things to do in turkey

Last Updated on: 27th February 2024, 10:24 am

Welcome to Turkey, a captivating destination with an abundance of activities and attractions to explore. Whether you’re seeking cultural landmarks, picturesque landscapes, or exciting adventures, there are many things to do in Turkey. Discover the country’s rich history by visiting iconic landmarks such as the ancient ruins of Ephesus and the legendary city of Troy. Take in the breathtaking beauty of Pamukkale’s terraces, known as the Cotton Castle, and soak in its mineral-rich thermal waters. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Istanbul, where you can marvel at architectural wonders like the Hagia Sophia and indulge in traditional Turkish cuisine.

With its diverse range of tourist spots and must-see attractions, Turkey offers endless opportunities for exploration. Whether you’re interested in uncovering historical treasures, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or embarking on thrilling adventures, Turkey’s got you covered. Stay tuned to this travel guide for an unforgettable journey through the wonders of Turkey.

Things to Do in Turkey – Historical Sites

Turkey is home to numerous historical sites that showcase its rich heritage. From ancient cities to UNESCO World Heritage sites, there are plenty of attractions that offer a glimpse into Turkey’s fascinating history.

One of the must-visit attractions in Turkey is the ruins of Ephesus. This ancient city was once a bustling metropolis and is now a fascinating archaeological site. Visitors can explore the well-preserved ruins, including the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Artemis, and the Great Theater.

Another iconic historical site in Turkey is the ancient city of Troy. This legendary city, immortalized in Homer’s Iliad, is famous for the Trojan War. Visitors to Troy can walk through the ancient ruins, including the city walls, the Houses of Troy, and the iconic wooden horse.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Pamukkale is also a must-see in Turkey. Known as the “Cotton Castle,” Pamukkale features stunning white terraces formed by mineral-rich thermal waters. Visitors can take a dip in the thermal pools and explore the nearby ancient ruins of Hierapolis.

“Turkey’s historical sites are a treasure trove of stories and legends. Exploring these ancient wonders allows visitors to immerse themselves in the country’s rich past.”

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply interested in Turkey’s cultural heritage, these historical sites offer a unique and memorable experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Turkey’s fascinating history and marvel at its ancient wonders.

Attraction Description Location
Ephesus Ancient city with well-preserved ruins, including the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Artemis Izmir Province
Troy Legendary city famous for the Trojan War Çanakkale Province
Pamukkale UNESCO World Heritage site with terraces of mineral-rich thermal waters Denizli Province

Relax on Turkey’s Beautiful Beaches

Turkey is known for its stunning coastline and beautiful beaches. From the popular resort town of Antalya to the secluded coves of the Turquoise Coast, there are plenty of beach destinations to choose from. Whether you want to relax on the sandy shores, swim in the crystal clear waters, or try water sports like snorkeling and diving, Turkey’s beaches offer a variety of activities for beach lovers.

If you’re looking for some beach activities in Turkey, you won’t be disappointed. The country’s diverse coastline provides options for every preference. From lively beach clubs with music and entertainment to peaceful hidden gems, you can find the perfect spot to unwind.

Best Turkish Beaches

When it comes to the best Turkish beaches, it’s hard to pick just a few. However, some of the standout options include:

  • Patara Beach: Located on the southwestern coast, Patara Beach is famous for its long stretch of golden sand and clear blue waters. It’s also home to nesting sea turtles, making it a protected area.
  • Oludeniz Beach: Known as the “Blue Lagoon,” Oludeniz Beach offers stunning turquoise waters and a picturesque setting. It’s a popular spot for paragliding, offering breathtaking views from above.
  • Iztuzu Beach: Situated near Dalyan, Iztuzu Beach is a natural paradise known for its pristine sands and nesting grounds for loggerhead turtles. It’s a protected area, maintaining its untouched beauty.

These are just a few examples of the beautiful Turkish beaches waiting to be explored. Whether you prefer a lively atmosphere or a serene escape, you’ll find the perfect beach to suit your preferences.

