Best Things to Do in Turkey

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Best Things To Do In Turkey

Turkey has always been one such culturally and geographically diverse and attractive regions. From early morning prayers to late-night parties, Turkey's culture is surely a rollercoaster. The country (Read More) even flaunts many historical and archaeological sites including some UNESCO World Heritage sites as well. When you plan your trip to Turkey, you can be sure to have a long bucket list of things. To ease the effort of sorting out those activities, we have compiled the following top things to try during your next Turkey trip:

Here is the list of 25 Best Things to Do in Turkey

1. Learn About Turkish History at Hagia Sophia Mosque

 Learn About Turkish History at Hagia Sophia Mosque
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Arguably the most spectacular example of Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia has been a cathedral, a mosque, and today is a museum and one of Istanbul's biggest attractions. Explore its vast interior, admiring the breathtaking domed ceiling, intricate frescoes, and impressive marble designs. All visitors (non-Muslims included) are allowed to enter. Guided tour is available.

2. Ballooning Over Cappadocia

Ballooning Over Cappadocia

On your trip to Turkey, you ought to spare some time and visit Cappadocia to experience the hot–air ballooning. With flight durations ranging between 1 and 2 hours, the adventure allows you to capture marvelous views of Cappadocia from the hot–air balloon. An equally marvelous view would be to capture all the hot–air balloons floating in the sky! Visiting the Cappadocia around sunrise or sunset is recommended for the best views.

3. Relax at Pamukkale

Relax at Pamukkale
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Known For : Pamukkale Natural Park Travertines Hierapolis

Pamukkale is located in southwestern Turkey, in the Denizli Province. It is very famous for its travertines (hot water springs) which is a magical site with turquoise pools and snow-white cliffs. It is one of the most photogenic places in the world. Pamukkale, which means 'cotton castle' in Turkey, is a natural site with carbonate mineral deposits left behind by the flowing water of the hot springs. There are 17 hot springs in the area, known are known for their healing properties. Marvel at the surreal terraces of Pamukkale's calcium travertines and explore the ancient Hierapolis ruins nearby.

Best Time: September

10 Pamukalle Attractions

4. Sightseeing During Ferry Ride At The Bosphorous

Sightseeing During Ferry Ride At The Bosphorous
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Ferry rides at the Bosphorous allow you to take a sneak into Asia’s Eminonu, Kabatas and Besiktas and return to the European soil of Turkey. It is a natural strait falling under the international waterways routes and is the narrowest spot that separates Asia and Europe in Turkey. During the ferry ride, you may witness the transformation in architecture and planning of cities between Europe and Asia. And while doing so, you may enjoy some delicious meals and drinks on the ferry to make up for a memorable experience!

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5. Collect Artefacts at Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Collect Artefacts at Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
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Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is one of the oldest and largest markets in the world. The Bazaar encompasses 64 streets, 4000 shops, restaurants, and banks, making it almost its own little city. It is often considered to be among the very first shopping malls in the world. It can be reached through the Beyazıt-Kapalıçarşı tram station.

6. Witness the Ruins of Ephesus

Witness the Ruins of Ephesus

Showcasing the presence of Greeks and Romans, the Ruins of Ephesus is another place you must visit on your trip to Turkey. The ancient city of Ephesus is located in the Aegean region alongside the coast of Lonia. Full of historical sites and ruins of temples and monuments from the Neolithic Age, Ephesus is home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, i.e. Temple of Artemis. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ephesus also houses the Gospel of John, one of the seven churches in Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

7. Taste Turkish Coffee

Taste Turkish Coffee

Enjoying Turkish coffee in Istanbul is more than just a drink; it's a cultural ritual and a delightful experience. Visit traditional cafes or historic places like the Grand Bazaar or Spice Bazaar, where you can savor Turkish coffee in an authentic setting filled with cultural ambiance. The most popular kind of Turkish coffee is ibrik or cezve coffee.

8. Explore Limestone Formations at Goreme National Park

Explore Limestone Formations at Goreme National Park

Situated in the volcanic zone of Hasan Mountain, Goreme National Partrok is a popular tourist attraction across the globe, primarily because of the limestone structures, or “Peri Bacalari” it possesses. These are a maze of tunnels carved out naturally from the limestone rocks present in the area and are believed to have been inhabited by ancient humans. Thus, the limestone formations of Goreme National Park showcase the perfect combination of human life and nature.

