15 Best Turkey Places to Visit and Things to Do in Turkey – Travel Guide

Turkey Places to Visit - Things to Do in Turkey
Turkey Places to Visit – Things to Do in Turkey

Joey from the popular show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. expressed his love for Thanksgiving Turkey; all of us have known it since then.

Anyway, we are here to talk about a beautiful transcontinental country situated on the Anatolian Peninsula of Western Asia and the Balkan Peninsula of Southeast Europe, which goes by the name of the bird Turkey. The capital city is Ankara, unlike what most people believe, Istanbul. 

Founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey is still home to the authentic, exceptional, and historical heritage of primitive civilization. No wonder there are at least 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites here! Fun fact: Nearly 5522 archaeological sites exist in Turkey! 

Apart from that, Turkey lies between three different seas, namely, the Marmara Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. With so much influence from the sea, the climate of Turkey is hot-dry summers and cool-wet winters.

Most people choose to opt for a Turkey Vacation for the following reasons – 

  • Mesmerizing beaches
  • Exquisite waterfalls
  • Veritable architectural history
  • Hot-air balloon rides
  • Sumptuous cuisines
  • Ancient empires
  • Awe-inspiring landscapes
  • Authentic bazaars
  • Turquoise blue waters 
  • Wonderful and welcoming locals

 

Turkey places to visit on vacation
Turkey places to visit on vacation

Which are the Best Turkey Places to Visit?

There are more than 100 best Turkey places to visit, but we have a collection of 15 that you can include in your itinerary for a great time there. 

 

Kabak Bay

Kabak Bay lies on the Mediterranean coastline of Turkey. It is residence to magnificent hiking spots, refreshing waterfalls, mind-boggling viewpoints, and wooden villas—one of the best places for couples looking for quiet time and a Turkey Honeymoon. 

By nighttime, the stars make their way through the mountains and make them look like a wall painting. If you are lucky enough, you may witness a shooting star! 

Kabak Bay is best known for its 220 species, including Wild Goat, Indian Porcupine, Caretta Caretta Sea Turtles, and Mediterranean Monk Seal. Most hotel stays and accommodations are around Kabak Bay, giving couples an offbeat sea exposure and romantic experience. 

Location: Lycia, 48300, Turkey

Mediterranean coastline of Turkey kabak bay
Mediterranean coastline of Turkey kabak bay

 

Topkapi Palace 

Between the 15th century and 19th century, lascivious Ottoman sultans, aspiring courtiers, attractive mistresses, and witty eunuchs lived in the Topkapi Palace of Istanbul, Turkey. The last Sultan to live in the Palace was Abdulmecit I. He later shifted to a new Palace called Dolmabahce Palace. It was only after the collapse of the empire that the Palace became- non-functional. 

Thanks to the declaration of the Turkish Republic, today, it is one of the hugest museums in Istanbul. It lies in the historical city center of Istanbul behind the Hagia Sophia. Topkapi Palace is one of the best Turkey places to visit because it has so much history intact.

Location: Istanbul, 34093, Turkey

dolmabahce palace in turkey placves to visit
dolmabahce palace in turkey placves to visit

 

Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut is the highest peak of Mesopotamia. It has the tombs of the King Antiochus I of the Commagene. The King was a supporter of salvation and happiness. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of the catchy things to do in Turkey is photographing the best views.

The best spots are sunrise and sunset moments over the sculptures. The sculptures got built by the King. The sculptures are of the King himself, two eagles, two lions, and various other Greek, Armenian, and Medes Gods. Other engaging places at Mount Nemrut are stone ruins, terraces around the tumulus, and heads of the deities. 

Location: Adiyaman, Turkey

Mount Nemrut turkey places to visit, vacation guide
Mount Nemrut turkey places to visit, vacation guide

 

Basilica Cistern 

Basilica Cistern got its name from its placement underneath the Stoa Basilica – one of the great squares on the first hill. It could store 80,000 cubic meters of water delivered to the Great Palace through 20 kilometers of aqueducts near the Black Sea. Gyllius was the one who discovered the cistern while catching a fish.

After the cistern, the Ottomans did not treat it well and used it as a dumping ground for junk. It got renovated in 1985, and today it is a popular tourist spot. You get to witness water falling from the ceiling – which makes it one of the most mesmerizing things to do in Turkey.  

