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Popular Places to Visit in Turkey

Updated on July 31, 2013
Pamukkale
Pamukkale
Ephesus
Ephesus

Turkey road trip - How it all began...

Turkey was the 5th bigger trip I took with two of my friends. As usual, we decided to take a vacation during the May 1st holidays and took 11, 12 days off during our studies and work. After our trip to Paris and Provanse in 2002, and to Prague the following year, and Ireland in 2005 and Spain in 2006, we decided to try our luck at the eastern brink of Europe, in Turkey.

At that time, I was 25, and although I consider myself quite an educated and well-read person, I truly did not expect Turkey to be what I later discovered. I had completely different expectation, and you may say I was a bit prejudicial towards Turkiye and its people – well, let's just say I could not be more wrong about it.

How to plan a great Turkey road trip?

If you have ever been to Turkey or at least know your geography and know how to read a map, you know that it is a huge country, especially one you just cannot cover in just over 10 days. So, my friends and I had to come up with our itinerary plan. Since we definitely wanted to visit Istanbul, which is one of the biggest and trendiest cities in the world, we decided to start our journey just there. Of course Istanbul was also the obvious choice due to the best airplane connections to this enormous city. We are not those kind of tourists which only want to see the big cities and nothing else, this just could not be further from the truth. So we decided to set up our journey to see as many tourist and historic sites as possible. Of course not overlooking the great natural features Turkey has to offer. In the end we settled on taking the “Western Turkey” as our set location. We divided our travelling plans into thirds, each of us taking care of planning for 3 or 4 days of our journey.

Olympos
Olympos

What to see in Turkey?

As I said, Turkey is a big country, with lots of rich cultural, natural and historic heritage. It is hard to decide what one should visit and see and which attractions one should pass on. The plan we made, was surely not perfect, but each traveller sets his/her own goals of what he/she wants to see. At the end of the day, I believe we made the best of our Turkey road trip, the only thing I was sad about not seeing, and which we just could not see, since it is located completely to the east of Turkey, is Cappadocia.

The course of our road trip across western Turkey

Best sights in Istanbul

Istanbul is regarded as one of the biggest cities in the world, since it has a population of almost 14 million, with its biggest part European and the smaller Asian. The city is NOT Turkey’s capital (Ankara), but it is its economic, cultural and historical centre. Istanbul offers its fair share of multi-ethnicity with the predominant religion being Islam.

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