100 Reasons to Visit Turkey

Turkey is a nation straddling eastern Europe and western Asia with cultural connections to ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Cosmopolitan Istanbul is home to the iconic Hagia Sophia, with its soaring dome and Christian mosaics, the massive 17th-century Blue Mosque and the circa-1460 Topkapı Palace, former home of sultans. Here are 100 reasons to visit Turkey.

  1. 1

    Catch the sunrise in a hot air balloon

    Source: www.goreme.com

    Goreme, Cappadocia

  2. 2

    Hagia Sofia, Istanbul

    Source: nocookie.net

    Hagia Sophia is a former Christian patriarchal basilica, later an imperial mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul

  3. 3

    Turkey does breakfast like no one else.

    Source: www.jarty.net

    Called kahvalti, breakfast really is the most important — and the best — meal in Turkey.

  4. 4

    Pamukkale

    Source: whenonearth.net

    Literally 'the cotton castle', this landscape best resembles an overzealously performed icing job on a chocolate cake. The hill slope of Pamukkale is

    divided into stepped terraces whitewashed by precipitated and overflowing limestone-laden water.

  5. 5

    Istanbul – the City of Four Empires

    Rome and Istanbul are both over two-and-a-half millennia old, but for the majority of the time Istanbul was larger, more influential, and wealthier than Rome.

  6. 6

    Mosques are breathtaking on the inside

    Sultanahmet Mosque, Istanbul

  7. 7

    …and on the outside.

  8. 8

    The towns are adorably picturesque

    Safranbolu, Karabuk

  9. 9

    Turkey has monasteries overlooking valleys

    Source: wha.com.tr

    Deyrulzafaran Montastery, Mardin

  10. 10

    Vibrant Nightlife

    Thanks to Istanbul’s unique geographical location many the top nightlife venues are located by the Bosphorus or on a rooftop offering a view of the

    magnificent skyline. The nightlife is vibrant, with an abundance of choice to satisfy everybody’s taste.

  11. 11

    Turkish People

    Turkish people are known world-wide for their hospitality and warmth.

  12. 12

    Cappadocia

    Located 750 kms, one jethour or nine car-hours south-east of Istanbul, the region of Cappadocia features a landscape that some would call lunar and others Martian.

  13. 13

    Almost all Turkish cities has its own castle

    Kızkalesi, Mersin

  14. 14

    Library of Celsius, Ephesus

    The library of Celsus is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selçuk. It was built in honour of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus by Celsus' son, Gaius Julius Aquila.

  15. 15

    The Ruins Of Ani

    These ancient, isolated ruins are set in the far eastern side of Turkey right on the Armenian border. The scenery here is stunning and the ruins are in great condition

  16. 16

    Nemrut’s peak is part mausoleum to a king and part temple to the gods

  17. 17

    Not only is Turkey overwhelmingly gorgeous, its cities and landscapes are also incredibly diverse.

  18. 18

    Oludeniz

    Source: tripadvisor.com

    A small village on the Aegean Sea, Oludeniz has a sandy beach and a stunning blue lagoon - famous for its shades of turquoise. It's one of the most photographed beaches on the Mediterranean and is regarded as one of the best places in the world to paraglide due to its unique panoramic views.

  19. 19

    Turkish Coffee & Cup Symbols Telling Fortune

    Turkish coffee reading is a very popular ritual in the countries that favor this type of coffee in their daily life. You can check it out too, either for fun or serious approach.

  20. 20

    The Hammams

    These traditional, ancient bath houses have been around for years. There are some private ones that you can go into and scrub yourself down, or, pay more money and have a shirtless stranger scrub down your naked body!

  21. 21

    Value For Money

    Since Turkey is technically part of Europe, people always assume it’s going to be expensive to travel here. But it’s not!

  22. 22

    Plan an exotic river trip and see first hand ancient Lycian rock tombs

  23. 23

    Fairy Chimneys & Rock Formations

    Source: http;//alienexplorations.blogspot.com
  24. 24

    Witness a fascinating form of meditation: Dervishes with their Sama Ritual

    Sama is an ancient Sufi ceremony and is performed by people who seeks ‘the truth’, wants to rise with divine love, lose themselves in God and return back to Earth with maturity and peace.

  25. 25

    Library of Celsus  

    The library of Celsus is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selçuk. It was built in honour of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus by Celsus' son, Gaius Julius Aquila.

  26. 26

    Altınkum

    Altınkum is a resort town in western Turkey, 123 km from Aydın. It is on the Aegean Sea, nearby the ancient Temple of Apollo and the ruins of the Ionian city of Didyma.

