Exploring Turkey will help you to get the real essence of west meeting the east in this exotic land of mystery and history. There are so many unique and special destinations, from ancient cities, to some of the most stunning beach resorts in the world.

Although you could really write a guide to 100 top places to visit in Turkey, we have tried to just feature the absolute essential locations you shouldn't miss.


1. Istanbul

Istanbul skyline

This is the most popular city in Turkey and this is where Europe meets Asia in its true form. This is a bustling city full of culture and life. There are so many amazing things to do in Istanbul as a tourist. The most important place to visit in this city is the Blue Mosque or the Sultan Ahmet Camii. The mosque is a true splendor of ancient architecture and dome of the mosque is visible from different points of the city.

The Grand Bazaar is worth paying a visit when you are in the city. This bustling bazaar gives you a glimpse of the lifestyle of the native Turkish people. You may find some interesting thing to buy as well. Take a leisurely stroll at the Miniaturk Park for the tiny artefacts or you may soak in the breathtaking view around the Galata Bridge too.


2. Urgup


While you are visiting the Urgup, do not forget to visit Cappadocia Cave dwellings and Zelve open air museum. Urgup is the most contemporary part of the country with its upscale hotels and restaurants. However, the most interesting fact is that these modernized hotels have been built around the cave dwellings that are ancient. You can do some hot air ballooning adventure in Urgup.


3. Daylan

Daylan is a stunning location with ancient ruins, Lycian tombs and mud baths. Daylan seems almost magically evolved from nowhere in this 21st century. You may try your hands at some adventurous beach sports too. A lot of Turkey tours include Daylan in the itinerary.


4. Goreme

This town of Goreme is curved out of a volcanic rock. You can visit the UNESCO heritage site of 10th and 11th century cave churches that will slide you to the lost epoch. And if you want to peek into the wide array of wide flora and fauna then you must visit the Goreme National park.


5. Bodrum


With its historical charm, Bodrum is situated in the south Aegean region of the country. With its serene beaches, high cliff top hotels and the ruins from the past makes Bodrun magical in its true sense. A visit to the Bodrun castle (now museum) is a must when you are visiting this place. The castle is a 1402 splendor built by the Knights Hospitaller.


6. Marmaris


Marmaris is a contrast to the historical Turkey. This seaside town has beautiful luxurious resorts, picturesque beaches, pine clad mountains, turquoise clear water as well as architectures from the ancient age.

Marmaris is a favorite tourist spot for those who are looking for sun, sand, white beaches, water sports and a vibrant nightlife. This buzzing town is a cruise port located on the Turkish Riviera. For anyone thinking about taking a honeymoon to Turkey, you can try out the luxury cruises and adventures on the sea.


7. Blue Lagoon



8. Antayla

Antalya beach


9. Pamukkale Hot Springs

Pamukkale Hot Springs


10. Authentic Safranbolu




If you have more time try to also see:

If you would like to do more than tourism and actually move here, these pages will help you to achieve that goal: