Planning a trip to Turkey? Here’s a quick guide to its beaches, cultural sites, shopping hubs and cruise destinations – precisely all the best places to visit in Turkey. Sometimes all we need is a vacation, away from the humdrum of the city life, the constant buzz of social media and of course, the traffic! But it often gets difficult to choose a destination. If your heart says beach, your mind craves a rich historical site. It’s quite rare that you find a place with almost everything. Turkey is one such rare gem. Key tourist attractions in Turkey cater to people with varied interests, especially those looking out for some enriching adventure. It is adorned with a stunning coastline, quaint villages and a matchless cultural legacy.
Top 62 Places To Visit In Turkey
Here is the perfect list of the best places to visit in Turkey for your next trip. Keep scrolling down to know more and read along!
1. Kabak Bay
If you want some hippy vibe, check out the tranquil Kabak Bay. To visit the Kabak Valley near Fathiye, hire a taxi to enjoy the jaw-dropping beauty. Or if you’re adventurous at heart, you can always opt for a day hike.
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2. Butterfly Valley, Oludeniz
Unleash the bohemian in you in the charming Butterfly Valley, one of the best places to go in Turkey. You can laze around in a hammock, sip your favorite drink and enjoy campfire and music at the Rock Bar.
A must among places to see in Turkey is Patara, the longest beach in Turkey. There are a few reasonably priced beach cafés with umbrellas and sunbeds for hire. Also if you’re lucky, you can witness a sunset and moonrise at the same time from the top of a dune. Absolutely enchanting!
4. Princes’ Island
The Princes’ Island is among major tourist attractions in Istanbul, Turkey. Best thing here is the silence – horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are available instead of motorized vehicles.
Tip: Travel to best places in Turkey in ferries; stack up on sunblocks; and hike to places to discover new things.
One of the best places to visit in Turkey, Cappadocia is the result of a volcanic eruption. Explore the place with a horse ride, take an air balloon ride, and don’t forget to sip on Turkish tea.
6. Hagia Sofia
If your first destination is Istanbul, don’t forget to visit the iconic Hagia Sofia, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey. A church built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, it was converted to a mosque after some 900 years .
7. Mount Nemrut
Can’t miss this one in our list of places to see in Turkey. This historical site, the 8th wonder of the world, is situated on the Arsameia antique road, and is studded with huge statues of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene two lions, two eagles and various Greek, and Persian gods.
8. The City Of Ephesus
The ancient city Ephesus is located in Selcuk, a small town 30 km away from Kusadasi. An active commercial center once, it is now among best places to go in Turkey now. Though most of it is in ruins, some structures like The Great Theatre and the Library of Celsus can be still seen.
Tips: Consult government-run tourism information offices to get an idea on how to go to various places to see in Turkey. The staff is multilingual and helpful regarding all sorts of inquiries.
9. Grand Bazaar
10. The Egyptian Bazaar
Love spices? Egyptian Bazaar is the place to discover some unfamiliar spices and dried fruits.
The Ottomania is Turkey’s largest retailer of carpets and rugs. The prices of the carpet range from $1000 to $10000.
12. Sahaflar Carsisi
Among all tourist places in Turkey, this is the perfect one for book lovers. Sahaflar Carsisi, the second-hand book bazaar, is one of the oldest markets of Istanbul. It is open on all days, except Sunday.
Tips: Beware of fake items. Brush up your bargaining skills. Learn a few Turkish words and use them while shopping.
13. Istanbul – for Voyages of Discovery
Voyages of Discovery is a unique way to discover many of the best places to visit in Turkey. Before it heads to Greece, Voyages of Discovery visits Çanakkale, Dikili and Antalya.
Cost: The cost per person is INR 1,82,956 including flights.
14. Marmaris – for Thomson Cruises to Istanbul
Cost: The cost per person is INR 74,869 including flights.
