14 Top-Rated Attractions in Turkey

Turkey is a vast country offering thousands of places of interest. It might be hard to decide to design an itinerary in Turkey or decide what to visit on your Turkey tour. I compiled a list for you which can give you an idea about the 14 Top-Rated Attractions in Turkey. I used several resources like quora.com, tripadvisor.com and some other forums to create this list. I hope you will enjoy it. Contact me if you have any further questions about Turkey. You can write to me to hire a licensed tour guide in Turkey. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia Museum

Located in the center of Istanbul’s historic part, Hagia Sophia is a jewel in Istanbul. The building has been standing on the same spot for more than a millennia and still fascinates people with its beauty.

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern is about 500 meters away from the Sultanahmet tram station. It is really easy to access this attraction. The entrance fee is 25 Turkish lira and mostly there is a line on the entrance. Upsidedown Medusa head in the cistern is world famous and this cistern was the main setting in Dan Brown’s famous book ”Secret Symbol”.

Ephesus Celsus Library

Ancient City of Ephesus

Ephesus is definitely the most visited attraction in western Turkey. Ephesus located in Selcuk district of Izmir city hosts more than a million people every year. Ephesus is considered one of the most complete Roman cities in the world.

Historic Areas of Istanbul

Most of the Historic parts are located around the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul since the palace was the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Buildings such as Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Mosque, Obelisks, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, and Basilica Cistern are located in this area.

Spice Market in Istanbul

Spice Market

Grand Bazaar is well known all around the world but its little brother Spice Market (Egyptian Market) is worth a visit. Spice Market is smaller in size. This market is more Turkish delight and spice focused. Especially tourists coming with cruise ships and having limited time in Istanbul love the Spice Market.

Goreme National Park

Goreme National Park

Goreme National Park occupies an area that is more than 100 kilometers square. All we call ”Cappadocia” is basically is this park. Mount Hasan, Cavusin, Urgup, Goreme, Goreme Open Air Musem and many more are featured in this national park. By the way, don’t skip a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia.

Statues of Gods on Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut

Nemrut is known as ”Mount of Gods”. 2,206 meters above the sea level high peak of this mountain hosts ten of statues of gods. It will be an amazing moment in your life to watch the sunshine over Mesopotamia when you are on the top of Nemrut.

Goynuk Canyon

Goynuk Canyon

Goynuk is in the Kemer district of Antalya city on the south coast of Turkey. The canyon is famous for nature sports such as rafting and ziplining. The canyon is about 5 kilometers long and it is open for campers all year round.

Eyup Sultan Mosque

Eyup Sultan Mosque is the religious center in Istanbul since the most important Muslim cleric in Turkey, Ebu Eyyûb el-Ensarî, is buried here. This particular mosque was the place where Ottoman Sultans were crowned. It is a must-see for any Muslim touring around Turkey.

Anzac Landing Painting

Anzac Cove

Anzac Cove is a very special part of the Gallipoli Battlegrounds. This is the place where ANZAC conscripts made their attack during the first world war. This battle is a tragedy for Turkish and opposing sides and the whole cove is a national memorial today.

Engraving of Ani Ruins from late 1800s

Ani Ruins

Ani is maybe the most remotely located sight in this whole list. Ani Ruins are in the Kars city of Turkey. Once the capital of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom, Ani today hosts some of the most unique churches in Turkey. Also, Ani has the first mosque ever built in Anatolia.

Kekova Island

Kekova Island

Kekova is a small rock island in the Demre district of Antalya city. The whole island is 4.5 kilometers square. Island is covered with small cafeterias and little hotels. Kekova has a blue flagged beach that is recognized all around the world for its crystal clear waters.

Sardis Gymnasion

Sardis

Sardis ruins, located in the Salihli district of Manisa city, were once the capital of the legendary Lydian Kingdom. Sardis was one of the seven churches of revelation mentioned in the Holy Bible. Today Sardis waits for its visitors with Temple of Artemis, Synagogue of Sardis and Gymnasium.

Hattusha’s Famous Lion Gate

Hattusha

Hittite Empire of the Late Bronze Age holds a special place in history for being the first known empire of the humankind. Roots of the city go back to Hattian people who lived in 2000 BC. Hattusha was one of the adversaries when the first known peace agreement in the world, the Egyptian–Hittite peace treaty of Kadesh, was made. Hattusha is waiting for history buffs in the Bogazkale district of Corum city.

Enjoy Turkey!

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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