Travel Turkey

10 amazing Turkish cities (that aren’t Istanbul)

05/13/2019

You could easily spend a lifetime exploring the historical sites and eating your way through Istanbul. But in the land of turquoise, tulips, and adventures, traveling through Turkey’s cities isn’t just easy due to their public transport, but it’s a must! Here are ten equally awesome places outside of the country’s cosmopolitan city that are sure to upgrade your itinerary.

Ankara

Ankara is the capital of and the second largest city in Turkey. At an altitude of 850m, Ankara is located in the very heart of the Eastern Edge of the great High Anatolian Plateau. The city is known for its beautiful and long spread yellow wheat fields, young volcanoes and a huge number of the Steppe. From the top of the Ankara Citadel, you can get the panoramic view of the city. With so many things to do in Ankara, I’d recommend spending a few days in the city.

Amasya

Places to see in Turkey

This 2,500-year-old Hittite town with an Ottoman spa on a river, and the tombs of some Pontic Greek kings should be on your list of places to see in Turkey. I passed through the area when I was driving from Tbilisi to Istanbul.

Bursa

Places to see in Turkey

Bursa, also known as the Green City of Turkey is famous for their beautiful flowers and mountains like Uludağ, most popular in winter for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. The city has cultural and historical significance and it’s also home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. When in Bursa try the city’s signature dish: Īskender kebab.

Bodrum

Bodrum things to do

Photo: Shutterstock/Luciano Mortula – LGM

Located on the south-western corner of Anatolia, where the Aegean and Mediterranean meet. Famous for its stunning scenery, fabulous beaches, sybaritic resorts and clear blue waters that delight yachties, divers and windsurfers. Bodrum is one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world and the birthplace of Herodotus – an ancient Greek historian known for writing the book The Histories, a detailed record of his “inquiry” on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. The name Bodrum means “cellar” or “dungeon” and the city was once used as a place of exile by both the Ottomans and Turkish Republic.

Things to do in Bodrum

Turkish Bath at Tarihi Bardakçı Hamam

For the most authentic Turkish bath experience visit this 1749 hamam, the oldest hamam on the Bodrum Peninsula.

Bodrum Antique Theatre

In ancient times, its capacity was about 13,000. Now, it’s a much more intimate 4,000. Find out if there’s a show on while you’re in town

Bodrum Castle

Built in 1402 and called the castle of the knights of Saint John, this famous landmark sits on the rugged coastline of the main harbour centre in Bodrum town. Although its ruins are not as extensive as other historical places in Turkey, the main towers and walls still stand. At certain times during the years, it is also the venue for cultural festivals.

Underwater Museum of Archaeology

Also sitting within the grounds of the castle, is this impressive museum, displaying shipwrecks uncovered from the seabed surrounding Turkey. The most famous undoubtedly is the Uluburin shipwreck dating from the late Bronze Age. More than 22,000 dives enabled many artefacts including money and personal possessions to be brought to the surface.

Go on a tour of Kos Island

Places to visit in Turkey

Kos is the island with the most beaches compared to the length of its coastline, all over Mediterranean. It offers crystal clear beaches for all tastes; large or small, sandy or with pebbles, quiet or cosmopolitan, organized or not, on Kos island you will find your summer paradise!

Cappadocia

Cappadocia things to do

Home to many caves sculpted  by thousands of years of erosion, these formations range from precarious pinnacles to stout pyramids. Read this before visiting Cappadocia for the first time. My tips include things to do, what to expect and costs in 2019.

Ephesus

Places to visit in Turkey

Santa Clause (Saint Nicholas) was born far from the North Pole, in Patara. And he’s not the only saint with connections to Turkey — the Virgin Mary’s resting place could be near Ephesus, while Saint Paul was from Tarsus in the south. Other Biblical figures include the Prophet Abraham, born in Şanlıurfa. And after the deluge, Noah may have run his ark aground at Mount Ararat.

Izmir

Places to see in Turkey

Pamukkale

Pamukkale things to do

An extraordinary solidified cascade of travertine formed by mineral-rich hot springs, it’s chalk-White basins and pool water glimmering with light. Take your swimming costume so you can have a dip in the Antique Pool, the once-sacred bathing area of the spa (said to be good for arthritic complaints).

Pergamon

Cities to visit in Turkey

Photo: Benh Lieu Song

Pergamon was an ancient city located in the Anatolia region, approximately 25 kilometres from the Aegean Sea in present-day Bergama, Izmir Province of Turkey. The city had great strategic value, since it overlooked the Caicus River Valley (modern name Bakırçay) which provided access from Pergamon to the Aegean coast

Things to see in Turkey

Photo: Ming-yen Hsu

Marmaris

Places to visit in Turkey

In 1522, Süleyman the Magnificent anchored the entire Turkish fleet in Marmaris harbor prior to besieging Rhodes. Today the port city offers some of the best anchorage on the coast, and its home to Turkey’s largest marina. Marmaris is also one of the Turkish Riviera’s celebrity resorts. There is a castle, dolphin therapy centre and a lively watersports culture on the blissful beach. Read about my Magical Marmaris adventure HERE.

Have you been to one of these amazing cities? Should we add to our list? Let us know in the comments.

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