19.6 C
Home Blog

All About Side For Travel

The Temple of Apollo
The Temple of Apollo

Things to Know About Side – All About Side For Travel – Visit Side, Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey

Find out all you need about Side before travelling. See basic things to know concerning the Antalya Airport, weather and more. Prepare your trip now.

Turquoise sea,golden sand, light glistening onancient ruins… A dream paintedin sunset hues…


Shaped by the cooling waters andsoft sands of the Mediterranean, heir to the riches of antiquity and child of the modern world, Side is the perfect destination, equally rich inancient treasures and the gems of contemporary entertainment, shopping and comfortable accommodation. Side is a superb choice for a holiday,whether your aim is to bath in sun,sea and sand, or to repose in harmony with nature under a soft, leafy canopy,or to explore the region’s unparalleled history, wandering mesmerised through the ruins of antiquity. Here sea and sky exist in perfect harmony, and where the waters meet the side of the peninsula, golden beaches give on to ancient ruins, cafes, superb restaurants and souvenir shops. Natural marvels such as Manavgat Waterfall and Köprülü Canyon National Park are easily accessible. It’s all here.

Köprülü Canyon
 Manavgat Waterfall

Manavgat Waterfall
The Museum of Side
The Museum of Side

Ruins of antiquity reflecting the spirit of time

The Temple of Apollo, anenchanting beauty spotted by therays of the sun

The Temple of Apollo stands atthe square marking the end of thecolumned road of ancient Side, its white marble columns backed by the blue of the sea proudly proclaimingits magnificence. Watching the sunsetand the colours deepening aroundthe magnificent structure devoted to Apollo, the god of light and the sun, is a profound and unforgettable experience. Apollo reserved a place nearby for his sister, Athena. The Temple devoted to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare, is distinct with its Corinthian columns and capitals bearing marble blocks of an epistyle decorated with reliefs showing garlands of branchesand plants.The ancient Side was a centre ofcommerce, and the temples were builtnext to its harbour so that gods wouldprotect it. One of these is the templebelieved to have been devoted toMen, the God of Moon, which standsnext to the other temples. The peopleof Side worshipped Cybele and Menbefore Athena and Apollo. During theChristian Era the temples of the sacredfield were substituted for a basilica anda church. The basilica was built in 5thcentury AD, and the church was builtin the 8th or 9th century.

The god and goddess of Side, Apolloand Athena, adorned the coins mintedin here. The reverse, however, showedthe pomegranate, the symbol offertility and life represented by Cybeleand Athena. The word ‘Side’ itselfmeans pomegranate. Small and large,from coins to temples, these ancientobjects provide us highly valuableinformation regarding the history,beliefs, culture and daily life of Side. Gateway to the masterpieces ofantiquity Ancient Side welcomes its visitorsthrough the Main Gate, set betweentwo towers of the insurmountable citywalls, standing directly across fromthe monumental fountain. TheMain Gate dates to the 2nd century,and together with the horse shoeshaped, colonnaded courtyard it wasalso used for ceremonial processions.The monumental fountain across fromthe gate had three wide arches anda basin, and it was also built in the2nd century. It is the largest ancientfountain of Anatolia. Originally thestructure had three levels and it wasdecorated with marble cladding andreliefs, however at present only asingle level is standing and a fewdecorations of the pool can be seen.Manavgat River used to provide waterto the fountain through aqueducts,splendid examples of human ingenuityworking in tandem with the gifts ofnature. Sections of theaqueducts are stillvisible.Passing throughthe Main Gate andcourtyard there aretwo roads originally lined with corinthian columns: themain road that continues straightahead, and another leading off to the left.

The Temple of Apollo
The Temple of Apollo

The main road, which channelledthe social and cultural life of ancientSide, is lined with porticoes providingsheltered access to the shops andhouses, and passes through the agoraand city centre where a bathhouse,a theatre, and fountains once stood.The road eventually reaches the tip ofthe peninsula, site of the harbour andtemples, symbols of commerce andreligion. Agora where slaves famed for theirbeauty were sold After entering ancient Side andproceeding on the main road, thegroups of ruins on the left are fromthe bishopric basilica, surroundedwith columns, and the palace. A littlefurther down on the same road, againon the left is the commercial agorawhich is one of the two agorae of thecity. Apart from its traditional functionas a venue for commerce and a forumto discuss the political and economicsituation, the commercial agora ofSide assumed another function. In thefirst century BC a passage was builtthat connected the commercial agorato the theatre nearby, and both theagora and the theatre served as a slavemarket. In the middle of the agora,where slaves famed for their beautywere traded, used to stand a templedevoted to Fortuna, the goddess ofluck and trade, which had a round planlined with 12 columns with corinthiancapitals. The Agora was lined withporticos and large shops behind them.At one corner of the agora, next to thetheatre stood the latrina, the publictoilets of the city. The latrina, which was a decorated structure covered withdomes, and connected to the sewerslaid under the main road, is a proof ofexcellence in city planning in Antiquity.On the opposite side of the roadacross the agora stood the Roman Bathhouse from the 5th century,which now serves as a museum wheremagnificent sculptures, busts andsarcophagi are on permanent display. The Museum of Side, whichresembles Olympus, the home ofthe gods and goddesses The Museum of Side, with the statuesand figurines of gods and goddesseson display, seems like Olympus, thehome of the gods and goddesses. Herethe gods and goddesses of Olympuscompete with each other to whispermyth and legend in the ear of visitors.Zeus, Aphrodite, Ares, Nike, Hygeia,Asclepius, Apollo, Hermes, Dionysus,Heracles, Tyche and Athena – theheroes and heroines of the legends thatthey narrate themselve in the Museumof Side.The Museum of Side with its historicalbuilding and carefully displayedartefacts tells the story of the RomanPeriod of Side, and each section of theRoman Bathhouse has been arrangedas a separate gallery.The gardens of the museum, used to bethe part of the Gymnasium, houses thepermanent display of Seljuk Era gravestones, along with inscription tablets,friezes, and sarcophagi, parts of floormosaics, column bases, busts andsculpture from the Roman Period. Themost celebrated statue at the museumgarden is the statue of Nike, thegoddess of victory that salutes visitorsat the end of their journey throughtime.

Upon entering the courtyard of theMuseum, should you turn right insteadof proceeding to the garden, you willfind the exhibition halls right in frontof you. The first space is an open airexhibition containing reliefs of armsand a basalt capital from the LateHittite Period, as well as a splendidpond. The niches of the pond werebelieved to house the statues ofemperors, gods and goddesses. Thecentrepiece of the pond is a Romansundial.The closed exhibition galleries of theMuseum display glassware, coins, oillamps, figurines, jewellery, decorativeobjects, sarcophagi and statues.Besides the beautiful statues ofgods and goddesses, the Museum ofSide is renowned for the sarcophagidecorated with reliefs of multiple Erosfigurines, which are depicted walkingin procession, shoulder to shoulderaround the flat sides of the sarcophagi,and each figure playing a musicalinstrument, carrying fruit or drinkingwine. Garlands of fruit and roses,Nike figurines carrying wreaths anddates, and the heads of lions and bullscombined to make these sarcophagiutterly unforgettable. The 2nd century AD Statue of theThree Graces, depicting beauty,elegance, and fertility, is among themost precious ofthe museum’sholdings. TheThree Gracesare identified asHera, Aphroditeand Athena whobedazzle thegallery with theirelegance and might.

The Museum of Side
The Museum of Side

The exquisite Fountain ofVespasian and magnificent Theatreof Side After the museum the main roadcomes to the Vespasian Fountainwhich was built to honour the EmperorVespasian and used to be adornedwith beautiful sculptures, and themonumental gate with its singlearch. After the gate the theatrestands on the left in all its splendour.The Theatre of Side differscompletely from the type of theatremost frequently found in Anatolia,which was built by digging in a natural slope. As Side is situated in a flat land,its theatre was built over two storiedgalleries supported by arches andvaults. Architecturally, the Theatre of Sideresembles the magnificent Colosseumof Rome, and like the Colosseumit became an arena for gladiatorialgames. The high wall surrounding theorchestra protected spectators from thedangers of the games and it proves thatthe theatre was used for gladiator andanimal fights in the Late Roman Period.It is widely believed that wild animalswere kept in readiness for such fightsin the long and dark galleries under thescene leading to the agora.

With its three-level scene structurethe Theatre of Side was built in the2nd century to serve visual marvelsto approximately 17.000, and it wasdecorated with monumental columns,statues, and reliefs of mythologicalfigures. The flat earthen orchestradelineated with a water channelindicates that the theatre was usedduring Antiquity for water games.The theatre was used for open airreligious ceremonies in the 5th and6th centuries, and the prayers of thepeople of Side echoed to its walls.The ancient theatres symbolisedthe relationship between humans,animals and nature, and displayedthe experience gathered in thestruggle to cope with nature, oneof the most important aspects ofhuman experience in that period.They later became the centre of socialand cultural life. Some says that thetheatre first emerged in the festivalsheld to honour Dionysus. In tributeto the god of theatre, the Temple ofDionysus was built just to the leftafter the arena. The temple, whichdates to the 1st century BC, is frontedby the column brought from Egypt.Proceeding towards the sea on thecolumn lined road you see the ruinsof the Byzantine basilica on theright. Just before the harbour standsthe bathhouse built for the seamenarriving in Side and the remains ofhouses from the Byzantine Periodare visible. The wave breakers of theancient harbour can still be seen.