15. Port of Istanbul – MSC Cruises to Istanbul and Ephesus
If you are looking for a budget cruise to cover select best places in Turkey, MSC cruises are the best. It covers most of the top-drawn tourist attractions like the Roman city of Ephesus and the city of Istanbul.
Cost: The cost per person is INR 69,323/-
16. Eminonu – for Bosphorous Cruise
The stunning Bosphorus strait connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. Though it is the most overlooked destination, it has a lot to offer. You can take a full Bosphorus tour by night by the ferry. The ferry leaves before dusk providing great Istanbul sunset views. You can also opt for private tour and luxury yacht to cruise through best places in Turkey.
Tips: The best time for cruise through tourist places in Turkey is during May-June or Sept-Oct. Ask for recommendation from fellow travellers, and book in advance to avoid rush.
17. The City of Izmir
Izmir is the frontier and sunshine-city of Turkey. With over 4 million population, Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey. Situated on the western edge of Turkey, Izmir is famous for its figs, olives, and grapes. Surrounded by mountains and bays, Izmir is the land of natural, organic and fresh. The beautiful city of Izmir offers visitors a unique holiday experience that attracts people from all over the world.
18. Topkapı Palace
Built in the 15th century by Mehmet the Conqueror, the palace remained both the symbolic and political home of the Ottoman Empire until 1853. This palace will take you back in the past with its decoration, treasure, and Haren. All together makes this place spellbound and is a must see for any tourist visiting Istanbul in Turkey. The palace was converted into a museum after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1924.
19. Ani – The Ancient Ghost City of Turkey
Rumored to be an abused, forgotten metropolis which is abandoned for centuries. With extraordinary beautiful churches, the city will put you in an uneasy feeling, but the beauty of its surroundings and striking landscape present an opposite picture of beauty and serenity. The ruins of Ani have been inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2016.
Pamukkale literally means, “cotton castle” in Turkish and with over two million visitors annually it is one of Turkey’s top attractions and a precious in the world with its cotton-look terraces. Its natural site is located in Denizli in Southwestern Turkey. Pamukkale is famous for its surreal, brilliant white travertine terraces and warm springs.
21. Selimiye Mosque
Built in the Ottoman and Islamic architecture, the mosque is magnificent beyond belief. The Mosque is a place that has historical importance, but this mosque also holds religious importance and falls in the European part of Turkey. The Ottoman imperial mosque was designed by one of the most distinguished architects of the Ottoman Empire, Mimar Sinan. The Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex have been recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Erzurum is a paradise for architecture and history lovers. It is a hub for tourists visiting Eastern Turkey. It is the largest city in the entirety of Erzurum province.. The fantastic and incredible Seljuk, Saltuk, Mongol and Ottoman mosques and Seminaries are the main attraction of the city. The city is surrounded by mountains and steppes.
23. Sumela Monastery
Sumela Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries to be built in the entire world and its construction dates back to the 4th century. Located outside the Turkish city of Trabzon, this stunning, lonely setting acts as the major attractions for the visitors being. Sumela Monastery is standing on the cliff of the Zigana Mountain and it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
24. Aladağlar National Park
Sprawled over 55065 hectares of land, this mountainous Park was established in 1995 and is famous as Alps of Turkey. The Aladağlar Na is ideal and famous for the its trekking, hiking, and mountaineering sports in the entire country. The region is covered with rocks only and the colors are very different from our daily life in cities.
Considered as Turkey’s Beating Heart, Ankara is the capital of and the second largest city in Turkey. At an altitude of 850m lies the city of Ankara. Ankara is located in the very heart of the Eastern Edge of the great High Anatolian Plateau. The city of Ankara is known for its beautiful and long spread yellow wheat fields, young volcanoes and a huge number of the Steppe. From the top of the Ankara Citadel, you can get the panoramic view of the city.
26. Bodrum – The Gateway for Beach Lovers
Bodrum was used to be a pleasant fishing village of a few thousand people, Bodrum has transformed into one of the most popular vacation hotspots of Turkey. Its inviting, colorful environment attracts people from all over the world. The best places that you shouldn’t miss on visiting are The Bodrum Castle, the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, , Myndos Gate, and the ancient Bodrum Theatre.
