If your heart points out to the places soaked in culture and history, your mind craves entertainment and buzzing nightlife and your soul wants to seep in the unhurried, relaxing experiences, it’s quite rare that you will find a place with almost everything in a blink of an eye. But Turkey surely is one such extraordinary gem! A modern country depicting the captivating blends of ancient and contemporary, business and leisure and the calm and chaotic, Turkey is truly a pleasant surprise to the senses. If precisely defined, there is no other place in the world that fuses East and West with such ease. With a rich mix of people, cultures, history, scenic beauty, great food and so much more, the incredible Turkey Attractions offer a wealth of unique experiences to any and every kind of travellers.
Fall head over heels in love with the façade of Hagia Sofia touching the skyline of Istanbul, gape in awe at the magnificence of the Roman ruins and grandiose of Aspendos, discover the beautiful beaches of Antalya or lodge in the seaside resorts, take a hot air balloon tour of Cappadocia, go for a soul-soothing Turkish bath, sip in the famous Turkish tea, shop till you drop in the alleys of Turkish bazaars, go boat cruising on the Bosphorus, explore the hushed streets of the Princes’ Islands, see the mosques of Bursa, enjoy a bird's eye view of Istanbul from the Galata Tower or just opt for walking tours experiencing the country on foot. Truly and undeniably, the Turkey tourist places have it all!
Despite having an abundance of destinations adorning its tourism portfolio, Turkey has always got the glare of publicity because of Istanbul. Sitting on the edge of Europe, Turkey’s cultural and buzzing capital- Istanbul features top spots for business meetings along with leisure hubs where you can chill out without fearing the stress of routined hassles. Of course, the magnificent Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) Museum in Sultan Ahmet district tops the list of popular places to visit in Istanbul but there is so much to explore beyond this architectural masterpiece. Those looking to shop and take the little versions of Turkey home can head to Grand Bazaar. This covered market is a maze of alleys lined by shops and stalls selling every Turkish souvenir, handicrafts, Turkish lamps and ceramic bowls and local delicacies like Baklawas and authentically extracted honey. Don’t miss out on these incredible Istanbul Tourist Attractions - Galata Tower and the Taksim Square as they are truly the thumping heartbeats of the city. Once the sun goes down and you are tired of exploring, a traditional Turkish bath (popularly known as Hammam) comes to the rescue. Both the travellers and nostalgic locals (who have up kept the tradition of Hammans and its mandate cleansing rituals very well to date) are seen thronging these bathhouses. After all, what’s better than ending your fervid travelling schedule with a rejuvenating bath and massage?
With innumerable places to visit in Turkey, it is hard to filter out just a few to fit in your itinerary. We have, therefore, prepared a comprehensive list of the must-visit Turkey Tourist Attractions below that will help you find your way through the most exceptional experiences in the country along with the unmissable Istanbul Attractions.
Top Tourist Places to Visit in Turkey and Istanbul:
Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia officially the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and formerly the Church of the Holy Wisdom is a Late Antique place of worship in Istanbul designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.
The towers were built during the Genoese period and now it’s one of Istanbul’s iconic towers that shed its light all over the city. It is the tallest structure that reaches the skyline of the Golden horn which makes it top Istanbul tourist attractions. There’s been many tales and stories about the Galata Tower, and one of the most famous among them is about legendary Hezaffen Ahmet Celebi.
Sultan Ahmet Square Detached House
Public square with remnants of an ancient hippodrome with prominent & historic buildings nearby.
Covered 17th-century market known as the Egyptian Bazaar with spice food & textile shops.
Topkapi Palace Museum
The Topkap Palace or the Seraglio is a large museum in the east of the Fatih district of Istanbul in Turkey. In the 15th and 16th centuries it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans.
Devrent (Imaginary Valley)
Avanos is a town and district of Nevehir Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey located 18 km north of Nevehir the capital city of the province. It is situated within the historic and tourist region of Cappadocia.
