Let us be your local guide for 10 days in Turkey. There are six itinerary options. We know one of these 10-day Turkey itinerary ideas will suit you!
Turkey is an ideal holiday destination for many reasons. The country offers its visitors an opportunity to experience a different culture, catch extraordinary scenery, and eat delicious foods. From Ancient Greece to the Ottoman Empire, many civilizations left their marks in this unique land.
And Turkey gives you a chance to discover the beauty of its rich history. In short, Turkey is the perfect destination for all kinds of travelers, from history geeks to nature enthusiasts to those who want to relax and unwind.
Since each region and city of Turkey has its own characteristics, visiting the country without a solid plan isn’t ideal for total immersion. Nevertheless, planning a thorough itinerary is challenging for most visitors, especially in a big country like Turkey.
You should know where to go and what to expect for a true adventure. But you need not worry! We created this complete guide to help you plan a perfect 10-day itinerary in Turkey.
Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!
Overview Of Turkey
Get ready for your 10-day itinerary in Turkey with all of this info! Türkiye is a fascinating country with a rich culture and history. Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey has been home to many civilizations throughout its long history. From the Roman and Byzantine Empires to the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has a wealth of cultural and historical sites to explore.
And I have to say, you can not plan a trip to Turkey without seeing Istanbul.
Istanbul, the country’s largest city, is often considered the gateway to Turkey. With its mix of European and Asian influences, Istanbul is a truly unique city. Visitors can explore the city’s many mosques, palaces, and museums or enjoy its vibrant nightlife and shopping scene.
Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is another must-visit destination. Home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ankara offers visitors a chance to learn about Turkey’s past while also enjoying its modern amenities. The city is also home to several Turkish government buildings, including the Presidential Palace.
Other notable destinations in Turkey that we have loved include:
Each of these cities has its own unique attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins or soaking up the sun on one of Turkey’s beautiful beaches, there’s something for everyone in this incredible country.
Are 10 Days Enough To Discover Turkey
We can answer this question with a short “maybe.” If you plan to spend your holidays discovering the famous destinations in Turkey, basking in the majestic Mediterranean sun, and swimming in the turquoise coves, then yes, a 10-day itinerary might be enough to discover Turkey.
Ten days in Turkey are also sufficient to explore several big cities, such as Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Eskisehir, or Mugla. Suppose you’ve already been to well-known towns in Turkey. In that case, you can even fit a small town or two on your Turkish 10-day itinerary.
Considering the large size of the country and the fact that it has 81 cities, a complete trip to Turkey might take months if not years. Each town in Turkey has a lot to offer, from cultural riches to historical monuments, making it difficult for a short trip to provide a real immersion.
Therefore, it is not ideal to expect a ten-day trip to offer you all the riches Turkey has. Still, a well-prepared itinerary might be enough to discover the prominent cities in Turkey. You can keep reading the article to find great itinerary ideas for discovering popular destinations in Turkey you can enjoy in ten days.
So, How Many Days In Turkey Is Enough
Turkey is rich in culture and history; there is much to see and do. How many days you spend in Turkey depends on your interests and how much time you have – as we said, you’ll need MONTHS!
If you’re interested in exploring one ancient ruin, visiting a few museums, and getting a taste of the local cuisine, then 3-4 days are enough. However, if you want to touch on some of Turkey’s unique experiences, then 10-14 days are ideal.
The Best 10-Day Turkey Itinerary Ideas
Is this your first visit to Turkey? Have you visited most cities in the country and want to see something new? Do you want to explore different aspects of Turkey? No matter your purpose, this inclusive list of 10-day Turkey itinerary ideas offers you what you need: adventure, fun, thrill, and curiosity. If you’re ready to start planning your Turkey trip itinerary, take a cup of coffee, prepare your notebook and pen, and let’s begin!
Discover Turkey Northwest To Northeast
If you plan a complete Black Sea tour, we congratulate you! You’re a real explorer! Although it’s not as famous as the western regions, the Black Sea region is home to some genuine natural beauty. The cities in this region are literally gems hidden in the unfathomable Black Sea Mountain ranges.
You’ll start your journey in Istanbul. The first destination is the old city area, where you’ll visit Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. After seeing the majestic marks of ancient civilizations, you’ll take a Bosphorus cruise to watch the city from the sea.
At night, you’ll take a bus to Izmit. Alternatively, you can prefer air travel, yet Izmit is close to Istanbul; renting a car might be another option. In Izmit, you’ll visit the famous Clock Tower and Izmit Archaeological Museum. If you’re into snowboarding, Izmit is a popular destination for mountain tourism, with its large winter sports complex.
