Izmir and Sardes Jewish Heritage Travel
Flight from Ankara to Izmir for one-day (12 Hours) Jewish sites discovery. Travel to Kemeralti, where many Jews lived and Sardes Ancient City Synagogue visit.
- Pay a visit to Historical Elevator
- A Turkish polyglot singer: Dario Moreno Street
- The most beautiful synagogue in Izmir with its wooden decorations: Beth Israel Synagogue
- Give a photo break at Konak Square
- Walk in the shopping centre of Izmir: Kemeralti
- With its full of memories: Havra Street (The Street of Synagogues)
- Imagine the ancient bazaar of Izmir: Izmir Ancient Agora
- Overlooking the Izmir city: Kadifekale
- One of the ancient Seven Churches: Sart (Sardis) Ancient City
- The ancient temple of Helenistic and Roman periods: Artemis Temple of Sardis Ancient City
Izmir and Sardes Jewish Heritage Travel
Flight from Ankara to Izmir for one-day (12 Hours) Jewish sites discovery. Travel to Kemeralti, where many Jews lived and Sardes Ancient City Synagogue visit.
This Jewish Heritage Tour is a combination of Sardes ancient site and Izmir. You will visit the Temple of Artemis and Gymnasium of Sardes, then visit the oldest synagogue was 1000 people capacity dating from the 3rd century BC. After that return to Izmir, visit Beth Israel Synagogue, Kadifekale, Agora,Dario Moreno Street, Elevator, Kemeraltı Bazaar and Synagogue Street. You will also have the opportunity to taste the dishes in the Sephardic cosine. Most of the Jews living in Turkey, whose ancestors fled the Inquisition or are driven from Sephardic Jews from Spain in 1492. These Jews were transferred to the Ottoman Empire. Today, 26,000 Jews live in Turkey. The majority of them live in Istanbul, with a community of approximately 2500 people in Izmir.
- Starting Points: Turkey/Ankara
- Route 1 Izmir Elevator (Asansor)
Flight to from Ankara to Izmir. There is a hydraulic boiler room on the left of the hall at the entrance of Mithatpasha Street, and the engine room on the left of the Halil Rifat Pasha Street exit of the elevator, which is built with a double cabin and whose mechanism on the left operates with water vapour and the mechanism on the right works with electrical energy. At the arrival point of the elevator, there is a wooden balcony carried by iron brackets, and the cast-iron railings of the balcony are decorated with the most beautiful motifs of the period. the elevator was built to facilitate transport between the two streets, one made for this purpose in Turkey, is among the few examples in the world. The Historical Elevator, which was donated to Izmir Municipality in 1983, was restored in 1985 and both cabins were arranged with electricity. The elevator, which served urban transportation until 1992, was brought into urban tourism after the second restoration carried out by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality in 1992.
- Route 2 Izmir Jewish District and Dario Moreno Street
At the same time, the historical street bearing the name of Dario Moreno, a famous Turkish musician and cinema artist of Jewish origin, has a distinct charm in this aspect when integrated with the historical elevator. The street where the famous singer lived with his 4 siblings and his mother in the 1940s was named "Dario Moreno Street" with the decision of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality in 1992, and the house of Moreno in the historical Dario Moreno Street, where the old Italian style gum houses are located, was organized as a museum.
- Route 3 Beth Israel Synagogue
Beth-Israel is the favourite of Izmir's Jews. It is considered the most beautiful synagogue not only in Izmir but also in the whole near east, with its magnificence, beauty and the effect of carrying new European trends. The construction of the synagogue started in 1905 and it was opened to worship under the name Beth Israel in 1907. It took many years for interior decoration to finish due to economic reasons. Beth Israel Synagogue is a large and unassuming grey building with a small dome when viewed from above. But still, it is more magnificent and different from Havra (synagogue) Street in every aspect. The main hall of Beth Israel is entered through three solid mahogany doors. A typical Italian style synagogue, original with every piece, is before us in all its glory. All wooden parts, Teva (prayer bench) and Ehal, armchairs, balcony railings and all ornaments are all solid mahogany. Especially the most beautiful places of this synagogue are Teva and Ehal. The seats of the synagogue are lined up like a theatre hall. The most interesting thing is that, as seen in many synagogues, hidden seats are made for children to sit on the back of the seats and can be opened when desired. The most interesting thing about this synagogue is that it is on the east wall of the Holy Ehal, that is, not in the direction of Jerusalem, but on the south wall. The reason is the shape of the plot. In some parts of prayers, people turn to the left, which is the east wall, and worship is done.
- Route 4 Konak Square and Clock Tower
The heart of Izmir beats in Konak, the centre of the city. It covers the areas that form the core of Izmir centres, such as historical Kemeralti, Alsancak, Basmane and Konak Square. At the same time, it is the main source of culture, art and entertainment for the entire Izmir centre.
- Route 5 Kemeralti Bazaar
Kemeralti Bazaar, which is one of the first places to come to mind when talking about places to visit in Izmir, dates back to the 1600s. It has continued to be one of the most important trade areas that has not lost its importance since ancient times. Kemeralti Bazaar consists of 15 thousand workplaces spread over an area of 5 km. This feature makes it the world's largest open-air shopping area.
- Route 6 Havra (Synagogue) Street
Havra (Synagogue) street is a lively street from the first light of the morning to the dark of the evening. It is also the one who brings together the freshest of vegetables and fruits that decorate Izmir's tables with Izmir residents, shedding light on the history and culture of Jews, one of the building blocks of urban identity, is Havra street. Every Jewish group that comes to Izmir from Spain and Portugal built a synagogue for itself. The result is a landscape unlike anywhere else in the world today. Dozens of synagogues standing side by side, back to back. In addition to these, private synagogues formed by a room in houses; Places of worship up to fifty in total. What would you say to take a nostalgic trip by throwing ourselves into these narrow streets, most of which are not standing today, some of those who are standing still give their last breath, and some of which are very valuable cultural treasures of Izmir?
- Route 7 Smyrna Agora
Agora means city square, bazaar and market place, meeting area. Smyrna Agora was built as a rectangular shape. There is a very large courtyard in the middle. There are columned galleries around it. Stoas found in the north and south were unearthed during the excavations. These stoas are located on the basement floor. The north stoa was built in basilica style. The Agora of the new Smyrna, which was moved to Kadifekale by Alexander the Great, welcomes its guests with all its splendour and beauty, right next to today's commercial life. Remains of ancient Smyrna can only be reached at a few points today. The most important of these points is the Smyrna Agora, which is known as the Agora Ruins.
