Turkey, a country that occupies a unique geographic position, is laying party in Western Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. Throughout the history, it has acted as a bridge between two continents. And it is one of the most visited tourist destination in the world.
The country has 7 diverse regions to explore bounded by four seas in total. Furthermore, to help plan your trip, there are 81 main cities for you to visit and immerse yourself to its culture, where attractions and festivals are in great presence. Big Turkish cities usually more modern, western style culture and more arrays of economical options.
Most beach resorts are located along the southwestern and southern coast, called the Turkish Rivivera, especially along the Mediterranean coast near Antalya. Istanbul has recently become one of the biggest shopping destinations too with its Cevahir Mall, as the biggest mall in Europe and seventh largest shopping center in the world.
POPULAR PLACE TO VISIT IN TURKEY
- ISTANBUL – the city of the past, present and the future. The largest city and the country’s undisputed cultural and financial centre. It houses the world famous sites, the iconic Hagia Sophia, the massive 17th century Blue Mosque, and the circa-1460 Topkapi Palace.
- IZMIR – a city located in Turkey’s Aegean coast, the 3rd largest city has a cosmopolitan and lively atmosphere all year round, with its beautiful hotels and facilities for sports, entertainment, and shopping.
- TRABZON – historically known as Trebizond, is a city on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey, located on the historical Silk Road, and a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries. The city is generally safe for visitors and has low crime rates.
- CANAKKALE – a city in northwestern Turkey in Marmara region, it’s a gateway to the Gallipoli WW1 battlefields, north of the narrow strait. The archaeological site at Troy, including an ancient theater, is southwest of the city. Today, Canakkale is a pleasant town with adequate hotels to serve travelers.
- ANTALYA – a Turkish resort city with a yacht-filled Old Harbor and beaches flanked by large hotels. It is a fastest growing city in Turkey and tourists from around the world are discovering its fabulous tourist spots and traditional culture. The city remains the Hadrian’s Gate, built to honor the Roman’s Emperor’s visit in 130 AD and 2nd century Hidirlik Tower, with harbor views.
- BURSA – the city is known for its mosques and historical sites from the early Ottoman Empore. Located in the northwest Turkey, lying in the foothills of roughly 2500m-high Mount Uludag near the Sea of Marmara. It’s nicknamed “Yesel Bursa” or Green Bursa, owing to its many parks and trees, as well as its dramatic mountain backdrop.
BEST TIME TO VISIT TURKEY
Spring (March, April, and May, through mid-June) is the best time to visit Turkey, autumn (mid-September through October) is next, then summer (mid-June, July, August, through mid-September), last winter (November, December, January, February).
TOP THINGS TO DO IN TURKEY
- Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia – As you take off for sunrise you will start to be hypnotized by the spectacular and surreal landscape that lies below you. You will gently drift over the fairy chimneys, through valleys scattered with pigeon houses, over orchards and vineyards. The different colours of the diversified landscape will leave you breathless. An activity not to be missed.
- Take a dip at Pamukkale Thermal Pools – named as the “Cotton Castle” in Turkish, it is a natural wonder since the 2nd century BC when the city of Hierapolis was formed around the healing waters. Waters from ancient hot springs spilling down the hillside for millennia have formed terraces of oyster-shell shaped pools, the white travertine constantly refreshed by the flow of the calcium rich waters.
- Cross the Bosphorus Bridge, Go! – connecting Europe and Asia, which extends between Ortakoy and Beylerbeyi, is known officially as the 15 July Martyrs Bridge and unofficially as the First Bridge, is one of the three suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul. In 2007, a LED lighting system was installed to illuminate the bridge at night and the computerized system is now used to create a colorful light show every evening.
- Enter the Topkapi Palace with honor – is a large museum in Istanbul, serves as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. Following the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, Topkapi was transformed into a museum by a government decree dated April 3, 1924.
- Be awed with the Blue Mosque – or sometime called as The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, continues to function as a mosque today; men still kneel in prayer on the mosque’s lush red carpet after the call to prayer. It is known as Blue Mosque because of its blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design.
- Schedule a Gastronomy Tour – Turkey is known for offering one of the three most distinctive traditional cuisines in the world. It is renowned for its wide variety of high quality fresh fruit and vegetables, different kinds of fish and fresh meat, delicious desserts, traditional drinks, famous spirits and a large selection of traditional produce. Wherever you look, wherever you go, you can find good food and drink in Turkey! Bon Appetit!
- Shop till you drop at Grand Bazaar – the Grand Bazaar is the mother of all markets, a treasure trove of gifts, souvenirs, essentials and fripperies. Calligraphy, carpets, beaded bracelets, gold and silver jewelry, curly-toed slippers, multicolored lanterns, flower-bedecked ceramics and belly dancing outfits are just the tip of the iceberg in this shopper’s cornucopia.