If you turn left at the Main Gate… After the Main Gate, the ruins of theByzantine basilica from the 5thcentury stand on the left side of thegrass covered road leading towards thesea. Across from the basilica are theruins of the smaller Byzantine churchfrom the 8th century. A side streetconnects the road to the state agora.The state agora (Structure M) is onthe seashore. It consists of a courtyardsurrounded by a colonnade of Ioniccolumns, porticoes, and three largehalls. The exquisite statues of Apollo,Ares, Asclepius, Hygiea, Hermes andNike, which are now on display at theMuseum of Side, used to stand in theseashell decorated niches of the agora.The original structure was two-storied.The central hall was the Emperor’s Hall,where ceremonies dedicated to theemperor took place. The halls flankingthe central hall are believed to havebeen used as a library or archives. Itis also known that the state agora wasalso used as a market place. The plinthstanding in the middle of the agora isbelieved to belong to a cross placedthere during the Byzantine Period.Apart from the ruins along those tworoads, the ruins of two necropoleiscan be seen behind the west and eastflanks of the city walls. Among theseruins there are column bases, marblesarcophagi, entablatures, and vaultedtombs.The domestic architecture of Side isalso interesting. Generally two storyhouses were built with timber frames filled with bricks standing on roughstone walls. These houses have beenconverted into comfortable pensions,restaurants offering delicious tastes,and shops selling hand-woven kilimsand carpets unique to Turkey, as wellas jewellery, accessories, decorativeitems, and clothing items. Side on the stage of history The generally accepted narrative,supported by Strabo, is that Sideappeared on the stage of history whenthe city was established by Cymeansemigrating south from İzmir on theAegean coast in the 7th century BC.However the studies regarding theorigins of the word “Side” concludedthat human settlement in Side begancenturies before this event. The word“Side” means pomegranate, andetymological studies indicated thatthe word neither belongs to Cymeanlanguage nor the generally useddialects of the Pamphylia region.The word is believed to belong to anancient Anatolian language used bythe local people who lived there beforethe arrival of Cymeans. According toEusebuis, a historian from the 3rdcentury BC, Side was a city ancienteven at that date, founded in 1405 BC.The Side of today was formed bythe great upheaval created by thecampaigns of Alexander the Great,and then the hegemony of Rome. TheMacedonian hegemony began in 334BC and continued until 301 BC. Thisshort period created a great changein Side, as in all lands that Alexanderbrought under his control. The locallanguage of Side used until the arrivalof Alexander was replaced by ancientGreek, the new language beingtaught by the teachers appointed byAlexander. Side, which used to beone of the ancient Anatolian cities,changed not only its religion, but alsoits form of state and regime. Before the domination of Macedonia, the citywas ruled by Persians for nearly twocenturies. After the death of Alexanderit was ruled by the Ptolemies (301-218 BC) and later by the Seleucids(218-189 BC), who arrived from Syria.During these periods Side was entitledto mint its own coinage, so it benefitedfrom a kind of autonomy.Side, in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC,was the largest port of Pamphylia, andwas home to the largest commercialfleet sailing in the Mediterranean.The city, enriched by trade and highlydeveloped intellectually, became acultural and educational centre. Side’sfame was such that the future King ofSeleucids, Antiochus III was sent toSide for education in 138 BC.In the 1st century BC, Romeintervened to protect Side frompiratical attacks, and the city cameunder Roman dominion, beginningthe most glorious period of its history.During the Roman Period, especiallyin the 2nd century AD, the city wasadorned with magnificent structures,beautified and vastly enriched.Unfortunately, as Roman authorityweakened in the 3rd century AD, tribesdescending from the north beganraiding Side. As raids continued inthe 4th century the city walls wererepaired, and later the inner city wallswere built, cutting the city in two toprotect the peninsula. Despite allthose measures the city began to looseits importance and wealth. Despitegaining importance as the seat of a bishop, the city was abandoned in the7th century following severe raids bypirates, Arab attacks and earthquakes.The present day settlement of Sidestarted with formation of SelimiyeVillage at the beginning of the 1900s,just next to the ancient Side.Excavations have unearthed muchof ancient Side, but substantial partsof the ancient city remain underthe earth. Most of the ruins visibletoday-the theatre, city walls, agorae,temples and other ruins that sosurprise and delight those with aninterest in ancient civilizations – datefrom the Roman Period. With an eyeon its discovered and still unknowntreasures, the whole peninsula wasdeclared a protected site. Manymysteries await exploration. Fantastic beaches competing withthe beauty of Cleopatra If you pass through the ancientcity in Side, a witness to the lovebetween Cleopatra and Antonius,you reach the seashore with longgolden sandy beaches. You must nowdecide whether to proceed east orwest. Whichever way you go, youwill be delighted, as was Cleopatrawhen she bathed here over twomillennia ago, by the splendidsandy beaches and pristinewaters. Melt into the sea,or go seeking the thrillof water sports!

Nearby attractions Sorgun Sorgun, where the forest meets thesea, is full of choice accommodationfacilities, horse riding centres, tree-shaded picnic areas, and restaurantsoffering delicious menus. Sorgun, faraway from the rush of city life, is asecluded spot where you can holidayin harmony with nature. Here youcan listen to your body’s need forrejuvenation or, should the fancy takeyou, ride a horse along quiet foresttrails and long empty beaches. Lake Titreyen Forest, lake and sea… These are thetriple delights that make Lake Titreyen(lit. the shimmering lake) unique,accompanied with golden beaches andnumerous accommodation and activityoptions! Lake Titreyen, surroundedby pine forest, derives its name fromits waters which shimmer with thebreeze. There are also horse riding centres which cater to all skill levels,providing training to beginners andenabling confident riders to explore thespectacular lake shore on their own. Manavgat Waterfall with TurquoiseWaters Manavgat Waterfall is a naturalwonder not far from Side. At thewaterfall giant plane trees extend theirbranches over the turquoise waters.The restaurants and cafes aroundallow you to enjoy the scenery whileenjoying glorious tastes. The waterfallis the upper limit of the boat tours onthe Manavgat River, and is just fourkilometres from Side by highway.Come and enjoy the calming sound offalling water and pleasing colours ofthe lower pond, accompanied by a cupof tea or the tasty local food!Two kilometres upstream to Manavgat,Küçük (Lesser) Waterfall offers several restaurants, cafes and teahouses.It provides a less busy, quieteratmosphere to its visitors. Oymapınar Dam; a spot oftranquillity The lake formed behind the OymapınarDam, with a depth of 100 metres, setat the foot of a 180-metre high rockychasm, has a thrilling landscape andtranquil atmosphere, attracting manyvisitors. The Oymapınar Dam is 18kilometres to Manavgat, and a fewhours spent there, taking a boat tour inthe tranquil lake, or a dinner enjoyed ina terrace with commanding view overthe enchanting landscape, would be anunforgettable experience. Ancient City of Seleucia; a pearl onthe edge of a chasm The road from Manavgat Waterfallleading to north towards the OymapınarDam and the ancient city of Seleuciafollows one of the river’s tributaries,and rises gradually, providing vistas ofthe Mediterranean Sea over the pineforests.The ancient city of Seleucia, which wasfounded by Seleucids from Syria, isperched on a chasm in the pine forestoverlooking the fantastic vista of Side,Sorgun and Lake Titreyen. Visitorswandering among the ancient ruins areaccompanied by the fantastic vista, therefreshing fragrance of pines, fantasticbird songs and sounds of falling water.Among the ruins are a remarkablemonumental gate with flanking towers,an agora surrounded with colonnadedporticoes, a hall believed to be thelibrary which hosts the Mosaic ofSeven Wise Men, an arched bathhousestructure, and the city walls whichentirely enclose the city on three sides, the fourth being protected bythe chasm. The outstanding ruins hereare the church, witness to the startof the Christian Era, the necropolisand the structure believed to be thebouleuterion or the odeon, with itswell preserved columns, windows andportal. Ancient City of Etenna; an unlikelyviewing terrace The ancient city of Etenna is 31kilometres north of Manavgat, andhas a beautiful location from which toenjoy the fantastic vista of Side andthe Mediterranean Sea. The Romanbathhouse, basilica, monumentaltombs, cisterns, city walls and agoraof the ancient city have reached to ourday. There is a spring in the bathhouseand it is still used by local villagersnearby. Köprülü Canyon National Park; the site of natural and cultural riches The Köprülü Canyon National Parkcovers a large area, approximately thirty seven thousand hectaresembracing numerous ancient ruins,a rich fauna and flora, and a rushingriver. It is one of those rare naturalspots which addresses all of yoursenses at once. The greenery of pinesand cypresses merge in the KöprülüCanyon with the energetic watersof Köprü Stream creating beautifullandscapes that invite the landscapephotographers.Visitors reach the park by taking theroad between Antalya and Manavgat,then following the exit for Taşağıl andBeşkonak. The road follows a beautifulstream, with forest on either side, tothe National Park. The National Park provides a rich selection of activities for discerning individuals amid its fantasticnature and ancient ruins. The optionsincluding trekking on the Ancient Roadfrom Oluk Bridge to Selge, rafting onthe Köprü Stream, one of the foremostroutes of the world, and camping on thehigher slopes of Mount Dedegöl. Alsovisitors may choose to swim in the coolwaters of Köprü Stream, enjoy seafoodat the restaurants overlooking the river,or have a picnic in the natural beauty ofthe National Park.Actually there are two canyons andtwo ancient bridges spanning those canyons in the Köprülü Canyon NationalPark: the Büğrüm Bridge over KocadereStream, and Oluk Bridge over Köprü Stream which lends its name to theNational Park. Each of the bridges, giftsfrom the Romans, have single archspans; the Oluk Bridge is still in use.The traces of ancient road providingaccess to Selge can be seen after theBüğrüm Bridge. The road climbingthrough hairpin bends towards the cityresembles in some sections a stairwaywith low steps. In the National Park,besides the ruins of the ancient city ofSelge, and the bridges, the ruins of achapel, an aqueduct, and the garrisontower are worth a visit. The ruins of the6th century AD chapel is on the roadleading toward Selge, between Olukand Büğrüm bridges. The garrisontower is about 700 metresfrom Oluk Bridge on a locationcommanding the ancient road,canyons and bridges. The ruinsof the aqueducts supplyingwater to the two-storeystructure can also beseen.

*Selge, the City of Lilies The road into the hills lays before youall beautiful vistas of Köprülü Canyon,and passes over the Oluk Bridge, andafter 13 kilometres finally reachesthe ancient city of Selge. Selge usedto be a regular stop-over for traders,who broke their hurried journeys toadmire its fantastic scenery, lilies,healing plants, wide forests and wine.Today its fantastic landscape and ruinsattract visitors from all over the globe.Strabo wrote that the Dorians firstsettled in Selge at the end of 2000BC. The second settlement was bythe Rhodians in the beginning of 7thcentury BC. Selge was the first coin-minting city of Pisidia, and the first realevidence of the history of Selge wasthese coins minted in 5th century BC.Selge had two agorae, and an activetrading life brought it wealth. Duringtowards the end of the Roman Period itlost its importance in trade, weakenedand collapsed.The ruins of the ancient city arenow combined with the present dayAltınkaya Village. The ruins of citywalls built by warlike people of thecity, and the theatre which used tobe the centre of the social life, areimmediately visible on arrival at thecity. Other ruins of Selge include theTemple of Zeus, agorae, colonnadedroad, bathhouse, cisterns andbasilicas. How to go? After reaching Antalya by road, airor sea, a 70 kilometres road journeyfrom central Antalya to east towardsManavgat and Alanya would bringvisitors to Side, which is on the Antalya-Alanya highway. Side couldalso be reached via Manavgat. Side is7 kilometres to Manavgat and regularminibus services are available betweenManavgat and destinations such asSide, Sorgun, and Manavgat Waterfall,which are renowned for their naturalbeauty and history.Today the modern centre of Side,and the ancient city on the peninsulaare merged together, and while thedistance is short enough to walk, there is a regular trackless-train service forthose who do not want to walk underthe heat. Where to stay? Side and nearby towns such asKumköy, Sorgun and Lake Titreyen,are full of attractive hotels set infantastic nature. Motels, pensions,holiday resorts, and apartmenthotels are among the comfortableaccommodation options in Side.

