Top 10 Reasons To Visit Turkey Right Now From A Local

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Post author Enes

Written by our local expert Enes

Originally from North Macedonia, Enes is a well-traveled enthusiast residing in Türkiye. He combines his extensive knowledge and avid wanderlust to bring you insightful narratives of his Turkish adventures.

Thinking about a trip through the Balkans but not sure where to start? Choosing a destination can be tough. A trip to Turkey might be just what you need for a refreshing getaway.

If you’re undecided about visiting Turkey, let me help you out! In this article, I’ll tell you ten reasons why Turkey is the best destination for your next holiday. Grab a coffee, and let’s dive in!

Top 10 Reasons To Take Turkey Tour This Year (Beyond The Aegean Coast)

1. Visit Turkey To Explore A Rich History And Culture

Cities in Turkey- Gobeklitepe, Sanliurfa / Turkey
Göbeklitepe

Turkey is a country with a rich and deep history. Starting from antiquity, the lands of modern-day Turkey have been inhabited by many different nations and societies. As a result, wherever you go in Turkey, you can always find the marks of past civilizations.

Visiting any museum might offer you a glimpse of Turkey’s rich history, with artifacts from ancient Roman, Greek, Hittite, and Ottoman periods. Major museums like the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara, and the Ephesus Museum in Selçuk house extensive collections that showcase the country’s diverse historical heritage.

As you explore Turkey, you can stumble upon ancient Roman or Byzantine structures even while strolling through the streets of any city. Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is a treasure trove of historical sites. The Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern are just a few examples of the city’s rich Byzantine and Ottoman legacy.

Turkey Museum Pass - Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace

Beyond its cities, Turkey is home to ancient ruins and archaeological sites that bring its past to life.

Ephesus, once a thriving Greek and Roman city, boasts well-preserved structures like the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. The ancient city of Troy, immortalized in Homer’s epics, is another significant site where visitors can explore the remnants of this legendary civilization.

One of the most remarkable historical sites is Göbeklitepe, located near Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey. This 11,000-year-old site is considered the world’s oldest known temple complex, predating Stonehenge by several millennia. The intricate carvings and massive stone pillars of Göbeklitepe provide fascinating insights into early human society and religious practices.

Ancient Ozkonak underground city tunnel with rough walls and a large round stone door, illuminated by warm lighting.

Cappadocia, with its unique rock formations and cave dwellings, offers a different historical perspective. The region is famous for its underground cities and ancient rock-cut churches, which date back to early Christian communities. The Göreme Open-Air Museum is a UNESCO World Heritage site that features beautifully frescoed rock churches and monasteries.

For those interested in more recent history, the Gallipoli Peninsula holds great significance. The site of a major World War I campaign, Gallipoli is now a place of pilgrimage for many, particularly Australians and New Zealanders, who come to honor their ancestors’ bravery and sacrifice.

Things To Do In Gallipoli - The Canakkale Martyrs' Memorial

Turkey’s rich cultural heritage is also evident in its culinary traditions, music, and festivals. Exploring local markets, attending traditional music and dance performances, and participating in cultural festivals can provide a deeper appreciation of the country’s vibrant and diverse culture.

So, if you’re interested in history and culture, a trip to Turkey might be just what you need for an unforgettable journey. From ancient ruins to bustling bazaars, Turkey offers a wide range of experiences that will captivate and inspire any traveler.

2. Turkey More Affordable Than Most Destinations, With Better Hospitality

Uber in Turkey - Paying in Turkish Lira

Are you on a budget and looking for cheap last-minute holidays? Although Turkey has become significantly more expensive in recent years due to the inflation and economic crisis, it’s still one of the most affordable destinations you can find.

Since the Turkish lira has significantly lost value, you can spend less than in most major European cities, purchase souvenirs, or dine out without breaking the bank.

Plus, if you can find the right hotel, you don’t even need to worry about food! Lots of accommodations in on the Turkish Roviera offer all-inclusive packages, including complimentary breakfast and dinner, at the price of a standard hotel. So, you can save on food and spend your money shopping or visiting popular attractions.

3. Turkey Is The Best Spot For The Perfect Shopping Experience

Colorful, patterned rugs and fabrics hanging on display at an outdoor market stall along a sidewalk showcase just one delightful way to immerse yourself in local culture. For those wondering how to spend 3 days in Cappadocia, exploring such vibrant markets is a feast for the senses.

