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Questions on itinerary and money

Beijing, China
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Questions on itinerary and money

Hello Everyone.

I’ve been enjoying the forum and looking forward to my trip. I have some questions and appreciate your help.

First time to Turkey. I arrive Oct 24 for 10 days. I especially enjoy museums, culture, history, and great scenery.

I welcome suggestions on places to go and things to do. I’ve got a couple of guidebooks, but prefer first hand information.

I’ve reserved a hotel (Kafkas Hotel) in Istanbul for the first 3 nights, but haven’t finalized a decision on where else to go. I also plan to spend the last couple of days in Istanbul, maybe doing day trips. Ideally I would like to see Cappadocia and Ephesus both, but don’t want to spend a lot on airfares or spend lots of time in transit. I also can’t sleep on buses so try to avoid overnight bus trips.

Right now I’m leaning towards Cappadocia (Gerome). Has anyone rented a small motorbike -100cc or 125cc there? That seems like it would be a great way to get around and see that area on my own. Easy to rent? Cost? Any problems?

Can anyone advise on what I could expect to pay if I wanted to fly Istanbul – Cappadocia, then Cappadocia – Izmir (for Ephesus?), then Izmir – Istanbul? One of the guidebooks suggested waiting until arrival in Istanbul before booking plane tickets so I’ll be purchasing a few days before flying.

How about Bursa for a day trip or overnight from Istanbul? Worth doing?

Since most hotels quote prices in Euros, do they expect payment in Euros or dollars? I am coming from Thailand (my current home) so will have to exchange money into Euros or dollars, and then exchange any unused currency back when I return if I need Euros or dollars. Will the hotels accept lira? Do they use a decent exchange rate for converting their prices to lira? I would like to use atms to withdraw lira as I go to pay for everything. If I use a credit card for hotels, will they make the charge in Euros or convert it to lira?

Will the holiday on the 29th make travel difficult? Will most sights, museums, etc be open?

Columbus, Ohio
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1. Re: Questions on itinerary and money

Hey you will love Turkey. I just returned from a 3wk solo trip and am in love with the country. If your ATM card has cirrus or plus signs on it, you will have no problems at ATMS. Some of the bankamatics as they call them, don't take them but most do. HSBC was one I used several times. There is a row of ATMs with all types of banks associated near the Blue Mosque and I think, fairly close to your hotel. I remember seeing that Hotel when I was there. Thats a great area for a base to explore Istanbul. I loved the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts which is just across the Hippodrome from the Blue Mosque. It is full of cultural items. All the hotels will usually take liras but aren't so eager to take credit cards. They may charge more if you pay by card. Its easy to get lira or euros from the ATMs, usually you have a choice. I used all liras. They will also take euros and some of the shops told me prices in euros thinking I was British. There are currency exchange booths at the airports, but if you only have a small amount left, its more of a problem, so use it all! I stayed at the Fairy Chimney Inn in Goreme and loved the whole area. Its amazing. There are pictures on my blog, www.mytb.org/travelenrn. I can't help with the motorbike, I did rent a car and the driving out of the cities was easy. If you want to see Ephesus, I recommend staying in Selcuk, its the gateway for Ephesus. Izmir is a distance away. There are lots of hotels in that area. Enjoy your trip!

Aberdeen, Scotland
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2. Re: Questions on itinerary and money

You'll going to have a great trip!

You'll find more than enough to do in Istanbul for the first three and last couple of days without any more day trips. You could easily spend all ten days and more there.

Both Ephesus and Cappadocia are amazing and would be ideal trips.

Cappadocia, in particular, should be top of your list, as it is an absolutely unique area, you'll see nothing like it anywhere alse, and Goreme would be my first choice of place to stay (recommend Kelebek Pension). I think you can hire a motor bike easily - usual precautions - check insurance, etc. Hiring a car or small group tour is also very good.

Flights are usually cheaper if booked early but you don't have much time now. Try emailing recommended travel agents Rock Valley, Turkish Heritage or Insight Travel - they can book flights/ buses for you and plan route. Flights are pretty reasonable and may be cheaper now that it's past peak season. Bus travel is well recommende in Turkey and is certainly the budget option - cheap and saves on a night's hotel room, too.

Most cards work in ATM's as long as you have a four digit pin, and advise your bank before you travel, to avoid your card being blocked. No need for euros or dollars, these are only quoted to help tourists. It might be best to avoid those "portable" ATM's at Blue Mosque and use one attached to a bank during opening hours, in case of any problems. there are also Change Offices where you could change your own currency to Lira.

London, United...
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3. Re: Questions on itinerary and money

Hi welcome to the Turkey forum!

You have a little problem here - if you want to travel to Cappadocia and Ephesus but "don’t want to spend a lot on airfares or spend lots of time in transit. I also can’t sleep on buses so try to avoid overnight bus trips" because Turkey is a VERY large country - so the distances from Istanbul to either of these other places is pretty large, and they are in different directions - ie Cappadocia is to South East of Istanbul and Ephesus to South-westish.

As Heidotheroad says - you could easily spend your 10 days in Istanbul it you want to avoid travelling elsewhere! But if you do want to see some of these other places, particularly if you want to avoid spending a long time on buses overnight - then really, your only option is to fly. Which would probably mean flying from Ist to Cappadocia (probably Kayseri as that is the airport with more flights - the other one being Nevsehir). And then flying from Cappadocia back through Istanbul to Izmir to visit Ephesus. Unless you were willing to hire a car in Cappadocia and drive to Ephesus before flying back to Istanbul - but that would be both costly (apart from the hire car and the drop off fee, petrol is also REALLY expensive in Turkey) as well as time consuming - I reckon it would be at least a 2 day drive to Ephesus.

So I am afraid, if you want to do this sort of a trip, then you will have to bite the bullet and fly to and from via Istanbul. That way with your timeframe of 10 days, at least it would be feasible.

Enjoy your trip!

Cirali / Antalya
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4. Re: Questions on itinerary and money

<<<<<<<<If I use a credit card for hotels, will they make the charge in Euros or convert it to lira?


yes it will be charged in Liras and not Euros...

Cash is always better and the Atm's are pretty much everywhere..be careful however some very small places there might not be any access to ATM's

One thing I would just like to point out is if you use a ATM please use one that is located outside of a national bank and also during regular business hours. Mon-Fri 9-5.

This way if you experience any problems with your card you can directly report it at the bank. Also do make sure that you advise your bank of your planned travel to Turkey. If not the bank after a transaction or two may freeze your card after one or two transactions.

also cash is cash..so dollars or Euros are fine...whichever is easiest for you..

<<<<<Will the holiday on the 29th make travel difficult? Will most sights, museums, etc be open?<<<<

One thing for sure is that banks and all government offices will be closed but I cannot see it affecting you and your plans..

all offical government offices, private work places and educational facilities will be closed for the national holiday...the day prior some places will being the holiday at 1:00 pm...

so in all respects it will be like a Saturday...

Beijing, China
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5. Re: Questions on itinerary and money

Thanks to everyone for your responses.

I booked a reasonable flight to Neveshir on thy. Will decide what to do then after a few days in Goreme. I'm leaving tomorrow and looking forward to my trip.

6. Re: Questions on itinerary and money

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