Turkey has been the crossing point between Europe and Asia for countless years. A country like Turkey is undoubtedly rich in natural landscapes like towering mountains and serenity-granting beaches. Who can forget its richness in the history of the origin of the famous Ottoman Empire? It is a hub of cultural exchange and trade and the perching point of numerous religious monuments and representations of the culture and architecture of the West; hence is the emblem of the collision of the culture of the East and West. Because it is beautiful and diverse, it is also one of the favorite travelling spots for tourists.
Whether you wish to see historical treasures such as mosques and old forts, or explore natural wonders like mineral-rich pools and quaint fishing villages, Turkey is home to it all! There are several incredibly beautiful and fascinating places to visit in Turkey, each bringing something new and exciting for travellers to explore. Also, these spectacular places feature unique characteristics owing to Turkey’s location at the very juncture of Europe and Asia.
As such, Turkey imbibes a unique and endearing transcontinental culture mix, offering up a remarkable combination of flavours, cultural practices, rituals, and history in its one-of-a-kind east-west vibe. From its rich culture and delectable food to vibrant souks and unmatched natural beauty, exploring Turkey can be intoxicating. Below is a list of some of Turkey’s most beautiful places to visit.
But where should one start? Here are a couple of ideas worth considering:
Did you know that Istabul is the only city worldwide that spans two continents? Once the grand capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empire, Istanbul is a massive and still-glorious city stretching across both sides of the renowned Bosphorus Strait known to connect Europe and Asia.
Among the absolute must-see and exciting places to visit in Turkey, Istanbul has a lot to offer visitors, from the artsy neighbourhood of Balat to famous Byzantine structures like the Hagia Sophia. Shopping at the notable Grand Bazaar and traversing the Sultanahmet district will suffice to cover most of the top attractions in Istanbul, including the Basilica Cistern and Topkapi Palace.
Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and one of the biggest cities in the world, was once the capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires. Istanbul is the only city in the world to bridge two continents, covering both sides of the Bosporus, a waterway that separates Asia and Europe. Istanbul is one of the top tourist destinations globally thanks to its impressive architecture, historical landmarks, cuisine, shopping, nightlife, and exotic environment. You can visit Old City’s historical sites, including Blue Mosque and Top Kapi Palace. The New City, another significant neighborhood, is well-known for its contemporary attractions, skyscrapers, and shopping centers.
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Ankara is a fantastic, sprawling city, and the glorious capital of Turkey. It is home to several businesses, government structures, universities, and countless foreign embassies. It is one of top places to visit in Turkey for an insight into the region’s critical importance as a transportation hub, interlinking Ankara to other major parts of Turkey.
Ankara is also home to a range of historic landmarks and plenty of arts and culture places. The most notable of these include the Citadel, the Temple of Augustus, and an ancient Roman Theatre. To explore the cultural scene in Ankara, head to the museums and theatres, some of which house objects dating back centuries.
A major quality that makes Marmaris one of the most exciting places to visit in Turkey is that it is among the most picturesque seaside resorts in the country. Imagine white-sand beaches with crystal blue waters surrounded by pine-covered mountains and historic architecture in the distance.
If you take a stroll along the cobblestone streets of the renowned Marmaris old quarter, you will get the chance to lay eyes on spectacular 16th-century architecture in the form of the Castle of Suleiman the Magnificent. Another exciting thing to enjoy in Marmaris is a horse safari through verdant pine forests, traditional villages, and offbeat bays embellished with majestic waterfalls.
Marmaris, one of Turkey’s most well-known coastal resorts, is surrounded by picture-perfect scenery, including pine-covered mountains, turquoise waters, white sand beaches and ancient buildings. This magnificent cruise port, situated on the Turkish Riviera in southwest Turkey, is a tourist haven with outstanding sightseeing options, delicious restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
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An old fishing village, Kas is among the top places to visit in Turkey for travellers seeking an offbeat experience exploring lesser-traversed regions. You will come across white-washed houses with traditional wooden balconies against the panoramic backdrop of lush green mountains.
