Top 10 things to do in Turkey

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If this list could be the top 50 things to do in Turkey, it might be better. However to save your eyes and brain from frying, these are the top 10 things to do while visiting this magnificent country. Leave room to add a few more destinations of your own that you might wander off to check out.



For an out of this world experience, Cappadocia is your spot. This area in Central Anatolia is a weird hardened lava village. Try to imagine odd volcanic pinnacles and structures sprinkled across a hilly plain. The village actually lives in the magnificence little structures and it will certainly be on the top of your list of most bizarre places. Take a hot air-balloon up to see it from up top.


Travertine layers protrude out from mountainsides and provide an oasis in the pockets of these layers. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a natural spa over looking the charming town of Pamukkale. The travertine is nearly pure white and the small pools in the floor hold a light cloudy-blue water that is nice and hot. The name Pamukkale is actually “cotton castle” in Turkish which is the perfect name for this ultimate Turkish bathing experience. Caves and mud baths can also be found in the area as well as a waterfall.



This spot is a major tourist attraction for the country. Located in the Aegean region this ancient Greek city holds the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The impressive Great Theatre, which holds 24,000 people and is one of the largest in the Greco-Roman world, is also located here. More famous structures and temples like the Temple of Hadrian and the Trajan Fountain are destinations of interest while you are in the area.



Home to the ancient city of Halikarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, this city is growing and growing in popularity amongst tourists. Here you can see the remains of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus just a short distance from the marina. The most prominent place in the area is the Bodrum Castle or Castle of St Peter. Built in the early 1400’s, this medieval structure has now become a museum. Set on the water, the views from here are fantastic. The Bodrum Amphitheatre is another spectacular ancient structure and is very well preserved considering it’s age.

There are also a number of galleries and museums as well as the historical windmills that are scattered about the Bodrum peninsula. They were used in the mid 18th century for grinding flour and they are still here today for tourists to admire.


Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut provides a gorgeous trekking experience with a dash of bizarre. The mountains are located just about 40 km north of Kahta in the southeast region of the country. Hiking up will be rewarding, and a beautiful way to spend the day. Come up here to catch the sunrise for the most epic possible views and then take a gander at the odd statues and stone heads that are randomly scattered about the the top of summit. These are assumed to be some kind of royal burial grounds from the 1st century BC.


Mount Ararat

For the avid trekker, Mount Ararat is a must. This massive inactive volcano is one of the hottest spots for treeing through the steppes of Turkey. This is also thought to be the final resting place of Noah’s Ark. This climb is not for the faint of heart as it does get challenging and special permission to climb this mountain is even needed before manning up and making your way to the summit. The views are well worth the trip though. You can even get a glimpse of Turkey’s neighbours, Iran and Armenia from up here.


Lake Van

Just simply beautiful. There sometimes just aren’t words to describe what you want to say, you just have to see it. Lake Van is one of the places. This absolutely stunning and peaceful spot is not far from historical towns of interest, but once you get out here, everything else on your mind evaporates. You look around and you notice your are engulfed by volcanic cones and mountain tops as you sit in a valley in front of a salty serene lake. Take a ride out to this magnificent lake to feel yourself immersed in a complete zen-like state.


Mamure Castle

Extremely well preserved is this fantastic 3rd century construction castle. The Romans, Crusaders, and Ottomans all called this an ancient and majestic structure home and it’s mind-boggling to even thing you are setting foot on the same grounds. Set on the coast, this medieval castle was used to protect against pirates and is surrounded by a moat.


Sumela Monastery

Precariously set on a side of a mountain this absolutely bizarre structure looks like it barely hangs on to the side of the cliff. Two monks, Barnabus and Sophronus, started this monastic complex that is now a large structure on the side of Mount Mela. The climb is 1200 meters and a challenging climb at that. The views are most certainly worthy of the climb and the sheer magnificent carvings and architecture of this structure is truly a beautiful feat.


Grand Bazaar

While in Turkey, one certainly must walk through a few bazaars. The one not to miss is the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. This is one of the biggest and oldest covered markets in the world today. Handicrafts, carpets, spices, antiques, jewellery, ceramics, you name it and this bazaar will likely have it. Dive into it and make an entire afternoon dedicated to walking the myriad of streets and alley ways while bargaining your way around the collection of trinkets and things set out on the streets.

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