- Route 8 Izmir Kadifekale Castle
The crown of Izmir: Kadifekale. After a long period of silence, the castle, which became invisible in the 20th century, surrounded by buildings, has the distinction of being the calmest and most beautiful place in Izmir with the partial repairs and landscaping works carried out in recent years. Kadifekale, which was established at a point that dominates the gulf in the centre of Izmir, was built by Lysimachos, one of his generals, on the instructions of Alexander the Great in the 3rd century BC. Established at an altitude of 186 meters above sea level, Kadifekale is located on an area of 6 kilometres. The north and east walls and five towers of the castle, whose east and south walls were completely destroyed, survived. The height of the towers is 20-35 meters. There is a large arched cistern from the Byzantine Period and the remains of a mosque in the castle.
- Route 9 Sart (Sardes) Ancient City
Sardes, which is the beginning of the famous King Road in history and is the capital of the Lydian state, is located in Salihli district of Manisa. Although the name of the 3 thousand-year-old settlement is called Sart, many of us pronounce it Sardes. It was also pronounced Sardis in Greek, Sfard in Lydian and Sparda in Persian. Sardes, identified with wealth beyond imagination as the first state minted money, also had a great reputation in the trade. Its wealth is not limited to these, but the gold powders brought with them by Pactolos (Sart) river had an important place in the Lydian Union. The Royal mounds (Bintepeler), located 7 kilometres north, were also a symbol of the wealth and power of the Lydians. These extracted gold powders were processed in gold processing houses. Sardes was also among the leading cities of the ancient world. The city was impeccable in urban planning and was surrounded by the largest defensive wall outside Mesopotamia. The structures of this important and rich Lydian City are shops, library, Colonnaded Street, Synagogue, Gymnasium, bathhouse, Temple Of Artemis and Golden purification houses. We may never have predicted that we would encounter majestic ruins in the ancient city of Sardes. But although it is the Gymnasium that fascinates the visitors, it can be said that the synagogue and the Temple of Artemis also take their place among the structures that deserve such praise.
- Route 10 Artemis Temple of Sardis Ancient City
When you move inwards from the ancient city of Sardes to the other side of the main road, you will come across the Temple of Artemis, one of the largest and best-preserved temples in the world. Originally dedicated to the goddess Artemis, the building looks to the west like in Ephesus and Magnesia. The two pillars of the temple have survived until today without any damage. Only the main building (cella) of the temple, which was started to be built in the Hellenistic period, was completed at that time. The main room built in the Roman period is divided into two. With the door opening to the east, it was transformed into a double main room building. Probably, this situation was made to be alongside the Artemis cult as well as the Imperial cult. The interior columns were removed and the 8.5-meter tall statues of the emperors and their wives were placed in the east main room. In the same period, the construction of outer columns was started but could not be finished. Although the temple of Artemis, where rituals and ceremonies were held, was used for 800 years, it was never completed. The church, made of rubble stone and brick next to the temple, was built in the 4th century after the abandonment of the Artemis temple and was used as a Christian place of worship until the beginning of the 600's.
- End Points: Turkey/Ankara
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- What's Included
• Pick up from your hotel or meeting point.
• 4 Airport Transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
• Drop off to your hotel or meeting point.
• Archaeological sites parking fees.
• Private professional licenced tour guide.
• This is a private tour/activity, only your group will participate.
• Local Taxes.
- What's Excluded
• Admission fees to the museums and sights.
• Personal expenses not included.
• Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
• Domestic flight tickets
• Gratuities to tour guides and drivers.
- Travel Tips
• For the Churches, Synagogues or mosques, a visit to these places require a respect. So proper dressing into such places is advised.
• Please wear comfortable shoes and casual dress code.
• Guests should watch their steps at all times in order to avoid injuries to people with mobility impairments.
• Cameras (but tripods are not allowed in Turkish Museums and sites).
• Good quality sunglasses are advised and photo-chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles.
• Hat, sunscreen, and umbrella for the rainy or sunny days, especially days that can be hot in Archaeological sites.
• You can get bottles of soft drinks, it can be scorching hot during the day.
• The clothes you bring with you should be according to the season of your trip. Shorts, t-shirts can be worn. There is no obligation to cover your head or shoulders In Turkey.
• You may pay the entrance fees by credit card or Turkish Liras (The Museums charging only Turkish Liras and Credit cards).
• This tour involves over a mile of walking on uneven, cobblestone surfaces.
• Restrooms are available at the entrance and the exit of Archaeological Sites.
• This tour must be booked 4 days in advance, as all tour operators must get permission for each visitor in advance.
• Each person must submit a copy of their passport to us 4 days in advance.
• The tour may not run during Muslim and Jewish holidays.
• Please be ready and waiting in your hotel lobby 10 minutes prior to your scheduled pick-up time
• This tour operated with just your party and a guide/driver
• Complementery Turkey Map, Turkey Broucher
• The tour document with details and confirmations will be e-mailed after your prebooking
• Infant seats are available
• It is suitable for wheelchair users
• All customer touchpoints are frequently cleaned
• Social distancing is maintained in vehicles.
• Masks required
• This tour is available all year round
You can create a reminder for yourself for this tour. We will send you a reminder e-mail/sms about this tour on the date you specify.
Customer Comments - Tripadvisor Write A Review!
Johnson RFebruary 2022
Great experience in Turkey and Greece!
We participated in the combined tour organization of Turkey and Greece and we had a wonderful experience. Gigil's employees always met our needs on this trip that I went on with my wife. We did not have any problems and we are very satisfied. We continued on our way with 6 different guides during the 16-day tour and we thank them all. Thanks gigil.
Peter SFebruary 2022
Harun fue una guía fabulosa.
Recorrimos Éfeso en un día muy caluroso. El recorrido incluyó las casas con terraza y requirió caminar mucho, lo cual fue difícil para mi esposa. Nuestro guía Harun, fue muy considerado y alentador e hizo que el recorrido fuera más agradable e informativo. También nos gustó el comentario en profundidad que no se limita a fechas y horas, sino a una comprensión más amplia de la historia que estábamos viendo. Fue fácil trabajar con Gigil y fue de gran ayuda para configurar esto. Ojalá los hubiéramos usado en otros lugares de nuestro viaje. Su precio era más competitivo.