27. Akdamar Island
Situated in the Salty Lake Van, Akdamar Island is famous mainly for its Holy Cross, Church, and other Armenian Monastery which stay ruined, but still have its glory retained. The famous Akdamar Church is now transformed in a museum, and there are many bas relief carvings on the exterior walls. The carving depicts the Biblical scenes with Adam, Eve, Abraham, Jesun, David and, Goliath. With breathtaking adjacent areas, the Island is surrounded by steep rocks, it also offers a mesmerizing view with almond trees blooming in spring months.
Explore the Gallipoli battlefields and the ruins of Troy in the city, Çanakkale is an honorable resting place for the soldiers who lost their lives in Gelibolu. The city of Çanakkale lies at the narrow 1200m entrance to the Dardanelles, which connects the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea. The famous Archaeological Site of Troy is also added to the World Heritage Cultural List of UNESCO.
29. Avşa Island
Sprawled over an area of 14 square miles, the Avşa Island is also known as Türkeli. Located within the borders of Balikesir province, the island is almost completely surrounded by beaches. The island has a large range of hills running down the middle, some beautiful bays are also there for bathing, swimming or just for relaxing in very hot summer. There are plenty of hotels, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants with live music for visitors and nightlife is also very colorful in Avşa.
30. Pigeon Valley
Pigeon Valley, officially known as Güvercinlik Vadisi, got its name from the many pigeon houses carved into the rocks and cliffs. Located between the Goreme and Uchisar district in Cappadocia, the Pigeon Valley is one of the longest valleys that reflects distinctive formations. This nature-friendly area is perfect for walking, trekking, and hiking. The magical environment of the valley grabs people from all over the world.
Fethiye is a tourist town that despite having been destroyed by an earthquake in 1958 serves as an excellent base for marina and nightlife. Fethiye is an enthralling yacht-watching spot. The Çalış Beach, Roman Theatre, and the Lycian Stone Sarcophagus are the top sights of Fethiye. The city is also home to one of the finest natural Harbor in Turkey.
Anıtkabir, a mausoleum, is dedicated to the founder and first President of Turkey Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. His life was full of wars for independence and revolutions to raise the Turkish nation. The mausoleum represents his eminence, and thoughts about principles, revolutions, and modernization. The construction was laid in the year 1944 and it also bears features of Seljuk and Ottoman architecture and ornamental details.
33. Mardin – The Shining City of Mesopotamia
Mardin is an enchanting city situated on the Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. The city is demonstrating an architectural heritage, cultural wealth, and religious diversity. Mardin was built by Hamdanis in 975-976. The citadel of Mardin with its excellent stonework stands on a hill dominating the city. This highly addictive tourist spot records over 4 million visitors annually. The Ulu Mosque, Forty Martyrs Church, Kasımiye Medresesi, and Zinciriye Medresesi are some of the notable places to visit in Mardin.
34. Bozcaada Island
The Bozcaada Island is an amazing little island with old Greek and Turkish charm. Also known as Tenedos, Bozcaada is the third largest and perhaps the most beautiful island of the country. The island is a great place to escape and enjoy the natural part of life. Windmills, Vineyards, and Wineries are the main highlight of this island.
Stepping into the history of Konya, the city is well-known for its connection to Sufism and the great poet of Rumi. Konya is the great cultural center of Turkey, also known as Iconium in Roman times. The Tile Museum, the Alaeddin Hill, the Museum of Wooden and the Stone Carving are some of the fine arts in Konya.
36. Zeugma Mosaic Museum
An absolute must when visiting the city of Gaziantep and the museum is the biggest mosaic museum in the world. The museum displays the mosaic collections excavated from the city of Zeugma and the mosaics are more than two thousand years old, are breathtaking. The craftsmanship of the Roman artists is truly effective and it can be experienced from their effort.
