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.
- 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.