Turkish Beach Resorts

For those looking to indulge in luxury during their beach holiday, Turkish beach resorts offer top-notch accommodations and amenities. From all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels, you can find a range of options to suit your style and budget.

Antalya, Bodrum, and Marmaris are renowned for their beach resorts that cater to every need. Enjoy stunning sea views, private beaches, spa facilities, and gourmet dining options. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or seeking a romantic getaway, Turkish beach resorts provide a memorable experience.

turkish beach resort

Turkey Beach Holidays

If you’re looking to plan a beach holiday in Turkey, there are plenty of options to consider. From short getaways to extended vacations, Turkey’s beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing holiday.

Whether you choose to explore the lively beaches of Antalya, relax on the serene shores of Alanya, or discover the hidden gems of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, a beach holiday in Turkey offers tranquility, natural beauty, and endless possibilities for adventure.

So, pack your sunscreen, towel, and beachwear, and get ready to unwind on Turkey’s beautiful beaches. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or exhilaration, the stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters are yours to discover.

Experience the Unique Landscapes of Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a region in central Turkey renowned for its extraordinary landscapes and cave dwellings. With its otherworldly formations and rich cultural heritage, Cappadocia offers a range of captivating experiences for visitors. From taking a hot air balloon ride to exploring ancient underground cities, there are plenty of activities to immerse yourself in the enchanting charm of this region.

Hot Air Balloon Adventure

One of the most popular activities in Cappadocia is soaring above the fairy chimneys in a hot air balloon. Witnessing the sunrise from the skies while drifting over the unique rock formations is an unforgettable experience. The breathtaking views of Cappadocia’s picturesque landscape create truly magical moments, making a hot air balloon ride a must-do activity during your visit.

cappadocia hot air balloon

Staying in Cave Hotels

Experience a truly unique accommodation option in Cappadocia by staying in one of its famous cave hotels. These hotels are carved into the soft volcanic rock, providing a distinctive charm and an immersive experience. Imagine sleeping in a cozy cave room adorned with traditional Turkish decor and waking up to panoramic views of the fairy chimneys. It’s a one-of-a-kind stay that adds an extra touch of magic to your visit.

Exploring Underground Cities and Hiking Adventures

Cappadocia is not only known for its above-ground wonders but also for its fascinating underground cities. These ancient subterranean complexes were carved out of the rock by early civilizations for protection. Exploring these well-preserved cities, such as Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı, allows you to step back in time and discover the ingenuity of the past.

In addition to the underground cities, Cappadocia offers captivating hiking opportunities through its surreal rock formations. Trekking trails will lead you to hidden valleys, breathtaking viewpoints, and secluded fairy chimneys. Whether you choose to explore on your own or join a guided tour, hiking in Cappadocia is a memorable adventure that allows you to truly appreciate the region’s natural beauty.

Activities in Cappadocia Highlights
Hot Air Balloon Ride Experience the mesmerizing views of Cappadocia from above as you float in a hot air balloon.
Cave Hotels Stay in a unique cave hotel and enjoy the authentic charm of Cappadocia’s accommodation.
Exploring Underground Cities Discover the fascinating history and architecture of the ancient underground cities.
Hiking Adventures Embark on scenic hikes through Cappadocia’s surreal rock formations and hidden valleys.

With its captivating landscapes and immersive experiences, Cappadocia promises to leave you in awe of its unique beauty and rich cultural heritage. Whether you are floating above the fairy chimneys in a hot air balloon, staying in a cave hotel, or exploring ancient underground cities, Cappadocia is sure to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Discover the Vibrant Culture of Istanbul

Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, is a vibrant city that bridges the gap between Europe and Asia. The city is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Exploring the historical sites, shopping in the bustling markets, and savoring traditional Turkish cuisine are some of the top things to do in Istanbul.

istanbul attractions

Historical Sites

Istanbul is a treasure trove of historical sites that offer a glimpse into the city’s rich past. One of the must-visit attractions is the Hagia Sophia, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture that has been transformed from a church to a mosque and now serves as a museum. Another notable landmark is the Blue Mosque, known for its stunning blue tiles and impressive domes. The Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern are also worth exploring for their historical significance.

