Istanbul. Panoramic View from Galata tower to Golden Horn, Turkey
Istanbul. Panoramic View from Galata tower to Golden Horn, Turkey

Head to Turkey for a delightful adventure

The land of ancient Roman ruins, The Great Theatre of Ephesus and a land filled with the history of sultans. Turkey is sure to spark your imagination, intrigue the avid historian and entertain every traveller. Hone in on your bargaining skills too while you’re in Turkey when you visit the Grand Bazaar. There’s so much to do and experience that you will want to explore this land more than once.

You cannot say you’ve travelled to a specific country without trying some of the traditional or popular dishes. Feast on dishes like Köfte, Lahmacun, Menemen or Baklava. Also, prepare yourself for drinking copious amounts of tea!

Some items you may want to pack in your luggage on your homeward journey are copper, Turkish textiles, carpets or silk. Before you leave Turkey, remember to take home some Turkish Delight for a sweet remembrance of an epic holiday. Turkey awaits you!

Be sure to visit the capital of Turkey, Istanbul.  A beautiful city with many historical sites.

Things to do in Turkey

Topkapi Palace

Completed in 1428, the palace used to be the court of the Ottoman Empire. Visitors will be enchanted with everything the palace has to offer and it is quite huge! Various rooms are filled with jewellery. The gardens are amazing and great for photographs. Get a glimpse of how the sultans used to live when you visit the museum. Look at items such as Chinese and Japanese porcelain and goldplate copper kitchen utensils, paintings of past sultans, silverware and sultans’ clothing. Be sure to visit the Harem (private residence of past sultans) which is located beneath the Tower of Justice. Also, the Treasury has a brilliant display of armour.

Topkapı, Fatih İstanbul, Turkey

Basilica Cistern

Also known as Yearbatan Sarayi, or “The Sunken Palace” and one of the most interesting places in Turkish history, the Basilica Cistern was built by Emperor Justinian I to store water underground for the palace and other buildings. Be blown away by the 336 underground columns in the cistern. Your photos will turn out terribly if you don’t take the correct lens. Make sure you check out the two Madusa heads – one is upside down and the other is tilted to the side. There are audio guides available when you visit the Basilica Cistern.

Blue Mosque

The official name for the mosque is Sultan Ahmed Mosque and it’s still an active mosque today. The mosque is nicknamed Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles that line the walls of the interior. Marvel at the magnificent domes and six minarets of this sacred building. The mosque has 260 windows, which were once stain glass. During summer the mosque hosts a light show. Only worshippers enter the mosque through the main door. Visitors use the south door to enter.

Goreme National Park

The rock formations in the Goreme National Park in Cappodocia are spectacular with its old underground settlements. The formations were formed from erosion and soft stone from old volcanoes. Visitors will be mesmerized by the underground villages and stone chimneys. Caves were also turned into places of worship and stores. Hop on a bike and take a ride around or even take a hot air balloon ride to see the beauty and wonderful features of this unique region. When you are in Turkey, don’t miss a visit to Goreme National Park. Remember to check out the Fairy Chimneys while you are there.

Great Theatre of Ephesus

You can easily see this colossal structure when you enter the south entrance to Ephesus. Situated at the foot of Panayir Mountain, it is probably the most impressive feature of Ephesus. The theatre has a capacity of 25,000 and was used for music performances, religious ceremonies and gladiator games. The theatre was renovated many times during the Roman period. Climb to the top of the theatre and see it from all angles. Let your imagination take you back in time when you visit this piece of history. Maybe even imagine you are a gladiator.

Ataturk Mausoleum

The mausoleum was built for the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a Turkish army officer who led the Turkish War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. This is a great place to visit for history enthusiasts. The museum is well worth a visit. Here you will find artefacts belonging to Atatürk and watch a movie about the history of Turkey.

Pamukkale Thermal Pools

When you approach the step-like terrace thermal pools, it almost looks like snow, but it’s actually calcium carbonate in the water. The pools can be visited all year round and is possibly one of the most spectacular sites in Turkey. Shoes are prohibited at the thermal pools, so have a carry bag with you. The views from the pools are amazing.

Grand Bazaar

This is the largest covered market in Turkey where you will find anything from items made of wool, cotton and leather to chandeliers and souvenirs. Find some great spices there too. There are plenty of restaurants in the market, so can get a taste of Turkish cuisine as you wander around. Be sure to practice your bargaining skills before visiting the market. Go and enjoy an experience of Turkey.

Hagia Sophia

An important monument and beautiful place to visit. Hagia Sophia, also known as the Church of the Holy Wisdom, is a former mosque of the Ottoman Empire and is now a museum. Go up to the first floor to have a look at the roof’s wonderful design. The Hagia Sophia emanates grandeur and peace when you are inside it. You can take a guided tour of this historic building. Be sure to put this attraction on your list of places to visit.

Mount Nemrut

This is a great place to visit at sunrise or sunset. The views are breathtaking and you can either climb the stairs or walk up the slope of the mountain. Statues of Greek and Persian gods can be found at this historic site, which were ordered to be built by the Commagene king Antiochus. The king’s tomb is also found here and the area is still preserved today. This makes for an interesting trip.

What to take with

When planning a trip to the captivating country of Turkey, it’s essential to pack the right travel items to make your journey enjoyable and hassle-free. Here’s a comprehensive list of things to take with you as you explore Turkey’s rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes:

  1. Passport and Visa: Ensure your passport is up-to-date, and secure a visa if required for your nationality.
  2. Copies of travel documents: Bring photocopies of essential documents such as your passport, travel insurance, and hotel reservations, as well as digital copies stored on your phone or in the cloud.
  3. Lightweight clothing: Pack breathable, comfortable clothes suitable for Turkey’s warm climate, including shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses. Don’t forget a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
  4. Modest clothing: When visiting religious sites, dress modestly with long pants or skirts and cover your shoulders. A lightweight scarf can be used to cover your head when needed.
  5. Sturdy footwear: Comfortable walking shoes or sandals are crucial for navigating Turkey’s historical sites and cobblestone streets.
  6. Travel adapter: Bring a Type E/F travel adapter to charge your electronic devices, as Turkey uses a different socket type than the UK and other countries.
  7. Universal power bank: A portable charger will keep your devices charged during long days of sightseeing.
  8. Toiletries and personal care items: Pack travel-sized toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and a razor. Don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellent for outdoor adventures.
  9. Medications: Bring any prescription medications you need, as well as a basic first aid kit with pain relievers, band-aids, and any over-the-counter medicines you may require.
  10. Snacks: Pack some healthy snacks for when you’re on the go, such as granola bars, nuts, or dried fruit.
  11. Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated during your travels with a refillable water bottle, and consider using a bottle with a built-in filter if you’re concerned about water quality.
  12. Camera or smartphone: Capture memories of your trip with a high-quality camera or smartphone. Don’t forget extra memory cards and a portable tripod for steady shots.
  13. Travel guidebook and map: A guidebook and map will help you navigate Turkey’s attractions, restaurants, and public transportation.
  14. Language phrasebook or app: Learn a few essential Turkish phrases or download a language app to help you communicate with locals.
  15. Travel pillow and eye mask: Ensure a comfortable flight or bus ride with a travel pillow and eye mask to block out light.

By packing these essential items, you’ll be well-prepared for a memorable and stress-free trip to Turkey, whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, wandering through bustling markets, or relaxing on the pristine Mediterranean coast.

Originally posted 2016-01-02 22:20:02.

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