Approximately 20 million tourists visit Turkey every year making it one of the major tourist destinations in all of Asia. The name Turkey alone creates an image of elegant palaces, religious mosques and beautiful women. Turkey, one of the most hotly contested countries of the world, has been ransacked by Alexander the Great, the place where supposedly Achilles battled the Trojans and where the battles that the Ottoman Empire fought to shape the world. To visit Turkey is to immerse yourself in times gone by as you visit its battlegrounds, fabled palaces and crumbling castles. Istanbul, the nation's capital, is rife with historic sites. Be sure to visit the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya, Istanbul's most famous church. Get in the spirit and haggle with the locals in the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, then finish your day with a float along the Bosphorus and a relaxing dinner in one of the gourmet eateries. Travel to Safranbolu to marvel at an intact Ottoman town, and make arrangements to stay in Ottoman-style in a fabulously restored wooden house. Make a point to see the Acropolis and the Asclepion in Pergamum and wander the Anzac battlefields in Gallipoli.
Aside from the national carriers of Turkey, Turkish Airlines, other airlines such as Air France, Lufthansa, Olympic, Alitalia and British Airways all have regular flights headed to the country. Traveling to Turkey is fairly easy and cheap flights are more likely since tourists have several airlines to choose from and can decide which will best suit their needs according to budget and schedule.
Esenboga International Airport, Sabiha Gokcen International Airport and Ataturk International Airport are some of the international airports in Turkey. The main airport that is based in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, is the Ataturk International Airport, which serves approximately 26 million passengers every year. In addition, Turkey's regional airports number upwards of 45, making traversing the country fairly easy and quick.
Turkey can boast of 20 airlines that service its largest cities, either as primarily domestic carriers, international carriers or cargo carriers. Also consider one of these smaller airlines for travel to Turkey from one of the larger international hubs. These small carriers compete for passengers and will often offer a lower fare if you are booking separately from a large commercial airline.
The peak season for travel to Turkey is in the spring, April and May, and the autumn, September to October. Turkey actually has seven distinct weather districts, so any type of weather can be occurring at any time. Plan where you want to visit and do your weather research. Also be aware of any local festivals that may be occurring while you are traveling. Though the festivals are a big tourist draw, you must plan well in advance or be faced with no place to stay. The prices of accommodations and, sometimes even services, will double or more during a festival. Also know that people in Turkey expect you to haggle. Prices in Turkey are almost always negotiable. Do not be afraid to hang back and watch the locals to see how it's done-most goods can be haggled down by 15 to 20%. Be brave and you will be rewarded with respect...and a lower price.
Turkey is an amazing travel destination. The churches, mosques, temples and ancient architecture are breathtaking. The bazaars are like the largest yard sale that you can ever imagine with a carnival-like atmosphere that will have you smiling and haggling like a native. Turkey cannot be seen in just one trip, so plan to visit again!
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