Travel Guide – Turkey

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Introduction

The term ‘best of worlds’ literary comes true when we talk about Turkey. Located in 2 continents – Asia and Europe, Turkey is the 6th most visited and popular travel destination in the world. The country is a mesmerizing mix of exotic beaches, mouthwatering cuisines, rich ancient traditions and world famous historical sites. Turkey is simply irresistible as it attracts travelers (especially the honeymooners) from different parts of the world. The natural and monumental beauty of this country is hard to find anywhere else.

Call it European by mind and Asian by heart, Turkey is a must visit destination on every travel buff’s bucket list. This country is friendly, immensely beautiful, culturally and historically rich and is quite affordable too (as compared to other European countries). So, let’s begin our tour of Turkey.

When to Go

  • High Season is from June to August when the temperatures and prices are the highest.
  • Shoulder Season stays from May to September. You will find less crowd along with warm, spring and autumn temperatures.
  • Low Season starts from October and stays till April.

Getting Around

Turkey is well-connected to major international cities via airways. As for getting around, you can opt for Turkish State Railways, hired taxis, trams, coaches, dolums (minibuses), state run buses, boats, ferries and long distance buses.

Must See Attractions

Turkey is a country that promises an enchanting vacation experience. So, whether you are looking for a beach destination or a historical city, Turkey is one name that will surely come across everyone’s mind.

  • Istanbul – Istanbul served as the capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires and not Turkey (as generally perceived). Though it is the largest city of this country and also the only city in the world that is located in 2 continents – Asia and Europe. Istanbul is famous for its ancient historical sites, impressive architecture, local dining spaces, markets and exotic nightlife.

What to see - Basilica Cistern, Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque, Istanbul Archaeology Museum, Topkapi Palace, Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamam, Chora Church and Galata Tower.

  • Cappadocia – Situated in Central Anatolia (Asian Turkey), this city is famous for its mesmerizing moon like landscape (resembling a fairytale), underground cities, houses and churches carved in the rocks. You will find the mention of Cappadocia even in the Bible’s New Testament. Coming here will be an experience of a lifetime which one can never forget.

What to see - Göreme Open-Air Museum, Underground Cities, Göreme, Paşabag & Zelve Open-Air Museum, Ihlara Valley, Hisars, Çavuşin Churches and Ürgüp

  • Ankara – Located right in the center of the Anatolian region of the country, Ankara is the capital city of Turkey. Being one of the most developed cities of the country, Ankara is home to many government buildings, commercial complexes, universities and foreign embassies etc.

What to see - The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara Citadel, Ataturk Mausoleum, Amasya, Aslanhane Mosque, Hattusas and Temple of Augustus.

  • Ephesus – It was one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Temple of Artemis was also located in Ephesus. Come here to see one of Turkey’s most popular tourist attractions – the ruins of Ephesus.

What to see - Basilica of St. John, Isa Bey Mosque, The Seven Sleepers, Ephesus Museum, Upper Ephesus, Curetes Way, Temple of Hadrian, Great Theatre, Prytaneum and lot more.

Other Must See Attractions

  • Ani
  • Pamukkale
  • Ölüdeniz
  • Pergamum
  • Aspendos
  • Sumela Monastery
  • Mount Nemrut

Things to Do

  • Yacht cruising on the Mediterranean – If you wish to soak up the sun while enjoying a magnificent view of the ancient ruins and gorgeous beaches, then you must plan for a yacht cruise on the Mediterranean. Bodrum and Fethiye are two main cities from where you can opt for a yacht cruise.
  • Stay at a Homestay – Choose to stay at a homestay rather than a lavish hotel if you wish to see the warm hospitality of Turkish people (who consider a guest as a ‘God’s guest’). A homestay is a perfect way to experience the true essence of this wonderful country. It is also an awesome way to live like the local Turkish people.
  • Try the famous Turkish Delights – No trip to Turkey is complete if you don’t relish on the local Turkish cuisines (especially the sweets). The Turkish cuisines are a prefect mix of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Therefore it is very difficult to put them in a particular category. Aşure, Zerde, Tavuk Göğsü, Lokum, Menemen, Köfte, Mantı and Kuzu Tandır are some of the most popular Turkish sweet and spicy delights.

Interesting Facts

  • Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) was born in Patara, Turkey.
  • The first ever Christian church to be built by man was in Turkey.
  • The Turks introduced coffee to Europe.
  • Ankara is the capital of Turkey and not Istanbul.
  • In 16th century, Turkish traders introduced Tulips to Europe.
  • Turkey’s actual name is Republic of Turkey.
  • There are 82,693 mosques in Turkey.
  • Turkey is one of the world's only 5 transcontinental Eurasian countries.
  • The famous Trojan War was fought in Western Turkey and is the final resting place of the Trojan horse.
  • Turkey is the world’s 6th most popular tourism destination.
  • Noah’s Ark is said to have landed in Eastern Turkey at Mount Ararat.
  • There is a Turkish desert (“Tavukgogsu”) that contains Chicken.
  • More than 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in Turkey.
  • Turkey has the highest number of Facebook users in the world.
  • Istanbul is the only city in the world that is located on 2 continents – Europe and Asia.
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