THINGS TO DO

Things to do

Turkey offers plenty of fun things to do and see, from great walks, to beautiful beaches, to some of the best galleries, museums and restaurants in the country.
private museums, beautiful galleries showcasing

Attractions

Turkey is home to iconic tourist attractions including but not limited too the Blue Mountains, whale watching in caves, historic townships and museums showcasing the country's history.

Find beach holidays, attractions for kids and plenty of things to see and do

Family Holidays

Planning a family holiday in Turkey? Find beach holidays, attractions for kids and plenty of things to see and do.

food tours, Turkish pubs, farmers' markets, gourmet food, Turkish restaurants and vineyards

Food & Wine

Find Turkish food tours, Turkish pubs, farmers' markets, gourmet food, Turkish restaurants and vineyards as well as cellar doors.

beaches including surf beaches, beach events and surf schools

Beaches & Surf

Find some of Turkey's best beaches including surf beaches, beach events and surf schools along the coast.

Find beach holidays, attractions for kids and plenty of things to see and do.

Turkey Events

Planning a family holiday in Turkey? Find beach holidays, attractions for kids and plenty of things to see and do.

Turkey travel along the coast, to the outback, through wine regions and scenic countryside

Drives & Roadtrips

Scenic drives in Turkey travel along the coast, to the outback, through wine regions and scenic countryside.

things to do, hikes and walks, dive sites, cycling routes, mountain-bike trails and adventure tours

Adventure & Sport

Find adventures and things to do, hikes and walks, dive sites, cycling routes, mountain-bike trails and adventure tours.

ational Parks, Preserved Areas, Nature Parks and Nature Monuments

Preserved Areas

With in the frames of the law that has been come into force in 1883, 4 types of definition of preserved areas come to the ground as; National Parks, Preserved Areas, Nature Parks and Nature Monuments.

Dining in the city may be memorable

Restaurants

Dining in the city may be memorable, but true connoisseurs know not to overlook the regional areas.

hiring a boat, bike or car

Hire

With so much to see and do, get the most out of your visit by hiring a boat, bike or car; there are equipment hire companies dotted all over the State.

Tours are a great way to enjoy all that Turkey has to offer

Tours

Tours are a great way to enjoy all that Turkey has to offer. Explore Turkey with an informed local and benefit from their strong knownledge of the local area.

private museums, beautiful galleries showcasing

Arts & Culture

Explore smaller private museums, beautiful galleries showcasing the work of local artists & photographers, and crafts from candles & clayworks to woodturning.

Things to do

Turkey offers plenty of fun things to do and see, from great walks, to beautiful beaches, to some of the best galleries, museums and restaurants in the country.
When the progressive West meets the traditionally Islamic East, it may either end up in a disaster or breed a multi-faceted construct that stuns with inherent contrasts and uniqueness. Luckily, the latter is true for Turkey, Istanbul being the ripest fruit of this dichotomy.
Following some research into the preferences and opinions posted by users of various social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as own resources and reviews by the most popular travel sites, Open Travel has compiled a list of top 10 things to see or do on your Turkey Vacations. The country in a goldmine of fascinating sights and intriguing traditions that will together make your stay enjoyable, inspiring, and unforgettable.
Seeing the Sultan Ahmed Mosque from afar, with its ascending system of domes and sky-cutting minarets, is already much of a thrill, but come inside and this initial excitement will instantly melt away giving way to speechless admiration and awe. This combination of spaciousness, wondrous mosaics, dizzying lighting system, and flamboyant stained glass, coupled with the sight of people practicing their faith makes for a totally eye-opening experience that you're bound to be recalling any time you enter another place of worship. Spectacular!

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN TURKEY


1. Gallipoli
This is the reason you are here, so make sure you do it right and get a guide. While you can easily travel around the Gallipoli Peninsula and visit all the important sights, war cemeteries, and memorials yourself, to get a real feel for how the battles unfolded at Anzac Cove a century ago, a local guide adds all the necessary background. Most guided tours go for about four hours and every second is needed to really appreciate the remote beaches, the ridges, valleys, and trenches and tunnels hidden in the undulating wild scrub of the area where so many lost their lives. You can do a very long full-day tour from Istanbul or go to Canakkale and stay a night or two to enjoy the area.

2. Canakkale, the Dardenelles, Troy
While you are in Gallipoli, spend some time enjoying the seaside resort of Canakkale, where hourly ferries dart across the Dardenelles joining the European Gallipoli peninsula with the Turkish mainland in Asia Minor. A short half hour trip south from Canakkale are the remains of the city of Troy. The giant wooden horse from the Hollywood movie starring Brad Pitt and Eric Bana is on the promenade at Canakkale, while there's another at the ruins themselves which are now starting to become a worthy tourist attraction. There is a lot more to Troy then the story from Homer's Iliad and the trip is worth the effort.

