Combining a vibrant legacy of Hellenistic, Roman, Ottoman, Middle Eastern, and modern architecture and cultures, Turkey's alluring cultural appeal, budget-friendly destinations, and great hospitality make it a rewarding experience in the world of tourism. Though falling from the throne of empires when the last Ottoman Sultan was deposed and a republic declared nearly a century ago, Turkey has grown ever since as a modern and robust economic and political bulwark, competing for entry into the EU while still maintaining that unique Eastern charm which so much enchants all travelers alike.
Dinner under the moonlight in the Bosphorus…Romantic, isn't it? But not far-fetched either. As Turkey's major cultural and economic powerhouse, Istanbul is not just the clichéd 'bridge' between East and West, but rather a fantastic city of culture and delight saw elsewhere. From the towering and emblematic Hagia Sophia Mosque to the impressive Bosphorus Bridge linking Asia with Europe to the picturesque Dolmabahce Palace and Maiden's Tower, Istanbul is a magical city ready to spellbound you with its timeless relics and vibrant lifestyle. Nowhere is this East-West charm so easily felt than strolling through Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul's most popular, most colorful, and it's most stylish. Old-style tramways ferry a sea of people who wander through its shops and cafes in the daytime. At night, it's even more exciting: adjacent is Cicek Pasaji, a roofed gallery replete with taverns, cafes, fine restaurants, and shops all housed in typical Ottoman architecture, all offering travelers a unique experience of old Eastern charm with new Western vibrancy. However, if you wish to go full gears into the East, look no further than the halls of Istanbul's famed Grand Bazaar, deemed to be one the first shopping malls in the world. The bustling activity coupled with the old Ottoman architecture and the colorful goods paraded is so typical and so alluring. There are also the rather Westernized Bagdat and Abdi Ipekci Avenues for equal glamour, both with a touch of shopping frivolity. You can also head to Nisantasi quarter, a neighborhood of upscale shops, cafes, and apartment buildings, also charmingly decorated during Christmas. Remember that dinner under the moonlight in the Bosphorus? Istanbul is also legendary in its exquisite seafood, and the best places are located (you guessed it) on either shore of the strait. There, hundreds of restaurants are packed with clientele eager to savor the sea's produce with that unique touch of Turkish inventiveness in dishes like Balik dolma or Balik iskender. While Turkish cuisine is renowned for its immensely varied breakfasts and the hundred or so kebab styles, seafood is another culinary experience worth trying. And now that you're by the sea why not try a short ferry ride to the Prince's Islands, a small archipelago in the Sea of Marmara. A day trip is unforgettable: old Ottoman-style mansions populate the islands, some converted into ultra-luxury hotels. There is no traffic there except horse-drawn carriages slowly commuting through cobbled streets flanked by colorful cafes and fine restaurants. The air of placidity on the islands contrasts significantly with the vivid vibrancy of Istanbul.
The 'Jewel' of the Turkish Riviera is the largest international sea resort and one of Turkey's fastest-growing cities. Like Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio, Antalya boasts with its Mediterranean versions—Konyaalti and Lara. They both form an incredible contrasting landscape as they lie against the rising backdrop of the snow-capped Taurus Mountains. Just picture this: cold and snow behind, with sun and fun by the sea! Antalya itself is full of ancient sites like its famed walled city called Kaleici, including Hadrian's Gate, Hidirlik Tower ad its tranquil gardens, and the impressive Yivli Minaret. Antalya is not short of excellent hotels, restaurants, and fair shopping districts as a major resort destination. Just 40 kilometers west is Kemer, a more serene, upscale resort town famous for its utterly beautiful Moonlight Beach.
Facing the Aegean, Bodrum is another seaside jewel famed for its vibrant nightlife and excellent beaches. Above all, it is the site of the famed city of Halicarnassus and its legendary Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. But today, the town itself is a wonder with the imposing St. Peter Castle rising high above the sea, charming public gardens, and picturesque homes lining the seaside. Numerous beaches are lining the coast, with pedestrian boulevards packed with cafes and restaurants offering exquisite Turkish seafood. The town has a somewhat more pleasant, more peaceful profile than Antalya, which makes it ideal for those seeking the sun to themselves.
