Turkey, lying at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, with its amazing array of offerings is a delight for the tourists. This amazing land has witnessed the rise and fall of several empires, all of them having left a mark on the country’s rich history and heritage. The once glorious Ottoman Empire heralded the golden age in the country. Literature, cuisine, music, architecture, engineering, designing, artworks, and culture were refined and polished under the patronage of the Ottoman sultans.
Today, Turkey is a modern, democratic republic and one of the leading countries in the Islamic world. Turkey is an important player in the ever-changing dynamics of modern politics due to its geopolitical, economic and military significance. The country is a treasure trove for history lovers and culture admirers. One of the most visited countries in the world, Turkey surely charms visitors with its plethora of options and activities. Check out the top things to do in Turkey!
Things to do in Turkey: Explore Istanbul’s rich heritage
Istanbul, the imperial city of the once glorious Ottoman Empire is blessed with stunning landmarks. Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace are amongst the top attractions of Istanbul. Take a cruise in the beautiful straits of Bosphorus that separates the European and Asian parts of Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople. Explore Istanbul’s nook and corner and you will be rewarded with amazing experience. Sightseeing in Istanbul is certainly among the top things to do in Turkey.
Things to do in Turkey: Ruins of Ephesus
Archaeologists are still digging the grounds in Ephesus and unearthing many new facets of this former ancient Roman town. Enjoy a stroll in these magnificent ruins and take images of the ruined library, public baths, a theatre and a museum that documents the area’s rich historic significance. Stradling the ruins of Ephesus is certainly among the top things to do in Turkey for every history lovers.
Underground city of Derinkuyu
A fascinating 8-level underground city that was established in order to survive the Roman Empire prosecution is now an amazing attraction. See the stunning underground levels of cellars, kitchens, churches, food storages and living rooms which are all interconnected. Be careful, people with claustrophobia and bad backs will have a difficult time exploring the underground caverns and the narrow descending stairs.
Hot Air Ballooning over Cappadocia
Cappadocia and Goreme Open Air Museum are amongst the most interesting sites of Turkey. Cappadocia resembles a land from a different planet with strange rock formations and fairy chimneys. The land is filled with cavernous dwellings which are now vacated and left with amazing rock paintings, unused churches and other artefacts. Enjoy the magical hot air balloon ride over the vast dramatic landscape while admiring the sunrise or sunset. Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia is one of the most sought after things to do in Turkey.
Pay your respects to fallen warriors in Gallipoli
Gallipoli is a very important site in Turkey and plays a key part in the country’s national consciousness along with Australia and New Zealand. This land saw the fierce battle between Ottoman and Australian, New Zealanders and British soldiers. Thousands died in one of the deadliest battle zones of First World War. Today, Turkey has very gracefully maintained the graves of the soldiers and claimed them as their own sons of the soils, thanks to the visionary leader and most revered Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Turkey’s first tourist destination – Pamukkale
Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in the Turkish language. This amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its amazing terraced landscape containing pools of hot springs, minerals rich waters and unique limestone natural pools. The nearby town of Hierapolis built on top of the hill is also an amazing site. An ancient Greek city, Hierapolis has ruins of several key buildings like Frontinus Gate, Temple of Apollo, Necropolis, Nymphaeum, Plutonium and The Theatre.
Whirling Dervishes and works of Rumi in Konya
Konya is the spiritual centre of Turkey. The city used to be the capital of Seljuq Sultanate of Rum and the Karamanids. This city is also renowned for its most notable resident, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. The 13th-century poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, Sufi mystic and theologian is renowned worldwide for his valuable literary contribution. Konya is also famous for its Whirling Dervishes, one of the key Turkish cultural gems. Konya is the best place to witness the Whirling Dervishes in Turkey.
Savour the delicious Turkish culinary specialities
Turkish cuisine is rich, flavoursome and reflects the long evolving process of the cuisine which has become refined down the ages to perfection and its present form. Turkish cuisine is all about delicious koftas, kebabs, pilavs and plenty of amazing food items. Turkish desserts are true delights with halva and baklava dominating the section. Try Salep, the Turkish coffee at one of the major cafes and restaurants in Istanbul or Ankara. Turkish cuisine is certainly among the top things to do in Turkey!
Visit Izmir, the third largest city of Turkey
Izmir is located on the Central Aegean coast of Turkey and is a very beautiful city with a rich history dating back to the Roman times. In Izmir, you must visit the Konak Square, the main public square of the city famous for its clock tower, Konak Yali Mosque and Kemeralti Bazaar. Enjoy a soothing stroll on the beaches of the Aegean Sea and check out the Kadifekale Castle that dates back to the Roman times.
Visit Antalya, the classic sea resort of Turkey
Antalya is a highly popular sea resort destination of Turkey lying on the Mediterranean coast and is part of the famed Turkish Riviera. In this beautiful city, you can see the Hadrian’s Gate, a triumphal arch that dates back to the Roman Empire. See the beautiful Duden Waterfalls and Konyaalti Beach and also visit the amazing Antalya Museum.