Since the small village sits cosily beside the shimmering turquoise sea, there are plenty of opportunities for soaking in some sun, sea, and sand. You can also see plenty of historical treasures here, such as the Kas amphitheatre, ruins of Xanthos, Myria, and the sunken city of Kekova.
A vibrant and important city in the Antalya province, Antalya is among the most beautiful places to visit in Turkey, especially if you’re hoping for a memorable beach break. Lara and Konyaalti are its two most popular beaches, offering an endless stretch of shining white sands amid a plethora of water sports, bars, resorts, and restaurants.
You will also find a zoo and several amusement parks in the vicinity of the beaches. The Antalya Museum is the ideal place to visit for a peek at ancient relics and artefacts testifying of the region’s intriguing history.
Antalya is a worthy place to visit in turkey, especially for nature lovers. The two main beaches outside of town are sun-paradise loungers in the summer and draw tourists from all over Europe. Antalya streets are famous for being adorned and built with cobblestones. For tourists who prefer to utilize Antalya as a base, there are many attractions outside town beside the impressive Hellenistic and Roman marble statues preserved in the Antalya Museum.
The ancient city of Ephesus is among the most important places to visit in Turkey for history enthusiasts. A pivotal ancient metropolis, Ephesus was renowned in times past as one of the largest cities under the Roman Empire, home to the significant Temple of Artemis. The settlement in Ephesus began over 9,000 years ago, and it’s the one place you will find remnants of Roman, Ottoman, Christian, Greek, and Hellenistic monuments. But even now, only about twenty per cent or less of the entire city of Ephesus has been excavated.
Besides being home to some of the most spectacular beaches, Bodrum is among the best places to visit in Turkey for a peek into the region’s rich history. It is the crucial site of Halicarnassus, a pivotal ancient fortified city that once was home to paved streets, shimmering marble structures, statures, temples, and other important buildings. The Bodrum Castle is also a must-see here.
Today, the city remains a quaint, quiet fishing village. However, it also offers some of the best resorts, hotels, bars, restaurants, nightlife, and shopping in Turkey.
Bodrum, formerly a charming fishing community of a few thousand people, has developed into one of Turkey’s most well-liked tourist destinations. People from all over the world are drawn to it by its warm, colorful environment. The Bodrum Castle, the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, Mynde’s Gate, and the historic Bodrum Theatre are among the top Turkey tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss seeing. The fascinating ruins, breathtaking beaches, and cliff-top resorts of Bodrum draw tourists worldwide. You can consult and visit an online resort service and use Mercury Holidays discount codes to get your accommodation booked at an affordable price. Tourists may locate a lovely beach with a view of the bright blue water on Bodrum’s eastern side. There are numerous cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs close to the shore. The marina, retail establishments, and eateries are located on the city’s western side.
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The meaning of the word Pamukkale is “cotton castle,” a fitting name for a place home to natural mineral-rich springs that have cascaded down bright white hills gracefully for thousands of years. The pale eau-de-nil water sits still in shallow basins, or pools, allowing visitors to enjoy dipping in the thermal waters, which purportedly contain healing properties.
There are ancient ruins of Hierapolis, a Greco-Roman spa town at the very top of the site. It is said that Queen Cleopatra had her very own hot bath at this site, reportedly a gift from Mark Antony.
To please your eyes with the natural vistas of Turkey, you can explore places like Pamuk kale. The place is famously nicknamed “Cotton Castle”. You can explore the Greco- Roman Hierapolis. You can swim in the mineral-rich waters. You can also take pictures of the mesmerizing scenes of the place.
Izmir is among the most perfect places to visit in Turkey to experience an idyllic blend of the old and new in this stunning Mediterranean country. A popular coastal hub, Izmir has a rich past and is home to iconic structures like a 20th-century Clock Tower, an ancient castle (Kadifekale), and the Agora. In contrast, you will also find plenty of modernities in the way of contemporary shopping outlets, diners, nightlife hotspots, and much more.
