Located in West Asia is a country that is known as Turkey, a.k.a. The Republic of Turkey, and it’s a country that’s both European and Asian. There are a lot of interesting facts about Turkey that make it a worthy visit for your next travel adventure.
They’re the home of Santa Claus, they have a dessert with chicken breast in it, and their national sport is oil wrestling. All of these three things are but a fraction of what makes Turkey worth visiting. To help add to the list, here are 15 best things that you should visit in Turkey as the next plan for your travel.
15 Best Things to Do in Turkey
1. Fly in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia
The landscape of the district of Cappadocia offers a surreal and fairy-tale like atmosphere thanks to its impressive architecture. Plenty of people describe the town as something akin to a moon landscape, and for a good reason.
In this beautiful town, one of the most popular activities would be to go on a hot air balloon. If you find yourself there, then you should hop on one. You’ll feel like you’re in fantasy land as you look down on the surreal town below you.
2. Go for a dip in Pamukkale thermal pools
The Pamukkale thermal pools are famous in Turkey, so much so that it can create crowds of people from both local and international tourists. However crowded they may be, their cloud-like appearance is what makes them worth a trip.
The travertine white rock terraces from the turquoise water that fills them are a stunning combination. Spend a few hours or less in the pools and admire this natural and one-of-a-kind spring.
3. Witness the ancient City of Ephesus
The City of Ephesus is an ancient city that has roots from both the Greek and Roman history. It is most famous for its Temple of Artemis, but there are plenty of other ancient ruins there. From theaters to simple old homes, you can spend quite a bit of time admiring ancient history in this UNESCO World Heritage site.
4. Paraglide over Ölüdeniz
Ölüdeniz will be familiar with some James Bond or movie buffs out there. The reason being that this is where you can see Daniel Craig jump off of a cliff in his James Bond movie Skyfall. If you want to feel a bit like James Bond yourself, then why not go to Ölüdeniz and go paragliding yourself?
5. Wander around Butterfly Valley
If you’re looking to relax and walk around and appreciate nature, then you should head over to the Butterfly Valley. The reason its name is Butterfly Valley is that it is the home of a variety of butterfly species.
You can hike, camp, or walk around in the valley, or you can cool down at the strip of the beach there.
6. Attend a Whirling Dervish Show
The Whirling Dervishes are members of a Muslim religious order that are most known for performing dances where they spin, a.k.a. whirl. This ritual is a way for them to communicate with God. If you want to catch this exciting show, then you should look for one in Istanbul although you can find one anywhere in Turkey.
7. Learn about Turkish history when you visit Hagia Sophia
The Hagia Sophia is a church-turned-mosque in Istanbul that is also one of Turkey’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its impressive architecture has made this iconic building a characteristic building in the city of Istanbul. It was even in one of famed author Dan Brown’s novels: Inferno.
8.. Discover the ancient underground city of Derinkuyu
In the district of Derinkuyu lies an ancient underground city that could have housed about 20,000 people. What’s even more interesting about this underground city is the way it came to light.
Back in 1963, a man from Turkey was doing renovations in his basement. When he knocked down a wall, he found this doorway, which is a part of this underground city. You can visit this landmark for yourself and imagine yourself in the shoes of the man who broke down a basement wall only to discover an underground city.
9. Pay the Blue Mosque a visit
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is most notable for its exciting color and remains a functioning mosque to this day. It’s best known as the name Blue Mosque. This grand mosque is going to leave you in awe, so you should take a tour of the place. Make sure that you dress appropriately, given that it’s still a religious site.
10. Plan a visit to Pigeon Valley
You don’t need to hop on a hot air balloon to find Cappadocia romantic and unique. Merely visiting the Pigeon Valley feels magical all on its own. This valley has homes for pigeons carved in the rocky landscape, hence the name. There you can see several pigeons and other birds while looking at a glamorous setting around you.
11. Walk through the Love Valley
While you’re in Cappadocia, you should also stop by the Love Valley. There’s a funny reason why it’s called the Love Valley. The only hint you’ll get is that what makes it the Love Valley is its particular rock formation that you’ll have to see for yourself. Going to the Love Valley is a great hike, so you should pack a lunch and your hiking gear.
12. Shop around Grand Bazaar
If you’re planning on going shopping for souvenirs in Turkey, then there’s no better place to go than the Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is known as one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. There are a lot of goodies that you can get from this market. You might even find yourself getting lost in it.
Make sure you leave enough room in your check-in or carry-on luggage because you might find a lot of souvenirs you want to bring home from your shopping spree. After all, there are more than 3000 shops that have set themselves up in the Bazaar. You should sharpen your negotiation skills and start haggling to get the best deals from those you buy in here.
You can’t explore the Bazaar in one visit thoroughly. Therefore, you should take your time and don’t be intimidated by the negotiations. If you’re not happy, feel free to look for a deal elsewhere.
13. Have a taste of local Raki
When going to foreign lands, you should experience their local cuisine. Of course, this includes the local alcohol that people drink. For Turkey, one of their beloved alcohols would be Raki. It has a strong taste of anise and is usually a companion of seafood.
14. Try their traditional Turkish coffee
Speaking of Turkish drinks, another drink that you should try in Turkey would be their coffee. For people who don’t drink black coffee, this may be too strong, but it’s still worth a try. Each region of Turkey may make their coffee differently. Try and have a sip for yourself and see how different their coffee culture is in comparison to yours.
15. Try a fish sandwich partnered with pickle juice
People from Istanbul have a unique food practice that you can experience for yourself if you go to the river Bosphorus. There they serve a particular fish sandwich with a green salad, onions, and lemon juice dressing. The tradition is that you will have a shot of pickle juice along with the sandwich.
Over to You
Turkey has one of the most magical and exciting sights in the world. From its architecture and history to its food and religious practices, there’s so much Turkey has that is unique to it alone. Therefore, you should make it your next travel destination.
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