Best destinations to visit in Turkey full guide

Turkey is the theater of the greatest dynasties which have left their prints in the most beautiful mosques, palaces, amphitheaters, temples, and libraries, dominating the cliffs and dream beaches of the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. Turkey is also a splendid territory for nature lovers and extraordinary landscapes. If you want to know the best destinations to visit in Turkey, you have come to the right place! Additionally, if you’re looking for mesmerizing and great accommodation in Turkey, click here!

6 Best destinations to visit in Turkey.

I. Istanbul.

It’s impossible to talk about the best destinations in Turkey without mentioning Istanbul, one of the best cities in the world! With its 3,113 mosques and trendy districts full of charms and contrasts, Istanbul will delight you.

1. Topkapi Palace.

For almost 400 years, the Ottoman sultans inhabited the Topkapi Palace and made this place their official residence. Built in the 15th century, the Topkapi Palace overlooks Istanbul and the Bosphorus Strait, making it a must-see on your visit to Turkey, offering you a grandiose view of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn. Topkapi Palace consists of a set of pavilions surrounding four interior courtyards. Visitors appreciate treasures on this tour such as the Imperial Harem, the Crown Jewels, and the impressive Topkapi Dagger.

Topkapi Palace -  best destinations to visit in Turkey

2. Istanbul Grand Bazar.

Located southwest of the Turkish capital, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar dates back 500 years. This mythical place is home to more than 4,000 shops, making it one of the largest bazaars in the world. At Istanbul Grand Bazaar you will find different forms of crafts such as rugs, textiles, leathers, ceramics, jewelry, etc. Additionally, you will also find many restaurants, spice shops, Turkish delight, dried fruits, pastries, and trinkets of all kinds. Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is safe, the only danger is that it makes you want to taste everything!

Istanbul Grand Bazar - best destinations to visit in Turkey

3. Hagia Sophia.

Impossible to visit Istanbul without going through the famous Hagia Sophia. It is an old Christian church constructed in the 6th century, transformed into a mosque in the 15th century, then a museum in 1934, and then a mosque again in 2019. The Hagia Sophia Mosque is located right next to the Blue Mosque, it is also free and open to all visitors.

Hagia Sophia - best destinations to visit in Turkey

4. Istiklal Avenue.

Istiklal Avenue is a shopping and pedestrian street located north of the Golden Horn. Over three kilometers there are theaters, shops, cinemas, cafes, and nightclubs. It is the most famous avenue in the city, the one where you can shop, have a drink, eat and stroll. Istiklal Avenue is a very popular street for locals and tourists alike, on weekends it is frequented by nearly 3 million people. Here you can enjoy Turkish pastries or chocolates. Don’t miss it, even just to watch!

Istiklal Avenue - Istanbul

5. Galata Tower.

If you want to admire Istanbul on a sunny day, we recommend that you visit the Galata Tower. This place offers you a 360 ° panoramic view of the Turkish capital. Located not far from Dolmabahçe Palace north of the Golden Horn, Galata Tower is one of the best destinations to visit in Turkey. It is a 66.9-meter high medieval tower with an observation deck, located 51 meters high. The Galata Tower district is also very pleasant to visit.

Galata Tower - Istanbul

II. Pamukkale.

Pamukkale means cotton castle in Turkish and yes it sounds quite like it. This strange white waterfall is a 100% natural phenomenon. Already in the Roman period, these large basins were used for bathing. Today Pamukkale is one of the most visited places in the country. If you would like to explore it fully, we invite you to check our special tour.

1. Laodicea.

One of the best destinations in Turkey and Pamukkale is Laodicea. It is a city founded in the 3rd century BC by the Syrian King Antiochos II who named it after his wife’s name. The city was part of the kingdom of Pergamon before it was occupied by the Romans. at the time Laodicea was a rich trading city, it was famous for the quality of its cotton. Laodicea is also one of the seven churches mentioned by Saint John in his Revelation. Today, the city is home to several ruins that date back to Roman times.

