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The 15 Best Places to Visit in Turkey in 2023

The 15 Best Places to Visit in Turkey in 2023

Have you started making plans for your next travel destination? If you haven’t decided where to go, it’s time to consider Turkey. The land home to both East and West boasts countless tourist attractions.

The guide below will provide you with the best places to visit in Turkey. You surely don’t want to miss out on the opportunities that this country has to offer.

15 of the Best Places to Visit in Turkey

A trip to Turkey is truly a memorable experience for many. This country is undoubtedly a mix of old and new, thanks to its rich history. Surprisingly, this country can offer you much more than just a historical trip.

It is also one of the most popular travel destinations among Europeans because of its proximity to the continent. The country’s complex and unique culture will surely be an eye-opener.

The breathtaking scenery of the country’s mountainous regions is ready to be explored. Visit Turkey with your loved ones to witness stunning natural wonders up close.

1. Istanbul

Ortakoy landscape pictured at sunrise looking toward the mosque from the water in Istanbul, one of the best places to visit in Turkey

Turkey Photo/Shutterstock

This popular city in Turkey is also among the most popular metropolises in Europe. Did you know that UNESCO declared Istanbul a World Heritage Site?

The city is home to several popular attractions, such as the Pera Museum, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Under the influence of the Greeks and then the Romans, Istanbul is rich in history, religious sites, and monuments.

Read Next: Istanbul Safety Guide for 2023 and The Best & Worst Times to Visit Istanbul

2. Pamukkale

Neat tiered hot springs in Pamukkale, one of the best places to visit in Turkey

Jakob Fisher/Shutterstock

In English, Pamukkale means Cotton Castle. This city is a must-see for those who love gorgeous white cityscapes with pillars of rocks. The white city is one of Turkey’s natural wonders as it is made of travertine stone that cascades, mimicking frozen waterfalls.

Since the area is too fragile to preserve its natural wonder, it restricts visitors from swimming and paddling in some areas, while other open areas require visitors to take off their shoes.

However, swimming is fully allowed in the antique thermal pool, which offers numerous health benefits. Consider touring the place at sunset to get an even more stunning and mystical experience.

3. Oludeniz

Aerial view of Oludeniz, one of the top places to visit in Turkey, pictured with white sand beaches stretching across the coastline


Popularly known as the Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz is a popular seaside resort perfect for a beautiful romantic getaway. The lagoon incorporates clear blue waters and white sands.

One popular activity Oludeniz is famous for is paragliding, where you can enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of the region. Diving is also popular in this rich body of water with various species of caves and fauna.

You will find several diving agencies where you can ask for assistance. And for those who love snorkeling, there are exciting scuba diving opportunities here.

4. Cappadocia

Neat and colorful view of the gorgeous stone town of Cappadocia and hot air balloons above for a piece on the best places to visit in Turkey


This region is located in Central Turkey and is known for its fascinating cave towns, underground cities, and fairy chimneys. Visit the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia to experience the surreal beauty of this region.

You wouldn’t want to miss the other incredible attraction and activity; hot air ballooning. It is a popular activity in Cappadocia and offers some breathtaking views. You can also see the fairy chimneys at night to get an even more unique experience.

5. Marmaris

Aerial view of a boat driving on the water in front of the marina at Marmaris for a piece on the best places to visit in Turkey

Denis Belitsky/Shutterstock

Great food, a beautiful coastline, friendly people, and pristine beaches make this stunning resort town of Marmaris. During summer, the place receives more than a quarter-million people who flock to the beaches.

The area sits pretty on the Turquoise coast with incredible underwater life making it a perfect location for snorkeling. Other activities in this place include:

  • Exploring the rock tombs
  • Experiencing a mad bath
  • Cruising to the Dalyan river
  • Exploring Jesus beach

6. Ephesus

Ancient ruins in the city of Ephesus with a blue sky in the background

Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

Ephesus is a popular archaeological site in Turkey that was once a trade center in the past and a religious place for early Christians. The place was built in the 10th century BC and used to accommodate more than 300,000 individuals during this period.

One unique feature you can explore when visiting this place is the Library of Celsus, an exciting building of the Roman empire with a capacity to store 12,000 scrolls.

You can also explore the house of Mary, located next to Ephesus and believed to be where the Virgin Mary lived during her time in Ephesus.

7. Antalya

Beige sand beach between the tall rocky coastline with teal water lapping the beach in Antalya, one of the best places to visit in Turkey

Artem Evdokimov/Shutterstock

Antalya is one of the most popular cities in Turkey because of its location on the Turkish Riviera coastline. This place will surely win if you love the beach alongside some fancy history. This city incorporates two sections.

The first one is the Labyrinthine old town with numerous historic sites, while the second section is Antalya’s beaches, where you can enjoy a scenic view. Visit the Antalya museum for an insight into Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman times.

8. Bodrum

Street view of the small town of Bodrum, one of the best places to visit in Turkey, with colorful flowers along the buidings

Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

Once a simple fishing village, this place is one of Turkey’s most popular holiday destinations. It is situated on the Mediterranean sea, and most people know it for its amazing boat cruises and yacht marina.

However, there are still other things to do in this amazing place. For instance, you can swim, snorkel or sunbathe at the beach.

9. Patara Beach

Patara Beach pictured from the air with an expansive coastline with white sand stretching on for miles


This is the largest beach in Southern Turkey, located along the Lycian coast. The beach offers tranquility for visitors looking for absolute seclusion and rest since it incorporates a vast Mediterranean coastline.

As such, it has enough space to accommodate visitors without being overcrowded. Visitors can also enjoy several sports, including windsurfing, kiting, diving, etc.

