Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, is more familiar to students of history as Byzantium and later Constantinople, the seat of the Byzantine Empire. As a country that walks in the wake of some of the most powerful figures of the antiquities, Turkey invites its visitors to sample spices from the Silk Road that still flavour its contemporary cuisine, to immerse in both history and Roman-influenced baths ‘hamam,’ and to look up at the massive dome and mosaics of Hagia Sophia and exclaim, like its builder Emperor Justinian, “Glory to God that I have been judged worthy of such a work.” There are many other great architecture to stand before in awe, so refer to Turkey travel blogs for more un-missable sights.
Turkey’s location straddling Europe and Asia lends a cosmopolitan vibe to Istanbul while letting Ankara, the capital, maintain its long tradition of bazaars groaning with ‘kilim’ (flat-weave rugs), spices, jewellery and fabrics; look up in Turkey travel blogs which bazaars are best to shop for which item. Turkey’s duality also extends to its landscapes defined by its Aegean beaches and Anatolian steppes; Central Asian baklava to Middle Eastern kebaps; and writhing bodies in thumping nightclubs and whirling dervishes. To find out how you can witness the mysticism of the Sufis, or where you can dig in for the tastiest ‘kofte’ (meatballs), read up some articles on Turkey travel to guide you.
Turkey Travel Blog Tips and Hints:
- Islamic Holidays: With the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 15th century, Turkey became, and remains an overwhelmingly, Islamic country. This means that during their two most important holidays, Ramazan Bayrami and Kurban Bayrami (the End of Ramadan and the Feast of Sacrifice), travel delays, traffic congestion, closure of restaurants and shops and government offices, can be expected and should be factored into your itinerary. Know when the exact dates are for these moveable holidays by checking before your arrival.
- Alcohol and Pork: As Muslims, Turks are not as partial to alcohol as the rest of the Western world. Avoid giving alcohol as favors or gifts, and avoid consuming it in public places during religious holidays. Ditto for pork.
- Transport: Turkish Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, has been named the best airline for several years by industry watchers. Outside of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, there are 100 more airports in Turkey including seven other international hubs. Overland, Turkey is also well-connected by highways and rail, making it easy to connect from Istanbul, which is on the Bosporus Strait in the west, to Ankara, the capital, at the centre. Consider route recommendations from Turkey travel blogs to get to other popular destinations like Cappadocia and Ephesus.
- Safety: Because of its proximity to Middle East, travel to Turkey may raise concerns with security. If you keep valuables hidden from plain view and exercise caution, you will find that Turkey is a pleasant and safe place to enjoy a vacation. Should something unpleasant happen to you, all major cities in Turkey have visible presence of tourism police where you can report theft, robbery, assaults and passport loss.