Location: Alemdar, 34110, Turkey

basilica cistern in istanbul turkey vacation points
basilica cistern in istanbul turkey vacation points

 

Pamukkale 

Heirapolis / Pamukkale is a cotton palace derived from the springs on a cliff. It comprises mineral forests, calcite-laden waters, petrified waterfalls, and terraced basins. The Attalid kings of Pergamon of the 2nd century discovered the Heirapolis. They used the hot springs for cleaning and drying wool.

The Park of Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has 17 hot springs and travertine terraces. The mud bath is ideal for swimming and healing purposes. Pamukkale is the most chosen option for the ‘best Turkey places to visit’ criterion. 

Location: Denizli, Turkey

 

Galata Tower

Galata Tower in turkey, places to see
Galata Tower in turkey, places to see

If you want a 360-degree view of the beautiful Istanbul city, visit the Galata Tower. Built in 1348, the medieval Tower is in a cone-capped cylindrical shape.

The Tower is 220 feet tall and was the tallest Tower back in the 14th century. This nine-story Tower lies close to the junction between Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

Also known as the Tower of Christ, it has a nightclub showcasing a Turkish show on the upper floor. Not just that, the Galata Tower is also home to cafes, small art galleries, and restaurants. 

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Location: Istanbul, Turkey

 

Blue Mosque 

Another name for the Blue Mosque is Sultan Ahmet Cami, as it lies in the Sultan Ahmet district. It got established in 1619 by one of the favorite students of the Ottoman sultans, Sedefhar Mehmet Aga. It remains closed during prayer times for 90 minutes. Else, it remains open throughout the year. It comprises 260 stained glass windows, 20,000 blue ceramic tiles, one large dome, eight small domes, and six minarets.

The style of the Blue Mosque is an amalgamation of Ottoman and Byzantine. Visitors have to avoid flash photography. The Blue Mosque is rare. And so, you must take it as one of the Turkey places to visit when you plan a Turkey Vacation.

Location: Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque is Sultan Ahmet Cami turkey vacation
Blue Mosque is Sultan Ahmet Cami turkey vacation

 

Istanbul Archaeological Museum 

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is a complex of three museums – The Archaeology Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum. The founder of the Archaeological Museums was Mehmet, the Conqueror. Later in 1881, Osman Hamdi Bey became the museum director.

He also brought several sarcophagi collections to the Museum. The Museum lies close to the Topkapi Palace and Gulhane Park. It qualifies as one of the most breathtaking Turkey places to visit. The Museum is an abode to Ancient Oriental Works and Ottoman civic architecture. It features the Tomb of Iskender, Lycia Tomb, Tomb of Crying Women, and Tabnit Tomb.

Location: Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Grand Bazaar

The bazaars and shopping streets of Antalya offer a wide variety of retail offerings, striking photo-clicking opportunities, amazingly handcrafted decorative items and jewelry, long-lasting leather goods, breathtakingly alluring aromas of original tea, coffee, and spices, with cotton wares and local ceramic items.

Once you enter the Grand Bazaar through one of its 22 gates, you can buy anything from jewellery, ceramic items, carpets, handicrafts, spices, clothing, and food to footwear. Grand Bazaar was a significant economic hub between Asia and Europe back when communication happened during the vast rule of the Ottoman Empire. 

Location: Beyazit, 34126 Fatih, Turkey

Bazaar Turkey Places to Visit
Bazaar Turkey Places to Visit

 

Taksim Square

The word Taksim means division or distribution. At Taksim Square, the main water supply from the north of Istanbul city divides and branches off to other parts. Do you want to know about the best things to do in Turkey? Talk to the locals.

The locals of Instanbul meet at Taksim Square for the hub of trams, buses, metros, restaurants, hotels, and shops. At the center of the Square lies the Monument of the Republic, which features the revolutionary leaders of the Turkish War of Independence, namely – Ataturk and Ismet Inonu. The Square also has Taksim Gezi Park, where the annual LGBTQIA+ Pride parade happens.

Location: Beyoglu, Turkey

 

Uchisar Castle

Uchisar is at the highest point of Cappadocia, five kilometers from Goreme. At the top of Uchisar Castle, you can view Mount Erciyes at a distance. Many rooms in the Castle connect through stairs, tunnels, and passages.

