Turkey’s Top Sights

Turkey has a stunning location connecting Asia and Europe. Visitors are fascinated by the country’s vibrant culture, world-renowned cuisine, and rich history. Above all the stunning landscapes, from the sun-drenched Mediterranean to the towering mountains and arid steppe, there are numerous historical wonders in Turkey, which has seen many empires rise and fall as well as the emergence of different cultures and religions. Below are the best Turkey sights for you:

1. Patara

Many people consider Patara as one of the best Turkey sights. Also, the Patara beach is located on Fethiye’s southeast coast and stretches for 18 kilometers down the shoreline. This beach is considered well-suited for low-budget tourists. Moreover, the nearby historic city of Isik received more than 300,000 visitors in 2019, and this number is expected to continuously increase annually. The best methods to get to the Patara area are via car, bus, or taxi. Also, the Dalaman Airport is the nearest point to reach Patara.

2. Cappadocia

Another historical place located in Central Anatolia is Cappadocia. This wonderful place is known for its unique cliffs, shaped by wind and sea over millions of years. Natural forces such as past volcanic eruptions and erosion have molded these astonishing structures throughout time. Some of those natural formations reach heights of up to 130 feet (40 meters). The most convenient mode of transportation to Cappadocia is by bus and the ride will take almost 10h (Prices for tickets begin at $10), or by airline (Nevsehir Airport, Kayseri).

3. Sahaflar Carsisi

One of the city’s oldest marketplaces is Sahaflar Carsisi market which is considered one of the top sights to see in Istanbul, Turkey. This book market is situated in Istanbul’s Fatih neighborhood, halfway between Fesciler Gate and Beyazit Square, and has been there since the 15th century. Sahaflar may be reached via bus, metro, tram, train, and cable car, among other modes of public transportation.

4. Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut is a wonderful site for seeing a perfect example of a tumulus tomb. It is located in southeastern Turkey, at one of the tallest mountain series of the Taurus Mountains. This peak is located around 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Kahta, near Adiyaman. The primary entryway to Mount Nemrut is Kahta, which is only a 40-minute drive or bus ride from Adiyaman airport.

5. Grand Bazaar

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s biggest and oldest covered bazaars. It was ranked No. 1 among the world’s most-visited tourist sites in 2014. Therefore, the bazaar attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 people daily with 91,250,000 visitors yearly.  The Grand Bazaar is located within Istanbul’s Walled city, in the Fatih district. The Bazaar is easily accessible by tram from Sultanahmet and Sirkeci (Beyazit-Kapalicarsi station). The Bazaar is open from (9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.), except on Sundays and holidays.

6. Eminonu

Eminonu is an ancient district of Istanbul, which has now become a part of the Fatih district. It is located near the Sea of Marmara, where the Golden Horn meets the Bosphorus strait’s southern mouth. Therefore, it is a peaceful environment that also includes many famous monuments of Istanbul, such as the Topkapi Palace, there’s also Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and Aya Irini. On weekends, people come from all across the city to shop for affordable clothes and to visit the Spice Bazaar.

7. Selimiye Mosque

The Selimiye Mosque is a Turkish imperial mosque that was built between 1568 and 1575 by Mimar Sinan (Sinan The Architect). The Selimiye Mosque is located in the heart of Edirne, which means that once you arrive in the city, you can quickly locate the Selimiye Mosque. Also, the city center is about 3 minutes away on foot.

8. Sumela Monastery

Sumela Monastery is located in the Pontic Mountains near Karadag in Trabzon Province. It is a popular tourist destination within Altindere National Park, perched on a cliff around 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) above the Altindere valley. Also, the only method to travel to Sumela Monastery is by automobile or by taking a tour from Trabzon, which is nearby and fairly accessible.

9. Avsa Island

Avsa Island (Avsa Adas) is a 14-square-mile Turkish island in the Marmara Sea. The island is part of the Marmara District of the Balikesir Province, in northern Turkey. The number of its visiting tourists may approach 40,000 during vital seasons. If you are coming from Istanbul, you may sail by ferry or drive by car to get to the island. Also, regular motorboats depart from Erdek and Tekirdag. Ferries from Tekirdag cost $6,46 per passenger, whereas those from Istanbul cost $8,65.

10. Akdamar Island

Akdamar Island is the largest island in Lake Van, located in Turkey’s Eastern Anatolia area. It has a 70.000 m2 land area and a 3 km long coastline. The island of Akdamar is also home to the unique Akdamar Church. The city of Van is the most convenient route to go to Akdamar Island. It is also possible to get there from Tatvan, however, it is longer.

11. Pergamum

Situated on a peninsula on the north bank of the river Caicus (present-day Bakircay) and northwest of Bergama, Turkey. Located 26 kilometers (16 miles) from the current Aegean Sea shoreline. While visiting Pergamon, you can rent a car to visit nearby sites. Take the public bus to Bergama and then walk or take a taxi to Pergamon (2.5 hours). You can try one of the Pergamon tours if you prefer to plan such activities.

