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    bp5678
    0 WOW
    Where to travel? Istanbul and somewhere else?
    • #1
    • 5th Nov 18, 5:31 PM
    0 WOW
    Where to travel? Istanbul and somewhere else? 5th Nov 18 at 5:31 PM
    I have my mind set on travelling around Turkey - particuarly Istanbul (1 week) and Cappadocia (3 days).

    I can travel for up to 3 weeks in total so I'd like to combine my trip to Turkey with somewhere else. Ideally somewhere no more than about 3 hours away.

    I'm looking for everywhere cliche about travelling as a 20 something. Eg somewhere authentic, unique, a challenge to travel and explore, a real adventure, somewhere a bit rough round the edges, somewhere difficult to travel, somewhere with warm friendly locals. I'd really like to make lifelong memories and for it to be a special and ideally life changing trip. Would also ideally like it to be reasonably priced.

    I was considering Belgrade, somewhere in Iran or Tsbili in Georgia.

    I'll probably travel in May (approx) although I'm flexible on which month I travel.
Page 1
    • Kunoichi73
    • By Kunoichi73 6th Nov 18, 10:19 AM
    • 72 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    Kunoichi73
    • #2
    • 6th Nov 18, 10:19 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Nov 18, 10:19 AM
    If you are thinking about Iran, check up on the entry requirements. I went in 2015 and, at the time, if you were a British Citizen you had to go in with a registered tour company/guide to get the visa. Also, you need to give yourself a good couple of months to get a visa through.

    I went on a 2 week tour round the country and it was well worth it. The people are fantastic and very welcoming.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 6th Nov 18, 1:18 PM
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    Voyager2002
    • #3
    • 6th Nov 18, 1:18 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Nov 18, 1:18 PM
    Why "somewhere else"? Turkey is vast and very varied, and once you get off the beaten track offers everything that you say you want. Parts of the east of Turkey carry Foreign Office warnings and so can be at least as much of an adventure as you would like them to be.


    My own biased opinion is that both Istanbul and Cappadocia are fantastic, each worth at least a week (particularly if you include the wonderful Ihlara valley in with Cappadocia). I also really enjoyed Georgia earlier this year: hospitality there is legendary, although language can limit the depth of your interactions with locals. Georgia is far more than Tbilisi (although that is a great city to visit): it is easy to visit the highest inhabited place in Europe and go for mountain hikes there, although a guide costs ten pounds a day and you pay a similar amount if you want to travel on horseback.



    You could also take a ferry from Turkey to northern Cyprus.
    • ttoli
    • By ttoli 6th Nov 18, 3:29 PM
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    ttoli
    • #4
    • 6th Nov 18, 3:29 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Nov 18, 3:29 PM
    Why "somewhere else"? Turkey is vast and very varied, and once you get off the beaten track offers everything that you say you want. Parts of the east of Turkey carry Foreign Office warnings and so can be at least as much of an adventure as you would like them to be.


    My own biased opinion is that both Istanbul and Cappadocia are fantastic, each worth at least a week (particularly if you include the wonderful Ihlara valley in with Cappadocia). I also really enjoyed Georgia earlier this year: hospitality there is legendary, although language can limit the depth of your interactions with locals. Georgia is far more than Tbilisi (although that is a great city to visit): it is easy to visit the highest inhabited place in Europe and go for mountain hikes there, although a guide costs ten pounds a day and you pay a similar amount if you want to travel on horseback.



    You could also take a ferry from Turkey to northern Cyprus.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    or even fly 1.15 Mins to Ercan .
    • maman
    • By maman 6th Nov 18, 3:55 PM
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    maman
    • #5
    • 6th Nov 18, 3:55 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Nov 18, 3:55 PM
    I'd echo 'Why somewhere else' too.


    There is so much to see in Turkey itself as well as Istanbul and Cappadocia.


    What about all the other sights like Pammukale and Troy and Ephesus and Pergamon and a visit to Gallipoli? And go around the south coast to Antalya and Aspendos and Patara?


    There's heaps to see and you could get around very easily on their excellent bus/coach network.
    • RHemmings
    • By RHemmings 6th Nov 18, 4:55 PM
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    RHemmings
    • #6
    • 6th Nov 18, 4:55 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Nov 18, 4:55 PM
    If you are thinking about Iran, check up on the entry requirements. I went in 2015 and, at the time, if you were a British Citizen you had to go in with a registered tour company/guide to get the visa. Also, you need to give yourself a good couple of months to get a visa through.

