Turkey is claimed to be the bridge between the East and the West and with its mix of influences from the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Balkans, it's easy to see why. Churches rub shoulders with mosques, gypsy festivals are as well attended as football matches and Roman temples co-exist with Islamic monuments.

It's diverse and exciting and, for a short haul trip from the UK, impressively exotic. The unique city of Istanbul should definitely be on your travel itinerary. Here you will find many important architectural masterpieces, the incredible covered market and lively bars and restaurants.

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More about Turkey

As well as having plenty to see and do, you'll find some incredible food in Turkey. Mediterranean, central Asian and Middle Eastern influences meld to create many delicious dishes, from mezze to kofta to baklava.

Cuisine, adventure, relaxation, history and nightlife – what more could you want?

Top 5 things to do in Turkey

10 facts about Turkey


The oldest known shipwreck on Earth was found and excavated in Uluburun, in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.It dates back to 14th century BC and was discovered in 1982.


Turkey is agriculturally self-sufficient, meaning it does not depend on other countries for food imports. Turkey produces figs, barley, tomatoes, aubergines, green peppers and lentils.


Once a symbol of nationality, the Fez is hardly seen any more. The Fez was banned on 30 August 1925 as part of modernising reforms.


Amsterdam gets the credit for tulips - but they were brought to Europe by Turkey. The name for tulips comes from the Turkish word "tulbend" or "turban", which the flower resembles.


Istanbul is the only city in the world which naturally spans two continents - Asia and Europe. We tend to think of Turkey as European, but only 3% of it sits within Europe.


People tend to assume that Istanbul is Turkey’s capital, but the capital is in fact Ankara, the second largest city in the country.. It became the capital in 1923, after the War of Independence.


Istanbul is home to the second oldest Tube train system in the world - after London! Their system opened in 1875, just over a decade after London’s Metropolitan Railway opened.


Contrary to popular opinion, Father Christmas, ol’ Saint Nicholac himself, was born in Patara, Turkey, where he was caught dropping coins down chimneys to help the poor.


25,000 people work in Turkey’s Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops and 64 streets. You can buy anything and everything in this rabbit’s warren, where haggling is a way of life.


80% of the world’s hazelnuts come from Turkey. Ferrero, the Italian company which owns Nutella, uses an impressive 25% of these in its products.