Bucket List Turkey

Magical Places to Visit in Turkey that should be on any Traveler’s Bucket List

I first visited Turkey in 2018 and since then, I’ve always said that I will come back. Guess what? I was able to travel to Turkey again in 2022! It’s definitely a once-visited, must-return kind of destination. So without further ado, here are some of the magical places to visit in Turkey that should be on any traveler’s bucket list.

Magical Places to Visit in Turkey

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.

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.

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, one of the magical places to visit in Turkey
One of the specialty shops in the Grand Bazaar selling Turkish Delights (2018)

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.

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.

sunrise in Cappadocia, one of the magical places to visit in Turkey
mother and child overlooking the sunrise in Cappadocia, Turkey (2018)

Having traveled to Cappadocia twice, I can attest that it truly is a magical place to visit in Turkey. This enchanting destination whisks you away to a surreal realm, providing an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re strolling through its unique landscapes on foot or soaring above in a Cappadocia hot air balloon, it will leave you eager for a return visit.

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.

Tulip Festival in the Blue Mosque, one of the magical places to visit in Turkey
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey during the annual Tulip Festival (2018)

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.

The Ancient City of Ephesus

Situated in modern-day Selcuk, Turkey, Ephesus is an ancient and historical city that dates back to the 10th century BC. This magnificent site offers a wealth of history and a chance to step back into time, with ruins of marble temples, theatres and other structures scattered around the city. The Library of Celsus is arguably one of the most remarkable buildings ever made by humans can also be found here. Not being dramatic but I cried when I saw it for the first time!

The Library of Celsus

Pamukkale Travertines and Hierapolis

In 2018, I visited Pamukkale and Hierapolis, two breathtaking ancient sites rich in history. The natural travertines were formed naturally over centuries from calcium-rich hot springs cascading down the sea cliffs. History tells us that in Greco-Roman times, kings would come here to bathe, worship and take part in fantastic parties while enjoying a one-of-a-kind view unlike any other.

Pamukkale travertines

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.

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By Project Gora

Hey there! My name is Milet Miranda, and I'm a full-time corporate employee during weekdays and a traveler during weekends (and get the picture). I'm a foodie at heart and I love joining food tours. When I'm not traveling, you'll find me walking my dogs or biking around my neighborhood.