Traveling in Western Turkey- information, tips, and facts

Traveling in Western Turkey- information, tips, and facts

This is the westernmost area of Asia- the eastern coast of the Aegean Sea. It belongs to Minor Asia Peninsula, today a part of Turkey. Here you can discover fantastic beaches, bays, and promontories, covered by subtropical forests and hills deep into the land, and surrounded by turquoise waters. But this area reveals thousands of years of history, full of secrets. It is even featured in the Biblical Book of Revelation, holding some of the keys for the future! So, let’s go traveling in Western Turkey and explore its fantastic treasures!

Geographical overview

Western Turkey doesn’t have clearly defined boundaries, but it has certain geographical and cultural features. In general, this is the southern coast of the Marmara Sea, the Turkish seacoast of the Aegean Sea, the westernmost seacoast of the Turkish Mediterranean Sea, and the land between all of it.

This area also can include the European part of Turkey and the big city of Istanbul, although Istanbul has a bit different scent being a gate between Europe and Asia.

Western Turkey- sea and mountains
Western Turkey- sea and mountains

Western Turkey has a highly complex coastline and it is mountainous. This land has a subtropical climate, covered mainly by black pine and olive forests. It has no clear boundary with the rest of Turkey, but in general, it ends where the subtropical forests gradually end and turn into the vast grasslands of Central Anatolia.

What forms the image of Western Turkey is its extremely rich and long history. There are a lot of ancient ruins, belonging to famous ancient cities like Ephesus, Pergamum, Laodicea, and many more. All of them reveal how the world looked like 2000 years ago and further. And in combination with the stunning Aegean and Mediterranean coastline, the whole area is a very attractive place to explore.

History

History is one of the main features of Western Turkey. In fact, this land has one of the oldest, longest, and richest histories in the world. It has left a lot of remains, many of which are popular places to visit. But to understand it better and understand these places better, let’s summarize this long history.

Prehistory

Traces of humans from deep ancient times have been discovered all across modern Turkey, including its western parts, from the Paleolithic and Neolithic times. Nobody can say who were these people, but from their traces, we know that this area has been inhabited by humans for many millennia.

Bronze Age (2500 to 1200 BC)

This is the oldest known era with organized states and known peoples. In the western part of Turkey, these peoples were mainly non-Indo-Europeans, like Hittites and Luwians, but also some Proto-Greek peoples like the Dorians. The most popular site from this age is the early historic layers of Troy.

Dark Age (1200 to 800 BC)

It is considered that this age started with the so-called Bronze Age Collapse- a long and devastating time of wars and destruction that changed the demographic face of the region. One of these wars was probably the famous Trojan War. Until the end of this age, new cities were built and some old cities were gradually restored.

Homer Age, Phrygia and Lydia (800 to 520 BC)

This is the time of the Greek poet Homer. Two new kingdoms emerged. The first one is Phrygia, and the second is Lydia, which replaced the first one. Its capital was Sardis- one of the ancient cities in Western Turkey. Two smaller kingdoms also dominated the area- the kingdoms of Caria and Lycia.

Achaemenid Persia and Ionian Age (520 to 336 BC)

The Achaemenids conquer the whole of Minor Asia, but many of the ancient coastal cities like Ephesus, Miletus and more often revolted against the Persians and preserved their independence or at least their autonomy, joining the Greek leagues of that time.

Hellenistic Age (336 to 133 BC)

It started with the conquest of Alexander the Great. After his death, the Macedonian Empire was divided into smaller kingdoms. Also, some new kingdoms emerged. In Western Turkey, the main new kingdom is the Pergamum Kingdom of the Attalides which existed from 282 to 133 BC.

Ancient theater in Ephesus
Ancient theater in Ephesus

Early Roman Age (133 BC to 314 AD)

The last Attalid King offered his kingdom to the Romans and the whole region became a part of the Roman Republic, later the Roman Empire. Many of the ancient cities flourished during this era- Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Laodicea, and more. This is also the age of early Christianity, introduced by Apostle Paul, as well as the time of the Seven Churches of Revelation.

