Welcome to our guide to the most beautiful places in Turkey. Turkey is an east-west mix of cultures, flavors, religions, and histories at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
The land offers sensory richness from its bazaars and mosques, food, and art; from Ottoman palaces to fairytale Cappadocia, it offers exoticism and romance. Here are our top 10 list of the most beautiful places in Turkey:
1. Balat Istanbul
First on our list of the most beautiful places in Turkey is Balat. Balat, the artistic neighborhood of Istanbul, is a riot of color in the old Jewish quarter and its more residential streets.
In pastel and rainbow sugar shades, street art, streets shaded by umbrellas, and terraced wooden houses.
2. Most Beautiful Places in Turkey: Butterfly Valley Fethiye
When discussing the most beautiful places in Turkey, let’s not leave out the Butterfly Valley. One of the most significant rewards for those who walk the Lycian Way is the spectacular view as you pass through the Butterfly Valley.
Accessible only by boat, there is a sandy and pebble beach with a campground, a beach bar, and yoga classes under the trees.
3. Ancient City of Ephesus
When we say the most beautiful places in Turkey, the first place that comes to mind is the ancient city of Ephesus. Ephesus is a place protected by UNESCO and recognized as the most magnificent of all ancient sites.
The Temple of Artemis in the ancient city of Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Although not much remains of it today, the ruins of Ephesus are still awe-inspiring.
4. Antalya Kas
Far from the bustling coastal metropolises, nestled gently along the turquoise coastline, lies the quaint fishing village of Kas. It has managed to carve a unique niche, untouched by commercial touristic influence. With its rustic charm and serene landscapes, Kas has transformed into a sanctuary for free-spirited nomads and bohemian Turks drawn by its tranquil allure and idyllic lifestyle.
The crazy cobbled streets adorned with traditional whitewashed houses, wooden balconies, and a backdrop of mountains.
5. Patara Beach
Patara is on our list of the most beautiful places in Turkey. Waves crash on one side of this deep, vast, pale sandy expanse; on the other are dunes and pine trees, marshes and lagoons, now a natural park rich in birdlife.
6. The Mesmerizing Domes of Istanbul
Istanbul is a city that mesmerizes its visitors with its unique beauty. Ortakoy Mosque, located on the opposite shore of the Golden Horn, is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Made of white marble and stone, this mosque is located on the water’s edge, next to the Bosphorus Bridge. The view of the golden light at sunset and the morning call to prayer on the water is breathtaking.
One of the most impressive sights of this beautiful city is its mosques. Hagia Sophia, the architectural masterpiece of Istanbul, was a church 1500 years ago. Then the Ottomans converted it into a mosque, and in the 1930s, it became a museum. In the summer of 2020, it became a mosque again.
Next to it is the Blue Mosque with its Iznik ceramics and blue tones. Pope Benedict even visited in 2006 and thanked it for ‘divine providence.’ Built-in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent, the Suleymaniye Mosque is a magnificent structure on Istanbul’s Third Hill, offering spectacular city views.
7. Gumusluk Bodrum
Our list of the most beautiful places in Turkey continues. Until the 20th century, the fishing villages on the Bodrum Peninsula were only accessible by water, and the best way to get around was by boat. The most charming of all these fishing villages is Gumusluk—floating restaurants and simple driftwood-style shacks nestled at the water’s edge. You can eat appetizers and freshly caught, freshly grilled fish while your feet touch the water.
Gourd lanterns in hand-painted jewel tones hang from trees and ceilings, creating a magical atmosphere when all is lit up at night. It’s also the best place to watch the sunset in Bodrum.
8. Blue Lagoon Oludeniz
This dark, white sand of turquoise water gives a curved shape to its surroundings. The sand of Belcekiz Beach disappears into the shallow waters, where shades of white and blue create Maldives-style landscapes.
It protects by the green forested peninsula surrounding it like sleeping dragons. The sky fills with paragliders watching all this spectacular scenery from the air.
When discussing the most beautiful places in Turkey, we can’t mention Pamukkale. Mineral waters flowing down the hillside have formed this extraordinary landscape for thousands of years.
The array of pale aqua-blue natural pools is terraced in organically shaped bowls of bright white travertine, overflowing with spring water rich with minerals and petrified waterfalls, like limestone stalactites falling into the water in frozen times.
10. Cappadocia: Unique Fairy Chimneys and Hot Air Balloon
Located in the heart of Turkey, Cappadocia’s incredible landscapes resemble a big dream world. The thing to do is ride in a hot air balloon at sunrise or sunset; alternatively, you see it on horseback or two wheels. Also, watch from the terrace of your cave hotel in Goreme as hundreds of balloons pass over you and the low sun throws apricot light on this extraordinary land.
Exploring the most beautiful places in Turkey is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone. Whether you visit the mesmerizing domes of Istanbul, the tranquil fishing villages of Bodrum, or the unique fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, you will find a new story to discover around every corner.