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Dalyan Valley – Lycian Rock Tombs
Historians surmise that over 1000 Lycian rock tombs are in existence today, and all of them located along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. While there are plenty of places to see these tombs in the country, the Dalyan Valley is among the top places to visit in Turkey for a much closer look.
Known as Caunos and overlooking the famous Dalyan River, these tombs resemble ancient temples at first glance. Carved into the mountainsides, these 2,000-year old Lycian rock tombs are a testament to the ancient Lycian way of life and beliefs. The rich surrounding greenery, glistening waters of the Dalyan River, and the golden hues of the setting sun will make your visit unforgettable.
From history and culture to food and nightlife, Alanya has a little bit of everything, making it one of the most diverse places to visit in Turkey. The Sapadere Canyon is a stunning natural attraction in Alanya, offering matchless views of the city. The region also has one of the most beautiful coastlines, particularly towards Anamurion. Furthermore, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs in the region for a fun night out.
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Once known as the ancient city of Telmessor, Fethiye is among the most interesting places to visit in Turkey for a number of reasons. For one, it is a culturally rich area brimming with countless invaluable monuments that still remain intact. Next, it’s home to some truly mesmerising beaches, each offering something exciting for you to do. It’s most famous for Iztuzu Beach, primarily known for being home to the endemic loggerhead turtles. Visit during the nesting season to watch adorable turtles hatch and head out to the water!
Patara Beach is inarguably one of the best places to visit in Turkey, especially for those craving a waterside break. Wildly beautiful, it is also one of the lesser-travelled ones in the country, allowing you to enjoy the mind-numbing natural beauty minus the noisy crowds.
Explore fascinating dunes, wide stretches of white sand, quaint marshes, spectacular lagoons, and lush pine trees. You will also find adorable loggerhead turtles calling Patara Beach home. It’s a great place to take your kids for some quiet quality time together.
To delight yourself in the unending natural sightseeing beauty, you can visit a place in Patara. With such a vast Mediterranean coastline. Enjoy the endowed gift of sunbathing by Turkey by visiting Patara. You can also visit the ruined remains of the popular Lycian metropolis.
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Mardin is among the most astounding places to visit in Turkey, home to fascinating treasures that will blow your mind. It is especially great for those who wish to look at some of the oldest settlements on their cheap holidays to turkey all inclusive. You will see impressive sandstone buildings gracefully cascading downhill, featuring an elaborate maze of streets leading to ancient traditional terraced houses. Must-see sites include the Deyrü’z-Zafaran Monastery, Zinciriye Medresesi, and Sultan Isa Medresesi, each embellished with beautiful courtyards and unique artworks.
A fascinating thing that makes Side one of the top places to visit in Turkey is that it was once occupied by Alexander the Great, all the way back in the 4th century BC. It is a small but scenic peninsula, providing a range of exciting things to see, including ancient Roman and Hellenistic ruins that feature the remnants of a massive amphitheatre. The site also features colossal marble columns, public baths, a Byzantine basilica, and several temples.
Deemed a UNESCO Heritage Site, Cappadocia is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Turkey, especially if you want a one-of-a-kind holiday. The region is famous for stunning rock formations and thrilling hot air balloon rides, offering tourists the chance to enjoy breathtaking beauty from a bird’s eye view. It is also home to around 36 ancient underground cities!
For a truly offbeat experience in Cappadocia, stay overnight in an ancient cave house. It will give you an insight into how the locals lived centuries ago, creating a maze of tunnels spread across several floors, each featuring air ducts for easy breathability.
Every photographer’s fantasy is captured in Cappadocia’s bizarre, curving rock valleys. Rippling panoramas of wave-like rock formations or bizarrely shaped pinnacles that have been fashioned by millennia of wind and water activity can be found on cliff ridges and hill crests. To view the breathtaking paranormal, the place is ideal for a hot air balloon ride.