    I went on a 2 week tour round the country and it was well worth it. The people are fantastic and very welcoming.
    Originally posted by Kunoichi73
    I just got my Iranian visa last week, but I'm travelling on a New Zealand passport. Travelling there for the first time next month.

    I think that even visas for UK citizens can take a lot less time than 'a good couple of months'. You can get an Iranian travel agent in Tehran to get your visa approval, and then the actual visa can be done same day at the London consulate. I believe. That seemed to be the experience of the people that I met at the consulate.

    For people on a UK passport, you can fly into Iraqi Kurdistan and get a visa on arrival. The visa you receive will only allow you to visit the Kurdish region, but that's the safest bit of Iraq.
    Last edited by RHemmings; 06-11-2018 at 4:59 PM.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 7th Nov 18, 4:58 PM
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    NoodleDoodleMan
    • #7
    • 7th Nov 18, 4:58 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Nov 18, 4:58 PM
    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iran


    Not on my bucket list.
    • RHemmings
    • By RHemmings 17th Nov 18, 5:08 PM
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    RHemmings
    • #8
    • 17th Nov 18, 5:08 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Nov 18, 5:08 PM
    Originally posted by NoodleDoodleMan
    There are huge numbers of trip reports online, on youtube, etc. By people who have actually been there.

    Less than a month until I'm there in person. I'll report back.
    • lea2012
    • By lea2012 18th Nov 18, 7:15 PM
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    lea2012
    • #9
    • 18th Nov 18, 7:15 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Nov 18, 7:15 PM
    I'd agree with others and stay stick to Turkey.
    Starting in istanbul, you could make your way to Cappadocia via Ankara. After Cappadocia you could either head south towards Adana where you could spend a day or two exploring the city and nearby canyon walks before heading on to Mersin. Mersin is a Turkish holiday resort, not on the radar of most other European residents yet, its a great place for a relaxing couple of days but has lots of live music, good restaurants and reasonable priced accommodation. You could then visit some of the other holiday resorts such as Side, Alanya or Antalya where you'll be able to enjoy some good hiking and things like river rafting at that time of year.

    Alternatively after Cappadocia you could head towards the black sea coast to explore this area or even head to Lake Van in the east for somewhere a bit different.
    Lea :confused:
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 18th Nov 18, 8:12 PM
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    zagubov
    Originally posted by NoodleDoodleMan
    If you're planning to visit the US after being in Iran, read this.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 18th Nov 18, 8:34 PM
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    Voyager2002
    If you're planning to visit the US after being in Iran, read this.
    Originally posted by zagubov

    Not really a big deal: it just means that you cannot use an ESTA and would need a US visa. Some of my family friends (UK passports) have been through this: they had a very good reason for visiting Iran which they explained to the US consul and their visas were issued without any problems.
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 18th Nov 18, 10:41 PM
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    zagubov
    Not really a big deal: it just means that you cannot use an ESTA and would need a US visa. Some of my family friends (UK passports) have been through this: they had a very good reason for visiting Iran which they explained to the US consul and their visas were issued without any problems.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    Good to know the details. The more complete the info we give to posters, the better decisions they can make.

    Anyhoo, if I was visiting Turkey, I'd be tempted to see Georgia. Belgrade's an other place I've travelled through but not stopped in.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 19th Nov 18, 7:07 AM
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    PompeyPete
    I reckon there's plenty of good advice and ideas so far.

    A week in Istanbul should be a minimum, and you'll only skim the surface of one of the World's great destinations. Easy to get around by tram and public ferry. Base yourself in Sultanahmet, touristy, but also a great area. Make sure you visit Kadikoy on the Asian side by public ferry, and also have a ferry ride out to Princes Islands.

    We've also been to Cappadocia, which is a wonderful one-off area. Got there by overnight sleeper train to Ankara. A couple of nights in Ankara, then bus to Goreme in Cappadocia. Ankara, the Capital City of Turkey is well worth dipping into, and a visit to the Ataturk Mausoleum is a must.

    Also look at the Bodrum Peninsula, which is a beautiful area and very easy to navigate by Dolmus from Bodrum Town.

    Two other ideas outside of Turkey are Romania. Was in Transylvania for 3 weeks in June this year. Fabulous region, clean and green, easy to get around by train. We started with a Tarom Air flight to Bucharest. Then by train we stayed for a few nights in Sinaia, Sighisoara, Sibiu and Brasov.