After Izmit, you’ll travel to Bolu. Bolu is home to the ancient city of Bithynia and Abant Lake National Park; both are must-see destinations in the Black Sea region. You can spend your night at one of the luxury hotels in the national park.
On day four, you can continue exploring Bolu – we particularly recommend the Bolu Museum of Archaeology, which features various ancient artifacts. Once you finish discovering Bolu, you can travel to Bartın, another small Black Sea city. You’ll visit Amasra Castle and Bartin Ethnography Museum. If you have your swimwear, you can visit Inkumu Beach.
Sinop is your next destination after Bartın. As an ancient port city in the Black Sea region, Sinop boasts many ancient monuments and structures. Sinop Castle, Balatlar Church, and Alaaddin Mosque are all significant monuments one should see.
On day seven, you’ll travel to Trabzon, a city of majestic scenery. Trabzon also features a Hagia Sophia Museum, a structure every history-lover needs to visit. The historical center of Trabzon is also worth visiting for its many old houses and souvenir shops.
After Trabzon, travel to Rize, a small city next to Trabzon. The city is famous for its tea production. Since you’ll spend two days in Rize, you can take it easy on the first day. Visit the Rize Museum and Ziraat Park; if you have time, you can also see the wonderful Fırtına Valley. On day 8, you’ll visit the Ayder Plateau, one of the most famous destinations in the Black Sea region. Since the area is known for its hot springs, you can enjoy a soak in one of the Turkish baths in Ayder. The facilities in the area offer many activities, including horse riding and hiking.
On days 9 and 10, we’ll visit Artvin, a border city and the northeasternmost part of Turkey. The day you arrive in Artvin, you can see the old Artvin Castle, the Şavşat Karagöl Nature Park, and the Karagöl-Sahra National Park. The next day, you’ll take a day trip to Yusufeli and visit the Tortum Waterfall, the Yusufeli Castle, and the village of Bilbilan.
- Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul
- Day 2: Bus trip to Izmit
- Day 3: Travel to Bolu
- Day 4: Explore Bolu & visit Bartın
- Day 5: Travel to Sinop
- Day 6: Go to Trabzon
- Day 7: Visit Rize
- Day 8: Explore Ayder Plateau
- Day 9: Travel to Artvin
- Day 10: See Yusufeli
Discover Inner Anatolia
While it’s not a popular route, a trip to Inner Anatolia might be an eye-opening and inspiring experience for those who want to explore a different part of Turkey. The region is culturally and economically distinct from the Western cities, making it an exciting place to visit.
On your first day, you’ll arrive in Konya. Here, you’ll visit the Mevlana Museum to learn about the life and teachings of Rumi, the famous Sufi poet who promoted peace and became a symbol of inclusivity. You can also explore the Alaaddin Mosque and the Karatay Medrese, both famous for their architecture. On your second day in Konya, you’ll visit the Ince Minaret Medrese and the Aziziye Mosque. You can also explore the Konya Archaeological Museum and the Seljuk Palace to learn more about the city’s rich history and culture.
On your third day, you’ll travel to Karaman, a small city south of Konya. You can visit the Karaman Museum and the Karaman Castle to learn more about the region’s history. On the evening of your third day, you can travel to Cappadocia, where you’ll spend two days.
Day four will be full of exploration; visit the Göreme Open Air Museum to see the unique rock formations formed over thousands of years and the cave churches, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a hot air balloon ride over the stunning landscape on your second day in Cappadocia. You can also visit the underground cities and hike in the Ihlara Valley to see the unique natural formations.
On your sixth day, you’ll travel to Kayseri. When you arrive in the city, you can explore the city’s historic center and the Grand Mosque. On day seven, visit the Kültepe Archaeological Site, known as Kanesh, and see the ancient ruins. You can also explore the Soğanlı Valley and see the rock-cut churches.
After exploring Kayseri, you can visit Kırıkkale, a small city next to Ankara. Here, you can see the Atatürk House Museum and Kırıkkale Museum. Except for these, the city is known for its local artisans, who make wood ornaments and souvenirs.
Your next destination is Ankara, the capital. Your first day in Ankara will include the Ankara Citadel, the Ataturk Mausoleum, and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which will provide you with more information about the history of both Turkey and the region.
On your final day, you’ll visit the Kocatepe Mosque and the Ankara Ethnography Museum. Plus, you can see the old town area, Ulus, before departing.
