Tourist Spots in Turkey : All you need to Know

Turkey is among the world’s most visited countries for tourism. Travellers can expect many different experiences and things to do which that will leave a lasting impression, and make your vacation memorable. Here are 15 top tourist attractions to visit in Turkey that will make your vacation great:

List of The Best Tourist Attractions in Turkey

1. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is known as one of the ancient world’s most important monuments. It’s a spectacular religious building located in Istanbul, which is also called the 8th wonder of the world and a famous tourist attraction. Here, you’ll witness incredible mosaics and spectacular forms of different art and architecture.

Things to do: Admire the enormous dome, examine the upper galleries, and see mosaic artwork.

Location : Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı

Best Time to Visit:  April to May and September to November

Best Places To Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet and Hyatt Centric Levent Istanbul

2. Ephesus

Ephesus

Ephesus is among the best places to visit in Turkey. It holds the largest Roman architectural ruins collection East of the Mediterranean and only 15 percent is unearthed so far. The Celcius Library here is a popular attraction. This region brings archaeologists, historians, and thousands of tourists to see the ruins. The city was also known for the Temple of Artemis, which is among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Things to do: Explore the historic Roman streets and take in the remnants of the Great Theatre, Terrace Houses, and Library of Celsus.

Location: Ephesus is located near the western shores of modern-day Turkey.

Best Time: March to May and September to November

Best Places To Stay: Kaya Thermal Hotel & Spa and Clarks Inn Ephesus

3. Cappadocia

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a historical site with unique cliffs shaped throughout millions of years through water and wind altering the land. The churches here are rock-cut and are preserved really well, ranging from small sizes, hidden in caves, to even multi-cave structures. Some sites to visit here are Kaymakli, Derinkuyu, Goreme, Avanos and Uchisar towns. You can discover the place on foot but most prefer to catch see the landscape from a ride on a hot-air balloon.

Things to do: Spend time hiking through valleys and rock formations, staying in a cave hotel, and taking a hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys.

Location: Cappadocia is located in eastern Anatolia, Turkey.

Best Time To Visit: April to May and September to November

Best Places To Stay: Cappadocia Cave Resort & Spa and Kayakapi Premium Caves

4. Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale is in the Southwestern region of Denizli. It stands over Hierapolis’, an ancient city’s ruins. This place is famous for the white limestone travertines which are shaped by hot springs filled with calcium and have been used as a centre of thermal treatment for millennia. This is a unique place worth seeing.

Things to do: Visit the Hierapolis, which ruins, and stroll along the famous white calcium travertines and turquoise pools.

Location: Pamukkale is a natural site in the Denizli Province of southwestern Turkey.

Best Time to Visit: April to June and September to November

Best Places to Stay: Hierapark Thermal & Spa Hotel and Melrose Viewpoint Resort

5. Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut in Turkey

Located in Southeast Turkey on the Taurus Mountains is Mount Nemrut, a fantastic destination. The gods’ statues on the East and West around the mountain, along with Temple Zeus’ remains, are known to be King Antiochus I’s resting place. These massive statues once guarded Mount Nemrut, but today, unfortunately they crumbled down. But even the remains are still magnificent.

Things to do: Watch the sunset over the UNESCO-listed stone statues and view the remnants of this ancient religious site.

Location: Nemrut Dağı Yolu, 02000

Best Time to Visit: April-October

Best Places to Stay: Hotel Euphrat, Nemrut Kervansaray Hotel

6. Sumela Monastery

Sumela Monastery Turkey

Sumela Monastery, constructed in the 4th century, is among the world’s oldest monasteries. Located outside Trabzon city, it sits atop the majestic Zigana Mountains. It has a brilliant architectural design and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The monastery attracts many spiritual seekers and architecture enthusiasts.

Things to do: Explore the painted caves, trek the steep gorge, and get a close-up look at this 4th-century cliff-face monastery.

