What's Popular In Turkey

  • Currency: Turkish lira(TRY)
  • Language: Türkçe

Turkey is a large peninsula that bridges the continents of Europe and Asia. Turkey is surrounded on three sides by the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea. Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is built on land in the Bosporus seaway. The city is partly in Europe and partly in Asia. 

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Best Time to Travel

The best time to visit Turkey is between April and May and September and October. The weather in Turkey is rather mild during these months, so you will be able to explore the cities, and the outdoor ruins without worrying about the heat. This is a shoulder season, so there will be fewer crowds.

What to Do

Turkey offers a wealth of different kinds of attractions for travelers from historical and religious sites to modern museums, art galleries and daily sightseeing tours.

City break in Istanbul
Istanbul rivals Rome, Paris, and Milan as a top city break destination, and the diversity of hotels, restaurants, as well as the cultural and entertainment scenes, prove why. Over two days, visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Archaeological Museum, Hippodrome, and the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. Take a short walk to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest marketplaces in the world, or head over to the Beyoglu district for shopping, arts, and a fantastic nightlife scene. Planning to visit Istanbul soon? Ask our travel experts for the best deals on flights and hotels in Istanbul (Click to start a chat in WhatsApp)

Try Hot Air Balloon Ride in  Cappadocia
The lunar landscape of Cappadocia amazes visitors with its fairy chimneys, ancient underground cities, cave churches, and hotels. However, the top-recommended thing to do is an early morning hot air balloon ride. 

Indulge in a Turkish Bath
Also known as the hamam, the Turkish bath experience is a top tourist activity and still a monthly tradition for many Turks. This Ottoman tradition stems from the Roman Bathhouses and as well as socializing, the combination of sauna steaming and exfoliation provides the ideal opportunity to get squeaky clean and de-stress.

Sail the Turkish Riviera
Sailing in Turkey is one of my favourite past-times and during summer; most backpackers end their trip with a Blue Cruise of the Turkish Riviera from Fethiye to Antalya. The amazingly low price cabin charters cost approximately 300 euros with food and accommodation included. Another option is to sail from the other central hubs of the Turkish Riviera; that are Bodrum or Marmaris.

Try the National Drinks of Turkish tea and Ayran 
Turks drink a lot of tea but don’t fall for the touristic version of apple tea because it is a gimmick. Instead, try the tulip-shaped glasses of sweet, black tea. Also, Ayran, a mixture of yogurt, water and salt is extremely refreshing during the summer, despite the weird blend of ingredients.

Eat a Village Breakfast
In most places along the west and south coasts, a weekend trend for Turks is to head to countryside establishments serving traditional village breakfasts among scenic landscapes. Organic and homegrown ingredients usually include eggs, Sigara Borek (cheese pastries), tomatoes and cucumbers, bread, jams, olives, meats, honey, and condiments.

Try Turkish Sweets
By far, the most popular dessert and snack is baklava, layers of filo pastry, filled with nuts and covered with sticky syrup. Sold all over Turkey, locals say the best version is from Gaziantep. In Istanbul, many shops stemming from that region have become popular and are classed as the best places to buy baklava in Turkey.


Attractions Top sights in Turkey (Based on traveler visits and local insights)

  • Hagia Sophia (Byzantine basilica museum with mosaics)
  • The Blue Mosque (Iconic Blue Mosque with 6 minarets)
  • Topkapi Palace Museum (Historic Ottoman-era palace complex)
  • Bosphorus (Landmark waterway & continental boundary)
  • Grand Bazaar (Labyrinth of colorful covered markets)
  • Basilica Cistern (Restored 542 A.D. waterworks)
  • Galata Tower (67-meter Byzantine tower & restaurant)
  • Dolmabahçe Palace (Museum in ornate Ottoman sultan's palace)
  • The Temple of Artemis (Archaeological ruins of a Greek temple)
  • Maiden's Tower (Iconic islet tower with boat trips)
  • Suleymaniye Mosque (Storied 16th-century Ottoman mosque)
  • Sultanahmet Square (Public square where hippodrome stood)
  • Göbeklitepe (Remnants of a Neolithic worship site)
  • Hadrian Castle Gate (Gate honoring Roman emperor's visit)
  • Çamlıca Hill (Hill with scenic views & a public park)
  • Miniaturk (Park showing Turkey in miniature format)
  • Mısır Çarşısı (Historic covered spice & textiles market)

What Not to Do

Turkey boasts of a diverse array of culture, art, architecture, and so on. However, there are some things that you should avoid doing when in Turkey. If you’re thinking about what not do in Istanbul, Turkey then here are some of those things that you must include in your list of dos and don’ts in Turkey holiday.

Don’t Wear Shoes In Worship Places
Turkey is known for its extremely gorgeous and exquisitely designed mosques like The Blue Mosque. If you are visiting turkey for the first times, then you need to know about this very custom that Turks follow – taking their shoes off outside when entering a mosque.

Do Not Disrespect Ramadan Customs
The month of Ramadan is of cultural and religious significance to Muslims all around the world. When it comes to the majority population of Turkey, abiding by the rules vehemently is a given, as a way of to expressing their devotion. You have to make sure you do not drink or eat anything in public. 

Avoid Leaving Food On Your Plate
It is considered to be an insult if you are a guest at a Turkish household for a meal and end up not eating everything that is on your plate. Because if you do leave something on your plate, your hosts will think you did not like what they had offered. It is a mark of extreme reverence and appropriate mannerism to not leave any leftover.

Don’t Buy Stones Or Fossils
Do not indulge into buying any stones or fossils while you’re vacationing in Turkey as it’s considered as cultural artifacts, and it’s illegal to export them, consider it as what not to do when in Turkey. Many shopkeepers will try to sell it to you, but try and avoid as most of them are fake too.

Don’t Buy Stuff Without Bargaining
A little bargaining or haggling while shopping won’t do you any harm, make sure you get the best price for whatever you buy in Turkey.


There are huge public transport system in Turkey such as local buses, taxis, minibuses, tram and metro. Your choice of transport will depend on how quickly you want to get from A to B.

Local Buses: All towns and cities have plentiful local buses which are cheap to use. You can purchase a smart ticket for a small deposit which, once loaded with credit, can be used not only on the buses but the metro, tram and ferries.

Minibuses (Dolmus): Minibuses are useful alternatives to local buses and run on standard routes posted on the front screen of the vehicle.

Taxis: Taxis are plentiful and the best boarded at designated taxi stops. Payment is according to the on-board meter. All taxis in Turkey are required by law to have an on-board meter. However, set prices are more common for intercity journeys which are posted clearly at the taxi stop.

Metro: Turkey's metro system of underground and surface rapid transit trains is growing quickly. Major cities of Turkey now have the underground metros. You need to buy the smart ticket to travel by metro.

Tram: Several cities also have overground trams, which are a quick and efficient way of getting around.

Ship & Ferry: Turkey is surrounded by seas, so ships play a significant part in the Turkish transport picture. 

Key Points

So this massive list of things to do in Turkey should give you plenty of ideas to get started. Explore Turkey with Find the best hotels, vacation packages, local activities and more! Check out the best deals from our travel experts (Click to start a chat in WhatsApp)