Do not leave Side unless you have * watched the sunset at the Temple of Apollo with its glorious columns,* visited the Museum of Side which houses one of the richestarchaeological collections of Turkey,* visited Manavgat Waterfall and enjoyed the thrills of rafting in the Köprülü Canyon National Park,* enjoyed a trekking, a climb, or a jeep safari at the Taurus Mountains adorned with colourful wild flowers,* enjoyed swimming, diving, or joining a boat trip to explore the Mediterranean Sea,* tasted local food at restaurants with a sea view. We hope you have made the right choice…

Important Phones and Web Addresses

Governorship of Antalya
(+90 242) 243 97 91-93-94

Antalya Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism
(+90 242) 247 76 60

Antalya Tourism Information Office
(+90 242) 247 76 60

Antalya Airport
(+90 242) 310 55 00 (Pbx)-330 3600

Antalya Coach Terminus
(+90 242) 331 12 50
TÜRSAB (Association of TurkishTravel Agencies)
(+90 242) 243 19 96

Manavgat District Governorship
(+90 242) 746 10 04

Side Tourism Information Office
(+90 242) 753 12 65

Museum of Side
(+90 242) 753 10 06

Manavgat Municipality
(+90 242) 746 10 82

Side Municipality
(+90 242) 753 10 13

TÜRSAB Side-Manavgat Regional Administrative Council
(+90 242) 753 35 61

Manavgat State Hospital
(+90 242) 746 11 17

Side State Hospital
(+90 242) 753 12 21

Health Emergency : 112
Police: 155
Gendarmerie: 156
Fire: 110 45

Cultural Heritage is Fragile

The world’s cultural heritage is like a bigpuzzle. Each monument, each object, isan irreplaceable part of the overall picturewhich gives us insight into our origins,our development and our lives today. Ithelps us to understand and appreciateother cultures. Each discovery, each newinterpretation adds to the puzzle andmakes the picture clearer. We must ensurethe protection of every single piece today,so that future generations may have theopportunities to enjoy the puzzle.Many people are not aware that ourcultural heritage is under stress fromnatural disasters such as earthquakes andfloods, and from slower acting processessuch as pollution or human actions.Even the most innocent gestures suchas collecting ancient pieces of pottery ormosaics as souvenirs have a destructiveimpact if repeated by thousands. Touchingan object of stone, metal or textile leavestraces of grease, acid or sweat on itssurface. Climbing a monument wearsdown the structure underneath and candismantle it. Writing or engraving namesinflicts permanent damage. Strollingaround narrow crowded places with bulkybags or backpacks might knock over anobject or scratch a mural painting andruin it. There are countless ways in whichone can unknowingly contribute to thedestruction of cultural heritage.In 2020 there will be 1.6 billion visitors peryear worldwide. Let us raise awarenessof this issue so that we may join togetherto protect and enjoy the diversity andrichness of our cultural heritage

International Organization for Conservationof Cultural Heritage (ICCROM)

Best Beaches in Turkey

Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz Beach), Fethiye
Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz Beach), Fethiye

Best Beaches in Turkey. When you’re a country with coastlines along the Aegean and Mediterranean seas you’re bound to be spoilt for choice when it comes to decent beaches and that’s certainly the case with Turkey. Some, like those around Marmaris, are well-known to foreign visitors and come with all the amenities a holiday-maker could ask for. Less developed options also abound, like those on the Datça Peninsula, while some, like those on the islands of Bozcaada and Gökçeada, are hugely popular with Turks but only slowly gaining a reputation with visiting holiday-makers.

Travelers looking for a beach vacation may want to consider the Turkish Riviera. Guests are surrounded by luxury, not to mention a wide variety of water activities from waterslides to windsurfing to just lounging on the beach. Or they can relax with a spa treatment or traditional Turkish bath. In addition these resorts offer many international cuisines along with fitness centers to work off those calories. Most of the best beach resorts in Turkey can be found between Antalya and Alanya, with a few near Bodrum and Oludeniz.

Travellers’ Choice Awards. Find out what the best Beaches in Turkey are as awarded by real travellers.

Kaputas Beach, Kas, Antalya
Kaputas Beach, Kas, Antalya

1- Kaputas Beach, Kas

Kaputas Beach Kas; The beach is situated at a distance of 20 km from Kaş and 7 from Kalkan, at a point where an extremely narrow valley towered by steep cliffs and forests joins the sea shore in the cove of the same name as the beach (Kaputaş). The beach is quite popular among visitors to the region due to its untouched natural beauty commanded by a view from the heights traversed by the State road D400 between Kaş and Kalkan.

Iztuzu Beach (Dalyan)
Iztuzu Beach (Dalyan)

2- Iztuzu Beach (Dalyan)

Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan; Good beach, with or w/o logger-head turtles. The town, 8 km (5 miles) NW of Dalaman Airport, the river, cliff tombs and Caunos ruins are a nice bonus.

Iztuzu Beach is backed by the Dalyan Delta.
Iztuzu’s six kilometres of golden sands are just a fifteen-minute drive from Dalyan Town. Perhaps for this reason, the beach is rarely crowded.

The beach is a fine strip of white sand that juts into the water. Backed by Dalyan Delta, it is a stunning and natural place.

If you are seeking complete isolation, turn left on your way to Iztuzu and follow the off-road tracks into the mountains. You’ll travel through lush forests and isolated mountain villages, and eventually you’ll find a number of isolated, stunningly beautiful beaches.

Alanya: Kleopatra (Cleopatra) Beach, Perfect Sand, Summer
Alanya: Kleopatra (Cleopatra) Beach, Perfect Sand, Summer

3- Kleopatra Beach, Alanya

Kleopatra Beach, Alanya; The town (115 km/72 miles east of Antalya) is busy and crowded, but the beaches are so long (22 km/14 miles to the east) that there’s plenty of sand for everyone. Great Seljuk castle, too

Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz Beach), Fethiye
Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz Beach), Fethiye

4- Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz Beach), Fethiye

Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz Beach), Fethiye; Ölüdeniz (Fethiye) Very fine, with good hotels, restaurants and bars, but because it’s Turkey’s most famous, it can get crowded.

Oludeniz Blue Lagoon Turkey is a wondrous place famous for its beautiful beaches and historical sights. It should be mentioned that Oludeniz beach resort is a rather quiet and peaceful place, so you won’t find some noisy disco-bars and shows. In fact, tourists come here for other reasons.

So where is Oludeniz in Turkey located and how to get to Oludeniz beach? Oludeniz resort (Olu Deniz) is located near town of Fethiye in the province of Mugla in Turkey. You can easiliy get from Fethiye to Oludeniz by dolmus – mini bus. So how far is Fethiye from Oludeniz? The distance from from Oludeniz to Fethiye is 13 km and road goes through Ovacik and Hisaronu. Olludeniz dolmus timetable will not make you to wait for bus to go for more than 30 minutes or you always can take Oludeniz taxi. Sometimes holidaymakers from Marmaris, Bodrum, Antalya is comeing for a day to Oludeniz Blue Lagoon Turkey. Abswering the question how far is Oludeniz from Marmaris we must admit that Oludeniz to Marmaris is 137 km.Aas for the distances to other resorts: Antalya to Oludeniz is 201 km, Bodrum to Oludeniz – 244 km, Icmeler to Oludeniz – 145 km. The closest to Blue Lagoon Oludeniz airport is Dalaman which is located in 63 km from the resort.

Ancient city and beach of Patara in Turkey
Ancient city and beach of Patara in Turkey

5- Patara Beach, Patara (Fethiye)

Patara Beach, Patara (Fethiye); 50 meters/yards wide and 20 km (12.5 miles) long, this beach 75 km (47 miles) south of Fethiye is Turkey’s finest. Accommodations—and shade—are limited, though.

Patara was founded in the V century BC and soon became the largest port of Lycia.The Temple of Apollo with oracle, that was considered the second most important temple after the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, was attracting pilgrims from all the Greek cities of Asia Minor.

So where is Patara in Turkey located? The Patara ruins and Patara beach are located approximately in 10 kilometers west of the modern Turkish town of Kalkan in province of Antalya (actually Patara is much closer to Fethiye than Antalya – there are 225 km from Patara beach to Antalya). The distance from Fethiye to Patara Turkey is 75 km.

During the wars between the successors of Alexander the Great the Patara city was the major naval port and shipyard. In 42 BC Brutus gave an ultimatum to residents of Patara – he promised to spare all citizens of Patara and even release previously captured captives for the surrender of the city otherwise he would arrange a similar to Xanthos massacre. Patara chose to give up.

The Roman emperor Hadrian used to live in Patara for some time. The Apostle Paul and the Luke the Evangelist stayed here and on the way to Rome. In 138 BC the population of the Patara city was about 20,000 and Patara was the second most important city after Ephesus. Patara is also the birthplace of St. Nicholas (270 AD) – Archbishop of Myra and the prototype of Santa Claus.

Today Patara Turkey is mostly known for its beautiful white sand beach. Patara Beach Turkey is a strip of white sand of 500m width stretching along the Mediterranean coast for 20 km. There are sunbeds, changing rooms, several places to eat and have fun on the beach. It is a place where tourists can relax in a quiet secluded atmosphere amid the stunning seascapes. Beach and the sea is maintained in perfect cleanliness as Patara is the National Park and protected by the government. Patara Beach in Turkey was recognized as the best beach in Europe by British weekly journal The Sunday Times. You can get to Patara beach from Fethiye by car on D400 – coastal road to Antalya.

Ilica Beach, Cesme
Ilica Beach, Cesme

6- Ilica Beach, Cesme

Ilica Beach, Cesme;

Ilıca is a large resort area near Çeşme in the extreme western tip of Turkey, in İzmir Province. A township apart in practically all its aspects, Ilıca administratively depends the municipality of the district center of Çeşme, at a distance of 5 km to the west.

Ilıca started out as a settlement towards the end of the 19th century, initially as a retreat for wealthy people, especially from İzmir, during summer holidays. Today, it is a popular destination for many. Its name makes reference to its famed thermal springs, some of which are in the sea. As the thermal waters come out of the sea bed and mix with the sea water adding minerals very close to the Ilica Beach, swimming at Ilica Beach is ideal for the skin. Ilica is also home to mud baths which is known to cure many illnesses such as rheumatism, metabolism illnesses and gynaecological diseases.

Mentioned by Pausanias and Charles Texier, Ilıca thermal springs are also notable in Turkey for having been the subject of the first scientifically based analysis in Turkish language of a thermal spring, published in 1909 by Yusuf Cemal. By his time the thermal springs were well-known both internationally, scientific and journalistic literature having been published in French and in Greek, and across Ottoman lands, since the construction here of a still-standing yalı associated with Muhammad Ali of Egypt’s son Tosun Pasha who had sought a cure in Ilıca before his premature death.

Ilıca also has a fine beach, about 1.5 km long, as well as favorable wind conditions which make Ilıca, together with the neighboring Alaçatı, an internationally prized location for windsurfing.

“Go to Calis if you want a relaxing break!”
“Go to Calis if you want a relaxing break!”

