Find out what the best destinations in Turkey are as awarded by real travelers. 10 places in Turkey you must see in your lifetime

Quite often I am asked whether I’m a ‘city girl’ or a ‘country girl’…. truth is, I think I’m a bit of both. Sometimes there’s nothing like a countryside escape – wide open space, clean air, friendly locals… but after a while I tend to crave a city escape. Here are my picks for the top cities you must visit once in your lifetime!

Don’t see your favourite city on the list? Leave a comment below to let me know your favourite city in Turkey and why you think it should be visited!

1. Ankara (Ancyra)

Ankara (Ancyra) — the capital of Turkey and its second largest city
Ankara (Ancyra) — the capital of Turkey and its second largest city

Ankara, the capital city, is the beating heart of Turkey which bears the footprints of many civilizations.

2. Antalya (Attalia)

Antalya (Attalia) — the fastest growing city, hub to an array of beach resorts
Antalya (Attalia) — the fastest growing city, hub to an array of beach resorts

Antalya is the most important tourism destination in Turkey, also known as the paradise on earth or the Turkish Riviera.

3. Bodrum (Halicarnassus)

Bodrum (Halicarnassus)
Bodrum (Halicarnassus)

Bodrum (Halicarnassus) — a trendy coastal town in the Southern Aegean which turns into a crowded city in season when it serves as a playground for Turkish and international holidaymakers alike, featuring a citadel, Roman ruins, trendy clubs and a number of villages surrounding the peninsula each with a different character from classy to rustic

4. Bursa

Bursa — the first capital of the Ottoman Empire
Bursa — the first capital of the Ottoman Empire

Bursa is like an open air museum, one of the capital cities of the Ottoman Empire, stands as a reflection of the early periods of the Ottoman culture.

5. Edirne (Adrianople)

Edirne (Adrianople) — the second capital of the Ottoman Empire
Edirne (Adrianople) — the second capital of the Ottoman Empire

Edirne (Adrianople) — the second capital of the Ottoman Empire

6. Istanbul (Constantinople)

Istanbul (Constantinople) — Turkey's largest city, the former capital of both the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, and the only major city in the world to straddle two continents
Istanbul (Constantinople) — Turkey’s largest city, the former capital of both the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, and the only major city in the world to straddle two continents

Welcome to the city of the past, the present and the future. Istanbul not only joins continents, it also joins cultures and people.

7. Izmir (Smyrna)

Izmir (Smyrna) — Turkey's third largest city
Izmir (Smyrna) — Turkey’s third largest city

Izmir, with its 8,500 years of history, is gloriously situated on the western edge of Turkey, the bountiful, the fruitful and the beautiful.

8. Konya (Iconium)

Konya (Iconium) — a quite large city that is the heartland of mystic Sufi order, the site of Rumi's tomb, and with some elegant Seljuq architecture, all surrounded by vast steppes
Konya (Iconium) — a quite large city that is the heartland of mystic Sufi order, the site of Rumi’s tomb, and with some elegant Seljuq architecture, all surrounded by vast steppes

Konya is one of Turkey’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, known as the city of spiritual whirling dervishes.

9. Trabzon

Trabzon — the wonderful Sümela Monastery is just outside the city and it is a great gateway to exploring the Turkish Northeast
Trabzon — the wonderful Sümela Monastery is just outside the city and it is a great gateway to exploring the Turkish Northeast

Trabzon is a hub of the Black Sea Region, with a long history, rich culture and great natural beauty.

10. Urfa (Edessa)

Urfa (Edessa) — magical city with beautiful architecture and extremely friendly locals at the gates of Eastern World; where Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, and Persian cultures mingle
Urfa (Edessa) — magical city with beautiful architecture and extremely friendly locals at the gates of Eastern World; where Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, and Persian cultures mingle

Şanlıurfa – Home during its long history to a number of cultures and civilizations, Sanliurfa enjoys an extremely rich cultural heritage.

Our #TurkeyIsOpen campaign