Steven AFebruary 2022
Una excelente manera de aproverchar al máximo Éfeso
Reservamos una excursión con Gigil y pasamos un rato relajado, informativo y sin prisas. Mientras que otros estaban en grandes grupos y claramente estaban tan lejos de su guía que no podían escuchar, fuimos invitados al sitio con un guía experto, Harun, quien nos guió de manera experta a través del sitio antes de la multitud. Nos animó a ver las casas adosadas que se convirtieron en un punto culminante. Lo hemos recomendado a otros y no puedo pensar en nada negativo. Ah, y viajamos en una cómoda camioneta Mercedes. Fue lo más destacado de nuestro crucero por el Mediterraneo.
Ashenafi TFebruary 2022
A Perfect Day in Turkey!
If you are going to Kusadasi, be sure to book with Gigil Travel. We spent 5 days in Rome, 12 days on a cruise, and 5 days in Venice and this was the best tour of all we did. The van price was reasonable and shared among 6 of us. We went to St. Mary’s home, Ephesus and had a wonderful lunch. We were concerned about visiting Turkey with the unrest we have had with them. We felt very safe. The town is very modern and clean. The area at the port was great for shopping and the prices are very reasonable. I would highly recommend Eren and this tour!
Akramul Ghani CFebruary 2022
Toured Ephesus with Harun
We had a wonderful tour of Ephesus with Harun, a well prepared guide who provided a terrific experience for our whole family (ranging in age from 10 to 77). Highly recommend Gigil tour company.
Zhang MDecember 2021
An amazing day in Ephesus with Gigil
My husband, daughter and I used Eren and had the pleasure of having Eren as our tour guide. She was extremely professional and very very knowledgable. She was very respectful our our time and wanted to make sure we got to do everything we wanted to do. I highly highly recommend her!
Carla GDecember 2021
Fabulous tour and great guide
A great tour and guide. Our guide Harun was very friendly and informative. It's well paced in a place where it would be easy to get bogged down in historical details. It provided the right balance of complete information with interesting information thrown in. Thoughtfully provided umbrellas for shade as you are really out in Ephesus and it can get quite hot. We especially liked his choice for a lunch break where we tasted many traditional Turkish dishes. . .
Joanna GDecember 2021
They respond quickly to email and chat. They can customize your trip and the best part is, our tour guide Işık speaks fluent English and knows a lot about the places you go. He also handles the tour well and lets you enjoy the trip. We also told him that we enjoyed taking photos and that he took notes on special spots for the photos. Finally, the journey will not be perfect without your transportation, a brand new mercedes benz minibus with our lovely driver who makes everything safe... I highly recommend this tour if you visit Ephesus! Thanks Haron!
Katrina BDecember 2021
Great visit to a beautiful Ancient City!
I can't say enough good things about our tour with Harun & Gigil. They were very helpful, answering all my question about their services & living up to expectations. Harun was well versed in the history & made the experience extremely enjoyable. Definitely book with this group, they were the best we used in 5 places we visited... Thanks Gigil.
Charles J SDecember 2021
Samsun is a great place!
Samsun was a city that I wanted to see for a long time and was finally possible to visit, and I saw with my own eyes that it was a wonderful place. It was also enjoyable to walk here in cold weather. We got on well with my guide and I was satisfied. I would also like to thank the organization company.
Liuba BolocanNovember 2021
My Istanbul tour
It was truly an EXCELLENT experience. The tour was very enjoyable. Thank you very muchh to our guide Harun for everything. The information on historical monuments was very detailed and interesting. We realy enjoyed the tour. Thanks
Lucia SNovember 2021
Very good tour company
We did the Ephesus tour, everything was very well organized. Our guide Harun was both knowledgeable and very kind. Driver Omut was a very cheerful person and made us laugh a lot. We were very pleased with this tour that we participated with my friends. Thank you Gigil staff. I would definitely recommend this team.
Olga Iasnaia SarserAugust 2021
My Ephesus Tour experience :)
As someone who likes to travel, discover new places and have fun, Ephesus tour was just for me. Ephesus is unlike any place I have visited before. It was a very original place. I took the Ephesus tour from Gigil Travel and was very satisfied. I would recommend it to everyone.
Daniel DeanSeptember 2021
ephesus private full day tour
I purchased a private full day ephesus-virgin mary main tour from this company. The reason I took a private tour was to spend private time with my family. We had a great time, we had fun. Glad I bought this tour. I strongly recommend it to everyone.
Billie Ann BNovember 2021
Great guide and beautiful Ephesus
We spent a day touring the ancient city of Ephesus and it was wonderful. Our guide Harun was great. He had a lot of knowledge and gave us plenty of time to see all the sights. We came to Kusadasi by ship and joined the tour from there. We did not book directly with Gigil but from our experience we would be happy to tour with them again.
Youssef YNovember 2021
Ancient Ruins Tour
Tour guides are known to love their job, they are knowledgeable and well-equipped. Harun, who guided us on the Ephesus Tour, makes the tour a pleasure with his communication and expression. Service vehicles, no disruptions to their schedules, are worth a try when you have an emergency. Unlike other tours, they carry out the tour program with fewer people and showing closer attention. We were very satisfied. Thanks to Mr. Harun and his team Gigil.
Tomas ROctober 2021
I recommend a reliable agent.
Very efficient agency: Istanbul, Izmir, Kusadasi, Antalya, Cappadocia… intercity transfers and airport-hotel connections for this Turkey tour realized with great flexibility for the personalized design of a series of tours in Turkey. excellent communication during times, tours and transfers. Note the very good Turkish road network, which surprised us even for the long Antalya-Cappadocia highway connection… Thank you gigil travel.
Monika ZOctober 2021
Increíble viaje a Éfeso
Compartiendo todos los hechos de la gira con una risa, Haron fue el guía más divertido. Él es absolutamente conocedor de la historia y nos brindó un gran viaje. Omut era nuestro conductor y era el más dulce. ¡Ven al mundo y haz un recorrido con estos chicos!
