Note: before booking a holiday to Turkey, we advise you to read the FCO advice
The best time to visit the country (weather-wise) is during the summer, between April - October, but the hottest months of July and August may be worth avoiding. For Istanbul you may want to take the residents advice and visit during the autumn when they consider the city to be at its best.
For foodies the Istanbul International Gastronomy Festival is held in March, in June the city becomes home to the Turkish leg of F1 Grand Prix, whilst the International Izmir Festival is an annual event during June-July.
To search flights across all airlines, we recommend using Skyscanner
TURKEY: BY AIR
From the UK: carriers include British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Cyprus Turkish, TUI and Pegasus.
Within Europe: try easyJet, Turkish Airlines, germanwings, Condor, Pegasus and Corendon.
From the USA: Delta and Turkish Airlines.
By train from the UK: Take the train from UK or from western Europe to Istanbul, using the old Orient Express for the Strasbourg-Vienna leg. Of course, it costs more than a flight, since it is a 2- to 3-day adventure – but you can stop over in cities like Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Belgrade or Sofia. For more details, see Seat 61
INTERNAL FLIGHTS: In addition to Turkish Airlines, try low cost carriers Pegasus, Onur Air, Sun Express and Atlas Jet which between them fly from Istanbul to most of the Mediterranean coastal airports including Izmir, Bodrum, Dalaman and Antalya.
FERRIES IN ISTANBUL: Ferries from Karakoy will take you across the strait to Asian Istanbul. From Eminonu, on the other side of the Golden Horn, special “touristic” ferries travel up and down the Bosphorus.To visit the Princes Islands, take a hydrofoil from Kabatas (east of Taksim Square).
BY CAR: If you're travelling around the coast, a hire car is essential - see our car rental recommendations.