Looking for the most beautiful places to visit in Turkey in 2023? This post will show you all the must-visit places in this beautiful Eurasia country.
Turkey, the perfect blend of modern European elegance and classic Muslim allure with the array of landmarks, museums, and natural wonders ready to be explored, has been top of the list of many travelers in the past decade.
As time passes, the country has been ageing like fine wine.
With the mesmerizing backdrop of golden sunsets with numerous hot air balloons dotting the sky in Cappadocia, the jaw-dropping refinement of the Hagia Sophia, the food carts lining the streets selling traditional Turkish delicacies, Turkey is a must-visit if you are looking for a country with old-school charm together with modern-day luxuries.
But with so many attractive options to choose from, which places should one visit to see the best of the country in a limited amount of time.
This article will be detailing the top ten places in Turkey that should be on one’s itinerary when visiting this beautiful country.
So let’s get started!
Índice / Table of Contents
Beautiful Places To Visit In Turkey in 2023
Here are the top destinations in Turkey you shouldn’t miss out on!
If one is talking about the best places to visit in Turkey, Cappadocia always occupies a spot.
The city, with its unique landscape fashioned by years of winds and volcanoes, is teeming with tourists year-round. Cappadocia is famous for its hot air balloon rides.
The massive fire-driven balloons soaring over the valleys at dusk or dawn make for an unforgettable experience.
The village of Göreme, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which boasts a collection of mystical rock-cut churches with frescoes lining the inner walls depicting the importance of Byzantine religious values, is also a famous choice for many visitors.
For a nature lover who wants to explore the rugged landscape of the city, a hike through the Red Valley and Rose Valley lying between the villages of Göreme and Çavusin is perfect.
Besides that, a tour of the underground cities of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu, taking in the spectacular churches at Çavusin is a fun expedition many tourists participate in.
Related post: As you plan your trip to Turkey, make sure that you avoid these mistakes while applying for a Turkey E-visa
The city of Istanbul, coveted by numerous Asian and European conquerors, forms the site joining Europe and Asia.
The first order of business when in Istanbul is visiting the Hagia Sophia, which is considered an architectural wonder of its time.
The building, which has served as a mosque, a church, and even a museum, has an interior that will leave you dumbfounded.
The Topkapi Palace (also known as the Topkapı Sarayı) is another must-visit site, boasting a dazzling display of Islamic art, luxurious courtyards, stunning decorated rooms with intricate hand-painted tilework.
Built in the 17th century, the Blue Mosque, with six minarets, is another building displaying the excellence of Muslim architecture.
The Basilica Cisterns located underground are a surprising tourist attraction in Istanbul. The massive space supported by 336 columns in 12 neat rows was used to store water for the Byzantine emperors.
There’s also the option of strolling across the Hippodrome, which was a site for famous chariot races and also a gathering spot for the locals back in the day.
Other than that, there’s also Istanbul Archaeology Museum with long galleries displaying stunning neoclassical artefacts, Süleymaniye Mosque with its traditional Ottoman design, the Mısır Çarşısı or the Spice Bazaar, which displays local Turkish produce or soak in the opulence at the Dolmabahçe Palace.
With so much to offer, Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Turkey.
Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz
Located off the southern coast of Turkey, the Blue Lagoon is easily one of the most exotic locations on the planet.
The soft white sands contrasting sharply with the bright turquoise waters are a sight for sore eyes after the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Blue Lagoon is separated from the main beach by a narrow strip of sand, where you can paddle into the warm water and relax.
Lounge on the pristine sands with the right sun shining overhead while you top up your tan or wade into the shallow azure waters, snorkel to the floor and discover the vibrant species lining the bottom.
Rent a paddleboat to explore the tricky nooks and crannies of the beach, the sense of calm serenity one experiences here is unparalleled.
Known for its sun-warmed coasts, Bodrum is the perfect destination for the beach bum traveller.
With its marina full of bobbing yachts, calm Aegean waters, and stunning coastal attractions, Bodrum will sweep you off your feet with its beauty and graceful charm.
The Castle Of St. Peter, which tops the list of most tourists visiting Bodrum, is a 15th-century structure entrusted with the task of defending the city many times.
The inner layout consists of various towers, including the French Tower, English Tower with a sculpted lion, and the Gatineau Tower, which leads to the dark dungeons.
One of the main attractions of Bodrum is the Gulet cruises which take you through the vast inky waters snaking through lush green islands and valleys.
