Must-see attractions in Turkey

  • Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Türkiye. Built between 532 and 537AD by Roman Emperor Justinian I as the Christian Cathedral of Constantinople.

    Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque


    Right in the heart of İstanbul’s historic center, this sacred Byzantine building remains an important symbol of power.

  • Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

    Topkapı Palace


    Topkapı is the subject of more colourful stories than most of the world's museums put together. Libidinous sultans, ambitious courtiers, beautiful…

  • Chora Church

    Kariye Mosque


    İstanbul has more than its fair share of Byzantine monuments, but few are as drop-dead gorgeous as this mosaic- and fresco-laden church. Nestled in the…

  • Hierapolis ancient city Pamukkale Turkey, young woman with hat watching sunset by the ruins Unesco ; Shutterstock ID 1167278944; your: Bridget Brown; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI Image Update



    This ancient spa city's location atop Pamukkale's tourist-magnet travertines is quite spectacular. Founded as a curative centre around 190 BC by Eumenes…

  • The ancient Temple of Trajan at Pergamos (Bergama)

    Bergama Acropolis

    İzmir & the North Aegean

    One of Turkey's most impressive archaeological sites, Bergama's acropolis is dramatically sited on a hill to the northeast of the town centre. There's…

  • Suleymaniye Mosque

    Süleymaniye Mosque


    The Süleymaniye crowns one of İstanbul's seven hills and dominates the Golden Horn, providing a landmark for the entire city. Though it's not the largest…

  • Basilica Cistern

    Basilica Cistern


    This subterranean structure was commissioned by Emperor Justinian and built in 532. The largest surviving Byzantine cistern in İstanbul, it was…

  • Hatay, Turkey - March 09, 2022 : Necmi Asfuroglu Archaeology Museum of Antakya City interior view in Turkey; Shutterstock ID 2135458105; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Hatay Archaeology Museum

    Eastern Mediterranean

    This incomparable museum contains one of the world's finest collections of Roman and Byzantine mosaics, covering a period from the 1st century AD to the…

  • Blue Mosque.

    Blue Mosque


    İstanbul's most photogenic building was the grand project of Sultan Ahmet I (r 1603–17), whose tomb is located on the north side of the site facing…

  • Cave of Heaven and Hell in Mersin, Turkey. Cennet and Cehennem or heaven and hell are two large sinkholes in Taurus Mountains. ; Shutterstock ID 1554068366; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Caves of Heaven and Hell

    Eastern Mediterranean

    Near Narlıkuyu, a road winds north for 2km to several caves – sinkholes carved out by a subterranean river and places of great mythological significance…

  • Enclosure C at Göbekli Tepe.



    Around 11km northeast of Urfa, 'Pot Belly Hill' was first excavated in 1994 by a team led by Professor Klaus Schmidt. Their discovery of a ritual complex…

  • Turkey, Ephesus, Library of Celsus



    Of Turkey's hundreds of ancient cities and classical ruins, Ephesus is the grandest and best preserved. A Unesco-listed World Heritage Site, it's the best…

  • GAZIANTEP (ZEUGMA), TURKEY - APRIL 20, 2018: Zeugma Mosaic Museum; Shutterstock ID 1815031094; full: 65050; gl: 65050; netsuite: POI; your: Erin Lenczycki

    Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum


    This museum does a stellar job of displaying one of the world's most important mosaic collections, most of which was unearthed at the Roman site of Belkıs…

  • View of Selimiye mosque in Edirne, Turkey. Unesco heritage site. Famous works of Ottoman architecture. Selimiye Mosque, designed by Mimar Sinan in 1575.

    Selimiye Mosque


    Designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Koca Sinan (1497–1588), whose best-known works adorn İstanbul's skyline, this exquisite World Heritage–listed mosque…

  • Maiden's Castle (Kizkalesi), Mersin, Turkey; Shutterstock ID 2080110652; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Kızkalesi Castle

    Eastern Mediterranean

    Rising from an island 250m offshore, impossibly romantic Kızkalesi Castle (also called the Sea Castle) is like a suspended dream. Check out the mosaics of…

  • Bursa, Turkey - November 19, 2021.Muradiye Mosque - Bursa.From the construction inscription on the Muradiye Mosque door arch, II. It is understood that it was built by Murat in 1425-26. It is the last sultan's mosque built in Bursa and the first example of the monumental, multi-unit sultan mosques to be built later. Unlike previous mosques, the two main domes of this mosque are of equal height. The entrance ceiling of the mosque, the lower part of the walls of the main room; It is decorated with dark blue and turquoise colored hexagonal tiles. One of its two minarets was destroyed in the earthquake of 1855 and was rebuilt. The minaret in the northwest corner is old and the other is new.

