6 things to see in Turkey

10 things to do in Turkey

Eugene Smirnov

Turkey is probably familiar to every traveler. But not everyone has delved deeper into the country and gone beyond beach holidays, which, by the way, are great. Turkey is multifaceted: there are ancient cities, and monuments of ancient architecture, and natural parks, and amazing landscapes.

1. Start your trip with Istanbul

Do not miss Istanbul, which was the capital of the Christian Byzantine Empire and the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Highlights include the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Ayia Sophia Museum. Visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered markets in the world and the oldest in Turkey (construction began in 1464). There are more than 4000 stalls where you can buy absolutely everything: jewelry, ceramics, clothes, Turkish carpets and oriental sweets.

2. The Pistachio Capital

The city of Gaziantep is the pistachio capital of Turkey. In the Middle Ages the city was called Antep; now this word has become synonymous with pistachios, which are the basis of the local cuisine. Try the pistachio-based baklava in Antep and then head out to explore the city. There is a lot to see: a museum of Roman mosaics, a zoo, forts, mosques, and a botanical garden.

3. Take a steam bath

It is not often in normal life you get the opportunity to wander half-naked through a monument of Ottoman architecture of the 16th century. The city’s hammams in Istanbul offer visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in history and warm water at the same time. A visit to a hammam is a wonderful way to end a busy day of strolling. You can give yourself to the embrace of steam on either side of the Galata Bridge.

4. Get in touch with history in Ephesus

Ephesus is an ancient city founded in the 10th century BC. Today most of the buildings have been reconstructed. Ephesus is known primarily for the temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The city is an open-air museum. Scientists estimate that only 15% has been excavated.

5. Fly in Cappadocia

You’ve probably seen the magical photos of balloons taking to the sky in Cappadocia with the first rays of the sun. The flights take place every day, but sometimes they are canceled due to bad weather. Anyone can fly in a hot air balloon – you just need to choose one of the many organizing companies.

6. Go down into the underground city

Cappadocia is famous not only for the “lunar” landscape, but also for underground cities and extensive cave monasteries, leading their history since the times of the early Christians. The ancient underground city of Derinkuyu began to be built in the VIII century BC, gradually expanding. According to historians, Derinkuyu about 20 floors (today excavated and investigated only 8), which could stay up to 50 thousand people.

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7. To see a ghost village

Kayakey is a ghost village in southwestern Turkey, 8 kilometers from the city of Fethiye. It was once the town of Levissi, home to about 6,000 Greeks. But in 1923, after the war between Greece and Turkey, the forced deportation of Greeks from the country began. The town was renamed Kayakei, and the houses were inhabited by Muslims from Macedonia. Eventually they dispersed into the world, leaving their homes behind. Now Kayakei is the largest abandoned settlement in the Mediterranean. Take a walk through the narrow streets and see the stone houses.

8. Visit Pamukkale

Pamukkale is one of the main attractions of Turkey. The name means “Cotton Fortress” in Turkish. These are thermal springs and snow-white travertine water terraces formed on the mountainside as a result of salt deposition. Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

9. Visit the Prince Islands

The Prince’s Islands (Adalar Islands) are an archipelago of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara, an hour’s ferry ride from Istanbul. It is a popular destination among day-trippers. In the summertime there are crowds of tourists resting from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. You can relax, sunbathe, and enjoy hiking on the islands (cars are forbidden on the archipelago).

10. Enjoy nature

Once you are in Turkey, do not miss the opportunity to get out into nature. Köprülü National Park is located 48 km from Antalya. The main natural attraction of the park is the homonymous gorge. Take a walk in the cool shade of cypresses, cedars, eucalyptus and pistachio trees. Keep your eyes peeled – the park is home to more than 100 species of birds. Rafting, mountaineering, hiking and horseback riding can be done here.

12 things you shouldn’t miss in Turkey

It seems that the saying that Turkey is not just the proverbial all-inclusive has become a proverb. But no matter how you look at it, it really is.

You’re thinking about how to pack a suitcase, and wondering what to take with you on vacation to Turkey . So don’t worry, here’s a list of 12 things to see, try and learn. This is a short list of things to do in Turkey to say – “I’ve been everywhere and seen it all!”

