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Top 5 Cities to Visit in Turkey

Turkey, a country where two continents meet, despite the unfortunate events in the recent time, is still one of the favourite destinations among tourists from around the world. This is not difficult to understand, since it is one of those places with stunning scenery and rich historic legacy where you can feel the mixture of old and modern culture where the traveler is looking for breathtaking coastlines, remote beaches or heavenly food. If you’re planning a trip to Turkey anytime soon, we will tell you where exactly to go and why!

1) Ankara

Turkish capital is the second largest city in the country, as well as the major university centre. It is a modern jungle city popular with tourists and, although it may seem differently at first glance, it is a symbol of independece and Western values. The most important figure of the city is well-known Atatürk, whose legacy is undeniable, which is best observable in Mausoleum of Atatürk, a huge tomb and memorial to the first president of the new Republic of Turkey who declared Ankara as the capital. Don’t forget to include the walking tour of the historical Old Quarters in your visit, because strolling through narrow, cobbled streets surrounded by old red-roofed Ottoman houses is something definitely worth experiencing.

shutterstock_2435649462) Istanbul

This urban cultural melting pot is something you must visit at least once in your lifetime. Who hasn’t heard of the famous Hagia Sophia, the magnificent church turned into a mosque and a symbol of Constantinople or Blue Mosque built in the 17th century? Another reason to go there is Grand Baazar, one of the largest covered markets in the world where you can buy everything, from jewellery and spices to carpets and antiques (don’t forget to bargain there, otherwise you will be ripped off). Apart from so many things to see in this historically rich metropolis offers some of the best views in Turkey, from a boat on the Bosphorus during sunset or the Galata Tower.

3) Antalya

Together with Istanbul, Antalya is the most popular tourist region in Turkey. The best way to discover the beauty of the region is to use a cable car to travel up Mount Tahtali, from where you can marvel at the stunning panoramic views of the coastline. After the climb, check out the ruins of Phaselis and gorgeous beaches nearby. It is an ancient Lycian city once ruled by Alexander the Great whose remains also include an amphitheatre and houses. For sun lovers, Lara Beach is the best destination, as can you enjoy not only the crystal blue sea, but if you happen to be there during high season in summer, the Antalya sand festival as well, where talented artists create life-size figures to impress the visitors.

4) Izmir

The coastal Turkish city of Izmir is one of the fastest-growing cruise-ship ports of call on the Aegean Sea and an excellent place to stay if you’re planning a trip to nearby Ephesus and Pergamon. Spend your days browsing the streets and visiting some of the most extensive Roman ruins outside Pompeii. Don’t forget to include Pamukkale in your tour, an amazing geographical phenomenon, unique in the world. It is a mini plateaux with the hot spring water flowing down from the top of the mountain which, on its way down, add white limestone to the ancient plateaux. Visitors can bathe there which are reputed to be good for health. Also, the Izmir Clock Tower is a must-see, it is set in idyllic location for enjoying while gazing at the people passing by and sipping some cooling beverage.

shutterstock_3322041235) Göreme

As a town carved into the volcanic rock, Göreme is the way to the Göreme National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 10th- and 11th- century cave churches. Apart from being a popular place to go to among backpackers, the park is also a great zone to sample the traditional Turkish cuisine and wine. The city itself is situated in the historic region of Cappadocia, in which in a magnificent landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. It’s a paradise on Earth for all history and architecture lovers.


  1. Amy Day

    Antalya, İzmir, Goreme and Ankara are really great, need to be seen but Istanbul is the most charming one, don’t miss it.

  2. Abid

    Why on earth is Ankara here? En kara, more like! Dull city. Erzerum, Sivas, Martin, even Diyarbakir more interesting

    • anas

      marmaris is the best

  3. charlie

    This southwestern Turkish destination is a vibrant haven you can easily fall in love with.

  4. Rekha

    The destinations you have mentioned indeed, some of the best places to visit in Turkey. I am planning my next trip to Istanbul, can you share some things to in Istanbul to make my trip convenient and easy?

    • Maja

      Dear Rekha,

      check out our Istanbul guide for all necessary information about the city.

      Best regards,
      GBB Team

      • Mohamed M Jalloh

        You’re right

      • Od Emmanuel


  5. Noshaba Talha

    Which 3 cities are top of the list in Turkey?

    • Maja

      Dear Noshaba,

      it is difficult to say what would be the top 3 Turkish cities since it is a subjective matter.
      However, the list of cities is based on our personal opinion and we definitely recommend visiting them.

      GBB Team

      • Ek Ajnabi

        Dear Maha,

        can you please help me i am planing to visit with my family With 3 chd which city city shuld visit for 7 day please advice appreciated

        • Maja


          it is really hard to answer such a question as it depends on too many things, especially your preferences.
          If you want a personalised itinerary, we suggest you contact one of the tourist agencies in Turkey, they will be glad to help you.

          GBB Team

    • Akhila

      skip ankara …

      Istanbul and Goreme are MUST DO

      Izmir for Ephesus and beach proximity (Fethiye etc)

      Antalya for its historical richness – do check it out the museum. If you are not able to visit Ephesus, check out the ruins near Antalya – there are enough and more.

      • Maja

        Hi Akhila,

        thank you for your comment, we truly appreciate it!

        GBB Team

  6. Lena

    I loved Antalya when I visited Turkey! Definitely a must-visit. Thanks for this amazing list.

    • Maja

      Hi Lena,

      thank you for your comment, we appreciate it!

      GBB Team

  7. Qader

    I loved Istanbul when i visited turkey really i enjoyed

    • Maja

      Hi Qader,

      thanks for your comment, we appreciate it!

      GBB Team

  8. Susan

    plse advise which are the best beaches, thks.

    • Maja Tramontana

      Hi Susan,

      Please feel free to explore our post on the best beaches in Turkey.
      We hope you find it helpful in planning your travels and discovering a beach that suits your preferences.
      Happy exploring! 🙂

      GBB Team

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