20 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Turkey
Turkey is full of ancient monuments left over from the imperial parade and is blessed with stunning views that will not surprise you. Turkey is a dazzling travel destination that spans Asia and Europe. Its vibrant culture, famous food, and rich history will delight everyone adventuring here. From the sunny Mediterranean to the mighty mountains and dry meadows, its magnificent landscape is a tourist attraction in its own right. Enjoy the wonders of Istanbul’s Byzantine and Ottoman Empires on a city break, relax on the beach, dig into history to explore Ephesus-like ruins, and see the world’s most surreal panoramas in Pamukkale and Cappadocia. This country offers a wide range of visitor activities if you want to. Read the list of Turkey’s top attractions for ideas on what to do.
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Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) Mosque
Known as one of the many significant buildings in the world, Hagia Sophia’s beautiful Byzantine majesty is one of the most OK magnets in Istanbul and Turkey. Built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 537 AD, the church is considered the best architectural triumph of the Byzantine Empire and the world’s largest church for 1,000 years.
Most of its appearance is surrounded by delicate minarets added after the conquest of the Ottoman Empire. At the same time, the magnificent, cave-like frescoed interior is reminiscent of the power and power of ancient Constantinople. This famous remembrance is a must-see for all tourists visiting the country.
Not to be missed are the magnificent ruins of Ephesus, a city of massive monuments and marble pillar streets. This is one of the most comprehensive surviving antique cities in the Mediterranean. Here you can experience the life of the golden era of the Roman Empire. The yore of the metropolis dates back to the 10th century BC. Built in BC, all the critical monuments you see date back to Roman times and prospered as a trading center. In particular, the Library of Celsus, the tiered houses with frescoes, and the Grand Theatre all show the wealth and importance of Ephesus during the Roman period. Sightseeing tours here take slightly half a day to cover the main highlights and more if you really want to explore, so plan your visit so you don’t feel like you’re in a hurry.
The surreal and cascaded rock valleys of Cappadocia are a photographer’s dream. On the cliffs’ ridges and the hills’ tops, there are undulating rocks formed by thousands of years of wind and water and rippling views of crazy peaks. It’s also one of the most popular destinations in the world to ride a hot air balloon if you don’t want to enjoy the scenery. Surrounded by this unique moon-like landscape are Byzantine frescoed rock-hewn churches and cave architecture, where the Christian community of monasteries was located in the area.
In particular, the Goreme Open Air Museum and numerous shelter churches in the Ihara Valley contain some of the best examples of sacred art that survived the mid-Byzantine era. The half-carved hillside village of Cappadocia is based for travelers to explore the surrounding countryside, but there are even boutique resorts where you can sleep in a cave with modern comforts.
Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace is incredibly magnificent and takes you to the fantastic and luxurious world of the Sultan. From here, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire established an empire that extended from Europe to the Middle East and Africa. With decadently rich tilings and luxurious jewelry decoration, the interior provides an unforgettable glimpse of the power base of the Ottoman Empire. Don’t skip the Imperial Council building, where the Grand Vizier carried out the Imperial affairs. A collection of weapons on display at the Imperial Treasury. A world-class collection of miniature paintings. A dazzling harem room designed by the famous Ottoman architect Sinan. The surrounding public gardens, once the only court area, are now open to the public, offering a quiet and lush rest from the city’s streets.
One of Turkey’s most famous natural wonders, Pamukkale’s (English “cotton castle”) white travertine terrace, is a hillside, like a misguided snowfield in a lush landscape. Rolls down. Travertine is the highlight of a trip to Turkey, but the vast and vast archaeological sites of the ancient hot spring town of Hierapolis, Greece, are scattered on the top of this limestone hill. After exploring the ancient auditoria with sceneries of the countryside and Agora ruins, gymnasiums, necropolis, and the city’s large gates, you can swim in the mineral-rich waters that made this ancient hot spring town famous for its old swimming pools. Then walk down the travertine hills through the puddle on the upper terrace to the small modern village of Pamukkale below. The best pictures are taken at sunset when the travertine glows as the sun sets below the horizon.
This busy Mediterranean corner has something for everyone. Outside the town, the two main beaches are a paradise for sloths in the summer sun, attracting vacationers from all over Europe. In the city’s spirit, the Old Town is a beautiful place to explore, with cobblestone streets lined with Ottoman mansions. The Antalya Museum is one of the country’s best museums, with a magnificent collection of Hellenistic and Roman marble statues. Outside the city, many attractions for travelers who want to use Antalya as a base. Antalya is a comfortable base for day trips to Turkey’s most famous Greco-Roman ruins, including Aspendos and Prague, just outside the city and the archaeological side towns.