Visit Istanbul

12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

First on the list is undoubtedly Istanbul. The list of “things to do in Turkey” already in Istanbul itself can be stretched beyond 12, it can be stretched to 112, but then you would have to miss many other sights and that is a luxury you can’t afford.

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So, what are the “must do’s” and “must see’s” in Istanbul?

  • You cannot miss the Sultanahmet or the Blue Mosque and after walking about 200 meters you will see one of the main symbols of the country, the Hagia Sophia.
  • From there walk at a leisurely pace to the Cisterna Basilica.
  • Do not miss the Topkapi and Dolmabahce palaces.
  • Also don’t miss the Galata Tower and then the Galata Bridge. If not for the shopping, at least for the experience.
  • A visit to Istanbul’s second largest mosque, Süleymaniye .
  • And to miss a boat trip on the Bosphorus is a deadly sin, even if you are an atheist.

Finally, to sweeten up your stay in Istanbul, try waffles with chocolate, fruit, and pistachios in the trendy Bebek neighborhood.

Enjoy Turkish food

This item should definitely be on your agenda, no matter where or how you spend your vacation, because Turkish cuisine, if you don’t already know, is one of the top three in the world for its variety.

Turkish cuisine is able to satisfy everyone because it consists of several types of meat, plenty of fruits and vegetables, several varieties of rice, pulses, fish and seafood.

Doner Kebab

So where to start? Well, for starters, be sure to try one of the hundreds of possible kebabs (Iskander, Shish, Adana…), and if you really like meat, continue with the köfte (something similar to our cutlets and meatballs at the same time), which also number in the dozens, depending on the area.

Be sure to try chorba, which means soup, but the choice is yours. And yes, feel free to indulge in meze, there are many snacks in Turkey and you will definitely be satisfied.

Special mention should be made of the Turkish breakfast . Oh no, it is not something that involves hurriedly eating everything at hand. It includes tomatoes, cucumbers, several kinds of cheese and olives, boiled eggs or menemen – similar to our omelette with vegetables – plus various fruit jams, fresh pastries, juices and tea.

Oh, and yes, colorful serving and an optional but welcome delightful panorama.

What to do in Turkey

There’s no problem with food in Istanbul – thousands of restaurants, cafes, small places, kebab houses, tea shops and kefes.

Enjoy Turkish coffee and tea with Turkish sweets.

And continuing the gastronomic theme, I would say that no matter where, when and how long you are in Turkey, you just have to drink a cup of Turkish coffee, many cups of tea and without thinking about extra pounds, enjoy Turkish sweets.

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12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

By the way, there is a museum of Turkish coffee in Turkey.

Why are coffee, tea and sweets a separate topic? Perhaps the reason is that it is a separate layer of culture and tradition.

Let’s start with coffee: just look at those intricately decorated miniature cups, the way they brew it, and the most interesting thing happens after you empty the fragrant cup – they can predict your future by the coffee grounds.

And now tea: Turks drink tea always and everywhere. Strong, black, without lemon or milk, only with sugar if desired, served in the original small cups, and certainly with a little conversation about everything.

photo 12

Turkish tea.

And sweets: baklava, better known to us as baklava, the world famous lukum, halva, kunefe, waffles….. Forget about calories and extra weight, try it, enjoy it and don’t forget to take it with you.

Visit Cappadocia.

If you want to be in a fairy tale, you need to go to Cappadocia. This area in central Turkey is known for its unique landscape, caves, underground crypts and monasteries.

12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

Take a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia

After getting to know Cappadocia from the ground, you can take a short hot air balloon ride that will take you on a scenic journey. If you get tired during the day, you can stay in one of the many underground hotels, but you should plan ahead as there is a large influx of tourists at any time of year.

Visit Pamukkale

12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

Pamukkale Travertines

Another natural wonder in Turkey worth seeing in person is Pamukkale. From afar, Pamukkale looks like a series of terraced white pools with water flowing through them; in fact, it is a travertine formation formed on the mountainside by the deposition of calcium-rich salts.

Памуккале может быть местом для отдыха, эстетически приятным и полным полезных свойств минеральных вод. Здесь вы найдете процедуры для лечения заболеваний сердца и опорно-двигательного аппарата, а также эффективную антистрессовую терапию. Читать подробнее>>

Visiting Chanakkale, ancient Troy

12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

Troy is undoubtedly one of the most famous ancient cities that we were told about in history classes at school and that has been “resurrected” for us more than once by actors on screens, and it would be great to go there. – And please, you do not need a time machine for that, you just need to go to the Turkish city of Canakkale.

