If you're planning on spending a week in Turkey, ensure you make the most of your time in this captivating crossroads of Europe and Asia. Famed for its distinctive mix of modernity, history, and diverse cultures that span several centuries, Turkey is a treasure trove awaiting your exploration. Our travel guide will assist you in planning your trip, ensuring you visit the country's major attractions within a week.
Start your Turkish adventure in Istanbul, Turkey's most populous city known for its historic sites and vibrant culture. Spanning both Europe and Asia, Istanbul showcases a blend of Eastern and Western influences.
Built in the 6th century, Hagia Sophia is a testament to magnificent Byzantine architecture, notable for its impressive domes and medieval mosaics. Originally a church then a mosque, it now serves as a museum.
Nearby, the Blue Mosque, famous for its stunning blue tiles and six minarets, exhibits intricate Ottoman architecture. Taking a guided tour to enjoy the beauty of these two sides of a historically rich coin is highly recommended.
Later, indulge in a shopping spree at the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets with over 4000 shops. End your day at the Basilica Cistern, an ancient subterranean structure that was once a water storage facility.
On the third day, journey to Cappadocia, a region known for its whimsical fairy chimneys, ancient cave dwellings, and stunning hot air balloon rides at dawn. Don't miss the Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with churches hewn from soft volcanic rock.
Your next stop is Pamukkale, which translates to 'Cotton Castle' in Turkish. The hot springs at Pamukkale leave behind white calcite deposits creating a stunning landscape. Up above is Hierapolis, an ancient city offering visitors a glimpse into the rich Roman history of the area.
Travel back in time in Ephesus, once a bustling Roman port city. Visit the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Artemis, and the Terrace Houses for a complete immersion in ancient Roman life. Ephesus is also significant for Christian pilgrims as the site where Saint John wrote his gospel.
Unravel the tales of heroes and legends in Troy, the ancient city immortalized in Homer's Iliad. Afterwards, head to the Gallipoli Peninsula, a major battlefield during WWI and now a poignant memorial site.
There's no better way to end your Turkish journey than by treating yourself to a relaxing day in Istanbul. Take a leisurely Bosphorus Cruise to enjoy the cityscape from the sea. Afterward, unwind at one of the traditional Hamams (Turkish baths) for an authentic Turkish bath experience.
To sum up, one week in Turkey gives you enough time to experience the country's incredible history, vibrant culture, delicious food, and warm hospitality. So pack your bags and get ready to explore!