Top Mobile Phone Apps To Use In Turkey

Useful Mobile Apps to use in Turkey

Today we have a selection of apps for you that can make travelling around Turkey much easier. We know now from experience how having the right apps on our phones can save us from disastrous journeys and bad restaurant picks. Alhamdulillah in this modern age, all the information we need is at hand on a click of a button, and we are here today to suggest where that button may be!

Gone are the days of paper maps, getting lost & language barriers when you have Apps like these to help make your trip around Turkey easy and relaxed, thus directing it into one of the smoothest, most enjoyable trips of your life.

The only thing is, there are hundreds of apps available for travelling around Turkey, so how are we to know which ones are the best?

Well, it comes down to where you are going. You see, there are many location-based apps that offer guidance & recommendations of places & services within the city. Here are the top 3 for Istanbul for example:

Best Travelling Apps for Istanbul

BiTaksi 

BiTaksi is basically the Turkish version of Uber which operates in Istanbul and Ankara. One tap gets you a ride that you can pay for either by cash or credit card. Uber is also available if you prefer, but they run in Istanbul only.

Grand Bazaar

The grand bazaar can easily feel a bit daunting at first, it’s basically a huge maze of narrow pathways with more than 3000 shops. Without a map, it can get confusing & difficult to get around. So many tourists have either got lost, rerun the same streets twice or missed out on the best spots. With the Grand Bazaar App, you can avoid this from happening. It makes available a portable map you can use to get around smoothly and easily. It also provides interesting information about its historical past and visitor reviews on which are the best shops to visit! You can also learn more about the Grand Bazaar on their website at: https://www.grandbazaarshopping.com/

City Mapper Istanbul

Travelling around on public transport can be difficult and baffling even in your home country, so it’s fair to say it can turn into numerous nightmares in a foreign country. But not with City Mapper Istanbul! City Mapper Istanbul displays metro, bus, trams & ferry routes as well as their prices. They have even added cycling routes in addition to calculating taxi fares, which can prove really useful when your still not familiar with taxi costs in Turkey. Available on App Store & Google Play.

Top Travelling Apps for Turkey

Metro Turizm

Metro Turizm is a top bus company in Turkey that offers a handy app that translates into English and displays all routes, time schedules and allows you to buy tickets online. Kamil Koc and Pamukkale Turizm are two other bus companies with mobile apps too, however, these apps are only available in Turkish.

Google Trips and Maps

Google Trips conveniently works offline and is the perfect app for super-efficient travellers who want to make the most of their day. Google Trips also allows you to synchronise reservations for hotels & flights and plan out the rest of your trip by finding top tourist attractions, museums and places to see. Google Maps is a great alternative if you don’t really need to plan anything and just want to know where you are or how to get somewhere.

Yemeksepeti

Another favourite app for those who are sometimes too tired or not in the mood in going out to eat is Yemeksepeti. This is like the Turkish alternative to Just Eat in UK, or Zomato that you can get in the UAE and other selected countries. It’s the ultimate tool for ordering in and perfect for when you still don’t know where to go or where to find things. It’s available throughout all the main cities in Turkey, just choose your location and after you register with your address, the app provides a comprehensive list of all the restaurants that deliver to your area, after which you can browse to find what you’re looking for. Don’t worry, it’s not just fast food, there are healthier options as well, the variety is endless, and it conveniently translates to English as well as saves your favourites for next time.

TAV Airport

The TAV Airport App manages Istanbul Ataturk, Ankara, Izmir, Gazipasa, and Bodrum airports of Turkey. Their app displays all information for airports including real-time flight info, duty-free promotions, car parking services and rates, and transfer options. They also offer a handy travel guide for the destinations where their airports are located. Antalya Airport on the other hand, has its own official Android and Apple apps that offer the same information. App in The Air is another organiser but with more personalised functions to track flights, boarding time, check-ins as well as your flight history.

Sesli Sözlük

It’s always a great help to be familiar with at least some basic Turkish words in when visiting Turkey. Getting around language differences is a big hurdle when we travel so it can be really useful to translate something quickly at times, like when you are trying to communicate something to a local for example.

Just in case you are in this situation and find yourself needing some help, the Sesli Sözlük app is here to make your life a bit easier. It’s the most reliable dictionary that translates Turkish into English as well as other languages. Sesli Sözlük also has a translation tool where you can enter whole sentences that you’d like to be translated, and if you’re confused about the pronunciation, you can click the audio button to hear it out loud.

If it’s just a particular word you’re after, like when you’re researching ingredients in the supermarket for instance. Google Translate has been proved to be just as handy and widely used even by the Turks. Google Translator allows you to copy and paste text, use cameras to take a picture of signs or use the conversation mode to translate from 103 languages into Turkish and vice versa. You can also use this app offline as well as save phrases & sentences into a handy phrase book to revise over later.

Hot Spot VPN

With the ability to upgrade to an elite plan, which gives unlimited user time, Hotspot VPN App allows users to browse the web anonymously while keeping your details secure. Used to bypass censorship and firewalls, the Hot Spot App goes one step further by promising 100% anonymity as well as identity protection from online trackers.

XE Currency

XE Currency Converter dominates the scene when it comes to money matters. Converting bills in restaurants to your home country currency or knowing how much the hotel or flight tickets cost has never been easier. One of the most difficult lifestyle changes for expats is trying to manage money in two different countries and currencies. The XE Currency app showing real-time currency exchange rates is one of the most popular to track your income and expenses in Turkish lira, British pounds, Euros or Dollars, set reminders for bills, and manage you’re accounts in both Turkey and your home country. It only seems to be available on the App Store for now however, Moneyspire can also be helpful to keep a summary of all your finance details, and this is available in both Apple and Google Play.

