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The domes and minarets of the Turkish skyline evoke images of ancient palaces and exotic sultans but Turkey is also a sophisticated metropolis in the midst of rapid transformation. The best way to experience both old and new in this fascinating country is to see it for yourself; book flights to Turkey today and use this Turkey Travel Guide to plan your trip!

In Istanbul, visit legendary attractions such as Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque and Aya Sofia. Snack on a 'simit' – a sesame seed pretzel – and go shopping in the world's largest shopping centre, the Grand Bazaar. While you're there, don't forget to walk through the Spice Bazaar, where your senses will be heightened by the intense aromas wafting through air.

Stroll past the fishermen on the Galata Bridge and take a seat at a local 'lokantasi' for a lunch of fresh fish. Take a cruise along the Bosphorus to really absorb Istanbul culture, where people from all walks of life go about their day. Order an elegant glass of cay tea and admire the ancient 'yalis' – or palaces – enduring reminders of Istanbul's grand Ottoman heritage, many of which have now been converted into upmarket hotels.

Emerald beaches and mystical landscapes

Outside Istanbul you can pay a solemn visit to Gallipoli and wander through its eerily peaceful ANZAC battlefields. For a change of scenery, explore Turkey's rich history at the ruins of Ephesus, an ancient Roman town. Plonk yourself in the 25,000-seater outdoor theatre and imagine yourself watching an early Roman play.

One of the most popular Turkey holidays involves paying a visit to one of its many emerald beaches, such as Bodrum or Kas. Here you can relax on the sand all day before partying all night long at one of the country's trendy nightclubs.

Of all the Turkey tours on offer, a trip to Cappadocia will provide an experience unlike any other. With its peculiar moon-like landscapes, underground caves and unique houses carved into rocks, Cappadocia is renowned as one of Turkey's most unforgettable destinations.

Enjoy a hot-air balloon ride and get a bird's-eye view of the so-called 'fairy chimneys' which jut out of this strange and exotic landscape. Hike along the valley paths and spot wildflowers and native animals along the way, or visit the Goreme open-air museum – a collection of caves and fresco-lined churches.

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