12. Rustem Pasha Mosque

The Rustem Pasha Mosque is located in Istanbul, Turkey. Adjacent to the Spice Bazaar in the Tahtakale neighborhood of Fatih. It was built by the Ottoman architect Sinan The Architect in 1563. From the Eminonu tram station, you can walk towards the Spice Bazaar’s entrance via Yeni Cami at Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi (Turkish coffee shop). Near the end of this street, to the right, there is a mosque with steps leading up to it

13. Anitkabir

Anitkabir sits on a prominent hill in the heart of Ankara. Located about two kilometers west of Kizilay along Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvar. The Anitkabir is open every day from (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). The entry is free of charge. You can take a cab or use the Ankara to the Tandogan station and walk uphill for approximately a mile (1.5 km, 20 minutes), or take a taxi to the Anitkabir.

14. The Egyptian Bazaar

At the southern end of the Galata Bridge near the Eminonu ferry docks is Istanbul’s Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar (founded in 1664). It is exceptionally colorful, with many additional stores offering spices, snacks, and houseware. To get to the Egyptian Bazar from Sultanahmet, take the Kabatas-Bagcilar tramline via Divan Yolu to Eminonu. Also, a total of 85 shops are located in the Spice Bazaar selling  Turkish delight, and other goodies.

15. Old Silk Market

The Bursa Old Silk Market is one of the city’s most renowned tourist attractions. Since Bursa is only a few hours distant from Turkey’s capital Istanbul. You can take the ferry from Kabatas, Istanbul for around $2. Also to make the most of the day, aim to leave as early as 8:30 a.m. and you should note that the trip is approximately one and half hours long. Then, when you arrive at Bursa there are busses available to take you anywhere.

16. MiniaTurk

The world’s largest open-air miniature museum opened in May of 2003. It is located in Faith, Istanbul, and features reproductions of Anatolia’s landmarks. Also, you may take public transportation to get to the museum from Taksim Square, Topkapi, and Eminonu. The Parking costs $2. On the weekdays, the museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00, and on weekends from 11:00 to 18:00.

17. Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is one of the top sights to see in Istanbul Turkey. The tower is located in Istanbul’s Galata/Karakoy neighborhood, just north of the Golden Horn’s intersection with the Bosphorus. Not to mention its elevated location overlooking Beyoglu and Karakoy and its bright lights visible at night from all across the city. Also, the balcony is open from (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, and 7 pm in summer). There is a charge for entry as well ($10).

18. Kariye Museum

There are many Byzantine structures in Istanbul, but few are as stunning as this mosaic- and fresco-adorned cathedral. It is located in the Edirnekapi neighborhood. This neighborhood is located in the western portion of the Fatih district municipality. If you want to get there take the T1 tram from Sultanahmet to Topkapi station, then take the T4 line and exit at Edirne Kapi. Chora Church is roughly a 10-minute walk from Edirne Kapi station.

19. Temple of Artemis

The Temple of Artemis is a Greek temple dedicated to an ancient local version of the goddess Artemis. Uniquely, the Temple of Artemis sits in the ancient city of Ephesus, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) south of the contemporary Turkish coastal city of Izmir. In addition, Izmir Adnan Menderes International Airport (Havalimani) has its train and metro station to facilitate transportation. Also, it is the closest airport to Ephesus. If you go by rail, you will not need to enter Izmir’s city center. You can also go there by bus but it takes longer

20. Hisar Mosque

The Hisar Mosque, one of Izmir’s most impressive religious monuments, is located in Konak Izmir, in the Kemeralti neighborhood. This mosque, which Aydinoglu Yakup Bey built-in 1597, is Izmir’s largest and most elegant mosque. The best time to visit Hisar Mosque is between (9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.), given that, only 30 minutes is needed to visit the entire Mosque.

21. Izmir Natural Life Park

The Izmir Natural Life Park is one of the best places to visit in Ankara for nature lovers. It covers around 425,000 square meters and became one of Izmir’s largest recreation areas. Moreover, to go to Izmir Natural Live Park, visitors using Izban need to board the buses from Cigli Interchange Station. Also, if you are headed from Karsiyaka Ferry Port to Bostanli Ferry Port, you can take the relevant bus based on the trip line.

22. Oylat Cave

Oylat Cave is a display cave located in Bursa Province. The cave lies 1 km (0.62 mi) south of Hilmiye village and 17 kilometers (11 mi) southeast of Inegol town. You can reach there by car. However, there is no direct link between Bursa and Oylat Cave. Instead, you may take the bus to Inegol and then a cab to Oylat Cave. You can also take a bus from Istanbul to Oylat Cave via Otogar (Istanbul Otogari, Bursa, and Inegol). Another thing to consider is the fluctuating weather conditions inside the cave depending on the time of the visit.

