UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Turkey

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Turkey

We know that Turkey is an excellent spot for a summer break, but did you know that it is home to no less than 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

Packed with history and cultural sites to see, Turkey is far more than its south-coast beaches and Istanbul’s nightlife.

If you want to visit the real Turkey, check out some of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Ruins of Afrodisias (Aphrodisias) Ancient City - UNESCO Sites Turkey

In the southwest of Turkey, you’ll find Aphrodisias, dating back to the 3rd century BC. This huge archaeological site is home to the beautiful Temple of Aphrodite. Aphrodisias was a large city back in the day, and at the time, it was pretty bustling. To this day, you’ll be able to see ruins of bath complexes, temples, and a theatre.

Historic Areas Of Istanbul

Much of Istanbul is steeped in history, but several sections are UNESCO named. Most notably, the Golden Horn, located on the Bosphorus and encompassing Hagia Sofia, dating back to the 6th century, and the Hippodrome of Constantine, to name just two.

Archaeological Site Of Ani

Archaeological Site of Ani - UNESCO Turkey

Ani is an ancient city that dates back to the 10th and 11th centuries. It is located on a vast ravine that overlooks Armenia. Ani is pretty difficult to get to unless you’re a keen explorer but you should certainly put it on your bucket list.

At the time, it was the capital of the Armenian Kingdom, and money flowed in thanks to its proximity to the Silk Road trade route. The city began to decline in 1319, thanks to a massive earthquake and an invasion from the Mongols.

Arslantepe Mound

Arslantepe is a significant archaeological site that is located close to Malatya in the eastern-central part of the country. Evidence from the site shows residents as far back as the 6th century BC, going as far up to the medieval era. The site also has early Bronze Age artefacts and a huge Royal Tomb complex.

Archaeological Site Of Troy

Archaeological Site Of Troy - UNESCO Turkey

Yes, Troy is actually in modern-day Turkey! It is located in the far north-west of the country, close to Canakkale. With more than 4000 years of history to its name, Troy is one of the most popular spots to visit.

The story of Troy has been told repeatedly, both on TV shows and in Hollywood blockbusters. The site attracts visitors from all over the world, with remains that are still extremely significant.

Bursa And Cumalikizik – Birth Of The Ottoman Empire

Bursa is a large city in the northwest of the country, close to Istanbul. It is also a city connected very heavily with the early beginnings of the Ottoman Empire. The UNESCO listing is connected to eight different sites across the city and the nearby village of Cumalikizik. All areas show evidence during the 14th century and the establishment of the Ottomans.

Nemrut Dag

Numrut Dag, better known as Mount Nemrut, is located close to Adiyaman in south-east Turkey. Here you can find the mausoleum of Antiochus, who was the ruler of Commagene, a former kingdom in the area after the era of Alexander. Dating back to the Hellenistic period, the mysterious large statues still stand proudly today and are thought to be a 1st century BC royal tomb.

City Of Safranbolu

City Of Safranbolu - UNESCO TURKEY

The ancient city of Safranbolu dates back to the 13th century and is located close to Karabuk in the Black Sea region. Safranbolu was an essential stop on the trade route from east to west and is also home to several notable buildings, including the Old Mosque and the Old Bath.

Diyarbakir Fortress And Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape

The city of Diyarbakir is located in southeast turkey, along the Upper Tigris River. The city is surrounded by walls and a massive fortress which span a vast 5.8km in length. They’re dotted with many towers, gates, and inscriptions. The area around Diyarbakir city also dates back to the Hellenistic period, and many important archaeological finds have been discovered.


Visiting Ephesus Turkey. What to see and do_Library of Celsus

Located in the town of Selcuk, close to Izmir, Ephesus is not only a top-rated tourist attraction, but a significant archeological site in the country. With evidence of Hellenistic and Roman settlements, the site used to be a bustling and important city, with excavations showing huge finds. The Great Theatre and the Temple of Artemis are notable mentions. The House of the Virgin Mary is also part of the complex, a short distance away.

Gobekli Tepe

Cities in Turkey- Gobeklitepe, Sanliurfa / Turkey

Located close to Sanliurfa in the southeast of the country, Gobekli Type is a substantial Neolithic archaeological site dating back to around 8000BCE. The site is home to a vast circular structure that are held up by pillars of stone. These are also known to be the oldest megaliths in the world.

Great And Hospital Of Divrigi

Close to Sivas, you will find the Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi. This dates back to the 11th century. The mosque has a large hospital adjoining it. The mosque’s architecture in particular is notable and remarkable, with creative decoration. It is considered a noteworthy piece of Islamic architecture.

Hattusha – The Hittite Capital

Hattusha is a large archaeological site near Bogazcale, in the Black Sea region. It is the former capital of the Hittite Empire and has many well preserved ruins, including fortifications and temples. The Lion’s Gate and Royal Gate are two notable points.


Turkey Travel Blog_UNESCO Sites To Visit In Turkey


Neolithic Site Of Catalhoyuk

In Konya, you will find the site of Catalhoyuk, dating back to Neolithic times. This is a remarkable archaeological site that sits in-between two hills. Evidence of occupation dating back to around 6200BC have found wall paintings and sculptures. This fascinating site shows life before the times we can even fathom, and further excavation continues.

Pergamon And It’s Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape

In Izmir Province you will find Pergamon, an archaeological site that sits high up on the hillside. The Acropolis of Pergamon was thought to be the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid and there are many temples and old ruins to explore. The Kybele Sanctuary is also part of this site, as well as old burial centers and plenty of evidence that points back to different eras, including Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman.

Selimye Mosque And Its Social Complex

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey - Selimye Mosque - Edirne

Located in Edirne in the northwest corner of Turkey, Selimye Mosque is a beautiful example of Ottoman architecture. Edirne used to be the Ottoman Empire’s capital, and this work dates back to the 16th century. It is the work of Sinan, one of the most decorated architects of his time. The surrounding complex is also fascinating, with a religious school, market, and library.


Xanthos is a stunning archaeological site located in Kinik, Antalya Province. It dates back to Lycian times and was once the capital of Lycia overall. The art and inscriptions are very clear to see, and this is a spot that has proven very useful in helping us to learn more about the language of the Lycian people.

Goreme National Park And The Rock Sites Of Cappadocia

Turkey Cappadocia, Rock Formations in Pasabag Monks Valley - Things to do in Cappadocia
Monks Valley, Cappadocia

You will undoubtedly have seen Goreme National Park countless times online and on TV. This is the place which the famous hot air balloons fly over in Cappadocia. This part is considered a geological wonder with huge and unusual rock formations. Cappadocia itself is included on the list, with cave buildings and evidence of habitation by humans dating back to the 4th century.


How To Get From Pamukkale To Cappadocia - Pools
Pamukkale, Turkey

Close to Denizli, Pamukkale is a famous area for hot springs that are located 200m high on a large calcite cliff. The landscape is called “cotton palace” and that is because of the white ledges that make it so famous, along with petrified waterfalls. There are also important ruins from Hierapolis in the area, with monuments and temples to be explored.


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