Information and Tourism
The Republic of Turkey stretches between western Asia and south-eastern Europe, where it is bordered by a number of different countries. Turkey lies to the south-east of Bulgaria, to the east of Greece and to the south-west of Georgia. Directly east of Turkey are Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran, while to the south-east are Iraq and Syria.The Mediterranean Sea forms Turkey's southerly coastline and is responsible for many beachfront attractions, including the seaside resorts of Antalya. To the west of Turkey is the Aegean Sea and a further set of popular beaches.
Since Turkey actually straddles two separate continents, the country's rich culture features strong elements and traditions from both east and west. The tourism scene in the country is thriving and cheap holidays to Turkey are fairly easy to come by. Tourist attractions here tend to be very much focused around Turkey's many sites of historical and archaeological interest, with the country actually being the world's ninth most visited.Tourism in this country is particularly developed and Turkey holidays are especially popular within Istanbul, where literally thousands of different hotels compete. Istanbul is the biggest city in the whole of Turkey and boasts attractions dating back to the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman Empires. Bursa, Edirne, Izmir, Konya, Sinop and Trabzon.
Istanbul Tourist Information and Tourism
(Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey)
The tourism offerings found within Istanbul are amongst the best that Turkey has, ranging from traditional architecture to the bustling market activities of the Grand Bazaar, which is nothing short of a shopping Mecca and encompasses some 58 different streets and sees up to 400,000 shoppers each day. Istanbul is home to many impressive remnants from the Turkish Ottoman Empire, such as historical mosques and grand palaces, as well as Turkish bathhouses (Hamams) and museums packed with information. Boat trips along the Bosphorus (Istanbul Strait) are recommended, as are the wining and dining opportunities along both the Istiklal Caddesi and the Nevizade Sokak. Tourists will always find themselves drawn to the enormous Byzantine dome at the ancient Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia) basilica, which is the city's most famous monument and the biggest cathedral on the planet for almost 1,000 years. The accommodation scene in Istanbul is buoyant, ranging from world-class luxury to cheap youth hostel dormitories. Do bear in mind that a discount is often given for a cash payment and for extended stays, and for those lodging for more than three days, a complimentary pickup at Ataturk International Airport may also be included in the price. Many hotels and Istanbul apartments reside within the Old City's Sultanahmet district and around the adjacent neighbourhoods of Binbirdirek, Cankurtaran and Kucuk Aya Sofya. The best hotels come with terraces as standard, overlooking the mosques, the Sea of Marmara and the Aya Sofya.
ISTANBUL TOURIST INFORMATION AND TOURISM
Brimming with places of interest and an endless array of Turkish culture, Istanbul's main tourist attractions combine the best of history with simple local life. Turkish baths have been an integral part of life in Istanbul for quite literally centuries and the Suleymaniye Bath is one of the oldest, dating as far back as the 16th century and as popular today as it ever was. For exciting smells and a great atmosphere, spend a morning getting lost amongst the fragrances within the Spice Market (Misir Carsisi), or enjoy a short boat ride to the neighbouring Princess Islands, where a selection of resorts and coastal attractions await. Many of the biggest and most impressive sights of Istanbul dominate the skyline and allow you to start to understand the layout of the city, with the 17th-century Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Cami) serving as a very important and central point of reference. Also competing for your attention is the Topkapi Palace within Gülhane Park, and the Roman Hippodrome on Sultanahmet Square, the latter of which was once the setting for Roman chariot racing and today tends to be where most guided tours of Istanbul tend to start.
The museums of Istanbul provide an array of information about the city, covering topics such as history, archaeology and noteworthy individuals, such as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881 to 1938), who founded the modern day Republic of Turkey and was the very first president. Both the Archaeology Museum and the Museum of Turkish Carpets stand out, while for some serious art appreciation, galleries such as the museums of Fine Arts and Modern Art are on hand.
Tourists considering a day trip or two will find much to choose from close to Istanbul. The waterfront town of Eceabat is a popular destination, as is the very scenic Gallipoli Peninsula, home of some important WWI battlefields. Also close to Istanbul are the ancient remains of Troy, which are now a World Heritage Site and more than 5,000 years old, being perhaps best known for its Trojan War and 'Wooden Horse' legend. Interestingly, the harbour town of Canakkale actually proudly displays the actual giant wooden horse that recently starred in the Hollywood movie entitled simply 'Troy'.
MORE ISTANBUL INFORMATION / FAST FACTS AND ORIENTATION
• Country: Turkey
• Location: Bosphorus Strait
• Status: largest city
• Area: approximately 707 square miles / 1,830 square kilometres
• Population: approximately 11.5 million
• Language: Turkish
• Currency: New Turkish Lira (TRY)
• Time zone: EET (UTC+2)
• Country dialling code: +90
• Telephone area code: 212
• Religion: Islam / Muslim
• Average daily Istanbul January temperature: 8°C / 46°F
• Average daily Istanbul July temperature: 29°C / 84°F