Turkey, known for its long history, vibrant culture, and breath-taking landscapes, is dominated by extremely popular locations that welcome countless numbers of tourists every year.
Turkey’s heritage and culture have been impacted by many cultures over the course of its history, including Armenian, Roman, and Greek cultures. The nation was a component of the six-century-old Ottoman Empire, which ruled over a number of states in Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Turkey has a wide range of activities, including hot air balloon excursions that are popular on social media and exploring the foggy highlands of the Eastern Black Sea. But there’s more to explore in this exceptional nation! Turkey is a popular destination for history buffs and those with enquiring minds interested in ancient history because of the significant archaeological discoveries there, such as the Lycian tombs.
Turkish beaches along the Mediterranean are two other tourist destinations, as are Istanbul’s skyline, which is dominated by minarets and domes. This is a place that demands to be discovered!
Top Sights to Cover During Your Trip to Turkey
The Ani Ruins are the remnants of the ancient Armenian metropolis of Ani, located across the Akhurian River from Armenia. Ani, which was founded more than 1,600 years ago, was renowned as “the city of a thousand and one churches.” More than 100,000 people lived in the fortified city in the eleventh century; it was rich at the time.
Ani was sadly completely abandoned by the 1700s as a result of numerous invasions, harassment campaigns, and attacks. More than 30 caverns, 50 churches, and 20 chapels have been found at the Ani Ruins, and more have been found via further excavations. As one approaches the Ani Ruins, imposing city walls that have primarily stood strong and magnificent throughout.
The Cathedral is one of the most beloved preserved buildings in the Ani Ruins after you pass through the walls. The tallest standing edifice in Ani, it is a domed basilica with pointed arches and cluster piers that may be seen admiringly through gaps in its missing construction as the sun peaks through.
Alexander Falls, also known as Upper Duden Waterfall, is a well-liked recreation location that radiates a natural and calming appeal surrounded by lush vegetation. According to legend, Alexander the Great stopped here to let his horses drink water as he travelled through the area.
People visit the caves located behind the Upper Duden cascade to observe the cascade in motion from below. Located in the Lara District of Duden Park, the Lower Duden Waterfall is also known as Karpuzkaldiran Selalesi, which translates to “watermelon raising waterfall.” Those seeking a reviving show of nature’s beauty and power frequently see the breathtaking landscape of the waterfall from a boat, the neighbouring sidewalk, or Duden Park.
The archaeological site was found in the Germus Mountains, northeast of Sanliurfa, and it claims the discovery of structures made by hunter-gatherers between 9,600 and 8,000 BCE that are thought to be connected to rites of some kind. An remarkable collection of artefacts discovered at Göbekli Tepe is on display at the Sanliurfa Museum.
The oldest temple in the world, Göbekli Tepe, is conveniently accessible to visitors. Watch archaeologists at work as they excavate the sizable site, which continues to yield monumental artefacts of both archaeology and history. At Göbekli Tepe, there is a small museum where guests may view fascinating 3D animations of the location and learn more about this significant historical site.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is the ideal location to learn about Turkey’s complex past thanks to first-rate exhibitions that include authentic artefacts from numerous local archaeological sites. The museum’s displays are arranged chronologically for easy learning and take visitors through several eras with eye-catching artefacts like the collection’s 2 BC cuneiform tablets.
Examine engraved stone slabs from the 8,000-year-old Arslantepe archaeological site. Admire the shields and horse bits made by the Urartians, the foremost metalworkers of Anatolia. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations has a wealth of information to help visitors understand Turkey’s early history.
The grave mound of King Antiochus I of the Kingdom of Commagene is located on Mount Nemrut, one of the tallest summits in the Eastern Taurus Mountains. The ancient Armenian kingdom of Commagene was eventually absorbed by the Roman Empire in the year 72 AD. The most renowned king of the realm was Antiochus I. King, other gods, lions, and eagle statues can be found on the funeral mound.
The monarch ordered the dedication of the funeral mound so that he might be deified and worshipped alongside the other gods shown on the stones. Since they were built, the heads have fallen off the bodies and are now lying all over the building site. The neighbouring mountains may be seen clearly from Mount Nemrut’s summit.
The biggest draw is to observe the sunrise from the eastern terrace, which gives the lifeless heads a lovely orange tone and heightens the atmosphere of mystery.
Emperor Justinian ordered the construction of this underground building, which was completed in 532. The largest Byzantine cistern still in existence in Istanbul, it was built with 336 columns, many of which were taken from disused temples and with exquisitely carved capitals.
Its symmetry and sheer grandiosity of idea are just magnificent, and on hot summer days, its vast depths create a wonderful retreat owing to its Basilica Cistern Architecture. The cistern has an intriguing history, just like most places in Istanbul. Due to its location beneath the Stoa Basilica, one of the large squares on the first hill, it was first referred to as the Basilica Cistern.
It was built to supply the Great Palace and its surrounding structures with water transported via 20 km of aqueducts from a reservoir close to the Black Sea, but it was shut down when the Byzantine emperors moved out of the Great Palace. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality cleaned and renovated the cistern in 1985, and it was made public in 1987.
It is currently one of the most visited tourist destinations in the city. It has a tonne of mood as you stroll along its elevated wooden platforms and notice schools of spectral carp patrolling the pond while water drips from the arched ceiling.