Planning your next trip to Turkey? Here’s what you have been looking for. We completed a guide about the best places to visit in Turkey.
Turkey is a country of vast and varied landscapes, with a coastline that stretches for over 6,000km. It is home to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places in the world. The Mediterranean coastline, which includes the Turkish Riviera, is among Turkey’s most prized destinations.
Because it sits at the juncture of Asia and Europe, Turkey has a lot to offer travellers. Its vibrant culture, famous food, and vast history wow all who venture here, while its glorious landscapes, from the sun-soaked Mediterranean to the mighty mountains and arid steppe, are tourist attractions in themselves. But Turkey is more than just a beautiful destination: it’s also a wonderful place to experience its oldest profession.
Introduction: What is Turkey?
Turkey is a very popular tourist destination because there is so much to see and do. The cosmopolitan flair and exotic nature of the city are evident even though it spans Asia and Europe at the same time. It’s not as simple as it appears to choose the best places to visit in Turkey.
It is the 37th most populous country globally, with more than 180 million residents. It has a varied topography as a result of its immense size. In addition to its natural splendour, it has a rich history and culture that make it a must-see destination.
The country’s transcontinental culture clash and its east-west mix of influences, flavours, cultures, religions and histories make it so captivating at the point where Europe and Asia converge. There is sensory richness in the bazaars and mosques, in the food and arts; there is exoticism and romance, from Ottoman palaces in Istanbul to fairytale Cappadocia. There is also a wide variety of natural beauty. There are otherworldly landscapes and ancient wonders in the interior, once the playgrounds of Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Caesar and Alexander the Great.
Yet they are not as frequently visited as sites in Italy or Greece. During the summer, gulets sail on their Blue Voyages from the Aegean to the eastern reaches of the Mediterranean, dropping anchors to swim in crystal-clear bays and taking long lunches in fishing villages, where life remains unchanged for thousands of years, seated at blue-painted tables and chairs surrounded by pink bougainvillaea canopies.
Why You Should Visit Turkey
There is something for everyone in Turkey. The country offers historic ruins, bustling cities, scenic beaches, mountains, excellent food and shopping at an affordable price. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, whether it’s a short trip to Istanbul, a beach holiday along the southern Coast or something in between. Turkey could be the place for you.
Expenses and accessibility
Turkey has been experiencing a currency crisis for a while now, but it has led to a positive development for tourists: the country is extremely inexpensive. Turkey is one of the cheapest countries to visit in the Mediterranean. It is possible to have a very affordable vacation here by staying in local guesthouses and eating local foods. You can “splash out” on luxury hotels and restaurants and still come away with a great holiday.
You’ll be in luck if you plan on visiting the country and some of the places mentioned above as Turkey is very easy to travel around. The bus system is regular, cheap, and comfortable. It goes between all the major towns and cities.
Authentic Turkish Cuisine
Turkey is widely considered to have some of the best cuisines in the world – and there’s nothing that can change that. A delicious combination of Balkan, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian influences has formed the country’s culinary traditions over the past 1,300 years.
A traditional Turkish breakfast will get you started on the right foot. With this platter, guests will find fresh white bread, a cheese platter, eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, black olives, and various spreads, and all washed down with tea. You can also expect tantalizing mezze platters, tasty Kofte meatballs, and Turkish coffee from the finest sources.
A bowl of soup can be ordered at any time of day, as soups have long been an important part of Turkish culture. There are several delicious traditional desserts in Turkey, including Baklava – a sweet pastry, Turkish rice pudding known as Sutlac and Turkish Delight.
It is impossible to go hungry in Turkey, even if you have tried everything available. Visit a new place, and you’ll always discover something new and delicious. Kuymak (melted cheese dishes) and hamsi tava (fried anchovies) in the Black Sea region, and testi kebab (a meat stew cooked in a clay pot sealed with bread and served literally on fire) in Cappadocia are just a few of the dishes available in Turkish cuisine.
Crowds that are smaller
Following the improvement in the political situation in Turkey, tourism has picked up. The number of visitors to the country rose 16% last year. Although there are significantly fewer tourists than in previous years, now is a good time to visit. It is more relaxing to visit Turkey’s main attractions because of the smaller crowds and shorter lines. Hundreds of tourists taking selfies won’t spoil the photos you take, and you’ll be able to fully appreciate Turkey’s wonders.
Many Turkish people had relied upon tourism as their source of income. Visitors who return after a recent dip in numbers will be greeted with a warm welcome by the locals. Restaurants, cafes, and shops around the hotel will make you feel like royalty, and the staff will be happy to serve you. Turkey is famous for its gorgeous beaches, such as Oludeniz’s blue lagoon, and it’s easy to see why. Despite its geologically active past, the country hosts a variety of other stunning landscapes and scenes. The country’s natural heritage is a solid reason to explore its 44 national parks, which protect its rich flora and fauna.