Early Byzantine Age (314 to 720)

Christianity has become an official religion in the Roman Empire, and Western Turkey become a part of the Eastern Roman Empire, called the Byzantine Empire. During this age the area was stable, but it suffered the raids of the Arab Muslims.

Middle Byzantine Age (720 to 1080)

This was another age of stability, although the Byzantine Empire has a significantly smaller size at that time. It ended with the raids of the Crusaders who passed through Minor Asia on their way to Jerusalem.

Late Byzantine Age (1080 to 1300)

It was a period of instability. The Crusaders conquered Constantinople and divided the Byzantine Empire into two smaller empires. At the same time, the first raids of the Seljuk Turks began. During these wars, many of the ancient cities got into decline, were destroyed or their inhabitants started moving to other regions.

Crusader’s and Seljuk Age (1300 to 1512)

During this age, this area was gradually lost for the Byzantine Empire during its last years. Parts of Western Turkey were conquered by the Crusaders, and the most significant remnant from them is the Castle of Bodrum. At the same time, the Ottoman Turks came and gradually conquered the whole area.

Ottoman Age (1512 to 1924)

This was a stable period. The whole of Western Turkey was a part of the Ottoman Empire, and many Greek descendants from the ancient cities still lived in this area. But at the end of this period, the fights for independence broke here too. However, they ended with almost complete extermination or expelling of the Greek population. Finally, the Ottoman Empire fell.

Modern Turkish Age (1924 until today)

Since 1924, this area is firmly a part of the modern Turkish Republic, established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It passed through crisis, and instability, but also growth and bloom. While the ancient cities remained in ruins, the newer Turkish cities thrived. Western Turkey also became the most popular area in the country for tourists, as it is until today.

View of Bodrum from Bodrum Castle
View of Bodrum from Bodrum Castle

Culture

Turkey has a unique culture- a product of its long history and unique geography and location. It is a predominantly Muslim nation. But since it is on the “bridge” between Europe and Asia, it has a strong secular influence.

Although the former Greek population in its western part is no longer visible, its ancient history from Greek, Roman, and Byzantine times still gives influences to the local Turkish culture. And this can be best seen when you travel around this area- in the tourist destinations, and the whole atmosphere, everywhere.

Main destinations

The western part of Turkey is extremely rich in interesting places to visit. Some of them are world-class destinations, while others are less known, off the beaten. Let’s see the most important of them, grouped by regions.

Although Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, and it is located in the northwestern part of the country, I will exclude it, because again, its geographical location and its culture are much more universal, not just “limited” to western Turkey.

I will also exclude the European part of the country, because again, it has a different geographical and cultural face, closer to the Balkans. On the other side, I will exclude Antalya, because it is already in the southern part of Turkey. In general, let’s follow the Asian coastline that is closer to Greece, and the strip of land from Bandırma at the Marmara Sea to Kaş at the Mediterranean Sea (in front of the easternmost point of Greece).

Çanakkale

Çanakkale is the northernmost interesting place to visit. The city is located on the Asian coast of the Strait of Dardanelles. It is a relatively new city, built by the Ottomans in the 15th century, but today it is the center of the ancient region of Troada.

As such a center, Çanakkale is the starting point for exploring the nearby ancient cities, of which Troy is the most famous. And if you walk in the coastal alley of the city, you will see the large wooden horse used in the movie “Troy” (2004) as a symbol of Çanakkale and the area around it.

The Trojan Horse in Çanakkale
The Trojan Horse in Çanakkale

Behram- Edremit

This is the area around the southern coast of the Biga (Troad) Peninsula or the northern coast of the Edremit Gulf. Here the mountains reach the sea, with a view of the Lesbos Island of Greece in front of the Turkish coast.