Speaking of shopping, Turkey is a great place to indulge in retail therapy. While all Turkish cities boast modern malls and large shopping centers, Turks still enjoy the traditional experience of shopping at bazaars. These vibrant marketplaces are larger than their counterparts in other European cities and typically offer a wider variety of items.

At local Turkish bazaars, you can find almost everything, from designer items to homeware, at varying prices. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, for example, features over 4,000 shops selling jewelry, carpets, spices, textiles, and more. The Spice Bazaar is another iconic market known for its fragrant spices, dried fruits, and sweets.

A display of Turkish spices at the Izmir Spice Market

Almost every Turkish city has its own local market, such as the Kemeralti Bazaar in Izmir and the Old Bazaar in Antalya, where you can find clothing, antiques, leather goods, jewelry, and traditional Turkish handicrafts.

One unique aspect of shopping in Turkish bazaars is the art of bargaining. With high competition among vendors, you can often negotiate prices to get better deals than in fixed-price stores.

A man sits on a stool surrounded by traditional clay pottery in various shapes and sizes in a workshop, showcasing things to do in Avanos, Cappadocia, Turkey.

In addition to traditional markets, Turkey’s cities feature modern shopping malls like Istanbul’s Istinye Park and Zorlu Center, offering a mix of international and local brands, dining options, and entertainment facilities. Artisan markets and boutiques, especially in cities like Istanbul and Cappadocia, offer beautifully crafted ceramics, textiles, and artwork that reflect Turkey’s rich cultural heritage.

Whether you’re searching for high-end fashion, traditional crafts, or everyday essentials, Turkey’s diverse shopping venues ensure a rich and varied shopping experience.

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4. Turkish Cuisine Is Just Unmatched

Sultan palace cafe restaurant_Iskender Kebab SJ

If you aren’t convinced to visit Turkey yet, don’t worry! We’re just getting started.

Turkish food is a tasty blend of different flavors and aromas. From classic döner kebab to tasty mantı, Turkish dishes come in all forms and tastes. If you’re a carnivore, you should definitely give dishes like kavurma, kebap, İskender, or köfte a try.

Vegans and those who don’t eat meat also won’t feel left out as Turkish cuisine has lots to offer! You can try dishes like sarma, dolma, or imam bayıldı. Musakka and all forms of mezze are also on the menu.

A close-up of a stuffed grape leaf, glistening with oil, resting on a white plate. Turkish Dolma

Every region of Turkey boasts a unique cuisine. The Aegean and Mediterranean regions are known for their vegetarian dishes, while the Eastern and Southeastern ones are known for their meat-centric cuisine. The Black Sea region has the best pastries, whereas the Marmara region has a more balanced – and diverse – cuisine with veggies, meat, and pastries.

So, do you fancy a good meal? Find cheap flights and travel to Turkey for your next holiday!

5. Turkey Is An Ideal Destination For Historical Sites & Natural Beauty

Two large, unique rock formations resembling a camel in Devrent Imagination Valley, under a clear blue sky, standing on a sandy terrain with sparse greenery.

Looking for a tranquil holiday surrounded by verdant greenery and magnificent plains? What about a refreshing beach holiday with sun, sand, and sea? Maybe a picturesque getaway to an authentic area with otherworldly landscapes? No matter what you’re looking for, Turkey is the way to go!

Thanks to its diverse climate and landscape, Turkey has something to offer for all types of travelers. In the Black Sea region, you can find peace and dark green forests.

SJ sitting at the base of tall, uniquely shaped rock formations in Pasabag Valley, Cappadocia, under a clear blue sky.

Or you can visit Cappadocia to bask in the golden Anatolian sun and explore a paradisiacal landscape with towering fairy chimneys. If you’re up to urban exploration, Istanbul, with its historic streets, or Safranbolu, with its majestic architecture, might be ideal.

As you can see, the options are almost endless. All you have to do is to plan your Turkey holidays 2024 and go on an unforgettable adventure!

6. Turkish Nightlife Is Livelier Than You Think & Not Just In Istanbul

A lively outdoor cafe on a narrow street in Kadikoy, Istanbul, decorated with colorful umbrellas, string lights, and potted plants. People are dining at tables along the sidewalk under the evening sky.

While Turkey tourist attractions are what make the country famous, you don’t have to walk around the city visiting museums or historical landmarks for fun. Turkish nightlife is livelier than most people think with many popular nightclubs and pubs.