  27. 27

    Snorkel over submerged Byzantine towns

  28. 28

    Visit a crusader’s castle

  29. 29

    With over fifty unique types of kebab, Turkey is every carnivore’s paradise

  30. 30

    From Palandöken in Erzurum to Erciyes in Kayseri, Turkey’s mountains turn into prime ground for winter sports around November of each year

  31. 31

    Turkey has a five-star hotel in a cave

    Source: greenpacks.org

    Uçhisar, Cappadocia

  32. 32

    It’s where the world’s ancient empires once met

    İshak Paşa Sarayı, Doğubeyazıt

  33. 33

    Antakya, Hatay

    Antakya, is the seat of the Hatay Province in southern Turkey. In ancient times, Antakya was known as Antioch, was for centuries one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire, and was an influential early center of Christianity.

  34. 34

    Turkey is basically one giant archaeological treasure

    Hieropolis, Denizli

  35. 35

    Turkey’s entire coastline is basically composed of beautiful beach towns

  36. 36

    Mount Ararat, Doğubeyazıt

    Turkey’s highest peak, Mount Ararat, forms a natural border between Turkey and Armenia.

  37. 37

    Akdamar Island

    Source: deviantart.net

    Akdamar Island, also known as Aghtamar or Akhtamar, is the second largest of the four islands in Lake Van, in eastern Turkey. About 0.7 km² in size, it is situated about 3 km from the shoreline.

  38. 38

    Van Lake, Van

    Eastern Turkey's vast, highly alkaline inland sea called Lake Van (Van Gölü) is surrounded by history and stark beauty.

  39. 39

    Amasra is the Black Sea’s most adorable port town and positively deserted compared to its counterparts on the Mediterranean

  40. 40

    Turkey has monasteries built into mountains

    Source: shoreturkey.com

    Sumela Monastery, Trabzon

  41. 41

    Sedir Island  

    Source: www.movoto.com

    Sedir Island, also known as Cleopatra Island, is a small island in the Gulf of Gökova of southwestern Aegean Sea off the coast of Ula, part of Muğla Province of Turkey. It is famous for its beach made from seashells.

  42. 42

    Kocatepe Mosque  

    Source: www.worlds.ru

    The Kocatepe Mosque is the largest mosque in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

  43. 43

    Istanbul Modern Art Museum  

    İstanbul Modern, aka Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, is a museum of contemporary art in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. Inaugurated on December 11, 2004, the museum prominently features the work of Turkish artists.

  44. 44

    Istanbul Archaeology Museums

    The Istanbul Archaeology Museums is a group of three archeological museums located in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, near Gülhane Park and Topkapı Palace.

  45. 45

    Mount Nemrut  

    Nemrut or Nemrud is a 2,134 m high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC.

  46. 46

    Stop for a lively dinner at a colorful seaside cafe

    Source: sprudge.com
  47. 47

    İztuzu Beach  

    İztuzu Beach is a 4.5 km long beach near Dalyan, in the Ortaca district of the Province of Muğla in southwestern Turkey.

  48. 48

    Balikli Göl, Şanlıurfa

    Source: wikimedia.org

    It is a city with a primarily Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen population. Urfa is situated on a plain about eighty kilometres east of the Euphrates River. Urfa's climate features extremely hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters.

  49. 49

    Mevlâna Museum, Konya

    Source: travelpod.com

    The Mevlâna Museum, located in Konya,, is the mausoleum of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian Sufi mystic also known as Mevlâna or Rumi. It was also the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the whirling dervishes.

  50. 50

    Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Istanbul

    Source: trekearth.com
  51. 51

    Everything begins and ends with baklava

    Source: i.ytimg.com

    Baklava is a must to taste during your stay in Istanbul. The recipe may sound too easy to be true: chopped nuts are spread in between the phyllo (yufka) layers, dressed with butter, baked and sweetened with syrup or honey. But the excellence depends on the quality of the flour, the thinness of the dough (phyllo) and the proportion of the syrup.

  52. 52

    Ölüdeniz, Fethiye

    Ölüdeniz is a small village and beach resort in the Fethiye district of Muğla Province, on the Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey, at the conjunction point of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.

  53. 53

    Everyone needs a souvenir from the Grand Bazaar

    The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

  54. 54

    Have breakfast in Europe with the view of Asia and have lunch in Asia with the view of Europe on the same day.

  55. 55

    The Turkish Riviera

    The Turkish Riviera is an area of southwest Turkey encompassing the provinces of Antalya and Muğla, and to a lesser extent Aydın, southern İzmir and western Mersin.

