Turkey is an amazing country that marvellously combines oriental flair and European comfort. There are wonderful beaches, warm sea, luxurious hotels and chic boutiques. History meets modernity. Everyone can find an activity to their liking and discover a lot of amazing secrets. Welcome to Turkey, Turkey is waiting impatiently for you.

Turkey on the map

Turkey on the map

The geographical location of Turkey

Most of the country (97%) lies on the Asia Minor Peninsula, which separates the Black Sea from the Mediterranean. A smaller part lies on the Balkan Peninsula, which is geographically part of Europe.

Thus, Turkey is located in two parts of the world – Europe and Asia.

In Europe, it borders Greece and Bulgaria; in Asia, it has borders with Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Turkey is sometimes referred to as the country of the four seas. Its coasts are washed by the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara.

Tourist safety

Turkey is considered a safe country, not without a reason that millions of tourists choose it as a holiday destination every year. However, this Mediterranean paradise also has its pitfalls.

In the big cities there are a lot of pickpockets, so always watch your purse and bag, avoid the crowds in the streets and excursions. Traffic is heavy and drivers here are not disciplined. So be careful when crossing roads.

The sun and infections are a common danger in southern countries. So be careful when sunbathing, especially in the early days, and keep yourself hygienic.

There are few dangerous animals and poisonous plants in Turkey. Remember there are poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions and millipedes. So always watch your step when sightseeing.

Turks are generally very nice to tourists, but it is better not to touch certain subjects with them. For example, they take very painfully the talks about joining the European Union, about the problems with the Kurds and with Greece. The President, who has a lot of supporters, but also many opponents, should not be mentioned.


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Turks love and know how to relax. The country celebrates all national and religious holidays: New Year’s Day, Republic Day, Ramadan, Kurban Bairam and many others.

In addition, there are many festivals held in the country especially for tourists. There is the Sand Figures Festival in Antalya, the Camel Battle in Selcuk, and the Tulip Festival in Istanbul.

What fun things to do in Turkey

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Turkey is not considered a tourist paradise for nothing. Here any, even the most demanding tourist will find entertainment to his/her liking. The tourism infrastructure in the country is very well developed, as it brings the lion’s share of income to Turkey.

  1. Beaches. The best beaches in the country are located on the shores of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. It has everything: clean sand, a soft surf, a variety of attractions and wonderful nature.
  2. Water parks. In nearly every beach and in every town, there are huge water parks, where the whole family can have fun.
  3. Surfing, diving and other water activities. Surfing and sailing can be done everywhere. For beginners, there are schools with experienced instructors. The Aegean islands are the best place for such holidays.
  4. Trips to theme parks. There are a lot of amusement parks in Turkey, similar to Disneyland. For instance, the Land of Legends is located in Antalya. For a relatively small amount of money, you can get a lot of excitement and fun.
  5. Historical Sightseeing. Turkey is famous for its history and there are plenty of ancient sights to see, such as the ruins of Troy, or the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
  6. You can discover the nature of Turkey through special excursions, such as safari, rafting, hot air balloon flight.
  7. Hamam. You can’t go to Turkey without visiting the famous Turkish bath. It is the only place where you can experience Zen and relax completely.
  8. We should also mention the gastronomic wonders of the country. Turkish cuisine is famous for its gastronomy. In Istanbul, you will be offered a gastronomic tour where you will taste oriental sweets, cheeses, coffee and Turkish raki.

What is important to know about Turkey

If you are planning a trip to Turkey, here are some of the most important things to know:


The official language of the country is Turkish. It is a language of the Turkic group and spoken by 77 million people. Most of the native speakers live in Turkey, but Turkish is also spoken in Germany, Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria and Cyprus.

However, in the tourist areas of the country, one can easily encounter people speaking English or Russian.


The country is currently home to around 85 million people, most of them scattered along the coast.

Turks are the biggest ethnic group in the country, accounting for 75% of the total. Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Azerbaijanis and other minorities who have historically lived in the region are also numerous.

More facts about Turks, their character and local colouring can be found in this article.


The official currency of the country is the lira. One lira represents 100 kurush. Because of a strong inflation rate (about 65% a year) the lira exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, and it is more convenient for tourists to bring dollars or euros, which can be easily exchanged already in Turkey. It is also possible to pay by bank card.


Turkey positions itself as a secular state, which has no official religion. In fact, the position of Islam in the country is very strong and the overwhelming number of the population follows this religion. But the advantage of the country is that Sharia law is not as strictly enforced as in neighbouring Muslim countries.

