Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Turkey offers a vast array of breathtaking landscapes, unique cultural experiences, and fascinating historical sites that will leave you in awe. In this thrilling journey, we will explore everything from floating high above the magical landscape of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon to uncovering ancient cities on the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean. So buckle up and get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Turkey and discover the top “things to do.”In Turkey”!

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the surreal beauty of Cappadocia with a hot-air balloon adventure!
  • Uncover Istanbul’s incredible history and culture, an unforgettable experience!
  • Explore Turkey’s ancient wonders, stunning beaches, unique cuisine & more for an exciting getaway!

Things to Do in Turkey

1. Hot Air Balloon Adventure in Cappadocia

Hot air balloons fly over Sunrise Valley with a special breakfast in Cappadocia.
Hot air balloons fly over Sunrise Valley with a special breakfast in Cappadocia.

Cappadocia, a surreal landscape of amazing rock valleys, is every photographer’s dream come true. The wave-like rock formations and wacky-shaped pinnacles formed by millennia of wind and water action are truly mesmerizing.

A thrilling hot air balloon ride offers an exceptional way to witness the breathtaking beauty of Cappadocia. As you soar high above the unique landscape, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to another world.

Best time for a balloon ride

Curious about the best time for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure? The prime time months to visit Cappadocia for a spectacular hot air balloon ride are:

  • May
  • June
  • September
  • October

During these months, the weather is perfect for ballooning, and the vibrant colors of the landscape are at their peak.

To make the most of your hot air balloon adventure, pack a warmer layer for after dark and a jacket in case of rain, especially if you’re staying in a resort town.

Other activities in Cappadocia

Cappadocia’s enchanting region offers many experiences beyond hot air ballooning. Cappadocia offers a variety of exciting activities, including hiking through valleys of volcanic rock, marveling at cave-chapel Byzantine art, or even swimming in the turquoise waters surrounding Black Island.

For a truly unique experience, consider staying in one of the region’s finest boutique hotels, such as Sacred House or Falcon Cave Suites. These cave hotels offer a one-of-a-kind experience, blending modern comforts with the charm of ancient cave dwellings.

2. Uncover Istanbul’s Rich History and Culture

Ramadan Month Suleymaniye Mosque, Illuminated Letters Between Minarets (Mahya), Suleymaniye Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey.
Ramadan Month Suleymaniye Mosque, Illuminated Letters Between Minarets (Mahya), Suleymaniye Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey.

Straddling the East and West, Istanbul is distinctive in world history. This vibrant city is teeming with rich history and culture, making it the perfect destination to uncover the fascinating stories of the past.

With its awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia and opulent Topkapi Palace, Istanbul beckons you to explore its treasure trove of ancient sites and captivating experiences.

Must-visit historical sites

A visit to Istanbul would only be complete with exploring its top historical sites. The Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine masterpiece, now serves as the Hagia Sophia Mosque, standing as a testament to the city’s rich past.

Another must-see is the Blue Mosque, a stunning architectural marvel located in the old town, near the Grand Bazaar and traditional Ottoman houses, which boasts a courtyard, six minarets, and beautiful blue stained glass windows.

Remember to explore the underground wonders of the Basilica Cistern. This ancient reservoir once supplied water to the city’s palaces, and experience a glimpse of the fascinating underground city and other underground cities.

Experiencing local culture

Diving into Istanbul’s local culture is an adventure in itself. Wander through bustling markets, sample mouthwatering street food, and attend vibrant cultural events that showcase the city’s unique heritage.

As you stroll through the lively streets, you’ll come across Nargile bars, where you can experience the richness of Turkish tobacco and smoke from a communal hookah pipe. Immersing yourself in Istanbul’s local customs and traditions’ll better understand this fascinating city and its people.

3. Discover the Ancient City of Ephesus

Celsius library on the street in Ephesus ancient city.
Celsius library on the street in Ephesus ancient city.

The ancient city of Ephesus is a well-preserved archaeological site that stands as a testament to the grandeur of the past. This magnificent city offers a glimpse into the lives of the ancient Greeks and Romans who once inhabited the area, and its incredible ruins are a must-see for any history enthusiast.

Are you ready to embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries of Ephesus?

Highlights of Ephesus

The ancient city of Ephesus boasts remarkable attractions like the Library of Celsus, a well-preserved monument that once housed thousands of scrolls. Another highlight is the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Wandering through the streets of Ephesus, you’ll find yourself surrounded by rich history, from grand Roman-era monuments to the intricate details of the city’s ancient architecture.

Nearby attractions

In addition to exploring Ephesus, there are several fascinating nearby attractions to visit. The House of the Virgin Mary, believed to be where the Virgin Mary spent her last days, is an extraordinary shrine revered by Catholics and Muslims.

Another nearby attraction is the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts from the ancient city, including sculptures, coins, and pottery. These incredible sites offer a deeper understanding of the history and significance of the region, making your visit to Ephesus even more memorable.