Today, most of the rooms are pigeon houses. Farmers use pigeon droppings as natural fertilizers for orchards and vineyards. Since the Castle lies close to Goreme, where churches and monasteries lie, you can see rock-cut churches in and out of the Castle. Admiring the Castle will make the most of your Turkey Vacation

Location: Cappadocia, Turkey

Uchisar Castle turkey places to visit
Uchisar Castle turkey places to visit

 

Love Valley

The valley formations in Cappadocia are surreal, intriguing, and encapturing for the eyes of tourists. One such valley is the Love Valley having phallic-shaped stones rising high with the backdrop of the sky. The shape was derived 60 million years ago due to erosion. A thick layer of ash solidified, giving it the mold it has today.

Some stones are 40 meters high. It lies on the west side of the road between Uchisar and Goreme. Couples can try hot-air balloon riding to witness the lower parts of Rose Valley as they travel to Love Valley. Love Valley should be on your bucket list for a Turkey Honeymoon. 

Location: Cappadocia, Turkey

Love Valley hot air balloon ride
Love Valley hot air balloon ride

 

Antalya Aquarium

Antalya Aquarium is one of the biggest aquariums in the world, with a tunnel aquarium with a length of 131 meters and a breadth of 3 meters. It is home to some of the most poisonous, fascinating, and colorful species from the Reptile world.

The aquarium lies in the heart of Antalya. It has many cafes and restaurants to keep your stomach full and hearty. Some are – Mcdonalds, Gelatte Italian ice cream, and Mado. You get to click photographs with Hollywood green screen backgrounds.

Location: Antalya, Turkey

 

Patara 

Patara got founded by the Lycians in the 7th century B.C. Over the years, many Romans, Ottomans, Seljuks, and Byzantines ruled over Patara. Today, it is a popular tourist destination for its beach. Patara village has one of the most beautiful, unsullied, and undiscovered Mediterranean beaches of the globe. The backdrop for the beach is the Taurus Mountains. The beach has shiny 18-kilometer-long golden sand.

The Loggerhead turtles come every year between May and October to lay eggs. The locals of the Patara village look after the beach. You can ask for sunbeds, umbrellas, toilets, showers, or cafes. A minibus or taxi can help you get to the beach. Patara is an ideal spot for a Turkey Honeymoon.

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Location: Antalya, Turkey

Caves and sea in the area of Antalya, turkey vacation guide
Caves and sea in the area of Antalya, turkey vacation guide

 

Kaleici

Kaleici is an old town in Antalya, Turkey. On the streets of Kaleici, you will find many tiny cobblestoned houses of the Ottoman era. These houses are today small hotels for tourists like you. Kaleici also has a Kaleici Museum, which features an Orthodox Church and ethnography.

Hadrian’s Gate indicates the entrance of Kaleici town for 1900 years now. The Bazaar of Kaleici has antiques, paintings, and high-quality carpets. All through Kaleici, you will see the Roman culture. Be it cuisine, architecture, or Hadrian’s Gate.

Location: Antalya, Turkey

Colorful Streets of Antalya - place to visit in turkey
Colorful Streets of Antalya – place to visit in turkey

 

What Kind of Nightlife Can I Experience in Turkey?

Turkey is a gateway to nightlife with beautifully lit streets, beach parties, nightclubs, and cultural shows. It is a great place to enjoy with your loved ones for a Turkey vacation. 

Turkey is one of the best honeymoon destinations as well. All you need is to spend valuable time with your partner on a Turkey vacation. Here, we listed some of the most romantic things to do in Turkey.

 

Sufi Whirling Dervish Show

Sufi Whirling Dervish is the most popular dance art form in Turkey. The dance practice is believed to be a ritual that connects them with Allah. Focusing on God, Listening to the music, and spinning bodies in repetitive circles imitates more like the movements of planets in the solar system.

The best places to watch these shows are Istanbul and Cappadocia. Hodjapasha Cultural Center in Istanbul is the most popular Turkey place to visit as it provides a vibrant platform for Sufi Whirling Dervish shows

 

Take a Bosphorus Cruise Tour

Bosphorus Strait is a very impressive natural strait that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. It supports an international waterway that separates Asia and Europe. It is stretched 31 km long, 3.4km wide at the widest point, and 0.7km wide at the narrowest point.