There is a chain of towns, villages, and resorts with plenty of campsites along this coast. Although the beaches are very narrow and stony, the views are nice.

But the most interesting spot here is the ancient city of Assos, today called Behramkale. This is the city of Aristotle, located on a hill with spectacular views of the sea. Today, the nice “old town” with the ruins of Assos forms a not-to-miss destination in Western Turkey.

Balıkesir

Although this area is less rich in famous tourist destinations, it is worth visiting too or at least passing through it. Not many tourists go there, and as a result, the whole area is more authentic.

But if you are looking for something more interesting, you can visit the city of Balıkesir, its National Forces Museum, dedicated to the War of Independence, as well as the local historical Turkish “Paşa Hamami” bath.

Bergama

This is the place of the famous Pergamon- an ancient city, the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon, and one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Today, this city is in ruins, located on a high hill, and Bergama is a new Turkish city around the ancient one, at the foot of its hill.

The ancient city of Pergamon, once a center of many religions in the Roman Empire is the most famous tourist destination in the area, and its ruins can be found not only on the high hill above Bergama but also in the valley below it.

Pergamon
Pergamon

Akhisar-Sart-Alaşehir

This area is also located deeper in the land and far from the sea. Akhisar and Alaşehir are just normal modern Turkish cities, but they keep their secrets- two of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Thyatira is in Akhisar, and Philadelphia- in Alaşehir. But don’t expect some spectacular ruins, because not much has left from these ancient cities- these places are proper mainly for those who are interested in ancient history, and of course for Christians who want to see geographic spots from the Bible live.

And Sart is another one of the Seven Churches- there is the ancient city of Sardis. Sardis is more spectacular. It has been the capital of the Kingdom of Lydia. It is also located in an interesting place with amazing rock formations, called Sardis Geopark.

Izmir

Izmir is the largest city in this part of Turkey and the third largest in the country. It is also one of the main starting points for exploring this land because it has an international airport.

Izmir is a city with thousands of years of history- one of the most ancient constantly living cities in Turkey. It has grown around the ancient city of Smyrna- an important trading center in the Hellenistic and Roman world. And again, Smyrna is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, with well-preserved Agora. Finally, Izmir is a city with its own local culture and atmosphere well worth exploring.

The Clock Tower in Izmir
The Clock Tower in Izmir

Çeşme

There is an area with a complex coastline located south of Izmir, dividing the Aegean seaside into northern and southern sections. This is Karaburun Peninsula. And its westernmost tip is the location of some of the best Turkish resorts.

One of them is Çeşme, a nice town with some history and beautiful beaches. And the other is Alaçatı- a splendid “old town” pearl with white houses, restaurants, souvenir shops, cafes, and a tourist atmosphere. Alaçatı is also the third largest surfing center in the world, with some of the best surfing conditions.

Kuşadası

Kuşadası is a famous resort city, located in the southern part of the Turkish Aegean coast. Its name means “Bird’s Island”, and comes from a small island with a castle, today connected to the mainland. The city is famous for its cruises and the long beaches around it.

But maybe the most spectacular place in this area is the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus- one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. It has been a large trade port and the first one of the Seven Churches of Revelation.

Denizli

Denizli is a middle-sized city, located relatively far from the sea coast. It is a nice city, but the most interesting places are located around it. They are called Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colossae. And while Colossae is not developed as a tourist destination, the other two- Laodicea and Hierapolis attract a lot of travelers.

Today, these two ancient cities occupy large areas. Laodicea is the last one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. And Hierapolis is famous for its unique natural phenomenon. This is Pamukkale- a fantastic system of white travertine pools, formed by a hot mineral spring, attracting a lot of visitors since ancient times.

Pamukkale
Pamukkale

Bodrum

This is one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey- the “white city”. Literally, all the buildings of Bodrum are in white color. It is beautifully established on the hills at the northern coast of Bodrum Bay.