You can opt for eight-day cruises which pass through the Gulf of Gokova, where the small bays eventually give way to the pine-clad mountains.
The cruise also explores the Seven Islands, each unique in its beauty and magnificence, and remind me of the beautiful islands in Croatia.
Known for its dazzling white calcite cliff, Pamukkale is another destination that should be on your list of the best places to go in Turkey.
The vast calcium deposits fanning out over the years have formed steep slopes and spectacular calcium terraces.
At higher levels, the semicircular terraces of the travertines form shallow polls that one can easily wade into.
The city ruins of Hierapolis are also open for exploration, which was first founded by King Eumenes II of Pergamon. The remains run parallel to the travertines, extending between a necropolis at the north and a Byzantine church at the southern end.
There is also the Hierapolis amphitheatre, which has retained much of its original structure.
The Pamukkale antique pool is a hot spring where the water remains at 36 degrees Celsius throughout the year and is located between the museum and the Temple of Apollo.
Butterfly Valley is a hidden gem of Turkey. The stunning valley, nestled between steep mountains and cascading waterfalls.
The beaches lining the coast are pristine and white, with warm sands offering a soothing contrast to the cool turquoise waters.
Whether you want to lounge under a beachside umbrella with a book and a drink or would prefer to dip your toes into the water, the beaches and resorts of the Fethiye, Kas, and Kalkan have you covered.
The area has been aptly named the Butterfly Valley, as it holds up to 100 different species of butterflies!
Bordered by stunning azure waters, Alanya is a beach bum travellers paradise and one of the places that deserve to be on any Turkey bucket list.
The golden sands call to thousands of visitors from around the globe each year, who are seen taking in the stunning scenery and walking along the coastline.
Cleopatra beach is one such example. But beaches are not all Alanya has to offer.
For those interested in classic architecture, Alanya Castle, located within the old town district, is open for viewing.
This castle is from the Byzantine times when the peninsula was a favourite haunt of the pirates.
The Red Tower (Kızılkule) and Seljuk Shipyard (Tersane) are extensions of the main castle which were added in the 13th century.
Boat trips can also be booked here, which will take you for a fairy tale ride to the numerous caves that can be found along the way. These include the Pirate Cave, Damlatas Cave, and the Lovers Cave.
Antalya offers the perfect blend of traditional atmospheres with modern-day experiences. This is why exploring the old town of Kaleiçi is one of the most sought-after activities in the city.
The maze-like district with its whitewashed and red-roofed Ottoman mansions and cobblestone streets were made for strolling hand in hand with your loved one.
Konyaalti Beach is often seen teeming with tourists and locals, soaking up the sun or swimming in the calm inky waters.
Aspendos is a history buff’s dream come true. It boasts a stunning Roman theatre which can seat over 10,000 people and is one of the most perfectly preserved theatres from that era.
By taking the Aspendos, Perge and Manavgat Waterfalls, a lot of time can be saved and one can see much of the area quickly.
Known for its array of watersports that visitors can take part in, hiking trails with exotic views, and an abundance of stunning Mediterranean scenic beauty that can be found nowhere else, the Koprulu Canyon National Park is one of the best places to visit in Turkey.
Located high in the mountains, 96km from Antalya, the picturesque valley is perfect for exploration if you are a fan of snorkelling, zip lining, camping, rafting, hiking, or just taking in the natural beauty.
The ancient Roman bridges in Koprulu Canyon are a famous tourist attraction.
The waters are clear and perfect for rafting, especially during the summer months.
Not only that, the surrounding area is marked with lush Cypress, cedar, red pine, and black pine trees, and the waters of the Kopru River are abundantly filled with salmon trout.
For a day of sun filled excitement and activity, visit the Koprulu Canyon.
Located on Turkey’s north Aegean coast opposite the Greek island of Lesvos, Ayvalik is a popular tourist destination for people searching for sun, sea, sand, and seafood.
The city is brimming with ancient churches that have been converted to mosques and boutique hotels that will give you a taste of luxury.
People come to Ayvalik to experience fine dining and taste the delicious local methods of serving exotic seafood and relax on the shores while the turquoise surfy waves crash into one another.
Relax and unwind in this quaint little town, which offers abundant opportunities for island hopping, exploring classic architecture, and indulging in unique gastronomic experiences.
I hope you have an amazing time exploring these beautiful places in Turkey!