Gaziantep, also known as Antep, is the Gastronomy City of Turkey. With its rich retained history, welcoming people and lip-smacking food, Gaziantep will surely woo you in every manner. The Pistachio Coffee and Cheesecake Pistachio are an ultimate exception. The artworks of the city are made with very intricate details that it is just overwhelming. A marvelous castle is also situated at the heart of the city.
Pergamum is an ancient city located near Izmir. Pergamum with its ancient temples, theatres, library, cultural heritage is still a rich and important city. The city is located above to the Bakircay plain located in the Aegean region of the country. The Pergamum site with its multi-cultural landscape have made into the list of World Heritage Site Lite of UNESCO in 2014.
The place is spread from the Sinope in the West to the Georgia in the East, and is the largest city in the entire Eastern Karadeniz region of the country. The covered area is approximately 4664 square kms and is nestled amongst the mighty mountains, greenery, forests, rivers and every beautiful creation of nature. Trabzon is also famous for its fish and soccer team.
40. Dilek Peninsula – Büyük Menderes Delta National Park
Locally known as the Milli Park, it features mountainous terrain and beaches for hiking, swimming, and other recreation. Sprawled over an area of 28000 hectares, the National Park features a variety of beautiful types of flowers, species of birds and wild animals around.
Timings: Sat-Sun; 7:00AM – 4:30PM
41. Basilica Cistern
Once you are in Turkey, you should visit Istanbul for its history and tradition. Basilica Cistern in Istanbul is one of the biggest Byzantine Cistern of the country. It was built in 532 AD. While you are here, you will be amazed by the depth and conception of the place.
This is the place in Turkey which is often overlooked by the tourists who come to visit the country. But, if you are an avid traveller, you should visit this historical place which doesn’t follow the cliché definition of tourist destination. Visit the ancient city of Soli Pompeiopolis or get amazed by the Mamure Castle, you can explore history once again once you are here.
43. 7 Mehmet Restaurant
When you are travelling in different countries, you can get closer to the Turkish culture. And to experience the culture, you need to taste the local cuisine. And to taste the best quality local food, you can head towards 7 Mehmet Restaurant. For the locals, they can enjoy their home food here. And if you want to get taste of local cuisine, visit here.
44. Cleopatra Pools
If you get to know that you can take a bath in the same pool where Queen Cleopatra did, how do you feel? Yes, that you can experience in this pool. This pool is really ancient while you can also get the modern facility of spa and other things. Have fun and spend some ladies’ time with your girl gang.
45. Ladies’ Beach
Don’t go by the name as men can visit and have fun this beach anytime. If you want to enjoy sunbathing, go to this beach and also don’t miss the beach activities over there.
Bursa or Yesil Bursa is famous tourist destination is Turkey which is popular among the travellers for the beautiful parks and mountains around and within it. In ancient era, this city was the capital of the Ottoman state and now it is the industrial hub of the country. If you are visiting the city during the winter season, go to experience it in the ski resort of Mount Uludag. You can even visit here during summer as the mountain prevents the hot wind and you can enjoy your holidays.
47. Agora Open Air Museum
Turkey is the country of marvels. There are lots of cities which are full of amusements and Izmir is one of those places. Once you are here, don’t miss visiting Agora Open Air Museum. The neoclassical style of buildings is really awesome to visit the architecture. You will be amazed by the beautiful sculptures of the rooms in this museum.
48. Old Silk Market
As a tourist you will definitely buy something for yourself and your friends and family members as memoirs. Visit the old silk market where you can find top quality scarves, fabric and different other types of accessories. This place is a must visit for tourists.
49. Miniatürk, Istanbul
This is a miniature park present in the north-eastern shore of the Golden Horn. The area covered by this miniature park is about 650,000 sq ft and it opened to the public in 2003. In total you can see 122 models that are 1/25th in the scale and they hail from destinations in and around Turkey.
