10 Top Attractions That You Need To Discover In Turkey

With one foot in Asia and one foot (a smaller foot, granted) in EuropeTurkey emerges on the tourist map as a fascinating cultural mystery, with ancient cities and towns as frequent as freckles and a history that's as long as it is complicated. Istanbul's pronounced prominence in the ancient world made it and Turkey the center of numerous great civilizations. As it passed through Byzantine and Roman hands, it sported the names Byzantine and Constantinople, eventually adopting its current name under Ottoman rule. The city is the country's tourist center, but Turkey is certainly no one-hit wonder. Mount Ararat, the ancient Biblical towns of Ephesus and Antakya (Antioch), the fairy tale formations of Cappadocia and the cultured beach towns along the Mediterranean coast make up further ammo for the Turkish arsenal of touristy delights. Excellent cuisine and a friendly, hospitable manner underscore the Turkish way of life.

10. Ankara
The capital of Turkey, Ankara, is a modern city with many institutions, including government buildings, commercial companies, universities and foreign embassies. Located in the center of the country, Ankara is an important transport hub, connecting passengers to all other major destinations in Turkey. The city itself offers a panorama of the arts and culture with a great concentration of museums, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

9. Mardin

Perched on a strategic hilltop overlooking the plains of Mesopotamia in southeastern Turkey, Mardin is the capital of the Mardin Province. One of the oldest settlements in the region, Mardin is best known for its cultural diversity and Old City of sandstone buildings that cascade down the hill. Mardin’s Old City is easily toured by walking. The maze of meandering streets leads visitors along terraced houses and popular sites like Deyrü’z-Zafaran Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the world, and the Sultan Isa Medresesi, a medieval monument that once served as an astronomical observatory.

8. Konya

One of the oldest cities in the world and best known for its remarkable Seljuk architecture and Whirling Dervishes, Konya is a large city in Turkey’s Central Anatolia Region. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Konya prospered as a capital city under the rule of the Seljuk Dynasty. Today, buildings from that era can still be admired such as the Alaeddin Mosque and the ruins of the Seljuk Palace. Konya was also the home of the Persian theologian and Sufi mystic, Rumi. His mausoleum is a must-see site in Konya. Rumi’s followers founded the Mevlevi Order, better known as the Whirling Dervishes due to their religious ceremonies in which they spin around and around on the left foot while wearing white, billowing gowns.

7. Antalya

Situated along the beautiful Turkish Riviera on the Mediterranean coast, Antalya is a large and lively city that welcomes tourists from all over the world with many resorts, hotels, bars and restaurants. The picturesque city is framed with magnificent beaches and lush green mountains dotted with ancient ruins. From swimming, sailing, mountain climbing, sightseeing and family fun, Antalya offers something for everyone. The walk around Kaleiçi, the old quarter, provides a step back to the old past of the city with views of the old city walls, Roman gates, maze-like streets and historic.

6. Marmaris

One of Turkey’s most popular seaside resorts, Marmaris is a picture-perfect setting of pine-clad mountains, sandy white beaches, turquoise waters and historic architecture. Located along the Turkish Riviera in southwest Turkey, this stunning cruise port is a tourist paradise with exceptional sightseeing opportunities, water sports, adventure, fantastic dining and buzzing nightlife. Various boating tours take visitors exploring around the picturesque bays and neighboring villages. If that is not enough, there are a number of day trips from Marmaris to outstanding destinations like Dalyan, Ephesus, Pamukkale and Cleopatra Island

5. Side

Side Today is a major port in ancient Pamphylia and occupied by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC, a magnificent city combining classic ruins and modern spas overlooking the white sandy beaches. Set on a small peninsula, Hotel Side offers exceptional sightseeing, dining, and nightlife. Its attraction is a site carved from ancient Hellenistic and Roman ruins, including the remains of a grand amphitheater and various temples. The charming town of Side has narrow streets and attractive gardens and offers many restaurants ranging from pizzas and pizzas to fine dining in a variety of cuisines.

4. Bodrum

Bodrum is located in the southern Aegean region of Turkey and was once home to the Shrine, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Today, its charming ruins, stunning beaches and tranquil resorts attract people from all over the world. No visit to Bodrum will be completed without seeing the castle of St. Peter, also known as Bodrum Castle. Built in 1402 by Knights Hospitaller, it now serves as a museum. On the eastern side of Bodrum, tourists will find a beautiful beach overlooking the magnificent blue waters. Near the beach there are plenty of cafes, bars and night clubs. On the west side of the city there is a marina, shopping malls and restaurants.

3. Ephesus

Europe’s most complete classical metropolis, Ephesus is an ancient site located in Aegean Turkey. By the 1st century BC, Ephesus was one of the largest cities in all of the Roman Empire, boasting one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. The ruins of Ephesus are well preserved and contained within a large archaeological site, making it one of Turkey’s most popular tourist attractions. Its attractions include the massive Theater, the Temple of Hadrian and the magnificent Celsus Library, a two-story structure that was built to house more than 12,000 scrolls.

2. Cappadocia

Situated in the center of Anatolia, Cappadocia is famous for its fantastic views of its unusual formations, which resemble chimneys, cones and peaks. Natural processes such as ancient volcanic eruptions and erosion have carved all these alien formations throughout the ages. For thousands of years, "manned" has added wonderful touches to the landscape by digging houses, churches and secret cities of soft rock. The Hittites were the first to poke underground tunnels underground in search of safety from invading the Persians and the Greeks. A long time later, Christians bought refuge in the tunnels of Cappadocia and Caves. Today, some caves in the area are actually hotels and serve tourists.

1. Istanbul

Once it was the capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, today, Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and one of the world's largest cities. Istanbul stretches across a narrow strait connecting Asia and Europe, making it the only city in the world to span two continents. Istanbul is one of the best places to visit in Turkey: beautiful architecture, historic sites, dining, shopping, nightlife and exotic surroundings. The Old Town is the place of most of the city's impressive historical sites, including the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Palace of the High Gate.