- Doing your research properly
- Getting High! 😛 Lol
As far as the former is concerned we have got you covered. Here are five tips that you will definitely find useful while visiting Turkey.
Taksi is expensive
Even if you have the budget of spoiling yourself rotten, you would not be willing to pay the ridiculously high taksi fares in Turkey. Dont worry i did run my spell check, its just how the Turkish prefer spelling taxi.
Do not panic because you will have plenty of decent alternatives. You can take tours, rent a car or choose your hotel wisely and stay close to the places you plan to visit. The first two options are doable in smaller cities but a city like Istanbul with packed roads and relatively greater distances staying on the right side of the city would be a wiser option. If you plan to spend most of your time admiring the city for its history and culture, it is preferred that you stay in the old town.
Attractions like Hagia Sofia, Topkapi, Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar are all easily accessible and at a walking distance from one another.
You will have to take an hour long ride to the other part of the city i.e the Taksim Square, it might cost you a fortune and you shall be able to find a decent boutique hotel for a night in the same amount. If you have no issues packing and un packing then the latter can be considered.Close to the Taksim is the Galata Tower and in between them is the famous isteklal street. If you wish to experience a livelier Istanbul with night life at full swing, it is advised you stay close to the Taksim.
If you decide to make Taksim your base in Istanbul then it would be advisable to take a day tour to the old town to tick mark your check list of attractions within a day’s time.Not only is the taxi service a rip off, also watch out for over friendly taxi drivers.
Shopping from local markets
Turkey is a shopper’s paradise. If you like to collect handicrafts and souvenirs, travel light people!! because you shall be returning with loads of stuff including Turkish lamps, kilims, handmade soaps, Calligraphies and kuthaya cups.
Do not forget to bargain, the shopkeepers are willing to give a 10%-15% discount easily but if you are not a sucker at bargaining like me you will definitely return with a better deal than that.
For your high end shopping needs you can head to isteklal or abidi ipecki.
Claiming your taxes.
If you are not familiar with this already let me go through this quickly. A lot of tourist friendly countries allow you to claim the sales taxes you have paid while purchasing certain items. The sales tax may be described as VAT or GST or some other official term. The retail outlets that offer this service have it mentioned on their payment counters or receipts. All you need to do is keep the receipts safe with you until you reach the airport.
What to do with the receipts then? Now here comes the catch, a lot of countries only want you to believe that they would like to return the taxes. Having the complete opposite intention they design a complicated refund system on purpose leaving out the slightest of details for you to know.
A few of the retail outlets handed us brochures explaining how to claim our taxes but nowhere did they mention that we would have to get the receipts stamped before crossing the immigration gate.
The brochure also had a fancy map explaining where we would find the counter to refund our hard earned money, which obviously was after we had crossed immigration. Turns out once the passengers reach the counter they are told that the receipts are not stamped and “Sorry! Therefore your taxes cannot be refunded”. How naive of them, right?
So be it Turkey or any other country that makes similar claims, be aware of the complete procedure.
“On your feet Darlings”
If you are a lazy bum I have bad news for you, because you will have to walk. By walk I do not mean a stroll in the park. You would have to do a lot of incline walking and by the end of your trip I guarantee you toned calf muscles 😛
The good news is you will have a chance to burn all those extra calories from the Turkish Baklava and Ice creams.
Moms pick the right travel gear for the little ones because Turkey is not very stroller friendly either. The streets are crowded and there are hardly any sidewalks or ramps to be seen any where.
The Balloon Ride
There always has to be a story of all the things that did not go right about your trip but you ended up making peace with the situation.
Cappadocia’s Balloon ride is one of the many reasons people visit the country. The hot air balloon ride is not exclusive to Cappadocia, you can experience it in other parts of the world as well, but the experience of rising in the sky as the sun comes out, flying over the fairy chimneys with almost a hundred other balloons in the sky feels unique, at least that is what I have heard and read.
Heard and read? Did we not go to Cappadocia? No! we most certainly did but forgot to check the weather forecast before planning our stay there.
We were in Cappadocia for three full days and all three days the flights got canceled by the civil aviation due to bad weather. They do not take off until the skies are crystal clear. The civil aviation is willing to cancel flights for the slightest signs of either rain or heavy clouds and wind.The story is just too painful to tell let alone right about it.
Therefore just another piece of advice coming your way. Check the weather forecast before you do your bookings or else you too will have a story to tell and a reason to visit Cappadocia again( being optimistic)
Hope this helps guys. You are welcome.