Best Things to Do in Turkey

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Turkey has always been one such culturally and geographically diverse and attractive regions. From early morning prayers to late-night parties, Turkey's culture is surely a rollercoaster. The country even flaunts many historical and archaeological sites including some UNESCO World Heritage sites as well. When you plan your trip to Turkey, you can be sure to have a long bucket list of things. To ease the effort of sorting out those activities, we have compiled the following top 15 things to try during your next Turkey trip:

1. Learn About Turkish History at Hagia Sophia Mosque

Hagia Sophia
Built around 6th Century CE, Hagia Sophia Mosque is one of the most iconic and important Byzantine structures in the world today. Originally called the Megale Ekklesia, Hagia Sophia church witnessed many historical events. You will be quite fascinated to know that the structure of the mosque was originally a church, which was later converted into a pagan temple until 1453 AD when it became a mosque. If you are an admirer of historical events, then a visit to the Hagia Sophia mosque will surely be interesting for you!

2. Ballooning Over Cappadocia

Hot Air Ballooning at Cappadocia
On your trip to Turkey, you ought to spare some time and visit Cappadocia to experience the hot–air ballooning. With flight durations ranging between 1 and 2 hours, the adventure allows you to capture marvellous views of Cappadocia from the hot–air balloon. An equally marvellous view would be to capture all the hot–air balloons floating in the sky! It is recommended to visit the Cappadocia around sunrise or sunset for the best views.

3. Witnessing the Ruins of Ephesus

Ruins of Ephesus
Showcasing the presence of Greeks and Romans, the Ruins of Ephesus is another place you must visit on your trip to Turkey. Dating back to over 2,000 years, the ruins are situated amidst lush green vegetating hills covered who's shores are believed to have been touched by the Aegean Sea with the ancient Ephesus. While you may think that the ruins are only for exhibitions, you are wrong! You can climb onto these ruins for photographs or just to enjoy the moment.

4. Exploring Limestone Formations at Goreme National Park

Limestone Structures, Gerome National Park
Situated in the volcanic zone of Hasan Mountain, Goreme National Partrok is a popular tourist attraction across the globe, primarily because of the limestone structures, or “Peri Bacalari” it possesses. These are a maze of tunnels carved out naturally from the limestone rocks present in the area and are believed to have been inhabited by ancient humans. Thus, the limestone formations of Goreme National Park showcases the perfect combination of human life and nature.

5. Travelling Back In Time At Troy

Ruins of Ancient City of Troy
The ancient city of Troy is one of those places in Turkey which is visited by both locals and tourists. Being nearly 5,000 years old, the ruins of the city depict the presence of some of the greatest rulers of the ancient world. These include Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, who invaded the city with the help of the Trojan Prince Aeneas. Built and demolished nearly nine times, the city ruins speak of the massacre during the historical Trojan War even today. Many such interesting facts can be learnt on your trip to Troy.

6. Collect Artefacts at Kapali Carsisi

Kapali Carsisi
Also known as Grand Bazaar, Kapali Carsisi is a roofed marketplace where you would definitely like to visit on your Istanbul trip. With loud peddlers on the streets and a gazillion varieties of products including jewellery, clothing items, leather jackets, Turkish silk, porcelain and even ancient and historical artefacts, shopping at Kapali Carsisi is the absolute shop-a-holic's chase!

7. Revisit the History at Ankara Castle

Ankara Castle
Situated in Ankara district of the country, Ankara Castle overlooks the Altindag city. The castle vicinity is another historical place which has witnessed many invasions and victories by the Romans, Byzantines, Turks, Ottomans throughout the past. The present-day castle has been converted into a museum showcasing different artefacts related to art and music.

8. Witness Turkish Marine Life at Aqua Vega Aquarium

Aqua Veg Aquarium
Aqua Vega Aquarium of Turkey is considered to be one of the largest tunnel aquariums of Turkey and all of Europe. The entire place has been divided into a total of eight sections, each of which exhibits a different class of marine animals. Some of the animals found here include sea turtles, crocodiles, alligators, sharks among other saltwater and freshwater sea animals.

