Turkey is a one-stop destination to satisfy all your cuisine, scenic, cultural and historical needs.
Turkey used to be one of the most prominent countries in the ancient world and that is why it has so much of historical significance to offer. With an array of architectural marvels left behind by its stream of conquerors, the entire place seems to be immersed in history. The colourful city of Istanbul always seems to make it to every traveller’s bucket list. From the steppes of Cappadocia to the glorious beaches of Antalya, these are the top 7 places you need to visit on your next trip to Turkey.
Ankara is the capital city of Turkey. Due to its centralized location, Ankara has
turned into the nation's travel hub. It is one of the most industrialised and
modernised cities in the country, sprawling with skyscrapers, foreign embassies,
government offices, universities and commercial businesses. The museum of
Anatolian civilizations is located here amidst many other art and cultural sites.
There are a number of things Istanbul is popular for. First off, it is the only city in the world that spans across two continents. It lies along the strait that connects Asia and Europe thus managing to create an interesting confluence of the East and the West. Secondly, Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and also among the largest cities in the world. The old city is also famous for its nightlife, shopping experience, dining, culture and exotic atmosphere. The iconic Hagia Sofia, which was once a church built in the 6th century and then converted into a temple, lies here. It has been claimed to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Other attractions include colourful minarets, the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, cruise ships, all night entertainment, eateries etc.
Volcanic eruptions and erosion activities that occurred thousands of years ago are responsible for the formation of this place. The soft rock left behind after the eruptions have been sculpted by mankind into churches, houses and underground cities. At an earlier point in times, tunnels would be dug out through these rocks to safeguard the people from its enemies. The same tunnels have now been converted into hotels and restaurants.
This is amongst the oldest cities in the world. It used to be a popular city in the 12th and 13th century under the rule of the Seljuk dynasty. You can still see the ruins from that era in the form of the ancient Seljuk palace and the Alaeddin mosque. The famous Sufi mystic, Rumi is from Konya.
If you wish to witness a true Roman establishment filled with gigantic stone pillars and marble columned roads then you must visit UNESCO World Heritage listed, Ephesus. This used to be one of the biggest cities of the Roman empire. You’ll see plenty of ancient marvels including the massive two-storied Celsus library, the Great Theatre, the Hadrian temple and the ruins of the magnificent Temple of Artemis. You can buy a holiday home in Bodrum which is only a couple of hours away.
Antalya is amongst Turkey's largest and most vibrant cities that lies alongside the Mediterranean coastline. It is sprawled with numerous cafes, bars, hotels, restaurants, pubs and luxurious resorts. You can take a relaxing sunbath on beach shore or have a dip in the ocean, climb to the top of the mountain or go sailing on the seas. Antalya is a perfect family destination offering something for everyone.
The ancient civilization of Mardin is lined with architectural marvels of sandstone that start from the bottom of the hill and go all the way to the top. You can even traverse through the entire city on foot. Perched on a hilltop, you can view the historic city of Mesopotamia from here. The Deyrü’z-Zafaran monastery which is
one of the oldest monasteries in the world is located here.
Don’t forget to sip on any Turkish tea or ride in a hot-air balloon while you’re there. A visit to Turkey will definitely have an assault on all your senses in the best way possible.
by Natalie Marie.
An Aussie girls guide to
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