Bodrum has a long history. It was built by the Dorian Greeks and was called Halicarnassus. Here was one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world- the Tomb of Mausol and queen Artemisia, called The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Another must-visit place here is the Bodrum Castle- a magnificent medieval fortress, now turned into an Archaeological Museum.

In addition, today Bodrum is a famous seaside resort, with a lot of attractions, cruises, liveaboard diving tours, and nightlife.

Marmaris

This is another famous resort city on the western end of the Mediterranean Turkish coast. The city is located at a beautiful bay, surrounded by mountains and islands, and is a starting point for local tours to amazing natural spots- pristine beaches, diving sights, and other coastline and mountain formations.

Marmaris is a center of sailing and diving. The city itself still has its old core with the Marmaris Castle and the narrow authentic streets around it, but you can also go to visit the nearby attractions like Selimiye Beach, Nimara Cave, Icmeler Beach, and many more.

Dalyan and Fethiye

This area is the place where the Dalyan River flows into the Mediterranean Sea. But its mouth is not just an ordinary river mouth- it is a labyrinth of river bends, islands, and lagoons. And that’s not all. The area is located in the territory of the ancient Caria, and here you can see the most stunning and mysterious ancient tombs in this part of Turkey- the Kaunos King’s Tombs, over the river.

Fethiye is another resort city, a diving and cruising center, with nice beaches and more ancient tombs like Amintas King’s Tombs. And again, there are a lot of amazing natural spots nearby, great for diving, swimming, and mountain hiking. But the most spectacular of them is the Blue Lagoon- Ölüdeniz, a fantastic beach with a lagoon under an almost 2 km tall mountain.

Kaunos Ancient Tombs
Kaunos Ancient Tombs

Kaş and the Lycian Trail

This is the southwestern part of the Taurus Mountains. Here these mountains descend directly into the sea, creating spectacular mountain-and-sea views. And there is an ancient route that follows the coastline high in the mountains. This is the Lycian Trail, today turned into a famous trekking route.

And this route passes by some amazing spots. Among these spots, we can mention Patara- the longest and widest beach in Turkey, featuring sand dunes. Here is also the ancient city of Patara. Another amazing gem is Kaputaş Beach- small but really spectacular, located at a canyon mouth. Finally, the most attractive town in this area is Kaş, where you can dive into its old narrow streets, see more Lycian tombs and enjoy colorful local sights.

And these are only the main attractions in the westernmost part of Turkey. There are many more hidden gems- a lot of ancient ruins, national parks, mountains, rivers, beaches, and resorts. But at least those mentioned above, after you explore them, can be starting points for more.

How to explore Western Turkey- best things to do

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do in Western Turkey. Some people focus on beaches, others- on diving, sailing, and cruising. There are ancient history lovers, and Western Turkey is a paradise for them. And finally, there are explorers that want to try the best of everything.

Beaches

In general, the Aegean and West Mediterranean coasts of Turkey are poor on beaches. A large part of the coastline is rocky and stony. Most of the beaches are very narrow and made of small stones. But there are some fantastic hidden gems with crystal clear turquoise waters and stunning views, mainly in the south. You can also find the other type of beaches- sandy, long, and wide.

Kaputaş Beach
Kaputaş Beach

Water sports, diving, cruising

The sea around Turkey is not only for swimming and relaxing on a beach, but you can do much more, to taste the best of it. You can do it through various types of water sports- surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and more.

Especially when we talk about scuba diving, it is a great way to penetrate much deeper into the secrets of the sea. You can do it by short diving tours or by liveaboard trips. And finally, there are a lot of options for cruising along the sea coast and visiting a lot of amazing natural and historical spots.

Nature

The nature in Western Turkey is highly diverse- not only at the seacoast but also deep inside the land. There are plains, mountains (some of them quite high, reaching more than 2500 m altitude), canyons, and bending rivers, mostly covered by subtropical coniferous and olive forests. Interesting coniferous trees are the stone pines, looking like umbrellas that can be seen around Bergama and Kusadaşı.

