Rick Steves' Turkey > frequently asked questions
Before the tour starts

Q: I have the Rick Steves Istanbul guide book. How do I take advantage of hotel discounts mentioned in the book?
A: When you reserve your room, mention that you have a current edition of the book. If you do not mention the book, you may not get the discount. The hotel staff may still want to see the actual book at your arrival.

Q: Will my credit card work in Turkey?
A: For up-to-date and accurate information, contact the issuer of the card directly; your bank or credit card company. As a precaution against fraud, unless you inform your bank that you’ll be traveling abroad, your bank may deny transactions.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey tour. Will I get to find pharmacies where I can get my medications?
A: If you already have an existing medical condition, we suggest that you bring your medication from home. The medication may be available in Turkey, but usually under a different market name, and it may get confusing. You’ll find pharmacies readily available in Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Antalya, and Kusadasi. Pharmacies are more difficult to find in Cappadocia, and Pamukkale.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey / Village Turkey tour. How heavy of a jacket should I bring?
A: On Rick Steves' Turkey tours, you’ll spend time at higher elevations as well as the coastline. Therefore we suggest you pack for changing conditions, and bring practical/multi purpose clothing that you can layer if necessary.
You can expect the weather to be a little cooler than you’d find in Italy or Greece. Find detailed weather information at

Q: Will there be smokers on our tour?
A: We have a "no smoking" policy on tours. While we do sometimes have smokers join our tours, they are not allowed to smoke at group events, on the bus or in their room if they are sharing a room with another tour member.
However, many Turks smoke, and you’ll find smokers in most places you go. Turkey plans to ban smoking in restaurants/bars starting in 2009. It is already banned in public transport, taxi cabs, stations, airports, government offices, banks, schools, hospitals, etc.

Q: If I buy things before and during the tour, can I keep them on the bus during the tour?
A: Yes, you can. You’ll just need to tell the driver that you will not need the items until the end of the tour, so that he puts them in deep storage.

During the tour

Q: I am a vegeterian. Will there be food for me to enjoy during group meals?
A: A vast variety of fruits and vegetables are available year around in Turkey. Most group meals include seasonal vegetables, and your guide can assist you to get vegetarian dishes.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey tour that start on Saturday, and on day 2, the group is supposed to visit the Grand Bazaar. However, day 2 is a Sunday and the Grand Bazaar is closed. Should we go there on our own before the tour starts?
A: Sightseeing is re-arranged for tours that start on different days. Regardless of the day the tour starts, you will visit all places listed in the itinerary.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey tour, and I have paid a single supplement. Will I have a private compartment on the overnight train?
A: Yes, you will have a private compartment on the train.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey tour. Will the compartments on the overnight train have outlets, so I can hook up a C-PAP breathing machine?
A: The sleeping compartments have 220 volt outlets. However, there may be voltage variations. As you board the train, remind your guide to check with the conductor. Travelers have used C-PAP machines without trouble in the past.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey / Village Turkey tour. Does the tour bus have a bathroom?
A: Not likely. However, as we drive, we make frequent stops. This will also give you a chance to stretch.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey tour. Can I have my laundry done at the tour hotels?
A: You can conveniently have your laundry done in Cappadocia (4th and 5th days of tour) and Antalya (8th and 9th days of tour). The cost of detergents, energy and water are more expensive in Turkey than in the USA, and this will be reflected in the price you will pay to have laundry done. Before you have anything washed for you, check the prices.
To save money, you can combine your laundry with fellow tour members and have your laundry done together. If you plan to do your own laundry, consider bringing a universal sink plug and retractable clothes line.

Q: Are we going to see the Whirling Dervishes?
A: A Whirling Dervish performance is not part of Rick Steves Turkey tours. This is a religious meditation, and real mystics do not perform to an audience.
Here and there, you might see advertisements of touristy Whirling Dervish shows in Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Konya.

After the tour finishes

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey tour. What is the fastest way to get back to USA after the trip is over?
A: Kusadasi is about an hour drive from Izmir Airport. Check for direct flights from Izmir to alternative cities in Europe, where you can get a connecting flight to USA.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey / Village Turkey tour. Is it best to book our post-tour domestic flight in advance, or wait until we arrive in Turkey?
A: We recommend that you buy your plane tickets in advance to secure your seats. Besides, ticket prices increase as fewer seats remain available.

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey tour. I would like to take the ferry from Izmir back to Istanbul. How can I find information on this?
A: You can find the schedule, route details, and reservation information at; www.denizline.com.tr

Q: I am on the Best of Turkey tour. I would like to go to Samos after the tour ends in Kusadasi. How can I get a ferry ticket?
A: Your tour guide will help you on this. Early on the tour, your guide will find out the number of people going to Samos, and then reserve the seats. You will purchase your tickets from the ticket agent when you arrive in Kusadasi.

Q: How can we find the Kusadasi–Samos ferry schedule?
A: The morning ferry (Kusadasi to Samos) leaves at 08:30am, and arrives at Samos around 10:00am. Based on demand and the season, there may be an additional ferry in the afternoon.

Q: Can we take a ferry to Athens from Samos?
A: There are overnight ferries from Samos to Athens. However, there may not be one every day, and you may need to stay overnight in Samos (or Kusadasi).

Q: Is Olympic the best airline to fly between Greek islands, or are there others you would recommend?
A: National airlines, such as Olympic or Aegean, fly between the islands via their hub in Athens.
You might also want to check Sky Express.

Drop us a line if you have further questions; we will get back to you within a few work days.
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