Marmaris is a beautiful Mediterranean resort town along the Turkish Rivier with turquoise blue waters, a long stretch of golden sandy beaches, isolated bays, coves and inlets, rugged mountains, pretty villages, rough mountains, charming villages, pine-covered hills, ancient cities, marinas, and a vibrant town center.
Trabzon is the Black Sea Region's most important city due to its numerous historical remains and gorgeous natural landscapes. From monasteries to mountain villages, citadels to churches, there's a lot to see in this town that's still to be discovered by visitors.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN TURKEY
Istanbul's Topkapi Palace
The Topkapi Palace takes you into the impressive, sumptuous world of the sultans. The encompassing public gardens were once the Royal Court's remaining domain but are now open to the public and provide a peaceful, green break from the city streets.
Visit the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
It's one of the biggest and oldest covered markets in the world. You will find over 60 routes, with thousands of shops to buy remarkable local souvenirs like stained-glass lanterns and lamps, handwoven carpets, spices, and leather goods. It's truly a unique experience.
Cruise on the Aegean Sea
One of the best activities to do in Bodrum and Fethiye is to sail on the Aegean Sea's turquoise blue waters. You will enjoy the beauty of hidden coves donning tiny white-sand beaches, and hundreds of divided islands are the ideal spot for traversing by sea.
Take a Bosphorus Cruise
One of the best ways to see Istanbul is from the Bosphorus. A Bosphorus cruise on the 32 km long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara to the south with the Black Sea to the north of Istanbul, will offer you unique views of the most famous waterfront sites and deliver the history of its palaces, mosques, mansions, and more.
Cappadocia is a geological peculiarity of patterned hills and overlooking rocks of mysterious beauty. The incredible topography is matched by human history here. The fresco-adorned rock-cut churches of Göreme Open-Air Museum and the underground refuges of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı are the most famous sights, while simply bedding down in one of Cappadocia's cave hotels is an adventure in 21st-century cave living. The best way to enjoy this place's extraordinary views is with a hot air balloon tour at sunrise time.
A place no to miss. Hagia Sophia, officially the Hagia Sophia Holy Grand Mosque and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia, is a Cultured Antique mass place in Istanbul.
In the city of Antalya is a fascinating waterfall called: Düden Water Falls and is very interesting and most unexpected. The Duden Waterfalls are two separate natural attractions within the City of Antalya. Upper & Lower Waterfalls... Lower Duden Waterfall is a magnificent cascade that occurs as the Duden River spills off the Antalya City cliffs into the sea. The Upper Duden Waterfalls are a range of small cascades in a quiet municipal park. When visiting the upper falls within the park, don't miss climbing down a winding staircase that leads into a cave behind the waterfalls.
It has more than 60 themed and labeled containers, the largest of which holds over five million liters. The aquarium's WildPark is a tropical area keeping chameleons, frogs, and crocodiles in terrariums, while you can watch a thrilling underwater show at the XD Cinema.
It is an of the most notable historical landmarks in Bodrum. It was built from 1402 onwards by the Knights of St John as the Castle of St. Peter or Petronium. This castle stood as a stronghold for over six centuries and was one of the most significant military fortifications.
It is well known as one of the most prestigious marinas on the Aegean. It is wide quaysides, palms, and eucalyptus tree is a prime place to mill around and watch the ferries come and go. It is a lovely place to enjoy the sunset with its unique variety of restaurants and cafes.
Visit The Blue Mosque
As one of the most iconic buildings globally, the Blue Mosque is a perfect representation of the stunning Ottoman architecture that reverberates everywhere the empire stretched through. It is a great place to enjoy a day, have coffee, shop around, and take significant pictures that will make beautiful memories and postcards.
See the Ortaköy Mosque
This majestic mosque is yet another example of the Ottoman empire's remarkable and charming architecture. It is located just before the Bosphorus bridge. The bridge and the mosque together are usually used to describe the modern and traditional characters of Istanbul.
Revel in delicious Turkish cuisine
In any city or village in Turkey, you will taste the excellent cuisine related to many stories and culture this country has to offer. You will find many meals, including street food such as bread rings covered in sesame seeds, deep-fried mussels with a creamy garlic sauce; warm roasted almonds and pistachio nuts; pastries bathed in syrup; divine milky desserts, and chewy ice creams. Many dishes with meat and seafood are made with particular seasonal products, herbs, and spices. While in Turkey, enjoy its popular food to discover exceptional tastes and wellness resources.