Important: This destination may have COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, including specific restrictions for lodging. Check any national, local, and health advisories for this destination before you book.

TurkeyEurope

Relax on Mediterranean beaches, hike in hilly hinterland, marvel at epic ancient remains and haggle at noisy outdoor markets in this wildly diverse country.  

Turkey, a large transcontinental country that spans both Europe and Asia, offers a fascinating cultural experience. Wander along hiking trails in search of ancient ruins left by the Greeks and Romans, or spend your time sprawled on a sun lounger in the modern resorts on the coast. This is a country where you can go from exploring the cobbled lanes of cosmopolitan Istanbul, admiring the mosques and minarets of the skyline, to flying over the otherworldly rock formations of Cappadocia in a hot-air balloon.

Istanbul is a stunning example of the country’s cultural diversity. No visitor should leave without touring the breathtaking Hagia Sophia, a mosque-turned-museum with a cavernous nave, gold mosaics and a huge dome. Practice your bargaining skills at the city’s Grand Bazaar where artisans sell colorful handicrafts, including carpets, jewelry and lamps.

Turkey’s rich history is evident in its ancient ruins and temples. Head to Didim for the remains of the Temple of Apollo where a giant Medusa head appears to watch over the site. Travel south of Didim to Bodrum Castle, which features preserved artifacts and dioramas depicting ancient scenes.

Away from the cities, Turkey’s coastline is lined with beaches. Head to Alacati on the Aegean coast for mineral springs and wind conditions perfectly suited to sailing and kitesurfing. On the Mediterranean, visit Kaputas Beach for its stunningly clear water and unspoiled natural scenery. Divers flock to Icmeler in the South Aegean, where marine plants and animals thrive.

Most visitors arrive via Istanbul, the transportation hub for much of the surrounding regions. Take a domestic flight from Istanbul to elsewhere in Turkey, or hop on the high-speed train from Istanbul to Ankara, the country’s capital city.

Consider visiting Turkey in the spring or fall, when temperatures are still warm and the crowds are fewer. In the winter, expect to find more discount accommodations.

While much of Turkey is considered open to tourists, it is essential that you research any government travel advice ahead of time to avoid volatile regions.

Whether you want a lazy beach holiday, a city break or a pilgrimage to ancient historic sites, Turkey fits the bill.

Popular cities in Turkey

Galata Tower which includes heritage architecture and a city
Istanbul
Known for Dining, Historical Buildings and Shopping

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Reasons to visit

  • Blue Mosque
    Blue Mosque
  • Hagia Sophia
    Hagia Sophia
  • Topkapi Palace
    Topkapi Palace
Kocatepe Mosque showing a mosque, heritage architecture and religious aspects
Ankara
Known for Museums, Historical Buildings and Cafes

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Reasons to visit

  • Ethnographic Museum
    Ethnographic Museum
  • Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
    Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
  • Haci Bayram Mosque
    Haci Bayram Mosque
Antalya which includes general coastal views
Antalya
Known for Beaches, Historical Buildings and Shopping

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Reasons to visit

  • Antalya Clock Tower
    Antalya Clock Tower
  • Hadrian's Gate
    Hadrian's Gate
  • Antalya Archeological Museum
    Antalya Archeological Museum
Bursa
Known for Spas, Ferries and Small Town

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Ethnographic Museum
Izmir
Known for Sea, Shopping and Cafes

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Knidos which includes rocky coastline
Marmaris
Known for Sea, Boating and Tours

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Popular places to visit in Turkey

Grand Bazaar
Image for Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

Enter the maze of shop-lined streets in one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world to browse hundreds of thousands of hand-crafted objects.

Hagia Sophia
Image for Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Once a church, then a Byzantine cathedral, later a mosque and now a monument, this iconic building is a national treasure.

Topkapi Palace
Image for Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

The official residence of the Ottoman sultans for about four centuries is now accessible to the public and home to sacred relics.

Galata Tower
Image for Galata Tower

Galata Tower

Istanbul’s medieval lookout point offers panoramic views across city’s historic district and the water of the Golden Horn.

Spice Bazaar
Image for Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar

Venture to Grand Bazaar and Galata Tower—just two of the popular sights around Spice Bazaar, a city also known for its historic sites and shopping.

Hadrian's Gate
Image for Hadrian's Gate

Hadrian's Gate

This 2,000-year-old portal to the ancient city is a fine example of Roman ingenuity, with elegant columns, three arches and a marble frame.