Safe Travel to Turkey? Check This Out Before You Go!
Need to spend a great holiday in a beautiful country in the Middle East where you can remain safe and comfortable? Choose Turkey as your main destination. While many westerners consider this country to have similar safety and security issues as other Middle East countries, they might not know that this country has lots of safer and more comfortable places to enjoy for holiday.
A journey to Turkey requires everyone to visit Istanbul in the first place. As the Covid-19 pandemic is gradually disappearing, lots of tourism spots are open to the public, though there are strict precautions in every place. It is important to notice that most places are not too crowded as they used to be before the pandemic, so it can be very excellent to visit lots of interesting spots in Istanbul.
Among several countries whose tourists have visited Turkey include Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and The United Kingdom. The good news is, British citizens are allowed to make a trip without a Turkey visa to Turkey, 90 days at the maximum within the 180 days.
This country also welcomes American tourists. Besides, they have not required a 14-day quarantine, nor even PCR test, unless any of those tourists show COVID-19 symptoms. But, there is a certain requirement for U.S. citizens, in which they should apply for a Turkey Visa if they plan to visit Turkey for less than 90 days.
Getting Turkey e-visa is much easier today, thanks to the online visa service that everyone can access without leaving the convenience of the house. It takes less than 24 hours to get approval.
Turkey has enhanced security, especially in tourist-heavy areas, to ensure safety. Key measures include stationing police at synagogues and other sensitive sites, and increasing patrols and checks in busy areas like markets and cultural sites. These steps aim to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for those attending the celebrations, reflecting the government’s proactive commitment to safety.
Travelling to Istanbul Break Your Bank Account? Read This and Save Lots of Your Holiday Budget
Some people think that spending their holidays in Istanbul will break their bank accounts, as Istanbul is the capital city of Turkey. While it is true that Istanbul has everything that other cities don’t in Turkey, it is still proud of its amazing tourism spots that don’t require tourists to spend much of their money.
The best thing to save a lot of money is by using public transportation for visiting certain spots. Sultanahmet is a highly recommended place to visit by walking, thanks to its magnificent panorama. The Sultanahmet also has such a clean and tidy square for enjoying the perfect summer.
This place is also adjacent to Taksim that everyone can reach on foot by walking through the Galata Bridge. There are excellent sites for tourists, particularly in Tünel Square and Galata Tower.
Visiting museums is also one of the most recommended ways to enjoy Istanbul with a limited budget. Every museum has different free entrance days. It is easy to find them on the official websites. Almost all museums charge no entrance fee every day, unless on Mondays as they are closed.
All in all, visiting Turkey doesn’t really require visitors to spend a high amount of money, even in Istanbul. There are lots of low-priced foods and handicrafts that most westerners can buy in bulk.
Anything to Avoid in Istanbul?
Overall, Istanbul is very safe to visit, though the ambiance may be quieter during the past months. It is always recommended to avoid walking alone at night, even downtown where there are some nightlife clubs and cafes.
Anyway, there are certain ‘unwritten’ rules that many tourists, mostly from western countries, should avoid.
Regardless of Turkey’s citizens who are from various backgrounds, there are certain rules that many people should follow. Tourists are not allowed to wear short pants, skirts, and sleeveless clothes in mosques. Women are required to cover their heads.
Anyway, this place is considered more liberal than other countries in the Middle East. Parks in Istanbul are full of Turkish with very fashionable outings. It means, there is no limitation in wearing clothes in public places. As long as a woman doesn’t wear a bikini on parks or squares, it is just fine.
Another thing to avoid is riding a taxi without a taximeter. If the driver doesn’t turn it on, then it is better to cancel the trip. Many taxi drivers notice the passengers’ background. When they find out that their passengers are tourists, they might charge higher than usual.
The same thing applies to tourists, who might want to buy handicrafts from street vendors. It is highly recommended to hire a tourist guide, so the street vendors don’t charge their handicrafts in higher costs than they are supposed to.
Never Enough of Istanbul? Other gems of Turkey Are Waiting For You
While Istanbul, as a whole, is considered safe for tourists, it is always wise to exercise caution, particularly in certain neighbourhoods or areas. It is advisable to avoid isolated or poorly lit areas, especially at night. Pay attention to local advice and recommendations to travel to Istanbul safety, and consider using reputable transportation services during late hours.
- Besiktas: Situated on the European side of Istanbul, Besiktas is a bustling district with a mix of residential and commercial areas. It is home to popular attractions such as the Dolmabahce Palace and the lively Besiktas Square. The neighbourhood has a vibrant atmosphere and is generally considered safe.
- Sultanahmet: Sultanahmet is home to major attractions such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Topkapi Palace. It is a well-patrolled and tourist-friendly area with a significant police presence.
- Beyoglu (Taksim): Known for its vibrant atmosphere and bustling streets, Beyoglu is a popular neighbourhood for tourists. It offers many options for restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. Taksim Square, the heart of Beyoglu, is generally safe but can become crowded during peak tourist seasons.
- Nisantasi: Considered one of Istanbul's upscale neighbourhoods, Nisantasi has a mix of residential and commercial areas. It is known for its luxury boutiques, high-end restaurants, and trendy cafes. The neighbourhood has a reputation for being safe, particularly for pedestrians.
- Kadikoy: Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, Kadikoy is a vibrant and cosmopolitan district with lively markets, diverse dining options, and cultural events. It has a strong local presence and is generally regarded as safe, even at night.
- Ortakoy: Ortakoy is famous for its picturesque waterfront, charming narrow streets, and iconic Ortakoy Mosque.It attracts both locals and tourists with its vibrant cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. The neighbourhood is generally safe, especially during the daytime.
Since January 2023, there are no longer any restrictions or requirements for entering Turkey. Visitors are not required to show proof of vaccination, quarantine, or wear masks.