Gabriel BNovember 2021
Turquía es un país hermoso, su gente es amable y servicial. Tour en globo en Capadocia y super Goreme, estaba en el tour del Bósforo, lo mejor es caminar y perderse por las calles de Estambul, Kusadasi, Pamukkale, Éfeso !! Regresé a España feliz porque el viaje de mi hija y mi yerno fue todo un éxito. Y cuando todo va bien en un viaje es por una buena organización. Por ello, me gustaría agradecer a todo el grupo Gigil Travel por su excelente trabajo, puntualidad y desear que nuestros recuerdos estén de la mejor manera posible. Espero volver lo antes posible y volver a recibir su servicio. Gracias gigil...
Wilfredo LSeptember 2021
Good team nice guide knowledge and love of his country
My wife and i used eren as a guide we launched turkey from istanbul, gellibolu, pamukkale, ephesus cappadocia and many other places, eren's knowledge of turkey, we didn't miss anything, him as a guide I advise. istanbul is an amazing city and something you will miss a lot without a guide, I would recommend eren and his team without hesitation and hope to use them again in the future.
Victor LOctober 2021
Daily Gallipoli tour
We joined the Gallipoli tour at the request of my Australian girlfriend. They were picked up on time from our Sultanahmet hotel early in the morning. Our guide Mr. Bülent was really great and very knowledgeable. We had a very nice day. We would like to thank Gigil Travel and especially Mr. Harun.
daria YOctober 2021
An unforgettable experience in Turkey thanks to Gigil Travel!
Gigil Travel is an excellent travel agency. I am satisfied with the good service, courtesy, punctuality and professionalism of this agency. I would especially like to congratulate Harun who gave me a personalized and very efficient treatment. I had a nice trip in many cities, especially in Istanbul, Izmir, Kusadasi, Antalya, Fetiye, Cappadocia and all hotels, transfers, meals, excursions were excellent, Guides, friendly staff, good hotels in very beautiful places. Receive all my thanks and commitment to continue to be your customer.
BRAD POctober 2021
Friendliness, punctuality, professionalism
We were in Turkey from October 20th to November 1st, they suggested several operators in this country but when I looked at the prices it looked high, they also forced us to coordinate the tour to start on a specific day. While surfing the internet, I came across Gigil Travel representative Eren, who exchanged a lot of questions from me and made explanations. There were no delays in transfers. All that was agreed was fulfilled. We enjoyed very much Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Pamukale and Kusadasi. Hotels in the interior of Turkey were real surprises!.. The guides accompanying us were very prepared and enthusiastic. Do not miss the balloon tour in Cappadocia, which is an unforgettable experience.
Diego QOctober 2021
Excelente organización gracias gigil
Si estás planeando ir a Turquía y quieres disfrutar del viaje y no quieres lidiar con ningún problema, no dudes en elegir Gigil Travel. Pasamos 15 días con nuestro grupo de 5 personas en Estambul, Antalya, Capadocia y la costa del mar Egeo (4 vuelos, 3 hoteles, alquiler de coches, visitas guiadas y conductor) y no tuvimos ni un solo problema. El personal de Gigil Travel son excelentes personas que harán de su viaje una experiencia inolvidable. Definitivamente recomendado.
Emrah ÖOctober 2021
Turkey highlights package tour
Our tour started from Istanbul and then continued on the route of Izmir, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadocia. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Organization, guides and hotels were good. Our guides were kind and knowledgeable people. We would like to spend more time in Cappadocia. It's a great place! We will return to our country soon, but we want to come back to Turkey on holiday at the first opportunity. We would like to thank the gigil team for this beautiful organization. Good agency.
9 nights 10 days tour of Turkey
Great, can't recommend this company enough. We spent 9 nights and 10 days on a small group tour that started in Istanbul, Gallipoli. Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadocia. We have stayed in great hotels and our guides are fantastic, their knowledge is outstanding, our health and safety are always the most important. Thanks again for our wonderful holiday and eternal memories of your beautiful country.
We wanted to have a Turkey travel experience with Gigil. Booking and all their responses were very quick. They organized a big trip and after we paid the deposit, they got back to us with a price reduction when one of their suppliers dropped the price. Unfortunately when we had to postpone the trip due to the Corona virus outbreak and again how well Gigil handled the situation. We highly recommend them. We did the tour on our new tour date and we were very satisfied with the Gigil team. You are awesome!
Gail WOctober 2021
Grande passeio na Turquia
Excelente serviço da Gigil Travel. Era a nossa primeira vez na Turquia e queríamos contratar uma agência que também incluísse tours em português. Fizemos um tour pela Capadócia, Kusadasi, Pamukkale e Éfeso. Desde a primeira vez que escrevi para a agência a Erin nos deu um tratamento personalizado, uma boa comunicação via whatsapp. Fomos autorizados a fazer alterações ao itinerário do site, incluindo um voo de balão na Capadócia e um dia extra para Priene, Didima e Miletus. Boa estadia e tudo perfeitamente organizado e sem complicações (desde traslados do aeroporto, pick up para passeios, etc). Guias muito amigáveis com bom nível de português; grupos realmente pequenos em passeios. Agência totalmente recomendada.
safak tOctober 2021
Réponse rapide et bon service à un prix abordable
Nous avons visité la Turquie avec une visite privée de 8 jours depuis Gigil Travel. Je dois apprécier la réponse rapide que j'ai reçue d'Eren concernant la planification de la tournée ou toute question que j'ai reçue par la poste. Service très professionnel. Les micros étaient parfaitement synchronisés. Les emplacements des hôtels étaient très bons avec un accès facile aux monuments et au centre-ville. La maison seigneuriale historique de la Cappadoce avait une belle vue sur les montgolfières au petit matin. Bien que la chambre soit un très petit hôtel de Kusadasi, la vue sur le coucher de soleil sur la mer était incroyable. Des visites locales dans ces endroits sont également bien organisées. La meilleure partie était un coût de visite raisonnable avec de bons arrangements. Ils ont un système de réponse rapide pour que vous n'ayez pas à vous inquiéter car Eren était toujours là pour répondre aux questions. J'ai été absolument impressionné par le service et je recommanderais certainement Gigil Travel pour des visites en Turquie.