23. Duden Waterfalls

The Upper Duden Waterfall is located 10 kilometers north of the city center on the Duden River, Antalya. On the route to Lara, Lower Duden Waterfall is located 8 kilometers from the city center, near Karpuzkaldiran Beach. The modes of transportation are public buses and minibusses. Buses and minibusses depart at Dogu Garaji Taksi station. A dolmus bus CV17 to Duden Waterfalls should be available there.

24. Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace is located in Istanbul’s Besiktas neighborhood on the European side of the Bosporus strait and served as the Ottoman Empire’s administrative capital from 1856 to 1887 and 1909 to 1922. The Bagcilar and Kabatas tramline is the most cost-effective and pleasant method to get from Sultanahmet to Dolmabahce Palace because Kabatas is the tramline stop closest to Dolmabahce. So, the walk from Kabatas to the palace takes approximately 10 minutes.

25. Suleymaniye Mosque

The Suleymaniye Mosque which is located in the Fatih neighborhood in Istanbul has cultural significance in Turkey. Also, the structure designed by Sinan the Architect is a wonderful blend of simplicity and grandeur. To get to the mosque, you can take a tramline to the Eminonu station, then you do a 5-minute walk from Eminonu Square or Beyazit Square. The facility is open between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. every day. The best time for a visit is before 12:30 pm or after 1:45 pm. The Entrance is free of charge. The mosque does not allow women to enter with their shoulders exposed. Women wearing trousers should put on the skirts provided at the entry.

26. Antalya Muzesi

The magnificent Antalya Museum is 3 kilometers west of Kale Kapisi, a must-see for anybody interested in Turkey’s rich ancient history. Additionally, The Antalya Regional Museum consists of 13 display rooms. The museum is open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. every day. Also, the cost of entry is $2. To reach there, you can take the Nostalgy Tram westward (toward the mountains) to the end of the line from Kale kapisi Bus LC07, which also follows the tram route to Cumhuriyet Meydan, near Kale Kapisi stops, on the street outside the museum.

27. Konyaalti Beach

Konyaalti Beach is one of the world’s most popular beaches. You can find the location of this lovely seaside near Antalya. Take the Nostalgic tramline west from Kale Kapisi in Antalya to the end of the line at the Antalya Museum, then walk 10 minutes downhill to Antalya Beach Park and the eastern end of Konyaalti Beach. Early summer to mid-autumn, from June to October, is the finest season to explore Antalya and Konyaalti Beach.

28. Saat Kulesi/Konak Square

Izmir Clock Tower is a medieval clock tower in the Konak neighborhood in Izmir, located near Konak Square. Its construction works started on September 1, 1900. The best time to visit is between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Also, the shortest method to go from Konak to the Izmir Clock Tower is to hire a cab, which will cost you between $1 and $1.5 TL and will take you 4 minutes to the city center.

29. Mermerli Beach

Mermerli Beach was the city’s first seaside recreation area, making it historically significant for Antalya’s resort spots. The beach is located in the old town and visitors enjoy nice accommodation, courteous service, and total safety for a rather hefty charge. Mermerli Beach is accessible through a café on a concrete platform, followed by a wooden stairway to the beach. The entrance charge is $2.

30. Rumeli Fortress

The Rumeli Fortress is located in the Sariyer neighborhood of Istanbul. To visit Rumeli Fortress, first, reach Kabatas then take buses to Rumeli Fortress. Moreover, the castle is near a variety of landmarks and districts, including the Asiyan Museum, Bebek, and Arnavutkoy areas.

31. Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is a medieval mosque in Sultanahmet, Istanbul. The mosque’s construction process took place between 1609 and 1616. The T1 Line – Sultanahmet station – is the nearest tram line and is a short walk from both the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. the mosque is open between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week. During prayer times only those who are there to worship are allowed. Also, they offer free head coverings for women at the entry to the Blue Mosque.

32. Kursunlu Waterfalls

The Kursunlu Waterfall, with its green groves and various picnic areas, is one of Antalya’s most attractive locations. It is located in the middle of a cool pine forest. The area’s diverse flora and wildlife make it an ideal location for ecotourism activities. To reach make your way to Dogu Garaji by bus then walk from Kaleici for 5 minutes.

33. Gulhane Park

Gulhane Park is Istanbul’s oldest and largest urban park. The Park functioned as the outside garden of the Ottoman imperial Topkapi Palace. Also, the Gulhane Park, which is located in Sultanahmet, the historical center of Istanbul, is near the city’s most prominent sites. Taking the T1 tram line to Gulhane Tram Station, which stops directly in front of the park’s entrance, is the most convenient way to get to Gulhane Park

34. Ilica Public Beach

Another lovely beach is Ilica Plaji located on Turkey’s Cesme peninsula in Alacati, Izmir. You can fully relax there and appreciate the beauty all around. Also, Ilica’s beach is around 1.5 kilometers long. You can get to the beach through the Cesme (Otogar) bus station located inland on Izmir road, a few blocks from the shore. Transportation from Cesme’s bus terminal and the Uckuyular bus terminal south of the heart of Izmir is rapid and frequent.

