Travel Turkey Tips – What to Bring? Info on Clothes, Cash and Currents

Solutions to your packing dilemma! Answers for the three most frequently asked questions about what to bring to Turkey.What can I / should I wear?When it comes to dress codes for women, it changes depending on your destination. In Istanbul, you will see a lot of shorts, small tops, and short skirts in the tourist areas and fashionable districts of Taksim and Sisli. Along the coast it is fine for women to wear shorts in the more popular tourist areas; and there is freedom on beaches.In Istanbul, Turkish women are very stylish. If you get to Turkey and you feel you’ve packed badly, you can pick up something new at Topshop, Mango, Levis or Zara or at one of the many Turkish clothing stores, (like Mavi Jeans).In the more conservative areas of Istanbul, (Eyup, Eminonu, Aksaray) shorts and little tops will attract stares, unwanted attention from men and maybe even some comments. In central Anatolia, (Cappadocia, Konya, Safranbolu and even Ankara), skimpy clothing is offensive to many local people, particularly the older generation, and it will be frowned upon. For the conservative areas think light cotton dresses and skirts that fall below the knee, baggy cotton pants and t-shirts with short sleeves. (Short sleeves are ok, sleeveless will draw stares!)A scarf for covering your head when visiting mosques is advised. All sorts of cool and colourful scarves are sold cheaply in the streets and bazaars of Istanbul, so buy one when you get here! (You only have to wear it when you enter a mosque and you can wear it at home once winter comes!)A light scarf is also a good idea for evenings when it can get chilly (even in summer), in Istanbul and Cappadocia.Comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended since almost all itineraries include numerous trips to ancient sites.Men’s clothing is less subject to scrutiny. It’s recommended, however, that you take a mix of cotton pants and shorts as even men will feel uncomfortable in shorts in some areas. When visiting a mosque, both men and women must cover their limbs.What’s the best way to carry my money?Money is safest carried in the form of traveler’s cheques; however, these are very difficult to change in Turkey. With plenty of ATM’s across the country more and more people are bringing a combination of cash and credit cards.ATMs will allow you to access cash (in local currency) from your credit card and possibly from your savings account if it’s linked to Maestro or Cirrus or Visa Plus network. Withdrawn money or the purchase amount will be converted precisely at official rates.If you are bringing cash, then the best currencies are US Dollars or Euros. Be aware that most insurance policies won’t cover for loss or theft of cash. Credit cards are useful for large purchases but they won’t be accepted in small restaurants, mini markets, local transport or taxis.Is my hairdryer/lap top/shaver going to work in Turkey?Electricity in Turkey is 220 volt, 50-60 cycle. If you intend to bring any electrical equipment, an adapter that converts electricity from 220V to 110V is suggested. Two pin plugs are used throughout Turkey.

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