Irma LNovember 2021
My Antalya Experience
Thanks to Harun for accompanying us on this tour. a very knowledgeable and friendly guide about history. If you want to come to Turkey and have a holiday, you should definitely see Antalya. Visiting this city is not just for its beauty, this city has everything a great place has to offer. Nature, food and people were really friendly fun.
Roshni Bansi MNovember 2021
Wonderful ancient city tour
Side Ancient City, Patara Ancient City, Xanthos Ancient City, Magydos Ancient City, Termessos Ancient City are places with incredible historical touches. If you are interested in historical events and historical ruins, this place is for you. Our guide, Harun, was very interested and knowledgeable in history and also a very kind gentleman. Now we are on a tour of Istanbul, and we started to visit historical places here. Turkey is a wonderful country for historical ruins.
Brown DNovember 2021
Istanbul and Antalya holidays
I visited a few cities in Turkey before, Istanbul was one of them, but Antalya was the place that touched my heart. Its warm air, beautiful sands and deep blue sea will take all your work fatigue away. As a businessman, I want to come to Antalya again at the first opportunity and have a holiday again. Endless thanks to the gigil team for giving me this wonderful experience.
Jennif KNovember 2021
Ephesus ancient city and istanbul tours
We came to Turkey to see Ephesus. When we saw it from the photos, we thought it was a great place and now we felt that historical texture alive. It is truly a breathtaking area. Terrace houses, the temple of the Virgin Mary, are a beautiful legacy for humanity. We would like to thank our guide gentleman for his interest. My husband and I had a very happy tour. We had a trip to Istanbul on the way back from Ephesus and in a word, Istanbul is a wonderful place. I would highly recommend those who will come to take a tour of the Bosphorus and eat fish.
Vanessa BOctober 2021
Thank you Turkey!
Theimussa and the ancient city of Olympos were my favorite places that caught my attention the most during our tour. I had a really enjoyable and fun time.
Orlene GeraldOctober 2021
Seven churches of revelation
Traveling in these lands as a Christian has increased my faith. Virgin Mary's house affected my wife and me a lot, we had emotional moments. It has been a good memory for us. Thank you to the tour organizers for adding pleasure to this beautiful trip.
Mehmet AOctober 2021
Aspendos, Perge, Ephesus, Artemis, Hiearapolis, Pergamon...
Aspendos and Ephesus were really fascinating. It was incredibly enjoyable to walk among the Roman and Hellenic ruins. We were very satisfied with our tour experience. The historical knowledge of the guide was admirable. Thank you harun for giving us an incredible experience with his interest and knowledge.
Atenas, Santorini, Estambul Éfeso ... excursiones
la gira por grecia que hice con mi novio fue genial. Tuvimos la oportunidad de ver maravillosos sitios históricos como Atenas y Delfos. Meteora, la vista desde la cima de la montaña era increíble. Después de los lugares históricos, disfrutamos de la atmósfera de las casas blancas y azules y la hermosa vista al mar en santorini. Una isla en armonía con sus casas y el mar. Nos gustaría agradecer al sr. vedo y gigil por su interés en ayudarnos a organizar nuestra gira. Estamos a punto de completar el tour por Turquía que recomendaron, Estambul, Éfeso, Pamukkale, Kusadasi, tal vez estemos pensando en Capadocia si tenemos tiempo. Conocimos diferentes guías durante los recorridos, fueron buenos en general, tuvimos algunas cosas negativas, pero solucionamos el problema .. gracias
Kenan SAugust 2021
14 Days Greece and Turkey Highlights Tour
I wanted to visit both Greece and Turkey and this tour was just for me. I enjoyed it immensely for 14 days. I especially benefited from the knowledge and experience of our guide Harun. Thank you to him. In general, the tour organization was very good. Despite the pandemic period, they were meticulous and concerned about service. They quickly fixed the problems and problems encountered. Although I have been to Istanbul many times before, I had not visited the historical places in detail. And now I'm very happy to be traveling. My words will not be enough to describe Cappadocia. Athens is a city of history that must be seen by everyone. It affected me a lot. My days in Santorini, Mykonos and Kusadasi were mostly spent resting and sunbathing. With this tour, I was able to both visit historical places and have a vacation. Thank you to the company for the organization.
they booked me a custom antiquity tour in Turkey that was amazing visiting Alexandria Troas and Assos. I consider myself a history buff but the guide blew me away. I walked the ground of Aristotle and St. Paul and Fredrick Barbarosa! Thank you Erin form GiGi travel for arranging.
Odul COctober 2021
Fethiye and Cappadocia Super Locations!
It was a wonderful holiday experience for us. We had a great week with my wife. After the magnificent atmosphere of Istanbul, we had the opportunity to visit historical places in Antalya and swim in its beautiful beaches. However, the place we enjoyed the most was Fethiye's hidden beaches and paragliding and Cappadocia balloon tour. Cappadocia is a truly fascinating place. It impressed us a lot and we had a great time with my wife. We would like to thank Ms. Eren who was with us throughout the tour. Even though we had some problems with the hotel and communication, they found a solution very quickly. He is very caring and kind person.
We were looking for a suitable city for a holiday with my family and we discovered Kusadasi. After doing some research about Kusadasi, we decided to come here. It has a very nice atmosphere, but it is also a region with incredible historical artifacts. Our guide was very knowledgeable and very kind. So thank you to the agency. Ephesus and the Virgin Mary is one of the places you should definitely go. After Kusadasi we will go to Pamukkale. Glad we came here. Excellent experience, I recommend it to everyone.
Melek CSeptember 2021
Greece and Turkey travel experience
During the e-mail traffic between me and the agency, I thought they are not professional until I complete my holiday that we shaped the itinerary with my experienced tour advisor. I wanna thank to all agency staff from beginning to the end, made my holiday an unforgettable memory for us. Especially the tour guide Polat in Istanbul and Eleni in Athens. Also Cappadocia and Olympia were charming historical places. Hot air balloon tour was a unique experience for us. A special thank to our consultant Vedat for a fully historical and local life experienced destination program. We definitely recommend gigil travel which we have got a nice travel experience with them.