The whole environment is great for hiking. Besides the famous Lycian Trail mentioned above, there are many other trails and national parks. Finally, you can enjoy some natural phenomena like the fantastic Pamukkale and the unique Salda Lake.

Exploring the ancient past

Again, Western Turkey is a great place for those who want to explore the ancient past. There are almost a hundred (!) ancient ruins across this region. Some of them are hidden, with almost nothing left of them, but others are popular in the whole world, like Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Laodicea, Miletus, Hierapolis, and more.

This area is also of special importance for those who read the Bible and want to see the sites where some biblical events have happened. Here are the Seven Churches of Revelation, and a part of the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle, described in the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Paul.

The ancient city of Laodicea
The ancient city of Laodicea

Local culture

Turkey’s modern culture is formed mainly by influences from Europe, combined with Islam and Ottoman inheritance. But it is not the same everywhere. Turkey is a large country and in the different regions, the influence is different.

In Western Turkey, although the Greek population left it after World War One, there is still a strong Greek influence that can be felt in the local architecture, ancient inheritance, food, and some customs. So, to feel it better, spend the night on Airbnb, go to restaurants with local food, visit a traditional Turkish bath, or participate in some cultural folklore events!

Of course, you can visit Western Turkey just to relax at a seaside resort. You can focus on only one of the above activities. But if you combine them in a whole itinerary, it would be the best way to explore this amazing land.

Seasons

Western Turkey has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, and it has a strong influence even in the high mountains of the region. It has four seasons and each of them has its specific features.

  • Summer: it is between May and the end of September. The weather is hot, mostly dry and sunny, and in the southwest quite humid and stifling. Nevertheless, this is the high season, and everywhere is full of tourists.
  • Fall: from the end of September to the end of November. The weather is nice and cool, the sea water is still warm and you can still go to the beach in the southwest until November.
  • Winter: it is a subtropical winter- from December to the end of February. Most of the time the weather is cold (but not too much). Sometimes Mediterranean cyclones bring cold rain and snow to the mountains, and between them is sunny. It is rare, but snow can occur even in the seacoast in the northern part of Western Turkey. Anyway, this season is good for other, non-sea water activities.
  • Spring: it is from March to May. The weather is cool, in May is nicely warm, but often rainy. Sea water is still cold, and only during May beach is possible in the south.

Summer packing list

Since summer is the high season, let’s mention shortly what you need to bring with you during that time. Although it depends on what would you prefer to do, most likely you would still enjoy the sea. And if you go swimming, surfing, snorkeling, diving or something else in the water, you would need some necessary things for it.

But let’s first begin with the basics:

Clothes

Turkey is a relatively modern country, so you don’t need to wear some special conservative things, except if you visit a mosque. So, here is what you would need:

  • T-shirts. At least several, for change.
  • Underwear. Again, several, for change (something that you already know).
  • Shorts. No problem to wear them almost everywhere.
  • Long pants. It is hot, but long pants can be useful if you enter a mosque, or if you want to protect your skin from mosquitoes or sunburn.
  • Short skirt for women. Same as shorts- proper almost everywhere.
  • Long skirt for women. Proper if you enter a mosque, but also comfortable in windy weather.
  • Thin jacket. It is for those who may feel too cool in some evenings, and again if you want protection from mosquitoes or sunburn.
  • Sweater. Proper only for mountain hikes over 1000-1200 m altitude, for the evening.
  • Jacket. Again, proper only for mountain hikes over 1500-1800 m altitude, for the evening.
  • Hat or cap. It can be necessary, especially if you explore ancient ruins under the hot burning sun.

Footwear

Sandals are normally most proper for Western Turkey in summer. They are good for the beach too. You can also wear slippers, this is quite normal too (but don’t do it if you drive a car).

