Must see attractions in Turkey

  • Top Choice
    Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque

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

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    Topkapı Palace

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

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    Kariye Museum (Chora Church)

    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…

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    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…

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    Bergama Acropolis

    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…

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    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…

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    Basilica Cistern

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

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    Top Choice
    Hatay Archaeology Museum

    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…

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    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)…

  • C
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    Caves of Heaven and Hell

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

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    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…

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

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    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…

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    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…

  • S
    Top Choice
    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…

  • K
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    Kızkalesi Castle

    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…