Cruising the Mediterranean
Turkey’s Mediterranean coast is full of ruins and things to do, but for many, it’s sunbathing while enjoying gorgeous coastal views. Cruising on a yacht is the most popular activity for visitors to Bodrum and Fethiye. Dotted with steep forested slopes, hidden coves with small white sands, and hundreds of islands, it’s a great place to explore from the ocean. Even stubborn landslides will be impressed. One of the most famous voyages, the Blue Cruise, travels south along the coast from Fetier to a landing site near Chimera’s well-known natural phenomenon, Olympus.
The burial mound of Mount Nemrut, one of the most popular tourist attractions in eastern Turkey, is littered with broken ruins of the giant statues that once protected it. This strange and lonely place must be one of Turkey’s most unique archaeological sites. The massive stone heads of the long-forgotten gods look down from the top, casting an eerie atmosphere on the barren peaks. The construction of the summit is the work of Antiochus I, the ruler of the Kingdom of Commagene, in the buffer zone between the Roman and Parthian Empires. Antiochus I dedicated this grand burial mound as a testament to his importance, building a 50-meter man-made mountain on top of Mount Nemrut and decorating it with himself and various images of God. The most widespread time to visit is sunrise, so you can see the statues emerging from the darkness.
Incredible turquoise water. Check. A lush forest that runs down a cliff to a white sandy beach. Check. A short drive from Fethiye, the protected bay of Ordeniz is Turkey’s most famous beach. It’s easy to see why the popularity hasn’t diminished, with landscapes that may have fallen from the perfect postcard. If the beach is overcrowded, take a tandem paraglider dive from the top of the mighty Baba Dag (Mount Baba) towards the sky and experience breathtaking views.
Roman Theater of Aspendos
Just south of the resort town of Antalya, the magnificent Aspendos Roman Theater celebrates the glitz and rituals of Marcus Aurelius’ reign. The highly restored 15,000-seat theater is considered an example of the best classical theater in the world and is one of the major attractions of ancient times. Although the theater is the main reason to visit (and for most visitors on half-day trips from nearby Antalya or Side, the theater is everything they see), the Aspendos site has many other things to see to explore. There are ruins. There are Byzantine aqueducts, agora, stadiums, and cathedral ruins, all scattered in the vast hills around the theater.
With a long Mediterranean coastline, Turkey has beaches for all sun worshipers, but Patara is one of the most famous sandy beaches. The 18-kilometer-long beach along the coast has plenty of space; even in midsummer, you can find a quiet place away from the crowds. The vast ruins of ancient Patara are just beyond the sand, including the colonnaded streets, the restored Bouleuterion (city council), and the 5,000-seat theater. When you’re full of sun, sand, and swimming, hike behind the dunes to explore the crumbling ruins of this once prosperous city of Lycia. Patara is easily accessible from both Kas and Fethiye.
Turkey is rich in ancient Roman ruins, but nothing can be placed as romantically as the ancient Pergamon of modern Bergama. Once home to one of the numerous essential libraries in the ancient world (comparable to the vital Library of Alexandria) and home to the famous medical school led by Garen, the rest of Pergamon’s temple ruins are now on a hill. Dramatically towering. An incredibly atmospheric place to explore. The Acropolis area, with its theater engraved on the hillside, is home to most of the ruins and offers a comprehensive panoramic view of the countryside. Below the Asklepion area are the ruins of a famous medical center in the city. If you want to experience the natural life of the classical era, this is the perfect place to visit.
The Blue Mosque
Interior of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul
This famous mosque (formally known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque) is located opposite the Hagia Sophia Mosque, opposite Istanbul’s Sultan Ahmet Park, and is one of Turkey’s most visited monuments. Built by Sultan Ahmed I, this mosque was designed by Mehmet Aa, a disciple of the most famous Ottoman architect Sinan, and emulated Hagia, his Sophia cathedral. Blue With six narrow spires and a vast courtyard, his mosque is all magnificent. Still, it is best known for its chapel covered with tens of thousands of blue Iznik tiles (the origin of the mosque’s nickname). We welcome visitors who are not celebrating the service except during prayer time. Everyone must cover the knees and shoulders, and women must wear a scarf.
