Summer is considered as the high season for tourism in Trabzon. Summer is a great choice: the city takes considerably lower rainfall than any other season, roads connecting the city and mountains are not covered with mud or snow, and most importantly it is the only period when many can go on holidays. These are valid reasons and it is a great idea to visit Trabzon during summer. However, it is also the most expensive (hotels, flight tickets etc), most humid (at the city centre) and most crowded time of the year. If you are thinking of a summer trip to Trabzon, booking your flight and accommodation in advance is highly recommended.
Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit Trabzon and its countryside. Blistering temperatures and humidity of summer leave Trabzon for milder weather, and a thousand shades of green and blue meet; but you should be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions. Having flexible plans both for sunny and rainy days is recommended.
Winter is the least popular of all seasons for visiting Trabzon. It is more difficult to reach mountains, most roads will be covered with snow. The city centre on the other hand only gets a little snowfall for a couple of days if it gets any. If you take the challenge and visit some mountain towns (Uzungöl is probably the easiest one to visit) you can experience spectacular views with only a few others to accompany you.
Spring is obviously not the best choice for landscape tours. Most mountain roads are covered with mud due to melting snow, and the green is not as dominant as it will be in a few months. However, spring can be an ideal season to visit the city centre, maybe for fewer days.
Time in Trabzon and whole Turkey is GMT + 3 hours.
Turkish is the official language spoken in Trabzon and in general in Turkey. English is not as widely spoken as one might guess, although it is gaining popularity thanks to the booming tourism industry and an increasing number of schools offering language classes; but you don’t need to worry, there is a good probability that most hotels, restaurants and any other place related to tourism will have at least an employee who can speak English to some level. In addition, Arabic is also gaining popularity due to the massive tourist inflows from Gulf countries; many tourism-related companies have started to hire native Arabic speaker employees. However, it’s a nice idea to learn some basic Turkish words, not that you need it is always helpful to establish rapport with locals.
Turkey operates on 220 volts, 50 Hz, with round-prong European-style plugs. We recommend you to buy an adaptor before your arrival if your electronic devices have a different plug type.
Tap water at Trabzon city centre is safe to drink, but we recommend you to buy bottled water. You might buy a 0.5-litre bottle for as cheap as ₺1 (~$0.18 – €0.16) in most groceries and supermarkets. In most of the mountain villages (for example Uzungöl or Ayder) water is better (tastier) than the city centre. In case you are not sure, better ask some locals before you drink tap water.
The country code for Turkey is (+90). Trabzon’s area code (for landline numbers only!) is (+462).
You can purchase a local sim card if you don’t prefer to use your own to avoid roaming charges. There are three mobile phone operators in Turkey: Turkcell, Türk Telekom and Vodafone. All offer 4.5G high-speed internet and has an almost universal coverage in and around cities. At the countryside, Turkcell is usually the best performer.
The local currency is the Turkish Lira (₺). You can easily exchange any currencies for Liras at any exchange office in the city centre. You’ll notice they work on considerably low margins for US Dollars and Euros. Other currencies such as Russian Rubles or Saudi Riyal are also accepted, although with higher commissions for most of the time.
You can use any ATM for cash withdrawal with all well-known card brands (Visa, Mastercard, American Express etc). Western Union and other cash transfer systems are widely available as well.
All but a few restaurants and shops accept credit cards. However, you might need to carry cash for taxis, public transportation, tipping and some traditional shops and restaurants.