However, if you go hiking, you still need normal hiking footwear- summer hiking shoes or at least hiking sandals. And if you wear summer hiking shoes, bring proper socks. Have in mind that in summer, there is a lot of bindii (goat’s-head) plant in some ancient ruins, and when you walk, its thorny seeds can easily enter your sandals.

Accessories for the sea

If you want to fully enjoy the sea, you would need some normal and special accessories for that, like the following:

  • Swimsuit. Of course, you would need it for the beach or just for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
  • Mask and snorkel. These are necessary for snorkeling. At least a mask to see the underwater beauty.
  • Diving equipment. It is necessary for scuba diving. You can bring your own or you can rent from the diving centers or liveaboards.
  • Other beach accessories. These include an umbrella, beach towel, or something else to put on the sand, sunscreen against sunburn, sunglasses, etc.

Accessories for hiking

You would need these if you plan to go on a trek like Lycian Trail or other. Especially if it hikes to high altitude, you have to prepare well. These are the standard hiking accessories you would need, apart from the hiking clothes and footwear:

  • Hiking poles. Mountains are mainly steep and you would need them.
  • Raincoat. Rain is possible, sometimes as a thunderstorm (in such cases, better find a shelter).
  • Water. Bring enough bottles of water or a water bladder.
  • First aid kit. This can be life-saving or at least health-saving.
  • Camping accessories: tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag. This is if you go on a multiday trek without spending the night in a hotel or other building.
  • Proper backpack. It is important to bring all that you need in a proper backpack.
  • Headlamp. You would need it if you spend the night. Or at least if you finish your hike too late in the evening.

Other accessories

Among the other accessories, you would need all the necessary electronic devices, unless you prefer to travel like 40 years ago. It would include at least your mobile with charging device and cables, your camera, and maybe your laptop.

And of course, always check your most important things- your documents (ID card, passport, tickets) and your money and bank cards (credit or debit). Check them regularly, before you go and during the trip!

Useful tips

Western Turkey is a great place to travel, but before you go, you should know some important tips about how to prepare and how to travel there.

Visa policy of Turkey

Citizens from almost all the countries in Europe and South America, as well as some Asian countries, can enter without a visa, just with their passport or ID card.

Citizens from the USA, China, Russia, Australia, South Africa, and several more countries must obtain an e-visa. However, it is easy and fast.

And citizens from most of Africa, as well as some South Asian countries are required to obtain a visa in advance, obtained from the nearest Turkish consulate.

However, this is in general. There are some exceptions and details related to passport validity, single or multiple-entrance, length of stay, etc. So, for more information, check the Visa policy of Turkey!

Currency

Almost everywhere in Turkey, you can pay only by the local currency- the Turkish Lira (TRY). As of Summer 2022, 1 USD = 17.95 TRY and 1 EUR = 18.28 TRY, and seems to continue to drop a bit.

You can almost everywhere shop by credit card- in supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, tourist destinations, and even at stalls on the streets. Anyway, it is still necessary to have some TRY in cash.

Electric socket

Used electric sockets are plugs type C and F.

Language

Turkish is the official and most spoken language in Turkey. Have in mind that locals who can speak English are very rare! So, when you go there, prepare your Google translator for better communication.

Transportation

Turkey has well-developed air transport. It is well-connected to the world by international flights. There are international airports in Western Turkey, in Izmir, Bodrum, Denizli, Dalaman, and several more, as well as a lot of local airports only for domestic flights. Of course, Antalya and Istanbul airports can be also your starting point for exploring this part of Turkey.

Ferry in Bodrum
Ferry in Bodrum

Another well-developed type of transport is the bus and car transportation. There are regular big buses for long-distance trips, as well as small buses for a short distances, between the nearby cities and towns.

But a good option is to rent a car- you would have the freedom to travel everywhere, without a schedule. Most of the roads in Turkey are excellent. There are a few highways, and if you want to travel on them, you have to buy an HGS sticker from a Ptt station (there are always such stations near the highways), and the scanner at the tolls will scan it and get some money (it is cheap).

