Get ready to discover most popular historical places in Turkey! Are you traveling to Turkey, a fabulous country at the gates of Asia? Enjoy our list of treasures to admire in this beautiful yet mysterious country. You choose!
Turkey has always been landing at the confluence of all cultures. First, the Turkish territory has been known since Antiquity as Asia Minor, a region coveted by Greeks and Romans then placed on the exact trajectory of the Silk Road.
This rich and complex history and its dominant role in the construction of European civilization make this cultural mecca a place of choice when you want to travel. There is no shortage of tourist attractions, and we have selected the most popular historical places in Turkey to entice you to visit. Let’s go!
Most Popular Historical Places in Turkey: Majestic Istanbul
If Istanbul isn’t the capital of Turkey, it’s still the most popular tourist spot in the country, and it joins the ranks of the iconic cities of the world. Welcoming millions of visitors each year, most visit Sultan Ahmet, home to majestic Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. Locations include the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, and Basilica Cistern.
However, the crown jewel is Topkapı Palace, the former home of the Ottoman Sultans when they first captured Constantinople and from where they ruled their vast empire.
Ruins of the City of Ephesus
Often ranked among Turkey’s most visited tourist attractions. The ruins of the city of Ephesus at Selçuk, near Kuşadası, showcase an old town that almost rivaled Rome in terms of importance.
As one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, the famous Riots of Artemis in the New Testament took place here. Iconic buildings within the city limits include the Celsus Library, the Roman terraced houses, and the theater. Other iconic facilities outside the city limits include the Temple of Artemis and St. John’s Basilica.
Places in Cappadocia
Cappadocia in central Anatolia is a massive collection of fairy chimneys, churches and cave houses, and the Goreme Open Air Museum. The unique landscape formed by wind erosion resembles a lunar destination.
There’re cave churches, many of which date from the 14th century, and restored biblical frescoes from the last century depicting Cappadocia’s history as an early center of Christianity. The first thing to do here is a hot air balloon ride at sunrise to see Cappadocia from above. Plus, stay in an authentic cave hotel.
Kayakoy Ghost Village
Once a thriving community of Turks and Greeks, the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 changed history when Greeks were forced to return to Greece, and Turks, living there had to return here. They could not settle down and gradually began to leave the village. Today the cobbled streets are home to homes, churches, and schools.
Patara Beach and Ancient Ruins
Patara is the longest beach in Turkey and is nothing short of spectacular. A popular excursion is to ride a horse at sunset but visit the nearby ancient ruins located inland if you’re visiting during the day.
This ancient city belonged to the Lycian League and was a famous maritime trading port. Book into a pension in the village of the same name to spend the night, which has retained its traditional picturesque status.
Visit the Famous Safranbolu
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Safranbolu is a symbolic place of ancient Ottoman architecture. White houses with narrow windows and orange roofs line the old cobbled streets, reminding when Safranbolu’s position on the ancient Silk Road drew travelers from near and far.
Alongside the three historic districts, put the 14th Century Mosque on your list of places to visit. Stop at a souvenir shop to taste and buy a cultural piece of Turkey.
On the Aegean coast, this place retains an upscale reputation, hence the high prices for hotels and restaurants, but it’s renowned as one of the most beautiful places in Turkey.
Separating the old and new parts, visit the local landmarks of the windmills and the ancient ruins of Knidos. Moreover, the position of Datça between the gulfs of Gokova and Hisaronu makes it a privileged point of reference for private yachts sailing on the Turkish Riviera.
Mardin separates into new and old parts. The first is an average town with nothing to complain about, but an old piece is a historical place reflecting the Artuqide architecture. The old houses and mosques located everywhere on the hillside make for a unique postcard.
Old Mardin is renowned for its stuffed lamb chops. Due to Mardin’s southeast position, it’s a must-visit for people living here to understand Turkey’s cultural diversity.