- Day 1: Arrive in Konya
- Day 2: Explore the city
- Day 3: Travel to Karaman and explore the city
- Day 4: Travel to Cappadocia
- Day 5: See the wonders of Cappadocia
- Day 6: Visit Kayseri
- Day 7: See the archaeological sites and rock-cut churches of Kayseri
- Day 8: Travel to Kırıkkale
- Day 9: Go to Ankara to finish your journey
- Day 10: Ankara
Real Turkish Mediterranean Experience
While this might seem like a classic trail, this itinerary will give you an actual Mediterranean experience. You’ll start your journey from Bodrum, a famous and scenic town in Mugla, and finalize it in Mersin.
Upon arriving in Bodrum, you’ll stroll through the city center to explore the majestic town. You can visit the Bodrum Castle, the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, and the Bodrum Amphitheatre. On your second day in Bodrum, take a day trip to the nearby beach town of Gumbet, visit the Myndos Gate, and unwind on the beach. Remember to swim in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.
On your third day, you’ll travel to Marmaris or Kaş. Since both are picturesque Mediterranean towns, you won’t regret visiting. Spend the day exploring the city and tasting local dishes.
The next day, you’ll travel to Alanya, a holiday town in Antalya. You’ll discover the town’s pristine beaches, try out Mediterranean food, and dive into the city’s vibrant nightlife.
On day seven, you’ll travel to Bozyazı, a town in Mersin famous for its historical structures and beautiful beaches. You’ll visit the Mamure Castle, a historic castle with scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea. The town is also known for its rich seafood-based cuisine.
After basking in the Mediterranean perfection in Bozyazı, you can complete your journey by traveling to Mersin. Due to its rich and well-preserved history, the city has many museums. Visit the Mersin Museum of Archaeology, Mersin Naval Museum, and Ataturk House Museum. Exploring the Old Town might also allow you to purchase memorable souvenirs. Also, before departing, don’t forget to stroll along the Mersin Marina.
- Day 1: Arrival in Bodrum
- Day 2: Enjoy the town
- Day 3: Visit Marmaris or Kaş
- Day 4: Travel to Alanya
- Day 5: Discover the city’s nightlife
- Day 6: See the beaches and historical sites of Alanya
- Day 7: Travel to Bozyazı
- Day 8: Spend a marvelous day in Bozyazı
- Day 9: Go to Mersin and explore the city
- Day 10: Visit the museums and tourist attractions in Mersin
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10 Days Turkey Itinerary From My Turkish Friend
I asked my Turkish friend to give me his best 10-day route to Turkey, and here is what he suggested.
Day 1: Arrive In Istanbul
After a long flight, you’ll finally arrive in Istanbul! Head straight to your hotel, dump your bags, and then set off – Istanbul is huge, so you need to make the most of it. Explore the city as you wish; some of the famous sights not to be missed are:
- Blue Mosque: one of Istanbul’s most beautiful mosques
- Hagia Sophia: a former Byzantine Cathedral and museum that is now a mosque
- Topkapi Palace was once the home of the Ottoman sultans.
- Whirling Dervish: a religious & cultural experience
- Delicious Turkish dinner: try a kebab and some baklava
Day 2 & 3: Exploring More Of Istanbul
On the second and third days of your Turkey trip, take some time to explore Istanbul – remember when we said it was huge?! Suggestions for the day are:
- Stroll through the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar – where you can shop for Turkish carpets, souvenirs, spices, and more
- Walk the Galata bridge, climb the Galata Tower – views of Istanbul to die
- Eat lunch in the colorful Balata district
- Explore the palaces of Istanbul – you can find palace choices here
- Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Cistern)
- Exploring the streets of Karakoy
- Taking The Ferry To Moda, In Kadikoy – the Asian side of Istanbul
- Eat dinner on a rooftop restaurant – try here for top choices
Day 4 Head To Pamukkale-Hierapolis & Ephesus
On day four of your exploration of Turkey, you will travel to Denilzi by plane early in the morning and then transfer to Pamukkale-Hierapolis.
This beautiful town is home to thermal springs and travertine terraces. The water in the springs is said to have healing properties, making Pamukkale a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
Just next to the hot springs are the remains of Hierapolis, a once-ancient city. The two combines will take around 4 plus hours to explore.
Day 5: Make Your Way To Ephesus & Selcuk
Get on the road to discover the ancient city of Ephesus. This city was once one of the world’s most important cultural and trade centers. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations. The ruins of Ephesus are incredibly well-preserved and provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.