Over 15 million population of Istanbul cross Bosphorus Strait each day. It is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world, allowing more than 200 long-distance vessels and thousands of small vessels every day. Taking a Bosphorus Cruise tour is one of the best things to do in Turkey.

Cruise Things to Do in Turkey
Cruise Things to Do in Turkey

 

Turkish Night Shows in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is not only famous for hot air balloon trips but also for its night shows. Witnessing Turkish Night Shows in the stone-carved places (giving it a veracious vibe) is one of the popular things to do in Turkey.

Fire acrobats, dance shows, folk dances, music shows, fire drills, and belly dances are the major attractions to allure visitors. Have authentic Turkish cuisine as a bonus, certainly.

 

Enjoy concerts at Ankara

Music is your theme, then you must visit Kucuk Tiyatro for a musical celebration, State Opera and Ballet for Hamlet ballet, and Bilkent University Playhouse for classical music.

 

A good laugh at Roxy’s Show Bar

This free drag comedy show will for sure have you in stitches. Suitable for kids and adults, this is a full family entertainment show, and the drinks are just absolutely amazing!

 

Nightclubs of Beyoglu

Beyoglu offers an unforgettable night, from pub crawls to all-night open clubs for party animals.

 

Best Adventure Things To Do In Turkey

Bring out the adventure freak in you! Turkey is famous for its caves and beaches. One cannot miss experiencing adventures with your loved ones on a Turkey honeymoon. Let’s see what adventurous things to do in Turkey. 

  1. Hot Air Balloon Trip and Hiking in Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloon Romantic Vacation in Turkey
Hot Air Balloon Romantic Vacation in Turkey

Cappadocia has historical significance, hot air balloons trip, and distinctive rock formations called fairy chimneys. It is one of the most beautiful Turkey places to visit. It offers natural landscapes, valleys, and underground cities.

Don’t miss the breathtaking sunrise view from hot air balloons, as it is one of the best things to do in Turkey. We recommend booking hot air balloon trips in advance, as they are sold out quickly. 

You can go on hiking trails in the ancient valleys. It will take at least a week to finish hiking on all these valleys. It is famous for its unique cave hotels and hidden churches. You can hire a rental taxi or local tour to reach this destination. The accommodation in Cappadocia can be looked at in nearby towns like Urgup, Goreme, and Uchisar. 

 

  1. Caving

Caves in Turkey Places to Visit
Caves in Turkey Places to Visit

One of the most adventurous things to do in Turkey is caving. If your loved one is an adventure freak, this will be a thrilling experience for both of you to find out about the underground lakes, caverns, and cisterns of Turkey. We recommend you not miss exploring Altinbesik cave in Antalya as it is one of the most important adventurous Turkey places to visit.

The cave is composed of old limestone, and it stands out with a height of 100m. It holds some of the most beautiful subterranean lakes in the world.

Some of the most popular caves to explore include Kizilelma Cave in Zonguldak, Oylat Cave and Ayvani Cave in Bursa, and Yanasu Cave in Kirklareli Province. 

 

Activities You Can Try In Turkey

Go for wine tasting 

Vineyards are one of the best Turkey places to visit. And tasting wine is one of the best things to do in Turkey. One cannot miss tasting the famous Turkish wines on Bozcaada island. It is one of the most popular Turkey places to visit. The most common local grape varieties produced on this island include Kuntra, Karalahna, Cavus, and Vasilaki.

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It is interesting to know that Bozcaada Island exported over 8 lakh barrels of wine in a year in the mid-1880s. It holds a record of producing over 5,000 tons of win in 2010. You will be lucky enough to witness the grape harvest festivals, which are generally held in the first week of September every year. 