Laodicea - Turkey

2. Nyssa.

Pamukkale is also known for its proximity to Nyssa. Be prepared to see some of the most calming scenery in Turkey. Founded in the 3rd century BC, Nyssa reached its peak during Roman times. The theater of 5,000 spectators is in excellent condition thanks to the tunnel which prevented water from invading it. This hill is not very popular with tourists, which makes this visit very attractive for true lovers of peace and archeology. Moreover, the site is hidden in the mountain, in the middle of an olive grove.

Nyssa - Turkey

3. Kula.

Kula is also a must-see in Pamukkale and one of the best destinations to visit in Turkey. The landscape of Kula is arid and its volcanic activity did not cease until around the 2nd millennium BC. By visiting Kula, you will find footprints in Çakallar Tepesi, near the artificial lake of Demirköprü. It is a lake that dates back to 12,000 BC. The village of Kula consists of only twenty inhabitants. However, despite the small number of inhabitants, Kula has been able to preserve much of its culture. Do not hesitate to take a little stroll on the narrow streets of the village. This will allow you to live an unforgettable experience surrounded by superb facades of century-old houses.

Kula - Turkey

4. Amasya.

One of the Jewels of Ottoman Art and the Pamukkale region is Amasya. The history of this Turkish place dates back over 5,000 years. Thanks to its strategic position on the road from Mesopotamia to the Black Sea, Amasya was successively the capital of the last kingdom of Armenia, Turkish emirate, and Mongol base, before being conquered by Sultan Beyazıt I in 1392. It was also in Amasya that Ataturk began his campaign for independence in secret in June 1919. The natural beauty of the site and the architectural legacy contribute to making Amasya one of the prettiest destinations in Turkey. Additionally, in this magical place, you will be amazed by the Ottoman houses that line the banks of the Yeşilırmak.

Amasya - Turkey

5. Hierapolis.

It is impossible to talk about Pamukkale without mentioning Hierapolis, one of the most beautiful destinations in Turkey. It is an ancient spa town founded in the 2nd century BC by Attalides de Pergamon. Hierapolis was destroyed by an earthquake. Subsequently, Hierapolis was rebuilt in a 100% Roman-style this time around the year 100. To access the site you have to go to the entrance which is at the top of the village. From this point, you have to remove your shoes and climb the large alley built in the middle of some artificial pools to reach the top of the site.

Hierapolis - best destinations to visit in Turkey

III. Cappadocia.

Cappadocia is a semi-arid region located in the heart of Turkey. It has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1985. Additionally, this region is renowned for its hot air balloon flights and scenic views.

1. Selim Monastery.

Selim Monastery should be on your list of must-see places in Cappadocia. This Monastery does not look like typical Christian monasteries. In our opinion, Selim Monastery is one of the most striking destinations in Cappadocia thanks to its almost legendary structure as well as its different landscapes and its tranquility. It looks more like a small town or a small palace carved out of the rock. Selim Monastery has several rooms with splendid views. The tourist site also has dark corners where only light can pass through the small windows.

Selim Monastery - best destinations to visit in Turkey

2. Valley of the Roses.

If you are looking for atypical tourist places in Cappadocia, head to the Valley of the Roses. The route is generally easy to do. By taking it you can admire many fairy chimneys as well as hidden churches. You will also dive into a magical landscape. We advise you to take the valley route in the afternoon. During this period, the sun is not strong. Additionally, the rocks are exposed mainly to the west and color the pink light of the setting sun. The view is simply spectacular!

Valley of the Roses  - Turkey

3. Derinkuyu.

Located 30 kilometers south of Nevsehir, Derinkuyu is an underground city and the largest in the world. Its construction began around the 8th century BC. Only 10% of Derinkuyu is accessible to the public, so it is a real underground city. Derinkuyu was intended to protect the premises from persecution. During your visit, you will descend to 85 meters underground, passing through the various furnished living rooms. The whole building is ventilated by 52 ventilation chimneys. In short, Derinkuyu is not only a must-see in Cappadocia but also one of the best destinations to visit in Turkey.

Derinkuyu - Turkey

4. Uchisar.

Uchisar is the most magical site in Cappadocia. The place shelters a famous castle made up of an immense peak with 2 points. The castle measures 1300 m and overlooks Cappadocia. Additionally, the castle of Uchisar is pierced by 1000 tunnels. You’ll also find in Uchisar the remains of a rock church.

