This post will help with everything you need to plan your trip to this country.
Day 1 - Istanbul
Day 2 - Day trip to Princes' Islands and Cruise
Day 3 - Day trip to Bursa
Day 4 - Cappadocia city, part 1
Day 5 - Cappadocia city, part 2
Day 6 - Antalya, part 1
Day 7 - Antalya, part 2 and departure
Best time to visit:
I went in April - it was a lovely time to visit, at the start of spring. The weather was pleasant which made it easy to move around. It was also less touristy than I would have expected it to be. I would recommend visit during this season.
Flights and Visa
I flew direct with Turkish Airlines. Though expensive, I could not recommend it enough. Food and the in-flight entertainment were both great.
Turkish is the official language but people also speak Arabic. In Istanbul, everyone speaks English. Communication was a real problem once we left the city.
Travel and Medical Insurance, Currency
Travel Insurance is always recommended.
Turkish Lira is the official currency. They also accepted dollars and Euro but be sure to check the exchange rate they are charging.
Where we stayed:
In Istanbul, we stayed at the Elysium Hotel
In Cappadocia, we stayed at the Tekkaya Cave Hotel
In Antalya, we stayed at the Best Western Khan
Cost and getting around
Turkey is not very expensive. That being said, be sure to haggle everywhere. Local food is very affordable, so if you eat meat, you can save a lot on food.
We had no particular issues with safety... but Istanbul felt dirty, crowded and shady. People in the cities were a tad unwelcoming, almost snobbish. One of the few places I felt put off by the attitude of the local people.
Be mindful of your belongings and steer clear of people on the streets constantly trying to sell you things.
There was plenty of local food to try BUT vegetarian options were not great. We did try some Turkish Pizza (aka Pide) and of course, tons of Bakhalava. Don't miss the Turkish Ice cream - was surprisingly good.
What to pack?
We traveled in April so mornings and evenings were cold. If you are traveling during the same time, be sure to pack long pants and full sleeve shirts. Bring a thick fleece jacket.
Day 1 - Exploring Istanbul
Istanbul not Constantinople...
This was the song that was stuck in my head the entire time I was in Turkey. Our first day was all about soaking in the history and traditions of this country while street strolling for treats & trinkets. The day was packed but we covered most of the places by 7 that evening.
One of the city's most iconic spots was our first stop for the day. Unfortunately, it was under renovation (bit of an eye sore, really).
Traver Tip: you can take the TRAM to Sultanahemet stop and walk to the Blue Mosque... it is just another 2 minute walk to the Hagia Sofia.
The mosque is supported by four domes or pillars but has six minarets (second only to the Mecca in Saudi Arabia). The inside of the mosque, though pretty, was crowded during the day so we decided not to spend too much time inside.