Bozcaada Places to Visit in Turkey
Bozcaada Places to Visit in Turkey

 

Photoshoot with your loved ones

There are unlimited spaces for photoshoots, as every frame of Turkey is amazing. It is one of the many things to do in Turkey. Turkey offers splendid architecture, beautiful landscapes, active street shopping, and much more. Capture the best moments of your Turkey vacation. You can also hire local photographers and dress outfits for rent who can give service at affordable prices.

turkey romantic vacation places and ideas
turkey romantic vacation places and ideas

 

Visit the Tulip Festival in Turkey

Tulip Festival Things to do in Turkey
Tulip Festival Things to do in Turkey

Tulip, known as “Seekers of Hearts” or “Gem of the Shah” in Turkey, is printed on any mosaic tiles of mosques. There are more than 1500 varieties of tulips in Turkey. Women in Turkey mostly depend on the cultivation of Tulips.

It represents the symbol of power and wealth during the rule of Ottomans. At present, it represents the symbol of feminine beauty, paradise, protection, and perfection. The best time to visit the Tulip Festival is during April month. 

 

Learn to Cook Turkish Cuisine

When you visit any place, the first task we do is explore the local food. Some of the popular Turkish cuisines include Kebabs, Baklava, Kofte, and Doner. We strongly recommend learning to cook Turkish cuisine with your partner. Learn to prepare Turkish tea; it is one of the best things to do in Turkey. 

 

Take a Turkish Bath

The traditional Turkish bath is also known as Hammam, which means bathroom, swimming pool, or bath house. It involves steam baths in public in the Islamic world.

Inspired by the Roman thermae and Greek bath houses, it serves as a place for relaxation and cleansing of your skin. The furnaces release steam while smoke is channeled through the conduits placed under the floor. 

Turkey Bath Must Try In Turkey
Turkey Bath Must Try In Turkey

 

Get Played with the Dondurma Vendor

Ice Cream Must Try Things in Turkey
Ice Cream Must Try Things in Turkey

Dondurma is traditionally made ice cream in Turkey. It originated in Kahraman Maras, which is named the ice cream capital of Turkey.

Dondurma is quite different from ordinary ice cream.

It is made of ingredients that include whipped cream, sugar, mastic, and salep.

It is hard and does not melt easily.

See your partner getting played with the Dondurma vendor while he turns and twists the ice cream scoop attached to a long stick.

 

Have Turkish Tea at Grand Bazaar

Turkish Tea Must Try Things in Turkey
Turkish Tea Must Try Things in Turkey

One can’t miss Turkish tea at Grand Bazaar. According to sources, Turkish people consume over 1,300 cups of tea per person a year. Black tea is one of the most popular teas to try on a Turkey vacation. Offering tea severs as a gesture of friendship.

Having a sip of tea with savory biscuits and delicious sweets is a must. Some of the notable brands of Turkish tea include Caykur Rize Turkish tea, Caykur Altinbas Turkish tea, Caykur Special Turkish Filz Tea, Caykur Tirebolu Turkish Tea, Caykur, and Organic Hemsin Turkish Tea. 

 

 

What are the Best Adventure Activities we can do in Turkey?

  • Hot Air Balloon

Top choice or place of Hot-air balloon rides all over the world will be Cappadocia. It is open all around the year, so you can book it at anytime of the vacation.

Cost around – 160 USD to 270 USD

Must do Hot air Balloon Adventure in Turkey
Must do Hot air Balloon Adventure in Turkey
  • Scuba Diving

Spots which are best for scuba diving in Turkey are – Bodrum, Kas, Fethiye, Marmaris, and Antalya.

You would be surprised to know that there are around 30 dive sites at “Kas” location alone. All of those are within a 20-minute boat ride.

 

  • Whitewater Rafting

If you love river rafting then turkey has that also for you. You have many choices but the best are Koprucay near Antalya and Coruh near Erzurum. 

Springtime is ideal for whitewater rafting in Turkey because of 2 reasons, the crowd is less, and the temperature is cool.

 

  • Jeep Safari

To get a splendid jeep safari experience visit Marmaris and Antalya. The rugged Taurus mountains of Cappadocia are best for Jeep Safari.

Charges are very nominal :- 35 Euros for a jeep safari ride per person. 

Jeep Safari on a Turkey Vacation
Jeep Safari on a Turkey Vacation
  • Sea Kayaking

Another option for adventure activity is Sea Kayaking which is available at 5 spots in Turkey.

They are- Kargicak Bay, Akcapinar, Kekova Island, Bordubet, and Bafa Lake.

Price is around 60 Euros per person for 7 miles.

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