9. Sightseeing During Ferry Ride At The Bosphorous

The Bosphorous
Ferry rides at the Bosphorous allow you to take a sneak into Asia’s Eminonu, Kabatas and Besiktas and return to the European soil of Turkey. It is a natural strait falling under the international waterways routes and is the narrowest spot which separates Asia and Europe in Turkey. During the ferry ride, you may witness the transformation in architecture and planning of cities between Europe and Asia. And while doing so, you may enjoy some delicious meals and drinks on the ferry to make up for a memorable experience!

10. Embrace the History at Hippodrome of Constantinople

Hippodrome of Constantinople
Hippodrome of Constantinople was originally developed by the Byzantines as a sports arena, where events such as chariot racing were conducted. Later on, during the Ottoman rule, the place was used for playing Cirit, an ancient Turkish game. While it is believed that there were multiple obelisks set up during the ancient times, the time has eroded most of the structures, with only one Egyptian obelisk existing in good condition. Apart from this, you may visit other interesting places within the Hippodrome, such as the Serpent’s Column, the German Fountain and the walled obelisk.

12. Witnessing The Captivating Architecture of Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul
In what may be considered as a true example of grandeur and opulence, visiting the Dolmabahçe Palace of Istanbul is the next thing you need to do on your next Turkey trip. Having been home to six Sultans, the Palace comprises of a total of 285 rooms and four large salons. Overlooking a stunning view of the strait, the other attractions in the vicinity of the visually appealing architecture of Dolmabahçe Palace include the nearly 500 metres long façade and the 4,000-kilogram Bohemian glass chandelier!

13. Visit Gobekli Tepe

Goblike Tepe
Translating to “Potbelly Hill”, Gobekli Tepe is a must-visit place for you if you are fond of architecture and history. Situated around 12 kilometres from Urfa city, this archaeological site is located in the Southeast Anatolia region of the country. The place was discovered by German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, who believes that the site possesses the ruins of world’s first temple! Even the ruins present here date back to nearly 11,000 years, around 5,000 years older than the Stonehenge! With such an interesting site present in Turkey, you must visit the place during your trip.

14. Visit Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque
Also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque is one of the many beautiful mosques built by the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city, the mosque has been functioning since the time it was built in 17th Century AD. On your trip to the place, you will be mesmerised by the hand-painted blue tiles externally adorning the domes and minarets. Just as much as the exteriors of Blue Mosque are alluring, the swirling blue interiors are equally magnificent.

15. Rejuvenate in Turkish Spa

Also known as Hammam in the local language, visitors would be made to relax down on a heated slab of marble where a session of soap scrub would be followed by some intense oil massage. The Hammam session would finally conclude with some hot water. This extremely rejuvenating and tiring session is the best remedy for almost every ailment. From sadness to fatigue.

Depending on the spa you are visiting, you may opt for a self–service or the masseur–service spa. Although there are separate bathing areas for ladies and men, you can’t expect privacy while getting a spa treatment.

How To Reach & Get Around The City

Via Airways
Istanbul beholds connectivity with some of the major cities across Europe, Asia and Africa. So if you are travelling via airways, you may book tickets for Istanbul.

Via Roadways
It is recommended to book a private taxi from your hotel to tour the places. Otherwise, renting a personal vehicle is another option.

Best Time To Visit Turkey

April to August is the best time to visit Turkey when the temperatures are quite warm and pleasant enough to travel within the country.


  • Carry your passport at all times
  • Strictly follow the rules and regulations for different tourist attractions to avoid any legal action
  • While visiting mosques, maintain silence while inside the premises and don’t forget to remove your shoes
  • Have a local person travel with you if you don’t know the local language of the place you are visiting
  • Carry ample food and water supplies while visiting any remote tourist attraction
So, here are the top things you could do in Turkey. Do you have any more additions to our list? Have you experienced these 15 best things in Turkey? Let us know in the comments below!

This post was published by Ashutosh Chandra

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