Best Things to Do in Turkey
Things to Do in Turkey – Must See Places 2020
Turkey is located on the Anatolia which is also known as Asia Minor. Anatolia has been home to many important civilizations in history. The Assyrians, Hittites, Phrygians, Ancient Greeks, Armenians, Romans, Byzantines and Turks lived on these lands.
Anatolia has served as a bridge between Europe and Asia. For this reason, it was the intersection of ancient trade routes. You can see the traces of different cultures in every corner of Anatolia. Traces of different civilizations and different religions can be seen as a colorful mosaic.
Best Things to Do in Turkey 2020
Most of the tourists coming to Turkey, want to see Istanbul. With its history going back to the 7th century BC, Istanbul became the capital of empires. However, after spending a few days in Istanbul, you may want to see different places.
Day Trips from Istanbul
There are cities such as Edirne, Bursa and Canakkale to be seen in close proximity to Istanbul. It is possible to make a day tour from Istanbul to these cities.
Edirne stands out with the Selimiye Mosque, the largest mosque in Ottoman history.
Bursa is the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. There is also the town of Nicaea, where the first universal Council of Christianity was held.
In Canakkale, there is the ancient city of Troy which inspired the books and films.
Golden Triangle of Turkey
These places are only a few hours away from Istanbul and must be seen. However, the three destinations I will focus on in this article will be Istanbul, Ephesus and Cappadocia which is considered as golden triangle of Turkey.
Due to its proximity to Ephesus, I added Pamukkale, also known as Cotton Castle, to the end of the article. Pamukkale is a place where you can find both magnificent natural formations and ancient ruins together.
Things to Do in Turkey Map
Istanbul is pure beauty. It’s known history is dating back to 638 B.C. Established as a little Greek Colony, named as Byzantium. Afterwards Roman Emperor Constantine, renamed it Constantinople.
Constantinople had been the capital of Roman Empire and then Byzantine Empire. Finally it became the capital of Ottoman Empire and named as Istanbul.
Bosphorus Shores in Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul was always a junction point of civilizations. It has been a bridge between two ancient continents: Asia and Europe. Istanbul is the only city in the World which is located over two continents. City is split by the natural Bosphorus Strait. These features make Istanbul unique.
Major attractions in Istanbul can be considered as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, Chora Church, Galata Tower, Istiklal Street and Bosphorus shores. To join one of the Bosphorus Cruise Tours is a must-do activity in Istanbul.
For more information, I recommend Best Places to Visit in Istanbul blog post.
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
As Anatolia has been a home to great civilizations, there is a significant Greek and Roman heritage in Turkey. Among all popular ancient sights of Turkey, Ephesus come first. Because Ephesus is a massive ancient city which is perfectly maintained.
Library of Celcus and Temple of Artemis known as the most popular ruins of Ephesus. There are some additional places to see near Ephesus like House of Virgin Mary.
You may visit Ephesus Travel Blog to get more information about Ephesus and its surroundings.
Library of Celcus at Ephesus
Ephesus Guided Tours
Ephesus is visited mostly through the cruise ship excursions. Kusadasi Port of Izmir, houses many cruise ships in a year. Major destination of those cruise parties of course The Ephesus.
When a cruise ship arrives to town, it’s difficult to find an experienced guide in the city. Therefore, booking your personal tour guide in advance, highly recommended.
Pamukkale is one of Turkey’s most visited tourist spot. In Pamukkale, you can find both the beauties of nature and the cultural heritage of ancient times together.
The most important thing to see in Pamukkale is the Hierapolis Ancient City. In the ancient city there are thermal pools, also known as Cotton Castle. Thanks to travertines, a natural wonder, Pamukkale seems to be covered with snow in the heat of summer.
The Thermal Pools in Pamukkale
Ancient Theater in Hierapolis
Ancient Theater, is among the most important Greco-Roman heritage in Turkey. The archaeological finds found in excavations in the theater are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Hierapolis.
The Roman Theater
Cleopatra Pool in Hierapolis
While visiting the ruins of Hierapolis, you can see ancient temples, necropolis and ancient theater. In addition, you can swim in the Cleopatra Pool, a pool full of ancient columns.
The Ancient Pool
Cappadocia is perhaps the most unique of a kind place to visit in Turkey. It’s volcanic landscape and fairy chimneys of course eye-catching. Moreover Cappadocia had been a center for early Christians and those people were hiding from the Roman governors. Therefore there are a lot of hidden Churches in the valleys as well as massive underground cities.
Attending to a Hot Air Balloon ride, a must do activity in Cappadocia. You may visit the local cave houses, accommodate in one of the cave hotels, climb up the ancient castles. These are all provided by the ancient Cappadocia city.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons
Cappadocia Guided Tours
If you ever visit the Cappadocia you will definitely need a professional to guide you around the city. Cappadocia region is a vast land and there are several different neighborhoods to visit, to experience the whole attractions.
Recommended Website for Sightseeing in Turkey
There is a very good website that posts good listing articles about things to do in Turkey. The recommended website posts useful articles about these topics: Turkey’s best ancient cities, best beaches, best hotels etc. I personally recommend you to check Turkey private tour guide website to see these insider’s tips.