Open Air Museum
The Village Cave Hotel
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul also known by its official name the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is an Ottoman-era historical imperial mosque located in Istanbul Turkey. A functioning mosque also attracts large numbers of tourist visitors. It was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Klliye contains Ahmeds tomb a madrasah and a hospice. Hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosques interior walls and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosques five main domes six minarets and eight secondary domes. It sits next to the Hagia Sophia the principal mosque of Istanbul until the Blue Mosques construction and another popular tourist site. The Blue Mosque was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1985 under the name of Historic Areas of Istanbul.
Boat tours provide visitors with unique city views from this strait separating Europe & Asia.
Scenic waterfall & park by the sea
he Antalya Museum or Antalya Archeological Museum is one of Turkeys largest museums located in Konyaalt Antalya.
Prominent mountain with a cable car
House of Virgin Mary
The House of the Virgin Mary is a Catholic shrine located on Mt. Koressos in the vicinity of Ephesus 7 kilometres from Seluk in Turkey.
zmir Clock Tower
zmir Clock Tower is a historic clock tower located at the Konak Square in the Konak district of zmir Turkey.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with 61 covered streets and over 4000 shops on a total area of 30700 m2 attracting between 250000 and 400000 visitors daily. In 2014 it was listed No.1 among the worlds most-visited tourist attractions with 91250000 annual visitors. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls in the world.
Charming island with historic homes
Goreme Open Air Museum
The Goreme Open Air Museum has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984. It is only 15 minutes walk from Goreme village center. It contains the finest of the rock-cut churches with beautiful frescoes whose colors still retain all their original freshness. It also presents unique examples of rock-hewn architecture and fresco techniques.
Waterfall and river
Historical landmark in Antalya Turkey
The Golden Horn is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul Turkey. As a natural estuary that connects with the Bosphorus Strait at the point where the strait meets the Sea of Marmara the waters of the Golden Horn help define the northern boundary of the peninsula constituting Old Istanbul the tip of which is the promontory of Sarayburnu or Seraglio Point. This estuarial inlet geographically separates the historic center of Istanbul from the rest of the city and forms a horn-shaped sheltered harbor that in the course of history has protected Greek Roman Byzantine Ottoman and other maritime trade ships for thousands of years.
Mausoleum At Halicarnassius
Archaeological site with the ruins of the huge tomb of Mausolus dating from around 350 B.C..
Pigeon valley is situated between Greme and Uhisar and is ideal for walking as the trek is relatively easy. The name comes from the thousands of pigeon houses that have been carved into the soft tuff since ancient times. You can hike the Pigeon Valley between Greme and Uhisar. The 4km trail starts from the road near the Ataman Hotel on the south side of Greme or on the paved road on the north side of the hill where Uhisar Castle sits in Uhisar. Both trailheads are signed. Stick to the more traveled trails and you will have no trouble finding your way on this moderately hilly hike. The path through the valley offers spectacular views of the natural cliffs and the man-made caves and passes through a few tunnels carved into the rock.
The Maidens Tower also known as Leanders Tower since the medieval Byzantine period is a tower on a small islet at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m from the coast of Uskudar in Istanbul Turkey.
Rstem Pasha Mosque
The Rstem Pasha Mosque is an Ottoman mosque located in the Hasrclar ars in the Tahtakale neighborhood of the Fatih district of Istanbul Turkey near the Spice Bazaar. Named after Rstem Pasha who served as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Suleiman I it was designed by the Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan and completed in around 1563.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is a museum located in Sultanahmet Square in the Fatih district of Istanbul Turkey. Constructed in 1524 the building was formerly the palace of Pargal Ibrahim Pasha who was the second grand vizier to Suleiman the Magnificent and was once thought to have been the husband of the Sultans sister Hatice Sultan.
Soanl Valley is located in Yeilhisar district Kayseri Province Turkey in the southeastern part of the region of Cappadocia. The valley contains several rock-cut churches and other rock-cut buildings carved from the soft tuff stone of the Cappadocian landscape.
Kaleii is the historic city center of Antalya Turkey. Until modern times almost the entire city was confined within its walls. It has structures dating from the Roman Byzantine Seljuk Ottoman and modern Turkish republican eras. Most of it however dates to the late 18th and 19th centuries.
