Filled to capac­i­ty with ancient mon­u­ments, Turkey is a mag­nif­i­cent des­ti­na­tion at the cross­roads of Asia and Europe. The vibrant cul­ture, unique cui­sine and vast his­to­ry stuns any­one who comes to see the sights of Turkey. Mag­nif­i­cent land­scapes of the sun-kissed Mediter­ranean, mighty moun­tains and arid steppes are just some of the beau­ties of this coun­try. Here you can enjoy the Byzan­tine and Ottoman archi­tec­ture of Istan­bul, laze on the beach, delve into his­to­ry, explore the Eph­esus Ruins and vis­it some of the world’s most sur­re­al land­scapes in Pamukkale and Cap­pado­cia. This col­lec­tion will help you make your list of the most inter­est­ing places to vis­it.

mosque in turkey

Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: Turkey

hagia sophia

Hagia Sophia is known as one of the most beau­ti­ful build­ings in the world. The charm­ing Byzan­tine build­ing is not only one of the main mon­u­ments in Istan­bul, but also an out­stand­ing tourist attrac­tion in Turkey. Much of Hagia Sophi­a’s exte­ri­or is dom­i­nat­ed by slen­der minarets added after the Ottoman con­quest, while the sump­tu­ous fres­coed inte­ri­or evokes the pow­er of old Con­stan­tino­ple. This famous mon­u­ment should be a must on the list of every tourist vis­it­ing the coun­try.

hagia sophia

Ruins of Ephesus

In no case should you miss the Ruins of mighty Eph­esus. It is a city of colos­sal mon­u­ments and roads with mar­ble columns. Eph­esus is one of the best pre­served Roman cities in the Mediter­ranean region. It allows you to expe­ri­ence what life was like dur­ing the Gold­en Age of the Roman Empire. The Guid­ed Trip to Eph­esus ruins will take at least half a day to cov­er the main sights. But if you want to explore more mon­u­ments, plan your vis­it accord­ing­ly and set aside at least a few days for one of the 7 ancient won­ders of the world.

Ephesus ruins

Cappadocia

The sur­re­al columns of Cap­pado­cia are the dream of every pho­tog­ra­ph­er. The moun­tain ranges, cliffs and ridges of the hills are home to stun­ning land­scapes with odd­ly shaped undu­lat­ing cliffs. They were formed as a result of thou­sands of years of expo­sure to wind and water. If you want to orga­nize a spe­cial trip, then book a hot air bal­loon tour. From a bird’s eye view, the most beau­ti­ful views of the val­ley will open. Among the inter­est­ing sights of Turkey are the church­es carved into the rock of the Byzan­tine era, when this area was an impor­tant place for Chris­t­ian pil­grim­age. An overview of the most beau­ti­ful sights of Cap­pado­cia awaits you in a sep­a­rate feed.

cappadocia

Topkapi Palace

Top­kapi Palace is lux­u­ri­ous beyond all bounds and takes you into the fan­ta­sy world of the Turk­ish Sul­tans. From here, the sul­tans of the Ottoman era built an empire that stretched across Europe to the Mid­dle East and Africa. The inte­ri­ors are dec­o­rat­ed with pre­cious stones, reflect­ing the wealth and pow­er of the rulers. The gar­dens sur­round­ing Top­kapi Palace were once part of the roy­al court but are now open to the pub­lic. This is a great place for a relax­ing hol­i­day sur­round­ed by green­ery, away from city streets, hus­tle and bus­tle.

topkapi palace

Pamukkale

One of Turkey’s most famous nat­ur­al won­ders is the white ter­races of Pamukkale. They cas­cade down the slope like a mis­placed snow­field in the mid­dle of a green land­scape. While the Pamukkale Baths are the main des­ti­na­tion of this Turk­ish land­mark, the sprawl­ing, chaot­ic Hier­apo­lis Ruins are also worth check­ing out. This ancient city lay on top of the Pamukkale hill and also deserves atten­tion. For the best scenery, come here at sun­set, when the ter­races are illu­mi­nat­ed by the bright rays of the set­ting sun.

pamukkale

Sumela monastery

Lone­ly perched on a high cliff, the Monastery of the Vir­gin Mary, or Sumela Pana­gia, is Turkey’s star attrac­tion for vis­i­tors to the Black Sea coast. Wan­der­ing around this aban­doned reli­gious com­plex with its eccle­si­as­ti­cal inte­ri­ors and col­or­ful fres­coes, you will be able to immerse your­self in his­to­ry and appre­ci­ate the most impor­tant role of this com­plex. This is one of the must-see places in north­east­ern Turkey. The monastery was opened dur­ing the Byzan­tine era and closed only in 1923. Wan­der­ing through its emp­ty cells, it is easy to imag­ine the iso­lat­ed life of the monks who once inhab­it­ed the monastery.

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managed

Mount Nemrut-Dag

One of the most pop­u­lar places in East­ern Turkey is the top of Mount Nem­rut. A mas­sive bur­ial place with many ruins of giant stat­ues that once guard­ed it. The mys­te­ri­ous and lone­ly mon­u­ment is one of the most pecu­liar archae­o­log­i­cal sites in Turkey. The giant heads of long-for­got­ten gods seem to be frozen in stone and look from the top to the eerie slope of the bar­ren moun­tain. For the most pic­turesque views, it is worth com­ing here at sun­rise, when the stat­ues mys­te­ri­ous­ly emerge from the dark­ness.

nerut-dag

Ani city

The aban­doned build­ings of the once mighty city of Ani on the Great Silk Road are locat­ed on the plains near the mod­ern Turk­ish-Armen­ian bor­der. The Gold­en Age of the for­mer Armen­ian cap­i­tal end­ed in the four­teenth cen­tu­ry after Mon­gol raids, a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake and oth­er fac­tors. Among them is also the declin­ing impor­tance of this trade route. Beau­ti­ful red brick build­ings are still crum­bling in the mid­dle of the steppe and have a mes­mer­iz­ing effect on all vis­i­tors. Pop­u­lar sights in Turkey include the St. Gre­go­ry Church, with its elab­o­rate stonework and rem­nants of fres­coes. Ani is includ­ed in the list of the 20 largest lost cities accord­ing to Life­Globe.

ani

Aspendos

South of Antalya lies the stun­ning Roman city of Aspendos. His the­ater was built dur­ing the reign of Mar­cus Aure­lius and is the finest sur­viv­ing exam­ple of a clas­si­cal the­atre. This is one of the most out­stand­ing ancient sights of Turkey. Aspendos is a pop­u­lar day trip des­ti­na­tion from near­by Antalya. There are also many ancient ruins in the hilly area around the city that can be explored dur­ing the tour.

aspendos

Pergamon

Turkey has an abun­dance of Gre­co-Roman ruins, but none of them can be placed on a par with roman­tic ancient Perga­mum in what is now Berga­ma. Once it was the home of one of the most ancient libraries in the world, but only the remains of the tem­ple on the top of the hill have sur­vived to this day. It is an incred­i­bly atmos­pher­ic place to explore with an acrop­o­lis area and the­ater as well as panoram­ic views from the top. The attrac­tion will be of inter­est to those who want to get a real idea of ​​life in the Roman era.

parchment

Oludeniz

Olu­d­eniz is Turkey’s most pop­u­lar beach with an incred­i­ble turquoise sea. It is sur­round­ed by lush for­est that cov­ers the cliff and opens onto a white sand beach. Once here, you can eas­i­ly under­stand the rea­sons for such pop­u­lar­i­ty. Dur­ing the peak hol­i­day sea­son, the beach is often crowd­ed, but you will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to take to the skies and expe­ri­ence the stun­ning aer­i­al view. First, you need to take a paraglid­ing course. It is also worth men­tion­ing that the top of the mighty Mount Babadag is one of the main paraglid­ing des­ti­na­tions in the world.

oludeniz

Basilica Cistern

Among the sights of Turkey there are build­ings that are com­plete­ly unique for their age. In the cen­tral part of Istan­bul, deep under­ground, there is an extreme­ly unusu­al reser­voir called the Basil­i­ca Cis­tern. It was built by Emper­or Con­stan­tine in case of a poten­tial drought, or a long ene­my siege. The unusu­al under­ground struc­ture is sup­port­ed by a series of columns with sculp­tures of mytho­log­i­cal heroes, con­tain­ing a suf­fi­cient sup­ply of water for a long-term sup­ply of the city. Today you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to vis­it the Basil­i­ca Cis­tern on a guid­ed tour thanks to the recon­struc­tion at the end of the 20th cen­tu­ry. The cis­tern is on the list of must-see attrac­tions in Istan­bul.

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basilica cistern

Suleymaniye Mosque

It will hard­ly sur­prise any­one that most of the out­stand­ing archi­tec­tur­al struc­tures of Turkey are locat­ed in Istan­bul. Among them is the Suley­maniye Mosque of the mid-16th cen­tu­ry. It was built by the ruler of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman the Mag­nif­i­cent, about whose life there are many sto­ries and leg­ends. The con­struc­tion of the struc­ture took 7 years, when the most out­stand­ing mas­ters of the world care­ful­ly brought to the ide­al every detail of the mosque. The Suley­maniye com­plex includ­ed a library, a school, an obser­va­to­ry, and even baths. The tal­ent­ed archi­tect Sinan com­bined the Turk­ish style with a num­ber of archi­tec­tur­al inno­va­tions in the project, while cre­at­ing a suf­fi­cient mar­gin of safe­ty to with­stand the strongest earth­quake in the area.

suleymaniye

Phaselis

Among the ancient sights of Turkey, the Phaselis com­plex in the vicin­i­ty of the city of Kemer is inter­est­ing. The pic­turesque loca­tion com­bines moun­tain beau­ty, the seashore and stun­ning nature. Phaselis dates back to the time of Greek set­tlers who trad­ed fish here. Over the cen­turies, the city has wit­nessed many his­tor­i­cal events, includ­ing the arrival of Alexan­der the Great and a num­ber of oth­er con­quests. True Great­ness Phaselis received dur­ing Roman rule. A num­ber of ruins from this era have sur­vived to this day and are a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for excur­sions. Already in those days, the Romans were able to build an arti­fi­cial con­duit to pro­vide res­i­dents with access to clean water.

phaselis

Derinkuyu

There are less pop­u­lar places in Turkey that still deserve the atten­tion of tourists. Among them is a unique net­work of caves and tun­nels called Derinkuyu. It is locat­ed near the city of Nevse­hir among the moun­tain range and appeared sev­er­al cen­turies before our era. Here, sup­port­ers of Chris­tian­i­ty, who man­aged to estab­lish a full life, hid from reli­gious per­se­cu­tion. They cre­at­ed a whole city where they were engaged in agri­cul­ture and cat­tle breed­ing. Today trav­el­ers have a chance to explore the part of Derinkuyu where archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tions are being car­ried out.

Derinkuyu

Castle of St. Peter

St. Peter’s Cas­tle in Bodrum has a spe­cial archi­tec­tur­al charm and is one of the world’s lead­ing mas­ter­pieces with a unique his­to­ry. It was built from the blocks of the leg­endary Mau­soleum in Hali­car­nas­sus, which has not sur­vived to this day. Dur­ing the peri­od of knight­ly orders of the Mid­dle Ages, the cas­tle was an impreg­nable fortress. Nev­er­the­less, the cru­saders had to sur­ren­der under the pres­sure of the Turks and aban­don the fortress. The cas­tle of St. Peter changed its pur­pose sev­er­al times, but today there is a muse­um with exhibits from the bot­tom of the sea. The sights of Turkey include many sim­i­lar struc­tures, which you can learn about from sep­a­rate arti­cles on the site.

petra castle

Hidirlik Tower

Hidir­lik Tow­er in Antalya is also worth your atten­tion. The build­ing was built in the sec­ond cen­tu­ry in the tra­di­tion­al style of the Roman Empire. Accord­ing to Turk­ish stud­ies, the foun­da­tion of the tow­er was cre­at­ed sev­er­al cen­turies ear­li­er. Over the cen­turies, this Turk­ish land­mark has changed sig­nif­i­cant­ly, includ­ing the con­struc­tion of a flat plat­form instead of a roof. The path to the top leads along a wind­ing stair­case, open­ing up beau­ti­ful views of the sur­round­ings. The his­tor­i­cal pur­pose of the Hidir­lik Tow­er was to pro­tect and watch over the har­bor, but today it is a pop­u­lar tourist land­mark right on the seashore.

khidirlik

Hadrian’s Gate

Anoth­er mir­a­cle of the Roman Empire, like many oth­er build­ings in Turkey. Dur­ing Roman rule, Antalya was quite an impor­tant city and busy port. Hadri­an’s gate and fortress walls were built to pro­tect against attacks from the water. When the ene­my attacked, the gates were closed and the defense began. The defen­sive walls have not sur­vived to this day, but dur­ing the tour you can explore their frag­ments in dif­fer­ent parts of the city.