7- Calis Beach, Fethiye

Calis Beach, Fethiye;

Konyaalti Beach Park - Antalya (region) - Tourism
Konyaalti Beach Park – Antalya (region) – Tourism

8- Konyaaltı & Lara Beach (Antalya)

Konyaaltı & Lara Beach (Antalya); Big, l-o-n-g pebble/coarse sand beach using the Blue Flag System to certify cleanliness

Konyaalti Beach Park

Walk on the multicolored pebbles and feel the warm waves tickle your feet in this scenic beach park with views of distant mountains.
Konyaalti Beach Park is a vast stretch of pebbles with a stunning backdrop of mountains. Showers, restaurants and the sea offer sunbathers respite from the sweltering heat. Make this your favorite spot for watersports, swimming and relaxing by the Mediterranean Sea just outside the city center.
Sunbathe on deck chairs while the kids play on the beach. Rent umbrellas to shade you from the sun while you lounge on a beach chair. Dip your toes in the water or go for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Look for the blue flag indicating the water is clean and safe for swimmers.
The Beydaglari Mountains loom powerfully over the horizon as a reminder of the country’s scenic and varied landscape. Capture photos of the rocky giants hanging over the sea. Stay at one of the hotels with a view of the beach. Take part in watersports, such as Jet Skiing and parasailing, for a small price.
Choose snacks at the many vendors’ stands along the beach. Buy nuts, ice cream and sodas to share with family and friends. Sit at a restaurant for a meal accompanied by the soothing sound of crashing waves. Behind the beach you will find a park with paths, trees and vast grassy area where you can play games. The Antalya Aqualand Water Park next to the beach is packed with thrilling slides and waterfalls.
You do not have to pay to enter the beach and park, which is always open to the public. Remember to wear appropriate footwear, as the pebbles can get quite hot on summer afternoons.
Konyaalti Beach Park is about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) west of the central area of Antalya. You can drive to the beach, which has a large parking lot for visitors, in less than 15 minutes. The beach is next to the Miniature Culture Park, Antalya Aquarium and Antalya Museum. Ride the tram to the stop next to the museum and walk for 2 minutes to reach the beach. Buses also take passengers to the popular beach.

Olympos beach Antalya. A secluded beach 50 miles southwest of Antalya.
Olympos beach Antalya. A secluded beach 50 miles southwest of Antalya.

9- Olimpos (Antalya)

Olimpos (Antalya); The opposite of the others: small, secluded, atmospheric, backed by a forest filled with Roman ruins. 79 km (49 miles) southwest of Antalya

Laid on the Mediterranean coast in Antalya province, Olympus beach is famous as the place to see Chimera – natural flames issuing from the rocky mountains.

Getting there

To get to the beach from Antalya you can use a rented car. In this case, the trip is possible using a narrow road off the D400 highway.
Also, there is a public transport service, although not direct.

Hotels and pensions are available in the villages of Cirali and Olympus, and getting to the beach from these villages is just a matter of a 15 min walk.

Side has sandy beaches, East and west
Side has sandy beaches, East and west

10- Side (Antalya)

Side (Antalya); The once-idyllic village 65 km (40 miles) east of Antalya is now crowded and noisy, but the beaches are still fine and unspoiled. Roman ruins abound


11- Bodrum Peninsula

Bodrum Peninsula; Beaches in the towns are not great, but good smaller ones abound: Ortakent Yalısı (coarse sand & pebble), Turgutreis (surfy), and gem-like Gümüşlük

ADA BOGAZI (AQUARIUM) On the Bodrum peninsula between Gumbet and Bitez is the Akvaryum Cove, stretching for three kilometres towards the south. In front of it is Gorecik Island, which is also called ic Island. Between the Bodrum Peninsula and the island there is an area forming a strait and the cove, It is called Aquarium because of its crystal clear waters.In the open waters the sea floor 30 m. below can be seen with the naked eye. Throughout the day it get hoards of Daily Boat Trips and at night boats that anchor there.
AKYARLAR COVE This cove with its wonderful beach and crystal clear waters is 13 km from Bodrum. It is one of the best places in the world to surf. Its ancient name is Arhialla.
ASPAT BEACH Rising out of the shores of the Aegean and mentioned often in Turkish folk music, the real name of Aspat is Aspartos. Evliya celebi writes of Aspat in his Chronicles. Built upon a barren rock, the perimeter of Aspat Castle measures 700 paces. Here one may see the remains of a civilizations dating back to the Classic Age and continuing up until the present day.
BAGLA BEACH With one of the best coves and beaches on the peninsula, it is an excellent place to camp and is 14 km from Bodrum.
BARDAKCI BEACH Bardakçi is 500 m. from Bodrum. One can reach to Bardakci most of the time by sea. Its crystal clear sea is well-known for its springs.
BITEZ BEACH One of the most beautiful coves on the peninsula, it is 10 km from Bodrum and has warm waters and sandy beaches. It is a beautiful quiet corner where blue and green reach out to touch each other in the tangerine orchards which stretch from the village to the sea.
GOLKOY Located 13 km north of Bodrum, this beautiful cove blends the green of olive, tangerine and pine trees with that of palms. Because it faces the north, it is always lush and the water in the cove is cooler than that in the other coves.
GUMBET BEACH About 3 km west of Bodrum, its waters are very shallow. It is an excellent place for beach surfing. Bardakci is a mere 1000 m. from Bodrum. Most people go there by Boat. It is known for its beach and the water, which is as clear as glass, as well as the fresh water spring there.
GUNDOGAN Located 18 km from Bodrum, Gundogan cove is one of the coves that has been least changed by man and which still preserves its beauty in the most natural way. Its tangerine orchards are famous.
GUMUSLUK It is one of the oldest settlements on the peninsula. It is still possible to see in places the underwater remains of the old harbor wall which connected Tavsan Island to the mainland. The sea and fish here are famous. Watching the sun set here amidst the lush green vegetation will be a life-long memory.
GUVERCINLIK BEACH A cove of unusual beauty with every conceivable tone green and blue, it is located 25 km from Bodrum. Salih Island, located right across the water, only serves to enhance the natural appeal of this beautiful cove.
KADIKALESI The sandy beaches of this crystal clear sea are surround with citrus orchards. Situated 23 km from Bodrum, it gets its name from the remains of a nearby castle belonging to the Hellenistic era.
KARAINCIR Situated 16 km out of Bodrum, its 500 m. beach is one of the best in the area.
ORTAKENT – YAHSI BEACH Located 14 km from Bodrum, its waters are warm and it has sandy beaches. Its tangerine orchards are quite famous. It is one of the best vantage points from which to view village life in Bodrum.

TORBA BEACH peaceful little village just 5 km from Bodrum, it is a charming yet lively place where the shining sea melds with the green pines and olive trees. There are boats going to Didim, Milet and Priene from here.
TURGUTREIS BEACH Situated 20 km from Bodrum, the town is famous for its tangerine orchards. It is named for the famous Turkish admiral, Turgut Reis. In terms of population, it is the second most populous area after Bodrum. It is known for its unforgettable sunsets.
TURKBUKU BEACH Situated beside Golkoy, at a distance from Bodrum of 15 km, it resembles Golkoy in almost every way. It is one of the places preferred by people looking for peace and quiet.
YALIKAVAK BEACH Yalikavak impresses with its combination of alluring traditional charm and a sense of recognition of the importance of contemporary comforts desired by today’s discerning visitor. This is what makes Yalikavak attractive to those who care for both, the old and the new.

About Bodrum Peninsula

The ancient Bodrum peninsula is a beautiful port city on the Turkish Aegean Sea and is one of the most enchanting places in the region. It’s an attractive destination for wealthy Turkish families, jet-setters and European vacationers. The busy harbor is always littered with yachts and the area is bordered by white villas and palm trees

12- Kemer (Antalya)

Kemer (Antalya); Very mod-resorty, but near a lot of interesting day-trip possibilities

13- Pamucak (Ephesus)

Pamucak (Ephesus); Big, broad, dark sand, only 7 km (4 miles) west of Ephesus, relatively clean with a few cig butts and bottlecaps

14- Sarıgerme (Dalaman)

Sarıgerme (Dalaman); Very near busy Dalaman Airport, this well-kept beach is somewhat undiscovered, quieter, great for families and those interested mostly in beach time.

15- Kızkalesi (Silifke)

Kızkalesi (Silifke); Known only to Turks and savvy foreigners, this beach 25 km (16 miles) east of Silifke is sort of small but the castle out at sea makes up for it.

16 Sinop

Sinop; Sinop Nice beaches, never crowded, because the Black Sea water is usually pretty chilly.

17- Kuşadası (Ephesus)

Kuşadası (Ephesus); Nice enough Aegean beaches, but small and very crowded

18- Samandağ (Antakya)

Samandağ (Antakya); W-a-y down near Syria (26 km/16 miles) southwest of Antakya, but has a trash problem.

19- Anamur (Alanya)

Anamur (Alanya); Good beach that only Turks seem to know about, 127 km (79 miles) southeast of Alanya. Interesting Byzantine ghost town nearby.

20- Çalış (Fethiye)

Çalış (Fethiye); Long beach near the city cradling yacht-happy Fethiye Bay, good but somehow un-charming, and famous Ölüdeniz is just 10 km (6 miles) away over the hills.

21- Blue Flag Beaches

Blue Flag Beaches; The Blue Flag beach hygeine system has been adopted by some Turkish beaches. You should know about it to protect your health.

22- Icmeler Beach, Marmaris

Icmeler Beach, Marmaris;

23- Cirali Beach, Cirali

Cirali Beach, Cirali;

Antalya, Turkish Riviera

The Turkish Riviera is the most stunning part of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast with its perfect sun, clean beaches, ultra luxury resorts, nature and history. Antalya is the largest city on the Mediterranean with its charming harbour. It is typical of Turkey, a thriving modern city, with a historic heart in the centre of Kaleici, within the old city walls. This area has seen something of a renaissance in recent years, with many of the wooden Ottoman mansions being restored and turned into boutique hotels. The symbol of Antalya is the Yivli Minare built by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the 13th century. Culture lovers will find plenty of interest in the Archaeological Museum which has artefacts fro m the Paleolithic Age right through to Ottoman times.

Antalya has a backdrop of stunning mountain scenery, and the city is set high on cliffs, with many of its grandest hotels overlooking the sea on the outskirts of the town. The beach area of Lara, approximately 12 km to the east is home to the best beach in the area, known for its golden sand, which is rapidly becoming a resort in its own right. To the west, the long pebble beach of Konyaalti is also popular. Heading up into the mountains, you can make the most of the beautiful scenery by visiting the spectacular Duden or Kursunlu Waterfalls to see a completely different side to the Turkish landscape. Antalya has a large number of five star hotels, many of which have meetings facilities, and this, together with the Pyramid Congress Centre which can hold up to 3000 delegates make it a popular venue for conferences.

Another must see for any summer traveler to Turkey is Patara Beach. Located in Antalya, the Patara is one of the Mediterranean’s longest beaches at 18km in length, and under protection by the Turkish government for nesting sea turtles. Curvy, sweeping sand dunes, surrounded by ancient ruins along with stiff coastal breezes for excellent wind surfing takes Patara Beach to the top of lists of World’s Best Beaches for both natural beauty and great value.

