The country of Turkey is massive. Because of its massive size, deserts, mountains, fairy chimneys, and amazing beaches are just a few of the geographical features that make Turkey special.
However, diverse geographical countries also make packing lists difficult. (I mentioned this in my USA Packing List!)
If you end up visiting during the summer, the weather will be similar everywhere except the east. (Van, Erzurum) This area is mountainous and can be cold. Everywhere else, expect 25-40 degree days. (77 to 104 Fahrenheit)
Turkey during the winter can be cold and rainy. It just depends on your location.
That being said, we are not going to attempt and cover the various climates of Turkey. So, let’s get into this Turkey Packing Guide
Everywhere else, expect 25-40 degree days. (77 to 104 Fahrenheit)
That being said, we are going to attempt and cover this topic today. So, let’s get into this Turkey Packing Guide!
Pre-Departure Checklist for Turkey
1. Passport & Passport Cover
In order to be admitted into Turkey, you need to have two things in regards to your passport.
The first thing is your passport must be good for at least 6 months beyond the entry date.
The second thing is: there must be enough entry stamps
Rather than listing each country’s individual visa requirement, here’s a link.
The E-Visa’s protocol is the ability to stay 90 out of every 180 days. However, the nice part of this visa is the multi-entry rule.
This means: You can leave Turkey, fly up to Georgia, and then come back.
3. Passport Photos
I cannot think of any major reason for passport photos in Turkey, but you never know.
To be honest, it’s probably cheaper to complete it yourself.
4. Pictures of Passport/Credit Cards
For safety, it’s good to have pictures of your passport/credit cards in case something gets stolen.
5. Backpack or Suitcase
Some roads in Turkey are not great for suitcases, but suitcases are usable.
In resort towns such as Bodrum and Fethiye, you should be fine.
You will see a lot of backpackers in Turkey. Most backpackers tend to focus in three major areas (Istanbul, Antalya, and Cappadocia)
Clothing for a Turkish Holiday
6. 1 or 2 Pairs of Pants
If you stay in Western/Central Turkey, shorts are acceptable attire. (Especially for Western Tourists.) Locals will more-than-likely wear pants i.e. jeans.
In Eastern Turkey, you might require pants due to the cold.
Also, during winter, YOU WILL WANT PANTS. It does snow in Istanbul.
In the evening/night, especially in Cappadocia, the weather can become cool.
Be less concerned about rain and more concerned about the 50 degree days.
If you head east towards Mount Nemrut (the Easter Island of Turkey), it can be colder/hotter depending on the season.
T-Shirts can be worn in Turkey, and should cause no major issues.
More issues may occur in the more conservative regions of Turkey (East, South, and Central), but I highly doubt it.
9. 3 Pairs of Shorts (If you want)
I can’t think of anywhere that you cannot wear shorts… especially during the summer.
However, if you do visit any sacred sites (such as mosques) you will need long pants.
If you want to take advantage of the amazing turquoise coast of Turkey (see above), you will want to pack a swimsuit.
12. 5 Pairs of socks
Buy socks you will wear and socks that are comfortable. If you forget socks, pick some up at the Grand Bazaar before you leave!
14. Layers for winter
When in doubt, layers are a better option than typical heavy jackets/coats.
Shoes for visiting Turkey
15. Good Walking Shoes
Sandals are my go-to travel shoe, and they work in Turkey.
Tennis shoes or comfortable walking shoes are a must.
Sidewalks are un-even, and the roads are cobblestone *usually.
Additionally, don’t expect great walking conditions when visiting ruins.
16. Toiletry Items
I would recommend purchasing toiletry items before your arrival into Turkey.
They do exist. For pharmacies, look for the green cross.
Miscellaneous. Items for your Turkey vacation!
17. Water Filtration
The water in Turkey is not always potable or drinkable. So, you will need something for water-filtration.
Most people in their homes boil water.
However, in stores or restaurants, everyone is drinking bottled water.
It is really cheap, as a 5-Liter container of water cost about 1 Euro.
The water is safe for bathing and brushing your teeth.
18. Reusable Water Bottle
Purchase a life-straw water bottle to knock-out the water filtration issue and having your own water bottle. Win-Win!
Having some sort of daypack is a must while in Turkey.
Personally, I prefer a backpack that also has room for photography equipment.
However, you may just want a daypack that can carry a sunscreen, a jacket, and maybe some small personal items.
I never had any issue with security and backpacks, but please be aware you might be stopped and asked to open your backpack.
Turkey is a great and beautiful place. However, you are going to want sunscreen to enjoy the many outdoor attractions that it has to offer.
21. Bug Repellent
I never had any issues with bugs in Turkey.
For most, a smartphone camera will be fine.
Best places for photography in Turkey
- Western Turkey (ruins and amazing landscapes)
22. Electric Adapter
I am starting to see some creative electric adapters. Pick your favorite!
The Turkish Lira has been volatile lately. So, using the American Dollar or Euro is your best bet for currency conversions.
Turkish Lira can be found at ATM’s, and the only ATM’s I recommend are BNP. (They are green) The rest charge an extra conversion fee (Dynamic Conversion Charge) AND the ATM usage fee.
Note: When you go shopping, attempt to use the Euro instead of the Lira for bargaining power. You might get a better deal.
24. Travel Insurance
I have a horror story about a car and Iceland. Travel insurance is a must in certain countries.
25. Sim Cards
There are three major telecommunications companies in Turkey, Vodafone, Turkcell, and Turk Telekom.
I don’t recommend purchasing a cellphone plan at the airport, as the costs are exponentially higher than they are everywhere else.
Items needed when backpacking in Turkey
I really like Osprey backpacks, as they have a lifetime warranty. If you are going to start backpacking, invest in something that will last.
Essential for hostel life.
For those times you forget to put on sunscreen.
For those times when you don’t want to put on sunscreen.
I highly recommend just packing a hammock instead of a sleeping bag.
30. Some sort of emergency blanket
This is probably not needed for its purpose, but you might need something to repel some water at any point in your trip. (Think poncho)
31. Battery Pack
This is really helpful to charge your devices. I don’t recommend anything less than 20,000 mAH.
34. 3 More Pairs of Socks
Socks and jeans take forever to dry. For people who plan on backpacking the entire country from East to West, I would pack eight pairs of socks. Crazy? yes. Excessive? no.
35. Microfiber Towel
Nothing fancy. But it does help and dries fast.
Sometimes hotels charge extra for towels.
36. Travel Lock
I carry a few of these travel locks, and I recommend you always do too.