Avoid factory outlets
If you are going through a tour company, then even if your tour guide takes you to outlets selling leather, ceramics, onyx, turquoise/gold/silver jewellery -- do not buy there. You can just have a look and get an idea about the prices. You get the same quality outside for a much much better price, sometimes less than 50% of the price.
Unique Suggestions: If you are very fond of a specific design, then bargain well without showing that you are very keen on the item!
Fun Alternatives: Check with outlets on the roadside and in markets where locals buy.
You either like this kind of vacation or you don’t – and I know many do. The cruise ships are a definite boon to the local economies wherever in the world they make port. It can be a bit much though when several dock at the same day disgorging over 3,000 passengers per ship onto the local scene. When the ships are in forget haggling – it is all about supply and demand! With 2, 3 or more ships in at Kusadası, you might want to choose another day to visit Ephesus, too!Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Food and Dining
High entrance fees.
In Turkey entrance fees to a good number of archaeological sites and museums seemed excessive. The problem is how to know when the high price is justified by what you will see. After spending $14 (USD) to enter the outdoor museum near Gorome in Cappadocia, you might be reluctant to spend another $6 to enter a single small church cut from stone with restored frescos inside the museum. In my experience, this can be a mistake. On the other hand, the frescos of the church 15 minutes walk from the open museum were is such poor condition that they were not worth the walk or the $6 entrance fee.
Unique Suggestions: If you are traveling alone, you are kind of stuck. If in a group, you might send one person in to check out whether the site is worth the fee, or just ask the people coming out.
Fun Alternatives: The worst thing is to go into one of these over priced places and find it overloaded with tourists. If you arrive at the opening hour or near closing time, you may be able to visit in solitude. If this solitude is due to the overpricing or not, it does help one to rationalize the extra cost.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Always agree on the price first!!!
I believe it's a common tourist trap, but it's so easy to get sucked in! When we stopped in Kucadasi (Ephesus) Turkey while on a Mediterranean cruise, we made a mistake. We saw a man on the street corner shining a tourist's shoes and stopped to watch. We had just spent the afternoon walking around the ruins at Ephesus and my husband's shoes were very dusty. The shoe shine man patted his foot stool, indicating that my husband should let him shine his shoes. We asked "How much", but the man just smiled and patted his stool again. Once again, we asked how much, and he just shrugged in a friendly way and patted his stool again. We went for it, after all, how much could it really be? He ended up charging 12 Euros for the shoe shine! That is a crazy amount, and I felt we had to pay it, after all he'd provided the service already. I felt very ripped off, but learned a valuable lesson: if they won't tell you the price, just walk away!
Poor exchange at the Istanbul airport
This is such a common problem at international airports, that it might not be worth mentioning.
The trap is in the commission fee. The exchange rate is a bit low to start with, but once the commission is subtracted you will feel cheated.
I found that usually there will be no commission charged at exchange places in Turkey, but you have to be careful because there are exceptions. (One place in Antalya charged 7% me that they said was tax.)
Unique Suggestions: Ask first and try not to do not get yourself in the bind of needing to exchange money at the wrong place and time.
Fun Alternatives: ATMs are another alternative, but beware the fees and interest charges of your credit card. They also can make the transaction expensive.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Turkey is no doubt a country with rich history and lots of things to see. I travel back and forth from England to Turkey work related and unfortunately haven't had the time to enjoy it but I'm considering going there on a vacation so the info was very useful. I have only been to Istanbul so far and it's extremely interesting city. The only thing I don't like about it is how often I have problems with bookings. It's not a nice experience to be searching for a place in the middle of the night therefore now I always call to confirm my reservation. It might be pricey so I use a call service which provides cheap calls to Turkey ( http://www.briing.com/cheap-calls/turkey.php) Its fast, cheap and easy to use. And be careful for the ‘nazar boncuk’ or ‘evil eye' :)
Beware of the taxi drivers
Belek Antalya is upscale tourist zone with some of the best hotels. Consequently best location for taxi drivers trying to hustle and rip off the tourists. They will give you wrong fixed tarif, they will turn on 'night rate ' during the middle of the day , they will not return your change back if you do not give them exact amount, and if you object to any one of these they will yell, screem , and be aggressive towards you so that you will be happy to be alive !! Unfortunately there is no place to complain and there is no control mechanism. This is why they are so free to be like they are. Use hotel service as much as possible. Inquire about local bus service . Walk if you can. But never take a taxi. If you have to talk with the hotel desk and find out the exact fare and prepare the exact change and before get on any taxi give the license plate number to someone who can monitor your trip.
ask what the price is
when hiring a private taxi for tour of a site or city ie ( ephesus or bodrum ) at the kusadasi taxi ranks their are boards with names & prices ie (virgin mary then price 40 ) the 40 or what ever price that is listed is euro not turkish lira so to save hassel or arguement make sure you ask the driver the price at the rank b4 u set off on your journey .Related to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
The trips are not always like in the pictures
Everybody staying in a Club in Turkey is getting contact with the real Turkey only by going in a trip. Usually you pay an amount of money for going in a very exotic trip, nice pictures, good description. The things are never as they seems. In order to have a good experience you have to look at those trips very sceptical and not take everything as beeing truth. For example if you go to Pamukale (the white covered hills) do not imagine that you actually take a bath into a UNESCO patrimony site, as they are saying you. You will see the hills from the distance and you will take a respective bath in some "pools" made by the men, covered with something white looking very similar with the real things. Or if you take a cruise on the see, the yacht is not actually a yacht, it is a simple boat, dirty and with an old engine (it can even broke in the middle of the see).