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The Turkish Culture and History
History is dotted with incredible ruins dating back thousands of years, as is the case with Greece and Italy. A famous ancient city is Ephesus, which boasts a worldwide reputation. A metropolis that dates back to the 10th century BC, it is considered one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the Mediterranean. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is also home to the Temple of Artemis and the Library of Celsus, both outstanding examples of ancient architecture and possibly the most recognizable landmark in the city. Gobekli Tepe is an archaeological site that is worth visiting if you’re interested in history.
The temple complex, 12km from Sanliurfa, was built some 12,000 years ago and predated Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. Turkey’s ruins are still open to visitors, even if you’re taking a beach vacation. Olympos sits on the Turkish Coast, home to an ancient city. Many of the ruins here have become overgrown, adding to their charm. A valley forms the border between the ruins and the sea, where Olympos Beach lies, a long, beautiful stretch of sand and pebbles backed by green mountains. There are also ruins and an impressive amphitheatre at Patara, a 12-kilometre beach with a lot of sand. Taking a stroll through the centuries-old ruins and finding yourself on the beach is definitely an experience.
Top 10 Best Places To Visit in Turkey
Istanbul’s ancient sights and modern districts are well worth a visit. The city of Istanbul is one of the world’s greatest and deserves to be on every traveller’s bucket list. Highlights such as the Byzantine basilica Aya Sofya, sometimes known as Hagia Sophia in English, and the Ottoman topkapi palace have contributed to Istanbul’s centuries-long reputation as a major imperial centre. Don’t forget to spend some time in Istanbul as it is today, too. Visit cafes and bars in the hip Kadiköy neighbourhood, walk some of the more conservative backstreets of Fatih, or catch a glimpse of contemporary art in Beyoğlu. On the ferry, don’t forget to drink çay (tea) while enjoying a spectacular view of the city. While you could spend your entire vacation in Istanbul, the delights of Turkish cuisine will entice you to wander further afield.
Take a dip in Pamukkale’s famous mineral water.
Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish and is a great site created throughout thousands of years by mineral springs coursing down the hillside. An array of pale eau-de-nil pools, shaped into shallow basins of gleaming white travertine, spill from the terraced hillsides, overflowing with mineral-rich spring water that formed them and which appears to have frozen in time as petrified waterfalls and stalactites of limestone dripping down the mountainside like wedding cake icing.
In this spa, you can take a dip in Cleopatra’s hot tub, said to be a gift from Mark Antony. Once covered with the temple of Apollo, the columns now lie in the water, and blossoming flowers flank the pool. The ancient site of Pamukkale also makes a good base for exploring nearby places such as Laodicea, Tripolis and, most notably, the stunning ruins of Afrodisias, which contain impressive Roman marble sculptures. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best places to visit in Turkey
It is said that there are fairies’ chimneys in Cappadocia
Cappadocia is one of the best places to visit in Turkey. The region of Cappadocia is 750 kilometres south of Istanbul, one jet hour or nine hours by car. It features a unique, lunar-like landscape that many describe as Martian. As a matter of fact, one does get the sense that one is somewhere else entirely. A piece of outlandish terrain once used for the extraterrestrial setting in Steven Spielberg’s Star Wars is thought to have been created by the deposition of tufa or soft rock containing volcanic ash spewed from three active volcanoes.
Cappadocia’s landscapes evoke the wonders of a fantasy world from the top of the Anatolian plateau. Under the surface, honey-coloured rocks have formed sculptural forms that resemble minarets, magic mushrooms, and fairy chimneys, while underground, settlers have been constructing cave houses, churches, monasteries, and even entire underground cities from the soft volcanic rock since the Bronze Age. In the town of Göreme, it is best to take a hot-air balloon ride at sunrise or sunset; alternatively, see it on horseback or two wheels – or watch the show from the terrace of your cave hotel (try Sultan Cave Suites for its rooftop, Museum Hotel or Kayakapi that all have outdoor pools, rustic-charming Cappadocia Cave Suites, or film-set-like Yunak Evleri). As hundreds of balloons drift overhead and the low sun casts apricot light on this extraordinary land, hundreds of balloons drift overhead. There is no better place on earth to find romance than this country.
Visit charming villages around Bodrum.
It was only through the water that the fishing villages dotted all around the Bodrum Peninsula were accessible until the 20th century, and still today, the best way to get around is by boat. All of these villages are picturesque, but Gümüşlük is the most charming. A row of ramshackle restaurants, shacks made of driftwood, line the water’s edge, some literally set in the shallows, so you can have meze or fish that has just been caught and just been grilled with your feet in the water (Mimoza is the best place). Sculptural gourd lanterns, handpainted in jewel tones, hang from the trees and canopies, creating sculptural shapes in the sunlight and enchanting silhouettes at night. In addition, it’s a great spot for catching sunsets in Bodrum.
Enjoy southeastern Anatolia’s culinary delights.
Anatolia’s southeastern region is one of Turkey’s cultural, as well as culinary, stars. The cities of Gaziantep and Antakya (Hatay) are recognized for their delectable cuisine, as well as for their museums with Roman mosaics. In addition to being a beautiful and well-preserved old town, Mardin’s surrounding monasteries and Roman ruins make a great base for exploring. A good archaeology museum and bazaar can be found in anlurfa, which has the world’s oldest religious site, Göbeklitepe.
