Witnessing many empires and civilizations, Turkey has a remarkable amount of archaeological sites spread out all over the country. From Istanbul’s palaces and mosques to the ruins of Efesus to the underground cities of Cappadocia, Turkey is a haven for archaeology and history enthusiasts.
Great Food Shopping
With such an incredible cuisine, it’s no wonder that Turkey also has a lot of food shopping opportunities from open air markets to bazaars and everything in between. The many neighborhood markets are where locals buy their fresh produce, while the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar is where tourists like to do some shopping.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons
There are many companies in the area that offer the breathtaking opportunity to drift over the mountains and valleys of Cappadocia. Especially when your trip is for sunrise or sunset to truly bask in the panoramas.
Goreme Open Air Museum
If you want to make the very most of your visit to Goreme National Park, be sure to arrive as early as possible. This entire park has an exquisite collection of old churches, caves and other monuments for you to freely explore. It is highly recommended that you either buy a guidebook or sign up for one of the tours that lead you around the entire historical site.
Visit the archaeological site of Troy, the setting of the Trojan War in Homer’s Iliad, on a day trip from Istanbul and feel the magic of the legend that captivated readers around the world. See a replica of the Trojan Horse and explore the ancient city on a comprehensive 18-hour tour. Visit the 3,700-year-old city walls and numerous remains of the UNESCO World Heritage site, including everyday houses of the time. Lunch is provided at a restaurant in Eceabat, once the ancient city of Madytos, located on the shores of the Dardanelles Strait. A return ferry trip across the Dardanelles to Çanakkale is included, as is pickup from your Istanbul hotel.
Having officially taken its place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 2014, the Turkish city of Bursa is recognized as the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire. Even though it wasn’t the empire’s capital, it was the city where the Ottoman social framework developed, helping to lay the foundation for its social and cultural infrastructure. As such, the city is full of important monuments, especially a number of külliye, a structure of social and religious value usually composed of a mosque, tomb, hamam, soup kitchen, a religious school, and a health clinic. Here is a look at the UNESCO sites in Bursa that must be visited.
You can Explore the highlights that sits between Europe and Asia through cruising by Bosphorus strait and discover the mega metropolis Istanbul from a different view by passing all historical palaces, fortresses and the Bosphorus bridge and capturing amazing pictures along this journey.
With so much history to its name, Turkey also has a lot of fantastic museums that actively preserve findings from the many archaeological sites all around the country. From the world’s largest mosaic museum (Zeugma in Gaziantep) to Istanbul’s Ottoman palace museums and the famous Topkapi Palace as well as Hagia Sophia, there’s plenty to visit while you’re here.
Turkey’s architectural scope is truly striking and includes everything from historic churches, waterfront mansions built by European settlers and grand imperial mosques and palaces to stone houses built by former Anatolian empires. From Istanbul to Mardin and beyond, you’ll always find a structure that really changes your aesthetic perspective.
Some of underground cities consist of over eight floors of carved, underground rock and are believed to at one time have house 20,000 people each, but today some of them are open for public viewing. The purpose of this elaborate underground community is though to have been as shelter from invaders and many centuries later, you can tour through churches, meeting rooms, store rooms, and all of the other essential spaces that aided the running of this long gone civilization.
Pamukkale and Hierapolis
Just a short flight from Istanbul, Pamukkale and Hierapolis lies in southwestern Anatolia and can be visited in one day. This UNESCO World Heritage site comprises the well-preserved ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis and the geographical phenomenon Pamukkale (‘cotton castle’ in Turkish), a succession of stunning white terraces of travertine rock formed by calcium-rich thermal springs, garnished by waterfalls and stalactites. Do as the Romans did and take a soak in the thermal hot springs used as a spa since the second century BC on this unforgettable day trip from Istanbul. Hotel pickup, return flights from Istanbul to Denizli, private transport, a guide and an appetizing lunch are included.
The extensive ruins of the Ancient Greek city of Ephesus are a must-see for history lovers, and this 12-hour tour with return flights from Istanbul to İzmir makes it possible to visit in a day. Immerse yourself in an array of stunning monuments – souvenirs left behind by the Byzantine, Ottoman, Persian, Roman and Greek empires that once ruled Ephesus. Visit striking sites such as the Temple of Artemis and the Celsus Library, as you walk the ancient streets of Ephesus in the footsteps of inhabitants from centuries ago. This tour includes round-trip, same-day flights from Istanbul to İzmir and pickup from your city centre hotel.
One of Turkey’s most important summer resort towns, Antalya has plenty of beaches that range from tourist favourites to more local beaches with historic ruins and a relaxed vibe. Whatever you’re looking for, Antalya’s best beaches definitely offer something for every traveller.
Spring (April to May) is a beautiful season in Turkey. The weather in Turkey is close to ideal, as it is warm, but not too hot. The flowers begin to bloom all across the country, so you will have pleasant scenery to look at in cities and in outskirts.
Summer (June-August) is when the temperatures are the highest. The weather in the coast, towards the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts can be quite pleasant, especially with the sea breeze, but the weather is absolutely stifling towards the inland, so if you want to explore Turkey’s ancient heritage, this is not the best season for you to be traveling. This is high season, due to the Turkish and international summer holidays, so prices will peak.
By the first week of September, the summer heat starts to fade away, and the fall weather sets in. The days will be slightly shorter, but you will still have a pleasant tourist experience. There is very limited rain during this period, making it perfect for outdoor explorations.
Winter (November to March) is low season in Turkey because of the winter. The weather gets rather chilly, except for the southeast (near Antalya). There is a chance of snow in most places, including Cappadocia, especially in January and February.
Ordinary passport holders for all nationalities are required to have visa to enter Turkey except for countries they consider as their “friends” such as Indonesia and Qatar.
GMT+ 3 and No Daylight Saving Time. Most Public Offices and Schools start from 0800 until 1400 while malls and shopping centers open from 1000.
Language spoken is Turkish. Most people in Turkey do not speak English except people working in tourist sectors.
Currency and Payment
Turkey’s currency is Turkish Lira (TL or TRY) with conversion rate varies from TRY16-TR20 per USD. For your reference, price of BigMac is around TRY25-TRY35. Visa and MasterCard cards are widely accepted in all malls and shopping centers. Currency exchange shops are also easy to find.
Here are some do’s and don’ts in Turkiye:
Religion – Dress modestly and be quiet and respectful around mosques.
Alcohol – Bars are common, but public drinking and inebriation are less acceptable away from tourist towns.
Greetings – Turks value respect; when meeting a group of people, shake hands with all, male and female.
Language – Learn a few Turkish phrases; immeasurably helpful and appreciated by Turks.
Relationships – Do not be overly tactile with your partner in public; beware miscommunications with locals.
Politics Be tactful; criticising Turkish nationalism can land you in prison.
Queues Turks can be pushy in public situations; be assertive.