35. Harbour District

Turkey plays a significant role in international shipping as a sea-friendly location. Every year, Turkey’s major ports experience a surge in marine traffic. The majority of travels are via the Mediterranean and the Black Sea seas. Also, Turkey has 1,224 ships under its national navy flag, in addition to its ship-friendly coast. Top 5 Turkey’s harbors are: Haydarpaşa (Istanbul, Turkey), Port of Mersin (Mersin, Turkey), Port of Izmir (Umurbey, Turkey), Port of Eregli (Karadeniz Eregli, Turkey), Port of Ambarli (Beylikduzu, Turkey)

36. Aladaglar National Park

The Aladaglar National Park is located in Turkey’s Mediterranean region, inside the boundaries of Nigde and south of the provinces of Kayseri and Adana. As a result, hikers and alpinists will often find a diverse range of peaks to climb in this region. It’s also been declared a wildlife-protected area, and there’s a dedicated nesting area. Several agencies run day tours to the park and waterfalls. Alternatively, you can rent a car.

37. Pamukkale: Travertine Terraces & Warm Springs

Pamukkale’s natural rock pools are one of Turkey’s most popular and beautiful tourist sites. Pamukkale is located in the southwestern Turkish province of Denizli. Frequent local buses or taxis are available for transportation. Therefore, depending on where you are staying, there are various methods to get to Pamukkale. This area of Turkey that tourists frequently visit, is densely packed with Greek remains. Pamukkale is open between 6.30 a.m. and 11 p.m all year long. However, it is highly popular from June until the end of September and costs 80 TL / $8 to enter.

38. Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace is Istanbul’s largest and most popular tourist attraction, constructed between 1466 and 1478. The Palace is located in the Sultanahmet district of the Old City, near Eminonu, and is open every day between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., except Tuesdays. It has longer opening hours during the summer (until 7 pm ). On the first day of religious holidays, as well as on January 1st, the museum closes to visitors. Moreover, Adults must pay $20 to enter the palace and another $10 to enter the Harem.

39. Butterfly Valley

One of the most gorgeous sites in Turkey is the Butterfly Valley. The best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons, either in May or September, when hotel costs are beginning to return to normal, and the water is still warm enough to swim. The nearest city with a bus station to the Butterfly Valley in Fethiye and to reach there, you can fly to Istanbul first and then take a bus from Istanbul to Fethiye. Every day, more than 20 buses run between the two cities from (3 a.m. to 9 p.m.) The trip will take between 12 and 14 hours. You may also fly to Antalya and then take a bus to Fethiye from the Antalya Bus Terminal. As for the flight from Istanbul to Fethiye, it will take around 1 hour.

40. House Of The Virgin Mary

The House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi in Turkish), which is still open to the public today, is a spot where many people believe Mary, Jesus’ mother, spent her final years. The fee for admission to the House of the Virgin Mary is $3.6.

Also, the renovated home now functions as a chapel every day, from Monday to Saturday, at 5:15 p.m. (November to March).  Also, there are Sunday Prayers at 10:30 a.m. (in English) and 5:15 p.m. from November to March or 6:15 p.m. from April to October. Moreover, there are no public transportation alternatives to get to the Virgin Mary’s House. If you are traveling solo, you will need to rent a vehicle, take a cab, or walk 7 kilometers from Ephesus’ northern entrance or 5.5 kilometers from its southern gate.

Why is Turkey a Famous Tourist Spot?

Turkey is a great place to spend a vacation with your family. There are many reasons for this, for example, its rich culture, magnificent nature, exquisite delicious food, affordable prices for foreigners, and the hospitality offered by the Turkish people, but most importantly, the quality of the lifestyle it offers.

What should I Avoid in Turkey?

When you embark on an adventure to fully explore Turkey, you should be careful not to do the items listed below.

  • Disrespecting The Values of The Society: Turkey consists of a deeply rooted nation with a rich history and culture. You should refrain from doing behaviors that can be understood as disrespecting religious and cultural values. For example, entering the mosque in a revealing dress, disturbing those who are praying, and making sarcastic comments about religious holidays will not be welcome.
  • Rejecting What Is Offered: Turkish people like to share, chat and communicate because they are warm-blooded. Therefore, they can offer you various gifts and treats. turning down these treats means you don’t like them, which is not welcome.
  • Behaving Inappropriately in Society: excessive sexual behavior is not tolerated in society. so you may need to act at a distance.

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