Patara Beach is the longest and most beautiful beach in Turkey – but also one of the emptiest. The deep, wide stretch of pale sand is surrounded by breaking waves on one side and pine trees, marshes, and lagoons on the other. It is now a national park with abundant wildlife, including loggerhead turtles – an endangered species. Turtles play an important role in protecting the beaches, which also benefit from the ruins of Patara, which was built – it is said – by the son of Apollo. Through these ruins, you reach the shore, which includes an amphitheatre, the parliament building (found buried in sand in the 1990s), and the column-lined main street. Despite being undiscovered, Apollo’s temple is believed to still exist beneath the ground.
A cruise along the Turkish Riviera
Along the Aegean and Mediterranean coast, Antalya, Alanya, Kas, Fethiye, and Oludeniz have a perfect location between the towering Tauros ranges and the turquoise blue waters. This is a a unique way to discover many of Turkey’s best places to visit. It takes less than 30 minutes by car from the mountain top to the sea below, passing through elaborate resorts, plush villas, holiday apartments and star hotels. There is, however, a faster way to descend, as the beach stretch of Oludeniz is one of the top paragliding sites in the world. The mountain tops are dotted with enchanting waterfalls and steep canyons and rivers that roar.
One can raft in their gushing rivers or hike alongside steep canyons. The old fishing village of Kaş remains a getaway for hippie travellers and boho-chic Turks because it’s far enough from the big seaside hubs to keep it off the beaten track. On a mountain backdrop, crazy-paved streets are lined with traditional white-washed houses and wooden balconies, rustic swimming terraces and daybeds built over the water, piled with bright cushions and textiles. There is a beautiful beach in Kaputaş, all bright white and blue, surrounded by dramatic cliffs, and nearby, off the island of Kekova, there is an underwater city visible under crystal-clear water with snorkels.
Dalyan is the ideal place to get in touch with nature and enjoy a change of pace. On the Coast, the town offers an incredible stretch of beach, great hiking trails and a scenic river system. However, the highlight of the trip is Iztuzu Beach, one of the prettiest beaches in all of Turkey. This beach has a unique aspect since it is a peninsula, separated by a freshwater delta from the Dalyan River and by salt water from the Mediterranean Sea.
A two and a half-mile stretch of sandy beach is also home to an endangered sea turtle species, the Caretta Caretta. You can even visit the Sea Turtle Research Rehabilitation and Information Center at the beach’s southern end.
Get the chance to take in some of Turkey’s most stunning outdoor settings without having to navigate the countryside on your own. A variety of Daylan excursions can be combined into one challenging outing. You’ll visit an ancient harbour, rock-cut tombs from the 9th century, and wildlife-filled beaches. You’ll cruise in an ancient boat and enjoy free time to relax.
Visit Turkey’s capital – Ankara
Ankara is Turkey’s sprawling capital and is home to government buildings, commercial businesses, universities, and foreign embassies. Ankara is located in the country’s centre and in the Anatolia region, aA major transportation hub that connects Turkish nationals and tourists to other major tourist destinationn. The city is not just about business, however. Also, there are some historical sites and some arts and culture in this bustling city.
Old and filled with ancient structures and ruins, Ankara was once inhabited by different cultures, including Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. There is a Roman Theatre, the Temple of Augustus, and the Citadel, among others. The city also has many historical mosques. A landmark of the 20th century, Anitkabir, is a mausoleum housing Turkey’s first President, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Ankara offers a vibrant arts and culture scene, with many theatres and museums, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which houses more than 200,000 artefacts. Both traditional markets and modern malls offer superb shopping opportunities for items such as fresh produce, spices, carpets, and electronics.
Canakkale – Troy’s ancient city
The fabled Ancient City of Troy can be found on the northwest coast of the Ionian Peninsula. Troy is the Bronze Age city that was attacked during the Trojan War. Because it was considered a myth for so many years, it has a great deal of mystery and intrigue surrounding it.
When its ruins were finally discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century, historians were able to use the evidence they had uncovered. Check out the famous Trojan horse featured in the 2004 blockbuster film starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom.
This one-day tour takes you to Troy’s ancient city and the World War I battlefields of Gallipoli, two of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations. Learn about Troy’s myths and facts during your morning visit, then head to Gallipoli for an afternoon tour of important battle sites and cemeteries. There are no additional costs other than the cost of transportation, the ferry ride, the admission fees, and the lunch in Canakkale.
Conclusion: Why You Should Visit Turkey and How You Can Plan Your Trip
Turkey is a country that is rich in history and culture. You can visit the Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, or even take a boat ride on the Bosphorus Strait. The country has a lot to offer, and it would be worth your while to plan your trip accordingly. A trip to Turkey ought to be on top of everyone’s list of things to do in their lives.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a destination that offers a diverse landscape, history, and culture, look no further than Turkey. Whether you want to explore the ruins of ancient cities or relax on a private beach, there is something for everyone in this beautiful country. Plan your trip carefully, as each location offers its own unique experiences and attractions.