özgür çMarch 2021
Kapadokya ve Balon
İlk kez tura çıktım ve çok keyif aldım gerçekten eğlenceliydi. Kapadokya tahmin ettiğimden daha güzel bir yermiş özellikle balon turu harikaydı. Bunu gigil'in ekibi sayesinde öğrendim. Tek gitmiş olsaydım bu kadar bilgi edinemezdim sanırım. Güler yüzlü, hijyen kurallarına dikkat ediyor olmanız takdir edilesi. Her şey için çok teşekkür ederim.
Antalya Kemer war eine schöne Erfahrung!
Es war unsere erste Tourerfahrung für meine Frau und mich und wir waren sehr zufrieden. Ein großes Dankeschön an die Mitarbeiter von Gigil, die diese Tour für uns arrangiert und uns mit ihrer Fürsorge und Unterstützung eine unglaubliche Erfahrung gemacht haben. Antalya Kaleiçi war ein wunderbarer Ort, das Meer, der Sand und die Sonne waren in Kemer sehr angenehm.
Cihan KMay 2021
İlk kez gitmiş olduğum Kapadokya'ya hayran kaldım. Mistik havasıyla muhteşem oyulmuş taş evleri apayrı güzeldi. Olağanüstü güzellikte yapmış olduğum balon tur ile kendimi muhteşem hissettim. Her şey çok güzel ve keyifliydi. Gigil çalışanlarına, rehber ve şoföre bir kez daha teşekkür ederim.
Dilek BApril 2021
Istanbul, Efes, Pamukkale Turu
Arkadaşımın tavsiyesi ile katıldığımız bir turdu çok keyifli ve çok güzeldi ailemle gayet iyi bir zaman geçirdik tur çalışanları çok ilgili ve naziklerdi. Istanbul zaten harika bir yer. Efes ve Hierapolis muazzamdı, tarihi kalıntıların arasında yürümek muhteşemdi. Yeni bir turda tekrar görüşmek üzere :)
Soren KAugust 2021
Would definitely recommend!
Our Turkey trip was a very good experience. We had the pleasure of meeting Eren who was our tour guide while visiting Istanbul in August. He knew lotta details and fun facts about all the sights and other also information about Sultanahmet itself. We were a group of 7 adults and 3 yo toddler. He was very energetic and informative and accommodated the needs of everyone in the group. Would definitely recommend!
Ömer YMay 2021
Turkiye Paket Programı
Tatilimiz boyunca her detayla ilgilendiğiniz, 24 saat ulaşılabilir olduğunuz ve bizi özel hissetirdiğiniz için çok teşekkürler. Ayrıca harika bir tatil geçirmemize yardımcı olan tüm Gigil travel çalışanlarına da teşekkür ederim.
Let's Customize Your Trip!
Prepare your own tour plan!
How to meet my tour guide?
Your tour guide/staff will be waiting at pick up points such as your hotels’ lobby/main gate, a specific point etc. according to timing which you were given before tour date.
Can I state the departure time for my tour?
Of course! We also operate tours on private basis, so you can customize the departure time, if it is a private service.
Can I choose the sights to visit on my own?
On private tours. You can choose the sights and museums along with all sort of criteria you like by your agent according to content of service.
How to buy museum tickets?
If the museum tickets are included in your tour, you do not need to buy it as extra. But if the museum ticket/s is/are not included in your tour, still no need to buy tickets in advance, during the tour your tour guide will help you to purchase them. Official tour guides have priority at museum ticket offices.
Am I traveling with a group on the tour?
There will be two different tour type. Group tour and Private tour. On Private tours, you get a specific service according to confirmed plan for you/your party.
How about the transportation?
When you book your tour with a van, you will be picked up from hotel, be transferred to the sights and then back to hotel. Otherwise, once you meet your tour guide at your hotel, you will be advised the best option for transportation such as taxi or tram.
How do I pay?
After filling the Book Now form, there will be a payment button to complete your deposit payment, when you complete payment and secure the booking, we will confirm your tour details and balance payment will be in cash directly to the tour guide during the tour. You can choose to pay in USD, Euro or Turkish Lira.
What is the language of group tours?
Our daily regular/scheduled group tours are organized in English. But if the number of your party is more than 10 persons you can ask for a tour guide in other languages. On the other hand, Private Tours can be organized in English, Spanish, German, Arabic, Russian and more etc.
What type of restaurants do you use?
On group tours we use touristic restaurants which has open buffet. On private tours we use local restaurants which has a specific menu.
How to pay for my services?
Beside money transfer by bank we accept visa and mastercard online payments on our online secure payment webpage.
Am I traveling with a group?
No. You will be traveling independently on the regular transports according to your choice (Plane/Bus) but you will be with a small group only on local tours at the chosen areas this gives you an opportunity to meet different people through your stay. On the other hand, a private tour organization is always an option.
If I cancel my group or private tour in last minute?
We are always tolerantly according to unexpected situations. Normally we should use cancellation policy rules but our company supports its clients as much as possible according to conditions.
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Good to Know
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into Turkey, but not more than 5 5,000 worth of Turkish currency may be brought into or taken out of the country.
The exchange slips for the conversion of foreign currency into Turkish lira should be kept, since you may be required to show these when reconverting your Turkish lira back into foreign currency, and when taking souvenirs out of the country (to prove that they have been purchased with legally exchanged foreign currency).
The following items may be brought into the country duty free personal effects of the tourist.
One TV, one color pocket TV (maximum 16 cm screen), one TV-tape-radio combination, one video recording camera and 5 video cassettes (blank); 5 records, 5 tape cassettes or compact discs, one video player, cine-projector (8 mm) and 10 rolls of film (blank), one slide projector, one pocket computer (maximum main memory capacity Ram 128k. Byte), electronic playing devices (without cassette – keyboard), one transistor radio and portable radio – tape player (its specification to be determined by the Ministry of Finance and Customs), one Walkman or pocket tape recorder, one portable compact disc player, binoculars (one pair, except night binoculars), harmonica, mandolin, flageolet, flute, guitar, and accordion (only one of each type, maximum 3 musical instruments). personal sports equipment, necessary medical items, bicycle, baby buggy, toys, 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars. 200 grams of tobacco and 200 cigarette papers, or 50 grams of chewing tobacco or 200 grams of pipe tobacco, or 200 grams of snuff (In addition to the above allowances, it is possible to purchase 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars, and 500 grams of pipe tobacco from the Turkish Duty Free Shops upon entering the country), 1.5kg. coffee, 1.5kg. instant coffee, 500 grams of tea, 1 kilo chocolate and 1 kilo sweets, 5 (100 cc) or 7 (70 cc) bottles of wines and/or spirits, five bottles of perfume (120 ml max. each), one portable typewriter, one camera with 5 rolls of film, first aid, and spare parts for the car, other items necessary during the journey.