hadrian's gate

Mosque of Kocatepe

The sights of Turkey have wit­nessed many impor­tant his­tor­i­cal events over the cen­turies. How­ev­er, the Kocate­pe Mosque was built rel­a­tive­ly recent­ly, with con­struc­tion com­plet­ed in 1987. Dur­ing the plan­ning, the archi­tects were giv­en the task of inte­grat­ing mod­ern archi­tec­tur­al canons with tra­di­tion­al Islam­ic style. As a result, the Kocate­pe mosque received a clas­sic look and is not much dif­fer­ent from the cen­turies-old mosques in Turkey. Both the exte­ri­or and the inte­ri­or of the shrine deserve atten­tion. What is even more inter­est­ing, right under the mosque is a shop­ping cen­ter, due to which the com­plex is par­tial­ly con­tained.

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sights of turkey

Alanya fortress

The fortress of Alanya is the cen­tral attrac­tion of the resort. Like all oth­er struc­tures of this type, it was built to pro­tect the city from raids. Walls so pow­er­ful were built that even can­non­balls could not pen­e­trate them. A series of obser­va­tion tow­ers made it pos­si­ble to detect the ene­my from a great dis­tance and pre­pare for defense. The fortress was orga­nized in such a way as to sur­vive long sieges with­out any prob­lems. The ter­ri­to­ry con­tained every­thing nec­es­sary for the life of rulers and local res­i­dents, includ­ing food and water sup­plies.

alanya fortress

Ancient city of Side

The most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for lovers of archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tions in Turkey is the city of Side. An addi­tion­al advan­tage is also that here you can enjoy a beach hol­i­day. At the same time, mod­ern hotels are adja­cent to ancient ruins, includ­ing dilap­i­dat­ed columns and frag­ments of defen­sive walls. Archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tions are active­ly car­ried out near the remains of the tem­ple of Diony­sus and the mas­sive amphithe­ater, where glad­i­a­to­r­i­al fights were held.

side city

Ruins of Ancient Troy

The ruins of the ancient city of Troy are a UNESCO World Her­itage Site and can be found in the north­west of Ana­to­lia. This is a pop­u­lar attrac­tion in Turkey, which is vis­it­ed by tens of thou­sands of trav­el­ers every year. Many peo­ple know about this place thanks to Home­r’s Ili­ad and the sto­ry of the Tro­jan horse. By the way, right at the entrance to the city there is a stat­ue of that same horse. The city also has a muse­um and a num­ber of ancient ruins that are con­stant­ly being exca­vat­ed.

antique troy

Red Tower

The red tow­er of Kyzyl Kule is con­sid­ered the sym­bol of Alanya. It was built in 1226 and got its name because of the spe­cial brick with a red tint. The facade of the Kyzyl Kule tow­er looks extreme­ly har­mo­nious, but inside the vis­i­tor there are many intri­cate pas­sages and rooms. It is amaz­ing how up to 2,000 sol­diers could fit inside, who led the defense if nec­es­sary. The archi­tects thought of every­thing in such a way that the light pen­e­trat­ing through the roof would pass to the very first floor of the Red Tow­er.

red tower

Green Canyon

Green Canyon is a pop­u­lar attrac­tion in Turkey in the Tau­rus Moun­tains. Locat­ed at an alti­tude of 350 meters, the reser­voir was formed after the con­struc­tion of the dam of the pow­er plant. The arti­fi­cial lake is fed by three dozen nat­ur­al sources, cre­at­ing cool­ness even on the hottest days of sum­mer. The canyon is dis­tin­guished by its pic­turesque nature, there­fore it is con­sid­ered a pop­u­lar place for tours in Antalya.

green canyon

Cleopatra’s pool

One of the most pop­u­lar ther­mal pools in Pamukkale is famous for its his­to­ry. Accord­ing to leg­ends, Queen Cleopa­tra loved to swim in its ther­mal waters, hence the name of the pool. It was thanks to the prop­er­ties of this water that she was always beau­ti­ful and young. The water tem­per­a­ture is kept at a con­stant mark of 35 degrees. It has the unique prop­er­ty of car­bon­a­tion, as if you are swim­ming in a pool of fizz. Due to this prop­er­ty and high min­er­al­iza­tion, swim­ming in the Cleopa­tra pool is pro­hib­it­ed for more than 2 hours.

Cleopatra's pool