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Top 9 Places to Visit in Turkey: From Ancient Wonders to Modern Marvels

TeamAckoNov 23, 2023

Turkey, a place filled with rich and diverse culture, is becoming a hot destination for people to enjoy their international vacation. Featuring a landscape consisting of both mountains and beaches, Turkey has served as the gateway between Asia and Europe for hundreds of years. If you are someone who enjoys historic places, Turkey is the perfect country for a vacation. Turkey is not only about historic places; it has the perfect mix of culinary landscape, beautiful cities, great mountains and many more.

Places To Visit In Turkey

Overall, the places you can visit in this country have a never-ending list. So, we created a list of the best places to visit in Turkey so that you can make the most of your next foreign trip there.

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9 Best Places to Visit in Turkey 

Here is a list of the 9 top places to visit in Turkey for an unforgettable foreign trip.

1. Cappadocia 

Cappadocia has spectacular rock formations and hot air balloon rides. This is a place that provides numerous natural sceneries, which includes one of the globally popular natural phenomena. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Turkey other than Istanbul. It has various locations to explore, making it a gorgeous and intriguing spot to visit.

The best time to visit Cappadocia is from March to June and September to November, when the weather becomes pleasant. Cappadocia is usually busy from June through August because that is the busiest tourist season.

  • Location: Cappadocia, Turkey

  • Best Time to Visit: September- October and April–June 

  • Things to do: Visit Devrent Valley and Pasabag, and explore the Love Valley. 

  • Nearby Attractions:  Goreme Valley, Pigeon Valley, Ozkonak Underground City, Goreme Open Air Museum, Uchisar Castle and others.

2. Hagia Sophia Museum 

Hagia Sofya, or Aya Sophia, is a domed structure from the 16th-century era. Aya Sophia was later known as Hagia Sophia, which means "holy wisdom”. After taking Constantinople, Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh purchased the monument with his money. It had been built in the form of a basilica for the Greek Orthodox Christian Church.

It is the oldest church that ever existed in present Istanbul or previous Constantinople, being built by Emperor Constantine I. Since then, it has been named Hagia Sophia by people because of its glorious architecture, and it is highly regarded by the majority of tourists visiting Turkey. This also makes it one of the best places to visit in Turkey with family

  • Location: Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

  • Best Time to Visit: April to May, September to October

  • Things to do: Visit the mesmerising museum and explore the nearby places.

  • Nearby Attractions: Dolmabahce Palace, Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet Square and Basilica Cistern.

3. Antalya 

It is probably one of the prettiest cities in Turkey, which is why it is commonly referred to as one of the best places to visit in Turkey. Some Roman sculptures and structures, such as the Roman Bridge, are still in use and can also be found in Antalya, which is famous for its beautiful natural features. After all, Antalya was one of the first Turkish cities that attracted tourists from around the world back in the early 1980s. Therefore, the locals in Antalya boast a lot of experience and insight into the ways of global branding to promote the city internationally

The most popular tourist attraction in Antalya is the Duden Waterfalls. This is a demonstration of blue water circling green vegetation that forms a magnificent view that attracts people from all over the world.

  • Location: Antalya City, Turkey 

  • Best Time to Visit: April to mid-June and September to mid-October

  • Things to do: Explore the beautiful city; visit Antalya Aquarium and Antalya Muzesi.

  • Nearby Attractions: Antalya Aquarium, Aspendos, Porto Ceneviz Koyu, Perge.

4. Pamukkale 

Because of the carbonate minerals left behind by the flow of thermal spring water, Pamukkale is well-known for its naturally occurring thermal pools. The thermal pools have been drawing people to this location for years. The hot pools in Pamukkale allow you to swim and get some relaxation during your trip. The kings and queens of the Roman Empire once used this location as a spa retreat.

With over 2 million visitors annually, Pamukkale is one of the best places to visit in Turkey and offers a stunning natural setting. As such, it is well worth a visit. For budget hikers, a 2-night package works ideal because it gives you enough time to explore.

  • Location: Denizli, Turkey

  • Best Time to Visit: April to mid-June

  • Things to do: Visit the Hierapolis Theatre, explore the Pamukkale Castle, and visit the Hierapolis Museum.

  • Nearby Attractions: Pamukkale Tiyatrosu, Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Cleopatra Pools, Kaklik Cave, Byzantine Church, Anatolia Cemetery and others.

5. Ephesus 

Ephesus is an ancient Greek city located in Turkey. This is absolutely one of the best parts of Turkey that are worth visiting. The city of Halicarnassus is said to have been founded around the tenth century BC. During the classical Greek period, Halicarnassus was among the leading cities in Ionia that eventually came under Roman rule in 129 BC.

The city was destroyed twice: It was conquered for the first time in 263 AD by the Goths, but its glory was restored. However, in 614 AD, when an earthquake occurred, it was totally destroyed.

  • Location: Atatürk, Uğur Mumcu Sevgi Yolu, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey

  • Best Time to Visit: March to mid-June

  • Things to do: Enjoy visiting Terrace Houses, House of the Virgin Mary, Temple of Artemis, and watch Sunset in Kusadasi.

  • Nearby Attractions: Cave of Seven Sleepers, Ephesus Ancient Greek Theatre,  Isa Bey Mosque, Basilica of Saint John, Library of Celsus and many more.

6. Mount Nemrut 

It is considered one of Turkey's most beautiful ancient ruins. Mount Nemrut is a well-known ancient destination for visitors who want to learn about the history of the Turkish sultans and other kings who ruled over Turkey for a long time and built various attractions for their cities.

