5 Places to Visit in Turkey (besides Istanbul)

Turkey happens to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It is rather unfortunate that most people going to Turkey only have Istanbul in mind. The capital city is truly a gem to behold with tons of attractions for all to see. However, there are other great places that would catch your fancy as well.

Below are 5 places asides from Istanbul that you should give a try:

  • Ephesus

If you would love a bit of history, then this should be your Turkish destination. Ephesus is a city with a rich historical relevance. It is one of the oldest Greek cities with evidence of that civilization and time. There are old city ruins that have been preserved to give people a feel of what it felt like to live many years ago. The sites are well taken care of by UNESCO as it has been named as one of the world heritage sites.

If you are visiting Ephesus, you should be ready to see places like the temple of Artemis, the basilica of St John, the temple of Hadrian, and the legendary Ephesus museum where you will behold relics like the great statue of Artemis and the gladiator room. There is also the city of Izmir an hour away from Ephesus; many great Turkish shows have been set there.

  • Cappadocia

Cappadocia is known for its hot hair balloons. So when you see them, you can be sure you are in Cappadocia. You can catch a great view of these balloons from the UNESCO world heritage site-listed Goreme Open Air Museum, where you can find the rock-cut churches that housed Christian monks in the Byzantine era. Perhaps, the most fascinating thing you will find in this city is the Kaymakli Underground City. It is so amazing you can actually book a hotel and stay the night there.

  • Ankara

Many people think that Istanbul is the capital of Turkey. But the city they should be thinking about is the city of Ankara. It is the second-largest city in all of Turkey. If you are seeking out a more quiet version of Istanbul, then Ankara is the place for you. Many celebrities call this great city home. It is indeed a clear seat of power and has the air of a country’s capital well stamped on it. This doesn’t make it a hole of boredom. It is the opposite. This city has great sites like the Anıtkabir, which is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkey.

If you are a lover of paranormal views, then you would love the Ulus Bentderesi District of the Old Quarter where you can behold all of the city. Here, you can equally take a walk and behold the beautiful ottoman houses. Then you can go try out the cafes and restaurants in Kizilay Square.

  • Konya

This city is the Turkish Verona: the center of love. Many great 13th century poems were written here. Many of Mevlana Rumi’s great poems were also written here.  Your tour when you get to Konya can only begin at the Mevlana Rumi museum which is adorned with beautiful roses and is the resting place of the great poet himself. Its Semahane exhibits tons of religious relics from the eras past.

You can savor the flavors of a fresh cup of Turkish coffee at Alaeddin Tepe park. If you are not a lover of poetry then you would find your due compensation at the tile museum or the Museum of Wooden and Stone Carving.

  • Trabzon

If you are up for some nature sandwich, then Trabzon is the place to go. It is located by the black sea and has the pontic mountains running through it, giving it that city on a hill look. Here you can Explore places like the Sumela Monastery, a Greek Orthodox Ministry built in the year 346 AD, take a night’s rest near the Uzun Göl or Long Lake, watch the beautiful sunset over the Black Sea at Boztepe, and also take some time to honor the founding father of Turkey at the Trabzon Ataturk Kosku museum.


Istanbul is great but these five locations are great places to experience Turkey in all its fulness and diversity. If you’re ever planning on visiting Turkey anytime soon, then we advise that you take a detour this time and visit one of these other cities. The same we recommend for Morocco – go beyond Marrakesh and enjoy the full beauty of the country!

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