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Top 9 Things to Do in Turkey

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Woman visiting the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

The nine best things to do in Turkey capture the spirit of the culture and the breadth of heritage that spans millennia and continents.

Explore ancient worlds. Embrace the unique flavors that demonstrate a long history of trade and cultural amalgamation. Discover soothing baths and the wonders of history. Whether eager to stroll along cobblestone streets to find views of a unique skyline or interested in witnessing the unique scenery of the remote countryside, Turkey boasts distinction in abundance.

Working with the right travel specialist can help make your experience surpass your expectations as you discover the marvelous things to do during your custom-tailored trip.

  1. 1. Witness the Wonders of Empires in Archeological Sites
  2. 2. Experience the Breadth of Culture in Famous Museums
  3. 3. Explore the Beauty of the Landscape on Walking Tours
  4. 4. Uncover the Succulent and Enticing Flavors with Food Tours
  5. 5. Embrace the Majestic Scenery with Scenic Excursions
  6. 6. Bask in Secluded Charms and Lesser-Explored Corners
  7. 7. Indulge in the Colorful Waters and Sands
  8. 8. Uncover Charm and Possibilities in the Bazaars
  9. 9. Revel in the Traditional Comfortable Waters
  10. Experience the Top Things to Do in Turkey

1. Witness the Wonders of Empires in Archeological Sites

Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey

Ephesus, Turkey

Turkey is a land of historic proportions and significance, with every uncovered layer exposing another unique charm.

With every new avenue and vista revealing another empire, you can embrace the adventures of history when traveling in Turkey.

From Ottoman grandeur to Roman prestige, gilded Byzantine aesthetics to the walls of Troy, you can explore the tantalizing ruins that rise from the unique landscapes scattered across the country.

Best Places to See History: Ephesus • Aizanoi • Aphrodisias • Side • Istanbul • Konya

2. Experience the Breadth of Culture in Famous Museums

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

The culture of Turkey is stunningly diverse, encompassing the movement of peoples, communities, and the point at which East meets West. Explore galleries that demonstrate the importance of a city through time or the collections of legends through captivating artifacts.

From outdoor exhibits to the marvels of architecture, Turkey can feel like an immersive gallery, with each new city, street, or landscape capturing another perspective of local heritage and global connection.

Best Museums to Visit: Chora Church • Ephesus Archeological Museum • Mevlana Museum • Topkapi Palace • Hagia Sophia • Antalya Museum

3. Explore the Beauty of the Landscape on Walking Tours

Hiking in Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey

Exploring Turkey on foot can introduce you to the marvelous cultures, fascinating scenery, and surprising diversity that sweeps from urban streets to fairy-tale landscapes. Travel through bustling bazaars, embrace a panorama of a town hidden beside natural rock formations that resemble chimneys from a storybook, or venture into nature to enjoy a trail winding along part of the ancient coastline. No matter where you choose to adventure, you can find new environments perfect for walkable experiences.

Best Places for Walking Tours: Istanbul • Bursa • Cappadocia • Lycian Trail

4. Uncover the Succulent and Enticing Flavors with Food Tours

Pastirmasi on display in the Grand Bazaar

Pastirmasi, Turkish Air Dried Meat

The real adventure when exploring Turkey is uncovering the remarkable cuisine that demonstrates the unique cultural and local histories across the various regions.

With enticing flavors that reveal a depth of trade history and connections between distinctive civilizations, each bite of a new dish can leave you craving more.

From pastirmasi to gorgeous figs, kofte to boyoz, find elements of the spice trade, the Silk Road, or a medieval corner of a hidden city as you embrace tastes familiar and new.

Best Places for Food Tours: Gaziantep • Hatay • Afyonkarahisar • Istanbul

5. Embrace the Majestic Scenery with Scenic Excursions

Thermal pools and travertine terraces in Pamukkale, Turkey

Travertines of Pamukkale, Turkey

Turkey is a remarkable destination in which to experience and witness the unique. Water terraces glint in the sunlight, fairy-tale chimneys rise out of the natural landscape, and cisterns resemble a basilica.

Travel through an ancient legend or wander through an entire city of the dead carved into a hillside. From remarkable architecture to unforgettable nature, the majesty of Turkey displays an indelible charm unlike anywhere else in the world.

Best Places for Unique Scenic Excursions: Cappadocia • Goreme • Derinkuyu • Pamukkale • Demre

6. Bask in Secluded Charms and Lesser-Explored Corners

Cozy street in Bozcaada, Turkey

Bozcaada, Turkey

The towns and villages of Turkey embrace their traditions and reveal preserved beauty, inspired by the extraordinary corners that spread from West to East.

From adventurous hillsides to coastal wonders, cobblestone streets to artisan perspectives that demonstrate the fringes of former empires, you can embrace the Classical or wander through Ottoman aesthetics, explore contemporary life or feel connected to Byzantine glamour.

Each town can seem dazzling yet soft-spoken, legendary yet accessible, resulting in endless charisma.

Best Villages and Towns to Visit: Mustafapaşa • Yanıklar • Amasya • Göreme • Kayaköy • Bozcaada

7. Indulge in the Colorful Waters and Sands

Oludeniz beach, known as the Blue Lagooon, in Turkey

Ölüdeniz, Turkey

The alluring waters and sands along the Turkish coastline reveal exceptional beaches that connect the landscape to the sweeping shoreline.

The beaches in Turkey shimmer with golden sand and turquoise water, pine-clad mountains and endless Mediterranean sun.

Indulge in lavish resorts, wander exceptional hiking trails, or simply lounge on the coastline to relax in the comfortable combination of lapping waves and golden light as you find the best beaches of Turkey.

Best Beaches to Visit: Kabak Beach • Blue Lagoon • Cleopatra’s Beach • Mermerli Plaji • Içmeler

8. Uncover Charm and Possibilities in the Bazaars

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey

The marketplaces in Turkey are not just about shopping, but part of the culture that demonstrates the deep-rooted traditions of trade connected to the Silk Road, the spice trade, and the heart of Mediterranean commerce that sweeps across land and sea.

With vibrant colors and endless energy, the bazaars across Turkey immerse you in old-world charm and contemporary bustle. Energetic, historic, flavorful, and stylish, you can explore a world of carpets and aromatics, artworks and tea sets, clothing and traditional sweets when shopping in Turkey.

Best Places for Shopping: İzmir • Eskişehir • Istanbul • Gaziantep • Bursa

9. Revel in the Traditional Comfortable Waters

Interior of a Turkish Hammam

Turkish Hammam

A traditional Turkish hammam can give you the luxuries of a spa and the culture of an ancient bath as you experience local heritage on a grand scale.

A mixture of architectural wonder, customary charms, and a relaxing ambiance create the perfect combination for an unforgettable journey through the spirit of Turkey.

As a historical place to cleanse body and soul, you can lounge in the quiet or gossip with the whispers of centuries for the full experience of an opulent or boutique old-world spa.

Best Places to Find a Hammam: Istanbul • Göreme • Ürgüp • Cumalıkızık

Experience the Top Things to Do in Turkey

Hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey

Turkey’s incredible variety of things to do embraces the authentic essence of culture, demonstrates deep-rooted heritage, and represents marvelous hospitality. From hot-air balloon rides to soothing private baths, colorful marketplaces to sizzling cuisine, each new experience can reveal another layer of charm and breathtaking beauty.

For inspiration on how you can travel according to your preferences and style, find our Turkey vacations and tours or our Turkey travel guide.

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