50. Kariye Museum, Istanbul
Present in the Edirnekapı neighbourhood, this building hails from the mediaeval Byzantine times. Tourists need to visit this museum to see the historical Byzantine mosaics and frescoes that line the walls. These are some of the best pieces of art hailing for Christianity and now everyone can see it as it was turned into a museum and the walls were restored diligently.
51. Galata Tower, Istanbul
The Galata Tower or the Christea Turris is a medieval stone tower that you can find in Galata quarter of Istanbul. The top of it is cone shaped and the tower is nine stories high. People who are interested can climb it and sit at the restaurant to get a spectacular view of the city of Istanbul and the Bosporus.
52. Kusadasi Castle, Kusadasi
When you are visiting Kusadasi you cannot miss out on this beautiful castle which sits on top of the island. It was mainly used as a fort which helped the Ottomans to keep away from the enemies. You can have a serene day out there enjoying the view of the ocean.
53. Dilek National Park, Kusadasi
You cannot miss out on this lovely national park because of its beautiful setting and its importance to the country as a whole. It mainly lies in the middle of the towns of Kusadasi and Soke. Enjoy your stay at the park where you can even camp and along with that take in the spectacular sea beaches present inside the area of the national park.
54. Temple of Artemis, Kusadasi
This was a dedication to Goddess Artemis but it doesn’t stand in its full state. You can only find it in ruins at this location. But this it is a fortune to have a look at this historic place which is regarded as one of the seven wonders present in the Ancient world.
55. Izmir Archaeological Museum, Izmir
When you are visiting a country it is pretty important to know about its architecture. The archaeological museum in Izmir gives you a glimpse into the world of the architecture that existed in Turkey through several periods. This site is specially for people interested in history and art of making buildings.
56. Arkas Art Center, Izmir
If you are someone who truly likes art and appreciates them, then you have to visit this art centre present in the city of Izmir. You will be thrilled to see the many international pieces of art displayed in the different exhibitions. Roam through all the 9 rooms to discover the beauty of this former French Honorary Consulate Building.
57. Hisar Mosque, Izmir
When in the city of Izmir, no one should miss out on the Hisar Mosque as it forms an integral part of its history. Constructed in the 16th century it is known for its striking Ottoman Islamic artwork which stands out among several other mosques. Along with that it is also one of the biggest mosques present in Izmir.
58. İzmir Atatürk Museum, Izmir
This museum adds to a slice of quirk in the city of Izmir. The museum is mainly dedicated to the works and life of Atatürk who was the first president of Turkey. If you are in front of the building, you will be mesmerised by its sheer symmetry.
59. Izmir Natural Life Park, Izmir
This wildlife park opened to the public in 2008 and it is a great way to know more about the animals that are housed in it. Currently, it has about 1048 animals spanning over 128 species. It is great if the tourists bring their kids along as it will be an educational and adventurous tour for them while they interact with so many animals.
60. Oylat Cave, Busra
This place is significant to Turkey as fossils were unearthed here. From the year 2006, the cave has been opened to the tourists so that they can view the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites housed in it. Tourists can enjoy a 90-minute tour of the cave to appreciate its beauty.
61. Synagogue Street, Izmir
If you are in the mood to see one of the largest synagogues, then do visit the Synagogue street present in Izmir. But along with that it will also provide you with a one of a kind market experience where you are able to see the locals buying their daily food supplies. Do go along with a guide if you want to discover the nooks and crannies of this place.
62. Asansor, Izmir
Asansor is yet another historic building which houses an elevator used to carry goods and people up the hill. Recent restoration and the construction a restaurant has made it popular both among the locals and the tourists. So, people can definitely visit it for a nice meal along with the view of Izmir.
Further Read: Love Just Got Exotic: 10 Romantic Resorts In Turkey
Turkey is a destination, staggeringly rich insights as well as sites. As you tick off the best places to visit in Turkey from your list, remember to walk through the ancient ruins where time stopped; enthrall your senses with the natural scenery; relish the tasty local cuisine, and bask the warm at the beaches. Get packed and book your trip to Turkey right away!
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