New Istanbul Flights Kick Off Year of Turkey Travel Buzz

turkeyTurkey is getting new direct flights to Istanbul in 2014 ahead of the opening of the replica Grand Bazaar in Las Vegas

Turkish Airlines will add Boston (BOS) as its newest U.S. gateway, establishing Logan International Airport's only non-stop service to Istanbul. The carrier will operate the route between Boston and Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport (IST) five days a week from May 2014 with a 289-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft and increase the service to daily in June. Boston will be the sixth U.S. destination for Turkish Airlines, joining Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington.

Starting June 3, Turkish Airlines will offer three regular weekly flights from Montreal, Canada to Istanbul's Atatürk Airport. Flights are scheduled on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Turkish Airlines, a Star Alliance member, will use Airbus A330-300 aircraft with a capacity for 28 passengers in business class and 261 in economy. Montreal will be the second Canada destination for Turkish Airlines, joining Toronto.

These new flights will precede the opening of the Turkey-themed Grand Bazaar replica in Las Vegas, set to open in late 2014. The Grand Bazaar Shops, which will be in the heart of the Strip just outside of Bally's Las Vegas Hotel, will have more than 150 shops including a spice market, green grocers and the first-ever Swarovski shop to allow customers to haggle over crystal prices. 

RELATED: Vegas to Get Shops Modeled on Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

Top New Attractions and Restaurants in Turkey

The amount of tourists visiting a bridge in a remote part of Turkey has nearly doubled two years after the bridge was featured in a scene in the movie Skyfall. In the valleys outside of Turkey’s southern city, Adana, stands an almost 100-year-old bridge – the Varda viaduct – known by locals as the ‘German bridge’ used in the opening scene of the movie, in which actor Daniel Craig’s character James Bond is shot and falls from a train that passes over the Varda Bridge. The bridge was built in 1905 as a joint Ottoman-German project to supply oil from Basra in Iraq, then part of the Ottoman Empire, to Germany.


Celebrity Chef Tom Aiken has launched Tom's Kitchen in Istanbul's Zorlu Center. Here, diners sit at minimalist wooden tables to dine on shepherd's pie and other expat favorites as well as a variety of steaks and other dishes.


Additionally, Jamie Oliver has opened the largest location of “Jamie’s Italian” in Istanbul’s Zorlu Center. It features a modern décor, an open kitchen, an outdoor terrace and an upstairs cocktail bar.

The Zorlu Center is attracting some of the top restaurants in Istanbul, with SOHO’s Osteria Morini bringing a flavor of New York to Istanbul from the AltaMarea Group, one of NY’s foremost restaurant groups with Michelin-starred Marea and Ai Fiori restaurants under their umbrella.

The new Carpet Museum in Istanbul has opened in a historic building near the Hagia Sofia with a total of 806 carpets – 395 for display with the rest reserved for research and conservation. The oldest known hand crafted carpet is the famous Pazyryk Carpet, dating back to the 5th century BC. It was decorated with reindeer and soldiers riding horses.

The 800-kilometer-long Karia Walking Route in southwestern Turkey opened to tourism last year and offers travelers the chance to experience ancient history. Introduced by the Muğla Trade and Industrial Chamber (MUTSA), the nature-filled trail takes in many villages with unique architecture, virgin coves, prehistoric rock paintings and ancient cities. Some  220 signs and 33,000 markings help ensure travelers do not lose their way as they visit places of interest such as Marmaris, İçmeler, the Datça Peninsula, the Gökova Gulf, Akyaka and Milos.


A new museum devoted to the role of women, the Women's Museum Istanbul, is now operating as a website as it searches for a site for its physical museum. The museum aims to showcase the largely-untold history of women in Turkey.