There are sculptures created on top of a tomb-sanctuary that have statues of the monarch, two lions, two eagles, and several Iranian gods such as Heracles-Artagnes-Ares, Zeus-Oromasdes, and Apollo-Mithras-helios-Hermes that are 8-9 metres high. These statues were commissioned by King Antiochus I, Theos of Commagene, in 62 BC.

  • Location: Taurus Mountains, Turkey

  • Best Time to Visit: May and September

  • Things to do: Go hiking and explore the places nearby, like Cendere Bridge and Karakus.

  • Nearby Attractions: Mount Nemrut Summit, Perre Ruins, Arsameia, Malatya, Darende and Aslantepe.

Also Read: Best time to visit Turkey

7. Konya 

Konya is an important town in Turkey's Central Anatolia area and one of the oldest cities in the world. The place is famous for its unique Seljuk architecture and the Whirling Dervishes. Konya served as the capital city under the Seljuk dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries. Many beautiful buildings from that era, including Alaeddin Mosque, with sultans' graves, are very popular among tourists.

The Seljuk Palace, though in ruins, is well worth a visit and is listed as one of the top places to visit in Turkey. The Seljuk Tower, one of Turkey's largest skyscrapers with a revolving restaurant on the top two floors, is a modern architectural grandeur.

  • Location: Konya, Turkey

  • Best Time to Visit: June to August

  • Things to do: Sightseeing, visit Alaeddin Hill; the Tile Museum; the Museum of Wooden; and the Stone Carving.

  • Nearby Attractions: Mevlana Museum, Karatay Madrasa, Alauddin Kayqubad Mosque, Sille and also Kyoto Japanese Park.

8. Topkapi Palace 

It was built in the 15th century by Mehmet the Conqueror. This palace represented the symbolic and political home of the Ottoman Empire, lasting until 1853. The decor of this palace will take you back to the last century and its treasures. Haren is among the things you will like about the palace, which makes it one of the most interesting places in Turkey for historical fans. When all these are put together, it feels like a place that anyone who visits Istanbul, Turkey, should not miss. After the downfall of the Ottoman Empire in 1924, the palace became a museum.

The jewelled decor and exuberant tilling offer a glance at how lavish and powerful the Ottoman Turks’ base was. In addition, Sinan, the famous Ottoman architect, designed the Imperial Council building, where one can see his treasury, collection of miniature paintings, and fascinating Harem rooms.

  • Location: Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey 

  • Best Time to Visit: All year round 

  • Things to do: Explore the library and the museum 

  • Nearby Attractions: Hagia Irene (Aya Irini) Museum, Gulhane Park and  Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici) Museum.

9. The Grand Bazaar 

The Grand Bazaar has everything for everyone. Jewellery, souvenirs, rugs, tea, clothing—whatever you need, you can get all under one roof. However, don't forget to bargain while purchasing things from here. This is the place you look if you want to shop your heart out without feeling guilty. If you are looking to take a  piece of Turkey back home, this is among the top sites in Turkey for holiday shopping. 

The Grand Bazaar has something for everyone. One day would not be enough to explore the splendour of Turkey's most famous and significant destination. This bazaar is one of the best places to visit in Turkey because it exhibits the country's rich culture and art.

  • Location: Istanbul 

  • Best Time to Visit: Everyday (9 am – 7 pm), All year round 

  • Things to do: Souvenir shopping, spice shopping

  • Nearby Attractions: Egyptian Bazaar.

Well, these were some of the best places to visit in Turkey. Nevertheless, Turkey has many other places that will surely interest you, but it is impossible to visit all of them during a single trip. In this blog post, we discussed the must-visit destinations while on a Turkey trip to help you get the most out of such a once in a lifetime experience. 

Additionally, ensure that you acquire insurance coverage the moment you begin planning for your trip. Buying travel insurance can go a long way on your international trips. It helps to cushion against many unexpected scenarios, such as baggage loss and loss of travel money, among others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have a few questions about the places to visit in Turkey? Well, here are the answers to a few common questions that you may have while planning your Turkey vacation.

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1. How should you dress while visiting Turkey?

In this country, people are free to wear anything they please. There are no rules prohibiting you from wearing whatever you choose. However, because a mosque is a place of prayer for Muslims, you must dress appropriately.

2. Which cities in Turkey should I visit?

Some of the cities you must visit in Turkey are Ankara, Izmir, Istanbul, and Antalya. However, there are several other things to do in Turkey that you should not overlook.

3. What is the most beautiful place to visit in Turkey?

It is impossible to single out one picturesque destination in Turkey. Nonetheless, Ankara, Patara, the Temple of Hadrian, and Antalya are some of the most attractive spots to visit in Turkey that you should not miss.

4. Is it expensive to visit Turkey?

No, Turkey is not a country where you must splurge; you can visit, stay, and eat on a shoestring budget.

5. Is Turkey dangerous?

Turkey is just like any other country and there is no danger visiting it. However, you must stay a bit cautious in a new country.

6. Where do couples go in Turkey?

All couples must explore these places in Turkey - Istanbul, Antalya, Pamukkale, Kusadasi, and Marmaris.

7. What are some of the best places to visit in Turkey for couples? 

Turkey is popular for its beautiful mosques, splendid natural attractions, food, textiles, and culture that is a fusion of European and Asian influences. Couples can enjoy exploring these during their vacation in this country.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.

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