You are planning a trip to Turkey. Choosing a destination can be difficult. Your heart may be drawn to the beach, but your mind will crave a historic place. Rarely will you find a place that has it all. Turkey is one of those rare pearls. It has many key tourist attractions that cater to all interests, especially those looking for rewarding adventures. It benefits from a magnificent coastline, charming villages and an unequaled cultural heritage.
This is the ultimate list of main tourist attractions in Turkey to plan your next vacation. Scroll down to learn all about places to visit in turkey and share it with your friends!
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This extraordinary sight was created by the mineral springs that flowed down the hill over thousands of years. A series of natural pools of pale water and eau-de-nil are encapsulated in organically shaped shallow pools of gleaming white travertine. The water overflowed with mineral-rich spring water that seemed frozen in time.
While the sight is popular with tourists, the ancient ruins and hot springs of Hierapolis, a Greco-Roman spa town, are often overlooked. Cleopatra can bathe in her own hot tub, said to be a gift from Mark Antony. The pool, surrounded by flowers, was once covered by the Roman Temple of Apollo.
Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz
The turquoise waters of the bay and its white sand that wraps around it are so vibrant that they are today a symbol of the Turquoise Coast. The sandy shores of Belcekiz Beach slip into the shallow waters, creating swirling Maldivian-like seascapes in blue and white.
These are protected by verdant promontories that surround it like sleeping dragons. Paragliders can be seen flying above the sky, admiring the whole spectacle from the air.
The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia
The landscapes of Cappadocia, high on the Anatolian plateau resemble a fairy tale world. Honey-colored rocks have been eroded into sculptures resembling magic mushrooms, minarets and fairy chimneys. Meanwhile, underground, settlers have been busy building cave houses, churches, monasteries, from soft volcanic rock since the Bronze Age.
You can take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise and sunset. Or, you can also see the spectacular from the roof of your cave hotel. It is one of the most romantic places in the world.
The fishing villages of the Bodrum Peninsula were accessible only by water until the 20th century. Today, boat travel is the best way to get around. Gumusluk is the most charming of all fishing villages. Simple, ramshackle driftwood-style shacks line the water’s edge. You can eat meze or freshly caught fish directly from the boat, with your feet in the water. The fanciest place is Mimoza.
Hand painted in jewel tones, calabash lanterns hang from canopies and trees, creating beautiful shapes in the sunlight and making them look magical at night. This is also where you can watch the sunset in Bodrum.
The former fishing village of Kas is far enough from the main resort towns to be a haven for boho-chic Turks and hippie travellers. The streets are lined with traditional whitewashed houses and wooden balconies, topped with puffy bougainvillea. It is surrounded by the most beautiful turquoise sea and rustic bathing terraces.
Daybeds are built above water and covered in brightly colored cushions and textiles. Kaputas Beach is the highest point in the village. It is surrounded by stunning cliffs and is all white and bright blue. Nearby, on the island of Kekova, you will find an underwater town with snorkels.
Patara Beach, which stretches for more than seven miles, is one of the most beautiful and longest beaches in Turkey. It also has the smallest number of inhabitants. The beach is a deep, wide, rocky stretch of pale sand. On the other side are pines, dunes, marshes and lagoons. This natural park is rich in birds and you are surrounded by water, wildlife and most importantly, endangered loggerhead sea turtles.
The beach is protected and preserved partly because of the turtles and the ruins of Patara (an ancient city built by the son of Apollo). These ruins lead down to the beach, including an amphitheater and a parliament building, both of which were buried in the sand in the 1990s. Additionally, you can see the column-flanked remains from the main street. It is believed that the Temple of Apollo may still be underground, but it has not been discovered.
Ortakoy’s smaller mosque, located across the Golden Horn, is one of the most beautiful in Istanbul. It is white in stone and marble with pink mosaics inside. It is located at the water’s edge, next to the Bosphorus Bridge, and is beautiful at sunset when it shines with golden light. Its mosques are among the most amazing places in Istanbul.
All visitors are invited to adore or simply contemplate the magnificent golden dome. The sun shines through its stained glass windows. Built in the Ottoman era, it has an interior made of handmade Iznik ceramic tiles.
Turkey is home to many ancient sites. Most of these sites are much less known than those in Italy or Greece. Ephesus, which is now UNESCO protected by the United Nations Educational Space for Cultural Preservation, is undoubtedly the largest of them all. One of the Seven Wonders of the World was the Temple of Artemis, located in the ancient city of Ephesus. It is now a relic of a distant past, but the remains of Ephesus are still remarkable.
The settlement was built 9,000 years ago and is located far from the Aegean coast. Here you will find Roman, Christian and Ottoman, Hellenistic and Greek monuments. There are colonnaded streets, temples as well as a large amphitheater. The Library of Celsus, with its sculpted facade, still exists today.
Butterfly Valley, Fethiye
The most rewarding thing about the Lycian Way for walkers is the breathtaking view of the Valley of the Butterflies. A narrow bay with a narrow blue colored beach, the cove rises steeply and brushy on either side. It fades into turquoise on the shore. The campsite is located at the foot of the beach, accessible only by boat. It has a bar and serves beers and grilled fish.
Yoga classes are held under the trees. The valley, which has been used for centuries as a trade route, leads inland. It is lined with lush vegetation, waterfalls and in the spring it is home to 100 species of butterflies.
Balat, the old Jewish quarter of Istanbul, is home to colorful pockets. These include brightly painted stairs (like those leading to the Incir Agaci Kahvesi cafe), street art, and umbrella-shaded streets.
There are also terraced wooden houses made in sweet pastels or rainbow colors (try Kiremit Caddesi). You can find surprises among the cobbled streets and vintage shops, concert halls and art galleries in trendy neighborhoods.
Here is a list of the main destinations you should visit during your stay in Turkey. Do not delay if you have time and want to plan a real road trip through Turkey. You can travel from Istanbul to Kars and visit the most beautiful hidden places in Turkey, such as Alacati, natural pools of Cappadocia, Nemrut Dagi mountain or Sumela monastery, Macka.
Turkey offers incredible sites and perspectives. As you tick off the best places to see in Turkey, don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings, sample the delicious local cuisine, and soak up the sun on the beaches. Book your trip to Turkey now!
Why is Turkey famous?
European elements, from traditional Turkish tea to the magnificent Hagia Sophia. It is also known for its carpets and hammams and bazaars, as well as destinations like Istanbul, Cappadocia and sweets such as Turkish delight or baklava.
What is the best month to visit Turkey?
Turkey is known for its diverse mix of Eastern and Western cultures. The best time to visit Turkey is between April and May, September and October. These months are mild in Turkey, so you can explore the outer cities and ruins without having to worry about the heat.