Location: Altındere, Altindere Valley National Park

Time to Visit: May-October

Best Places to Stay: Uzungol Sefa Han Hotel, Macka Mansion

7. Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace is a wonderful place to visit. It shows the Ottoman sultan’s royal lifestyle. It was the Turks’ main residence and in 1924, and was transformed into a museum. The palace museum has various chambers and grand rooms. Some things you’ll see here are the spoonmaker’s diamond, royal treasury, Topkapi dagger, weapons, Ottoman clothing, manuscripts, and armours.

Things to do: Enjoy the lavish pavilions and Ottoman architecture, and see the stunning artifacts in the Imperial Museum.

Location: Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Best Time to Visit: March-May, September-November

Best Places to Stay: Four Seasons Istanbul, the Marmara Taksim

8. Ani

Ani was founded over 1600 years ago as a Silk Road city. It was walled-in and borders Armenia. It’s no longer inhabited. It was destroyed due to Mongol raids, trade routes issues, and earthquakes. Among many ruins, the prominent ones are – Church of the Redeemer and the Church of St. Gregory. The ruins are mesmerizing, elaborate, and represent the city that was once powerful.

Things to do: Explore the remains of Armenian churches and cathedrals in this haunting abandoned medieval city.

Location: Ani is located in the northeast of Turkey, 42 km from the city of Kars.

Best Time to Visit: May-October

Best Places to Stay: Garden of Eden Kars Guesthouse, Grand Ani Hotel

9. Aspendos

Aspendos
Image Courtesy : https://voyageturkey.net/

This site is incredible and home to a huge Roman theatre. During the rule of Marcus Aurelius, the theatre hosted many festivals and cultural performances. Today, the annual Ballet Festival and Aspendos Opera are hosted. This historic location has incredible acoustics that results in quite an experience.

Things to do: Sit in one of the best-preserved Roman theaters and view ancient architecture.

Location: Southern Turkey

Best Time to Visit: March-May, September-November

Best Places to Stay: La Vista Hotel & Spa, Khan Hotel

10. Cruising the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Sea is an exquisite sight to enjoy. Cruising down the coastline is a must here. On the cruise, you’ll glide through the blue waters, forest-clad slopes, and white sand beaches. Apart from amazing sites, the coast has several incredible activities like visiting historic locations, eating exquisite Turkish cuisine, and visiting Marmaris or Fethiye.

Things to do: Relax on deck, swim, and sunbathe while sailing between historic coastal towns and taking in gorgeous sea views

Best Time to Visit: April-October

Best Places to Stay: Cruise Ship Cabins

11. Oludeniz

Oludeniz is known as the most famous beach in Turkey. It has blue-green waters and is surrounded by lush forest. You can relax, sunbathe and swim in the waters. It is also known for paragliding. Do this and catch an excellent aerial view.

Things to do: Paraglide over the stunning Blue Lagoon, relax on Belcekız or Kumburnu beach, take a boat trip to hidden coves

Location: Oludeniz is 14 kilometers south of Fethiye, near Mount Babadağ.

Best Time to Visit: April-October

Best Places to Stay: Belcekiz Beach Hotel, Liberty Hotels Lykia

12. Pergamon

Pergamon city in Turkey

Founded in the 3rd century BC, Pergamon is a remote coastal town that holds immense history. A recognizable ruin here is the Acropolis, an iconic library now in ruins. There’s also a gymnasium, marketplace, and temples of Hera and Demeter.

Things to do: Explore the iconic Acropolis, admire marble columns and impressive temples, and walk the arcaded road to the Library.

Location: North side of the Caicus River (modern-day Bakırçay)

Best Time to Visit: March-May, September-November

Best Places to Stay: Akmolla Cave Hotel, Pergamon Bridge Suites

13. Patara

Patara is Turkey’s longest beach. It has many famous beach cafes and sunbeds and umbrellas. You can also witness the sunset and moonrise from a nearby dune top. It is an enchanting place and one of the most famous and visited places in Turkey.

Things to do: Wander miles of pristine golden sand beaches, nesting grounds for sea turtles, and ancient Lycian ruins.

Location: Patara is in Antalya Province, in southwestern Turkey.

Best Time to Visit: April-October

Best Places to Stay: Akay Hotel, View Point Hotel

14. Kabak Bay

Kabak Bay is a break from city life. Here, you’ll enjoy swimming, sunbathing, relaxing, and snorkelling. The beach is usually crowded but is still an enjoyable place to relax. There are also sumptuous meals served with olives, tomatoes, pickles, and lots more.

