Places To Visit In Turkey
Discover the enchanting allure of Turkey, a mesmerizing blend of ancient wonders and breathtaking landscapes. Immerse yourself in the vibrant streets of Istanbul, where East meets West in a harmonious fusion. Unearth the secrets of historical marvels such as Ephesus and Cappadocia, with their fascinating ruins and captivating landscapes. Indulge in the stunning turquoise waters of the Mediterranean coast and experience the warm hospitality that defines Turkey's charm.
Here are the top 25 tourist places in Turkey
1. Istanbul Tourism
Istanbul is Turkey's largest and most populated city, serving as the center of tourism. It spans Europe and Asia, situated on both sides of the Bosphorus. Highlights include iconic structures turned museums, such as Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Dolmabahçe Palace. Istanbul offers beautiful gardens like Gulhane and Emirgan, vibrant with tulips in spring. The city is renowned for shopping, with the Grand Bazaar and various small stores.
As a historically significant European city, Istanbul was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. It ranks as the 7th largest city globally and features cathedrals, mosques, and palaces throughout. Sultanahmet Square showcases historical structures, while the New Istanbul serves as the main business district. The Asian side is separated by the Bosphorus, and the Princess' Islands lie off the coast.
Important information for visiting Istanbul:
- Istanbul Museum Pass: Grants free admission to 12+ museums, valid for 120 hours (5 days).
- Accommodation: Taksim and Sultanahmet Square offer budget options, while western suburbs and Bosphorus-facing areas have pricier hotels. Harbiye is also popular.
- SIM cards: Vodafone, Avea, or Turkcell SIM cards available at the airport and city kiosks.
- Free public Wi-Fi: Accessible in most city centers and squares.
2. Antalya Tourism
Antalya, a city in southwestern Turkey, is known for its blend of history and modernity. Its beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts make it a popular destination for couples and families. The city's rich past, influenced by the Ottoman, Byzantine, Greek, and Roman empires, is showcased in the architectural wonders of Kaleici, the old center. Kaleici offers a mix of historical charm and contemporary amenities. Cumhuriyet Square is the main hub, while Konyaalti Beach and Lara Beach are popular seaside spots. Antalya also boasts a vibrant nightlife, exotic bazaars, and a friendly atmosphere.
Important Information for Visitors to Antalya:
- Accommodation options include staying in Kaleici for exploration or near Lara for luxury hotels. Scuba divers often prefer Kas.
- The Museum Pass, called Museum Pass the Mediterranean, is a seven-day ticket that covers various archaeological sites. It costs USD 37.
3. Ankara Tourism
Ankara: Turkey's capital and second largest city after Istanbul. Known for its well-preserved Roman and Ottoman relics. Offers historical landmarks, museums, mosques, parks, and open spaces. Ankara Castle is a notable attraction with its hilltop view.
The city has multiple neighborhoods, with key attractions along Ataturk Boulevard. Ulus is the historic center with Ankara Castle and most museums. Kavaklidere (Tunali district) is a cosmopolitan area with plenty of dining and entertainment options.
Formerly Angora, Ankara is famous for Angora wool from rabbits, cats, and goats. It's also renowned for pears, muscat grapes, honey, and doner kebab.
Important Tips for Visiting Ankara:
- Get an Ankara Card for easy bus and metro travel. It costs 6 Lira and can be obtained at metro stations. Single rides cost 2.5 Lira, and the card has no time restrictions.
4. Cappadocia Tourism
Cappadocia in Turkey is famous for its natural wonders, including picturesque valleys, unique cave hotels, underground cities, and fairy chimneys. Hot air balloon rides at sunrise are a must-try experience.
The region offers extensive hiking trails, especially in the ancient valleys. Goreme is a highlight with an open-air museum featuring hidden churches and exotic frescoes.
Cappadocia is an entire region, not just a city, with small towns like Goreme, Uchisar, Urgup, and Ortahisar. The landscape and cave hotels are shaped by three dormant volcanoes. Don't miss the stunning sunrise in Cappadocia.
Important tips before visiting Cappadocia:
- Shuttle services and Havas buses are available from the airport to Goreme.
- Book hot air balloon rides in advance.
- Hot air balloon flights are weather-dependent and may be canceled.
- Explore Cappadocia by hiring a car or taking local tours.
- Popular areas for accommodation include Goreme, Urgup, and Uchisar.
- Visit Goreme's sunset point early morning for the best hot air balloon photographs.
5. Kas Tourism
Kas is a coastal town in Antalya, Turkey, known for its scuba diving opportunities, sandy beaches, water sports, and fresh seafood. It offers activities like kayaking over a sunken city and scuba diving with sea turtles. With over 50 dive centers, Kas is an ideal destination for both beginners and advanced divers. The town also offers sea kayaking, mountain biking, trekking, and canyoning. Its charming aesthetic features cobblestoned streets, cafes, restaurants, bars, bougainvillea plants, and white-washed buildings.
6. Pamukkale Tourism
Pamukkale, located in southwestern Turkey, is famous for its stunning travertines, turquoise pools, and white cliffs. The site is known as the "cotton castle" and offers healing hot springs believed to cure various ailments. A hot air balloon ride provides a breathtaking view of the terraces. Hierapolis, an ancient Greek city with ruins and a 12,000-seat amphitheater, is a popular attraction.
Key points to know before visiting Pamukkale:
- Three entrances are available: Pamukkale town entrance, north entrance for buses, and southern entrance for cars and taxis.
- Tickets cost TL 150 for travertines and TL 160 for Cleopatra's Pool, valid for the entire day.
- Timings are from 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM.
- Ticket reservation is not possible in advance; buy tickets at the entrance.
- The Cottle Castle requires a 30-minute walk from the gate near Pamukkale.
- Footwear is not allowed on the travertine cliffs.
- Lockers are available for storing belongings while bathing.
- Visit early morning or during sunset for fewer crowds and better photo opportunities.
- It is recommended to stay in a hotel in Pamukkale town for easy access to the terraces.
7. Izmir Tourism
Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey, known for its modernity, busy city center, and large bay. It offers beaches and watersports due to its coastal location on the Aegean Sea.
With a history of almost 4000 years, Izmir is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities. However, it doesn't have many historical sites due to a significant fire in the 1920s. The main center, Konark Square, blends modern buildings with traditional architecture.
Izmir offers a mix of European-style living and Turkish traditions. It is beautifully adorned during spring with blooming flowers and lush trees. The city receives abundant sunshine throughout the year, earning it the nickname "the city where the sun never sets."
Key points to know before visiting Izmir:
- The most economical way to travel from the airport is by metro, located at the national (domestic) terminal, just 5 minutes away.
8. Side Tourism
Located in southern Turkey, Side is a coastal town renowned for its unique combination of ancient ruins and modern architecture. Visitors can indulge in the beauty of its stunning beaches, explore ancient temples, and wander through the pedestrian-only town adorned with various structures. The east beach offers tranquility and relaxation, while the west beach provides opportunities for water sports and access to resorts. Side also boasts captivating natural wonders, including waterfalls and national parks. Make sure not to miss the breathtaking sunset at the Temple of Apollo.
Key points to remember before visiting Side:
- Convenient transportation options like small trains and private golf buggies are available at the entrance of the ancient city.
- Consider Kumkoy for luxurious hotel accommodations and Sorgun or Colakli for more budget-friendly stays.
- Delight in the authentic flavors of local tea and pastries at charming cafes such as Doruk Pastanesi, Carre Cafe, and Full Moon Beach Cafe.
- To avoid the intense midday sun, plan your visits to the ancient structures in the morning or afternoon.
9. Marmaris Tourism
Marmaris is a port city in southwest Turkey, known for its stunning coastline and luxury resorts. It offers adventure sports like diving and sailing, with turquoise-blue waters and pine-covered valleys. The Old Town features castles and vintage residences, while the Marina houses upscale resorts. Central Marmaris is a bustling area with shops and a main square.
Key points to know before visiting Marmaris:
- Marmaris is divided into the Old Town, the Marina, and Central Marmaris.
- Water sports activities are popular, including parasailing, diving, and yacht sailing.
- Getting around can be done using 11-seater Dolmus minibuses.
- Consider staying in the Armutalan area for a more laid-back experience.
- Rhodes Island is easily accessible by ferry, taking just 50 minutes.
10. Fethiye Tourism
Fethiye is a scenic port city on Turkey's Turquoise Coast, known for its natural harbor and blue waters. It offers rock tombs, beachfront promenades, and stunning landscapes with dense forests and smaller islands nearby. The Butterfly Valley is a must-visit nature reserve. Fethiye has a cosmopolitan vibe, bustling bazaars, and a vibrant nightlife. Boat trips to the nearby islands are popular.
Key points to know before visiting Fethiye:
- Luxury beach resorts and diving centers are located to the North of Fethiye.
- Paspatur (the old town area) is ideal for history exploration and a city experience.
- Budget hotels can be found west of Atatürk Cd near the harbor.
- Transportation in Fethiye is convenient with Dolmus (city buses) and rental bikes. Ferries and boats operate daily to nearby islands.
11. Alanya Tourism
Alanya is a resort town in the Turkish Riviera, known for its serene countryside and historical charm. It offers turquoise beaches, ancient ruins, and the iconic Alanya Fortress. Adventure sports like paragliding, sailing, and scuba diving are popular activities. Alanya is ideal for a tranquil Mediterranean getaway, with its sandy beaches and Ottoman residences.
Key points to know before visiting Alanya:
- Dolmus, rental e-scooters, e-bikes, and cabs are available for transportation within the town.
- Most resorts are located near Kleopatra's Beach.
- The Old City of Alanya is a romantic destination for couples.
12. Bodrum Tourism
Bodrum is a beach town in Turkey, famous for its marinas, beaches, and rich cultural history. It offers turquoise blue waters and is a popular vacation destination. The town features beautiful beaches, marinas, and Bodrum Castle with a panoramic view. Water sports activities and sailing are popular due to the favorable weather and picturesque bay.
Key points to know before visiting Bodrum:
- The marina area has luxury beach hotels, while the Gumbet district offers more budget-friendly options.
- Bodrum hosts international festivals throughout the year.
- Getting around Bodrum can be done by taxis, city buses, or rental scooters, but caution is advised on coastal roads.
13. Dalaman Tourism
Dalaman, located on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is known for its scenic beaches, natural marvels, and ancient ruins. Mud baths and hot springs near the Dalyan River offer rejuvenation. Adventure sports like paragliding and snorkeling are popular. The town is close to the picturesque Blue Lagoon at Oludeniz. It serves as a hub for accessing resort towns like Marmaris and Fethiye.
Key points for visiting Dalaman:
- Buses and taxis are available for local transportation.
- Consider staying in nearby resort towns and taking a day trip to Dalaman.
- Limited nightlife options are available near the beaches and in Göcek and Dalyan districts.
14. Bursa Tourism
Bursa, also known as the Green Bursa, is a historical city in Turkey with a rich Ottoman heritage. It offers picturesque parks, vintage Ottoman houses, and ornate tombs. Bursa is famous for its hot springs and the nearby Uludag mountain for winter sports. The city center is easily navigable, and it's a great destination for history and architecture enthusiasts.
Key points to know before visiting Bursa:
- Consider staying at least one night to explore the city beyond a day trip from Istanbul.
- Ferries and buses are common transportation options between Istanbul and Bursa.
- Bursaray, the city metro, is convenient for traveling within the city and visiting museums.
- Major monuments in Bursa are within walking distance of each other.
- Cable cars to Uludag mountain may not accommodate ski equipment.
- Bursa offers a vibrant nightlife with music and dance festivals, especially on Arap Sukru Street.
15. Trabzon Tourism
Trabzon, located on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey, is a city with a rich history and natural wonders. Key attractions include the Sumela Monastery, Ataturk Pavilion, and Hagia Sophia. Nearby Uzungol village is worth a visit. Trabzon is known for its vintage churches, mosques, hammams, and beaches. It's also an adventure sports hub.
Important information before visiting Trabzon:
- Ataturk Square is the heart of the city and a main reference point.
- Choose accommodations near the city center, but be cautious of certain areas.
- Be prepared for rain and carry an umbrella.
- Many historical sites are walkable in the city center, plan walking tours.
- The walled city involves climbing stairs and steep streets.
- Minibusses are available for transportation to Hagia Sophia and Boztepe Tea Garden.
- Trabzon offers organic food and Kunduracilar Avenue is a popular shopping spot.
- Souvenirs include local dried seasonings, tea, and traditional teapots.
16. Konya Tourism
Konya, located in Central Anatolia, Turkey, is known for its historical significance and Sufi culture. It houses the famous Mevlana Museum and is renowned for the Whirling Dervishes ceremony. Konya offers a tranquil alternative to Istanbul, with beautiful Seljuk architecture and a rich history.
Key points to know before visiting Konya:
- The city center is centered around the Seljuk Mosque and the Mevlevi Museum.
- Konya is a walkable city, and most destinations are close to each other.
- Consider booking a hotel near the Mevlana Museum or Alaaddin Square.
- Konya is a conservative city, and modest clothing, especially for women, is appreciated.
- Avoid visiting during Ramadan.
- Konya has limited nightlife options, but there are occasional Sufi nights and rooftop dinners in the Selcuklu region.
- Don't miss the opportunity to shop for handmade carpets and Konya sekeri (candy) at places like Kent Plaza, Novada Outlet Konya, and Kapali Carsi.
17. Kalkan Tourism
Kalkan is a beautiful coastal town in Turkey known for its historical architecture, clear waters, and green surroundings. It is located a 1.5-hour drive from Dalaman. History enthusiasts can visit UNESCO-listed sites like Demre, Xanthos, and Letoon.
Kalkan offers great experiences like diving, kayaking, and canoeing. Nearby, Kaputas Bay and Patara Beach provide relaxation opportunities. With fewer crowds, Kalkan is an ideal destination for a laid-back vacation.
Important tips for visiting Kalkan:
- You can explore Kalkan on foot, by taxi, or by renting bikes.
- Keep in mind that Kalkan has steep inclines, making walking a bit challenging.
18. Alacati Tourism
Alacati is a coastal town in Turkey known for its vineyards, windmills, and the sea. It offers a relaxing and quaint holiday experience with its charming old Greek town atmosphere. Alacati is recognized as a historical site and is famous for windsurfing.
Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks, visit family-run vineyards, and sunbathe on the beaches. The town is adorned with natural stone houses and vintage buildings, creating a picturesque setting. Nearby beaches like Delikli Koyu, Spiaggia Grande, Ilica Beach, and Wyndy Beach are popular for beach hopping.
Important tips before visiting Alacati:
- KemalPasa Street is the main street with most attractions and tourist spots.
- Teal-colored dolmus (minibus) provides efficient transportation to Ilica every 10-15 minutes.
- The old town is best explored on foot, while renting a car is recommended for exploring other areas. Parking is available outside the old town.
- Consider staying in an old stone house for a unique experience.
- Look for hotels away from the historic center for budget accommodation.
- Comfortable walking shoes are essential due to the town's layout and walking requirements.
- Beach shoes are recommended for the hot fine sand beaches in Alacati.
19. Cesme Tourism
Cesme, a coastal town on the Aegean coast of Turkey, is a popular holiday resort known for its stunning beaches and surfing opportunities. It is located 89 km from Izmir and is close to the Greek island of Chios.
With crystal blue seas, golden sand beaches, and lush green fields, Cesme offers a peaceful and unspoiled atmosphere. It is renowned as the third-best surfing resort in the world and is ideal for windsurfing, kiteboarding, and thermal baths.
Cesme boasts Greek architecture and motifs, showcasing its unique heritage. The Genoese Fortress and palm-lined promenade provide picturesque views of the sea. The town also offers a vibrant nightlife and luxurious accommodations.
Key points to know before visiting Cesme:
- Budget hotels, hostels, and rental villas are available.
- All attractions are within walking distance.
- Buses from Izmir to Cesme are frequent.
- Direct ferries to Lavrion, near Athens, are available from Cesme.
20. Kemer Tourism
Kemer is a picturesque seaside resort town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, known for its beautiful beaches, lush valleys, and stunning mountain views. It is located 32 km from Antalya.
The cobbled beaches in Kemer are perfect for water sports like windsurfing, parasailing, and scuba diving. Besides natural beauty, the town offers boat tours, theme parks, and cultural experiences. It serves as a convenient base for exploring nearby cities like Olimpos, Termessos, Perge, and Phaselis.
Important information before visiting Kemer:
- Sea water shuttles and minibusses connect Kemer to Antalya, Olimpos, and Phaselis.
- Taxis are cost-effective for short distances, while bus services are popular for getting around Kemer.
- Stick to central Kemer for budget accommodations, and consider areas like Kiris, Camyuva, Beldibi, Goynuk, and Tekirova for luxury stays.
- Many shops and restaurants cater to languages like Russian, German, and Arabic.
- Kemer offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with nightclubs open until 4 am. Joining a Kemer Disco Tour is a great way to experience the nightlife.
21. Manavgat Tourism
Manavgat is a coastal town located between Antalya and Alanya in Turkey. It offers picturesque views of lush green valleys and hidden waterfalls. The town has a long coastline with sandy beaches, a river, and a waterfall, making it a popular retreat for nature lovers. Manavgat River and its waterfall are the main highlights. The town also provides easy access to surrounding lakes and waterfalls. Visitors can enjoy cruises along the river, explore the ancient city of Lybre, relax on isolated beaches, and visit the beautiful Green Canyon Reservoir. The Kulliye mosque, one of the largest in the region, is also worth a visit.
22. Gumbet Tourism
Gumbet is a beach resort town located on the Aegean coast of Turkey, near Bodrum. It features stunning seashores and lush green, pine-forest mountains. Gumbet is known for its beachside cafes, hotels, souks, bars, and nightclubs, making it a popular destination for young travelers. The town offers a variety of water sports activities, including surfing, parasailing, windsurfing, and waterskiing. Gumbet's sandy beach provides opportunities for cruises, yacht trips, and boat excursions along the Bodrum coastline, surrounded by beautiful turquoise-blue waters and picturesque landscapes.
23. Dalyan Tourism
Dalyan is a small town on the southwestern coast of Turkey, known for its turtle nesting grounds and stunning sea views. It is near the ancient city of Kaunos, famous for Lycian rock tombs and an old theater. Dalyan offers attractions like Iztuzu Beach, Sultaniye hot springs, and a relaxed riverside atmosphere.
Key points to know before visiting Dalyan:
- Buses and ferries connect Dalyan with Marmaris and Fethiye.
- Book boat trips to nearby islands through local travel agents.
- Luxury accommodations are available around the lake and city center, while budget stays are in the city center.
- Water taxis are the best way to reach the Lycian Rock Tombs.
- Iztuzu Beach is 7 miles from Dalyan and accessible by dolmus or ferry.
- Dalyan is a walkable town, but renting a car is affordable and convenient for day trips.
- Shacks, sunbeds, and umbrellas are available at local beaches.
- Day excursions to Yuvarlak Cay offer a serene escape from the city.
24. Mersin Tourism
Mersin, located 380 km from Antara, is a port city on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey. It is the largest seaport in Turkey and is known as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean." The city has experienced rapid development in recent years, with skyscrapers, hotels, and urban amenities.
Mersin serves as a gateway to Tarsus, a Christian pilgrimage site featuring St. Paul's Well and the ruins of Cleopatra's Gate. The city is also home to the Mersin Museum, showcasing artifacts and sculptures from nearby excavations. Beachfront promenades with shops and cafes are popular attractions.
Mersin is notable for its widespread use of solar panels, seen on rooftops throughout the city. It boasts ancient mosques with intricate Islamic architecture, and the Antic Road, dating back to the Roman period, is worth exploring. Once a small fishing village, Mersin has transformed into a bustling tourist destination with beautiful beaches and shopping complexes, perfect for a relaxed vacation.
25. Adana Tourism
Adana is a populous city located on the Seyhan River, near the Mediterranean Sea. While not a major tourist destination, it attracts visitors on extended vacations in Turkey.
The city is divided into a historic center and a modern area with skyscrapers. Tourists enjoy traditional baths, the Stone Bridge, Central Park, and Adana Sabanc Central Mosque. Adana also serves as a convenient base for exploring ancient cities like Magarsus and Misis.
Key points to know before visiting Adana:
- Many attractions in Adana are within walking distance.
- Dolmus and the metro are convenient transportation options.
- Exercise caution in the Hurriyet and Kiremithane districts.
- Adana has a lively nightlife scene in the Kurtulus district.
- The city offers numerous shopping malls and streets, including the oldest bazaar, Kazanclar Arss, with locally made souvenirs.