Bustling Markets

The Grand Bazaar is a bustling marketplace where you can lose yourself in a labyrinth of shops selling everything from jewelry and textiles to spices and antiques. It’s a vibrant place to experience the hustle and bustle of Istanbul and to find unique souvenirs to take home. The Spice Bazaar is another popular market where you can indulge your senses with the aroma of exotic spices and sample local treats.

“Istanbul is a city of contrasts, where ancient history merges with modern life. Its vibrant culture is a testament to its diverse heritage and the people who call this city home.”

Delicious Turkish Cuisine

Istanbul is a food lover’s paradise, with a culinary scene that blends flavors from various regions of Turkey. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional dishes such as kebabs, meze platters, and baklava. The city is also famous for its street food, offering a delightful array of flavors and textures. From savory snacks like simit (sesame-coated bread rings) to sweet treats like lokum (Turkish delight), Istanbul’s culinary offerings will satisfy every palate.

Whether you’re immersing yourself in the city’s history, exploring the vibrant markets, or indulging in delicious cuisine, Istanbul offers a truly unforgettable experience that showcases the vibrant culture of Turkey.

Attractions Landmarks Things to Do
Hagia Sophia Blue Mosque Explore historical sites
Grand Bazaar Topkapi Palace Shop in bustling markets
Basilica Cistern Spice Bazaar Savor traditional Turkish cuisine

Indulge in Turkish Cuisine

Turkish cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors influenced by both Eastern and Western cultures. From mouthwatering kebabs to delectable baklava, the traditional dishes of Turkey are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re strolling through the bustling streets of Istanbul or exploring the local food markets, there are countless opportunities to savor the rich and diverse flavors of Turkish cuisine.

One of the must-try dishes in Turkey is the kebab. Made from succulent pieces of marinated meat grilled to perfection, kebabs are a staple in Turkish cuisine. Whether it’s the popular döner kebab, the flavorful Adana kebab, or the juicy İskender kebab, each variety offers a unique and delicious experience.

No visit to Turkey is complete without indulging in baklava, a sweet pastry made with layers of flaky filo pastry, filled with chopped nuts, and drizzled with honey syrup. This rich and sticky dessert is a true delight for those with a sweet tooth.

Another popular choice is the meze platter, a selection of small dishes that showcase the vibrant flavors of Turkish cuisine. From creamy hummus to tangy ezme, these appetizers offer a variety of tastes and textures that will leave you wanting more.

For a refreshing drink, be sure to try Turkish tea. Served in small tulip-shaped glasses, Turkish tea is a symbol of Turkish hospitality and is enjoyed throughout the day. Its robust flavor and soothing aroma make it the perfect accompaniment to a hearty meal.

When in Turkey, don’t miss the chance to experience the vibrant street food scene. Food stalls and vendors offer a wide range of delicious and affordable options, from savory simit (sesame-covered bread rings) to crispy gözleme (stuffed flatbread) and flavorful durum wraps. These on-the-go delicacies allow you to taste the authentic flavors of Turkish cuisine while immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of the streets.

Whether you choose to dine at a traditional Turkish restaurant, explore the local food markets, or try street food from food stalls, indulging in Turkish cuisine is an essential part of your travel experience in Turkey. The diverse flavors, aromatic spices, and mouthwatering dishes will take you on a culinary journey that you won’t soon forget.

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Pamukkale

Pamukkale, located in Turkey, is a natural wonder that beckons travellers with its breathtaking landscapes and unique features. This remarkable destination is renowned for its terraces of mineral-rich thermal waters, resembling a spectacular white castle, appropriately named the Cotton Castle. The terraces cascade down the hillside, creating a mesmerizing sight that is truly a feast for the eyes.