4. Relax on Turkey’s Gorgeous Beaches

Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, located along the stunning Mediterranean Sea, is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, where crystal-clear waters meet soft, golden sands. From popular resort cities like Antalya to hidden gems along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, there’s a perfect beach destination for everyone.

With your sunscreen packed, prepare to bask in the warm embrace of Turkey’s gorgeous beaches.

Antalya’s beaches

Kaputas beach with clear turquoise water, sun umbrellas, and sandy beach in Antalya, Turkey.
Kaputas beach with clear turquoise water, sun umbrellas, and sandy beach in Antalya, Turkey.

Antalya, a famous resort city on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, boasts beautiful beaches like Konyaalti and Lara Beach. These sun-soaked shores offer the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation, with crystal-clear waters and plenty of activities to entertain you.

In addition to soaking up the sun, you can explore nearby ancient ruins such as Aspendos, Perge, and Side, providing a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Turquoise Coast gems

Beach and lagoon in Ölüdeniz, Turkey.
Beach and lagoon in Ölüdeniz, Turkey.

For those searching for lesser-known beach destinations along Turkey’s turquoise coast, look no further than the charming towns of Kaş and Ölüdeniz. These hidden gems offer idyllic beaches, picturesque harbors, and a more laid-back atmosphere, perfect for travelers seeking a peaceful escape.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Blue Lagoon in Ölüdeniz, renowned for its turquoise-blue water and lush green surroundings. Whatever beach destination you choose, Turkey’s turquoise coast will surely captivate your heart.

5. Pamukkale: Turkey’s Cotton Castle

Pamukkale in Turkey.
Pamukkale in Turkey.

Pamukkale, known as Turkey’s “Cotton Castle,” is a natural wonder. The site is famous for its unique travertine terraces, formed by calcium bicarbonate-laden hot springs that have solidified into scallop-shaped pools and stalactite-festooned terraces.

Visiting Pamukkale offers an unforgettable experience, providing a glimpse into the extraordinary forces of nature that crafted this awe-inspiring landscape.

Exploring Hierapolis

Near the hot springs of Pamukkale lies the ancient city of Hierapolis, a fascinating historical site that offers a glimpse into the lives of those who once inhabited the area. Established as a thermal spa in the 2nd century BC, Hierapolis flourished under Roman rule, becoming an important religious and cultural center.

As you explore the ruins of this ancient city, you’ll be captivated by the stories that lie hidden within its walls.

Tips for visiting Pamukkale

To make the most of your visit to Pamukkale, arriving early is highly recommended to avoid the crowds. Be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water, as the sun can be intense in the summer months.

Also, wear comfortable shoes, as the terrain can be rocky. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to explore the wonders of Pamukkale and Hierapolis, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

6. Experience Traditional Turkish Cuisine

Embark on a culinary journey through Turkey’s rich and diverse food culture, which combines Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian flavors. Renowned for its fresh ingredients, aromatic spices, and delectable dishes, traditional Turkish cuisine offers a feast for the senses that’s to be noticed.

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary exploration of the mouthwatering delights from Turkey’s rich food heritage.

Street food delights

Turkish Dessert Baklava with tea on a silver tray.
Turkish Dessert Baklava with tea on a silver tray.

Turkey’s street food scene is a treasure trove of delicious dishes and local delicacies, ranging from savory kebabs to sweet baklava. Sample Adana dürüm, a wrap made with grilled minced meat, tomatoes, onions, and parsley, or try Balk Ekmek, a sandwich made with grilled fish, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and tartar sauce.

For those with a sweet tooth, take advantage of the chance to savor baklava, a rich, buttery dessert made with thin layers of filo pastry stuffed with pistachio or walnuts. As you explore the vibrant street food scene, you’ll discover the authentic flavors of Turkey.

Tea and coffee culture

Morning cup of tea with a view of colorful panoramic Olympos beach, Cirali, Antalya Province, Turkey.
Morning cup of tea with a view of colorful panoramic Olympos beach, Cirali, Antalya Province, Turkey.

Tea and coffee play an integral role in Turkish culture, serving as a way to socialize and build relationships while also being a sign of hospitality. The most popular type of tea in Turkey is çay, a black tea served hot or cold, while Turkish coffee is made by boiling finely ground coffee beans in a pot.

Experience the warmth and camaraderie of Turkey’s tea and coffee culture by visiting local cafes and sharing a cup with new friends.

7. Adventure in the Taurus Mountains

Goats in front of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey, near the city of Antalya.
Goats in front of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey, near the city of Antalya.

For those seeking adventure, the stunning landscape of the Taurus Mountains is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Home to the awe-inspiring Köprülü Canyon and many picturesque hiking trails, the Taurus Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for a thrilling escapade amidst Turkey’s natural beauty.