Best Apps for Expats Living in Turkey

Offline Maps

It’s recommended for new expats or travellers to Turkey to stay local to begin with, especially if you are staying in a big city such as Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir. Local apps give an array of beneficial information in real time data such as planned events, traffic hot spots, transport schedules, opening times of businesses and guides for visiting local attractions and landmarks.

As mentioned before Google trips & maps is really good for this but in addition to this you might want to also check out the CityMap2Go App, it’s the ultimate offline map for travels that like walking, hiking or biking and want to be prepared wherever they go. With endless great reviews and available on both App Store and Google Play, it’s definitely worth giving a try. It also recommends local restaurants and attractions and you can read the latest travel blogs and articles for any given destination.

Learning the Turkish Language

In all major cities & most of the Turkish coasts that expats have inhabited English is widely spoken. However, life in Turkey is much easier when expats know some basic Turkish for day-to-day living and conversations.

The Handson TurkishApp comes in really handy when you want to learn to speak Turkish but also read and write it too. It’s tailored specifically for anyone living or travelling in Turkey as well as doing business. Unfortunately, it only seems to be available on the App store at the moment!

Another app that has proved popular for learning the Turkish language is Duolingo, this is available on both, App Store & Google Play and offers users many other selected languages to learn in addition to Turkish.

Learning with Duolingo is fun and addictive, it’s like a game so you can earn points for correct answers, race against the clock, and level up with other users. Their bite-sized lessons are really effective, and our kids loved it, proving it was really child-safe and user-friendly too.

Staying Up To Date With News

As beautiful as it is to sometimes live in ignorant bliss, especially now since Corona took the world by storm putting so much negativity in the air. There are times that it is extremely important to stay informed of latest news and events. For these times, there are websites such as Daily Sabah and Hurriyet that can offer expats living in Turkey the ability to read articles in English. However, the FlipboardApp can provide all sorts of news topics on broad issues such as Turkey or Istanbul, from numerous sources and information from around the internet.

It’s not limited to Turkey though; the app conveniently covers every country in the world, so expats can easily keep up to date with their home country’s current affairs in addition to Turkish news & updates. You also have the option to follow urban trends as well as topics such as travel, sports, cooking and photography.

Its users have the option to discard headlines they’re not interested in or they can tap the flip button, to move the article into their personalised reading list.

Social Life

InterNations are active in big cities in Turkey such as Istanbul, Ankara and Bodrum. They are one of the largest expat organisations in the world covering many other countries as well. In addition to focusing on social developments, they also cover jobs, business and professional contacts for those who are working. The InterNations App has proved to help many expats settle into their new home, make new friends and stay informed of local events.

Stay Organised

For many expats working in Turkey or for those volunteering or involved in charity work & local events, planning and organising your days is important for maximum productivity & time effectiveness. This can easily be done with the ToDoist App, it’s a task manager that shows your daily, weekly and monthly schedules at a glance so that you can arrange your day accordingly. Additionally, there is the Microsoft To DoApp too, in which allows you to set reminders, write your shopping lists, keep track of bill due dates or even allocate household cleaning duties! Many expats rate it well for its capacity to accommodate both professional and personal lifestyles in one.

Keeping in Touch with Loved Ones

Anyone who has travelled will know that our number one aim while doing so, is to keep in touch with family & friends. In the past, this would have been very costly. Alhmandulillah, these days we are able to keep in touch for free, using platforms such as Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, Viber and Facebook.

Millions of people all over the world have installed these apps just so that they can stay in touch with their loved ones. In Islam, keeping in touch with loved ones is an act of worship called Silatul Raheem and a rewardable good deed, so Muslims are even more happy that they can fulfil this Islamic duty completely FREE of charge! Therefore, it can go without saying, that out of all these apps, for expats living in Turkey, these are probably the most widely used.

Read The App Reviews

There have been some apps that have sounded great but unfortunately turned out to be a disaster, such as Live Trekker Travel Diary, which is supposed to be designed to help you make lasting memories by recording your travels around the world through maps, photos, videos and reviews, allowing you to share exciting moments with family and friends in real time, or later as a complete diary, which obviously sounds amazing. However, most of the reviews for this app on both the Apple Store and Google Play were rated 1 star & very disappointing, and that’s enough to put anyone off installing it. So, be sure to check the reviews to see that it won’t be a disappointment for you too. Apps are always changing and upgrading so it’s fair to say that not all reviews on them are going to be up to date. This is why it is important to complete a recent check yourself first, before uploading anything.

Final Thoughts

There are millions of apps for expats living in Turkey that can make your life so much easier. The advance of technology has certainly made the transition to moving to a foreign country far less stressful and this can certainly help expats settle in with ease.

Whether you use an Apple or Android phone, and even if you prefer desktop apps, there is something here for everybody. We can obviously see how technology helps us to learn languages, stay informed, manage finances, keep in touch as well as get organised and stay social.

Do you have experience on any of the above apps? Which one is your favourite or most productive?

Your comments can help others stay up to date and choose the right app for them, so please don’t hesitate to contribute to the conversation by sharing your comments below!

Join The Discussion

Compare listings

Compare