In modern Turkey, the legacy of centuries of history coexists with progressive and contemporary culture. The country possesses some iconic and memorable sights such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Troy, Gallipoli, Ephesus and Cappadocia. There are also some incredible beaches and scenery together with a great selection of family friendly activities such as water sports, water parks and aquariums. There are also plenty of baby and toddler friendly accommodation options.
Turkey’s exciting capital, Istanbul, spans both Europe and Asia, which are separated by the Bosphorus river. Here you will find restaurants and cafes nestled between Byzantine and Ottoman structures, with calls-to-prayer from city mosques sounding above the city at various times throughout the day.
The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts mix ancient Roman ruins with stunning beaches and resorts. The most popular resorts include Kusadasi, Bodrum, Gumbet, Icmeler and Marmaris although there are many more smaller resort towns which are fantastic for families.
From the resorts on the west coast of Turkey you can take some great day trips also to the ancient ruins of Ephesus where you will find a fascinating mix of Roman and Greek architecture and Pamukkale which is known as “the Cotton Castle” and is comprised of terraces made of limestone with cascading shallow pools filled with thermal waters. You can bathe in the terraces and the water is meant to have a healing effect on the skin. Another great spot is Ölüdeniz which is perhaps the most famous beach of Turkey which has the appearance of a Blue Lagoon. Dalyan is another amazing place to visit with its ancient ruins, mud baths and loggerhead sea turtle breeding grounds.
Turkish people are welcoming and are generally very kind to children and are likely to dote on them in restaurants and hotels. On the down side, the number of play areas and children’s attractions lags far behind Western Europe and changing areas in restrooms are virtually non existent except in large department stores where they are usually in the ladies toilets. Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country and is quite moderate and liberal. It makes for a great place to shop and there are loads of fake designer labels for sale in the tourist areas and markets. One further thing to note is that Turkish shop and restaurant owners can be very pushy in trying to get you to buy something. Don’t be afraid to say no and walk away. The local currency is Lira.
Update: There have been a number of terror attacks in Turkey recently although these have so far been confined to the cities of Istanbul and Ankara. It is possible that Western tourists will be targeted in the future as was the case in Istanbul where a group of German tourists were killed by a suicide bomber. See the UK Government’s travel advice section for more information.
Please see below for all the information you will need for travelling to Turkey with a baby or toddler.