Belek is Turkey’s premier golf resort with its spectacular long, golden sandy beaches, and a backdrop of mountains. Belek has won awards for environmentally friendly development and there are many rare species of plant and wildlife indigenous to the area. Accommodation is mostly of the five star variety with all facilities laid on including sporting and other activities, spa treatments and entertainment. Many of the hotels are also set up to cater for children with kids clubs and other facilities.

Kemer is one of Turkey’s first multipurpose resorts, carefully planned to blend in with the surrounding scenery. At its heart is the attractive marina, a stopping off point for gulets on the blue cruise. Around it are sophisticated shops, bars and restaurants catering for the resort’s well-heeled clientele. Kemer has a clean pebble beach, but the main resort areas are on the beaches located a little further out, namely Kiziltepe, Goynuk, Beldibi, Camyuva and Tekirova. Surrounded by pine forests, they offer a range of accommodation including five star hotels, all designed to blend in to the natural environment.

Alanya is a modern resort, famed for its beautiful sandy beaches. Its harbour is dominated by the Red Tower, which protected the dockyards in Seljuk times, the remains of which can still be seen in the waters. High on a promontory is the old fortress with its well preserved walls, towers and Byzantine church. It takes about an hour to walk up but it is well worth it for the views alone. Alanya itself has lots of blue flag beaches and has a full range of accommodation with plenty of good shops and restaurants, together with lively nightlife.

The old town of Side is set on a peninsula with sandy beaches to either side, surrounded still by the ancient city walls. It boasts an impressive ancient Hellenistic theatre, the largest in the area, with seating for 17.000, overlooking the sea; a charming museum and the stunning Temple of Apollo, a romantic spot at sunset. Side has something for everyone: great beaches, history, an abundance of shops, lively nightlife and a good choice of restaurants.

Olympos – Cirali (Çıralı)
Olympos is in a charming spot set on a 5 km long beach amidst unspoilt nature, and the ruins include baths, a temple, Roman theatre and necropolis. To the north of Olympos, past the attractive beach front hamlet of Cirali, high on the hillside is the legendary burning flame of Chimera, literally burning stone.

Olympos Bey Mountains Coast National Park
Koprulu Canyon National Park

24 Sights in Istanbul

Alman Koyu, Heybeliada, Adalar, İstanbul
Alman Koyu, Heybeliada, Adalar, İstanbul
Fishermen’s favourite - Galata Bridge
Fishermen’s favourite – Galata Bridge

1- Fishermen’s favourite – Galata Bridge

Spanning the Golden Horn, Istanbul’s iconic Galata Bridge is a top spot for fishing. Locals, especially men, like to come here to fish for fun and sometimes to earn money.

2- Bohemian Kadıköy – Yeldeğirmeni

Yeldeğirmeni is a historical part of Kadıköy with plenty to offer. Many elderly Turkish citizens have lived here from birth. It’s relatively inexpensive, there are lots of things to see and do and it’s home to a bunch of art studios.

Karaköy/Kadıköy Ferries - Things To Do in Istanbul
Karaköy/Kadıköy Ferries – Things To Do in Istanbul

3- Europe to Asia & back – Karaköy/Kadıköy Ferries

Ferries are the most popular form of public transport in Istanbul for one simple reason – if you’re a local, you’re always in a hurry except when you’re on a ferry travelling from one side of the city to the other. You have around 20 minutes to enjoy amazing views of the Bosphorus over a cup of Turkish tea.

4- Istanbul under your wings – Büyük

It’s in an old secret building and offers you one of the best sightseeing places of Istanbul on a rooftop. On a cold weather, I am not sure if it is gonna be as nice as it is on a clear day. You should ask locals about how to get there as it is not easy to find. It is closer to Grand Bazaar so if you are around, do not skip it.

5- Orient House Bosphorus Night Cruise with Dinner in Istanbul

Enjoy a tasty dinner and a traditional Turkish show with live music and belly dancers while cruising along the Bosphorus. Orient Bosphorus is a sophisticated choice for an unforgettable evening of entertainment in Istanbul.

Tea with a view - Pierre Loti Hill
Tea with a view – Pierre Loti Hill

6- Tea with a view – Pierre Loti Hill

Named after the well-known French novelist Pierre Loti, this hill offers perfect views of the Golden Horn. It’s also home to a famous café that bears the same name. Loti lived in Istanbul for many years and was a big fan of the city. The café is a meeting point for lovers and couples, and has featured in many Turkish romance films.

7- Beautiful royal park – Emirgan Korusu

Named after the Ottoman commander Emir Mirgunoglu in the 17th century, this gorgeous park has a long and extravagant history. It’s mostly known for its three pavilions previously used by royalty for short stays. The pavilions were constructed from 1871–1878.

8- One of the nicest districts in Istanbul – Moda

Moda is one of the nicest districts in Istanbul. Especially during the weekends it’s very attractive for people of all ages. The seaside and view from Moda towards Princess Islands and the Old City are wonderful and worth seeing. Besides there are a lot of restaurants and cafes where you can find delicious, marvellous foods

Wanna chill out? Caddebostan Sahili
Wanna chill out? Caddebostan Sahili

9- Wanna chill out? Caddebostan Sahili

When the weather is warm, locals like to hang out here in the evenings. We either play sports or just relax on the grass with friends, enjoying a few drinks and pretty views of the Princes’ Islands.

10- Enjoy a picnic in an old royal park – Yıldız Park

This lovely park is located in Beşiktaş right in the heart of Istanbul. With old Ottoman houses, scenic paths, flowers, duck ponds and tree-covered hills, it’s a picturesque place for a relaxing picnic.

11- Street bursting with antique shops – Antikacılar Sokağı

Tellalzade Street, also known as “’Kadıköy Antique Shops Street”, is a precious gem for antique enthusiasts. It’s also home to an abundance of second-hand shops and a couple of stores selling old records. You can smell the history in the air!

A place of legends - Maiden's Tower
A place of legends – Maiden’s Tower

12- A place of legends – Maiden’s Tower

According to a popular Turkish legend, the Byzantine king imprisoned his daughter here after an oracle prophesised that she would die of a venemous snakebite on her 18th birthday. When the day finally came, her overjoyed father brought her a basket of fruit as a gift, but unbeknownst to him, the killer snake was hiding inside.

13- Crazy mosaics  – Chora Museum (Kariye Müzesi)

It’s the best historical place in Istanbul where the Roman mosaics and frescos are very well preserved. Besides Kariye museum’s location is in the middle of a hidden paradise. It’s close to Roman city walls, martyrdom and Mihrimah mosque by Architect Sinan.

Discover the local history - Istanbul Military Museum
Discover the local history – Istanbul Military Museum

14- Discover the local history – Istanbul Military Museum

This museum has many unique pieces about the history of Military of Turkic and of other countries as well. Visitors can learn lots of information about history, military’s effect on politics, weapons from all over the world and military tactics.

15- Charming street with historical houses – Soğukçeşme Sokağı

Located between Hagia Sofia and Topkapı Palace, this narrow tree-lined street is known for its historical houses. Walking along Soğukçeşme (“Cold Fountain”) past Ottoman-era residences is like taking a step back in time.

16- The other side of the Bosphorus – Çengelköy Sahili

The Bosphorus shore on the Asian side of Istanbul is generally much calmer than the European one. Çengelköy is a particularly inspiring place for landscape painters. There’s also a local teahouse called Çınaraltı Çay Bahçesi right by the sea. It’s a really popular breakfast spot, especially on weekends.

Great industrial museum - Rahmi Koç Museum
Great industrial museum – Rahmi Koç Museum

17- Great industrial museum – Rahmi Koç Museum

This glorious museum is dedicated to the history of transport, industry and communications. It houses a fantastic collection of objects highlighting Turkey’s industrial past.

 Historical Turkish bath - Çinili Hamam
Historical Turkish bath – Çinili Hamam

18- Historical Turkish bath – Çinili Hamam

Steam baths, bubble massages and relaxing on heated marble stones – what’s not to love? During Ottoman times, “hamams” (Turkish baths) were places where people gathered and socialised. Even today, Turkish people, especially the older generations, love visiting hamams together with family and friends.

19- Miniature models of Turkish monuments – Miniatürk

This open-air park contains 126 miniature replicas of historic Turkish monuments. It’s a great place for families as well as for those who don’t have time to see all of Istanbul’s famous sites.

20- Zülfaris Synagogue – Jewish Museum of Turkey

This place is relatively unknown, even amongst locals. Zülfaris Synagogue dates back to 1671, but was closed in 1985 due to lack of community support. These days it functions as a Jewish museum.

Discover Istanbul’s art scene - Artwalk Istanbul
Discover Istanbul’s art scene – Artwalk Istanbul

21- Discover Istanbul’s art scene – Artwalk Istanbul

Join a three-hour Artwalk Istanbul tour and see another face of the city. A professional local guide will lead you to some of Istanbul’s most interesting art spaces including galleries, institutes and museums.

22- Spectacular Bosphorus & Black Sea views –  Yoros Castle

Locals go to Anadolu Kavağı to visit Yoros Castle and to eat at the restaurants surrounding the pier. The castle offers fabulous views of the Bosphorus and Yuşa Tepesi (Joshua’s Hill), which is a shrine that attracts many pilgrims. You can even see where the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea meet.

23- Energy Museum – Santralistanbul

The museum is in the campus of Bilgi University which is located in the coast of Haliç. You will have fun while you are making electricity experiments in the Energy Museum downstairs and you will be fascinated by the components of old Power Plant.

A hidden slice of heaven - Alman Koyu
A hidden slice of heaven – Alman Koyu

24- A hidden slice of heaven – Alman Koyu

This is a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. Locals come here to swim in the bay, relax and simply feel the island breeze on their faces. It’s the perfect getaway!


Find out what the best Ancient Cities in Turkey are

PHASELIS ( Faselis ) Antalya TURKEY
PHASELIS ( Faselis ) Antalya TURKEY

Travellers’ Choice Awards. Find out what the best Ancient Cities in Turkey are as awarded by real travellers.

Ancient Cities in Turkey

Ancient Anatolian (Turkish) Cities, Ancient Cities in Anatolia, Ancient Cities in Turkey

Anatolia-the heartland of Modern Turkey is that region lying to the south of the Black Sea, to the east of the Aegean Sea, north of the eastern Mediterranean Sea and, inland, the Fertile Crescent, and west of the Caucasus-Azerbaijani districts. A very roughly hewn upland region for the most part, it has been both a home and a highway for a bewildering variety of peoples for as long as there have been humans.

