Seven Day Turkey Travel Guide | Explore Turkey Today!
Turkey Travel Guide: After arriving in Istanbul, it is a good idea to go ahead and check into your hotel before heading out to see the sights.
To begin, the best way to get acquainted with the old city of Sultanahmet is to find the Hippodrome.
Use this as your orientation point to get to the Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque.
On the way, stop at one of the authentic tea gardens for refreshment, but try to avoid the ones closest to the Hippodrome as they are less authentic than the ones near the Blue Mosque.
After touring the Blue Mosque, you will find that there are many other notable sights close by.
You can take a walk through the imposing Ayasofya and explore the ancient underground Yerebatan Cistern.
The incredible Byzantine Mosaics at St. Savior Chora should be seen if you have time.
Have dinner at one of the many rooftop restaurants in the city.
If you are visiting during the summer season, you can also watch the sound-and-lights show held in Sultanahmet Park, which can be found under the Blue Mosque each evening.
Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar
Begin the second day of your travels with a visit to the awe-inspiring Topkapi Palace.
While you are there, make sure that you see the Treasury and take a tour of the Harem.
Also on the palace grounds, you will find the entrance to the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, which houses a collection of famous and priceless artifacts.
Among them you may discover the original Treaty of Kadesh, signed by Pharaoh Ramses and the Hittite King.
When you leave the palace grounds, turn right just outside the main gate and follow along Sogukcesme Sokagi to experience a walk through what appears to be a 19th century Ottoman neighbourhood.
Afterwards, take the tram at Gulhane to Bayezit.
This brings you to the entrance into the Grand Bazaar, also known as the Covered Bazaar, which has an amazing 6,000 shops spread over 58 streets.
A Day on the Bosphorus
Taking the daylong cruise up the Bosphorus is an essential experience.
However, allow some extra travel time so that you will be able to get a good look at the flavourful Egyptian Spice Bazaar and Yeni Cami before boarding the ferry.
The day includes a variety of sights along the Asian and European shores as well as a visit to nearby Rumeli Castle.
Spend the afternoon walking Istanbul’s busiest streets; among them is İstiklal Caddesi, an elegant avenue showcasing authentic Turkish architecture that is filled with boutiques, cinemas, art galleries, cafes, libraries, bookstores, night clubs, and much more.
Pause your afternoon exploration to enjoy Ottoman music played by the Mehter Band at the Military Museum in Harbiye.
From the Military Museum, try and take a taxi to the trendy seaside village of Ortakoy.
Here you will find cafes, restaurants, and sidewalk vendors beneath the Bosphorus Bridge.
Enjoy dinner at one of the many places on the quay or head back to Beyoglu for a meal at one of the local taverns or fish bazaars.
The Ancient Site of Ephesus
If you are able to take a short domestic flight to Izmir, you can spend the day visiting the archaeological site of Ephesus, the largest Roman ruins this side of the Mediterranean.
There are also several other important sites close by.
The Temple of Artemis is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The Ephesus Museum, St. John’s Basilica, and the House of the Virgin Mary round off a day devoted to history.
The nearby village of Sirince is the perfect place to unwind, eat dinner, and reflect on a day well spent.
Pamukkale Travertine Terraces
You will most likely need to set aside an entire day to fully appreciate Pamukkale and the surrounding area.
Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish, a fitting description for the chalky land and hot springs it contains.
You may be surprised to discover that the city of Hierapolis was actually built on top of Pamukkale.
Its inhabitants believed the spring water to have healing properties overseen by Apollo.
Once at Pamukkale, you will see the travertine and limestone cliffs that resemble terraces.
Enjoy a dip in the Sacred Pool, and note the nearby ruins of Aphrodisias, an ancient city named for the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
Three Greek Sites
While heading toward Bodrum, you will find the ancient sites of Priene, Miletus, and Didyma.
Priene was a city of Ionia in ancient times.
Originally it was built overlooking the ocean; however, over time, land changes forced it inland.
Miletus, the remains of another ancient city, can be found just north of Akkoy.
During ancient times, Didyma was an Ionian sanctuary under the territory of Miletus that housed a temple and an oracle of Apollo before its destruction by the Persians.
Parts of the ruins cannot be accessed, but what you can see will make up for what you cannot.
Bodrum and Beyond
As the week comes to an end, schedule a quick visit to the Underwater Archaeology Museum, which is located in St. Peter’s castle.
There is not much left of the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, but it is another essential stop for travelers.
At this point, you can choose to relax on one of Turkey’s beaches or maintain your holiday at a faster pace.
For those who still haven’t seen enough, drive out to Gumusluk, where you will find an unspoiled seaside village with submerged ancient ruins that have to be seen to be believed.
We hope you enjoyed our Turkey Travel Guide, let us know in the comments below your favourite places and sights!
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