We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you ... you're just helping re-supply our family's travel fund.
Turkey pictures: a feast for the eyes and a trip for the soul. Landing in Istanbul, I felt like I stepped into a completely different world: unknown, yet familiar. It was very reminiscent of the fantasy world I’d created in my head while watching Aladdin. Old world Istanbul—the Asian side—is full of markets, wares, and spices. Then you’ve got the European side that desperately clings to old customs while integrating new ones.
I loved how far my US dollar goes in Turkey: a 5-star hotel room suite for $104 USD. It was the perfect finish to my three-week tour of Europe. If you’re a solo female traveler, be sure to be extra vigilant and don’t accept help from anyone who can “show you around.” You will be hustled. However, this shouldn’t keep you from going. Turkey is a magical country full of beauty and wonder.
Money in Turkey
The US dollar is very strong compared to the Turkish Lira. One US dollar equals 5.9 Turkish Lira at the time of publication (January 2020). One Euro is equal to 6.54 Turkish Lira. You’ll typically have to pay to enter a mosque, and it’s best to find an ATM to get cash as that’s more accessible than a card reader.
Food in Turkey
If you find yourself in Istanbul, be sure to check out the world-famous ice cream man with a few tricks up his sleeve. It’s entertaining, and more than worth it if you’ve got the patience to enjoy the show first.
You’ll find all kinds of food in Turkey—kebabs, lamb, baklava, Turkish delight, and more. Head to the Grand Bazaar to grab some treats to bring home for the whole family. It’s the world’s largest covered market and a feast for the eyes.
@kathyhaanno ice cream for you in Istanbul😂✌🏻 #travellife #entrepreneurlifestyle #travelvlogs #travelblogger #travelmagic #expectationvreality
Where to Stay in Turkey
If you have a long enough layover in Istanbul, you can get a free hotel room if you fly Turkish Airlines. Or, you can get a free tour. I opted to get the free tour since I wanted a suite and it was only $104 USD. However, it took me four hours to get through customs so I missed the start of the tour and couldn’t join. I booked my room at the Wyndham Grand – Istanbul when I visited a couple of years ago. The Turkish Lira is even weaker now, so you’ll no doubt be able to find great deals on rooms.
Take a look at these ridiculously cheap hotels in Turkey: