Turkey is an amalgamation of the richest history, fine modern and ancient architecture, bustling nightlife, and delectable food. Turkey’s tourist attractions are unlike those of any other country – with displays of the rich history of the Roman Empire in the ancient city, intricate architecture, and boasting some of the most popular tourist attractions in the world.
From the famous UNESCO World Heritage site of Hagia Sophia to the gorgeous butterfly valley in the ocean in Fethiye, there are all types of attractions in Turkey that travelers should go to during their visit to Turkey. Let’s look at some of the top tourist destinations in Turkey.
The 8 Top Attractions In Turkey
The historic Blue Mosque located across Sultanahmet Park from the Hagia Sophia Mosque is one of Turkey’s most visited tourist attractions. The mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed I and was planned to resemble the Hagia Sophia by architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aa, a pupil of the Ottoman era’s most known architect, Sinan.
The Blue Mosque is majestic, with its minarets and a large courtyard, but it’s most renowned for its prayer hall interior, which is coated with several thousand blue Iznik tiles and lighted by shards of light from 260 windows. We highly recommend visiting the Blue Mosque which is a UNESCO world heritage site during your next visit to Turkey.
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Istanbul Archaeological Museum
The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is actually a collection of museums divided into three sections: the Archaeology Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum. The museum’s roots may be traced back to the adjoining Hagia Irene Church. Following the siege of Istanbul, the church’s proximity to the Janissaries’ barracks saw it repurposed into a de facto ‘interior armory’ for keeping their weapons.
These three distinct primary parts are located in the same courtyard and hold the royal collections created by the museum director, master painter “The Tortoise Trainer” or the Pera Museum, and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey in the late nineteenth century. This set of museums offers an insightful view into the way the ancient city life of Istanbul functioned.
Topkapi Palace in Istanbul transports you to the fanciful realm of the Sultans. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottoman sultans carved out an empire that would reach up into Europe, down through the Middle East, and into Africa. One of the top tourist attractions that represent the lives of royalty in the ancient city, it’s no wonder how this palace is so revered.
The interiors of this palace later converted into a museum, with its decadently extravagant tiling and magnificent jeweled ornamentation, provide a breathtaking glimpse into Ottoman grandeur. The Topkapi Palace Museum is noteworthy not just for its architecture and artifacts, but also for the Ottoman Empire’s history and culture that it commemorates.
Cappadocia’s swooping rock valleys are truly a sight to behold. Rippling panoramas of wave-like rock or wacky-shaped pinnacles built by several millennia of wind and water activity on cliff ridges and hill crests is the beauty of Cappadocia. A must-do activity here is to go on a beautiful hot air balloon ride at the crack of dawn and watch the beautiful sunrise over the horizon.
Göreme is a small town that sits in the middle of the beautiful fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and is one of the best spots to observe these unique rock formations formed due to volcanic activity in the region. The several rich historical structures here provide a lot to learn about the ancient city and we highly recommend staying in one of the cave hotels inside Cappadocia.
Also Read: The Most Instagrammable Places In Turkey
The renowned yet lesser-known Butterfly Valley in Fethiye district, Mula Province, Turkey, is the perfect destination for immersing oneself in sanctuary nature and forgetting about the rest of the world. This remote section of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast is a jewel in the coastline of Turkey and one of the most serene tourist attractions in Turkey.
An absolutely stunning sight that you can easily avoid the tourist crowds at if you go at the right time to the right viewpoints, and have a very peaceful experience. The Butterfly Valley got its name from the vast number of butterflies that used to reside there, but since the valley was discovered by visitors, the butterflies have become increasingly uncommon, unfortunately.
Travel Tip: Did you know you can use landmarks to filter your accommodation searches on CuddlyNest? This makes it easier to find a place to stay near popular attractions in Turkey including Butterfly Valley!
The Hagia Sophia Mosque, regarded as one of the most magnificent structures in the world, is not only among the most culturally significant tourist attractions to visit in Istanbul but also throughout Turkey. This UNESCO World Heritage site was constructed as a Christian church in the sixth century CE under the supervision of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, who was an Eastern Roman Emperor
It was later converted into a mosque after being conquered, then turned into a museum, and was then finally considered a mosque again over the years. The structure symbolizes the religious shifts that have occurred in the region throughout the ages.
Dolmabahce Palace is a luxurious residence in Istanbul located on the scenic European shore of the Bosphorus. This magnificent imperial home, regarded as the most costly residence in the world, is the real embodiment of Ottoman architectural grandeur. The Sultan and his family had previously resided in the Topkapi Palace, but because the medieval Topkap lacked current elegance, luxury, and comfort when compared to the palaces of European monarchs, Abdülmecid opted to construct a new modern palace.
One of the top Turkey tourist places, the throngs that travel here to explore the Selamlk which are the ceremonial quarters, and the Harem of this imperial palace with its neoclassical facade and over-the-top interior definitely do not share that scorn. Both are accessible via a self-guided audio tour.
Also Read: The Best Day Trips From Istanbul, Turkey
In the center of Istanbul, you’ll find the world’s oldest and biggest covered market which is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Turkey! Every day, hundreds of visitors and shoppers from all over the world go to the famed and historic Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar lives up to its name, with a market space that spans 30,700 square meters, reminding visitors of the way trades used to take place in the ancient city of Istanbul.
It has over 4,000 stores lined up along 62 covered lanes selling everything from clothing and home décor to foods and goods unique to Turkish culture and cuisine. It is also regarded as one of the world’s earliest retail malls and was once a thriving hub and center of global trade and business.
Which is the most visited place in Turkey?
The most popular tourist attraction in Turkey is known to be the Blue Mosque owing to its captivating blue tiles and gorgeous architecture. Another popular location is the Cotton Castle hot springs in Turkey, also called Pamukkale located on the southwest coast. When it comes to eastern Turkey we would recommend visiting Mount Ararat, or even the gorgeous Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey.
What is Turkey best known for?
Turkey is known for its rich history of both the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire, contributing to its diversity in both European elements as well as Oriental elements. Turkey is a blending point between the East and the West. It is especially known for its beautiful sights such as Cappadocia, delicious Turkish tea, and lovely food.
What is the most famous attraction in Turkey?
The most famous attraction in Turkey would be the ancient city of Istanbul, specifically monuments such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the ancient castle of Dolmabahce, the Blue Mosque, and also the various ancient ruins, specifically Roman ruins, found in Turkey.
What is the most beautiful part of Turkey?
While the Antalya province and Bodrum are beautiful for beaches, Istanbul in central Turkey is great as a historic location. The Pamukkale springs are breathtaking, and so is Cappadocia.
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