  56. 56

    Ephesus

    Ephesus has some of the best preserved Greco-Roman ruins and every year, the nearby idyllic port town of Kusadasi brings in millions of tourists to its shores via cruise ships.

  57. 57

    Walking and Trekking

    Whether its sedate ambling through the epic landscape of Cappadocia, or something more hardcore such as summiting Mount Ararat (at well over 5,000m) Turkey has some incredible walking and trekking.

  58. 58

    Gallipoli Peninsula

    It was here that the ill-fated Allied campaign, after much bloody hand-to-hand fighting and loss of life, was forced to concede victory to the Turks and withdraw during the First World War.

  59. 59

    Koprulu Canyon National Park

    Source: panoramio.com

    Köprülü Canyon is a canyon and a National Park in the Province of Antalya. Covering an area of 366 km², it was established as a national park by the Ministry of Forest on December 12, 1973.

  60. 60

    Topaki Palace, Istanbul

    Source: turkeydesk.com

    This opulent palace carries a wealth of historic 'revelations' about the Ottomans who occupied its residence between 1453 and 1839.

  61. 61

    The Blue Mosque, Istanbul

    Possibly Turkey's most famous landmark. With six beautiful minarets surrounding it, this distinctive landmark dates back to the early 1600s and today it's not only still a place of worship, but a popular destination for visitors to Turkey.

  62. 62

    The Cats of Turkey

    Cat-lovers, make sure you have your phone/camera in tow as you explore Turkey and be prepared to snap away as you will encounter many a cat during your stay. The affectionate nature of these kitties will come as no surprise when you notice the warmth and generosity that the Turks extend to their furry feline friends

  63. 63

    Fethiye, Turkey's Turquoise Coast

    This beautiful port offers breathtaking views of the island-studded bay, as well as plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops to relax in and take in the stunning surroundings.

  64. 64

    Troy and Pergamon

    Archaeological excavations at Troy revealed nine separate periods of settlement including ruins of city walls, house foundations, a temple and a theatre. Explore these ruins, before travelling on to Pergamon, today known as Bergama, one of Turkey's finest archaeological sites.

  65. 65

    Turkish Tea

    Traditional Turkish tea is black, and it’s consumed massively. Turks do sometimes fancy a herbal tea, such as rose hip (kuşburnu çayı), linden flower (ıhlamur çayı) among other flavors. But those are mostly consumed for their health characteristics and to color up the taste buds.

  66. 66

    Miniatürk  

    Source: for91days.com

    Miniatürk is a miniature park situated at the north-eastern shore of Golden Horn in Istanbul. It was opened May 2, 2003. Miniatürk covers a total area of 60,000 square metres.

  67. 67

    Turkish Hospitality

    One of the best parts about travelling is meeting the locals, and no one plays host better than the Turks. Warm smiles will greet you as you stroll down the streets, accompanied by a medley of shopkeepers’ voices welcoming you into their stores.

  68. 68

    Bodrum Castle and the city of Bodrum

    Source: wikimedia.org

    This imposing fortress was built by the Knights Hospitalier in 1402, to help defend the region against attack by the Selcuk Turks.

  69. 69

    Turkish Airlines

    Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, headquartered at Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy, Bakırköy, Istanbul. As of February 2015, it operates scheduled services to 280 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, making it the fourth-largest carrier in the world by number of destinations.

  70. 70

    Safranbolu’s Old Town district of Çarşı

    Source: goista.com
  71. 71

    Bask under the gold Mediterranean sun

  72. 72

    Architecture

    Turkey is filled with Arabic architecture. There is something very much my cap of tea about this architecture, patterns, colours and symmetry.

  73. 73

    Diving

    Most of the diving in Turkey takes place on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts (the Turkish Riviera), diving centres have mushroomed in most holidays resorts making this coastline increasingly accessible to scuba divers.

  74. 74

    Hadrian's Gate

    The Hadrian's Gate or Üçkapılar is a triumphal arch located in Antalya, which was built in the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who visited the city in the year 130. It has three arched gates.

  75. 75

    Smoking Sheesha Pipe (Nargile)

    Even if you’re not a smoker, you will probably find yourself in a teahouse somewhere or relaxing in a cafe with some local people, who will inevitably be smoking these flavoured tobacco water pipes.

  76. 76

    Hiking Around Cappadocia

    The Marioland-Flintstone’ish landscapes around Cappadocia are truly awe-inspiring!

  77. 77

    Cunda Island

    Cunda Island, also called Alibey Island, is the largest of the Ayvalık Islands archipelago in Turkey, which was historically called the Εκατόνησα or Μοσχονήσια archipelago in Greek.