Köprülü Canyon

Experience the thrill of white water rafting in Köprülü Canyon, a natural wonder carved by the Köprüçay River in the heart of the Taurus Mountains. With crystal-clear waters and towering rock formations, the canyon offers a breathtaking setting for an unforgettable adventure.

In addition to rafting, Köprülü Canyon offers hiking, rock climbing, and canyoning opportunities, making it the perfect destination for nature lovers and thrill-seekers.

Hiking trails

Discover the best hiking trails in the Taurus Mountains, offering diverse landscapes and breathtaking views. From the challenging Lycian Trail, which stretches over 500 km from Fethiye to Antalya, to the scenic Pauls Trail and the awe-inspiring Kaçkar Mountains, the Taurus Mountains provide a picturesque setting for hikes of all skill levels.

As you explore the trails, you’ll be captivated by the natural beauty of Turkey’s rugged landscape, creating memories that will last a lifetime when you visit Turkey.

8. Explore the Sunken City of Kekova

Ancient sunken tomb of the Lycian Greek civilization on the Mediterranean Sea shores near the Kekova island in Turkey.
Ancient sunken tomb of the Lycian Greek civilization on the Mediterranean Sea shores near the Kekova island in Turkey.

Off the coast of Turkey lies the sunken city of Kekova, an ancient underwater city that offers a unique glimpse into the past. This fascinating archaeological site is a testament to the resilience of ancient civilizations and the ever-changing forces of nature.

Delve with us into Kekova’s mysterious depths and uncover the secrets of this captivating underwater realm.

Guided tours

To fully experience the sunken city of Kekova, several guided tours are available, including the Kekova Sunset Cruise, the Sunken City Kekova Demre and Myra Day Tour, and the Kekova Sunken City Boat Trip. These tours offer a unique opportunity to explore the underwater archaeological site while learning about its rich history and significance.

Take the chance to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the sunken city of Kekova.

Nearby attractions

In addition to exploring Kekova, be sure to visit nearby attractions such as the charming town of Kaleköy and the ancient ruins of Simena Castle.

Kaleköy, accessible only by boat, is a picturesque harbor town known for its quaint shops and vibrant markets. Simena Castle, on the other hand, offers a glimpse into the region’s ancient history, with its stunning hilltop ruins and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

9. Visit the Enchanting Sumela Monastery

Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery in Trabzon region, Turkey.
Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery in Trabzon region, Turkey.

Nestled within the stunning Pontic Mountains of Turkey lies the enchanting Sumela Monastery, a cliffside Byzantine religious center that has captivated the hearts of visitors for centuries. This incredible monastery, which was once the power base of the Ottoman Empire, offers a unique glimpse into the lives of the monks who once inhabited its halls.

Explore with us the rich history and breathtaking beauty of the Sumela Monastery.

History and highlights

Founded in the 4th century BC, Sumela Monastery has a rich history dates back to the Byzantine era. The present buildings, which date from the 12th century, contain many layers of frescoes, with the most impressive examples found in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Exploring the monastery, the incredible architecture, and the hidden stories within its walls will captivate you.

How to get there

To reach the Sumela Monastery, you can choose from various transportation options, including public transportation, car rental, and taxi services. Car rentals are available for those who prefer to drive at an average cost of $25-30 USD daily.

When driving in larger cities like Istanbul, be aware of congested traffic and familiarize yourself with local driving rules. With these options, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of the Sumela Monastery.


Turkey has everything, from breathtaking landscapes and ancient ruins to vibrant street food and a rich cultural heritage. As you embark on your journey through this fascinating country, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime and leave you eager to explore even more. Whether you’re soaring high above Cappadocia in a hot air balloon or diving into the sunken city of Kekova, Turkey is an adventure waiting to be discovered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What not to miss when visiting Turkey?

Immerse yourself in ancient history in Ephesus, relax in a Turkish bath, admire the beauty of Cappadocia, and explore Istanbul’s wonders!

Savor delicious meze and fish, go shopping in vibrant bazaars, cruise turquoise waters, and hike the Lycian Way – Turkey truly has something for everyone!

How much do you need to spend a day in Turkey?

Have a great time in Turkey! Set aside about £170 per day (family of 4 or group of 5 young adults) for a total of £3,900 for a whole month. Enjoy!

Is Turkey cheap to spend?

Turkey is still very affordable for travelers, with plenty of budget accommodation options and tasty local restaurants. Prices have increased slightly due to the declining currency rate, but Turkey remains cheaper than many nearby European countries. Now is a great time to visit this beautiful destination with low prices!

What is the best time to visit Cappadocia for a hot air balloon ride?

Plan your trip between May and October for an unforgettable hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia!

What are some must-see historical sites in Istanbul?

Take in the breathtaking architecture of Hagia Sophia, marvel at the intricacies of the Blue Mosque, and explore the Topkapi Palace – these are essential stops for any historical tour of Istanbul!