9. Visit the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Visit the Blue Mosque in Istanbul
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Also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque is one of the many beautiful mosques built by the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city, the mosque has been functioning since the time it was built in 17th Century AD. On your trip to the place, you will be mesmerised by the hand-painted blue tiles externally adorning the domes and minarets. Just as much as the exteriors of Blue Mosque are alluring, the swirling blue interiors are equally magnificent.

10. Pamper at Turkish Baths

Pamper at Turkish Baths

Also known as Hammam in the local language, visitors would be made to relax down on a heated slab of marble where some intense oil massage would follow a session of soap scrub. The Hammam session would finally conclude with some hot water. This extremely rejuvenating and tiring session is the best remedy for almost every ailment. From sadness to fatigue. Depending on the spa you are visiting, you may opt for a self–service or the masseur–service spa. Although there are separate bathing areas for ladies and men, you can’t expect privacy while getting a spa treatment.

11. Watch Sunrise from Mount Nemrut

Watch Sunrise from Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a majestic mountain located in southeastern Turkey. It's renowned for its colossal statues and ancient stone sculptures dating back to the 1st century BC. Visiting Mount Nemrut offers not only a chance to marvel at the impressive ancient sculptures but also provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, especially during sunrise or sunset. The journey to the summit involves a hike, allowing travelers to witness these remarkable archaeological remnants in a breathtaking natural setting.

12. Witnes Captivating Architecture of Dolmabahce Palace

Witnes Captivating Architecture of Dolmabahce Palace
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In what may be considered a true example of grandeur and opulence, visiting the Dolmabahçe Palace of Istanbul is the next thing you need to do on your next Turkey trip. Having been home to six Sultans, the Palace comprises a total of 285 rooms and four large salons. Overlooking a stunning view of the strait, the other attractions in the vicinity of the visually appealing architecture of Dolmabahçe Palace include the nearly 500 meters long façade and the 4,000-kilogram Bohemian glass chandelier!

13. Experience Turkish Cuisine

Experience Turkish Cuisine

Trying Turkish street food in Istanbul is a quintessential and delightful experience for tourists. Indulge in iconic street foods like simit, doner kebab, gözleme, kokoreç and traditional Turkish desserts such as baklava or künefe. Visit bustling markets like the Grand Bazaar or Spice Bazaar, where you can find a plethora of street food stalls. You can also join a guided food tour.

14. Watch A Whirlish Dervish Show

Watch A Whirlish Dervish Show

The Whirling Dervish Ceremony, known as the Sema Ceremony, is an ancient spiritual practice originating from the Sufi order of Islam, particularly associated with the followers of Mevlana Rumi. During the ceremony, the Dervishes, clad in long white robes with conical hats symbolizing tombstones, perform a ritualistic dance. The Sema Ceremony is a profound spiritual experience for both participants and spectators, offering a glimpse into the mystical aspects of Sufism and the philosophy of Mevlana Rumi. Istanbul's Galata Mevlevi House and Konya's Mevlana Museum are notable places to witness this captivating ceremony.

15. Embrace the History at Hippodrome of Constantinople

Embrace the History at Hippodrome of Constantinople
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Hippodrome of Constantinople was originally developed by the Byzantines as a sports arena, where events such as chariot racing were conducted. Later on, during the Ottoman rule, the place was used for playing Cirit, an ancient Turkish game. While it is believed that there were multiple obelisks set up during the ancient times, the time has eroded most of the structures, with only one Egyptian obelisk existing in good condition. You may also visit other interesting places within the Hippodrome, such as the Serpent’s Column, the German Fountain, and the walled obelisk.

16. Revisit History at Ankara Castle

Revisit History at Ankara Castle
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One of Turkey's oldest sites, the Ankara Castle is a historical fortification dating back to the 7th century. The castle overlooks the city from its peak and is often associated with Ottoman, Seljuk, Roman and Byzantine empires. One of the best things to do in Turkey, the castle embodies different architectural styles and is home to twenty pillars and two gateways. The streets leading to the castle are studded with old Ankarian houses.

