Turkey travel advice

Here’s everything you need to know about Turkey travel, including Turkey travel restrictions, and whether you’ll need a Turkey visa.

In late 2021, Turkey’s president changed the country’s internationally-recognised name to Türkiye. This is the name of the country in the Turkish language. Others are slowly adopting this new spelling, but for ease of comprehension we’ve used the more common spelling throughout.

A panoramic view of Istanbul


Can I travel to Turkey from the UK?

It’s easy to travel to Turkey from the UK. There are a number of direct flights, including from:

  • London
  • Birmingham
  • Manchester
  • Bristol
  • Edinburgh

If you’re fully vaccinated, you won’t need a PCR test before you travel to Turkey. But it’s worth considering  travel insurance that includes Covid-19 cover.


Turkey travel restrictions 

You need to take a Covid-19 PCR test before you travel to Turkey unless you:

  • Are fully vaccinated
  • Hold proof of recovery from Covid-19 within the last 6 months
  • Are aged 11 and under

Otherwise you need to present a certificate at check in showing:

  • A negative Covid-19 PCR result from a test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
  • A rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before entry (correct as of 22 March, 2022)

You can check if you qualify as fully vaccinated in Turkey through the Turkish Embassy in London website.


Do I need travel insurance for Turkey?

Yes, you should consider travel insurance if you’re travelling to Turkey, especially as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) isn’t valid there. 

Travel insurance offers peace of mind knowing you’re covered for:

  • Medical treatment and repatriation
  • Flight cancellations
  • Theft, loss or accidental damage of your belongings

Most standard travel insurance policies should have some form of cover in place for Covid-19. But it’s best to check the T&Cs before you buy, so you know exactly what you’re covered for.


Does the GHIC card cover Turkey?

You can apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) once your EHIC expires. However, neither card is valid for Turkey because the country isn’t part of the EU.

This means that if you need emergency medical care while in Turkey, you might have to foot the bill yourself. This is where a travel insurance policy could come in handy.

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Why should I visit Turkey?

Fantastic beaches, great shopping and colourful cities are some of the top reasons why people visit Turkey, not to mention the amazing food and friendly locals. And all this at really affordable prices. Put simply, Turkey is an amazing destination and exceptionally good value, making it hugely popular for British tourists. 

Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast is particularly popular, known for its beautiful beaches as well as ancient ruins. Istanbul is one of the world’s great historic cities, with bustling bazaars and its famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. There are also countless picturesque towns to visit, both along the coast and up in the mountains. 


How long is the flight to Turkey from the UK?

Direct flights from the UK to Turkey take around 4 hours. Flights to Turkey leave from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Edinburgh. Turkey is also 3 hours ahead of the UK, so be prepared to arrive 7 hours after you leave.


Do I need a visa for Turkey?

British citizens travelling to Turkey for tourist or business purposes don’t need a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

If you want to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, you can:

  • Apply for a longer stay visa before you travel
  • Request a residence permit in Turkey while your 90 day visa is still valid

Depending on the type and length of trip you plan to take, it’s important to make sure you have the right type of visa.

Types of Turkey Visas

  • Tourist visa
  • Working visa
  • Official visa
  • Student visa
  • Working visa

The purpose of your stay in Turkey might change your entry requirements. For example, you might need a letter of invitation from whoever you’re staying with. For more information on the different types of visas in Turkey, visit Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


When is the best time to visit Turkey?

Turkey has hot summers and cold winters, so many people consider the spring and autumn as the best times to visit Turkey for sightseeing. April and May as well as mid-September to mid-November are therefore ideal times to travel. 

If you’re going to Turkey for the beaches, you may prefer to go when it’s hotter, in the summer months from July to September.

In the summer, expect high temperatures in the low to mid 30s. If you’re not a huge fan of the heat, the Black Sea region might be better, with temperatures in the low 20s.


Is Turkey expensive?

No, Turkey is quite cheap. A fall in the value of the Turkish lira over the past couple of years has helped make the country especially good value for British tourists. But Turkey has never really been thought of as an expensive destination. 

You can pick up a pint of local beer for 27.50 lira (about £1.40).


The best places to visit in Turkey

Here are some of the most popular places to visit in Turkey:


Great shopping and nightlife, with lots of culture to soak in too. Visit the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar.


Unforgettable landscape created by ancient volcanic eruption and erosion.


Ancient ruins of what was once one of the largest cities of the Roman empire.


An historic seaside town known for its historic ruins and beautiful beaches. 


A beautiful seaside resort steeped in history.


A large city on the Mediterranean coast with great beaches and lush mountains.


Extra information on travel to Turkey

Topic Information
Turkish lira
Money info 
Credit/debit cards are accepted all over Turkey, mainly in tourist areas and larger towns. ATMs are widely available in tourist areas and cities. That said, it's a good idea to carry some cash with you just in case you have difficulty locating an ATM.
Tipping in Turkey is common practice, usually about 10% of the bill. Generally you should tip with cash, as you can't add gratuities with a credit card.
Official language 
Time difference 
Driving in Turkey 
If you plan on exploring Turkey by car you need your full UK driving licence, car insurance documents and a passport 
British embassy 
You can find the British embassy or consulate in Istanbul or Ankara.
Turkey has two climates. The Mediterranean climate leans towards the Aegean sea, with hot dry summer. You can also get a more and oceanic climate towards the Black Sea, with warm wet summers.
National dish 
Sis (shish) kebab is one of Turkey's most popular dishes, consisting of pieces of meat, fish, or vegetables grilled on a spit.
Other things to consider 
Turkey is generally a safe country to visit, but terrorist groups are still active in the country. For updates on travel advice before you go, visit GOV.UK.
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