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Turkey in October

Me and my wife are planning to go to Turkey in the beginning of October. We are planning to visit the following cities in the sequence they are listed :

Istanbul - 3 days (4 nights)
Konya - 1 day (1 night)
Cappadocia- 2 days (3 nights)
Ephesus - 2 days (staying 1 night in Izmir and 2 nights in Ephesus)

We are both retired. We don't want to rush. I have the following questions:
1. Is the sequence of cities appropriate?
2. Have we allocated enough time for each city. (I understand time depends on what we want to see)
3. What's the best means of travelling between these cities?
4. Where and how to buy the tickets for museums, transportation etc. online?
5. Is beginning of October a good time to visit these cities?
6. Do we need tourist visa?
7. Good reasonably priced hotels in these cities?

Any additional information will be greatly appreciated.
Thank You

Posted by
12089 posts

I will answer the easy one. You can get the visa on line for about $25.

Posted by
6515 posts

Istanbul is a megacity (13 million or more, very dense) - you can't do it justice in 3 days, especially if that is your entry point to Turkey. You will be jetlagged when you get in so the first day (or maybe more) will be a haze. I would give it at least 5 days if not more. I don't think you have enough days for all you want to do, even in a rushed way. If you're retired, is there any way you can make your trip more like two weeks (14 full days)? I recommend getting the Lonely Planet book for planning purposes, unless Rick Steves has one. His Istanbul book is good.

Posted by
20920 posts

..... Good reasonably priced hotels in these cities?..... Start with good guide books. However, most probably will be out of date because of the pandemic and you might not know who survived. Start hitting booking services and web sites. You might have to revert to the prior internet days when you hit the local TI for housing information on arrival.

Best means of travel between cities in Turkey will probably be bus. I would not worry about those tickets in advance. Buy them when you need them.

Good luck, you have planned an ambitious trip but it should be fun. What you miss this time you can save for the next visit.

Posted by
12089 posts

Turkey never did a hard lock down and has received a lot of tourists, so i suspect most hotels have survived. I generally use all of the booking services (Hotels.com, etc) to locate what is out there and the general cost. Then if the cost is about the same I book direct with the hotel. If they are closed, I doubt they will be taking reservations. I actually checked on some hotels in Istanbul about 30 days ago and was pleasantly surprised with the prices. Where I have stayed in the past and where I am thinking about staying in May is Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel. Great location, beautiful location and well priced.

And your route can be done by flights. That would be my choice. Otherwise you are talking 5 to 8 hour drive times.

Posted by
7010 posts

Looking at a map leads me to believe a more efficient routing would be:

Istanbul- Cappadocia ( fly)

Cappadocia- Konya ( bus)

Konya- Ephesus ( fly)

You do realize you have 3 days that are devoted to major moves and will restrict in a significant way, doing any major 'tourist stuff' on those days.

If you "do not want to rush", more days would be advisable

Posted by
402 posts

I think you need a few more days for Istanbul. There is a lot to see there.
I have a trip to Turkey in 2 weeks and I found that booking directly with the hotel got me the best rates/rooms and even a "free" airport transfer. I checked booking.com for photos, reviews and availability and then checked the hotel actual website.
I am staying at the Darussaade for this trip for 11 nights and the rate was quite reasonable.
Other hotels I can recommend are Sari Konak, Aren Suites and the Divalis (if stairs are not an issue), but there are many more hotels to choose from that would meet your needs/budget.
You can get an evisa online and I believe the price has increased to $50.00.

I plan to buy tickets to the museums etc. as needed once I am in Istanbul. This is my third visit so I am somewhat familiar with how things work, and also want to wait and see what the covid protocols are when/if I go.

Have fun planning.