Uchisar - best destinations to visit in Turkey

5. Goreme Open Air Museum.

Few people think of visiting museums in Cappadocia, however, the Goreme Open Air Museum is simply phenomenal. This cultural site will help you understand the fascinating history of the region. Much of the museum is actually in deep caverns carved out of the rocky cliffs. Moreover, this place is part of the UNESCO world heritage. It is also here that the first Christians took refuge and then built churches. Additionally, The Goreme Open Air Museum is full of magnificent murals.

Goreme Open Air Museum - Turkey

IV. Antalya.

Founded in the 2nd century BC, Antalya is today one of the best destinations in Turkey. Nicknamed the Turkish Riviera, Antalya has all the necessary infrastructure to offer you a dream trip.

1. Termessos.

34 kilometers northwest of Antalya you will find Termessos. This tourist spot is distinguished by its atmosphere which plunges you into a time when the Greeks and Romans could not tame the Pisidians. The ruins of Termessos are very well preserved. When going on this excursion, remember to wear sturdy shoes. Also, don’t forget to hydrate yourself. Additionally, do not hesitate to visit Colonnaded Street and the Agora of Termessos. They are two amazing places. We also invite you to visit the theater, where the panoramas of the peaks of the Taurus mountains are elusive.

Termessos - Turkey

2. Antalya Museum.

Antalya Museum is one of the most important museums in Turkey. It is a real escape in history via 13 exhibition rooms and where you will see no less than five thousand works. nearby you will find the Atatürk House Museum. This place is dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the new Turkey. He settled there during his official visits.

Antalya Museum - Turkey

3. Antalya Aquarium.

Alongside Konyaaltı beach, Antalya Aquarium exhibits a wide diversity of marine species. You can easily distinguish them in the 131 m long and 3 m wide aquarium tunnel. There are also several themed aquariums nearby. Antalya Aquarium also hosts the Snow World where there are real snowballs, an Ice Museum, and a 5D Cinema room. So you can experience a fabulous 5D underwater adventure.

Antalya Aquarium - Turkey

4. Konaklı Time Cenun.

Konaklı Time Cenun is a modern center full of activities and attractions. The center is ideal for wandering through its countless spaces. Konaklı Time Cenun has two floors with many clothing stores, a supermarket, a souvenir stall, and a toy shop. If you like clothes from big brands, there is a shop where we sell brands of big designers such as Gucci, Versace, Givenchy, etc.

Konaklı Time Cenun - Turkey

5. Kaleiçi (Antalya Old Town).

In the shape of a labyrinth, Kaleiçi is a place conducive to strolling and idleness. Several bars and cafes are available so don’t hesitate to have a drink and admire what is going on around you. Kaleiçi is now home to a host of boutique hotels, souvenir stalls, and art galleries. Antalya Old Town has a quaint old-world feel to it, but there is no shortage of tourist attractions. You can for example visit the 18th-century mosque Tekeli Mehmet and the minaret of Kesik Minare.

Kaleiçi - best destinations to visit in Turkey

V. Ankara.

Ankara, the current capital of Turkey is located in the heart of Anatolia. The Turkish capital owes its fame to Atatürk. Moreover, a mausoleum is dedicated to this Turkish figure. The Turkish capital also has several historical and cultural places that will not leave you indifferent.

1. Ancient Citadel of Ankara.

The ancient Citadel of Ankara is one of the most beautiful and best destinations to visit in Turkey. Its origin is Byzantine or maybe even older because the date is not precisely known. The visit to the citadel is quick. There is hardly more than a small street that connects the low wall with the high wall. Be sure to climb the steps behind the ramparts to reach the top. You will be able to walk along the ramparts. Also, you will have a clear view of Ankara and the surrounding mountains.

Ancient Citadel of Ankara - Turkey

2. The Temple of Augustus.

The Temple of Augustus is another one of the best destinations to visit in Turkey. Its construction dates from the 1st century. The Temple of Augustus was in the 6th century transformed into a Byzantine church, then briefly into a mosque before being abandoned. Supported by scaffolding, the wall preserves the inscription of the testament and praise of the Roman Emperor Augustus, in Latin and Greek.

