Turkey, a country that occupies a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe. Throughout its history it has acted as both a barrier and a bridge between the two continents. The historic city of Istanbul carrying the footprints of Byzantine and Ottoman Empire, the fairy chimneys in the semi-arid region of Cappadocia, The Mediterranean coast of Antalya , the limestone formation of Pamukkale -Turkey has so much to offer. We took a 5 days trip to Istanbul and Cappadocia which turned out to be one of the best experiences of our lives.
1. Visa : Tourist Visa can be obtained from Embassies/Consulates of Turkey or via the Electronic Visa Application System (www.evisa.gov.tr). It is possible for Indian tourists to obtain an e-Visa approximately in three minutes online through the Electronic Visa Application System. A valid US visa (B1/B2) or UK/Schengen tourist visa is necessary for applying for the Turkey e-Visa. We had valid US visas(B1/B2) and got our Turkey e-Visa in minutes.
2. Currency : The currency of Turkey is Turkish Lira (TL). 1 Turkish Lira is equivalent to 10.75 INR or 0.12 Euro. We had a forex travel card and some Euro with us. But, we noticed, in most of the places Euro is not accepted. We converted the currency from local exchange counters. In some places we noticed extra 4% is charged if you are paying from cards. We would recommend carrying enough Turkish Lira and the rest in forex cards.
3. Transport : The public transport in Istanbul is super affordable and extremely travel friendly. There are mainly 4 kinds of public transport available - tram, bus ,ferry and train. All the touristy points are well connected through the network of public transport. You can buy a travel card named Istanbul Cart in 7 TL, which can be used in any public transport . You can buy, recharge or surrender and get a refund from any tram station. We relied on hotel arranged trips while we were staying in Cappadocia.
4. Mobile connection and wi-fi : There are free wi-Fi zones in Istanbul but to get the OTPs one must have a Turkish mobile number. We got a Turkish SIM card for 110 TLs from a local store near our hotel. That got us covered throughout our trip for all the navigation and google search.
5. Food: Turkish food is a celebration. We tried various kinds of street food, Testi kebab, Donor kebab, Gozleme, Turkish delight, Baklava, Turkish wine, Turkish chocolates.. the list goes on. There are hundreds of good restaurants in Istanbul and Cappadocia. Our favourites are 360 Istanbul in Taksim Square and Old Cappadocia Cafe & Restaurant in Göreme.