Last updated June 23, 2021
Turkey spans two continents, Asia and Europe. This fact alone makes the country such an exciting place to visit. Imagine shopping across two continents on the same day. You can do just that at Istanbul's famed Grand Bazaar. Turkey blends both European and Asian cultures seamlessly but what does it mean for entry requirements for Turkey? From vaccinations required for visiting, to finding medical insurance valid for Turkey, let's get it sorted out.
Is travel insurance mandatory in Turkey?
Looking for Turkey travel insurance requirements? Currently, travel medical insurance is required for the length of your stay. The European health insurance card (EHIC) isn't valid in Turkey. But most international travel plans that cover Europe will cover Turkey, including the Asian region.
COVID-19 in Turkey
The CDC is recommending that you're fully vaccinated before traveling to Turkey. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid travel to Turkey at this time.
Consider Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance so that you may recoup some of your costs if you need to cancel, postpone or cut short your original travel plans for any reason, including COVID-19-related concerns.
If travel is a must, here are some precautions to take:
Before you travel:
- Get tested with a viral test 1 to 3 days before your trip. As of May 5, 2021, visitors arriving from the following countries will not require to provide a negative PCR test: Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, United Kingdom, Latvia, Luxembourg, Ukraine and Estonia.
- If you were exposed to COVID-19, are sick, or test positive for the disease, do not travel
- Follow all entry requirements for Turkey and be sure you have all required documentation, including medical insurance that covers COVID-19 in Turkey.
- Wear a mask
- Practice social distancing protocols
- Wash your hands often
- Be vigilant. If you experience any symptoms take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around her
After you travel:
- Get tested 3 to 5 days after you return to your home country
- Stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days
- If you don't get tested, it's best to self-quarantine for at least 10 days
Traveling from the United States:
- If you have a return flight to the U.S., you must get a viral test in Turkey no more than 3 days before your flight, and the test results have to be negative
- Keep your test results on hand in case you're asked for them
- Follow all United States guidelines and airline protocols
Health & safety
The potential for terrorist acts is relatively high and all travelers especially U.S. citizens should be on guard. In response to a rash of terrorist attacks, Turkey passed strict security laws in 2018 aimed at protecting citizens and visitors.
For your safety:
- Carry a passport or identity document at all times.
- Follow local news sources during your stay to keep up with any areas to avoid.
- Be vigilant.
- Avoid political demonstrations as they might turn violent.
- Always obey Turkish security personnel.
- Whenever possible avoid places of worship as these can be targets for terrorist attacks. Anti-Israeli and anti-semitic sentiments are significant.
Street crime is fairly low but visitors should be wary of pickpockets, scams, schemes, break-ins and assaults.
Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before your trip. Here are some common vaccination requirements for Turkey.
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Flu (influenza)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A Typhoid
- Hepatitis B
Once the COVID-19 vaccines are more widely distributed, vaccination may be required prior to departing your country of origin. Once the COVID-19 vaccines are more widely distributed, vaccination may be required prior to departing your country of origin. For the most up-to-date information on vaccinations and other health requirements contact the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Visas & documentation
- A lot of visas require travel insurance. So be sure to confirm your visa requirements before your trip.
- Passports must be valid for six months beyond your entry date.
- Your passport must have room for entry and exit stamps or you may be denied entry.
- Visas are required for tourism or commercial travel of up to 90 days within a 180 day period. You can get a Turkish visa from the e-Visa application system prior to arrival.
- U.S. citizens traveling on cruise ships can enter visa-free for no more than 72 hours with permission from port authorities.
- If you're working, studying, or conducting research in Turkey, you must receive a visa from a Turkish embassy or consulate before your trip.