Need help getting started with the Turkish language in Istanbul? We’ve got you covered with this list of basic Turkish phrases for tourists! Although Turkish is quite distinct from other European languages, learning it is definitely possible and will enhance your experience in this fascinating city!

For tourists visiting Turkey, it can be helpful to learn some basic Turkish phrases. Here are some essential info about Turkish language for tourists:

  1. Alphabet: The Turkish alphabet consists of 29 letters.
  2. Pronunciation: Turkish words are pronounced exactly as they are written.
  3. Missing Letters: Unlike English, the Turkish alphabet does not include the letters Q, W, and X.
  4. Unique Letters: Turkish has some letters that are not present in English, such as ö, ş, ı, ç, ü, and ğ.
  5. Communication: Don’t worry if you don’t know Turkish. Many Turks speak English and are incredibly helpful to tourists.

Learn Turkish or Free: Recommended Service

If you’re interested in learning Turkish in a fun and interactive way, we’d recommend checking out free’s Turkish lessons. They offer a great platform with engaging lessons that can help you get started on your language journey. The website provides a user-friendly experience, making it easy to grasp the basics and progress at your own pace.

Greetings and Polite Phrases in Turkish

  • Merhaba (mehr-hah-bah): Hello
  • İyi günler (ee-yee-goon-ler): Good day
  • İyi akşamlar (ee-yee-ahk-shahm-lahr): Good evening
  • Nasılsın? / Nasıl gidiyor? (nah-suhl-suhn / nah-suhl gee-dee-yor): How are you?
  • Teşekkür ederim (teh-sheh-kur eh-deh-reem): Thank you
  • Rica ederim (ree-jah eh-deh-reem): You’re welcome
  • Lütfen (lewt-fen): Please
  • Pardon / Affedersiniz (par-dohn / ah-feh-dehr-see-neez): Excuse me

Basic Travel Phrases in Turkish for Tourists

  • Nerede? (neh-reh-deh): Where?
  • Ne zaman? (neh zah-mahn): When?
  • Kaç? (kahch): How many?
  • Ne kadar? (neh kah-dahr): How much?
  • Hangi? (hahn-gee): Which?
  • Bilet, lütfen (bee-leht, lewt-fen): Ticket, please.
  • Yardım! (yahrdim): Help!

Food and Drink Phrases in Turkish

  • Su (soo): Water
  • Kahve (kah-veh): Coffee
  • Çay (chai): Tea
  • Bira (bee-rah): Beer
  • Şarap (shah-rahp): Wine
  • Yemek (yeh-mehk): Food
  • Et (et): Meat
  • Sebze (sehb-zeh): Vegetable
  • Meyve (may-veh): Fruit
  • Öğle yemeği (oh-leh yeh-meh-ee): Lunch
  • Akşam yemeği (ahk-shahm yeh-meh-ee): Dinner
  • Fiyat (fee-yat): Price
  • kaç lira? (kahch lee-rah): How much is it?
  • Bir, iki, üç (beer, eek-ee, ewch): One, two, three

Transport Phrases in Turkish for Tourists

  • Ulaşım (oo-lah-suhm): Transport
  • Otobüs (oh-toh-booos): Bus
  • Taksi (tahk-see): Taxi
  • Metro (meh-troh): Metro
  • Tramvay (trahm-vay): Tram
  • Tren (trehn): Train
  • Uçak (oo-chahk): Plane
  • Araba (ah-rah-bah): Car
  • Motor (moh-tor): Motorcycle
  • Bisiklet (bees-ee-klet): Bicycle
  • Durak (doo-rahk): Stop (for public transport)
  • Nereye gidiyor? (neh-reh-yeh gee-dee-yor): Where is it going?

Shopping and Money Phrases

  • Ne kadar? (neh kah-dahr): How much?
  • Pahalı (pah-hah-luh): Expensive
  • Ucuz (oo-jooz): Cheap
  • Nakit (nah-keet): Cash
  • Kredi kartı (kreh-dee kar-tuh): Credit card
  • Hesap, lütfen (heh-sahp, lewt-fen): The bill, please.
  • Bahşiş (bah-sheesh): Tip
  • İndirim (een-deer-eem): Discount

Directions Phrases in Turkish

  • Sağ (sah): Right
  • Sol (sohl): Left
  • İleri (ee-leh-ree): Straight ahead
  • Geri (geh-ree): Backwards
  • Burada (boo-rah-dah): Here
  • Orada (oh-rah-dah): There
  • Giriş (gee-reesh): Entrance
  • Çıkış (chuh-kush): Exit


Learning a few Turkish words can go a long way in making your trip more enjoyable. These words help you buy street food or find your location! Don’t be afraid to practice these phrases with the locals – they’ll appreciate your effort to communicate in their language.

Don’t Miss The Best Tours and Cruises in Istanbul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *