Turkey is a country rich in culture and history. The country has everything from abandoned monasteries and ancient cities to diverse landscapes. Its vast array of historical wonders, palaces, natural sites, and delicious food provide lots of places you must visit in Turkey.

Turkey has been the site of a succession of historical empires – including the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. And all of them have left their unique mark on the country. You can experience this diversity across the lush landscapes and the many exciting activities and culinary specialities available. Here are 25 places you must visit in Turkey:

1. Hagia Sophia

must visit in TurkeyNo visit to Istanbul is complete without a visit to the stunning Byzantine church (turned into an Ottoman mosque). Built by Emperor Justinian, it is now a museum.

2. Ephesus

Celsus Library in Ephesus, TurkeyThe ancient Greek city of Ephesus on the Ionian coast is one of the most visited historical sights in the world. It is full of magnificent structures, including a temple of Artemis.

3. Sultan Ahmet Mosque

Sultan Ahmet or Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. must visit in TurkeyAlso known as the Blue Mosque, the historic Sultan Ahmed Mosque is still a place of religious worship. It was built in the early 17th century and has a madrassa and a hospice.

4. Cappadocia

Hot air balloons in Cappadocia, TurkeyCappadocia is one of the top places you must visit in Turkey. Its fairy chimneys and the network of underground cities can be seen from a hot air balloon tour of the area.

5. Topkapı  Palace

Topkapi Palace Istanbul, TurkeyThe Topkapı Palace, or the Seraglio, is a large museum in Istanbul, Turkey. In the 15th century, it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans.

6. Ani

Ani Cathedral must visit in TurkeyAni was once a magnificent medieval Armenian city. While it may be in ruins today, its location in the idyllic Kars province still makes it a major tourist draw.

7. Hammams

Turkish bath hamam in luxury resort hotelA traditional Turkish hammam is a unique and relaxing experience. The luxurious scrub and massage can be had at various historical locations, such as the Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı.

8. Lycian Way

Hiking in Turkey. Lycian Way. Backpacker by the sea. The track is completedThe 500km Lycian Way is a hiking trail that follows a mountainous route shaded with pine forests across the Teke Peninsula to Antalya. It offers stunning coastal views and the chance to explore numerous ruins of the Lycian Empire.

9. Süleymaniye Mosque

Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.The Süleymaniye Mosque sits atop the third of Istanbul’s seven hills. It was commissioned by Süleyman I in the 14th century and is one of the countries grandest Ottoman mosques.

10. Pergamon

Pergamon must visit in turkeyPergamon was once a rich and powerful ancient Greek city. Located near the Aegean Sea on the river Caicus near the modern city of Bergama, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The remains of the city’s gate now lie in Berlin.

11. Sumela Monastery

Aerial view of Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, TurkeyBuilt into a steep cliff, the Greek Orthodox Sumela Monastery is located in the Trabzon province. It is famous for its stunning views, fascinating architecture, and its frescoes.

12. Kayaköy

Kayaköy TurkeyThis once bustling town of Kayaköy was built in the 1700s and was home to a Greek-speaking population. Abandoned after World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, it is still full of beautiful buildings and churches.

13. Safranbolu

Safranbolu_traditional_housesLocated close to the Black Sea, the city of Safranbolu is filled with well-preserved red-roofed Ottoman houses. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

14. Anıtkabir

Anıtkabir, Ankara TurkeyLiterally meaning “memorial tomb,” Anıtkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He was the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey.

15. Mardin

Mardin is old city in Eastern part of Turkey.Mardin is one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey. Its narrow streets, historic stone houses, and hidden churches make it an absolute delight to explore.

16. Gallipoli Peninsula

Aerial View of Canakkale Martyrs' Memorial, TurkeyThe Gallipoli (or Gelibolu) Peninsula is filled with lush forests and idyllic coves, however, during World War I, it was the sight of many bloody battles between the Turkish and the Australian and New Zealand forces of the British Army.

17. Şanlıurfa

Şanlıurfa TurkeyThis stunning city is filled with historic structures dating as far back as 304 BC. They stand alongside modern buildings. Şanlıurfa is also known for its excellent cuisine.

18. Aspendos

Remnants of the open old circle theater, constructed by Greece architect Eenon during time of Mark Aurelius, Aspendos, Antalya, TurkeyLocated in the Antalya province, the ancient Greco-Roman city of Aspendos is famous for its amazing and incredibly well-preserved theatre.

19. Ölüdeniz

Fethiye, Turkey - Middle East, Beach, Ölüdeniz, Asia.This beach resort in the Muğla Province on the southwest coast is famous for its blue lagoon (Ölüdeniz Tabiat Parkı), and the white sand of Belcekız Beach. The Lycian Way also starts here.

20. Mevlana Museum

Mevlana TurkeyLocated in Konya, this is the mausoleum of the famous Persian Sufi mystic and poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. Also known as Mevlana, his followers founded the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the whirling dervishes.

21. Nemrut Dağı

Toppled heads of the gods at the top of Nemrut dagi in Turkey.The mountain of Nemrut Dağı sits at 2,134 metres tall. At its summit lie a collection of ancient sculptures that flank the burial mound of Antiochus I.

22. Alahan Monastery

Alahan MonasteryDating back to the 5th century, the Alahan Monastery consists of a complex of buildings located at an altitude of over 1,200 meters. It sits over the Calycadnus valley in the Mersin province.

23. Pamukkale

Pamukkale TurkeyThe famous thermal hot springs at Pamukkale are known for its white travertine deposits. It is located near the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman spa city of Hierapolis.

24. Kariye Museum

Interior of the Kariye MuseumIstanbul is full of Byzantine monuments, and few can compare with the Chora Church (now the Kariye Museum). It is full of gorgeous mosaics and frescos, some of the oldest and finest in the world.

25. Basilica Cistern

Underground Basilica Cistern, Istanbul, TurkeyThis subterranean cistern was commissioned by Emperor Justinian and built in 532.The cavernous structure, with its 336 columns was meant to serve the Grand Palace. It could hold up to 80 million litres of water transported from a reservoir near the Black Sea.

There are still many other places you must visit in Turkey, and if we’ve missed any, be sure to share them in the comments below.

Also read: Beautiful Byzantine buildings around the world you have to see

Also read: Delicious Turkey Desserts that are not Baklava.


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