Are you thinking about travelling to Turkey? Before you start to second guess yourself (if you are, that is), I have two words for you. DO IT! Seriously, don’t waste another moment. Get that visa, book that flight and go!
I cannot recommend visiting Turkey enough after touring Istanbul and Cappadocia with Mark for a few weeks in September. In this post, I’ll answer all the questions I received about our trip and a few others I think will help you in your travel planning process.
I have already written a series of posts about our time in Turkey. You’ll find them under the ‘Turkey Category‘. For now, let’s jump into the frequently asked questions.FAQ: Everything you need to know about travelling from Kenya or Nigeria to Turkey. All your questions are answered in one blog post! Click To Tweet
Questions about the Turkish Visa
How do I apply for a Turkish visa from Nigeria or Kenya?
To apply for a Turkish visa from Nigeria or Kenya, you would need to visit the visa.gov.tr website (or Voya Visa for Nigeria), fill out the online form, upload your supporting documents, and visit the application centre to have your biometrics taken and pay the fees. See this post for a more detailed explanation of how to apply for a Turkish visa.
How much is the visa from Nigeria to Turkey?
It costs $60 for a single-entry tourist visa. There are additional fees to be paid at the visa processing centre (could be an additional $120+ depending on your visa type and duration of travel). See this post for more details on the cost.
Is the Turkey visa easy to get?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is. But it is also not that difficult. The main issue for me while applying was the lack of information available online and the fact that there was no way to track my application. Having all the information and document required, the process itself is pretty straightforward and I have an article dedicated to this. Now, whether or not the visa gets approved easily is a different story altogether.
How long does it take to process a Turkey visa?
It takes an average of 15-21 working days to get a response for a regular visa. However, this time may vary from one application to the next. My application took 6 weeks in total.
Am I eligible to get a Turkish e-Visa?
You qualify for a Turkish evisa if you have a valid visa or resident permit to the US, UK, Ireland and the Schengen zone. You may apply for a Turkish evisa by visiting this site. The process is fast and costs $50 for the Nigerian passport holder who meets the conditions above. Once approved, you get your visa within 2-74 hours. The evisa is valid for 30 days.
As of July 2022: Nigerians no longer qualify for this. I will update this post if/once this policy changes.
Questions about Travelling to Turkey
How many hours is the flight from Lagos, Nigeria to Istanbul, Turkey?
The Lagos to Istanbul flight time is just under 7 hours if you fly directly through Turkish Airlines. It takes the same time to fly from Nairobi.
How much is a flight ticket from Lagos to Istanbul?
The cost of your flight will depend on the time you book it and the airline. As of the time of this writing, expect to pay from $650 upwards. For a cost breakdown of our trip, see this post.
What documents do I need when travelling to Turkey?
This information is constantly changing, so it is best to follow up with the airlines and Turkish authorities for what documents are needed.
When we travelled, we needed to present a return/onward flight ticket, a valid Turkish visa and a negative covid test taken at least 72 hours before our flight even though Turkey accepted a certificate of full vaccination without a PCR or antigen test. In addition, we filled out an online health form for both Kenya and Turkey. You can check out this post for all the details.
Questions about Travelling in Turkey
What are some of the best things to do in Istanbul?
There are so many things to do in Istanbul. My favourites were visiting the mosques, walking over the Galata Bridge, taking the ferry to Kadikoy and generally using the public transportation systems. I also enjoyed walking in Taksim and doing a bit of shopping with Mark.
What is an IstanbulKart and how do I get and use one?
The IstanbulKart is a card that allows you access to all public transportation systems in Istanbul. It is very efficient and if you plan to stay in the city for a few days, it is worth getting. You can get one at any of the yellow vending machines near the stations. You will also need to link it to your HES code and there’s someone at the station to help with this.
Where is the best place to stay in Istanbul?
We stayed in Sultanahmet and Karakoy and I can recommend both neighbourhoods, depending on the activities you’re interested in. Sultanahmet has the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia while Karakoy was more of a hip-and-happening neighbourhood.
Where is the best place to stay in Cappadocia?
For a first-time visit, I’d recommend a stay in Goreme or Uchisar. There are other places to check out but these two are very suitable for a first-time visit.
What are some of the best things to do in Cappadocia?
Going up in a hot air balloon is probably the main highlight of a visit to Cappadocia. Getting to watch the balloons fly is also something worth waking up early for. Apart from balloons, Cappadocia has many hiking trails with fascinating landscapes to explore. There is a lot of history in this area, with old churches and underground cities.
How do I get to Cappadocia from Istanbul?
The easiest and fastest way to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul is to fly there. You can travel through Nevsehir or Kayseri Airports. There’s also the option of taking an overnight bus. I’ve read that they’re quite comfortable too.
Do I need to buy a sim card for use in Turkey?
We were able to get by without a sim card for our 2-week vacation but if you want to remain 100% online, then you probably could get one.
Is Turkey safe to visit?
I felt very safe travelling in Turkey but of course, as in any other place, a good level of situational awareness is necessary.
Do you recommend Turkey for a [solo, black, female] traveller?
As I did not travel solo, I cannot really speak about the experience. However, I can say that I would be comfortable visiting Turkey solo in the future if that opportunity arises.
What is it like visiting Turkey during COVID?
When we travelled, things were pretty much normal. Only one restaurant asked to see our HES code and we also needed to link our IstanbulKart to it to use the public transportation systems. Apart from that, it was normal.
Is Cappadocia a good destination for kids?
This would depend on how old your kids are and what kind of things interests them. Personally, I think there are other destinations that offer much ‘fun’ stuff for kids.
How much does a trip from Nigeria to Turkey cost?
For a cost breakdown of our trip, see this post.
I hope this post answers all the questions you might have about travelling to Turkey (as a tourist). If they do, please leave a comment to let me know if this was helpful to you. Also, if you have any further questions not covered here, please feel free to ask me in the comment section as well!