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Turkey
Travel Guide

Galata Tower which includes heritage architecture and a city

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

Istanbul featuring heritage architecture, a sunset and mist or fog
Istanbul
Known for Dining, Historical and Shopping
Turkey’s largest city is both European and Asian and has been part of many empires. As a result, Istanbul is modern and traditional, familiar and exotic.

Reasons to visit

  • Grand Bazaar
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Topkapi Palace
Kocatepe Mosque showing a mosque, heritage architecture and religious aspects
Ankara
Known for Museums, Historical and Cafes
Experience the cafés, monuments, and live music in Ankara!

Reasons to visit

  • Ethnographic Museum
  • State Art and Sculpture Museum
  • Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Antalya
Antalya
Known for Beach View, Historical and Shopping
Escape to Antalya! Enjoy its beaches, history, and aquarium.

Reasons to visit

  • Antalya Clock Tower
  • Hadrian's Gate
  • Karaalioglu Park
Knidos which includes rocky coastline
Marmaris
Known for Sea, Boating and Tours
Explore the cobblestoned Old Town, stroll along a palm-lined promenade and enjoy lounging and watersports on the sand and pebble beaches in this popular resort town.

Reasons to visit

  • Sarigerme Beach
  • Datca Beach
Ethnographic Museum
Izmir
Known for Sea, Shopping and Cafes
Come to Izmir and enjoy its cafés, monuments, and theater.
Bursa
Bursa
Known for Spas, Ferries and Small Town
Trip time! Discover the glaciers, ruins, and camping in trendy Bursa.

Popular places to visit in Turkey

Turkey

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