After spending some time exploring Ephesus, you will head to the town of Selcuk for a visit to the museum, wander the streets, or take a pottery class; the choice is yours.
Make your way to Izmir for the night, ready for the early morning flight. Here are the top Izmir airport hotels to consider.
Day 6 & 7: Cappadocia, Goreme And Uchisar
Cappadocia is a region in central Turkey known for its unique landscape of tall, cone-shaped rock formations called “fairy chimneys.” Once you land here on your flight from Izmir, you can begin the Cappadocia part of your itinerary.
- Day 6: Start your day with a visit to Goreme National Park, where you can explore the many Byzantine cave churches and monasteries. Then head to Uchisar Castle, which offers excellent views over the surrounding landscapes. In the afternoon, take a hike through one Red or Love valley. Or take a hot air balloon flight for an unforgettable experience.
- Day 7: On your last day in Cappadocia, make sure to visit the Open Air Museum to see some of the best-preserved cave churches. Then, stroll through Goreme village and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere before returning to Istanbul.
Day 8-9: Ankara
Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is a bustling city with a rich history, and you can get there in a few hours on the bus (or rent a car) from Cappadocia. In Ankara, be sure to visit:
- The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations – which houses artifacts from the Bronze Age to the Ottoman Empire
- The Mausoleum of Ataturk – the founder of modern Turkey,
- Outside of the city, you can visit the ruins of Gordium, the ancient capital of Phrygia
Day 10: More Of Ankara Or Istanbul
Today is your last day, so you can enjoy more of Ankara or take an early morning flight to Istanbul (we assume your flight leaves from here anyway.) and see more of what you missed in Istanbul.
- Make sure to wake up early to catch a glimpse of the city as the sun rises, and start your day with a delicious Turkish breakfast at one of the local cafes.
- Spend time exploring the city’s many mosques, palaces, and markets
- In the afternoon, take a cruise down the Bosphorus Strait. This is a great way to see Istanbul’s skyline and get a different perspective of the city
More Turkey Itinerary 10-Day Options
Want even more ideas for Turkey trip planning? Here are some more ten-day routes for Turkey. While we won’t dive into these in detail, you can consider these plans for going on a different and exciting trip to other parts of Turkey.
From The Pearl Of Aegean To The Easternmost City Of Turkey
Here is another idea for a 10 day trip to Turkey:
- Day 1: Arrival in İzmir
- Day 2: Explore the city
- Day 3: Take a train to Eskişehir
- Day 4: Visit Eskişehir’s museums
- Day 5: Take a train to Ankara
- Day 6: Discover the hidden gems of Ankara
- Day 7: Take a train to Kars
- Day 8: Explore the rich history of Kars
- Day 9: Take a bus to Iğdır
- Day 10: Explore the Easternmost city of Turkey
Eastern Turkey Tour
- Day 1: Arrival in Kars
- Day 2: Explore the marks of the Russian rule
- Day 3: Go on a gastro-adventure and visit the local restaurants
- Day 4: Travel to Ağrı
- Day 5: Explore the city and visit historical monuments
- Day 6: Visit the winter sports center on the Ağrı Mountain
- Day 7: Travel to Erzurum
- Day 8: Discover the hidden gem of the East
- Day 9: Travel to Erzincan
- Day 10: Explore the city and buy souvenirs
How To Get To Turkey
Compared to most countries in the region, Turkey is a very accessible destination. The country receives thousands of international flights from Asian and European countries daily, and the national airline of Turkey, Turkish Airlines, is known as one of the world’s largest airlines, with 340 destinations.
Besides air travel, one can also get to Turkey by sea. 97% of the country’s lands are located in the Anatolian peninsula, surrounded by sea from the northern, western, and southern parts. As a result, there are many international cruise tours to Turkey from Italy, Greece, and other European countries. Plus, the Black Sea region of Turkey can be accessible by sea from Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, and Ukraine.
Another alternative way to Turkey is by land – ideally by a personal vehicle. If you don’t own a car, you might prefer various bus tours to Turkey, which might not be as comfortable as you imagine. On the other hand, several train routes can take you to Turkey through scenic and exciting trails. But they might not be ideal for travelers on a budget, as international train routes are usually way more expensive than air travel.
Did you find the right Turkey travel itinerary and the best things to do in Türkiye for you? If so, all you have to do is pack your Turkish Lira and head to the small towns and ancient cities, snack on Turkish street food, and enjoy.
Now that you have these six itinerary options for how to spend ten days in Turkey, we hope that you love your 10 day Turkey tour!