Turkey Destinations: 5 Cities in Turkey to Visit
Turkey is home to hundreds of towns and cities, some quite small, but
some among the largest cities in the world. Each one has something
different to offer, but if you're looking for five that are most
popular here's a selection of cities, of different sizes and offering
Turkey's largest city is also its most popular, attracting
tourists from all over the world for its great variation of
architecture, culture and heritage, yet these attractions stand
alongside some of the most modern buildings and services in Europe.
Istanbul is located in the northwest of Turkey and is set
across the Bosphorus, the stretch of water that connects the Black Sea
to the Marmaris. The western side of the city is in Europe, while the
eastern side is Asia, resulting in an eclectic mix of Asian and
Istanbul has so many different sights to see: on the historic peninsula
you'll find the most iconic images of the city; the Blue Mosque, Aya
Sofya, the Grand Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace. Across the Golden Horn is
the popular Galata Tower, and heading up from here you'll arrive at the
city's entertainment district, centered around Istiklal Avenue and
The capital of Turkey and its second largest city is Ankara.
Ankara doesn't offer quite the same appeal as Istanbul but if you
scratch past the surface you'll find there's more here than meets the
Ankara is located to the west of central Turkey and it took
over the honor as capital of the country following the fall of the
Ottoman Empire in 1923. Though plenty of new development happened in
the years after this, Ankara is in fact an ancient city with thousands
of years of history to share. The result is a broad mix, much like
Istanbul, of ancient landmarks, historical buildings, and modern
Sights include Ataturk's mausoleum, Atakule Tower, the old city
and citadel, Roman temples and baths, the Column of Julian, expansive
mosques, and interesting museums.
Far more popular with international visitors is the city of
Antalya, situated right on the coast in the south of Turkey, on the
Mediterranean. This too is an ancient city and is very popular today
because it offers a mixture of history and culture, combined with great
beaches and weather.
The old city, known as Kaleici, has many historical sites, and
has a great atmosphere for wandering around. There are many waterside
hotels and restaurants to enjoy, while on the outskirts of the city
you'll find some wonderful beaches.
The city of Fethiye is much smaller though almost as popular as
Antalya. Again, it offers a mix of old and new, with fabulous beaches,
though this coastal city is on the Aegean not the Mediterranean.
Fethiye is well known for its tombs, carved right into the hillsides
and includes the Tomb of Amyntas. A little way along the coast from the
city of Fethiye is Turkey's best known beach, at Oludeniz. The
spectacular scenery and the Blue Lagoon rivals any beach in the
Caribbean, making this one of the country's top tourist destinations.
Oludeniz is also world famous for its paragliding, offering high
mountains just above the coastline, and the chance to soar over some of
the world's most beautiful scenery.
While Marmaris also offers a selection of history this town is
better known as a full blown tourist resort and is very popular with
Europeans coming here for a sun and sand vacation. Marmaris is on the
Aegean coast in the south west of Turkey too, in an area known as the
Although it is probably the most vibrant destination in terms of
nightlife, Marmaris is still very much a family friendly resort town.
There are two water parks where you can take the children for a fun
filled day of sliding and swimming, while off the beaches surrounding
the town you can swim and dive too. Boat cruises are prevalent from
here, and affordable too, while the town is close enough to some of
Turkey's major historical sites that you can visit for a day trip,
including the spectacular Ephesus.
Written by Claire Bolgil
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