Plan Your First Trip to Turkey in 5 Easy Steps

Plan Your First Trip to Turkey in 5 Easy Steps

By Kimi Huang | Updated Mar. 17, 2023

Planning a trip to Turkey can seem overwhelming even if you are an experienced traveler. So here we propose 5 simple steps to help you plan your first trip to Turkey.

1. Pick Your Destinations

Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Pamukkale are the most popular destinations for first-time visitors to Turkey. Depending on the length of your trip, your itinerary can be extended to include Ephesus or a day (or more) at the beach.

Istanbul — The Only City That Belongs to Two Continents

Istanbul is an amazing city and the only one in the world that belongs to two continents. It is a fusion of ancient heritage and the modern world, and is a must see for first-time visitors.

We suggest that you stay in Istanbul for at least two days. You can take a cruise through the Golden Horn, shop at the Grand Bazaar, sample Turkish delicacies, eat fish fresh off the boat, explore the harem in the Topkapi Palace, marvel at Byzantine domes, and lose yourself in the sea of people in this vast and complex city.

Cappadocia — The Most Magical Place on Earth

Cappadocia has landscapes that are unlike any on Earth. There are valleys of fairy chimneys, oddly shaped rock formations, and an entire underground city carved out of rock. It is one of the most popular spots in the world to go on a hot air balloon ride.

There are plenty of other things to do to there as well, such as going on amazing hikes through the valleys or quad biking.

Travel tip: Cappadocia is big and getting around can be tough. We suggest that you book a private tour with a private car so that you can see everything that Cappadocia has to offer.

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Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish. one of Turkey's most popular tourist attractions, the dazzling white Pamukkale travertine terraces are considered a must see when you visit Turkey.

Pamukkale is located in Denizli Province in the River Menderes valley in southwestern Turkey. In this area, you will also find the ruins of the ancient Roman city, Hierapolis, which stands above hot springs. The hot springs and minerals make the area the ideal place to heal.


Ephesus is located in the İzmir Province. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor (Anatolia) in present-day Turkey. For many years, it was the second-largest city in the Roman Empire, second only to Rome.

The city was famous for the Temple of Artemis, which was completed around 550 BC. This temple is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean region; to date, only an estimated 15% has been excavated.


Kas is a small, laid-back, and picturesque fishing town in south Turkey. Even though it is a tourist town, it retains its quaint charm. Kas is the perfect place to go fishing, diving, or yachting. It is also possibly one of the most picturesque places in Turkey to sit back and watch the sunset.

Travel tip: There are plenty of hidden beaches around Kas that are known only to locals. We recommend traveling with a private local guide to explore these beaches.

2. Decide on the Duration of Your Trip

When traveling overseas, you probably won't want to just scratch the surface and only take photos of the most famous attractions. So, we suggest that you take at least a week to experience the highlights of the three most popular places in Turkey.

Here is a tour you could consider — You can also modify the tour if you have any specific interests.

3. Visa Policy and Gateway Cities

Istanbul and Ankara are the most accessible gateway cities for international flights into Turkey. Most tourists choose to take a flight to one of these two cities.

Visa Policy

We suggest that you apply for Turkey's e-visa. This is the most convenient way for visitors to obtain a visa to Turkey. You may apply for one through the Republic of Turkey Electronic Visa Application System. You will get your e-visa a few minutes after submitting the necessary information.

Please note that e-visas are not available for travelers from all countries. Currently, the citizens of 108 countries are eligible for it. Please take a look at the official website ( to check if you are eligible.

E-Visa Application Process

  • Go to the official website to get an e-visa from the Turkish Government.
  • Provide your entry date and personal information. All the information you provide should exactly match the information in your passport. Then, submit the application and make the payment online.
  • The e-visa will be sent to your email address within a few minutes.
  • Consider When to Travel to Turkey

The best time to visit Turkey depends on what you're looking to get out of your vacation. Turkey is generally pleasant all year round. However, spring (April–May) and autumn (September–October) are the recommended times for a Turkey tour. It is pleasantly warm and sunny most of the time, and there aren't as many touristy crowds in these months as during peak season.

5. Choose a Private Tour to Ensure the Best Experience

We believe that a private tour can provide travelers with a wonderful experience. A private tour gives travelers flexibility and the option of more personal attention.

With a private tour guide and transportation, you not only save time, but you can focus on what you want to see and skip the long queues at popular attractions.

Why Travel with Global Highlights During the Pandemic

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
  • Worry-free planning: Your 1:1 travel consultant in Asia will take all the uncertainty out of your planning, helping you navigate any travel restrictions.
  • No-risk booking: 100% refund policy! (prior to 3 weeks before departure, more details)

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