More Brits are expected to book flights to Istanbul this year after the Turkish city officially became the European Capital of Culture.
Concerts and firework displays were held across Istanbul on Saturday (January 16th) to mark its new status, with museums marking the event by staying open until midnight.
Berlitz travel guides managing director Katharine Leck said the city will become a "hot destination" during 2010.
"[It] will prove a popular choice over the Valentine’s weekend: it’s romantic, lively, and as a non-Euro destination it is also good value – so an all-round great choice," she commented.
Celebrations in Turkey’s largest city began at the Halic Congress Centre before moving on to seven different locations.
President Abdullah Gul and prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were in attendance in addition to representatives from 40 countries.
A recent survey by simonseeks.com revealed Turkey to be a 2010 travel hotspot, ahead of both South Africa and Mexico.