20 Best Places to Visit in Turkey

20 Best Places to Visit

in Turkey

From east to west, Turkey has many extraordinary historical places, impressive nature and hidden beauties that makes it a unique country. So, if you’re planning to come here soon, you better check out the list we’ve made!  Here is “the 20 best places to visit in Turkey” list!

1. Istanbul, Historical Peninsula

Places to visit in İstanbul – Bosphorus Views

It doesn’t matter how many days you’ll spend in Istanbul; you have to put the Historical Peninsula in the first place on your “must visit in Turkey list”. You can easily reach the area by all mediums of transportation.

Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand and Spice Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern are only the ones that come to mind at the first step. You can make a detailed plan after reading our previous articles about Istanbul!

2. Cappadocia – Nevsehir

Cappadocia - Turkey - Places to visit
Cappadocia – Turkey – Places to visit

It is one of the most awe-inspiring locations in Turkey where you feel like you’re in a fairytale. Located near Nevsehir, Cappadocia is best known for its intriguing rock formations sculpted by wind, rain, and volcanoes over the years. These structures seem so magical that people gave the name fairy chimneys to them.

People also carves these rocks to build churches, houses, and underground cities. You can have an aerial viewpoint of the gorgeous landscape from the hot air-balloons if you like.

3. Pamukkale Travertines – Denizli

best Turkey destinations- Pamukkale
best Turkey destinations – Pamukkale

Enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage List, Pamukkale Travertines is a thermal spring in fulfilled with minerals. There are some mythological stories about the formation of Pamukkale but more reasonably, it can be said that they’re products of various chemical reactions.

The Ancient Theater and Cleopatra Antique Pool which are the remnants of the Roman city of Hierapolis are situated in the same area. Lastly, we recommend visiting the little underground version of Pamukkale Travertines, Kaklik Cave. It’s 40 kilometers far away from the original one.  

4. Ephesus – Izmir

ephesus – best turkey destinations

Ephesus, known for housing one of the seven wonders of the world Temple of Artemis, was indeed one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire. During its time, it was the capital of trade, cultures, and religions. The site is very significant especially for Christians as the House of Virgin Mary is located there. 

5. Duden Waterfalls – Antalya

Another touristic attraction, Duden Waterfalls are undoubtedly considered among the most fantastic natural wonders in Turkey. The waterfalls are actually a group of waterfalls and consists of two parts: The upper and the lower Duden Waterfalls. You can eat at the restaurants near the waterfalls and spend some time around. 

6. Oludeniz – Mugla

Oludeniz will steal your heart at the first moment with its unbelievable beauty. And even its beauty was proved in 2006 when it was chosen as the best beach in the world. As it has very still water, it’s named as ölü deniz (dead sea). Apart from swimming, there’re another activities you can do like skydiving.

7. The Ancient City of Aspendos – Antalya

An example of the well-preserved historical ruins of the Roman Empire, Aspendos is placed in Antalya. It was a trade center and had great importance during its time. Probably the most splendid remnant of the city is the Ancient Theater and it’s acknowledged as one of the best acoustic theaters in the world. Aside from the theater, you should also see Acropolis and Aqueduct!

8. Yedigoller National Park – Bolu

yedigoller- best places to visit in Turkey
yedigoller- best places to visit in Turkey

The park takes its name from the seven lakes (yedi göller) that it has. Even though the park is mostly known for them, you’ll surely be charmed by the huge trees and cute animals too. You can also go there for camping and embrace nature. 

9. Anitkabir – Ankara

The mausoleum of Ataturk, the great leader of Turkish people, is located in the capital of Turkey. After his decease in 1938, his body remained in Ethnography Museum until the construction of Anitkabir was done. You’ll see many citizens and authorities visiting there on national holidays and 10th November, his anniversary of death. 

10. Safranbolu – Karabuk

Being famous for its Ottoman-style houses may be drawing attraction the most, but there’re another touristic places in Safranbolu that worth visiting. Eski Carsi (a big shopping center), Cinci Hamami (a Turkish Bath) and Kristal Terrace (an excellent point to see the Tokatli Canyon) are only a few of them. Safranbolu is also among the places enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

11. Lake Van

The biggest lake in Turkey, Lake Van was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption of Mount Nemrut. You may see the remains of Armenian Churches and Monasteries all along the coast of the lake. The 10th Century Holly Cross Cathedral is the most recognized one. The four touristic islands on the east side of the lake are also popular.