    Muradiye Mosque

    İzmir & the North Aegean

    The architectural genius of Mimar Sinan is well and truly on show at this exquisite mosque, which was commissioned by Sultan Murat III and constructed…

  • Entrance To Bazaar

    Grand Bazaar


    The colourful and chaotic Grand Bazaar is the heart of İstanbul's Old City and has been so for centuries. Starting as a small vaulted bedesten (warehouse)…

  • Güllüdere (Rose) Valley


    The trails that loop around Güllüdere Vadısı (Rose Valley) are easily accessible to all levels of walkers and provide some of the finest fairy-chimney…

  • Travertines


    The World Heritage–listed saucer-shaped travertines (or terraces) of Pamukkale wind sideways down the powder-white mountain above the village, providing a…

  • Pera Museum


    There's plenty to see at this impressive museum, but its major draw is undoubtedly the 2nd-floor exhibition of paintings featuring Turkish Orientalist…

  • Library of Celsus


    This magnificent library dating from the early 2nd century AD, the best-known monument in Ephesus, has been extensively restored. Originally built as part…

  • Ani

    Far Northeast

    The ruins of Ani, 45km east of Kars, are an absolute must-see. Visitors enter through gigantic fortress walls that look like they fell off a crusader…

  • Museum of Troy

    Thrace & Marmara

    The Museum of Troy's rust-coloured cube, rising from sunbaked earth, is a spectacular multi-floor showcase of the archeological layers of the historic…

  • Şanlıurfa Archaeology Museum


    Şanlıurfa's spectacular archaeology museum is one of the best in Turkey. The region's cultural heritage is displayed across three levels covering a time…

  • Dark Church


    The highlight of Göreme Open-Air Museum is the stunning and fully restored Dark Church, famed for the vivid colours and excellent preservation of its…

  • Göreme Open-Air Museum


    This Unesco World Heritage site is an essential stop on any Cappadocian itinerary. First thought to be a Byzantine monastic settlement that housed some 20…

  • The Temple of Athena in Priene.


    South Aegean

    Priene enjoys a commanding position just below Mt Mykale, giving it a real natural grandeur. This Greco-Roman site is delightful to explore, with pine…

  • Istanbul Archaeology Museum

    İstanbul Archaeology Museums


    The city's foremost archaeological museum is housed in three buildings close to Topkapı Palace. There are many highlights, but the sarcophagi from the…

  • Exterior of Dolmabahce Palace Selamlik Building.

    Dolmabahçe Palace

    The Bosphorus Suburbs

    These days it’s fashionable for architects and critics influenced by the less-is-more aesthetic of Bauhaus masters to sneer at buildings such as…

  • Narrow street in Antalya old town, Kaleici.



    Antalya's historic district is a sight in itself and you could happily spend half a day strolling the narrow lanes here while admiring the mix of finely…

  • 500px Photo ID: 155850215 - This stall was single handedly responsible for killing my waistline.You cannot travel to this fantastic city without sampling these fantastic sweets!

    Kadıköy Produce Market


    An aromatic, colourful and alluring showcase of the best fresh produce in the city, the Kadıköy Pazarı is foodie central for locals and is becoming an…

  • Cave dwelling for the ancient christians in Capadocia

    Zelve Open-Air Museum


    The road between Çavuşin and Avanos passes a turn-off to the Zelve Open-Air Museum, where three valleys of crumbling cave-habitations and churches…

  • Museum of Anatolian Civilisations


    The best place in the country to get to grips with the complex weave of Turkey's history, the exhibits here house artefacts cherry-picked from just about…

  • View over Ishak Pasha Palace in Dogubeyazit, Turkey.

    İshak Paşa Palace

    Far Northeast

    There are few experiences as magical as watching a blazing sunset from behind this ridgetop stone structure, its dome and minaret silhouetted against a…

  • The entrance to the Izmir History and Art Museum in Kulturpark. Izmir, Turkey - July 1, 2023.
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    İzmir Museum of History & Art


    This museum is overlooked by many visitors to the city, who do themselves a great disservice in the process. Spread over three pavilions, it is one of the…

  • Ä°zmir Kemeraltı Bazaar Market, Turkey Middle East, Vintage Colors, Shopping Crowded People, Tight street, Day Light, Traditional Coffee Houses
İzmir Kemeraltı Bazaar Market, Turkey Middle East, Vintage Colors, Shopping Crowded People, Tight street, Day Light, Traditional Coffee Houses

    Kemeraltı Market


    A labyrinthine bazaar stretching from Konak Sq through to the ancient Agora, Kemeraltı dates back to the 17th century and is home to shops, eateries,…

  • Well restored Antonin fountain in the ancient city of Sagalassos near Ağlasun town in Burdur district of Turkey.


    Lake District

    The sprawling ancient city ruins of Sagalassos, dating from 1200 BC, are set high amid the stark and jagged peaks of Ak Dağ (White Mountain). Rarely…

  • Museum of Innocence


    The painstaking attention to detail in this fascinating museum/piece of conceptual art will certainly provide every amateur psychologist with a theory or…

  • Turkey, perpetual fires of Yanartas at the Chimaera, near Cirali


    Turquoise Coast

    Known in Turkish as Yanartaş, or 'Burning Rock', the Chimaera is a cluster of small flames that naturally blaze on the rocky slopes of Mt Olympos. At…

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