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From karst expanses to tranquil coasts and cities teaming with life, Turkey has it all. On the cusp of the East and the West, a unique destination awaits hungry travelers. The sunrise views over Cappadocia, the towering Minarets of Istanbul, and the gleaming coast of the Mediterranean are just some of the many places to visit in Turkey. Here are some more unmissable stops that Turkey offers.

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The ruins in Ephesus are one of the top places to visit in Turkey.
Learn about ancient Turkish history in Ephesus.

While Rome and Athens were in their formative years, Ephesus was already a dominating power on the eastern front. Today, the imposing ruins of the Ephesus Library, Amphitheater, and Terrace Houses offer visitors a glimpse into the illustrious past of this ancient region. 


  • Walk through the columned front doors of the Ephesus Library or enter the rocky steps of the amphitheater to see the epic scale of structures that have stood the test of time.
  • Visit the cave of the Seven Sleepers next to Ephesus and learn about a fascinating tale dating back to early Christianity.
Visit Topkapi Palace is a top places to visit in Turkey.
Topkapi Palace is one of the best archaeological marvels in Istanbul.

The crossroad between the East and the West, Istanbul is a melting pot of cultures in its true sense. Here, cultural and religious institutions have been standing proud for centuries, while modern additions are keeping the city in step with the rest of the world.


  • See the grandeur of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and stand in awe of the momentous historical value of Istanbul.
  • Visit Topkapi Palace and peek into the life of the Sultans that once ruled the Ottoman Empire.
Visit Amasra on the Black Sea in Turkey.
Visit coastal towns in the Black Sea Region in Turkey.

With the sea on one side and green-forested mountains on the other, the Black Sea Region in the north is one of the best destinations for a cruise tour of Turkey. From relaxing on the beach to taking an amazing cruise on the sea, this region has plenty to offer.


  • Head to the Sumela Monastery which dates back to the Athenian monks in the 4th century.
  • From the Bosphorus, hop on a sightseeing tour and try to spot some migrating dolphins.
Hot air balloon rise in Cappadocia.
Hop on a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia.
One of the top places to visit in Turkey is Derinkuyu.
Discover underground Turkey in Derinkuyu.

The jagged sandstone cliffs and rock formations that decorate Cappadocia’s landscape create an otherworldly environment, connecting you with advanced civilizations from the past.


  • Take to the sky in a hot air balloon at sunrise and witness one of the most impressive sights in Turkey.
  • Explore the underground cave city of Derinkuyu. Shimmy down narrow passageways nearly 50 meters underground to discover an advanced network of rooms, once occupied by Turkish communities.
  • Explore Goreme and its vast expanse of sandstone cave dwellings and the Open Air Museum.
Pamukkale is filled with hot springs with healing properties.
Enjoy the thermal hot springs in Pamukkale.

When it comes to beautiful places to visit in Turkey, few can equal the whimsical cotton castle that is Pamukkale. These mineral-rich travertines have been admired by people for well over 2,000 years.


  • Swim among the ancient ruins in Cleopatra’s pool or take a dip in the crystal blue travertine pools, which are known for their healing properties.
  • Stand at the top of Hierapolis Amphitheaters and soak in the panoramic views of the lush Denizli valleys below.
Visit the Anitkabir mausoleum during the day.
Visit the Anitkabir mausoleum in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

The current capital of Turkey is an expansive and thriving city but the charming Citadel and fascinating museums make this a must-visit on your Turkish itinerary to grasp the complex history of the country.


  • The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations houses the best collection of historical artifacts in the country. History buffs dare not miss the opportunity to see the world’s oldest town map.
  • The Mausoleum of Ataturk is the city’s most treasured attraction and an architectural triumph in its own right.
The tranquil blue water in Konyaalti Beach.
Relax on Konyaalti Beach in Turkey and enjoy the tranquil blue water.

Antalya is the gateway to the Mediterranean in the south of Turkey, surrounded by dramatic rugged mountains with crystal blue water at its feet. This is an amazing beach destination in Turkey. Stroll through the cobbled streets of Kaleici and admire the whitewashed Ottoman mansions with their iconic red-tiled roofs.


  • Spend the day lounging in the idyllic setting of Konyaalti Beach. Sweeping mountain vistas to the side and never-ending views across the ocean.
  • Explore Roman ruins outside of Antalya like the Ruins of Termessos and Aspendos’s amphitheater surrounded by vineyards.
Marmaris is one the top destinations to visit in Turkey.
Enjoy nature in the vast open spaces in Marmaris.

Turkey’s vacation spots do not get much better than the resort town of Marmaris. Located where the Mediterranean and the Aegean meet, nothing but blue waters and sandy beaches await visitors here.


  • Visit secluded beaches on the Marmaris coastline by boat to make the most of the inviting water. Turunc and Icmeler are two of the local favorite beaches.
  • Explore the cobbled lanes of the old town and discover the impeccably preserved castle overlooking the bay.
Go paragliding and view the landscape in Fethiye.
Get a glimpse of the amazing landscape of Fethiye while paragliding.
Head for a yacht tour on the clear blue water in Fethiye.
Hop on a yacht and tour the sea in Fethiye.

This is the jewel of the Turkish Riviera. The combination of luxury yachts in the harbor and ancient ruins on the land is a sight like no other. It is among the best of Turkey’s vacation spots for those seeking relaxation and some adventure.


  • Enjoy a private yacht trip to one of the many stunning beaches around Fethiye or take to the sky on a paragliding adventure over Oludeniz Lagoon.
  • Explore the rough Mediterranean landscape on foot by venturing into the belly of Saklikent Gorge, one of the best places for hiking in Turkey.
Visit Bodrum, a town covered in beautiful flowers.
Wonder around the beautiful town of Bodrum in Turkey.

What was once a humble fishing village is now one of Turkey’s most famous places for an exotic holiday on the Aegean Sea. The old alleys draped in bougainvillea are akin to famous Greek island destinations.


  • A visit to the Castle of St. Peter takes you on a journey through the many empires that ruled these lands and also gives a glimpse into Bodrum’s underwater archeological findings.
  • Walk along the scenic 2-kilometer trail to the remnants of the Bodrum Windmills to enjoy a show-stopping sunset.
Visit Konak square in Izmir.
Konak square is one of the most beautiful sites in Izmir.

With a palm tree-lined coastline and a plethora of ancient sites around, Izmir is one of the top places to enjoy a perfect Turkish vacation. It offers slow life on the coast, charismatic old town streets and vibrant markets.


  • Explore Konak square with its iconic 19th-century clock tower. The beachside square is also home to the bustling Kemeralti Bazaar and Hisar Mosque.
  • Marvel at the treasures kept in the Izmir Museum of History & Art including a collection of Hellenistic sarcophagi and friezes depicting Olympic heroes.

Turkey is a land of diversity, history and tradition. There is seemingly no end to the fascinating places to visit in Turkey. Speak to our expert travel advisors to explore this beautiful land and its top sites in a tailor-made tour to Turkey.

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Published by Tim Green, updated on November 23, 2023
Plan a trip to TurkeyWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to Turkey.
  • Kadir Ismail Kuscu
    Kadir Ismail KuscuTravel Expert in Turkey
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    Ozgur AtesTravel Expert in Turkey
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