Turkey is a nation that sits nestled between Europe in Asia, and in many ways enjoys the best of both worlds. With stunning scenery and a rich historic legacy, the country is a relatively untapped paradise. Whether you’re the kind who chases beautiful coastlines, or the kind who enjoys immersing themselves exotic cultures, there’s no shortage of places to see in Turkey.
The country is blessed with clear blue Mediterranean beaches, tall rugged mountains, and the glorious and ancient city of Istanbul, ensuring you’ll never run out of Turkey tourist attractions to visit. One of the greatest things about Turkey is the way it has managed to maintain a perfect balance between its rich and diverse history, and the modern culture. It’s a great country to plan a romantic getaway with your partner, as well as a trip with the family. Check out this handy list of the best things to do in Turkey, and we’re sure you’ll start feeling the wanderlust.
Often referred to as the most beautiful structure in the world, the Aya Sofya museum in Istanbul makes it to the top of every list of things to do in Turkey. The dome of the structure, which was built in 325 A.D., is one of the most iconic and recognisable symbols of the city. When you get there, you’ll see why. The intricate patterns on the dome and staggering interiors of the museum, make it one of the grandest places to see in Turkey. History buffs are not going to want to miss this!
The hills of Cappadocia are known for their unique natural design and breath-taking beauty. Thought to be one of the oldest regions in the world, the mountains have today been declared a world heritage site and one of the best places to see in Turkey. The region is divided between the cities of Aksaray, Nevsehir, Kayseri, and Nigde, each comes with their own unique cultural significance and cuisine. In case you’re feeling adventurous, you could even take a hot-air balloon ride and enjoy Turkey sightseeing the right way.
If you’re travelling with young children, the Aqua Vega Aquarium is one of the best places to see in Turkey. Located in the capital city Ankara, this is the largest underwater world in all of Europe and probably one of the largest in the world. You could spend hours walking through this stunning place without ever getting bored or seeing something new. A number of exhibits set up at the aquarium allow you to come close to some of the most exotic undersea life.
If you’re in the mood to take in some history, travel to this grand palace in Istanbul for a better idea of how the sultans of the Ottoman era lived. The perfectly-maintained structure, which is open to the public, boasts of impressive interiors and traditional decor. The two gardens at the entrance are one of the best places to visit in Istanbul for nature-lovers and those looking to get away from the city.
Famous for hosting the legendary Trojan war, the ancient city of Troy is one of the oldest recognised cities in the world and the most popular of all Turkey tourist attractions. Today a giant horse stands at the entrance of the ruins, a popular spot for people to get their picture with. Walk through the ruins of the city and you’ll feel like you’ve travelled 5,000 years back in time. It’s one of the best things to do in Turkey.
Located on a stunning stretch of the Mediterranean Sea, Patara beach is a hidden paradise on Earth. One of the best places to visit in Turkey if you’re looking to enjoy long days in the sun, the beach is located in a national park and a key biodiversity area. If that isn’t enough, it’s also home to some of the most beautiful ancient monuments in the country.
The natural pools of Pamukkale (or Cotton Palace) are iconic for their absolutely weird shape. Together the pools and the waterfalls surrounding them make for one of the most unique landscapes you’ll ever see. Your Turkey sightseeing experience will not be complete until you have taken a dip in this warm water. Once done, you can walk take a tour through the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient city that once surrounded the springs.
There are so many things to do in Turkey, that this list could go one for a while. In case you’re still confused about what to see in Turkey, check out SOTC for further advice on how to plan your vacation better and you’ll have a number of Turkey holiday packages to choose between.
The Grand Bazaar is famous for being one the most visited of all Turkey tourist attractions, with over 9o million annual visitors. A tradition that started in the year 1400, the market now takes over a giant chunk of the city of Istanbul with over 4,000 stalls. It could take a few days for you to explore the entire area, but you could be sure that at every turn, you’ll find a treat, whether it’s coffee or a traditional Turkish lantern.