Turkey is not only about a magnificent coastline, picturesque beaches, and beautiful sea. It is also a country whose small territory easily accommodates the richest heritage of different cultures and civilizations. In this article, we have prepared a list of the most interesting sights of Turkey.
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (Istanbul)
Not a single walk-in Istanbul is complete without a visit to this most successful representative of architecture from the times of the Byzantine Empire – Hagia Sophia. The cathedral is known as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. As vivid evidence of Byzantine greatness, this landmark plays a huge role not only for Istanbul but for the whole of Turkey.
The stunning bulk of the cathedral’s outer façade is flanked by graceful minarets that were added after the Ottoman conquest. At the same time, luxurious interiors decorated with frescoes remind of the former might of old Constantinople.
The ancient city of Ephesus, which stores artifacts of the Neolithic era, evidence of the rule of Byzantium, and fragments of the history of the Ottoman Empire, today has the status of an open-air museum and is ranked as a world heritage site. The most interesting sights of the archaeological complex today are the library of Celsus, the theater gymnasium, the Gate of Hercules, the Basilica, the marble road, the Temple of Domitian, and some other valuable ancient ruins.
The Valley of the Floating Cliffs in Cappadocia is every photographer’s dream. Walking around a tourist center brings up the idea of being on another planet. Beautiful nature allows you to admire valleys, mountains, and rock masses. If you do not like to go hiking for the views, this is one of the world’s most popular hot air ballooning destinations.
Pamukkale is one of the most famous natural wonders of Turkey. These are snow-white terraces of limestone tuff, cascading down the slope, which looks like a contrasting snow-white field in the middle of a green landscape. Besides, there are historical monuments in Pamukkale that attract the attention of tourists. Among them there is Hierapolis, an ancient city which is about 3 thousand years old. This Turkish attraction has a swimming pool, in which, according to legend, Cleopatra herself bathed. This place never lacks tourists.
Topkapi Palace was the main residence of the sultans for 4 centuries. It also served as a haven for 25 sultans of the Ottoman Empire. It was built in the 15th century for Sultan Mehmed II.
The outer palace is represented by public and official buildings. In the inner are the private chambers of the Sultan. The first courtyard houses the Museum of the Ancient East, the Archaeological Museum, and the Tiled Pavilion. From the second courtyard, you can get to the Harem and the inner treasury.
The huge bazaar complex includes 22 gates, 2 covered markets, 24 hotels, market squares, mosques, restaurants, fountains, snack bars, a bathhouse. There are more than 4 thousand shops here, and the whole territory is divided into more than 60 streets. It sells jewelry, spices, carpets, ceramics, clothes, Turkish weapons. It seems like you can buy everything here.
The ability to bargain is the success of shopping in this place. Considering that the initial price can be overstated by 2 or more times, the desired item can be obtained for a much lower amount.
The old streets of the Grand Bazaar evoke a special oriental atmosphere, so you should come here even without the intention of buying anything.
Those who do not know what to see in Turkey can safely go to the Sultanahmet region – the mass of attractions located here will expand the horizons of even the most sophisticated tourists. One of the most famous attractions in Turkey is the Blue Mosque.
A large number of blue and white tiles were used in the interior decorations, which is why the mosque got its name. It consists of 6 minarets, two of which are located at the outer corners, and four on the sides. The unusual combination of two minarets (their usual number is 4) makes it unique.
The most popular amphitheater was built around the 2nd century. The orchestra pit was built for 500 musicians. 9 rows of steps, 96 m long, were able to accommodate 17 thousand spectators, who were always closed from the scorching sun by an arched gallery of extraordinary beauty.
In the amphitheater of Aspendos, opera performances, ballet performances, and music concerts are still held today. Amazing acoustics give artists the ability to perform without microphones. Thanks to its solid limestone and special layout, this structure has been perfectly preserved to this day.
Istanbul is not only the largest Turkish city. It is unique in its way due to its location in two parts of the world, in Europe and Asia. And the border between them runs precisely along the Bosphorus Strait. It is believed that the strait was formed about 8 thousand years ago, during the massive melting of oceanic glaciers. Today, a trip to Istanbul is not complete without visiting the Bosphorus, exploring local monuments and beauty. For example, in the surrounding areas, you can see old marble palaces, stone fortresses, old Turkish mansions, and ultra-modern hotels. To fully experience the charm of this place, it is worth taking a trip on a tourist steamer or yacht along the waters of the strait.