3. Istanbul
Your likely arrival destination in Turkey, you need at least four full days to truly appreciate all that is on offer in this ancient city that straddles Europe and Asia. Once Byzantium, then Constantinople, the city has a history to rival Athens and Rome. The big sights include the Aya Sofya, once a Christian cathedral then a mosque and now a museum; the Blue Mosque younger by some 1000 years; Topkapi Palace; the Roman Hippodrome; and the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. Across the Golden Horn over the famous Galata Bridge is Karakoy and the hip shopping strip of Istiklal Caddesi topped by Taksim Square. And there are regular cruises up the Bosphorus from the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea, that showcase the great palaces and grand houses along the waterway.

4. Sultanahmet
The most famous tourist area of Istanbul, many who visit the city don't leave its environs. Apart from the Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome, it is walking distance to the giant covered Grand Bazaar and equalling alluring Spice Market. The other major attractions in the area include the underground cistern, made famous in James Bond movies and Dan Brown novels, the massive Topkapi Palace where the Sultans ruled for 800 years, and the nearby Istanbul Archaeological museum which holds some of the region's amazing hidden history. This is the area to stay while visiting Istanbul because so much is so close. There are dozens of small hotels, hostels and pensions but the place to stay if you can afford it is the Four Seasons, a transformed prison now the ultimate in luxury with commanding views of the historic sights and the Bosphorus.

5. Ephesus/Kusadasi
One of Turkey's must-see places, Ephesus drew the Apostle Paul in the years after the death of Christ and pilgrims are still heading there in droves. But now they come to see some of the best and biggest Roman ruins outside Italy. For fans of archaeology or "Raiders of the Lost Ark" it's a fascinating look at how the Romans lived. Nearby are the remains of the Greek Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; and the supposed house where Christ's mother Mary lived out her final days. There's nowhere to stay in Ephesus itself but the beautiful beachside port of Kusadasi is a short drive away. Stay in a boutique hotel like the La Vista on the hills on the south side of town to get the best views of the harbour and islands including the Greek isle of Samos.

6. Aegean/Mediterranean beaches
South of Kusadasi are the beach resort towns of Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye and Kas which have turquoise water and amazing western sunsets. Australia and New Zealand has some of the best beaches in the world but the village life and food at the Turkish beaches make them unique.

7. Capadoccia
This central Turkish region features lunar-like landscape, ancient underground cities some 800m deep, towns carved into the sandstone mountains complete with churches and and painted walls, and giant volcanic rock shapes carved over centuries by the wind and rain. Urgup and Goreme are the starting points for the tours on foot, bicycle, horse or bus. Some of the valleys and ravines look a bit like the Grand Canyon in the US and are a hikers' paradise. The other great way to see this area is by hot-air balloon. Weather conditions are conducive year round and while views of the landscape from on high are incredible, the experience of floating away as the sun rises is worth the cost alone.

8. Hamam (Turkish bath)
It's a sauna, body scrub and massage all in one. The men and women are separate and you can decide how many extras you want. Some of the baths are centuries old, especially in Istanbul, which adds to the experience, although the cost is usually lower in the regional areas. For about $A70 you can get the full service.

9. Turkish delight and baklava, with Turkish tea or coffee
Some of the cafes around Istanbul have been serving Turkish delight and baklava for hundreds of years. They go down a treat with sweet Turkish black tea served in small liqueur-style glasses. Turkish coffee is also served black and sweet in small cups. Both provide a great pick-me-up, with just one Turkish coffee enough for evened hardened caffeine addicts.

10. Turkish food
The quality and style vary from region to region but the kebab is a standard throughout Turkey. In Capadoccia they have a pottery kebab where the meat is cooked inside a pottery jar, a bit like a Moroccan tajine, but it's cracked open at the table and poured on the plate. Pide or Turkish pizza is another staple. Fish is good in the coastal areas, especially the sea bream, and the Turks do a great line on eggplant or aubergine dishes as well as red and green peppers or capsicums. The locals wash it all down with Raki, an anise-flavoured alcoholic drink, but the local beers and wines may be more to Anzac tastes.

IF YOU GO; GETTING THERE:


You can fly to Istanbul from almost anywhere in the world but from Australia it's easiest via Dubai with Qantas/Emirates. From Istanbul you can get either get buses and domestic flights to most of the places mentioned. A hire a car is another good option providing more freedom of movement, and the roads in Turkey are pretty good.

STAYING THERE:


Turkey offers a wide range accommodation from backpacker hostels to top end. In the off season you can get good deals on the better hotels but in peak season be prepared to pay for quality. Wherever possible avoid the backpacker joints unless that's all you budget extends to. They can be pretty basic.

PLAYING THERE:


Visit at least one Mosque and one Turkish bath just for the experience. Wherever you go, drink the Turkish tea and coffee and eat the baklava and Turkish delight. They are all good al lover the country. You can see whirling dervish dances if you enjoy the cultural side of things but mostly sit back and watch the unfolding chaos that seems to permeate Turkey from the markets to the carpet sellers, they all seem to enjoy the craziness of life.