This list (Ancient (Turkish) Cities) will give a brief overview of Anatolian chronology from the earliest times to the present. It does not pretend to be complete in any sense; Anatolia is a very large area, and though there have been times, like the present, when it has been completely unified, there have also been many times when fragmented local nations were the rule. In such instances, I have either listed the most significant among local conditions, or simply indicated a general period of local conditions. Even during times of union with large Empires, very often outlying districts were partially or completely autonomous; read Xenophon’s Persian Expedition for an insight into conditions obtaining in the Anatolian highlands of the Persian Empire, during the winter of 401/400 BCE.

Alacahoyuk; Situated in Alaca town in the city of Çorum, Alacahöyük predominantly shows the Hittite influence during the Bronze Age, although ruins belonging to four different cultural phases can also be seen.


Aphrodisias; With a history dating back to 5000 BC, the ancient city of Aphrodisias was established during the Greek and Roman times and is one of the most valuable settlements that have survived to the present day.


Asclepeion Ancient City in Pergamon; An ancient medical center, the Asclepeion in Izmir province, is built nearby the springs that are believed to be curative.


Assos; Its history dating back to the 6th century BC, Assos is built on a dormant volcano of andesite rock, in the modern city of Canakkale.

Cappadocia – Historical Places
Cappadocia – Historical Places

Cappadocia-Historical Places

Cappadocia-Historical Places; Cappadocia history and historical places of Cappadocia. Get facts, photos, and travel tips for Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, a World Heritage site in Turkey.


Çatalhöyük; Founded 9 thousand years ago in the Cumra town of Konya, Çatalhöyük is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ruins at Ephesus, Turkey


Situated in the town of Selcuk in Izmir province, Ephesus is one of the twelve cities of Ionia.


Halicarnassus; Named Halicarnassus in the ancient times and one of the most beautiful districts of Muğla province


Harput; Located within the province of Elazığ today, Harput has a history dating back to 2000 BC.


Kalamaki; Kalamaki is situated in the town of Kas in Antalya province, also known as Kalkan, is impressive for its closeness to the ancient cities in the region and for its natural beauty.


Knidos; Among the major settlements of the ancient times, Knidos is located at the edge of the Datça Peninsula which is a district of Muğla famous for its natural wonders.


Laodikea; The ancient city of Laodicea, in Denizli province, used to be one of the most well-known and important Anatolian city in the 1st century BC.


Letoon; On the Fethiye-Kas highway, Letoon is originally founded in the name of Leto, mother to the Olympian divinities Apollo and Artemis.


Lotape; Located in Antalya province among the Mediterranean cities with the warmest climate, the ancient city of Iotape was named after the wife of king Antiochus of Commagene.


Miletus; Situated near to Soke, a town in Aydin province, Miletus earned its independence in the year 38 BC with the help of Roman emperors.

Myra Necropolis – Demre, Turkey
Myra Necropolis – Demre, Turkey


Myra; An ancient Lycian city, Myra is situated in the fertile lands of the town of Kale in Antalya.

Denizli Hierapolis Pamukkale
Denizli Hierapolis Pamukkale

Pamukkale (Hierapolis)

Pamukkale (Hierapolis); Located close by the natural wonder of Pamukkale, the ancient city of Hierapolis was founded in 190 BC.


Patara; Located between Fethiye and Kalkan, the ancient city of Patara is known as the birth place of the Greek sun god Apollo.


Pergamon; is founded in the county of Bergama (Izmir), where the Aegean and Anatolia regions come together. P

Perge is very distinctive for its comprehensive visual perception compared to other archaeological cities amongst its contemporaries in the wider area.
Perge is very distinctive for its comprehensive visual perception compared to other archaeological cities amongst its contemporaries in the wider area.


Perge; Situated in the town of Aksu in Antalya province, Perge was founded during the Bronze Age.


Phaselis; Nestled amidst the lush green nature in Antalya province, the ancient city of Phaselis was founded in the 7th century BC. .


Priene; An ancient Ionian city, Priene is located within the borders of Aydin province.

Ruins of Ani

Ruins of Ani; The ancient citadel of Ruins of Ani is situated on the barren plains above the Arpaçay Valley which separates Turkey and Armenia.

The archaeological site of Sagalassos is located in SW-Turkey, near the present town of Aglasun (Location: Burdur)
The archaeological site of Sagalassos is located in SW-Turkey, near the present town of Aglasun (Location: Burdur)


Sagalassos; Close to Aglasun, a town of Burdur province characterized by its natural beauties, Sagalassos is known to be the first of the Pisidian cities.


Sardis; The capital of the kingdom of Lydia, Sardis is situated in the Salihli town of Manisa province.


Smyrna; is the ancient name of Izmir which is not only one of the earliest settlements but also one of the most beautiful cities of the Aegean Region.


Stratonikeia; The ancient city of Stratonikeia, situated near the town of Yatağan in Aydin province, was a member state of the Khrysaor Union and founded in the 3rd century BC.


Telmessos; Located close by Fethiye, Telmessos takes its name from the sun god Apollo’s son. P


Telmissos; Telmissos is on the Bodrum-Turgutreis road, three kilometres past Ortakent.


Termessos; Built on a natural platform on top of the Mount Güllük (Solymos), Termessos is one of the best preserved ancient cities in Anatolia.

Ani, city of 1001 churches
Ani, city of 1001 churches

The antique city of Ani

The antique city of Ani; in Kars province is another highly recommended ancient site worth the time to visit.

One of the richest cities of the ancient times and among the worldwide popular tourist attractions, Troy is located in the heart of nature in Çanakkale province. The ancient city of Troy was founded 5000 years ago and is now inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
One of the richest cities of the ancient times and among the worldwide popular tourist attractions, Troy is located in the heart of nature in Çanakkale province. The ancient city of Troy was founded 5000 years ago and is now inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Troy; One of the richest cities of the ancient times and among the worldwide popular tourist attractions, Troy is located in the heart of nature in Çanakkale province.


Xanthos; Located around Fethiye, the ancient city of Xanthos once functioned as a capital of the Lycian League.

Zeugma After the Flood
Zeugma After the Flood

Zeugma City

Zeugma City; Founded approximately in 300 BC by the generals under Alexander the Great, Zeugma is situated in the Nizip town of Gaziantep.


Discover Turkey, home of ancient cities


If you are interested in the history of the place where you spend your holiday in Turkey, we suggest you visit the ancient cities which are the open air museums of Turkey.


Throughout its long history spanning over 10,000 years Anatolia, the land that is now Turkey has been the birthplace of many great civilisations and empires all of which have left their mark in unique ways.

Lose yourself in the ancient cities and sites of Turkey, which includes once in a lifetime chance to visit the cities of Ephesus, Aspendos, Perge, Hierapolis, Aphrodisias, Gobeklitepe, Hattusas, Catalhoyuk, Assos, Troy, Ani, Demre (Myra) and Side as well as the Aizanoi Ancient City.


There are lots of ancient cities and ancient ruins in Turkey, for the archeology lovers and fans. You can see the heritage from neolithic period when people start farming to classical and middle ages’ magnificent cities.

From the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk to well preserved ancient Greek and Roman ruins, to Byzantine churches and Ottoman mosques, the layers of history in Turkey has myriad architectural, archaeological and religious legacy.


Aizanoi, Alacahoyuk, Anavarza, Ani, Assos, Astra, Arsameia Ruins, Aspendos, Antiphellos, Aphrodisias, Blaundos, Cappadocia, Chimera, Catalhoyuk, Daglik, Demre (Myra), Ephesus, Erythrai, Etenna, Gobeklitepe, Hattusas, Hierapolis.

Karahoyuk, Kilistra, Kekova, Kaunos, Kolophon and Notion, Lagina Hekate, Lagina, Laodicea, Limyra, Miletos, Musgebi, Olba, Olympos.

Patara, Pergamon, Pedesa, Perge, Phaselis, Phokaia, Sagalassos, Sardis, Selge, Selinus, Seleukeia, Side, Stratonikeia,, Telmessos, Termessos, Telmissos, Tlos, Tripolis, Troy, Xanthos – Letoon, Zeugma.

View our Tips & Articles. and see the stories

Is it safe to visit Turkey?

Is it safe to visit Turkey?
Is it safe to visit Turkey?

Is it safe to travel in Turkey

However some media sources and people are telling it’s not a safe place to travel to due to unrest and due to countries it shares a border with.

Media likes to exaggerate stuff because it brings more ratings, the daily life is quite peaceful.

Most travelers comment on the friendliness and hospitality of the Turkish people. It really is exceptional.

Turkey is not only friendly, it is, in many ways, as safe as Europe and North America, although no place is completely safe. Here are some travel danger statistics to put things in perspective.

How safe is it to travel to Turkey?

We asked Government and industry experts for their travel advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces
  • the provinces of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari

– the provinces of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari

“British nationals made over 1.7 million visits to Turkey in 2016. It’s generally safe to travel to Turkey, but you should take additional safety precautions. Be alert to your surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with foreign nationals, including during festival periods such as Christmas and New Year.

“Rallies and demonstrations, official and unofficial, may take place at short notice. You should stay well away from any demonstrations.

“The situation has calmed following an attempted coup on 15 to 16 July 2016. But the security environment remains potentially volatile and a state of emergency is in place.

“In some busy areas, especially Istanbul, the Turkish authorities are stopping members of the public to conduct ID checks. There’s also a larger than usual number of police checkpoints on main roads across Turkey. You should co-operate with officials conducting checks, and keep your passport and a printed copy of your e-visa or your residence permit with you at all times.”

Check the FCO’s Turkey travel advice page for more updates.

Are many people still travelling to Turkey?

Europe travelling to Turkey have been warned of a ‘high’ terror threat following the triple attacks on Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport and a failed military coup last year.

But with Turkey a popular holiday destination for many, is it still a safe place to travel to?

Visitor numbers have certainly been hit as a result of recent events, but tourists are still travelling to Turkey in their millions.

Do you think it is safe to travel to Turkey ?

Is it safe to travel to Turkey in 2017?

If you don’t visit Turkey due to fear of terror, then don’t visit France, Germany and Britain either. It is as safe as UK. Actually it is safer than UK nowadays.

What should I know before leaving?

The latest security measures put in place by the UK Government ban large phones, laptop’s, E-readers & tablets being brought into the cabin of the plane.

This only affects you if you’re returning to the UK from Turkey (inbound flights) so be sure to pack away all those devices into the suitcase on your way back from your holiday.

Power packs for your phone or tablet are not allowed in either the cabin or in your checked in bags, bringing these items will mean you won’t be able to board the plane.

Where’s Safe To Go? 

Over 1.7 million British tourist’s travel to Turkey every year, and for the most part it’s pretty safe, however, the government has advised against travelling in areas, unless necessary, which borders with Syria.

For more information visit the FCO Travel Advice pages

After the failed coup attempt, politically the country is going through changes and instability. There is a referendum on powers of the president due on April 16th that is an example of this. The referendum could see vast crowds gathering to show their support. Take this into consideration when planning where and when you are going to visit specific places.

Threat of Terrorism Around The World

Turkey is seen as being under a high threat of terrorism, so be aware when you’re there.