17. Travel Back In Time At Troy

Travel Back In Time At Troy

The ancient city of Troy is one of those places in Turkey which is visited by both locals and tourists. Being nearly 5,000 years old, the city's ruins depict the presence of some of the greatest rulers of the ancient world. These include Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, who invaded the city with the help of the Trojan Prince Aeneas. Built and demolished nearly nine times, the city ruins speak of the massacre during the historical Trojan War even today. Many such interesting facts can be learned on your trip to Troy.

18. Explor Anitkabir

Explor Anitkabir
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The father of the modern Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, found his resting place at the Anitkabir, a mausoleum in Ankara. Standing tall on a hilltop, this mausoleum is elaborate and carved with intricate designs. The complex has many areas to explore, like the Hall of Honor, Peacock Park, Aslanlı Yol’, and Monument Block, among others. The mausoleum looks mesmerizing at night, with its well-lit walls and borders.

19. Demre, Myra & Kekova Tour

Demre, Myra & Kekova Tour

Explore the history of Turkey through the Demre Myra Kekova Tour, a private tour which takes you across different places in Turkey. The tour starts at Myra, the ancient city which withholds Roman amphitheatres and Lycian tombs. Then it moves on to Demre - known for its famous St. Nicholas church. Lastly, it stops at Kekova, a dreamy city which once had an island called Simena that sank due to earthquakes.

20. Paragliding in Oludeniz

Paragliding in Oludeniz

Paragliding in Oludeniz will allow you to witness stunning views of the coastline, mountains, and the famous Blue Lagoon. The flights typically take off from Mount Babadag, 2000 meters above sea level. Usually, the minimum cost is 300 TL, which also goes up to 1600 TL. Kidrak beach, Butterfly valley, and Oludeniz Beach are famous for paragliding.

21. Rafting At Koprulu Canyon

Rafting At Koprulu Canyon

Koprulu Canyon is located in Manavgat, Antalya, surrounded by a national park of the same name. It is most famous for river rafting. There are several agencies offering a range of packages for rafting in the clear waters of the river Köprüçay. Most rafting tours offer pick-up, drop-off, and lunch and last between 7 and 24 hours, depending on the package chosen.

22. Hike The Lycian Way

Hike The Lycian Way

Starting at Fethiye and going till Antalya, the Lycian way is a 540 km long stretch of marked hiking trails amidst Turkey’s beautiful beaches, jungles and mountains. While it takes roughly 30 days and a decent trekking experience to complete the entire path, Lycian Way is split into many smaller route options for tourists with the limited time that offer the thrill and adventure of hiking, precious memories to take back home, and unforgettable views.

23. Walk Through Istikal Avenue

Walk Through Istikal Avenue

Isktiklal Caddessi or Istiklal Avenue is the busiest street in Istanbul filled with a long stretch of cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, bars, cinemas and galleries. Estimated to have been visited by over 3 million people on the weekends, it is the best way to experience the vibrant, hustling side of the city. Located in the heart of the city, the avenue houses so many recreational activities that it is a favourite place to visit by the residents of the city. Even a stroll along the avenue would fascinate you to the very end and leave you asking for more. The road stretches for 1.4 km from Taksim Square and finishes the Galata Tower, and a full day is needed to explore this crowded street.

24. Visit Gobekli Tepe

Visit Gobekli Tepe

Translating to “Potbelly Hill”, Gobekli Tepe is a must-visit place for you if you are fond of architecture and history. Situated around 12 kilometers from Urfa city, this archaeological site is located in the Southeast Anatolia region of the country. The place was discovered by German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, who believes that the site possesses the ruins of the world’s first temple! Even the ruins present here date back to nearly 11,000 years, around 5,000 years older than Stonehenge! With such an interesting site present in Turkey, you must visit the place during your trip.

25. Witness Turkish Marine Life at Aqua Vega Aquarium

Witness Turkish Marine Life at Aqua Vega Aquarium

Aqua Vega Aquarium is Turkey's longest shopping mall aquarium that houses nearly 12,000 sea creatures in thematic salt and freshwater tanks. Most of the magical creatures here, including sharks, are brought from all over the world's rivers and oceans and are only seen in documentaries. Some of the animals found here include sea turtles, crocodiles, alligators, and sharks, among other saltwater and freshwater sea animals.

So, here are the top things you could do in Turkey. Do you have any more additions to our list? Have you experienced these best things in Turkey? Let us know in the comments below!

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