Railway transport is not so developed, the Turkish government has always focused on the road network and transport. A good option can be ferry transport along the coastal areas. Ferries connect Europe and Asia at Çanakkale, as well as some destinations around Izmir and Bodrum.

Accommodation

Western Turkey is well touristy-developed, and there are a lot of hotels everywhere on the sea coast and around the other tourist destinations. You can find hotels and guesthouses in every price range- from splurge to budget.

However, have in mind that the cheapest hotels usually offer only 2-bed rooms, and if you are a family with children, you have to be separated. And finally, in general, hotels in Turkey are a bit expensive, even the budget ones.

So a much better option is to find Airbnb. It is cheaper than hotels and usually more comfortable. But it is advisable to communicate with the host in advance and check for positive reviews before booking!

You can also go camping. There are a lot of campsites in Turkey, especially along the seacoast. They are not expensive- usually between 100 and 200 TRY per person. And finally, you can just go wild camping- it is allowed in Turkey. Just don’t do it near the tourist destinations (especially don’t do it near the ancient ruins), and not exactly on the road!

In a Turkish campsite
In a Turkish campsite

Food

In Turkey, you can enjoy a great variety of meals. This is due to the geographical location of the country, on the crossroad between Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, with some Greek influence.

From ancient times, people in Minor Asia have consumed their typical Mediterranean meals. Then, the medieval Turks brought their Central Asian cuisine. After their arrival, they gradually established the large Ottoman Empire which included most of the lands and the peoples of the Balkans, Middle East, and Northern Africa. And it has been influenced by their local cuisines.

So, when you go to Turkey, you must try the local Turkish food, and it can be found easily, everywhere. You don’t necessarily need to go to expensive restaurants, you can find it as street food, fast food, and other types of small restaurants. Unless you are a vegetarian (vegan), try a döner! It is one of the most typical traditional Turkish meals, and you would definitely like it!

Internet, communication, SIM

In Turkey, mobile or Wifi internet is of relatively good quality. Except for the cheapest hotels, Airbnb, and campsites, there is Wifi everywhere (although in some rooms and parts of the building signal can be weak).

When you go to Turkey, I would strongly recommend buying a local SIM card. Because, if you come to the country using your country’s SIM card and roaming, the bill could be VERY expensive, at least for most foreign visitors! When we were on a trip there, only by using the navigation in Google maps for 1 hour and making a short 20-sec call, we made about a $90 USD bill! And it is not only our experience!

So, one of the first things you should do when you arrive in Turkey is to buy a local SIM card. There are three mobile companies: Turkcell, Vodafone, and Turk Telecom. Turkcell and Vodafone offer tourist SIM cards for 30 days, but the better one is Turkcell’s- for 300 TRY you can use 20 GB of mobile internet. For more information, take a look here!

Safety

In most of Turkey, and particularly in its westernmost part, it is safe. If you have heard about terrorists, riots, and other kinds of unrest and danger, it could happen occasionally in the extreme southeast, but not in the west of the country. In fact, it is safer even than in Istanbul.

Anyway, there is still a chance for some criminal cases like pickpocketing or some drunk excessions at night, but in general, that’s all. Just don’t give up your caution completely, like in every other normal and peaceful country in the world.

So, this is Western Turkey in general- a place that is 100% worth visiting and exploring. Just get the necessary information and prepare before you go there on a trip, or just get some inspiration for future adventure in this beautiful land!

Check some travel books about Turkey:

Disclaimer: Journey Beyond the Horizon is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites at no additional cost to you.

Like it? Pin it here⇓! Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

The western part of Turkey is an amazing land with unique beauty. This is a guide about traveling in Western Turkey with basic useful info. The western part of Turkey is an amazing land with unique beauty. This is a guide about traveling in Western Turkey with basic useful info.

Scroll to Top