potenciano
I’m a 24-yr old residing (and working) in Dubai; Single and not interested to date (yet); An aspiring writer, cooking novice, lawyer wannabe, planner, list-lover, and a stubborn, always-wanting-to-do-things-by-herself type of granddaughter. I’m just a simple girl whose big dream is to grow wings (literally and metaphorically).

Name of the Country: Turkey

Date/s of your Travel: 14th – 24th May 2015

Places Visited and Number of Days:

  • Istanbul, 3 nights 3 days: May 14th evening – May 17th evening
  • Selcuk, 2 nights 2 days: May 18th morning – May 20th afternoon
  • Fethiye 1 night 2 days: May 20th afternoon – May 21st evening
  • Goreme 1 night 2 days May 22nd morning – May 23rd evening
  • May 24th, 1 am was my flight back to Dubai

 

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26 thoughts on “DIY Travel Guide Exploring the Historical Turkey

  1. Turkey is blessed with several great historic wonders. Topkapi palace is mentioned and many others. Thanks for sharing these information.

  2. Oh wow these places look absolutely beautiful. I’ve only ever been to Icmeler and Gumbet but would love to explore more of turkey xxx

  3. turkey is such a cool place to visit. When you say turkey all that comes to the mind is the Huge mosque but there are so many places to visit and so many things to see that one feels like there is not enough time to see it all. P.S I love your logo. thats cute.

  4. Wow, I never knew turkey had such beautiful places to walk! This is a great post, i’ll be bookmarking it!

  5. Topkapi Palace looks fantastic. I like the courtyard. The last few photos of the places in Turkey are great. I like beautiful views so I think it would be nice to visit those places. I would like to visit Goreme.

    ❀ With Love, Kathryn (from http://www.TheGracefulMist.com) ❀

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