Turkey is a country that sits at the intersection of Asia and Europe, offering a unique blend of cultural and historical heritage. The country is home to many ancient ruins, stunning beaches, natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and delicious cuisine, making it a must-visit destination for travelers worldwide. In this article, we will take you on a tour of Top Best Places to Visit in Turkey.
Turkey is a diverse country that has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, culture, or nature. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the peaceful beaches of Oludeniz, Turkey offers a wide range of experiences that will satisfy any traveler.
Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city and a melting pot of cultures, blending elements of both the East and West. The city has a rich history that dates back thousands of years and has been the capital of three different empires – the Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman Empires. Istanbul’s unique location straddling two continents, Europe and Asia, adds to its cultural diversity and makes it an exciting destination to explore.
One of Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks is the Hagia Sophia, a stunning domed church built in the 6th century and later converted into a mosque. Today, it serves as a museum and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history or architecture. The city also boasts other notable landmarks, such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. With so much to see and do, Istanbul is a city that will leave you captivated and wanting more.
Cappadocia is a unique region in central Turkey known for its surreal landscape and ancient rock formations. The region was formed over millions of years by volcanic eruptions and erosion, resulting in an otherworldly landscape of fairy chimneys, cave dwellings, and underground cities. Visitors to Cappadocia can take hot air balloon rides over the stunning landscape, explore the ancient cave dwellings, and hike through the valleys to discover hidden treasures.
One of the most popular activities in Cappadocia is visiting the Goreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features rock-cut churches and monasteries dating back to the 10th century. The region is also known for its unique cuisine, including dishes like testi kebab, cooked in a sealed clay pot, and manti, Turkish dumplings. With its breathtaking scenery and rich history, Cappadocia is a destination that should be noticed.
Ephesus is an ancient city located on the western coast of Turkey and was once one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from all over the world who come to explore its well-preserved ruins and learn about its rich history. The city has several notable landmarks, including the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Great Theatre, which could seat up to 25,000 people.
Visitors to Ephesus can also explore the House of the Virgin Mary, a holy site believed to be the last home of the Virgin Mary, where she lived out her final years. The city is also known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife, making it a popular destination for those seeking culture and relaxation. With its fascinating history and stunning scenery, Ephesus is a destination that should be on every traveler’s list.
Antalya is a coastal city in southwestern Turkey known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and rich history. The city has a long history dating back to ancient times and was once an important trading port for the Roman Empire. Today, Antalya is a popular tourist destination that offers something for everyone, from historical sites and natural wonders to shopping and nightlife.
One of the most popular attractions in Antalya is the Old Town, a charming area home to narrow streets, traditional Ottoman houses, and historic landmarks such as the Hadrian’s Gate and the Yivli Minaret Mosque. Visitors can also explore the stunning Düden Waterfalls or take a boat trip along the coast to discover hidden coves and beaches. With its sunny climate, beautiful scenery, and rich cultural heritage, Antalya is a destination that should not be missed.
Pamukkale is a unique natural wonder located in southwestern Turkey and is famous for its surreal landscape of white travertine terraces and crystal-clear pools. The site has been a popular destination for thousands of years, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to soak in its healing thermal waters and admire its breathtaking beauty. In addition to the travertine terraces, visitors can explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, located at the top of the hill and featuring well-preserved ruins such as the Roman theatre and the Necropolis.
One of the most popular activities in Pamukkale is taking a dip in the thermal pools, which are said to have healing properties due to their high mineral content. Visitors can also take a stroll along the boardwalk and admire the stunning views of the terraces or take a tour of the Hierapolis Archaeology Museum to learn about the region’s history. With its unique natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, Pamukkale is a destination that should be noticed.
Fethiye is a charming coastal town in southwestern Turkey known for its crystal-clear waters, stunning beaches, and rich cultural heritage. The town offers everything, from historical landmarks and natural wonders to shopping and nightlife. One of the most popular attractions in Fethiye is the ancient city of Telmessos, which is located on a hill above the town and features well-preserved ruins such as the theatre, acropolis, and tombs.