  78. 78

    Traditions

    Turkey and Turkish people are very faithful to their traditions

  79. 79

    Be a witness to the Ottoman's glorious life

    When you go to the Topkapı Palace, you can witness the life of Ottoman Sultans. You can see their clothes, jewelry and so on.

  80. 80

    Explore picturesque ports with winding cobblestone streets

  81. 81

    Swim in the baths of Cleopatra at Harmon Cove

    Cleopatra Bath - Hamam Bay is said to have been where Cleopatra herself used to come and bathe. It is said Cleopatra visited the bay at least twice and one of those times on her honeymoon with the love of her life, Marc Antony. Located around 50km from Fethiye, today you can still find the ruins of the old hamam which are now submerged under the water, although a lot of them have been lost to the sight as the area is still being used by many and is not protected.

  82. 82

    Antalya

    Source: goturkey.com

    Tucked into Turkey’s southwest corner is Antalya. Known as the Turkish Riviera, this cosmopolitan region has a 400-mile sweep of white-sand beaches and secluded coves, and is home to upmarket resorts like Lara Beach and Belek.

  83. 83

    Çırağan Palace  

    Çırağan Palace, a former Ottoman palace, is now a five-star hotel in the Kempinski Hotels chain. It is located on the European shore of the Bosporus, between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy in Istanbul.

  84. 84

    Golden Horn

    The Golden Horn, also known by its modern Turkish name as Haliç, is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul.

  85. 85

    Galata Tower  

    The Galata Tower — called Christea Turris by the Genoese — is a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karaköy quarter of Istanbul, just to the north of the Golden Horn's junction with the Bosphorus.

  86. 86

    Basilica Cistern  

    Source: tripadvisor.com

    The Basilica Cistern, is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul

  87. 87

    Chora Church  

    The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora is a former Byzantine church, later Ottoman mosque, and current museum in the Edirnekapı neighborhood of Istanbul. The neighborhood is situated in the western part of the municipality of the Fatih district.

  88. 88

    Saklıkent Canyon

    Saklıkent Canyon is located in Muğla province in Turkey, 50 km from the city of Fethiye.

  89. 89

    Little Hagia Sophia  

    Source: antikkonak.com

    Little Hagia Sophia, formerly the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus, is a former Eastern Orthodox church dedicated to Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire.

  90. 90

    Dolmabahçe Palace  

    Dolmabahçe Palace located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856.

  91. 91

    Bodrum Castle  

    Bodrum Castle, located in southwest Turkey in the port city of Bodrum, was built from 1402 onwards, by the Knights of St John as the Castle of St. Peter or Petronium.

  92. 92

    Babadağ

    Babadağ is a mountain near Fethiye, in Muğla Province, southwest Turkey. The mountain has a principal summit at an elevation of 1,969 metres and a second one called "Karatepe" at an elevation of 1,400 metres.

  93. 93

    Anıtkabir  

    Source: www.herayak.com

    Anıtkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey.

  94. 94

    Nişantaşı

    Source: wikimedia.org

    Nişantaşı is a quarter of the Şişli district on the European side of Istanbul. It comprises neighbourhoods of Osmanbey, Teşvikiye, Maçka and Pangaltı.

  95. 95

    Göbekli Tepe

    Göbekli Tepe is an archaeological site at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, approximately 12 km northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa.

  96. 96

    Düden Waterfalls

    Düden Waterfalls are a group of waterfalls in the province of Antalya. The waterfalls, formed by the Düden River, are located 12 kilometres north-east of Antalya.

  97. 97

    Temple of Artemis  

    Source: wikimedia.org

    The Temple of Artemis or Artemision, also known less precisely as the Temple of Diana, was a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis. It was located in Ephesus.

  98. 98

    Patara Beach

    Patara Beach is one of the largest and most beautiful beaches near the ancient Lycian city of Patara, on the coast of the Turkish Riviera.

  99. 99

    Beylerbeyi Palace  

    The Beylerbeyi Palace is located in the Beylerbeyi neighbourhood of Istanbul, Turkey at the Asian side of the Bosphorus. An Imperial Ottoman summer residence built in the 1860s, it is now situated immediately north of the 1973 Bosphorus Bridge.

  100. 100

    Phaselis

    Phaselis was an ancient Greek and Roman city on the coast of Lycia. Its ruins are located north of the modern town Tekirova in the Kemer district of Antalya Province.

Don't like this list? Edit it and make your own list!

Don't like this list? Edit it and make your own list! We will pubish it on our site! You can share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc

Edit this list

You may also like

Login / Sign up