Capital: Ankara ♦ Population: 82 million ♦ Currency: Turkish lira ♦ Language: Turkish, Kurdish

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When I was on exchange in Italy back in 2014, my two biggest regrets for the year were not visiting Switzerland and Turkey. I was not going to make that mistake again, so despite the ever changing political situation in Turkey I made sure to lock in a couple of weeks in this beautiful country. Saddling Europe and Asia both, Turkey is the perfect combination of both continents – and more!  

Bodrum: wander the charming car-free streets of Bodrum, visit the castle and catch a boat ride to take in the sights

Ephesus: the largest and most well preserved ancient Roman city in Turkey

Pamukkale: a series of white travertine terraced pools nestled into the hillside. Be sure to visit Hierapolis at the top

Cappadocia: hot air ballooning, hiking, caves and magnificent sunsets – this place really is a dream!

Istanbul: Turkey’s largest city, packed with museums and delicious food

Did you know?

  • Tavuk gogsu: chicken breast pudding. Think chicken, milk, sugar and cinnamon
  • Santa Claus is from Turkey! Beyond Santa, Turkey is home to some of the most important sites in Christianity.
  • The national sport of Turkey is oil wrestling – olive oil no less.

Useful tips

  • Turkey is the 6th most visited tourist destination in the world.It’s big enough to handle these numbers but it does tend to be a busy crowded place. Our tour guide when we visited Gallipoli said that following the 2016 airport attack, tourist numbers in Gallipoli dropped by about 95%. Fortunately these numbers now seem to be returning to normal.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Turkish is supposed to be one of the easier languages to learn. See if you can learn a phrase or two – the locals will love you for it.