10 Turkish cities to visit (besides Istanbul)

Istanbul is a popular travel destination for many reasons; it is at a crossroads between Europe and Asia, a unique encounter between East and West.

Although it is easy to plan a stopover in Istanbul on a flight with Turkish Airlines en route to another destination in Europe or the Middle East, it is worth staying a little longer in Turkey to explore other cities. amazing across the country.

ten Antalya

Antalya is a beautiful coastal city well known as a seaside resort. There are plenty of places to stay with ocean views and plenty of sandy beaches to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea.

Hadrian’s Gate is an important historical site here and is a must-see besides the old port.

Related: 10 Top-Rated All-Inclusive Resorts in Antalya, Turkey

9 Cappadocia

Located further east of the country than Istanbul, Cappadocia is an otherworldly place with stunning rock formations, unique cave-like accommodations and one of the best sunrises in the world.

The white rock formations in places like the Valley of the Monks are known as the Fairy Chimneys and are the result of hardened volcanic ash past eruptions.

One of the main reasons people visit Cappadocia is to witness the magical sunrise over the dramatic landscape as thousands of hot air balloons take flight.

Travelers should plan to stay in Cappadocia for at least two or three nights, so they can spend a morning enjoying the views of the hot air balloons and a second morning taking a ride in one.

8 Bodrum

Bodrum is a Turkish city on the Aegean Sea and home to the architectural marvel, Bodrum Castle. It’s a great base for visiting many of Turkey’s popular seaside resorts and offers plenty of historical sites for history buffs to explore.

Travelers can visit the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the nearby Halicarnassus Theater, built in the traditional Greek style.

seven Urfa

Urfa, or Şanlıurfa, is located in southeastern Turkey, east of the Euphrates. Due to its location and terrain, the city experiences hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters.

The city has historical significance for the Turkish people and is sometimes called the city of the prophets due to the legend that the patriarch Abraham was born there.

As a spiritual center and popular place of pilgrimage, Urfa offers a different perspective on Turkish culture than more mainstream tourist destinations like Istanbul and Cappadocia.

6 Ankara

Located in the central Anatolia region of Turkey, Ankara is the ideal destination for travelers who appreciate the performing arts.

This city is home to the Turkish Opera and Ballet Company, theater companies and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the second largest city in the country, with a population of approximately 4.5 million.

It used to be called Angora until the 1930s when its name was changed to Ankara.

5 Marmaris

Travelers looking for a relaxing coastal getaway in Turkey can consider spending time on the Turkish Riviera in Marmaris.

As well as being a beautiful destination on the water, Marmaris is known for its vibrant nightlife and bars. It also has historical sites to explore, such as marmaris castle.

4 Izmir

Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and is located in the west of the country. Izmir is an industrial center and is known to be an important seaport for exports.

As well as being a vital part of the country’s business industry, Izmir boasts a phenomenal foodie scene, making it an ideal destination for travelers who enjoy sampling local cuisine and soaking up the coastal views. .

3 Fethiye

Fethiye is another Turkish port city; it is located on the Turkish Riviera on the Turquoise Coast and has a remarkable natural harbor. Oludeniz Beach is a must-see spot with incredibly clear waters and pristine golden sands for basking in the sun.

Travelers who wish to learn more about the history of the region should visit the Amyntas Rock Tombs and the Tlos Ruins in Fethiye.

2 Ephesus

Ephesus is an important historical site in Turkey that travelers should endeavor to visit while exploring the country.

It is possible to take a bus to Ephesus from Istanbul or those visiting Izmir can simply get to Ephesus in less than an hour.

Once an important Greek city and trading port on the Mediterranean Sea, Ephesus has suffered multiple attacks throughout history and its ruins are today a Unesco World Heritage.

Related: Visiting Ephesus? From St. John to Mary is what to expect

1 Cesme

Located west of İzmir on the picturesque Aegean Sea, the city of Çeşme is known as a seaside resort. Apart from being a popular holiday destination, Çeşme is full of Turkish historical sites.

An old military fortress called Çeşme Castle overlooks the harbor and houses the Çeşme Archeology Museum where travelers can learn about artifacts found in excavation sites near Çeşme.

It’s a great place to spend a few days relaxing on the beaches, swimming and learning about Turkish history before heading to big cities like Izmir or Ankara.

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