If you are invited to visit a cave and they are telling you that the exit will be on the other side of the mountain, be careful because on the other side there could be no leder or path and you must be forced to jump into the see from a cliff 8 meter height in order to come back to the ship.
A ''Safari Experience'' is in fact a one day trip by a Jeep exploring some bad roads, nothing spectacular, as it seems in the pictures.
Unique Suggestions: If you like to try exotic things and you are not expecting that the description to be as the reality (do not forget that they are good business men) you will have a good experience after all and nice pictures. But if you expect luxury cruises and relaxing time then stay in the Club or choose another destination.
It tourists resorts there will be plenty of office and stalls who is trying to sell you tours etc. Tours and prices can be very different from one to another, it is good to check the options and details, what is included and what is not, try using known agent if possible, or at list someone you can go back to, a reliable operator etc.
Don’t forget to barging for the price, that might be possible as well.
Visa on arrival problem
If you need a Visa for Turkey (most are charged Euro 15 or $ 20), the Immigration officer in Tasucu (coming from Northern Cyprus) insisted on US $ and implied to get it with some help from Western Union (some extra income?), this might happen as well on some other small bordercrossings.
Unique Suggestions: Have the exact amount in both currencies ready!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
The Carpet Game
Throughout Turkey, thousands of men draw at least part of their income from getting tourists to visit carpet shops and ultimately buy carpets. Maybe we were unusual, but we traveled to Turkey to see great historical sights, beaches and mountains, and not to buy bulky household goods that we would have to ship 4000 miles or that would tie up a big chunk of the space in our rental car for the duration of our trip.
If a well-dressed 30-60 year-old man comes up to you unprompted on the street and asks if you need help and where you are from, there is a very good chance that they are a player in the carpet game. Once they establish a conversation with you, they will casually mention that their friend, brother, cousin, or uncle owns a nearby carpet shop and that you must visit it because they have an outstanding selection of carpets and will give you a great deal. They will of course tell you that there is no obligation to buy and will offer you some free tea, but you will immediately feel at least some pressure the second you enter the shop and you and your family are the only non-Turks in the room.
Often, organized tours will stop in at a carpet factory or shop as part of the day's itinerary. Remember, that the tour organizer is probably getting some sort of incentive payment for bringing you there. Another variation that we saw occurred in Ephesus, where we were offered a free shuttle bus. Of course, the shuttle bus included a stop at a carpet shop that was completely out of the way from where the archaeological site that everyone was there to see. Fortunately, we dodged that one.
If you hire a guide for the day or for a specific historic site, they will often, at some point in the day's tour, ask if you want to buy carpets. Of course, they will get a commission of some sort if they deliver you to a shop and you buy something.
Fun Alternatives: The best defense against the carpet game is to firmly tell everyone who mentions carpets to you that you have no intention of buying one or, even better, that you can't afford one. If they don't think that they can make commission revenue off of you, they will leave you alone and go on to the next candidate. Also, always ask if an itinerary includes a carpet shop, and if you can opt out of it.
Turkish carpets are beautiful and of high quality. Don't be pressured into buying a carpet at the first shop that you are taken to. If you are going to buy a carpet, go to a bunch of shops on your own and get a feel for styles and price ranges. If there is no middleman bringing you to the shop, you may get a better deal because there is no commission to be paid by the shop owner.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Luxury Travel
grand bazzar not so bazzar
best time to go is during prayer time,all the vendors stop hasseling you and then you have a more enjoyable time to browse,dont be afrain to haggle it really is expected and sometimes fun,as most of the people who work there are nice and friendly,and will work with you for a good deal
Unique Suggestions: bargen but dont insult
airport rip off.
when travelling home from bodrum airport very early in the morning somewhat half asleep i purchased drinks in the airport cafe,3 cans of sprite to be precise,i didnt realise untill i sat down to check my change that i realised i had paid about £9.50 for the three cans!i queried this with the staff and checked the price list and to my horror realised this was right.i then realised that nobody else seemed to drinking anything,i now know why!my advice purchase your drinks before you get to the airport or wait untill you get on your flight or you could really end up out of pocket,i think i learnt my lesson the hard way!
In many countries the taxi mafia is active,
If they see a tourist they see the dollars and try to cheat you.
So don't be naiv, Get a feeling for the right price by asking other people.
Always ask for the price before you get off.
Always look what the driver does if he uses the taxameter.
In Hungary they have sometimes a manipulated taxameter.
If you drive by day be sure that he doesn't use the night tarif.
Unique Suggestions: Pay and try to do better next time.
Fun Alternatives: Use public transport!Related to:
- Budget Travel
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