This place is one of Turkey’s most famous ancient ruins and is considered by many to be the Iliad Troy of Homer. Whether Trojan War trojans or not, the vast, multi-story ruins reveal an enormous history of occupation, abandonment, and reoccupation dating back to the early Bronze Age. The ruins include well-preserved city walls and fortresses, palace ruins, Megaron (the hall complex of Mycenaean civilization), Roman houses and subsequent sanctuaries, and the Odeon monument.
The New Troy Museum is next to the Troy Site, one of the best museums in Turkey. The extensive, carefully selected collection inside tells stories from the early profession of Troy to the present day, including the myths surrounding the site. Controversial and damaging excavations of early archaeological research here. The story of the missing stash of gold, silver, and bronze relics (known as Priium’s Treasure) is currently boarded at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. The museum was excavated on-site and illegally smuggled from Turkey by Heinrich Schliemann.
The ruins of Ani’s powerful Silk Road city are abandoned on the plains that hit the modern border with Turkey’s Armenia. The golden age of Ani, once the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia, ended in the 14th century after the Mongolian assault, earthquake destruction, and trade route battles contributed to the city’s decline. The beautiful red brick building, which is still crumbling in the grass of the meadow, fascinates all visitors. Don’t miss the Church of the Savior and the Church of St. Gregory, where intricate stone carvings and frescoes remain. The bulky building of Ani Cathedral. The Manusia Mosque, built by the Seljuk Turks when they conquered the city in the 11th century, is believed to be the first mosque constructed later in Turkey.
Turkey’s best-preserved Ottoman city, once home to wealthy merchants, now has narrow winding streets lined with finely restored wooden mansions that have been converted into boutique hotels and restaurants. It’s a wonderfully photogenic place. There isn’t really much to do in the city. Instead, this is just a place to wander the streets and take in the atmosphere of the old world. Known for its traditional sweets and handicrafts, there are many cute shops where you can buy unique souvenirs. If you are driving inland from Istanbul, this is a great place to spend the night and absorb the historic atmosphere.
The Bosphorus Strait, one of the most significant waterways in the world, separates Europe from Asia and touches the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (and thus the Mediterranean Sea). Cruising along the Bosphorus is one of the main attractions of your stay in Istanbul, whether it’s a local ferry, a tourist ferry, or a private boat. This is the most relaxing tourist option in Istanbul. On board, it’s all about enjoying the view from the water. The coast is lined with Ottoman palaces, mansions, and wooden villas, up to the Rumeli Fortress built by the conqueror Mehmed. And (further north along the strait) the Byzantine walls of Anadolu Fortress.
Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum
Gypsy Girl Mosaic inside Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum
The city of Gaziantep is one of the great highlights of southeastern Turkey, where you can spend a few days enjoying the famous Gaziantep Baklava and strolling through the alleys of the city’s old town. However, the most famous attraction is the Gaziantepze Uguma Mosaic Museum. The museum contains one of the world’s largest and most important collections of mosaics. Almost all of the Hellenistic and Roman floor mosaics on display here were originally from the ancient Roman ruins of Zeugma and are now half submerged by the construction of a brick bank. The mosaics are cleverly curated and displayed for maximum angle viewing, giving visitors a sense of ancient Greek artistry. There are many huge mosaics here, but the most famous mosaic in the collection, known as the Gypsy Girl, is one of the least critical works. To better understand the intricate artistry of her work, it appears dramatically in its own dark room.
One of Turkey’s most important ancient ruins, the Gobeklitepe hilltop near Sanliurfa, has produced hundreds of headings worldwide since its opening and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Netflix series). It serves as an inspiration for the poison of Turkey). in general. Before the Neolithic pottery era, this tiny place with towering T-shaped pillars engraved with animal figures and anthropomorphic details was the earliest religious sanctuary in the world of archaeologists. It is believed to be. The late Bronze Age and ancient Roman ruins may not be significant elements. Still, Gobeklitepe’s importance in understanding early human history is one of southeastern Turkey’s most popular tourist attractions. It has become one of.
Built on a cliff, in its stunning and secluded location, the Sumera Monastery (Virgin Mary Monastery) is the main attraction for visitors along the Black Sea coast. A stroll through this deserted religious facility, where church rooms are filled with dazzling, vibrant frescoes, is a must-see for anyone on a long journey to the northeastern region of Turkey. The monastery was opened during the Byzantine era and ceased to act as a functioning religious center in 1923 when monks were forced to leave the sanctuary as part of the Greek-Turkish population exchange. Wandering through an empty cell today, it’s easy to imagine the isolated life of the monks who once lived here.