The government states that terrorists usually target places that are not very well protected and where the public come to gather. You cannot avoid all pubs, restaurants and public transport obviously but you should remain vigilant. If you are worried you should try and avoid other places where large numbers of people congregate.

Why have a holiday in Turkey?

Turkey is a vast nation, straddling Europe and Asia, full of beauty and rich in heritage. The country also has welcoming people, fabulous cuisine, great beaches – and low prices. I first visited Turkey in 1988, travelling along the Mediterranean coast to resorts including Olu Deniz and Marmaris, and exploring treasures such as the ruins of Ephesus. I have returned many times since then, both as an independent backpacker and on package holidays. I am particularly fond of the biggest metropolis, Istanbul, which is one of the most fascinating and rewarding cities in the world – and I am looking forward to exploring the country more deeply in years to come.


Impressive, Breathtaking, Stunning…

So many words come to mind when you see the beauty of Turkey. Not only beautiful but also unique, not only sights but unforgettable experiences.

This is what vacation in Turkey is. Turkey offers nothing less than a good life with happy memories.

Featured activities

Things to see and do in Turkey. Find out the best things to do, places to go and visit including events and fun activities for sightseeing as well as top tourist attractions in Turkey

the country that travels within you

Bright colors of #Kas #Turkey · Kalkan TurkeyVisit
Bright colors of #Kas #Turkey · Kalkan TurkeyVisit

See it! Feel it! Love it!

Turkey is on the Mediterranean, in the Anatolian region of West Asia, with a small section in Southeastern Europe separated by the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles).

With the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea in the west and Mediterranean Sea to the southwest, Turkey is surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the northeast, Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast.

And you think you’ve done it all?

Welcome to holiday, tourism and travel guide to Turkey. Turkey is home, where your journey begins. Come and visit Turkey.


Let’s explore

Want more travel tips for Turkey? Follow along on twitter:
#turkeyisopen and #visitturkey

See Fantastic Events in Turkey



See Fantastic Events in Turkey

A list of the major fairs, festivals and cultural and artistic events organized in Turkey throughout the year. Turkey is a heaven of cultural events. Explore now!

Turkey hosts a spectacular array of music and cultural festivals, high adrenalin sports and exciting family entertainment.

Turkey is a major global cultural hub and is the most visited country.

Whether it’s winter or summer, Turkey features fantastic year round activities and events to attend. Celebrate the snow season by skiing in the Snowy Mountains and attending premier events, Festivals or featuring live concerts in the snowfield.

The North Coast boasts a relaxed seaside lifestyle and hosts a number of events every year celebrating local farming community and businesses. Renowned for its unspoiled natural environment, the South Coast region attracts a large number of visitors every year for a wide range of annual festivities celebrating good food, music and fun filled events.

With its vast agricultural lands, Country hosts a number of outdoor activities every year.

Whether you love the busy rush of the city or the tranquility out in the country, Turkey is the place to be.


Most popular music festivals, nightlife events, sport and outdoors events, cultural festivals, national and religious festivals, lifestyle events, wonderful Turkish festivals and more. Keep up to date on what is happening in Turkey.

  • Music Festivals in Turkey
  • Lifestyle Events in Turkey
  • Sport Events in Turkey
  • National Festivals in Turkey
  • Religious Festivals in Turkey
  • Culture and Art Festivals in Turkey
  • Traditional Turkish Festivals in Turkey

More than 1000 festivals are held in Turkey every year. Along with festivals of local scale held in almost every city of the country, cultural events and other festivals of international reach are also organized in major metropolitan centers such as Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Antalya.

Religious Festivals in Turkey
Religious Festivals in Turkey

Istanbul is the most important center of festivals. In the summer months, a number of music festivals are held in Istanbul. Many are organized by and associated with prominent names in Turkey’s private sector. The Pamukbank Dance Days brings world famous dance groups to Istanbul. The Efes Pilsen Blues Festival, which celebrated its 10th year in 2006, hosts well-known blues and jazz groups. The Akbank International Jazz Festival provides the opportunity of improvisation and jam sessions between Turkish musicians and jazz masters of the world. The Yapı Kredi Art Festival with its concerts ranging from rock and roll and pop music to classical music and jazz is actually a series of events around the year. Fuji Film World Music Days is yet another important music festival.

İzmir is notable for hosting the oldest festival activity in Turkey, within the frame of multi-theme İzmir International Fair held in the first days of September, and organized by İZFAŞ, a depending company of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. The musical and other cultural events that take place at the same time as the commercial fair had started out as an auxiliary activity to attract popular interest for the fair, but over the years the festival became a school by itself.

İstanbul Shopping Fest 2017
İstanbul Shopping Fest 2017

Major festivals

Turkish Festival Guide

  • International Bodrum Dance Festival
  • International Fethiye World Music Festival Turkey
  • International Ankara Film Festival 16th
  • International Ankara Music Festival
  • Alanya International Culture and Art Festival 11 th
  • Gümüşlük International Classical Music Festival Annual since 2004
  • International Ankara Cartoon Festival
  • Bilkent International Theater Meeting (Ankara)
  • Bilkent International Anatolia Music Festival (Ankara)
  • International Istanbul Film Festival 25th
  • International Istanbul Theater Festival
  • Istanbul International Music Festival
  • Istanbul International Jazz Festival 12th
  • International Istanbul Biennial
  • Neon International Psychedelic Music & Art Festival Bursa – July
  • Barışarock
  • Rock’n Coke
  • İzmir International Fair 73rd ; 1 September – 10 September
  • İzmir European Jazz Festival
  • İzmir Alacati International Child and Youth Theaters Festival
  • İzmir Fair International Folk Dances Festival
  • Cesme Sea Festivity and International Song Contest (İzmir)
  • Nasreddin Hodja Festivities (Konya)
  • Mevlana Memorial Celebrations (Konya)
  • International Pamukkale Music and Culture Festival (Denizli)
  • International Amateur Theaters Festival (Denizli)
  • Traditional Manisa Mesir Festival
  • Yunus Emre Culture and Art Week (Eskişehir)
  • International Eskişehir Festival 11th
  • International Bursa Festival
  • Adıyaman International Commagene Festival
  • Traditional Kırkpınar Oil-Wrestling Festivities(Edirne)
  • International Hacı Bektaş-i Veli Memorial Celebrations (Nevşehir)
  • International Atatürk Dam Water Sports Feast (Şanlıurfa)
  • Mersin International Music Festival
  • Şanlıurfa International Culture and Art Week
  • Antalya Demre International Noel Baba (St. Nicholas) Memorial Celebrations
  • Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival (Antalya)
  • Turkish Choral Festival Annual – since 1996
  • Alanya International Culture and Art Festival 3–5 October
  • Robert College Fine Arts Festival (Istanbul) Organized annually since 1982
  • Kadirga Festival Annual
  • Edirne International Kakava Festival Annual on May 5
  • Cappadocia Music Festival Annual on July
National Festivals in Turkey
National Festivals in Turkey

Fairs, festivals and events

  • Camel Wrestling Festival-Selcuk (near Ephesus) January
  • Ankara International Film Festival March
  • 1915 Sea Victory Celebration-Canakkale March
  • Istanbul International Film Festival April
  • Traditional “Mesir” Festival-Manisa April
  • International Children’s Day-Ankara (April 23) April
  • International Ankara Music Festival April
  • Tourism Fair-Gaziantep April
  • Tulip Festival-Istanbul April-May
  • Javelin Games-Erzurum April-May
  • Ankara International Arts Festival April-May
  • International Nyssa Culture and Arts Festival-Sultanhisar, Aydin May
  • Ephesus International Festival of Culture and Tourism-Selcuk May
  • Yunus Emre Culture and Art Week-Eskisehir May
  • Aksu Culture and Art Festival-Giresun May
  • Ankara International Caricature Festival May
  • International Music and Folklore Festival-Silifke May
  • International Yachting Festival-Marmaris May
  • International Kilim Festival, Usak-Esme May
  • Kakava Festivities-Kirklareli May
  • International Asia-Europe Biennial-Ankara May-June
  • Formula One races – Istanbul June
  • Bartin Strawberry Festival-Bartin June
  • International Tea Festival-Rize June
  • International Offshore Races Istanbul and Izmir June
  • Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival – Antalya June
  • Foca Music, Folklore and Water Sports Festival-near Izmir June
  • Marmaris Festival-near Mugla June
  • Bergama Festival-near Izmir June
  • Atatürk Culture Festival-Amasya June
  • Kafkasör Culture and Art Festival-Artvin June
  • International Kus Cenneti (Birds Paradise) Culture and Tourism Festival-Bandirma June
  • International Pamukkale Song Competition June
  • International Kahta Komagene Festival June
  • International Beach Volleyball Tournament – Alanya June
  • Finike Festival – near Antalya June
  • International Wine Competition-Ürgüp June
  • Tekirdag Cherry Festival June
  • International Carpet and Rose Festival-Isparta June
  • Cesme Sea and Music Festival-Cesme June-July
  • International Izmir Festival June-July
  • International Bursa Festival June-July
  • Istanbul International Art and Culture Festival June-July
  • Traditional Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling-Edirne June-July
  • International Music Festival-Istanbul June-July
  • Ihlara Tourism and Art Week-Aksaray June-July
  • International Erzurum Congress-Erzurum July
  • Tourism and Culture Festival-Iskenderun July
  • International Istanbul Jazz Festival July
  • International Folk Dance Festival-Samsun July
  • Ceramic Festival-Kütahya July
  • Nasreddin Hoca Festival-Aksehir, near Konya July
  • Hittite Festival-Corum July
  • Manavgat Tourism Festival – near Antalya July
  • Kusadasi Tourism Festival July
  • Egridir Lake Festival – near Isparta July
  • Nevsehir Festival July
  • Devrek Baston (walking stick) and Culture Festival – Zonguldak July
  • Avanos International Handicrafts and Pottery Exhibit – Nevsehir July
  • Troy Festival-Canakkale August
  • Insuyu Festival-Burdur August
  • Haci Bektas Veli Commemoration Ceremony-Nevsehir August
  • Mengen Chefs Festival-Bolu August
  • Pine Grove Ayder Mt. and Archery Festivities – Rize August
  • Izmir International Fair-Izmir September
  • Ertugurul Gazi Commemoration Ceremony-Sogut September
  • Seyh Edibali Commemoration and Culture Festival-Bilecik September
  • GAP Culture and Art Festival-Gaziantep September
  • Javelin Games-Konya September
  • Kemer Carnival – near Antalya September
  • International Meerschaum (Luletasi) Festival-Eskisehir September
  • Safranbolu Architectural Treasures and Folklore Week-Safranbolu September
  • Sivas Congress Culture and Art Week-Sivas September
  • International Grape Harvest Festival-Ürgüp September
  • International Fair-Mersin September
  • Yagci Bedir Carpet Festival-Sindirgi, Balikesir September
  • Culture and Art Festival-Diyarbakir September
  • Assos International Art Festival September
  • Adana Altin Koza (Golden Cocoon) Film Festival September
  • Eskisehir International Festival Sept-October
  • Golden Pistachio Festival-Gaziantep Sept-October
  • International Plastic Arts Festival Sept-October
  • International Akdeniz Song Contest-Mediterranean Sept-October
  • Mersin Art and Culture Festival Sept-October
  • Altin Portakal (Golden Orange) Film Festival-Antalya October
  • Ahi Brotherhood Cultural Week October
  • International Bodrum Sailing Cup October
  • International Gullet Biennial-Bozburun (near Marmaris) October
  • International Triathlon Competition – Alanya October
  • International Ataturk Dam Sailing Competition-Sanliurfa October
  • International Yacht Race-Marmaris November
  • International St.Nicholas Syphosium-Demre, near Antalya December
  • Mevlana Commemoration Ceremony-Konya December

Explore events by area:

Upcoming events

Useful Links:

  1. Business Events
  2. Classes, lessons, workshops and talks
  3. Community events
  4. Concerts and performances
  5. Exhibitions and shows
  6. Festivals and celebrations
  7. Food and wine
  8. Markets
  9. Sporting events

View all events in Turkey
View all events in Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir
See also our Events Calendar.