Istanbul Archaeological Museums
The Istanbul Archaeology Museums are a group of three archaeological museums located in the Eminn quarter of Istanbul Turkey near Glhane Park and Topkap Palace. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum consists of three museums the Archaeological Museum Museum of the Ancient Orient Museum of Islamic Art.
The Bodrum Castle Of The Knights Of St. John
Castle with underwater archeology museum
Sailing kitesurfing and marina
The Kurunlu Waterfall has located 19 km from Antalya Turkey at the end of a 7 km road branching off to the north of the Antalya-Serik-Alanya highway at a point 12 km east of Antalya. It is reduced to a mere trickle in the summer months. The waterfall is on one of the tributaries of the Aksu River where the tributary drops from Antalyas plateau to the coastal plain. It is situated in the midst of a pine forest of exceptional beauty and the environs provide a picnic and pleasure spot about twenty minutes by car from the center of the city of Antalya.
Hunat Hatun Complex
Early in the 13th century Kayqubad I Sultan of the Anatolian Seluks captured the Alanya fortress from its Armenian ruler Kir Vart. One of the conditions of Varts surrender was that his daughter Hunat Mahperi Hatun would become the sultans wife.
Pamukkale is a town in western Turkey known for the mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces on a nearby hillside. It neighbors Hierapolis an ancient Roman spa city founded around 190 B.C. Ruins there include a well-preserved theater and a necropolis with sarcophagi that stretch for 2km. The Antique Pool is famous for its submerged Roman columns the result of an earthquake.
Hierapolis Ancient City
Hierapolis was an ancient Greek city located on hot springs in classical Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and currently comprise an archaeological museum. The site has the Tomb of Philip the Apostle. Hierapolis became a healing center where doctors used the thermal springs as a treatment for their patients.
Busy city avenue with shops & cafes
Ephesus Ancient City
Over the centuries, Istanbul’s important places have attracted many marauding armies from Greece, Rome and Venice before the Ottoman Empire took over. The legendary Silk Road linking Europe and Asia is what’s drawn merchants to the country. They like it so much that they stayed, and that’s what gave the city its cultural diversity up to this day and it’s become one of turkey tourist spots.
Ankara is the capital city of Turkey lying at an altitude of 850 m on the Anatolian Plateau. The plateau offers a harsh landscape with its infinite steppe, young volcanoes and wheat fields. Having all this and it’s unbelievable to see how history reveals millennia rich with a lot of emotive episodes. The famous Hittite Empire, one of the superpower ruins which arrived here.
Settled in the middle of Turkey on a high, dry plateau ground, yet it looks like it’s been pluck from a fairytale world and set down upon earth. The hails, surreal swooping rock valleys and cliff ridges are home wavy rocks or wacky shaped pinnacles that have been formed by nature itself. From the top view, you can see turkey attractions such as the Uchisar Castle, Red Valley, Pigeon Valley, Monks Valley, Devrent Valley.
The mighty ruins of Ephesus are turkey tourist attractions that should not be missed. Unlike many of the colossal monuments, this is the place where you will find the most complete, still-standing Roman cities that are still well-preserved in modern day Turkey. One of the seven wonders places to see what lives must have been during the golden age of the Roman Empire.
Tourists come to soak in Turkey’s turquoise coast and charm as the coast is always at its most vibrant. Bodrum is a holiday destination where the marina is full of yachts to take you out to the Mediterranean water or even gaze at a handful of ancient turkey tourist spots such as the Bodrum Castle; old town filled with old, whitewashed and photographic houses.
The first Ottoman Empire built around mausoleums, mosques and other sites right from its incarnation. Despite having its historical remains, Bursa is still modern and industrial. What keeps the city remarkably placid in places is its durable Ottoman core and plenteous parks. For some fresh air after strolling around the Old Silk Market, the Grand Mosque, few peaks and places to visit in turkey are nearby.
The Greek Orthodox monastery is a popular turkey tourist attraction dedicated to the Virgin Mary at Melá Mountain. Visiting its stunning site located in a lonely setting and built into a cliff face is one of the things to do in Turkey along the Black Sea Coast. It was opened during the Byzantine era but was soon closed down in 1923. It’s now the most visited abandoned religious site with empty cells that was once resided by the monks.