Things to do: Hike coastal trails, taking in dramatic ocean views; relax in hammocks along the shore; and enjoy the laidback bohemian vibe.

Location: Village of Faralya, Fethiye, within the Muğla region of Turkey

Best Time to Visit: June-September

Best Places to Stay: Olive Garden Hotel, Melez Pension

15. Antalya

Antalya City in Turkey

Antalya is the 5th most populous city in Turkey and has the best beaches in Europe. You’ll love Old Town structures from the Ottoman era. Hadrian’s Gate is among the most famous sites here built in the honour of the Roman emperor. The beaches are famous for luxurious resorts and entertainment.

Things to do: Wander the old town Kaleiçi, view Hadrian’s Gate, soak up sea views of the coastline and nearby mountain ridges

Location: It’s located on the Gulf of Antalya, between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.

Best Time to Visit: April-November

Best Places to Stay: The Marmara Antalya, Eleven Hotel

16. Hammam Heaven

Turkish baths, or hammams, are among the best Turkey tourist attractions. Exquisite domed halls, steam chambers, and skilled attendants who scrub you from head to toe during vigorous silk glove massages on heated marble tables are features of these purifying palaces.

Things to do: Experience and indulge in a traditional Turkish bath house treatment package.

Location: They are found across the Middle East, North Africa, and other regions.

Best Time to Visit: Year-round

Best Places to Stay: Nearby hotels that have hammams or spas onsite

17. Everywhere, at Any Time

Wait in line at a busy çay bahçesi (tea garden) to watch people chatting over little tulip-shaped glasses in the most famous turkey tourist attractions. The best tea in Turkey is produced in the Black Sea region, close to Rize, although you can find Turks drinking çay in cafes, parks, and stores all around the nation as it is one of the perfect Turkey tourist places.

Things to do: Relax at an outdoor tea garden, sipping çay (black tea), and playing backgammon.

Location: Cinaralti; located in the Cengelkoy neighborhood on the Asian side of the city

Best Time to Visit: Year-round

 Best Places to Stay: Hotels near city centers and popular çay bahçeleri

18. Market Place Deals

Kadikoy Bazaar
Image Courtesy : http://www.markethopper.com/

Choose to look for handicrafts, fabrics, and souvenirs at smaller, real markets like the Kadıköy Bazaar, which sells handmade goods and fresh produce on the Asian side, instead of the overpowering Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Kebabs and seafood meze from Kadikoy’s Fish Market restaurant row nearby entice hungry customers. It is the best turkey place to visit.

Things to do: Check out street bazaars and markets to practice your bartering skills for handicrafts, textiles, jewelry.

Location: Beyazıt, Fatih/İstanbul, Turkiye

Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall

Best Places to Stay: Hotels in city centers near the markets

19. Hike Oludeniz to Kabak

Trek from the remote Lycian village of Faralya via the vibrant Butterfly Valley to the relaxed town of Kabak on the Oludeniz hike. After a few nights camping beneath the stars, reach the famous Ölüdeniz beach. It is one of the best Turkey places to visit.

Things to do: Trek along scenic coastal trails between these two popular resort villages.

Location: It is a part of the Lycian Way. This is a hiking route on the Lycian Coast.

Best Time to Visit: Spring to Early Fall

Best Places to Stay: Camping or hotels in Oludeni

20. Whirling Dervishes Ceremony

The spiritual Sufi practice of spinning trance-like dances symbolizes planets orbiting the sun. Watch a mesmerizing performance in Istanbul or Konya year-round.

Location: The ceremony is in the real monasteries near Fatih, Yenikapi, Silivrikapi, and Galata areas

Things to do: Attend a mesmerizing Sema ritual dance performance by spinning Sufi mystics.

Best Time to Visit: Summer months of June to September

Best Places to Stay: The Hich Hotel, The Four Seasons Hotel

Now that you’ve read about the incredible tourist attractions in Turkey, what are you waiting for? Start packing and enjoy!

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