4 places you must visit in Turkey

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Turkey is undoubtedly one of the most interesting countries in the world. It is a country where two continents meet, Europe on the one side and Asia on the other. Despite some unfortunate events that have happened in recent years, it is still one of the favourite destinations among tourists. People love to visit the country for multiple reasons. Whether you are looking for stunning beaches or ancient historical sites and marvellous mosques, Turkey’s cities have a lot to offer. You can always find delicious food to eat and Turkish people are very friendly and welcoming. In order to have an experience that you will never forget you have to choose carefully which places suit your needs. Read below to discover the top 4 places you must visit in Turkey.

1. First place you must visit in Turkey: Istanbul

Galata Tower, Istanbul

This list wouldn’t be complete without referring to Istanbul. As one of the most remarkable cities in the world, Istanbul manages to merge its ancient past and modern city feeling. Not a lot of cities around the world have been able to achieve that. It is also “split” into two sides, the European and the Asian one. Both sides are beautiful in their own unique way and there are a lot of things to discover. You could spend days or weeks here and still find new things to see every day even. For those who visit for the first time, the historic center is where you should go first and concentrate your time.

Istanbul might not be Turkey’s capital but it is definitely the country’s metropolis. Both its shores of Europe and Asia are home to a population of about 15 million people of different nationalities. Thanks to its strategic location, between the two continents, merchants used to visit Istanbul bringing their wealth and products. As they came from all around the globe, Istanbul was and still remains a multicultural place. There are hundreds of beautiful buildings, delightful mosques and fantastic palaces from that time that are still there today. Don’t lose your chance to see lots of ancient sites such as the famous church of Hagia Sophia.

2. Second place you must visit in Turkey: Izmir

Izmir, Turkey

Despite being Turkey’s third-largest city, Izmir wasn’t a popular tourist destination in the past. Even though it remained off the radar for many years, this situation started changing in the last few years. Izmir slowly becomes an ideal alternative to busy and crowded Istanbul. It is still quite a big city, with a population of  2.9 million, but it definitely has a more relaxed and easy-going vibe than the other big cities in Turkey. Izmir was once named Smyrna, the most important port town on this coast from the Roman period until the end of the Ottoman era. Its port still exists and it is very beautiful to walk next to, especially during sunnier days.

For centuries it was, along with Alexandria in Egypt, a Mediterranean cosmopolitan hub, where Turks, Greeks, Jews, and Armenians all lived together. Unfortunately, this changed about a century ago. The catastrophic fire that happened at the end of the war in 1922 destroyed much of Izmir’s historic neighbourhoods. If you still want to experience a glimpse of its historic past you can visit the Kemeralti Market district in the core of the city. If you visit during the summer months, Izmir is known for its great beaches and its welcoming citizens will make you feel at home in no time at all.

3. Ankara

Ankara, Turkey

Our third recommendation might not be the biggest city in the country, but it is its capital. It has a population of five million, around half of Istanbul’s population. Located is in the centre of the country, The capital is the centre of business and industry of Turkey. There are two main reasons to consider visiting this less popular city. The first one is to visit one of the best museums in the country. The museum in question is the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. In the exhibitions of the museum, you can see a great collection of artefacts from archaeological sites across the country. If you love history and you want to understand Turkey’s ancient history, this is the best place for you.

The second reason why you should visit the capital of Turkey is the Anitkabir. Antikabir is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish Republic’s founding father. This is why it is the most visited landmark in the city. The site is completed with an art gallery, the green peace park, ceremonial walk and hall of honours. If you are not very excited to visit Anitkabir, we recommend Ankara Castle. It is the second most-visited landmark from which you can enjoy a stunning 360-degree panoramic view.

4. Antalya

Antalya, Turkey

If you’re planning a summer vacation to Turkey, you cannot possibly miss Antalya. It is the best of the 4 places you must visit in Turkey during the summer. You get to enjoy the sun and sand along with the city right next to the beach. You can enjoy relaxing days at the beach at both Konyaalti beach and Lara beach. After visiting the beaches you can enjoy food and drinks in the city, among the small traditional streets or next to the water. Additional tourist attractions include the old neighbourhood of Kaleici, Archaeological Museum, Duden waterfalls, and the aquarium.

If you’re interested in something more than days at the beach, you use a cable car to travel up Mount Tahtali. From up there you can have a perfect view of the coastline or the sunset. After climbing, consider checking out the ruins of Phaselis. It is an ancient city once ruled by Alexander the Great whose remains also include an amphitheatre and houses. In Lara beach, one of the best destinations, you can enjoy the crystal blue sea. If you go there during the high season in summer, don’t miss the Antalya sand festival.

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