The 2,134-metre-high mountain is a top sightseeing draw-card in south-eastern Turkey. The site is scattered with remains of large statues which is assumed to be a royal tomb for the first century BC. It a wired and lonely attraction in Turkey, but to stand here and see all these remnants makes you wonder about this most peculiar archaeological sites.
Trabzon is a city that has inspired renowned travellers from the entire world. To name a few travellers which have been attracted by the city is Marco Polo, Evliya and Xenophon and many others. It’s a hub of natural and cultural riches, located on the historic and legendary Silk Road. And, today the city continues to be an important centre for trade and commerce!
The city is a pilgrimage destination for Sufi pilgrimages and one of Turkey’s most conservative cities. During the 13th and 14th century, it was the capital of the Seljuk Turks and that’s the reason it’s also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities. Also, the city is known as turkey tourist spots for its famous buildings such as Mevlana Museum, Alaeddin Tepe and many others.
The lagoon sits beside a lush green national park, its sandy beach cast away its shadows across the sea. It’s a resort village and has coastal views on the south-western turkey. So, if you are looking for an easy going day on the beach, there’s no better place than Oludeniz. If you are adventurous, try paragliding here, it one of the best things to do in Turkey.
The Alanya Castle is one of the main symbols of Alanya that stand over the Rocky Mountains in the middle of the city. It was first occupied by the pirates in the 3rd century, but later it was taken over and replaced into Roman and Byzantine fortifications. Now, it’s an open-air museum where you can see a great view of Cleopatra Beach and the walk the historical streets without charges.
Library of Celsus
The site is a striking structure that was built by the Romans, dedicated to Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of Ephesus. If you have a craze to take astonishing pictures, this is one of the best places to click photos. Although, the building was severely damaged by the earthquake, yet it still stands strong and facade of the building still remains.
Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Built by the knights in 1402 and it’s now the rarest underwater archaeology museums in the world. It’s located in the Bordum castle, and hold treasures that have been excavated from the Turkish waters. The museum houses the oldest known shipwrecks in the world. There’s a wide collection of relics with ancient glassware, gold items, copperware etc. If you looking for things to do in Turkey, visit the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology!
The beach is known for its shallow waters, and legends say it that its waters have healing powers. The sand dunes, the fragrant pines with turquoise sea dazzled under the sea is a perfect place for vacation. The beach is open on all sides which means that its stretches over 18km long. It has, therefore, become of Anatolia’s longest beach and many Turkish films have been shot in the Patara Beach.
Kaymakli Underground City
The Kaymakli Underground City is buried beneath the surface of Cappadocia, and it was built to protect the local population from the armies and invaders. It’s a multi-chambered that contains areas for living quarters, storage, stables and wine-making like many of its underground city sisters such as Ozkonak and Derinkuvu underground city.
The historical site is one of the largest surviving cisterns in the country built in 532. It was reclaimed from finely carved capitals and ruined temples using 336 columns. It was designed to service the great palace as it lay under the Stoa Basilica. What’s so breathtaking about this site is the sheer and symmetry grandeur of misconception.
Church of Hagia Sophia
This Istanbul sight is also known as the Church of the holy wisdom or Church of the divine wisdom. It’s one of the world’s greatest monuments. Its 32 metres main dome with two semidomes on either side or the three aisles supported with great marbles and galleries rising to the dome are to be seen and discover!
Istanbul Archaeology Museum
The museum exhibits artistic treasures and archaeological sites including Istanbul’s history, classical statuary an ancient artefacts. There are many highlights too that are striking in nature like that Royal Necropolis of Sidon. There are three main parts like the Archaeology museum, Ancient Orient and the tiled pavilion.
Compared to the entire street like Fifth Street or Oxford Street, the Istikal is one of the best streets to experience in Istanbul. The long stretch street shows off its shops which have many products. Along the street, there are restaurants, cafes, bars, live music cafes, cinemas and many others. There are many things to do or see here such as the Flower passage, the Atlas Arcade etc.
