Turkey is a transcontinental country, with half the country falling in Asia while the other half in Europe. The country offers a host of different tourism opportunities for tourists. The country has everything from ancient theatres to historical mosques, from metropolis cities to sandy beaches with crystal clear water. Here we have compiled a list of top 10 best tourist places in Turkey that you must consider if you are planning a trip to this magnificent country.
10. Aspendos, Antalya Province, Turkey
The city of Aspendos was an ancient Greek City located in the present day Antalya Province on the Mediterranean coast in Turkey’s south-west. The city is hardly 6 kilo meters away from the small town of Serik. According to historians the city was founded way back in 1000 BC by Greeks. The city was of great importance because of the wealth it accumulated from resources such as salt, oil and wool. The city’s most famous tourist attraction is the historical theatre of Aspendos. The theatre was constructed during the reign of the great Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and could accommodate between 15,000 to 20,000 people. Despite being so old the well persevered theatre is still in a really good condition. Thousands of tourists flock to see this ancient marvel every year.
9. Patara Beach, South West Turkey
The astounding Patara Beach is one of the largest and without doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey. The beach is 18 kilometres long and is the longest beach in Turkey. The beach is protected territory because it is the breeding ground for the endangered Loggerhead turtle. The beach can be approached by a single road which is dotted by historical sites of archaeological interest.
8. Pamukkale, Denizli Province, Turkey
Pamukkale is a fairy-tale like site in Turkey’s south-western province of Denizli. The Pamukkale meaning ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish language is known for its hot water springs, travertine’s. The site falls in the picturesque Menderes valley; the valley has a moderate climate most of the year and attracts thousands of tourists throughout the year. The area is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Bodrum Castle, South West Turkey
The Bodrum Castle is an imposing structure on the south western coast of Turkey. The Castle was constructed by the Knights Hospitaller in 1402. The castle was converted into a museum in 1962 by the Turkish Government for the underwater discoveries of shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea. The museum now houses the 7th century Byzantine Model of the Yassiada vessel, it also has Egyptian jewellery from the late bronze-age Uluburun shipwreck, collection of amphora’s from different parts of the Mediterranean Sea are also kept here.
6. Mount Nemrut, Southeastern Turkey
Mount Nemrut is located 40 kilo meters north of Kahta in Turkey’s South East. The mountains are home to the royal tombs from the Komogene Kingdom dating back to the Ist Century BC. The summit of Mount Nemrut provides a great view of the surrounding mountains. Mount Nemrut was declared a World heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. Tourists usually visit Nemrut during the months of April to October. The town of Adıyaman near Mount Nermrut is a good place to find car and bus trips to the site. If you have extra bucks to spend you can also travel via helicopter to the site. Overnight tours also operate from Kahta.
5. Oludeniz, Mugla Province, South Western Turkey
Oludeniz is beach resort in Turkey’s South western province of Mugla on the Turquoise Coast. The beach is regarded as one of the most spectacular beaches in the world and is frequently listed in the list of the top most picturesque beaches in the world by tourists and travel journals. The resort attracts thousands of paragliding enthusiasts because of the amazing paragliding opportunities. The area regarded as a paragliding heaven due to its unique panoramic views and due to the nearby’s Mount Babadag’s extraordinary height. The hiking route known as the Lycian Way which is long distance hiking trail approximately 500 kilometers in length is regarded as one of the world’s best hiking trails is also a popular attraction of the area. The annual six days long Lycian Way Ultra-marathon is being held in Lycian Way since 2010.
4. Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque also known as the blue mosque is an ancient mosque in Istanbul. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque got the name Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles that adorn the walls of the mosque’s interior. The mosque is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Istanbul city. The Blue Mosque was built to rival the neighbouring Hagia Sophia by Sultan Ahmed I in 1616. The mosque was visited by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 during his visit to Turkey. The visit by the Pope was only the second papal visit in history to a Muslim place of worship.
3. Library of Celsus, Selcuk, Turkey
The Library of Celsus is the name given to an ancient Roman building in Selcuk, Turkey. The library was built in 135 AD in honor of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus; who himself paid for the construction of the building. The library was built to store the close to 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus. Celsus is also buried beneath the library. The façade of the library was reconstructed in the early 1970’s to its present state from the original pieces.
2. Basilica Cistern, Istanbul, Turkey
The often overlooked Basilica Cistern is one of Turkey’s hidden gems. The Basilica Cistern was once used as a water storage chamber. The underground structure is composed of imposing columns, and high vaulted ceilings. It also has ornate carvings of the ancient gods on the walls. Visitors can mount its raised platforms to view the eerie underground waters ways. The building and the water ways are without doubt one of the most astonishing ancient places Turkey has to offer to visitors.
1. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
The Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Church now converted into a museum is one of Turkey’s most well known and most visited tourist attractions. The cathedral was constructed in 537; later on from 1453 onwards the cathedral was converted into a mosque; however in 1935 it was turned into a museum by modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.