Turkey is home to a diverse mix of cultural, historical and natural sites, from ancient Roman ruins and stunning stone formations, to the archaeological site of the famed city of Troy and the iconic Hagia Sophia. A trip to Turkey not only provides visitors with an insight to one of the world’s most historically rich regions, but also give them the opportunity to experience the vibrant, and contemporary side of Turkey.
When you’re planning a trip to this country, whether it’s backpacking from one site to the next, or relaxing at an epic all inclusive resort, here are five of the most epic things to see on your visit to Turkey!
1. The Archaeological Site of Troy
This rich historical site located in the northwest of Turkey was once the thriving city of Troy during the 13th and 12th century BC, who’s famous siege and sacking was later immortalized by the words of Homer in his famous epic poem, the Iliad. Rediscovered in the late 19th century, Troy is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is currently home to over 4000 individual dig sites, and a must-visit location for anyone with an interest in history.
2. Hagia Sophia
Probably Turkey’s most iconic building, the Hagia Sophia was constructed between 537 and 1453 AD, and has been a Greek Orthodox cathedral, a Roman Catholic Cathedral, and then a mosque, before it was secularized in 1931 and turned into a museum. The site is filled with relics from all religions, dating back to through the various structures located on the site, but the stunning building itself makes visiting a must.
The fairy-tale landscape of Cappadocia has been housing people within its troglodyte style rock formations and underground caves carved from the sandstone for centuries. The Goreme Open-Air Museum allows visitors to get a true sense of what it meant to live in this surreal region, and features a number of beautiful frescoes and carvings.
4. Istanbul Grand Bazaar
Whether you’re after a keep-sake from your holiday or are looking to decorate your home with authentic antiques and the region’s famed rugs, the Istanbul Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s most famous markets and should not be missed. Be sure to prepare yourself, as this site is among the world’s most visited tourist destinations, attracting some 90,000,000 people per year.
5. Library of Celsus
Built in the year 135 AD, this ancient Roman library once held 12,000 scrolls and serve as the mausoleum of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, who is buried beneath it. Destroyed by an earthquake in 262 AD, the façade has been rebuilt by archaeologists and is a great example of ancient Roman architecture.
For anyone looking for the perfect mix of scenic beauty and historical sites, a trip to Turkey cannot be beaten!
Do you have any top Turkey tips?!