There you will find a model of “Trojan Horse,” purchased from Warner Bros. And then there’s the second Trojan Horse in Troy itself and the ruins of the Temple of Athena, the sacrificial altar, the ruins of the theater, the marble columns and the little pebbles of Troy that you can collect as souvenirs, which leads tourists to childlike amazement.

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Go to Ephesus

Ephesus is another ancient city in Turkey, which is definitely worth a visit. Ephesus is also surrounded by many ancient Greek myths and legends familiar to us from school days. Today Ephesus is mostly known for the Temple of Artemis, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

This building was built in 138 AD in honor of Emperor Hadrian and was funded by rich townspeople.

But Ephesus is not just a temple of Artemis, it is actually an open-air museum lost in the mountains and hills. There is also a unique library of Celsus, the ruins of the theater and several temples, as well as numerous cats that live in Ephesus, which do not mind a treat.

Visit the House of the Virgin Mary

After visiting Ephesus it is worth going to a sacred place for all Christians – the House of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary and her companion John the Theologian spent the last years of their lives here, in a small, modest house that now serves as a church. The place is lost among the hills, surrounded by pine forests and filled with the unobtrusive singing of birds.

12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

It is believed that it was to this house that the Virgin Mary, who was no longer safe in Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Christ, was brought and hidden by the faithful disciple of Jesus, John.

Here you can light a candle and pray, and then go to the three sacred springs of happiness, health and love, where it is customary not only to drink water, but also to wash with it, and you can take it with you. Here women make requests to have children and to be cured of illnesses.

There is also a “wall of wishes”, as in Jerusalem, where people hang napkins, scraps of paper or cards with wishes written on them. Every year on August 15, the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a service is held and all the bills are burned, allowing the wishes to go to heaven. If you don’t believe, take a chance, because everyone is entitled to a miracle!

Lake Van.

12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

Want to take your breath away? Not on a lounger by the pool, but on a trip to Salt Lake Van. Salt Lake Van is located in southeastern Turkey, near the border with Iran and near the town of the same name. Not only is it the largest lake in the country, but it is also the largest salt lake in the world. It’s not about those records, but the breathtaking scenery, the ancient Church of the Holy Cross on Akhtamar Island and the cats of a unique breed, the Van cats.

You haven’t seen the cats,” you smile sarcastically, “but I dare say that’s not true. Van cats adore water: they swim, dive, and even sleep in it, and they differ in color and eye color. One eye is necessarily blue, and the other brown.

A visit to the hammam

Chatma Mesjit Hammam

Pleasure for the soul was enough, but what about the body? Do not worry about it, just find the nearest hammam, or Turkish bath. Doctors claim that it has a very beneficial effect on the body, but there are contraindications to its use.

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Believe it or not, you decide, but in a few hours you can be sure of its beneficial effects on your skin and well-being.

What to do in Turkey: watch the dervish dance

12 things that you should not miss in Turkey

Want to know more about the traditions of this sunny country? The easiest option would be to attend a dervish performance. Dervish dancing is one of the oldest and most fascinating traditions in Turkey, dating back more than seven hundred years. What is the nature of the act?

Imagine a quiet hall filled with people and filled with quiet music that gradually gets louder and louder. The dervishes, originally dressed in black robes, throw them off and, left in fancy long robes, begin their dance, which simultaneously puts them in a trance, and the energy of the dance is subtly transmitted to the audience.

Watch a video of the dervish dance at Sirkeci Station:

Vacation at a Turkish seaside resort

What is Turkey without the sea? But that doesn’t mean sitting by the pool on a lounger in front of your hotel. There are dozens of resorts in front of you: popular Antalya, partying Bodrum and Marmaris, heavenly Fethiye and trendy Cesme…….

In each of the resorts just have to visit a fish restaurant, try fresh fish, shrimp in garlic sauce and a special salad, try crayfish, but with caution, smoke hookah, go on a boat trip, eat for breakfast “simit”, seasoned with cheese and olives, drink fresh fruit juices and be sure to learn a few Turkish words.

If you think that’s enough, then come back to Turkey more than once, this country still has something to surprise you!

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