Turkey has been welcoming tourists all year round and is one of the top destinations for travelers. The Mediterranean climate allows traveling all year round an ideal one. Turkey have so many to offer, be it the sandy beaches and vast seas to scenic nature and the historical sites. This culturally rich country is also a Muslim-friendly destination, allowing you to have a smooth trip where you can explore and enjoy beautiful places as well as practice your faith with ease.
Recently, Turkey has slowly eased travel restrictions. It is possible that sooner or later, it would be swarmed with tourists once again. Even though international travel may take some time to recover, it is still never too early to plan for your next destination in Turkey after Covid-19, given that it is home to some of the best places and cities to visit.
If Turkey is your destination, check out these 10 best places to visit in Turkey!
Istanbul can never be left out when it comes to Turkey. It is one of the largest cities in Turkey. Despite being a modern city with a European ambiance, it has beautiful architecture and historical sites dated back to the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires. You can find thousands of mosques in the city, the most famous one being the Blue Mosque. Stand a chance to admire the beautiful architecture and the interior design of the Blue Mosque, unique to Turkey.
After that, take a trip down a historical site, Hagia Sophia, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. This museum used to be a church that was later transformed into a mosque during the Ottoman empire. Preserving historical, religious, and architecture value, expect to see a mixture of Christian and Islamic collections ranging from mosaics to galleries.
Once your sightseeing is done, head down to Grand Bazaar. As one of the largest bazaar in the world, you can find a line up of shops and restaurants along the 60 streets. It will be a great time to spend the whole day exploring the streets and discovering goods like clothes, carpets, and souvenirs. We highly recommend adding Istanbul to your bucket list as it is one of the best cities to explore in Turkey, with so much to offer!
Search for Cappadocia, and the result that comes out will be related to hot air balloons! Exciting right? Watch the scenic view from the hot air balloons at sunrise, one of the most popular and must-do activities when you are in Cappadocia!
But activities in Cappadocia is not only limited to riding a hot air balloon. You will be awed by the scenic and picturesque views, cave dwellings, and rock formations. Cappadocia offers various hiking trails that you can explore for all of you who crave some adventure. Let me tell you that it is worth hiking at least 1 or 2 valleys to experience the remarkable rock formations, only in Turkey.
Since we have mentioned Cappadocia, Göreme is another town worth mentioning. Located in the Cappadocia region, you should visit Göreme when you are around the area. Its unique rock formation makes it look like "fairy-chimney', and you get to see people still living in rock houses. This place has also attracted tourists due to rock restaurants and rock hotels, something that you might not experience in other cities. Don't forget to visit the Göreme open-aired museum too! Göreme is definitely one of the best places to visit in Turkey!
Antalya is one of the popular cities in Turkey, promising endless things to do. From exploring historical sites to exploring sandy beaches with turquoise seas. Even visiting the outlying areas promises you a great experience.
Stroll down the streets of Kaleici, also known as Old Town. The labyrinth of streets offers you hotels, shops, and restaurants. The white-washed Ottoman mansions are picturesque that you wouldn't want to miss it. If you can't get enough of sightseeing here, head down to Old Harbor, in what used to be a trading port, but where you can now relax and watch the sun setting over the sea.
If you are looking to soak yourself under the sun or enjoying some white sandy beach, Lara beach is perfect for you. There are plenty of water activities to do here as well, like jet-ski and stand up paddleboard. The beach is surrounded by a beach resort, and it can get pretty crowded during the peak season, attesting to its popularity!
Despite being the capital city of Turkey, Ankara is considered an underrated city. It is often not included in the top cities to visit. However, this doesn't mean that you should not consider Ankara as part of your itinerary! In fact, it should be on your bucket list given that it is a city full of historical landmarks; its beautiful and chill ambiance will give you a memorable trip.