10 Cities you must visit once in your lifetime

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

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



Turkey has a large variety of outstanding nightlife and entertainment to choose from to suit every preference.

Entertainment and Nightlife



Turkey has a large variety of nightlife and entertainment to choose from to suit every preference. You can find lots of chic restaurants, lovely cafes, outstanding nightclubs, Turkish meyhanes, authentic belly dancing shows, eating-out possibilities, concerts and parties. Dance at the night away in modern discos, let the local rhythms seduce you in street bars. Come and experience the magic of original dance and music, enjoy the best of entertainment and unlimited nightlife in Turkey.


Turkey is a Mediterranean country with a lively culture of eating out possibilities to suit every preference. Come and discover the authentic flavours of Turkey.


Istanbul is Turkey’s ultimate dining, music, nightlife and entertainment capital with its bars, restaurants, clubs and concert halls. The city of Istanbul never sleeps, sophisticated and artistic.

Entertainment and Nightlife in Istanbul


Antalya has a very colorful night life. Especially, during the summer months ( june – july – august ), the award-winner marina and its surrounding host a rich variety of discos, bars and pubs all of which are very popular among both the locals and tourists. In Antalya marina there are nice places that you can enjoy with life music. If your favorite music is rock, techno or hip hop there are also many opportunities in marina.
Marina is a well known place for night life among local and foreign people. When you go to Kaleici streets for night life you have a change to enjoy in English pubs, folksong bars and also taverns. The night clubs which have revue shows, dance performances are open till morning. In rock bars you meet with very rich drinks menu.

Likewise in Titreyengol and Kemer there are plenty of very appealing rock bars, pubs and traditional Turkish taverns. Antalya’s night life becomes even more and more exciting during the International Golden Orange Film Festival.

In Antalya you can choose from a quiet drink in a traditional bar to huge open air dance clubs. There is true diversity of nightclubs, discos and bars in the area and you can try something different every night of the week.

Some examples:
Ally’s: Ally’s has become the most favorite night club in Antalya. During the hot summer nights, if you want to spend a rocking night, you should choose Ally for dancing.
You shall be ready to wait in a queue in the entrance, and especially at Friday and Saturday nights, it is really very crowded. Girls and boys do wear their fancy clothes and it is a good quality night club.
No special clothes are mentioned; however you can choose good looking night clothes.

Inferno: Quite trendy place mostly for trendy people. After midnight the place is very crowded. If you come too early, the music might suck, but don’t leave. When the place gets more and more crowded, the music is getting better. If you are looking for romance you can enjoy the starry sky and also you can chill to some great music.
Casual clothes will work just fine.

Clup 29: This is the biggest club of Antalya with a capacity of around 2000 people. It is one of the hot places of summer.
The club 29 has got a fascinating view, overlooking to the Antalya Marina. The club 29 is serving as a restaurant, bar and club all together.. You can also start the night there by having your dinner or you can just drop in midnight..
There is not a strict regulation for dresses but shirts are more welcomed than T-shirts..
Opening hours: Restaurant 11am-midnight daily, disco 11pm-4am daily
Address: Kaleiçi, Antalya Marina

If you like rock bars you can go to Jolly Joker Bars.

The Jolly Joker Pub XL Address: Kuşkavağı Mah. Akdeniz Bulvarı – No:2/A Konyaalti / Antalya
The Jolly Joker Pub Address: Sirinyalı Mah. İsmet Gökşen Caddesi- Lider Plaza No:10/B Antalya

Entertainment and Nightlife in ANTALYA




Turkey is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world, a truly fascinating country, culturally and historically, a great place to visit. Beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, natural wonders, blue voyage tours, historical places and religious sites, shopping alternatives, entertainment and nightlife, world heritage sites and more. Turkey has so many fantastic things to do and see for visitors.

  • Golf Tourism in Turkey
  • Active Holiday in Turkey
  • Sun and Beach Holidays in Turkey
  • Action Sports and Adventure in Turkey
  • Shopping in Turkey


Full of relaxing moments and delightful memories. Treat yourself with time at a luxury Turkish spa hotel, join the blue voyage on the traditional wooden gulets, taste the unique Turkish flavors, or plan your romantic holiday under the shining sun.

  • Entertainment and Nightlife in Turkey
  • Health and Wellness in Turkey
  • Food and Drink in Turkey
  • Weddings and Honeymoons in Turkey
  • Blue Cruise in Turkey


There are probably a million and one ways to fill your holiday with incredible things to see in Turkey. Where do we start? Natural attractions, Unesco sites, blue flag beaches and marinas, modern museums and art galleries, great tourist attractions and more.

  • Natural Attractions in Turkey
  • Family and Fun in Turkey
  • Blue Flag List of Turkey
  • Unesco List of Turkey
  • Attractions and Culture in Turkey

World Heritage

Top Turkey Experiences

Study in Turkey

Study in Turkey
Turkey is a fantastic place to study, with more international students than any other country and an amazing range of universities and courses.

Study in Turkey

Thinking of studying in Turkey? You can immerse yourself in the Turkish language and enjoy a vibrant cultural life, while benefiting from top tuition at world-renowned universities. For more information visit the Study Turkey website – the official site for Turkey’s universities and higher education colleges.



You have many reasons to come to Turkey! Turkey is an attraction to everyone in the world because of the spiritual and physical features which are unique to each single city. For example, İstanbul is the only city in the world that connects two continents. The city, which is located in both Asia and Europe, has been the capital city for many civilizations for thousands of years throughout its history.  Turkey is more than a bridge between two continents. Actually, Turkey is a country in which East and West meet in a much broader sense.  Turkey has been successful in blending these two cultures and being home to cultural and historical richness and legacy for thousands of years.http://www.studyinturkey.gov.tr/


The chance to study abroad is a dream for many students, especially in today’s global era.  According to the UNESCO, more than 3,6 million students were enrolled in higher education abroad in 2010, and the number is increasing every year. In this challenging global market, there are a wide variety of scholarship opportunities in Turkey available just for you. Many of these scholarships are provided by the State.

For more information, please visit http://www.turkiyeburslari.gov.tr/index.php/en/turkiye-burslari/burs-programlari



The experience of studying abroad is more than just attending a school in a foreign country. So, when deciding where to study abroad, you should first ask yourself where you want to live.  With its cosmopolitan cities and small towns, Turkey offers a variety of cultural experiences to international students. Bringing together different cultures, religions, people, lifestyles and definitely different cuisines, with its unique location, Turkey has served as a gate to Western World for Eastern cultures and to Eastern World for Western societies.

Weather is another important consideration when you decide to study abroad. Turkey is one of the few countries in which you will enjoy the beauties of all four seasons thanks to its geographical position and climate. Being surrounded by three seas, Turkey is an ideal destination for sun and swimming in the summer and skiing in the winter.



The cost of study and living will be your other consideration in your study abroad decision. Compared to other international student destinations, Turkey offers significantly lower annual tuition fees and much lower living expenses. According to the Mercer’s 2013 global cost of living rankings, Turkey’s metropolitan cities are in the very bottom row of the most expensive cities list.



One of the main questions you will have after graduation is “what is next?” International students graduating from Turkish universities have a lot of options including, pursuing a graduate degree, returning back to home with a widely accepted diploma or finding a job in and out of Turkey. In addition, international students are able to work part-time on campus during their education.

Turkey is progressing towards being one of the leading economies of the world with its developing and growing economy.  The number of global brands doing business in Turkey and working together with Turkish brands is increasing.  As of June 2013, the number of international companies operating in Turkey is 34,000, 50% of which are companies from European Union countries.

As Turkey is a favorite country for international investors, you can also have the chance to work in one of these international companies. You may also witness that your classmates and other friends you make here in Turkey achieve significant success in their careers in Turkey and even in the world. So, you can use these contacts to open the doors to new opportunities for yourself.



Turkish higher education system has developed significantly in the last few decades in terms of both quality and quantity. Turkish universities now offer a rich field of choices for international students.

The quality of the system is also reflected in international ranking lists. According to The Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2014, there are 7 Turkish universities in the top 100 university list, and 3 of them are in the top 10. In addition, 9 Turkish universities took place among the top 800 world universities ranking by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) in the UK and 19 Turkish universities took place among the top 1000 world universities ranking by METU Informatics Institute.

Turkish universities offer high quality studies and are an integral part of the European education space. There is an increasing number of universities offering programs taught in English, and these include medicine, engineering, humanities, business, and finance. Turkey is part of Bologna Process since 2001 and also a member of many different international platforms. What this means is that, first all students can continue their education in other countries with ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and second they can get their diplomas recognized by other countries.



Regarding the link between university-industry, starting with the year 2000, many techno-parks and technology development centers have been established within the university campuses. The Law on Technology Development Centers, which entered into force in 2001, draws the framework for the legal status of these institutions. As of 2014, there are 32 technology development centers operating and an additional 11 are under construction in different universities. Associate Degree qualifications are also included in Turkish higher education system. Within this degree, universities offer two-year programs, all of which are vocational oriented and at the end of the study period, graduates are expected to be employed as intermediate staff in related sectors. The curriculum design of these programs is done in such a way that gives the student the opportunity to do their internships in firms of the related sectors.


Our #TurkeyIsOpen campaign

It shows the world that Turkey remains entrepreneurial, international and full of creativity and possibility. It reassures the more than one million foreign nationals who live in Turkey that they will always be welcome, and that any form of discrimination will not be tolerated.

Turkey is the best country in the world. We’re entrepreneurial, international and outward looking. The key ingredient of our country’s success has been the flow of brilliant ideas and talent from across the globe. Our country is comfortable in its diversity, proud of its history and optimistic about its future. Turkey is open.

Our #TurkeyIsOpen campaign

Travel Insider

Weather in Turkey

clear sky
19.6 ° C
23.1 °
19.6 °
57 %
0 %
20 °
23 °
20 °
18 °
14 °