TurkeyEurope

Image for Galata Tower which includes a city and heritage architecture

Explore ancient ruins, enjoy apple tea, browse market stalls, sail along a turquoise coast and hike the sandstone landscapes of Cappadocia and Göreme National Park.

Thought to be the site of the civilization of Troy and packed with archaeological sites, Turkey is a delight for lovers of ancient history. Its coastline features white sand beaches, mountainous headlands and balconies where diners overlook stunningly blue waters.

Istanbul, Turkey’s capital, presents a meeting of Western and Eastern traditions that gives the beautiful city its own unique atmosphere. Explore the museum of Hagia Sophia, picnic in green parkland and shop at the famed Grand Bazaar, a souk of ceramics, art and spices that spreads out over 60 streets. Head underground to the Basilica Cistern, a third-century Roman church used for water storage during Ottoman rule.

Go into the countryside and national parks to enjoy Turkey’s natural beauty. Cappadocia is one of the most incredible sites in Turkey and is home to the UNESCO-listed Göreme National Park. Find sandstone “fairy chimney” formations, carved Christian Byzantine sanctuaries and underground cave cities throughout the park. You’ll also find ancient Greek and Roman cities such as Iotape, Aphrodisias and Harput nearby.

Gaze upon the gods at Mount Nemrut National Park in eastern Turkey. This artificially created mountain is thought to be the tomb of Zoroastrian cult leader King Antiochus and is littered with huge stone statues of the gods and animals. Nearby at Eski Kâhta, visit the 13th-century Mamluk fortress.

A visit to Turkey is not complete without a stay on the country’s southwest Turquoise Coast. The incredibly blue waters and soft white beaches of this stretch of coast are surrounded by lush mountains. Wander through the ruins of Hadrian’s Gate, enjoy fresh seafood dishes and laze in the Mediterranean sun on the beaches of Antalya. Take a boat tour to the Sultaniye Hot Springs, hike the Lycian Way through ruins and coastal villages or dive among ancient shipwrecks and colorful corals in Kaş.

Turkey’s warm Mediterranean climate lets you enjoy open-air museums, al fresco dining and natural beauty year-round.

Popular cities in Turkey

Galata Tower which includes a city and heritage architecture
Istanbul

Known for Dining, Historical Buildings and Shopping

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Antalya which includes café scenes and outdoor eating
Antalya

Known for Beaches, Historical Buildings and Family-friendly

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Ethnographic Museum
Izmir

Known for Sea, Shopping and Cafés

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Bursa

Known for Spas, Ferry and Small Town

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Knidos showing rocky coastline
Marmaris

Known for Sea, Boating and Tours

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Popular things to do in Turkey

Grand Bazaar
Image for Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

Istanbul

Enter the maze of shop-lined streets in one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world to browse hundreds of thousands of hand-crafted objects.

Hagia Sophia
Image for Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Istanbul

Once a church, then a Byzantine cathedral, later a mosque and now a monument, this iconic building is a national treasure.

Topkapi Palace
Image for Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

Istanbul

The official residence of the Ottoman sultans for about four centuries is now accessible to the public and home to sacred relics.

Galata Tower
Image for Galata Tower

Galata Tower

Istanbul

Istanbul’s medieval lookout point offers panoramic views across city’s historic district and the water of the Golden Horn.

Spice Bazaar
Image for Spice Bazaar
trover photo by Kevin Guevarra • Traveler of Worlds

Spice Bazaar

Istanbul

Venture to Suleymaniye Mosque and Grand Bazaar—just two of the popular sights around Spice Bazaar, a city also known for its historic sites and shopping.

Hadrian's Gate
Image for Hadrian's Gate

Hadrian's Gate

Antalya

This 2,000-year-old portal to the ancient city is a fine example of Roman ingenuity, with elegant columns, three arches and a marble frame.