10. Mount Ararat

Castle-like Virap church with Mount Ararat, one of the best places to visit in Turkey, pictured in the background


Mount Ararat is a snow-capped mountain in Turkey that holds religious significance to early Christians. This mountain is one of Turkey’s most popular pilgrimage sites since it is believed that Noah’s Ark landed there.

However, other than religious significance, there are other activities you can enjoy on this mountain, like hiking to enjoy incredible views of the mountain and nature. You must note that you need a licensed guide and permit to hike this mountain.

11. Ankara

View of Ankara in Turkey, one of the best places to visit in the country, pictured from the top of a hill looking out over the town

Bilal Kocabas/Shutterstock

Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, has plenty of interesting attractions. The city is home to one of the most crucial Turkey museums, the Ataturk Mausoleum, built between 1944 and 1953 to provide a resting place for the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

You can also visit Ahi Serafettin Mosque, a 700-year-old incredible architectural wonder.

12. Side

Ruins of Side, one of the best places to visit in Turkey, span over the road while a small SUV drives below the arch

Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

This resort town carries an incredible ancient history touch. It has its location next to the Mediterranean harbor and incorporates standing columns representing Apollo and Athena temples.

Other historical sites you can explore while in the area include the Side’s theatre and the Side Museum. The theatre was the largest, accommodating 15,000 people in ancient Pamphylia.

13. Konya

Devil's Bridge in Konya pictured with a guy walking on it for a piece on the best places to visit in Turkey

Abdullah Durman/Shutterstock

This place has several monuments, museums, and historical sites that will surely take you back in time. The town is a must-see for those who love exploring history.

After all, it contains numerous centuries-old monuments like The Sehitler Abidesi. The place also hosts whirling dervish shows that are a means of prayer and entertainment for visitors and locals.

14. Bursa

Yellow and beige buildings on either side of the stone walking path in Bursa, one of the best places to visit in Turkey

Bursa, Turkey – November 16, 2019: 700 years old Ottoman village Cumalikizik. It is popular with small tiny wooden and traditional houses and shops around cobblestone streets/Skilful/Shutterstock

This former capital of the Ottoman empire is Turkey’s most industrialized and populous metropolitan area. Visit this area to explore the ancient world and beautiful imperial mosques.

You can visit the Muradiye complex, which includes a historic cemetery, and Uludag, the most famous ski and mountain resort in Turkey.

15. Izmir

Very neat dusk view of the Konak Square and clock tower with palm trees in the background in Izmir, one of the best places to visit in Turkey

Izmir, Turkey – January 12, 2016 : Konak Square and Clock Tower view at sunset. Konak Square is populer tourist attraction in Izmir/Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

Izmir offers visitors both ancient and modern charm by incorporating ancient attractions and bustling cities. Some incredible historical places you can visit in this area include the Asansor, Agora open-air museum, Pergamon, etc.

Additionally, since the area incorporates an incredible Mediterranean climate, you can go to the beach to enjoy some sun and fun. Other activities you can enjoy in the area include shopping, nightlife, etc.

Things to Consider

Before visiting any country, it’s always good practice to consider several things to make your trip more enjoyable. Well, it’s true for Turkey as well. Before making your next trip to this amazing country, here are the things to consider:

The Four Seasons

Turkey transitions to all four seasons during a year. As a result, depending on the period, ensure you pack appropriately when planning a visit to this country.

For example, if you visit in summer, pack light clothing made of breathable fabrics. If, on the other hand, you’ll be visiting during winter, then pack properly for cold weather.

The Dressing Code

Although this country is not so strict with the dress code, it still maintains modesty regarding people dressing up. Avoid exposing your knees and shoulders when traveling around, and cover your head when visiting religious buildings.


Safety is always paramount when traveling to any destination. Although Turkey is usually a moderately safe destination, it’s important to always take care of your belongings in the hotels and when venturing out in public.

Language Barrier

Most of the people in Turkey speak Turkish, which can be quite a challenge if you aren’t familiar with the language. Take time to learn some Turkish phrases before visiting this country.

This way you’ll be able to communicate with the locals. You can also use a translation app on your phone to help you communicate.


When you visit Turkey, you’ll notice that locals here greet each other by kissing both cheeks. Don’t be shocked if locals greet you the same way.

It’s a common practice here. However, some may offer to shake your hand instead. You can also use this greeting if the other person offering it does it with good intentions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman in a tan sundress and a white hat sitting on a stone wall in Marmaris, one of the best places to visit when in Turkey


Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Turkey. Knowing the answers to these questions can be very useful when planning a visit to this country:

What are some of the top things I can do in Turkey?

There are numerous things to do in this country. You can enjoy historical sites, visit natural attractions or explore religious sites. Additionally, you can enjoy some Turkish sweet treats and try out the country’s delicious cuisines.

What is the most beautiful place in Turkey?

No doubt, this country offers the most beautiful places. These include Patara, Marmaris, Pamukkale, and the Blue Lagoon of Turkey, among many others.

What is the ideal season to visit Turkey?

The fall and spring are the ideal seasons to visit this country. The weather is usually pleasant, not too cold or hot, during these two seasons. You will also benefit from moderate hotel rates and fewer crowds.

What are some of the best areas to stay in Turkey?

There are several areas you can choose to stay in Turkey. These include Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum, and Cappadocia. Each of these areas offers something special to visitors. The best way to choose the ideal area to stay in is by considering your personal preferences.

What is the best means of transportation to use when exploring Turkey?

Turkey is one of the countries with great infrastructure. You’ll undoubtedly find great public transport systems, like buses, trains, and mini-buses. If you are traveling on a tight schedule, consider taking short flights around the country.

So, What’s the Best Place to Visit in Turkey?

There are numerous places to visit in Turkey. The only challenge you may face is choosing the best place to visit. However, if you follow your personal preferences alongside the things to consider before visiting, you’ll surely enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Happy travels!