A visit to Pamukkale offers a range of experiences to indulge in. You can take a leisurely dip in the welcoming thermal pools, renowned for their healing properties and soothing warmth. These mineral-rich waters have attracted people for centuries, seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.

For those with a passion for history and archaeology, Pamukkale is also home to the ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Explore the remnants of this once-thriving ancient city while immersing yourself in Turkey’s fascinating past.

“Pamukkale is truly a natural wonder, with its cascading terraces of mineral-rich thermal waters. It’s an oasis of relaxation and a testament to the country’s rich history.”

To fully appreciate the beauty of Pamukkale, it is recommended to join a guided tour. These tours offer valuable insight into the geological formations, historical significance, and cultural importance of this extraordinary place. An experienced guide can provide fascinating commentary and ensure you make the most of your visit.

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring landscape of Pamukkale, commonly referred to as the Cotton Castle. The combination of mineral-rich thermal waters, ancient ruins, and stunning natural formations make it a must-visit destination in Turkey.

Key Highlights of Pamukkale:

  • Terraces of mineral-rich thermal waters
  • Ancient ruins of Hierapolis
  • Guided tours offering valuable insights


In conclusion, Turkey is a captivating destination that offers a plethora of experiences for travellers. Whether you are drawn to its historical sites, beautiful beaches, or mouthwatering cuisine, Turkey has something to satisfy every wanderlust. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and awe-inspiring landscapes, it is no wonder that Turkey is a popular choice for travellers seeking a diverse and unforgettable trip.

For history enthusiasts, exploring the ancient ruins of Ephesus, the legendary city of Troy, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pamukkale is a must. Meanwhile, beach lovers can bask in the sun and enjoy the turquoise waters of Antalya or indulge in water sports along the stunning Turquoise Coast. Those seeking a unique experience can venture to Cappadocia, where hot air balloon rides and cave dwellings promise to create lasting memories.

Immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Istanbul, with its iconic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar, is another highlight of any trip to Turkey. And let’s not forget about the mouthwatering Turkish cuisine – from delectable kebabs to sweet baklava, the culinary delights of Turkey are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

So, whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a food lover, pack your bags, consult a comprehensive travel guide to Turkey, and get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey filled with unforgettable experiences. Turkey is waiting to enchant and enthrall you with its beauty, history, and warm hospitality.


What are some must-see places in Turkey?

Some must-see places in Turkey include the ruins of Ephesus, the ancient city of Troy, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pamukkale, and the iconic landmarks in Istanbul such as the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

What are the best beach destinations in Turkey?

Turkey offers a variety of beautiful beach destinations, including the popular resort town of Antalya and the secluded coves of the Turquoise Coast. Other notable beach destinations include Bodrum, Marmaris, and Alanya.

What are the top activities to do in Cappadocia?

Some of the top activities to do in Cappadocia include taking a hot air balloon ride to see the famous fairy chimneys from above, exploring the ancient underground cities, hiking through the unique rock formations, and staying in cave hotels.

What are some must-visit attractions in Istanbul?

Some must-visit attractions in Istanbul include the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, and the Spice Market. Exploring the city’s historical sites, shopping in the bustling markets, and savoring traditional Turkish cuisine are all highly recommended.

What are some traditional Turkish dishes to try?

Some traditional Turkish dishes to try include kebabs, baklava, meze platters, Turkish tea, and Turkish coffee. Exploring local food markets, trying street food from food stalls, and dining at traditional Turkish restaurants are all part of the culinary experience in Turkey.

What is special about Pamukkale?

Pamukkale is famous for its terraces of mineral-rich thermal waters, known as the Cotton Castle. Visitors can take a dip in the thermal pools, explore the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, and marvel at the unique white formations that cascade down the hillside, creating a stunning landscape.