10 Places to See in Turkey (That Aren’t Istanbul)

Turkey, the ultimate cultural melting pot and the center of the Silk Road, established itself as the Silk Road’s core hub. It is the center of Western and Eastern culture.

Turkey is the gateway to Europe from Middle East. It has rich history and stunning natural beauty. Oh, the food!

Turkey is a top-rated destination on my bucket list and one of the most popular countries on the planet.

Here’s a guide to 10 places you can visit in Turkey, including some that aren’t Istanbul: From beaches with white sand to colorful bazaars to historical sites.

Ephesus

It was the old home of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. The ancient city of Ephesus, a major Roman city, was also the home of many. It was Asia Minor’s capital and was second in cultural significance and population to Rome.

Unmissable Places to Visit in Turkey
Unmissable Places to Visit in Turkey

This cultural hub is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is the Mediterranean’s best-preserved Roman city. You can also make it a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi or Izmir.

Cappadocia

This whimsical destination, located in the heart of Anatolia is known for its “fairy chimneys”, and the rainbow of hot-air balloons that fly overhead.

You can find a spot on the beautiful terraces that overlook the desert landscape. Start early! Start early to catch the sunrise and then go out looking for hot air balloons.

Take your camera to Rose Valley and enjoy an amazing view. Explore the cave dwellings and then take in the sunset over Goreme.

Best Places To Visit In Turkey : Worth Seeing
Best Places To Visit In Turkey : Worth Seeing

Planning Tip: Are you planning to spend a lot time outdoors? You need good weather for taking off. Check out my guide on The Best Time to Visit Turkey.

Kas

This Mediterranean town is one the most popular scuba diving spots on the planet.

It’s also a gorgeous little bougainvillea-covered town known for its ancient ruins and top-notch restaurants dotting the coastline.

Tip: Turkish food is more than just kebabs. Some of the best Turkish dishes are not even from Turkey.

This place is a must-visit for all your foodie needs, from su boregi to the kunefe. Check out these Top 10 Turkish Foods You Must Try.

Gumusluk, Bodrum

Bodrum is a popular summer resort and is worth a visit. Although some areas are packed, Gumusluk can be reserved for locals or those who know the area well.

Although the Gumusluk International Jam Festival is what makes this seaside town so famous, it’s also a wonderful place to visit at any time.

Places To Visit In Turkey
Places To Visit In Turkey

You can experience authentic Turkish seaside life by staying in a small, no-frills hotel.

Pamukkale

This UNESCO World Heritage site, which means “cotton castle” to Turkish, has a stunning beauty.

Since Roman times, the thermal waters of the white terrasses have been a popular spa resort. To see the beauty of this spot, climb to the top on the nearly 200m (655 feet) tall cliff.

You can also visit Hierapolis, an ancient Greek city.

This port of trade was well-known as a hub for philosophy and art. This is an easy addition to your Pamukkale ticket.

Izmir

This spot was named by CN Traveler as Turkey’s “most overlooked city”. It’s not hard to see why. This treasure is not for tourists, but locals.

This third-largest Turkish city is located on the coast. It has always been a look to Europe. Izmir is a meeting place for cultures. It offers unique mix of Middle Eastern and European influences.

Worth Seeing Place In Turkey
Worth Seeing Place In Turkey

Enjoy the views from Asanor, the Roman Empire’s wonders, and then enjoy some people-watching at one of the many sidewalk cafes.

Fethiye

Fethiye, an extension of Telmessos’s ancient city, is today a bustling resort town and popular dock for yachts.

The stunning coastline is a perfect place to relax after exploring the Lycian rock tombs. This beach town is a wonderful combination of cultural wonders and beach bum delights.

Oludeniz, also known as the Blue Lagoon is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. So bring your swimsuit.

Mardin

This is one of the most important Southeast Anatolia cities to see, and it’s among the oldest in Northern Mesopotamia.

Mardin is located near the Syrian border and has a dynamic mix of Ottoman, Seljuk and Roman influences. It is a place unlike any other in terms of architecture and history.

Make sure you fuel your journey with a unique blend of coffee such as dibek, which is a coffee with cardamom and menengic which is a pistachio-milk blend.

Konya

The Central Anatolia region’s Turkish town is a popular pilgrimage spot for Sufis.

The local tekke or Sufi lodge is the most famous spot. The tomb of Jalaluddin Rumiri, founder of Mevlana, is located in the middle of tourist.

For a whirling dervish ceremony, explore the Sufi culture.

Whirling Dervishes. This is a great glimpse into the culture of Sufi whirling.

Marmaris

The Turkish Riviera’s crown jewel is this town along the Mediterranean coast.

For its stunning beaches, this region is also called the Turquoise Coast.

It’s the perfect place for beach lovers, but it also offers so much more. This is the ideal place for anyone looking for outdoor spots to get their heart racing or non-stop nightlife.

It is also an ideal base for island-hopping. You can reach Rhodes in just three hours.