Turkey is one of the finest destinations for travel so it’s completely understandable why you’re asking about what to do and see in Turkey. The country is an eclectic and vibrant marriage of history and culture. Set at the very heart of West Asia and Southeast Europe, the country also reflects the best of both worlds: the exotic finesse of Asia and architectural prowess of Europe. No matter where in the world you come from, Turkey will entice you to explore its every corner.
1. Bargain for souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, one of the world’s biggest markets. To put you in perspective of just how big it is, you need a map to get around. Bargaining is part of Turkish tradition and you can certainly apply it here as you shop for goods, jewelry, clothes, and souvenirs to take home with you. Don’t forget to buy a Turkish carpet!
2. See the Aspendos Theatre. Built in 155 AD under the rule of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the Aspendos Theatre is one of the most well-preserved ancient theatres. It has a capacity of up to 20,000 spectators. It is virtually unchanged by time and retains most of its original structure.
3. Walk around the Patara Beach. Not only is it one of the longest sand beaches across the Mediterranean, it’s also pretty isolated. The only building visible from the beach is a small cafe. As your sight gets filled with visions of sand dunes and ancient Roman and Lycian ruins, don’t forget to look down at your feet! The Patara Beach is used as a breeding ground by Loggerhead turtles, an endangered species.
4. Take a cruise along Bosphorus. It is a favorite seaside retreat of Turkish locals and is lined with classy restaurants and trendy boutiques. These aren’t the main highlight of the cruise but rather, the Bodrum Castle. The Bodrum Castle is one of the last-standing historical landmarks in Bosphorus. It was built in the 15th century by crusaders. Make sure to check out the latest deals on holidays to Turkey for best-value cruises to Bosphorus.
5. Take a trip to Nemrut. The historical mountain is the site of an ancient tomb built in 62 BC. Today, what is left of the tomb are the crumbling statues of King Antiochius I Theos of Commagene, two eagles, two lions, and some Greek and Persian gods.
6. Eat a sesame-topped simit. This popular Turkish street food is not only affordable, but delicious as well!
7. Admire the Blue Mosque. Also known as Sultan Ahmed, it is one of the most iconic structures in Turkish architecture. The Blue Mosque is as equally stunning in the inside as it is outside. The historic mosque was built from 1609 to 1616 and got its name from the thousands of blue Iznik tiles that decorate its high ceiling.
8. Visit the Library of Celsus. The ruins is part of the ancient city of Ephesus. Once a wonder of the ancient world, most of Ephesus was destroyed by a mob under the direction of the archbishop of Constantinople in 401 AD. The Library of Celsus, one of the few remaining structures in Ephesus along with the Great Theater, was built in 125 AD and was partially reconstructed in the 1970s to recover some of its grandeur.
9. Enjoy a Turkish bath. There’s nothing quite like it!
10. Marvel at Hagia Sophia.
Known to be one of the most magnificent ancient structures in the world, the Hagia Sophia is a must-see for every tourist of Turkey. It was a basilica built in the 6th century and was converted into a mosque in the 15th century under Ottoman rule. By 1935, Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum.