Best travel destinations in Turkey

Discover best 10 travel and trip destinations in Turkey.

Istanbul, Turkey.

Because of the various civilizations were in country’s land, Turkey has a rich cultural heritage. It can be difficult to reduce the list to just 10. However, we tried to choose the 10 most exciting destinations for you.

10. Göbeklitepe

Göbeklitepe
Göbeklitepe, Şanlıurfa. In southeastern region of Turkey.

Göbeklitepe is located approximately 30km away from city center of Şanlıurfa. These are the world’s oldest known megaliths. The site was first noted in a survey conducted in 1963. The real value of the site was understood with the studies that started in 1994. Site is dating back to the 10th–8th millennium BCE. In 2018, the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

9. Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut statues

Mount Nemrut is a part of Eastern Taurus and home to archaeological remains from Commagene Kingdom. The site was excavated in 1881. In 1987, the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This site has three terrace and one of them, eastern terrace, is one of the best places to watch the sunrise.

8. Ishak Pasha Palace

Ishak Pasha Palace, Dogubeyazit, Agri.

The palace, which was built on the a hill at the side of a mountain 5 km. east of Doğubeyazıt district is the last large monumental structure of the Ottoman Empire in the “Lale Devri” Period. It is one of the most distinguished and magnificent examples of the 18th century Ottoman architecture and is very valuable in terms of art history.

7. Çatalhöyük

Çatalhöyük Site, Konya

Çatalhöyük is 10 kilometres east of Konya’s Çumra Township. The tumulus is a hill with two flat areas with different altitudes. Because of these two elevations, it is called “çatal,” meaning fork. Site was first discovered by J. Mellaart in 1958. There were a number of excavations here in 1961-1963 and 1965. The studies made on the western slope of the hill revealed 13 layers. The earliest settlement in the first layer dates back to 5500 B.C. This dating done by examination of style was also proved using the Carbon 14 dating method. The first settlement was a centre that sheds light on the history of humanity with the first house architecture and remains of the first sacred structures.

6. Cappadocia

Hot air balloons in Cappadocia

Cappadocian region is the place where the nature and history come together with most beautiful scene in the world. While geographic events are forming Peribacaları (fairy chimneys), during the historical period, humans had carried the signs of thousand years old civilizations with carving houses and churches within these earth pillars and decorating them with frisks.

5. Zeugma

Gypsy mosaic in Zeugma Museum

The Ancient Zeugma City is located in Belkıs Village 10 km east from Nizip / Gaziantep, by the River Euphrates. Importance of this settlement which demonstrates an uninterrupted in presence since the prehistorical ages is that it is one of the two points allowing the easiest passage across the River Euphrates. “Zeugma” already stands for a term like “bridge head” or “passage location”. The city is an important trade centre of the Hellenistic Era.

4. Anıtkabir

Anıtkabir, Ankara

Anıtkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. It is located in Ankara and was designed by architects Professor Emin Onat and Assistant Professor Ahmet Orhan Arda, whose proposal beat 48 other entries from several countries in a competition held by the Turkish Government in 1941 for a “monumental tomb” for Atatürk.

3. Mardin

Mardin houses

Mardin is a city in a rocky region in southeastern Anatolia. The city is mainly medieval in origin and is situated on the slopes of a rocky hill, crowned by a fortress built on its citadel. This barren stoney region around Diyarbakır and Mardin stretches as far as Şanlıurfa and Gaziantep. The city as a whole with its traditional stone, religious and vernacular architecture and its terraced urban pattern is the best preserved example of Anatolian soil.  Having embodied many civilizations throughout history, Mardin displays very rich architectural, ethnographical, archaeological and historical values.

2. Ephesus

Library of Celsus, Ephesus

Ephesus was an ancient Greek port city, dates back 6000 BC. Ephesus was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League in Classical Greek era and maintained its importance under control of the Roman Empire. Artemis Temple (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) site and House of the Virgin Mary are located near Ephesus, in Selçuk, İzmir.

1. Istanbul

Galata Tower from Bosphorus

Istanbul is most important cultural and economical part of Turkey. City is located both Europe and Asia continents and was capitol of two empires, Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire, and dated back 6200 BC due to last archaeological excavations. Hagiasofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Architect Sinan’s works are the main sights.

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