Konya is arguably one of the oldest and most mesmerising places to visit in Turkey, known primarily for its Whirling Dervishes and incredible Seljuk architecture. Even today, you will find plenty of attractive ancient structures still standing, such as the Alaeddin Mosque, which is home to the tombs of several sultans. The Seljuk Palace is also a great place to visit, although much of it is in ruins. The mausoleum of the renowned Sufi mystic and Persian theologian Rumi is also a must-see in Konya.
Konya, a sizable city in Turkey’s Central Anatolia Region, is one of the oldest cities in the world and is well known for its amazing Seljuk architecture and Whirling Dervishes. Some beautiful structures from that time can be seen today, such as the Aladdin Mosque, which contains the tombs of various sultans. The Ince Minera Medrese, which is now a museum and houses antiquities from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods, is another well-known illustration.
Belek is among the best well-rounded places to visit in Turkey, offering a wide array of attractions that cater to all kinds of visitors. The beaches in Belek are absolutely stunning, with the Blue-Flag Belek Public Beach taking the cake! It stretches over 200 metres and is a fantastic place to visit with family or as a couple. Other notable attractions worth exploring in Belek include the ancient ruins of Aspendos Theatre, authentic Turkish hammams, popular Belek golf clubs, and Koprulu Canyon.
Olu Deniz, or Oludeniz, is an incredibly scenic Turkey destination wherein the chief focus is its unmatched natural beauty. More specifically, the world-renowned Blue Lagoon is a must-see in the region. It is an idyllic bay replete with crystal clear azure waters hemmed by vast, curved stretches of soft white sands. The verdant hills make for a majestic backdrop, completing the picture-perfect look of the lagoon.
For something other than swimming, surfing, and sunbathing, head to the hiking trails on Babadag Mountains in the distance. You can also paraglide from here, enjoying fantastic views of the Blue Lagoon and its surroundings.
Kaleici, otherwise referred to as the Old Town in Antalya, is among the most culturally and historically rich places to visit in Turkey. A stroll along its cobblestone streets will provide you a priceless peek at majestic historic structures, such as the Clock Tower and several old mosques, churches, and temples. Exploring the Cumhuriyet Square here is a must, surrounded by quaint cafés, shops, eateries, and other fascinating things.
The Mount of Nemrut is another region’s wonder of being witnessed while travelling to the place. Antiochus I, king of the Comma gene Kingdom, located in this area between the Roman and Parthian empires, is credited with erecting the top. Antiochus I erected a 50-meter-high artificial peak on Mount Nemrut’s summit. Then he embellished it with statues of himself and numerous gods to devote this massive funeral mound to himself as a showcase of his importance.
The Durden Waterfalls, one of Turkey’s most beautiful, are spectacular and a destination you must not skip if visiting this Eastern region. The area appears magical, with the massive volcanic mountains encircling the cave and the riverbed.
The City of Ephesus
Want to see and replenish yourself with the knowledge of ancient Turkey? The City of Ephesus is one of the ideal destinations to visit in Turkey. The City of Ephesus is situated near Saluki, a little hamlet 30 kilometers from Kusanagi. It was once a bustling business hub and is now one of Turkey’s top tourist destinations. Some buildings, including The Great Theatre and the Library of Celsius, can still be seen even though most of it is in ruins. Once the biggest temple in the world, the temple served as a reminder of Ephesus’ importance. Although the temple was unfortunately largely destroyed sometime in the fifth century, visitors can still explore the ruins and enrich themselves with the grand history of the place.
Now that you know about the top places to visit in Turkey, plan a trip pronto and enjoy exploring as many of these as you can. Remember to plan your Turkey holiday in advance, depending on the nature of your visit – whether a family holiday, couples break, or a solo adventure. Either way, rest assured that these fantastic Turkey destinations will not disappoint!