Another popular activity in Fethiye is taking a boat trip along the stunning Turquoise Coast, where visitors can explore hidden coves and beaches and admire the breathtaking scenery. Visitors can also visit the famous Oludeniz Beach, known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. With its picturesque setting, rich history, and abundant activities, Fethiye is a destination that should be noticed.
Bodrum is a popular coastal town in southwestern Turkey, known for its picturesque setting, stunning beaches, and rich cultural heritage. The town has many historical landmarks, including the Bodrum Castle, built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century. It is now a museum that houses artifacts from the Ottoman and Byzantine periods. Visitors can also explore the ancient city of Halicarnassus, which is located near the castle and features well-preserved ruins such as the theater and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
In addition to its historical landmarks, Bodrum is also known for its beautiful beaches, such as the popular Gumbet Beach and the secluded Bitez Beach. Visitors can also stroll along the marina and admire the stunning views of the Aegean Sea or shop for souvenirs in the town’s many boutiques and markets. With its stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, and abundant activities, Bodrum is a destination that should be noticed.
Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and is located in the heart of the country. The city is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, as well as its modern amenities and vibrant nightlife. Visitors to Ankara can explore the city’s many historical landmarks, such as the Anitkabir Mausoleum, which is the final resting place of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. The mausoleum features stunning architecture and exhibits that showcase Ataturk’s life and legacy.
In addition to its historical landmarks, Ankara offers modern amenities and a bustling city center. Visitors can shop for souvenirs and enjoy meals at one of the city’s many restaurants or cafes. The city also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs catering to locals and tourists. With its rich history, cultural heritage, and modern amenities, Ankara is a destination that offers something for everyone.
Mardin is a picturesque city in southeastern Turkey known for its stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage. The city is home to many historical landmarks, including the ancient Dara Mesopotamia ruins, the Great Mosque of Mardin, and the Zinciriye Medrese, one of the oldest Islamic schools in the world. Visitors to Mardin can explore the narrow streets and alleys of the old town, which are lined with beautiful stone houses and traditional bazaars selling local handicrafts.
Mardin is also known for its unique cuisine, which blends Turkish, Arabic, and Kurdish flavors. Visitors can try local specialties such as çiğ köfte, a dish made from raw meat, bulgur, and spices, or künefe, a sweet pastry made with cheese and syrup. With its stunning architecture, rich cultural heritage, and delicious cuisine, Mardin is a destination that should not be missed.
Gallipoli is a peninsula in northwestern Turkey known for its historical significance and stunning natural beauty. The area is particularly famous for the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, which saw allied forces attempt to capture the peninsula from the Ottoman Empire. Today, visitors can explore the many war memorials and cemeteries that dot the landscape, paying homage to the brave soldiers who fought and died in this bloody conflict.
In addition to its historical significance, Gallipoli is home to many natural wonders, including pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rugged cliffs. Visitors can swim, snorkel, sunbathe on the many beaches, or take a boat tour to explore the coastline and nearby islands. With its unique blend of history and natural beauty, Gallipoli is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Turkey.
Trabzon is a city located on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey, known for its rich history and stunning natural beauty. The city is home to many historical landmarks, including the Hagia Sophia of Trabzon, a stunning Byzantine-era church converted into a mosque, and the Sumela Monastery, a Greek Orthodox monastery built into the cliffs of the Altındere Valley. Visitors to Trabzon can also explore the winding streets of the old town, which are lined with traditional wooden houses and charming cafes.
Trabzon is also famous for its unique cuisine, which blends Turkish, Caucasian, and Black Sea flavors. Visitors can try local specialties such as hamsi pilavı, a dish made from anchovies and rice, or kuymak, a cheesy polenta-like dish. With its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and delicious cuisine, Trabzon is a destination that should not be missed by anyone traveling to Turkey.