    Bosnia & Herzegovina. We had just under two weeks last October, staying in Mostar and Sarajevo. Both are hauntingly atmospheric places, with plenty of evidence of the recent bloody conflict of the early 1990s. We got into B & H by flying with EJ to Split in Croatia, stayed a couple of nights in Split, then got a bus [3.5] hours to Mostar. From Mostar to Sarajevo was a 2.5 hour rail journey, one of the best we've ever done.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 19th Nov 18, 7:12 AM
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    PompeyPete
    Note that Istanbul has two international airports, which are quite a distance apart. Ataturk Airport, which is massive, and not far from the Centre on the 'European' side, and Sabiha Gokcen Airport which is the best part of an hour outside the city on the Asian side. So make sure it you have connecting flights from different airports that you allow plenty of time for transit.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 19th Nov 18, 8:23 AM
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    buglawton
    I had a great 2 day trip to Istanbul, arriving and departing on sleeper trains so 1 night in a hotel. Rooftop breakfast terrace with view of grand mosque. 2 issues, no mobile internet for navigation and tourist info as roaming punitively expensive, and taxis. Apart from the taxi called by our hotel, they consistently played a sleight of hand trick note-swapping trick, very practiced, that left us seriously out of pocket. The alarm signal is that instead of dropping you at the proper destination they have an excuse to stop at a busy intersection instead, where a noisy queue of drivers behind will fluster you into a rushed transaction. It's a pity as I'd like to visit again and can't think how I'd get about. Uber us now banned in Turkey due to pressure from cab drivers association.
    • RHemmings
    • By RHemmings 19th Nov 18, 11:09 AM
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    RHemmings
    Not really a big deal: it just means that you cannot use an ESTA and would need a US visa. Some of my family friends (UK passports) have been through this: they had a very good reason for visiting Iran which they explained to the US consul and their visas were issued without any problems.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    Yes. The report I've heard is that the interviews are very easy. In the cases I"ve heard of, the interviewer asked why the applicant needed a visa, the applicant replied that they'd been in Iran, then the interviewer asked why the applicant had been in Iran, to which the applicant replied that they had been there for tourism. To which the interviewer replied that's OK, and approved the visa.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 19th Nov 18, 2:48 PM
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    Voyager2002
    I had a great 2 day trip to Istanbul, arriving and departing on sleeper trains so 1 night in a hotel. Rooftop breakfast terrace with view of grand mosque. 2 issues, no mobile internet for navigation and tourist info as roaming punitively expensive, and taxis. Apart from the taxi called by our hotel, they consistently played a sleight of hand trick note-swapping trick, very practiced, that left us seriously out of pocket. The alarm signal is that instead of dropping you at the proper destination they have an excuse to stop at a busy intersection instead, where a noisy queue of drivers behind will fluster you into a rushed transaction. It's a pity as I'd like to visit again and can't think how I'd get about. Uber us now banned in Turkey due to pressure from cab drivers association.
    Originally posted by buglawton

    Fortunately Istanbul has good public transport, and a half-decent guide book means that mobile internet is not really necessary.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 19th Nov 18, 2:51 PM
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    Voyager2002

    Anyhoo, if I was visiting Turkey, I'd be tempted to see Georgia. Belgrade's an other place I've travelled through but not stopped in.
    Originally posted by zagubov

    I agree that Georgia is well worth visiting, and probably deserves a trip to itself. Georgia is a very long way from Istanbul, and visiting all the worthwhile attractions in between Istanbul and the border would probably take far more time than the OP can spare.
    • RHemmings
    • By RHemmings 10th Nov 19, 10:23 PM
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    RHemmings
    There are huge numbers of trip reports online, on youtube, etc. By people who have actually been there.

    Less than a month until I'm there in person. I'll report back.
    Originally posted by RHemmings
    I see that I said that I would report back after being there, then forgot.

    I went there. It was great. It's a safe country to visit with the main problem being road/traffic safety. I have a video of me crossing the road in Tehran holding a go pro in my hand. Squeezing through cars. Etc. But, there is one heck of a lot to see in Iran, and the people are very friendly and welcoming.

    I see I mentioned Iraqi Kurdistan further up this thread. A month and a week until I'm there in person. I won't promise to report back in case I forget again.
    • koalakoala
    • By koalakoala 12th Nov 19, 8:44 AM
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    koalakoala
    I would go with Pompey Pete's suggestions for somewhere different
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