It’s one of the best places to visit in Istanbul is the Chora Church as there are very few churches to see around the city. Originally, the building was known as the Church of the Holy Saviour Outside the walls. The church has witnessed many historical events right from the old city to the new Istanbul.
There are about twenty-plus beaches in Istanbul as the city is surrounded by many beaches. There are so many beaches that you can choose from the Istanbul beaches such as Dalia Beach, Golden Beach, True Blue Beach, Non-stop beach, Solar beach, Wattabe and many others. All these beaches are very close to the city, so you can pick the one which is closest to your hotel!
Miniaturk Park will bring out the kid out of you; it’s one of the coolest attractions and best places to visit in Istanbul. Everything is so beautiful and well-structured; imagine seeing all of the attractions and iconic places from all over the country in one. And, best of all they are all miniature and you see in all the works and details done so well and have a closer look from above.
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
The museum was opened in the year 2004 and it’s now beautifully structured. Although the prime purpose of the museum was to encourage the creation of modern art by Turkish artists, it also includes works by both Turkish as well as foreign artists. There’s also a very exquisite Contemporary museum next to the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art which mainly has Turkish art.
The Maiden's Tower, also known as Leander's Tower, it’s one of Istanbul Tourist Places as its Istanbul’s iconic landmark. The tower has a long history to it which dates back to the fourth century. The background of the tower is intriguing and it’s worth a visit. It doesn’t just end attracting visitors with its history, but it also been a subject of few legends.
Mosque of Suleiman
It's not one of the biggest of the Ottoman mosques, but it is certainly, one of the most exquisite in Istanbul. The mosque dominates the Golden Horn, by providing a landmark for the city. The name was picked up from its patron Suleyman, also known as ‘the magnificent.’ It’s a pleasant garden with a nice garden, a forecourt and fountains providing an aura of serenity.
It’s an eye candy market for spices lovers where vividly coloured spices lay in the shops. Though it’s named as the spice market, yet you can find more than other things apart from spices such as honey, nuts, local dried herbs, caviar and dried fruits. But again, the market still surprises you with gift shops where they have edible souvenirs!
Ethnography Museum of Ankara
This site is one of Ankara tourist attractions as it’s the only museum of ethnography in Turkey, and most of its relics are dedicated to the cultures of the Turks. Up until 1953, it served as Ataturk’s mausoleum and it was preserved in the entrance hall. The funeral photos of Ataturk are found all over the wall of this museum. There’s a huge collection of ethnography here such as Anatolian jewellery, henna ceremonies at the entrance of the museum along with an explanation on the wedding ceremony and bridal dresses.
The tower is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city, and one of the best places to visit in Ankara. Located in central Ankara, stand above the skyline with a height of 410 feet. If you want to see the whole view of the city, you can dine at the revolving restaurant which has two restaurants and a cafe.
Kocatepe Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world having more than 24,000 devotees at a single time. During the day time, it’s become so visible from most parts of the city with its tires of domes and rising minarets. The construction of this religious place took over two centuries to complete it. Only when you get here can you explore for yourself the decisive look of the mosque is modern or contemporary.
Altinkoy Open Air Museum
To see Ankara sights and its village life, there no better place to immerse you other than Altinkoy Open Air Museum. The museum gives an interactive community field which makes it memorable for visitors of all ages. Whatever is associated with village life in the olden days, you will find it here such as old-time mosques, fountains, houses, outdoor cooking area and many others.
The Park is located right in the heart of the city, and it’s one of the best places to spend an afternoon especially for families. There’s greenery everywhere here and it’s fresh and cool with a nice tea garden. The park is Middle Eastern in style and you will find many water fountains across the park. There is also fun thrill amusement for children and terrifying looking rides for teenagers.
State Art and Sculpture Museum
There’s a huge collection of art from the 19th century onwards displayed in the museum. It’s become the cornerstone of culture in Ankara due to the collection of contemporary arts. When you visit the museum, you can enjoy some of the world’s finest Turkish art and learn some of the biggest names in contemporary Turkish art.
Things to Do in Turkey
Do what makes you happy
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