With its rich history, stunning landscape and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder that Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. After all, the country is a land of contrasts, where East meets West and modernity blends with tradition.
I first visited Turkey in 2018 and since then, I’ve always said that I will come back. Guess what? I’m traveling to Turkey again before the year ends! It’s definitely a once-visited, must-return kind of destination. So without further adieu, here are some of the magical places to visit in Turkey that should be on any traveler’s bucket list.
1. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
Located in the city of Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar is a must-see for any visitor to Turkey. With over 4,000 shops selling everything from Turkish carpets to hand-painted ceramics, it’s the perfect place to bargain for souvenirs.
Not only is it one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, but it’s also home to Turkish tradition and history. A walk through the Grand Bazaar is the best way to admire local crafts, immerse in local life, and fully appreciate the fascinating Turkish culture. It’s arranged in a series of interconnected streets and alleyways, each lined with shops selling everything from handmade carpets, Turkish Delights to spices.
It’s normal for first-time visitors to feel overwhelmed so you might want to consider hiring a tour guide. Be sure to take some time to explore the side alleys, where you’ll find hidden cafes and workshops. Even if you don’t buy anything, the Grand Bazaar is an unforgettable experience.
2. The Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia
No trip to Turkey would be complete without a visit to Cappadocia, a region known for its otherworldly landscape. The region is home to a number of ‘fairy chimneys’, which are cone-shaped towering rock formations created by erosion. From the 4th century onwards, Cappadocia (specifically the town of Göreme), became a refuge for early Christians fleeing Roman persecution. These inhabitants carved out the soft rocks all over the region to form networks of caves and even the largest excavated underground city called Derinkuyu Underground City.
Today, Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination, and it’s definitely one of the magical places to visit in Turkey. A trip to Cappadocia is like stepping into another world, and it’s an experience that you’ll never forget. Visitors can explore the region on foot, or take to the skies on a hot air balloon ride for breathtaking views.
3. The Blue Mosque in Istanbul
Another must-see in Istanbul is the Blue Mosque, which gets its name from the 20,000 blue tiles that adorn its interior. The mosque was built in the 17th century and remains one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors can admire the mosque’s exterior before stepping inside to see its soaring domes and six minarets, which are a distinctive feature of the mosque, and symbolize the power of the Ottoman Empire.
Although it is an active place of worship, the mosque is open to visitors of all faiths. Today, the Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul’s most popular tourist attractions with over three million people visiting the mosque each year.
These are just some of the many reasons why Turkey should be high on your travel list. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today.