Valuable items and all items with a value of over $ 15,000 must be registered in the owner’s passport upon entering Turkey, for control upon exit.
Antiques brought into the country must be registered in the owner’s passport to avoid difficulties on exit.
Sharp instruments (including camping knives) and weapons may not be brought into the country without special permission.
The bringing into the country, trade, and consumption of marijuana and all other narcotics is strictly forbidden and subject to heavy punishment.
Gifts, not exceeding 500 DM in value and not for trading purposes, may be brought into the country duty free. In addition, gifts not exceeding 500 OM in value may be posted to Turkey duty free, if the date stamped by the sending post office falls one month before, or one month after the following holidays: Seker Bayrami, Kurban Bayrami, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Cellular Telephones entering the country must be accompanied by a certification form showing ownership. Ownership must be documented in the passport of the owner and will be checked on entry and exit. For more information contact the Ministry of transportation, General Directorate at Tel: (312) 212 35 72 – 212 60 10 (10 lines), Fax: (312) 221 32 26 or write to Ulastirma Bakanligi Telsiz Gn. Md. Emek – Ankara.
Gifts and souvenirs: for a new carpet, a proof of purchase; for old items, a certificate from a directorate of a museum is necessary. Exporting antiques from Turkey is forbidden.
Valuable personal items can only be taken out of the country providing they have been registered in the owner’s passport upon entry, or providing they can show they have been purchased with legally exchanged currency.
Minerals may only be exported from the country with a special document obtained from the MTA (General Directorate of Mining Exploration and Research). Etudler Dairesi 06520, Ankara. Phone: +90 312 287 3430 /1622, Fax: +90 312 285 4271
You Can Receive a Tax Refund for the Goods You Purchased In Turkey! Refunds will be made to travelers who do not reside in Turkey. All goods (including food and drinks) are included in the refunds with the exclusion of services rendered. The minimum amount of purchase that qualifies for refund is 5.000.000 TL. Retailers that qualify for tax refunds must be “authorized for refund.” These retailers must display a permit received from their respective tax office.
The retailer will make four copies of the receipt for your refund, three of which will be received by the purchaser. If photocopies of the receipt are received the retailer must sign and stamp the copies to validate them. If you prefer the refund to be made by check, a Tax-free Shopping Check for the amount to be refunded to the customer must be given along with the receipt.
For the purchaser to benefit from this exemption he must leave the country within three months with the goods purchased showing them to Turkish customs officials along with the appropriate receipts and! or check.
There are four ways to receive your refund:
If the retailer gives you a check it can be cashed at a bank in the customs area at the airport. If it is not possible to cash the check upon departure or if you do not wish to cash it then, .e customer must, within one month, send a copy of the receipt showing that the goods have left the country to the retailer who will, within ten days upon receiving the receipt, send a bank transfer to the purchaser’s hank or address.
If the certified receipt and check are brought back to the retailer on a subsequent visit thin one-month of the date of customs certification, the refund can be made directly to the purchaser. Retailers may directly refund the amount to trustworthy customers upon purchase. The refund may be made by the organization of those companies that are authorized to make tax refunds.
Ministry of Finance and Tax Dept. General Directorate, (Maliye Bakanligi, Gelirler Genel Mudurlugu) KDV Subesi 06100, Ulus – Ankara Phone: +90 312 310 3880 / 725 – 728 – 735, Fax: +90 312 311 4510
Turkish Tourist Health Society (Turizm Sagligi Dernegi-Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tip Fakültesi Plastik ve Rekonstrüktif Cerrahi Ana Bilim Dali, Sihhiye 06100 ANKARA
+90 312 311 9393 – 310 98 08) performs the functions below, to provide the travelers in the entire country, mainly in the touristic regions, with proper health care:
- to secure food hygiene
- to prevent environmental pollution
- to ensure hygiene and healthy working-conditions in touristic establishments.
Health Regulations for Pets
For those who wish to bring domestic animals into the country the following are required:
- Pets have to be 3 months and older
- An International Certificate of Health issued within 15 days before the travel
- The Identification Card
- Vaccination Card
If you have an official certificate, you may bring one cat, one bird, one dog and 10 aquarium fish into the country. To get information for the importation of pets, please see the Consular Services.
Those who wish to enter the country with their vans, minibuses, automobiles, station wagons, bicycles, motorcycles, motorbikes, sidecars, buses, motor coaches, trailers, caravans or other transport vehicles, will have to provide the following documentations:
- International driving license.
- Car license (document where all details related to the car and the owner’s name are registered). If it is somebody else’s vehicle a power of attorney should be provided.
- International green card (Insurance card). The TR sign should be visible.
- Transit book “Carnet de passage” (for those who want to proceed to the Middle East).
The vehicle can be brought into Turkey for up to 6 Months. The owner should declare on the opposite form, the date of departure at the border gate and should absolutely ve the country at the date declared. If for any important reason the staying period has to be ended, it is necessary to apply to;
The Turkish Touring and Automobile Club (Türkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu) 1. Sanayi Sitesi Yani, 4.Levent, Istanbul, Phone: +90 212 282 8140 (7 lines).
The General Directorate of Customs (Gümrükler Genel Müdürlügü), Ulus Ankara Phone:
+90 312 310 3880, 310 3818, Fax: +90 312 311 1346, before the end of the period declared.
In Case of Accident
The accident should be reported to the police or gendarme. That report has to be certified by the nearest local authority. The owner should apply to the customs authority with his passport and report.
If the vehicle can be repaired, it is necessary to inform the customs authority first and take the vehicle to a garage. If the vehicle is not repairable and if the owner wishes to leave the country without his vehicle, he has to deliver it to the nearest customs office, and the registration of his vehicle on his passport will be cancelled. (Only after the cancellation can the owner of the vehicle leave the country.)
Following an accident, you can phone:
- Trafik Polisi (Traffic Police), Phone: 154
- Jandarma (Gendarme), Phone: 156
- For more information, contact the Touring and Automobile Association of Turkey.