12. Ayder Valley – Rize

Ayder – Best Turkey Destinations

You’ll find the glorious shades of green, fresh air and the tranquility that you are long for somewhere in the Black Sea Region. As an alternative travelling plan, go to camping on Ayder Valley and if you like extreme sports, you should consider going rafting in Firtina Valley which is accessible by walking from Ayder. Or you can just lie on your back and drink the famous black tea of the Black Sea Region across the idyllic scenery of the Kackar Mountains.

13. Sumela Monastery -Trabzon

Sumela Monestry
Sumela Monestry

Another important landmark in the Black Sea Region is Sumela Monastery. It’s a hidden temple situated in the amid rocks on Pontic Mountains. The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and according to a legend, it was constructed by two monks who are coming from Athens. You can visit this mystic place after climbing up long and narrow stairs.

14. Uzungol – Trabzon

Uzungol is used both for referring the name of the astonishing lake (Long Lake) and the neighborhood on the coast of it. It is one of the most visited villages in Trabzon. The scenery of the foggy mountains and lush trees resembles a paradise. 

15. Gobeklitepe – Sanliurfa

Gobeklitepe- turkey best places to visit

The first temple in the world, Gobeklitepe is placed in the Southeastern Anatolia of Turkey. As it has 12 thousand years of history, it came out that it is older than the Pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England. The discovery of the area goes back to 1963 and it shows that religious services have been taken place since even before the settled life. 

16. Balikli Gol – Sanliurfa

One of the other noteworthy places in Sanliurfa is Balikli Gol (lake of fish). It is believed that when Prophet Abraham who is mentioned in the three divine religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, was tossed into the fire the flames were turned into water and logs into fish. From that day on, the lake and the fishes inside have started to be regarded as sacred.

17. Mardin Stone Houses

Mardin - best places to visit in Turkey
Mardin – best places to visit in Turkey

Mardin has hosted many various nations since prehistoric times. The reflection of this diversity can be seen in architecture too. The stone houses that became the symbol of the city, are constructed for the aim of protecting against severe weather conditions. It is impossible not to be impressed by these excellent structures! 

18. Ruins of Ani – Kars

Best touristic places in Turkey- Kars

The site of Ani witnessed several wars and housed many civilizations throughout the history . The ruins of countless worship places, 40 churches, chapel, and mausoleum were found out there hence, the site is also called as “The City of 1001 Churches”. If you’re interested, you should see the site closely.

19. Harran – Sanliurfa

Harran is one of the oldest residential area of North Mesopotamia. You can still see the untouched artifacts in there. For instance, the famous Beehive Houses may be adduced for the city’s unique composition. They’re made of unburnt clay or mud since the city has high temperatures in summer. The city is also important in terms of science considering the oldest Islamic University (Harran University) is placed there. 

20. Gokceada – Bozcaada

Best Places to Visit in Turkey - Gokceada
Best Places to Visit in Turkey – Gokceada

Gokceada is the westernmost point of Turkey and therefore it’s the best place to watch fascinating sunsets in Turkey. Don’t forget to eat the famous sakizli muhallebi (mastic-gum pudding) of Barba Hristo if you ever happen to Gokceada. 

Another peaceful island in the Aegean Sea, Bozcaada is the second biggest island in the country (the first one is Gokceada!). The breezes of Turkish and Greek cultures can be felt on the colorful streets that are ideal for taking photos. The island is also known for its wines so, you can visit the wine distilleries and taste some. 

Bonus: Kas, Kalkan – Antalya

If you’re planning a trip in summer months, you shouldn’t skip visiting Kas. Kalkan is a touristic district of Kas and mostly famed for its luminous beaches. Kaputas, Patara, and Buyuk Cakil Beach are only a few of them. Fresh seafoods are also another important factors that make Kalkan attractive. You may try fish soup and octopus salad.