Temple of augustus - Turkey

3. Ataturk’s Mausoleum.

Ataturk’s Mausoleum was inaugurated in 1953, on the 15th anniversary of Atatürk’s death. With a total area of 700,000 m², the mausoleum is built on an ancient Phrygian tumulus. It proudly sits on the heights of the capital so you can’t miss him. Additionally, know that the Turks come to Ataturk’s Mausoleum with great emotion and pride. Atatürk, who died nearly a century ago, remains the Father of the Turks, especially for those who are attached to the idea of secularism.

Ataturk's Mausoleum - best destinations to visit in Turkey

4. The district of the Parliament and the ministries.

The district of Parliament and the ministries is the center of Turkish politics and one of the best destinations to visit in Turkey. There you will see official buildings and statues of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Also, be aware that the area is crisscrossed by the military, it is forbidden to take pictures of most buildings. Regarding the parliament, you can only visit it on the first Saturday of each month. However, the visit is worth it. You will see the traces of the bombing of July 15, 2016, during the coup against Erdogan. Additionally, you will see signs commemorating the July 15th Martyrs.

The district of the Parliament and the ministries - Turkey

5. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is housed in two pretty 15th-century buildings. The first is a former caravanserai, while the second is a covered market topped by ten central domes. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations houses collections from the Paleolithic to the Ottoman Empire. It covers the prehistoric, Assyrian, Hittite, Phrygian, Greek, and Roman periods. Winner of the Trophy for the best European museum in 1997, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is undoubtedly the best in the Turkish capital.

Museum-Anatolian-Civilizations-Ankara

VI. Trabzon.

Trabzon is one of the oldest and greenest cities in the Black Sea region. This Turkish city has hosted many civilizations throughout history. Trabzon, therefore, remains a surprise to anyone who thinks that Turkey is only Istanbul and the beaches to the south.

1. Atatürk Köşkü.

Ataturk White Palace or Atatürk Köşkü is a palace located 5 km from downtown Trabzon. It was built by Greek architect Konstantin Kabayanidis in 1903. Constructed on a hill, Atatürk Köşkü consists of 3 floors. The monument, which has been transformed into a museum, is characterized by its magnificent architectural style, charming gardens, and antique furniture used at the start of the 20th century.

Atatürk Köşkü

2. Trabzon Müzesi.

Located on Ozone Street, Trabzon Müzesi is one of the best destinations to visit in Turkey. It is an ornate palace built at the beginning of the 20th century, it includes local archaeological and ethnographic works. You will have the chance to see statues of animals living in Trabzon. Additionally, don’t forget to admire the art objects and some types of machines used by the inhabitants of this city in their daily life.

Trabzon Müzesi - Turkey

3. Trabzon Kalesi.

Trabzon Kalesi is an Ottoman fortress that consists of three parts, an upper castle, a central, and a lower one. Additionally, a distinctive Ottoman Islamic architecture, breathtaking views of the coast, picturesque nature, and dense green trees characterize the castle.

Trabzon Kalesi - Turkey

4. Sumela Monastery.

Sumela Monastery was built in 386, 48 km south of the city center. It is located at an altitude of 1200 meters, on the side of a mountain overlooking the Maçka region. Sumela Monastery is one of the most important tourist spots in Trabzon for history buffs. It houses a labyrinth of ancient rooms and several fireplaces. Also, Sumela Monastery is part of the mountain and thus offers stunning views. Additionally, at the bottom of the monastery is a narrow and charming valley.

Sumela Monastery - best destinations to visit in Turkey

5. Sultan Murat.

Located to the east of the city of Trabzon, the Sultan Murat region was named after Sultan Murad VI who passed there on his return from Iran. When you see the region, it feels like a land of dreams thanks to the breathtaking views from the top of the mountains. Additionally, the Turkish region is characterized by its greenery, splendor, and wild animals such as deer and squirrels. In short, the region of Sultan Murat is one of the most beautiful places of tourism in Turkey.

Sultan Murat - Turkey

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