You are currently viewing One of our favourite countries in the world has just removed its visa requirement for Canadians

Like many countries, beautiful Türkiye used to require an electronic visa (eVisa) to enter. But this is no longer the case, which is obviously great news. And not just for those who love Türkiye — which is one of my favorite countries in the world (and the same goes for the other co-founder of Flytrippers, Kevin).

Here are the details of the elimination of the visa requirement by Türkiye (the country formerly — and still often wrongly — called Turkey).


Overview of the Türkiye visa requirement removal

Here’s the essential:

  • Visa requirement abolished to enter Türkiye
    • Since December 23, 2023
  • For citizens of Canada and 5 other countries
    • United States
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Bahrain
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Oman
  • 90-day stay allowed
    • Per 180-day period
  • To boost tourism
    • The country is already one of the most visited in the world
  • Change to tourist visa only
    • No change to other types

Before sharing with you the concrete positive effects of this news, I’d like to remind you that many countries obviously have various entry requirements, and that checking them is literally the only mandatory step in the entire preparation of any trip!

Too often, people get unpleasant surprises because they don’t know that some countries require visas, passports valid for at least 6 months, or proof of exit from the country (to name just a few requirements)… so we’ve put together the ultimate guide to country travel requirements.


Positive effects of the Türkiye visa requirement removal

First, there are essentially 2 types of travelers out there, and this news is very positive for both.

They’re travelers who want travel to be:

  • More affordable (the eVisa previously required cost US$60, or ~ C$80)
  • More enjoyable (the eVisa application process used to take a few minutes)

And more importantly, many people will benefit from the elimination of the visa requirement.

Specifically those who want to:

Not to mention that, more generally, the fact that some countries are eliminating visa requirements is a good thing. It could put more pressure on countries that still have requirements and ostracize them, in order to eliminate them as much as possible.

Here are more details on each one of those positive effects, because I also want to give you some tips on how to go to Türkiye.


More affordable travel

Just like that, the cost of the Türkiye eVisa represented 2 full days of travel in this very affordable country (it’s one of the best countries to go to for cheap trips, don’t miss the list in an article next week).

Not having to pay to enter has just made the country even more affordable overall. It’s great not to be charged for the privilege of spending your hard-earned money in their economy. It makes transits with long stopovers more affordable too.


More enjoyable travel

The previous requirement involved applying for an eVisa (electronic visa) before boarding the plane to the country, which was one step more than for many countries.

The elimination of the requirement doesn’t save you the time it takes to check if Türkiye has requirements obviously, because you’ll still have to check as you always have to check for every country (in case it changes, as it just did in Brazil twice within a few years for example).

But it saves you 2-3 minutes of filling out the form at least, so by default it’s a bit more enjoyable. I must say that it’s really not that complicated to fill out a form online, but many travelers seem to not like it… so this change from Türkiye is only positive!


Visiting Türkiye

I highly recommend going to Türkiye, especially if you’re one of the many travelers who have always just been to the typical places (like North America and Western Europe).

It’s an absolutely beautiful and welcoming country. A perfect destination to start visiting places a little off the beaten track.

Türkiye has an excellent infrastructure and so many beautiful places, but is still very affordable (that’s rare; usually, the infrastructure in countries that are more affordable is not as good).

We’ve both been there a few times each and love it. We’re going to have more content on Türkiye very soon because we’re going to have a lot more content with our new doubled team!

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Transiting in Türkiye (self-transfer)

The self-transfer tip is one of 31 tips to save money on plane tickets (a guide that will be updated soon, as explained in my article on tips for my 25 flights this fall).

One of the benefits, besides often saving money obviously, is that you get to visit one more city. İstanbul is in my top 5 favorite cities in the world, so it’s hard to think of a better place to explore.

On the other hand, Türkiye works well for the self-transfer tip especially for those who want to go to the Middle East, the Caucasus, or Central Asia. İstanbul’s 2 airports (IST and SAW) have plenty of good prices.

Although even for the rest of Asia, it might be worth comparing considering the current high prices, especially if you want to take the opportunity to visit one more awesome city. It only takes a few minutes to check!

I happened to have gone through İstanbul with the self-transfer tip myself in 2021 to go to Uzbekistan and to Kyrgyzstan. I recommend Central Asia just as strongly, for those who want to go more off the beaten path. It’s one of my favorites among the 6 different regions of Asia.

Kevin and I also used the self-transfer tip even for trips to more off-the-beaten-path destinations in Türkiye itself, because domestic flights there are often very cheap. We stopped in İstanbul together in 2020 on our way to a work retreat in a luxurious hotel in Samsun with our Marriott points. Kevin did the same thing alone too, on his way to Eastern Türkiye in 2022.

The full guide on the self-transfer tip will have more details and concrete step-by-step help, but it’s good to know that the key is to leave yourself plenty of time if you want to use this tip — but it’s not an issue if you follow our recommendation to take advantage of it to visit the transfer city, only if you use it just to save money.


Transiting in Türkiye (Aeroplan stopover)

We’ll have an ultimate guide to one of the best rewards programs of the more valuable type, the Aeroplan program, very soon.

But let me remind you that one of the program’s sweet spots is for those who want to visit 2 destinations in the same trip. Aeroplan lets you add a stopover for just 5,000 extra points (anywhere outside Canada and the U.S.).

For example, when I went to Oman in 2018, it was with Aeroplan stopovers. My stopovers were in Bahrain and in Switzerland (because I was invited to a conference there), but if I could have chosen, I could have done the other of the 2 stopovers allowed on a roundtrip in Türkiye instead.

When I went to Central America with Kevin in January 2022, I was able to stop in El Salvador and Guatemala on the same ticket for just 5,000 more points. I was quite happy to explore both countries for almost the same price as just 1 country.

So you can do the same thing with Türkiye if you want to go somewhere else in the world, it’s a well-located country right in the middle of many regions. Long-distance flights aren’t always a good use of Aeroplan points (at least in economy class), but it happens. Especially if you value the opportunity to visit 2 destinations.

Turkish Airlines is one of the 48 partners of the Aeroplan program and flies to more countries than any other airline in the world (and it’s also one of the best airlines in the world). So it’s easy to build an itinerary that includes Türkiye, whether or not there’s availability on Turkish Airlines’ nonstop flights between İstanbul and Canada (Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver).

If you want to splurge and travel in business class with your points (to save thousands of dollars), we’ll have more content on that too in 2024 (for those who want to increase the quality of their travels, without neglecting those who want to improve the quantity of their travels like us).

Turkish Airlines’ business class is one of the 2 I’ve tried for long-distance flights, and it’s exceptionally wonderful. At least on their Boeing 787. It’s one of the basics I’ll explain in the content on business class; they really aren’t all created equal, even at a specific airline.

You can read an introduction to the program in the 18 great uses of Aeroplan points.


Transiting in Türkiye (Turkish Airlines stopover)

Some airlines offer “free” stopovers for tickets paid in cash, including Turkish Airlines.

So if Türkiye’s flag-carrier was already the cheapest option for your itinerary (or not too much more expensive), you can take advantage of it to make a stopover in the country!

Depending on the dates, Turkish Airlines sometimes has competitive prices from its 3 Canadian gateways. That said, if Turkish Airlines is among the cheapest, it often means that prices are expensive, and you could probably save money if you wanted to — by trying the 31 tips to save money on plane tickets, including the self-transfer one (often).

If not, maybe paying a little more is worth it for you, if you want to visit one more country!


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Featured image: Antalya, Türkiye (photo credit: Go Türkiye)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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