In addition, Orthodoxy is still strong in western Turkey and the Armenian Gregorian Church is still strong in the east. The positions of the Nestorian Assyrians and the Yezidi Kurdish syncretic religion are strong in a number of regions.


Most of the country has a mild maritime climate. The south has a maritime Mediterranean climate and the north a maritime temperate climate. The south-east of the country has a subtropical, arid climate with semi-deserts.

The central and eastern regions differ from the rest of the country in this respect. There are many mountains, characterised by altitudinal zonality.

The beach season on the Mediterranean coast lasts for 8 months, from April to November. The Aegean coast has a slightly shorter swimming season, from May to October. In the summer months, the temperature can reach 35 degrees and there is very little rain. In the winter the temperature can drop to +15 degrees and in the mountainous parts of the country the frost and even snowfalls are not uncommon.

The average temperature of sea water in Turkey in summer is usually from +25 to +28 degrees, in spring from +17 to +20 degrees, and in autumn from +22 to +25 degrees. It is worth noting, however, that specific figures can vary depending on location and weather conditions.

Natural disasters

Turkey is located in an area of high seismic activity and strong earthquakes are not uncommon. The most recent occurred on 6 February 2023, killing more than 50,000 people. It affected the eastern parts of the country, where tourism is underdeveloped, but there is also a potential risk of a devastating earthquake in the western areas.

There is a risk of tsunamis on the coasts and landslides and avalanches in the mountainous regions. Severe flooding and major forest fires can occur here. Read more about disasters in Turkey in this article.

Political structure

Turkey is a presidential republic and a candidate for EU membership. The executive branch is represented by the Presidential Cabinet and the legislative branch by a unicameral parliament.

Administratively the country is divided into 81 provinces, and unofficially into 7 geographical regions: Anatolia, Mediterranean, Black Sea and so on.

The capital is Ankara, located in central Turkey. It is home to 4.6 million people.

Major cities and resorts

Istanbul is the country’s largest city and its historic capital, with over 15 million inhabitants. It is a city with centuries of history, founded by the Greeks under the name Byzantium. It was later the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

Every year Istanbul is visited by more than 10 million tourists who are attracted by its famous cathedrals, churches, monasteries and monuments from ancient history.

Izmir is a city on the Aegean coast with 3.4 million inhabitants. It is a large commercial and industrial centre with many historical monuments and places of interest. Very close to Izmir is the Temple of Artemis of Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Antalya, the resort capital of Turkey. The city has a population of just over a million people, but during the peak season the population doubles due to the influx of tourists. Antalya is famous for its beaches, comfortable hotels, amusement parks and of course the ancient ruins and monuments that can be found everywhere.

Symbols of Turkey

Many people think of Turkey not only for its resorts and sea, but also for its many other national symbols. Here are some of the most famous ones:

Rakia or Raki – a strong alcoholic drink made from grapes and anise seeds and drunk with cheese or watermelon.

Tulips – This is where this beautiful spring flower began its victorious march across Europe.

The fez is a famous headwear, which is a felt cap of predominantly red colour. The fez comes from Turkey, not the Moroccan city of Fez, after which it is named.

Turka is a ladle for making coffee. Made by a true master craftsman, the copper turka can be considered a masterpiece and has long been one of the most popular souvenirs brought back from this country.

How to get to Turkey

All major Turkish cities have international airports that link the country with the rest of the world. There are airports in Antalya, Izmir, Bodrum, Alanya and there are three in Istanbul. Most tourists arrive in Turkey through these airports.

Another popular way to travel to Turkey is by sea. Hundreds of liners, ferries and other vessels ply between Turkey and other countries of the Mediterranean region.

Another way of getting to the country is by train. Turkey is linked by rail to the European Union via Greece and Bulgaria, and there are routes to Georgia, Syria and Iran.

How much money to take with you

It’s best to take cash dollars or euros with you when you holiday in Turkey. You can easily exchange them for liras at special exchange offices, banks, airports or hotels. But remember that the exchange rate in hotels and airports is not advantageous.

Holidays in this country are considered inexpensive, tours can be purchased in the range 1200–1300 dollars, and they will already be all inclusive. This allows you to limit yourself to a small amount of cash which you will take with you. Two thousand dollars is more than enough for a ten-day tour for two people, and you will not be limited in anything.

The minimum budget for a seven-day holiday is about $300.

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If you have already visited the country, please share your experiences in the comments. Please add your thoughts on what you like best, what things you like about the country, and what you would recommend to other tourists. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

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