As Ankara is popular with museums, you should give the Anatolian Civilization Museum a visit. This museum features artifacts from archaeological sites. It portrays Turkey's past in chronological order, starting from the Paleolithic Age. Also, take a trip to one of Turkey's attractions in Ankara, Anıtkabir. Once you are done learning about the history, head down to Aqua Vega Aquarium. It is one of the largest aquariums in Europe and Turkey, definitely something that shouldn't be missed. For all of you who love visiting historical sites to gain more knowledge of Turkey's remarkable past, Ankara is the place to be!
The historical city of Bursa is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this should be enough to include it in your itinerary! The Grand Mosque is the largest in Bursa, where you can witness the architecture of the Ottoman empire. The twenty domes and two minarets are iconic that you could spot the landmark easily. A ten-minute walk uphill leads you to Hisar gate, the only remaining monument of the Old City Wall. You can also enjoy the best view of Bursa at the top of the wall.
Of course, after feeding ourselves with history and knowledge, we should pamper ourselves at the Grand Bazaar. Bursa is known to produce high-quality silk back in the Ottoman empire. If you fancy silk, then you should check out the shops here. Other than that, do check out their dried fruits, cheeses, and honey, which are locally produced, to get a feel of the local food and delicacies in Turkey (yum!).
Izmir is a city much less known compared to Istanbul and Antalya, but it is worth the visit as there are so many things to see! Izmir is best enjoyed by taking a stroll down the docks along the Aegean Sea. Such a relaxing moment can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee and a book in hand, just taking in the fresh air.
Historical sites like Agora and Ephesus are worth the visit. Agora is an open-air museum remains of the ancient city of Symrna. You can still witness an operating water channel built by the Romans. Meanwhile, Ephesus is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List as it is one of the best-preserved ancient cities. You should definitely visit these sites!
Pamukkale, which means Cotton Castle, also known as Hierapolis, is another part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Search for Pamukkale, and you can see a spectacular view that I'm sure you would want to witness them with your very own eyes.
In Pamukkale, you can find natural hot springs which are reputed to be beneficial for health as it contains minerals. The travertine terraces make Pamukkale magical and picturesque. Remember to take lots of pictures here! Since you are already in Hierapolis-Pamukkale, don't forget to visit the Archaeology Museum, which showcases the Roman archeology. For all the history buffs, you will definitely enjoy this museum!
Sanliurfa, also known as Urfa, is another city that is rich in history and culture. This old city is regarded as a holy city as it is believed to be the birthplace of the Prophet Abraham. The cave, Hazreti Ibrahim Halilullah, where he was said to have been born, is now the Dergah Complex. It is located near the Mevlid Halil Mosque, one of the sacred sites being visited for pilgrimages every year.
You can also expect to see the balikli göl, the sacred fish ponds with thousands of carps swimming. You can make your way to Harran too, near Sanliurfa. It is another historical site that used to be a center for culture and knowledge. Many Islamic scholars were born and raised here like Thabit Ibn Qurra and Al-Battani. If you want to learn more about Islamic history, Sanliurfa is the best place to visit!
If you still don't have the chance to visit Greece or Italy to witness the marvelous architectures, then Side is the perfect solution for you. Side can get pretty crowded during summer as it is an ideal getaway for locals and tourists alike. As Side doesn't only house the Hellenistic and Roman ruins, people do visit to enjoy the white sandy beaches.
You can still witness the original Roman amphitheater, which was once a battleground for gladiators. The ruins of the Apollo's Temple stands among the modern houses and shops, providing a picturesque view of ancient and modernity. Don't forget to take lots of pictures for memories!
Turkey is definitely an ideal travel destination for everyone; this beautiful country has so much to offer! Historical sites, fun and exciting activities, as well as the beauty and spectacular views of the country, will surely take your breath away. It's even more convenient to choose Turkey as your next destination as it is a Muslim-Friendly destination! It is easy to find Halal food and you can also carry out your religious obligations with ease. Other than that, Turkey is definitely a perfect place for you to learn and explore Islamic history. Now that we've got our eyes set on Turkey, we're just waiting for the right time to travel after Covid-19!