Konya is a city in the heart of Turkey, known for its deeply spiritual heritage and beautiful architecture. The city is best known as the home of Rumi, the famous poet and Sufi mystic whose teachings have profoundly impacted Islamic spirituality. Visitors can explore the Mevlana Museum, dedicated to Rumi’s life and work, and attend a Sema ceremony, a ritual dance performed by members of the Mevlevi Order, a Sufi sect founded by Rumi himself.
In addition to its spiritual heritage, Konya is home to many beautiful examples of Seljuk-era architecture. The Alaeddin Mosque, for example, is a stunning example of early Islamic architecture. At the same time, the Karatay Medrese is a beautifully decorated 13th-century madrasa that now serves as a museum of Turkish ceramics. With its rich spiritual heritage and stunning architecture, Konya is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring Turkey’s cultural and religious traditions.
13. Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut is a breathtaking mountain located in southeastern Turkey. It is best known for the ancient ruins that sit atop its peak, which include the remains of a royal tomb and a collection of enormous statues of gods and rulers from the 1st century BC. The site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, and it continues to be a popular destination for visitors interested in exploring Turkey’s rich history and culture.
In addition to its historical significance, Mount Nemrut is also a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers. The mountain offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, and visitors can hike to the summit to see the ancient ruins up close. The hike can be challenging, but the views are well worth the effort. With its unique combination of history, culture, and natural beauty, Mount Nemrut is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Turkey.
Safranbolu is a small town in the northwestern region of Turkey, known for its well-preserved Ottoman-era architecture. The town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994 and has since become a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the charm of traditional Turkish life. Visitors can explore the narrow streets and alleys of the town, which are lined with beautifully restored wooden houses and shops. Many of these buildings date back to the 17th and 18th centuries and offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich history.
In addition to its historic architecture, Safranbolu is also known for producing saffron, a valuable spice grown in the region for centuries. Visitors can visit the town’s saffron fields and learn about the harvesting and processing of the spice. The town is also famous for its traditional Turkish sweets, which can be found in the local bazaars and shops. With its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Safranbolu is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Turkey.
Located on the southern coast of Turkey, Side is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning beaches and rich history. The town was once an important port city in the ancient world and is home to several well-preserved ancient ruins, including a Roman theater and a temple of Apollo. Visitors can explore the ruins, learn about the town’s fascinating past, or relax on one of its beautiful sandy beaches and soak up the Mediterranean sun.
In addition to its history and beaches, Side is known for its lively atmosphere and bustling bazaar. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets of the town’s old quarter, stopping to browse the shops and sample traditional Turkish cuisine. The town also hosts several festivals and cultural events throughout the year, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and traditions. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or a little bit of both, Side has something to offer everyone.
Assos is a picturesque coastal town located on the Aegean coast of Turkey. The town is known for its stunning scenery, including its hilltop castle and ancient ruins, which date back to the 6th century BC. Visitors can explore the ruins, learn about the town’s rich history, or take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The town also boasts several charming cafes and restaurants, where visitors can sample delicious Turkish cuisine while enjoying the sea breeze.
In addition to its historical and cultural attractions, Assos is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails and offers a variety of water sports, including swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Visitors can also take a boat tour of the nearby bays and islands, providing a unique perspective on the stunning coastal landscape. Whether you’re looking for history, adventure, or relaxation, Assos has something to offer everyone.
17. Sumela Monastery
Sumela Monastery, also known as the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, is a historic and picturesque structure in the Maçka district of Trabzon. The monastery was built in the 4th century AD and has been an important pilgrimage site for Christians ever since. The architecture of the monastery is a beautiful combination of ancient Greek and Ottoman styles, making it a unique attraction for visitors. The monastery is perched on a cliff, surrounded by a dense forest, offering visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
The interior of the monastery is equally impressive, featuring stunning frescoes, intricate carvings, and beautiful mosaics. Visitors can also see the kitchen, refectory, and the Rock Church, the oldest part of the complex. The Rock Church is a remarkable underground structure carved into the cliff’s rock face. It is believed to have been the first place of worship at the monastery and is considered the most impressive part of the complex. A visit to the Sumela Monastery is a must for anyone interested in history, architecture, or religion, and is an experience that will stay with visitors for a lifetime.
Alanya is a beautiful city located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The city is renowned for its long sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking sun, sea, and sand. Apart from its beaches, Alanya also boasts a rich history and a wealth of cultural heritage. The most prominent attraction in Alanya is the Alanya Castle, a towering fortress that dates back to the 13th century. Visitors can explore the castle’s walls and towers, admire the stunning views of the city and the sea, and learn about the castle’s history through the various exhibitions and displays.
Another must-visit attraction in Alanya is the Damlatas Cave, an impressive cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites believed to have therapeutic properties. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cave and marvel at its natural beauty while enjoying the cool temperature inside. In addition to these attractions, Alanya has a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, restaurants, and nightclubs offering entertainment until the early morning hours. Overall, Alanya is a delightful destination that offers something for everyone, from history buffs to beach lovers and partygoers.
Van, located in the eastern region of Turkey, has a rich history and stunning natural beauty. The city is home to a beautiful lake, Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey and one of the largest soda lakes in the world. The lake is a popular spot for tourists who want to take a boat tour or swim in crystal-clear waters. Van is also home to the ancient city of Tushpa, which dates back to the 9th century BC. The city was the capital of the Urartian Kingdom and is home to many ancient ruins, including the impressive Van Castle. The castle is perched on a hill overlooking the city and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
In addition to its natural beauty and historical significance, Van is famous for its local cuisine, a fusion of Turkish, Armenian, and Kurdish flavors. Some of the most popular dishes include the local specialty of grilled fish from Lake Van, stuffed eggplant, and a sweet pastry called baklava. Visitors can also enjoy a traditional Turkish breakfast, which includes a variety of cheeses, olives, bread, and honey. Overall, Van is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the lesser-known parts of Turkey and immerse themselves in its rich culture and history.
Kusadasi is a charming coastal town located in the Aydin province of Turkey. It is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and proximity to some of the country’s most famous historical sites. The town has a long history, dating back to the Ottoman Empire and even earlier, and there are many fascinating cultural and historical attractions to explore here.
One of the most popular things to do in Kusadasi is to visit the ancient city of Ephesus, just a short drive away. This ancient Greek and Roman city is considered one of the best-preserved classical cities in the Mediterranean and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other must-see historical sites in the area include the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the House of the Virgin Mary, a Christian pilgrimage site. With its beautiful beaches, lively atmosphere, and fascinating history, Kusadasi is a destination to be noticed on any trip to Turkey.
In conclusion, Turkey is a wonderful country with something to offer everyone. Turkey has everything from stunning beaches to fascinating historical sites and vibrant cities. This article lists the top 20 places to visit in Turkey, including Istanbul, Cappadocia, and the Turquoise Coast. Each destination is unique and offers a different experience, making choosing just one to visit difficult.
Turkey is the perfect destination whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply relaxing on the beach. So pack your bags and prepare for an unforgettable trip to this beautiful country.
Q: What is the best time to visit Turkey?
Ans: The best time to visit Turkey is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and fall (September to November), when the weather is mild, and the crowds are thinner. However, if you’re interested in the beach, the summer months (June to August) are the best time to go.
Q: What are the visa requirements for visiting Turkey?
Ans: Visitors from most countries can obtain an e-visa or visa-on-arrival for stays of up to 90 days. However, checking the visa requirements for your specific country before traveling to Turkey is important.
Q: Is it safe to travel to Turkey?
Ans: Turkey is generally a safe country to travel to, with a low crime rate and friendly locals. However, it’s important to exercise caution in crowded areas and be aware of your surroundings, especially in big cities like Istanbul.
Q: What is the currency used in Turkey?
Ans: The currency used in Turkey is the Turkish lira (TRY). However, many businesses also accept US dollars and euros.
Q: What are some must-try Turkish dishes?
Ans: Some must-try Turkish dishes include kebab, baklava, Turkish delight, and meze. Turkish cuisine is known for its rich flavors and use of fresh ingredients, so make sure to try as much as you can during your visit.