Formalities for Private Yacht Owners
Yachts require a Transit Log and may remain in Turkish waters for up to two years maintenance or for wintering. There are certain ports licensed by the Ministry of Tourist the storage of yachts for a period of two to five years. For further information and regulations contact the marina concerned.
Upon arriving in Turkish waters, yachts should immediately go for control of the ship to the nearest port of entry which are as follows: Iskenderun, Botas (Adana), Mersin, Tasucu, Anamur, Alanya, Antalya, Kemer, Finike, Kas, Fethiye, Marmaris, Datça, Bodrum, Güllük Didim, Kusadasi, Çesme, Izmir, Dikili, Ayvalik, Akçay, Çanakkale, Bandirma, Tekirdag, Istanbul, Zonguldak, Sinop, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Rize, Hopa.
All the required information concerning the yacht, yachtsmen, members, intended route, passports, customs declarations, health clearance, and any obligatory matters must be entered in the Transit Log.
The Transit Log is to be completed by the captain of a yacht under a foreign flag or amateur sailor acting as captain of the vessel.
The Transit Log is completed upon first entering a Turkish port and, generally, it is necessary to contact the Harbor Authority before leaving. For information on tax-free fuel, contact the Marina Harbor Office.
If you have a certificate from the Tourism Ministry Yacht Harbor, you may take petrol at no charge, provided you possess an official marina license.
Formalities for Private Plane Owners
When coming to Turkey, international air routes should be followed. Private planes may stay for up to three months in Turkey with tourist status, but for longer periods permission should be obtained from;
The General Directorate of Customs (Gümrükler Genel Müdürlügü), Ulus Ankara
+90 312 310 3880, 310 3818, Fax: +90 312 311 1346
The airports of Ankara, Adana, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Trabzon and Dalaman have ties for private planes. It is also possible to hire planes and helicopters in Turkey.
For further information, apply to:
The Civil Aviation Department of the Ministry of Transport (Ulastirma Bakanligi, Havacilik Gen. Müd.). Bosna-Hersek Cad., No: 5 – 06338 – Emek, Ankara.
+90 312 212 6730, Fax: +90 312 2124684, TIx : 44659 Ga-tr.
Diving for purposes of sport, with proper equipment and in non-restricted areas, is permitted. Foreign divers should have official documentation of their specifics and training and must be accompanied, when diving, by a licensed Turkish guide.
The limit for diving with diving gear is 30 meters. For educational purposes, this limit is extended to 42 meters. Dives exceeding 30 meters must be carried out with proper diving and medical equipment. In order to protect Turkish archaeological and cultural values. It is strictly forbidden to transport Turkish antiquities or natural specimens.
Turkish post-offices are easily recognized by their black PTT letters on a yellow background. Major post offices are open from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m., Monday/Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m., Sunday. Small post-offices have the same hours as the government offices.
Postal charges vary for different services depending on destination. Post restante letters should be addressed “postrestant” to the central post-office Merkez Postanesi, in the town of your choice. You have to show your identification card to collect your letters.
All PTT branches have the facilities to exchange money at the current international exchange rates, as well as international postal orders and travelers’ cheques. There is also an express postal service (APS) operating to 90 countries for letters , documents and small packages. A wide variety of special stamps are available in all PTT centers for philatelists.
To phone from PTT telephone booths, which are extensively found in all areas; telephone cards , and tokens (“;jeton”) in three sizes are used. Local, inter-city and international calls can be made from all PTT offices. Besides these main offices there are also mobile PTT services in the touristic areas. For the area codes of major cities and touristic areas in Turkey, please see the “Area Codes” list. Foreign countries area codes are indicated in the International Telephone Codes list.
Some important service numbers are;
- 155 Police
- 112 Emergency
- 110 Fire
- 118 Unknown Numbers
- 161 PTT Information.
Monday-Friday (8:30-12:30), (13:30-17:30)
Monday-Friday (8:30-12-00), (13:30-17:00)
Monday-Saturday (9:30-13:00), (14:00-19:00)
Istanbul Covered Market:
During summer months, the government offices and many other establishments in the Aegean and Mediterranean Regions are closed in the afternoon. These fixed summer hours are determined by the governing bodies of the provinces.
Other Practical Information
Local time: GMT+3 hours (April-September) GMT+2 hours (October-March)
Argentina -5, France -1, Netherlands -1, Australia +8, Germany -1, Saudi Arabia+1, Austria -1, Greece 0, Sweden -1, Egypt 0, Italy -1, Switzerland -1, England -2, Japan +7, Spain -1, USA -7 (EST) -10 (WEST)
*These time differences are for the period October-March; however, they may show variances according to each country’s own time-saving adjustments.
Petrol: Super (premium) – Unleaded (at some places). Normal (regular) – Diesel.
Electricity: 220 volts AC/50 Hz. all over Turkey. (Industrial:380 V) Plug: European round/ 2-prong plug.
Water: Although tap water is safe to drink since it is chlorinated, it is recommended to get advice from the conceded authorities of the places resided.
Weights and Measures:
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters , 1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches
1 yard = 0,9144 meters, 1 meter = 1.0936 yards
1 mile = 1,6093 kilometers, 1 kilometer = 0.6214 miles
1 pound = 0,4536 kilograms, 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
Area: 1 acres = 0,4047 Hectares, 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
1 UK gallon = 4.546 liters, 1 liter = 0.2199 UK gallons
1 US gallon = 3.7831 liters, 1 liter = 0.2643 US gallons
Newspapers and Magazines:
Foreign newspapers and magazines are available in big cities and tourist areas. Also there is a Turkish daily newspaper, Daily News, published in English.
At various establishments like hotels, restaurants, Turkish baths, barbers and hairdressers, tipping at a rate of 5%-15% of the total is common. Taxi and “dolmus” drivers on the other hand, do not expect tips or even rounded fares.
Visiting a mosque:
Five times a day, the “müezzin” calls the faithful to prayer in the mosque. Before entering a mosque, Muslims wash themselves and remove their shoes. Foreign visitors should also remove their shoes and show the respect they would any other house of worship and avoid visiting the mosque during prayer time. Women should cover their heads and arms, and not wear miniskirts. Men should not wear shorts. (In certain famous mosques, overalls are provided for those not suitably dressed.)