The Top 7 Places to Visit in Turkey

The Top 7 Places to Visit in Turkey

By Claire | Updated Aug. 2, 2022

Turkey is popularly known as the bridge between Asia and Europe and is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Visiting Turkey will be a wonderful and enriching experience, as you can discover its 2,000-year-old history, the magnificent architecture, experience friendly Turkish culture, and see its spectacular beauty. We selected 7 top places that must be covered in your itinerary.

Istanbul

This is a city where east meets west! Once called Byzantium and then Constantinople, Istanbul is the biggest multi-continental city in the world. This city has been the capital of several great empires like the Roman and the Ottoman. It was also the center of the trading world between Asia and Europe.

These have led to its rich and unique culture.

Top Things to Do in Istanbul

  • Visit the Hagia Sophia Museum and Blue Mosque. Hagia Sophia is a combination of Christian and Islamic architecture. You can marvel at the dome ceiling and view the frescoes as well as go stick your thumb into a hole for good luck.
  • Explore the Blue Mosque. Because of the hand-painted blue tiles that adorn the mosque's interior, it is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and surely one of the most beautiful buildings on earth.
  • Walk around the Grand Bazaar and open-air market. You can haggle with shop owners for Turkish goods and try to get a bargain; it is a great and fun way to experience local culture.
  • Cruise through the Bosporus. Bosporus is a natural straight of water passing through Istanbul that connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean, cruising is a great way to explore the city.
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Cappadocia

Beautiful Cappadocia is in central Turkey and has become a famous spot due to its unusual rock formations. Its landscape is often referred to as a "moonscape", as it looks other worldly. It's unique rock formations are called fairy chimneys.

Top Things to Do in Cappadocia

  • Ride in a hot air balloon at sunrise. It's definitely a once in a lifetime experience to see the sunrise while in the air hovering over the fairy chimneys.
  • Visit the Goreme open air museum. It is one of Turkey's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The museum's massive history and the unique rock structures have made it one of Cappadocia's most visited attractions.
  • Derinkuyu Underground City exploration. This is the largest one among the world's underground cities. There are seven subterranean levels to this city and it was a refuge for Christians who were escaping Roman persecution.

Pamukkale

Pamukkale is one of the iconic destinations in Turkey. This place is also called the cotton castles, which is very well known for its white travertine cliffs formed by mineral deposits by hot springs. There are 17 springs which have attracted people to the area for thousands of years. The ancient city of Hierapolis which stands over the hot springs is remarkable.

Top Things to Do in Pamkkale

  • Capture the natural wonder of Pamukkale travertine and take a dip in the local hot springs.
  • Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis. The ancient city of Hierapolis was founded by Eumenes II, the King of Pergamum, in the second century BC. Stroll around and experience the vibes of this ancient city.

Antalya

Antalya is a resort city with a yacht filled harbor and beaches. This region is popularly known as the turquoise coast because of the clean blue waters. Its terrain is quite unique being near the coastal cliffs and surrounded by mountains.

The city consists of long sunny beaches, historical sites, narrow winding streets, lively boulevards, and Turkey's finest restaurants.

Top Things to Do in Antalya

  • Relax at Konyaalti Beach. The long stretch of sand and the light colored pebbles on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, make it arguably the best beach in Turkey. You can enjoy the banana boat ride and take in the amazing views of the Turkish pines and the hibiscus growing along the beachfront.
  • Pay a visit to the Antalya Aquarium. This is the world's biggest and longest tunnel aquarium complex with a tunnel length of 131 meters and width of 3 meters.
  • Hike and raft in Koprulu Canyon. A national park of natural beauty, fertile with rich flora. it is often called Turkey's paradise of the world, a site to enjoy the scenery of the Mediterranean.

Mardin

Mardin is a city that reflects the various cultures and religious beliefs in Turkey. Once belonging to the Romans, it is one of Mesopotamia's oldest settled areas with remains discovered in the 1920's dating back to 4000BC. Churches here date back to the 4th,5th, and 6th centuries.

Top Things to Do in Mardin

  • Stroll around Mardin's old city. Explore the sandstone buildings that cascade down the hill. This unique sandstone architecture was influenced by Assyrian, Arab, Turkish, and Kurdish cultures.
  • Visit Deyrulzafaran Monastery. This Syrian Orthodox monastery was established over 1,500 years ago and you will see evidence of its sacredness and importance.

Marmaris

Marmaris is a port city and tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast. It has an exceptional location between two intersecting sets of mountains by the sea. This is a picturesque setting with pine-covered mountains, sandy white beaches, turquoise waters, and historic buildings. It is also a center for sailing and diving, possessing two major and several smaller marinas.

Top Things to Do in Marmaris

  • Relax on the beach. You can dip into the sea whenever you want or play different water sports: jet skiing, water-skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc.
  • Take a boat tour to explore around the nearby bays and neighboring islands, such as Paradise Island, various caves, natural aquariums, and Green Sea Bay. The boats depart from the harbor and beaches of Marmaris.
  • Enjoy the nightlife. There are hundreds of nightclubs in Marmaris! You can enjoy listening to live music, tasting fresh food and drinks, and dancing with your friends. In a word, you could party ‘til dawn in Marmaris.

Ephesus

Ephesus is one of the world's greatest classical sites. It was a major Roman city for a period and was also used as a port city. While the site is vast, only about 15% of this Greco-Roman metropolis has been excavated at present.

Top Things to Do in Ephesus

  • Explore the ancient city of Ephesus. The Library of Celsus is a highlight, which was also the third largest library in the Roman Empire. The theater is also one of the must-see sites in the city.
  • Visit the House of Virgin Mary. Catholics have speculated that this is where Mary spent her final days after the ascension of Jesus. It is a pilgrimage site for some Catholics.
  • Visit the Ephesus Museum. Here they display the most important artifacts that have been found at the excavation sites.

Start Planning your Turkey Trip

Are you starting to dream about some of the sites? Turkey is a great destination as it is a mix of culture, history, natural beauty, fun, and relaxation. Our experienced trip advisors could help tailor-make the perfect trip for you! Have an idea but don't know the next step? Send us an email and we can help take that idea and turn it into a once in a lifetime vacation!

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