Every foreign resident in Turkey started out as a curious visitor. Whether it was a brief getaway or temporary work assignment that brought them here, the ending is always the same – they ended up falling in love with the country and they never looked back since.
Images on the Internet don’t do justice to the sights and surroundings that teem Turkey. If you are looking to experience what Turkey has to offer for yourself, here are eight spots that are guaranteed to get you falling head over heels with our country. These destinations from four key cities are a must-see for visitors and tourists who seek to appreciate Turkey’s rich history and understand how Turkish people live. If you want to learn more about these amazing spots, make sure to read through our list.
Anitkabir (Atatürk Mausoleum), Ankara
First on the list is the most important modern pilgrimage site in Turkey, Anitbakir. The remains of Atatürk, the founder of the state of Turkey, can be found here. This place is also the most visited attraction in Ankara as both locals and tourists come to check out its rich history.
Gençlik Park, Ankara
If you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of Ankara, Gençlik Park is worth a visit. It is the capital’s most green space and is popular with locals for evening strolls and weekend picnics. You can enjoy a walk along the large lake to see various promenades lined by fountains and patches of greens.
There are plenty of activities to do here especially if you’re traveling with children. This is a good place to keep your kids distracted as there are roller coasters, Ferris wheels, carousels, and bumper cars at Ankara’s Luna Park.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Your Turkey visit won’t be complete without dropping by Hagia Sophia. This is distinguished as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world which is why it’s on top of people’s list to visit not only in Istanbul but in all of Turkey.
Tourists who’ve had the pleasure of going to Hagia Sophia loved it for the immediate sense of calm if gives. It is rich in history as hundreds of historical timelines are embedded in the fascinating structure. The walk along this architectural masterpiece is a humbling experience that you must experience for yourself.
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
Yet another feast for the eyes is Topkapi Palace. This place would take you to the opulent world of the sultans of the Ottoman Era as the structure is adorned with exuberant tiling and sumptuous jeweled decor.
There’s an abundance of antiquity to unearth in this place, from a glimpse of the old Turkey to the collection of old weaponry. The gardens outside the palace provide a green respite from the busy city streets. The area was once kept private for the Royal Court but it is now open to the public.
If you’re looking for a quiet stroll where you can appreciate the old world, make sure to add Safranbolu to your list. This is Turkey’s best-preserved Ottoman town and is the perfect place to see restored wooden mansions that used to be home to wealthy merchants.
Many of the structures have been transformed into boutique hotels and restaurants that offer picturesque accommodations in the city. There’s also an array of local shops where you can buy traditional sweets, crafts, and souvenirs.
Cumalikizik Village, Bursa
Cumalikizik Village is a proud UNESCO Heritage Site and is the only one that can’t be found in the city center. This beautifully preserved 700-year-old village was formally included in the list in 2014 to further conserve ancient structures. Amidst the rise of modern housing, a visit to the village is a great reminder of the early Ottoman rural life. The layout of the area is a testament to how sultans would build commercial trade centers and villages to generate income.
Koza Han Caravansary, Bursa
If you want to get a sense of daily life in Bursa, make sure to visit Koza Han Caravansary. It is filled with local shops and businesses where you can haggle prices for souvenirs. Silk is one of the main products here and you can purchase scarves and other silk products at affordable prices. Refreshments are also available in the area which is perfect after a long day of shopping. Visitors love the coffee here and locals are known for giving them for free after you purchase some goods.
Looking for a luxurious experience by the beach? Don’t miss the Alacati area. It still has strong ties with its Greek past which makes it the perfect destination for a sophisticated hotel and dining experience. The town was declared a historical site in 2005 and its Greek stone houses adorned with bougainvillea remain beautiful until today.
There are limited accommodations in the area so make sure to book your stay in advance. Tourists recommend spending not less than three days so you can wander around town, lounge on the beach, see the windmills, and sample the amazing cuisine.
We can’t wait for you to visit these awesome spots! Don’t forget to share your experiences with Homes & Beyond!