Turkey Travel Guide
Whether you're interested in learning about Turkey's history and culture, viewing contemporary art and design, or just relaxing on the beach, there are plenty of places to go in Turkey. In Istanbul, first-timers can't miss Hagia Sophia, a thousand-plus-year-old church-turned-mosque and museum, or the 17th-century Rüstem Pasha Mosque (or Blue Mosque), famous for is azure-hued tiles and six minarets. At the Topkapi complex, you'll wander though 6 million square feet of Ottoman-era palace grounds, then find your own precious goods among the stalls of the Grand Bazaar.
More shopping can be enjoyed in sophisticated Nisantasi, with its international luxury brand boutiques, upscale malls and departments stores. A short flight away in Cappadocia, explore the region's towering rock formations, known as "fairy chimneys," as well as the vast network of caves, tunnels, and ancient dwellings forming the UNESCO World Heritage underground "cities."
The 13th-century Caravansary of Sultanhani, the Byzantine frescoes at the Rock Chapels of Goreme, and the troglodyte village of Avcilar are also among the key spots to visit in Turkey. History buffs shouldn't miss a stroll around the ancient ruins at Ephesus—one of the top places to go in Turkey—while those interested in the natural beauty of Turkey will love the national parks, as well as the beaches and warm blue-green waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
Wines from this tiny Aegean island are gaining prominence.
Built by Justinian in the 6th century A.D., the Basilica of St. John the Apostle and his reputed final resting place is a ruined yet spectacular edifice perched near the citadel in Selçuk. It's mostly a shell, but St. John's grave is marked with a marble slab.
Make the 30 minute journey from Bodrum for oversize Turkish wool carpets.
Convivial, boho bar/café beloved for its sunset views and cocktails.
One of the great achievements of Ottoman imperial architecture (it was built by the legendary Ottoman architect Sinan), this stunning 16th-century mosque complex encompasses a hospital, primary school, caravansary, four Koran schools, a medical college, a public kitchen, and the mausoleum that co
Try the Turkish Delight in flavors like mint and pistachio at this exotic candy shop.
This well-regarded antiques shop carries Islamic calligraphy, religious icons, weapons, and reproductions of ancient Anatolian designs.
Though it served as the royal residence and seat of the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries, this palace isn’t the mighty pleasure dome that many visitors expect.
At her combination museum-shop, owner Gönül Paksoy turns everyday objects into pieces of art and creates hand-dyed silk coats with vintage beads.
Sample the goat’s-milk ice cream, which is thickened with the powdered root of wild orchids. Splurge on a triple scoop of pistachio, pomegranate, and black mulberry.
Set in a historic hammam that almost steals the show, the store sells affordable rugs based on antique designs.
Jewelry has a distinctive Turkish sensibility at this duty-free shop. The designers employ historical Anatolian jewelry-making techniques and motifs.
Kusadasi has become a center for Turkish carpets, but quality is spotty.
Security regulations make it all but impossible to watch planes taking off from the airport, but these establishments in the Istanbul International Airport Hotel offer international cuisine, a fully stocked bar, and a fine vantage point for plane-spotting. The bar is open 24 hours.