Of course, there are a few things you should know about nightlife in Turkey. Usually, in large cities, like Istanbul, Antalya, Izmir, or Muğla, every corner has clubs and pubs. So, you won’t have trouble finding a good place to have fun solo or with your friends.

Sj, Nikki and Erkan stand in front of a mural with the text "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL" painted on it, reminiscent of the vibrant street art you'll find in A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul. The mural features a side profile of a woman with flowers in her hair, capturing the essence of urban creativity.
End of Ramadan celebrations

Nevertheless, when visiting smaller cities or towns, you might need to be careful when picking the right venue. Once you find the right place, though, you can just start partying like there’s no tomorrow!

In Turkey, most cities have a “barlar sokağı,” which literally means “the bar street,” where you can find bars, pubs, taverns, clubs, and meyhanes together – traditional Turkish taverns where you can drink delicious raki with mezze. Venues on these streets are usually more affordable than those in the other parts.

7. Turkey Offers Adventure Activities In A Landscape Like No Place Else

A group of people in Turkey celebrate the New Year in the water.

In addition to its natural and cultural wonders, Turkey also offers rich adventure activities to visitors from all around the world. From sports to entertaining outdoor experiences, Turkish cities have everything you might ask for!

Hiking, camping, surfing, and climbing are only some of the activities you can partake in while visiting Turkey. The country offers a diverse array of experiences for all types of travelers. For nature enthusiasts, consider exploring the numerous national parks and wildlife reserves, where you can embark on wildlife tours to witness rare and exotic species in their natural habitats. Cultural trips provide the thrill of exploring magnificent landscapes alongside historical and archaeological sites, offering a deep dive into Turkey’s rich history and heritage.

For those interested in water sports, Turkey’s stunning coastlines are perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling, and sailing. The turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas are teeming with marine life and hidden underwater treasures. Paragliding in Ölüdeniz offers a bird’s-eye view of the breathtaking beaches and lush landscapes, an experience that is sure to be unforgettable.

Hot air balloons floating over the unique rock formations and rooftops of Cappadocia, Turkey under a clear blue sky offer a stunning view to enjoy during your 3-day stay.

Adventure seekers can enjoy hot air balloon rides over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, providing a unique perspective of the region’s otherworldly rock formations. Additionally, skiing and snowboarding in the winter resorts of Uludağ and Palandöken offer thrilling activities for winter sports enthusiasts.

Culinary tours allow you to indulge in Turkey’s vibrant food scene, tasting local delicacies and learning about traditional cooking methods. Wellness retreats, including traditional Turkish baths (hammams) and spa treatments, offer a chance to relax and rejuvenate amidst serene surroundings.

Signs labeled "turkish bath" with floral designs, attached to a stone wall in Goreme, Cappadocia, on a sunny city street, with blurred background of a building.

For a more leisurely experience, consider boat cruises along the Bosphorus or the scenic Lycian Coast, where you can relax and take in the stunning views. Visiting the bustling bazaars and markets provides a glimpse into the local culture and an opportunity to purchase unique souvenirs.

Turkey also hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Istanbul International Film Festival, the Antalya Film Festival, and various music and cultural festivals, which can add a unique cultural dimension to your visit.

Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Turkey offers a plethora of activities that cater to all interests and preferences.

SJ stands on a sandy hilltop in Devrent Imagination Valley, Cappadocia, waving their hand under a clear blue sky.
Hiking Devrent Valley Cappadocia

Of course, these are only the popular activities. 

So, are you ready to have your best holidays in Turkey? If yes, start planning your trip to this magnificent country with these brilliant 10-day itinerary ideas!

8. Turkish Culture Is Diverse And Exquisite

How to make Turkish coffee and home - a cup of coffee on a saucer.

Turkish culture is wonderfully diverse and unique, blending European and Middle Eastern influences with its own special flavors. From a rich culinary diversity to distinct customs, Turkey is a treasure for those keen on exploring different cultures.

If you want to enjoy Turkish culture and learn all of its aspects, I recommend you take guided tours to explore local dishes and traditions.

9. Architectural Wonders In Turkey Are Magnificent

Mosque in Istanbul - Mosque Of Süleymaniye
Mosque Of Süleymaniye

Turkey’s man-made urban landscape is as charming as the country’s gorgeous nature. Many architectural wonders, such as mosques and historical buildings, transform Turkish cities into extensive open-air museums.

Blending traditional architecture and modern structures, Turkish cities offer an unforgettable journey for those interested in architecture, industrial tourism, or urban exploration. Istanbul, the country’s largest city, is a prime example of this blend.

The Hagia Sophia, a stunning architectural marvel that has served as both a church and a mosque, stands as a testament to the city’s rich history. Nearby, the Blue Mosque, with its six minarets and intricate tile work, offers another glimpse into the Islamic architectural heritage.

Vladimir Hagia Sophia - Sultanahmet Istanbul
Vladimir Hagia Sophia

Modern additions like the Istanbul Sapphire, a skyscraper with an observation deck, provide panoramic views of the city’s sprawling landscape.

Ankara, the capital city, boasts significant historical and political architecture, including Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. This monumental structure is both a place of remembrance and a stunning example of modern Turkish design.

A pink clock tower in Turkey is lit up at dusk.

In İzmir, the Clock Tower in Konak Square is a notable symbol of the city, blending Ottoman and Aegean architectural influences. The city’s coastline is lined with contemporary buildings, providing a beautiful contrast to its historical sites.

Antalya’s old town, Kaleiçi, features narrow cobblestone streets, ancient city walls, and beautifully preserved Ottoman-era houses. Meanwhile, the Antalya Expo Center and modern beachfront hotels reflect the city’s dynamic development.

For those interested in industrial tourism, Turkey’s cities offer a wealth of opportunities. The Rahmi M. Koç Museum in Istanbul showcases the country’s industrial heritage, with exhibits ranging from vintage cars to steam engines. The old Ottoman shipyards along the Golden Horn are also worth exploring for a sense of the country’s maritime history.

Kayaköy Ghost Town, Turkey

Urban exploration enthusiasts will find the abandoned Greek village of Kayaköy near Fethiye intriguing. This ghost town, with its empty houses and churches, offers a haunting glimpse into the past. Similarly, the Byzantine ruins scattered across Istanbul provide a fascinating journey through time, revealing layers of the city’s complex history.

Turkey’s urban spaces are also home to numerous parks and public squares that serve as hubs of social and cultural activity. Gezi Park in Istanbul and Gençlik Park in Ankara are popular spots for both locals and tourists to relax and enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Alexander Sarcophagus

Art lovers can visit contemporary art galleries and museums such as Istanbul Modern and the Pera Museum, which host a variety of exhibitions showcasing both Turkish and international artists. Street art is also a growing phenomenon in cities like Istanbul and Izmir, adding a modern, edgy layer to the urban landscape.

Whether you’re drawn to the grandiose structures of the past or the sleek lines of contemporary design, Turkey’s cities offer a diverse mix of architectural and urban experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression.


10. The Turkish Riviera Is Home To A Myriad Of Beautiful Beaches

A rainbow is shining over Duden waterfalls, Antalya

The Turkish Riviera is the ideal destination for a calming and peaceful summer vacation. Magnificent beaches along the Mediterranean Coast are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and having unforgettable experiences.

Of course, since Turkey is known for a myriad of magnificent shores and coves, picking the right destination might become a tad difficult. In the end, the destination you choose will affect your whole holiday and itinerary.

A collection of boats parked on one of the best beaches in Antalya - Suluada Beach

You might wonder which one you should choose, Antalya or Bodrum? What about İzmir with its tourist towns, such as Foça, Alaçatı, Çeşme or Urla? Alanya is also quite popular among visitors. Decision-making is hard, especially when choosing from a list of equally charming towns.

Thankfully, we have prepared the perfect guide for you. Check this article with the 15 best Turkey beaches and find the right destination for your beach vacation!

Final Word On Türkiye Being The Best

An elderly potter shapes clay on a pottery wheel in a rustic workshop surrounded by ceramic pots and tools, showcasing traditional things to do in Avanos Cappadocia, Turkiye.

There are truly many reasons to visit Turkey; its rich history, cultural diversity, marvelous nature, and exquisite beaches are only some of these. So, if you’re looking for the perfect destination for an unforgettable journey, Turkey is the way to go!

 

Comment

  1. As a local, I can’t recommend visiting Turkey enough! From the rich history and culture to the stunning landscapes and delicious cuisine, there are countless reasons to explore this beautiful country. Whether you’re wandering through ancient ruins, savoring traditional Turkish dishes, or simply soaking in the warm hospitality of the locals, Turkey offers a truly unforgettable experience for every traveler. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore this diverse and enchanting destination!

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