The cities in Turkey every traveler needs on their itineraryby Luz Prada | July 24, 2019
- 1. Istanbul, the capital of three empires
- 2. Ankara, the city of Alexander the Great
- 3. Izmir, sun and beach in one of the major cities in Turkey
- 4. Antalya and Bursa, two antagonistic cities in Turkey
- 5. Göreme, one of the cities in Turkey to explore
- 6. Oludéniz, another of the cities in Turkey great for sunbathing
- 7. Hisarlik, you might know it as Troy
It’s always important to carefully pick the best places to stop while traveling internationally. It’s even more important when you’re traveling to Turkey, a country with so many things to do and see.
Once you have everything, you can read this comprehensive guide that Visagov has put together to help all travelers. Get to know the cities in Turkey that everyone should visit.
Istanbul, the capital of three empires
Although this is not the capital of the state, it is one of the largest cities in Turkey.
It’s also considered one of the major cities in Turkey because, throughout history, it has had the honor of being the capital of three different empires: the Roman, the Ottoman and the Byzantine.
The most important out of all the Turkey cities is located on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait, which is responsible for separating Europe and Asia physically. The contrasts are the key in Istanbul: it is very oriental to be a European capital, but maybe it is too western to be an Asian city.
So, why is it one of the top choices in Turkey cities? Because of its unique attractions. When you see the famous Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Taksim Square, Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace or the sunset from a ship sailing through the Bosphorus, nothing will be the same. You can see all of these things following some of our recommendations for an Istanbul itinerary.
Last but not least, you should leave Istanbul without paying a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest markets in the world. It’s located in the center of the old city of this inspiring capital, a must-see of all the cities in Turkey.
Ankara, the city of Alexander the Great
Now, it's time to talk about Ankara, the capital of the Turkish state and second largest in terms of population out of all the cities in Turkey, second only to Istanbul. It is located in the Central Anatolia area, where a variety of civilizations have lived. From Romans to Ottomans, passing through the Romans.
In fact, this Turkish city was the residence of Alexander the Great for many years. The main monuments to see are located on top of a hill, which is perfect to get a panoramic view of the rest of the city. Definitely one of the best cities to visit in Turkey!
Izmir, sun and beach in one of the major cities in Turkey
Izmir is third in the ranking of the cities in Turkey in terms of population. Its main attraction is its proximity to the beach. This makes it a perfect destination if you want to spend a holiday bathing and in the sun.
But there’s more to Izmir than beaches: you can also find many spas and other places to take a bath.
A great variety of civilizations have also passed through this city, and although the important monuments are preserved today, it may be the most European and Westernized of all the Turkey cities.
Antalya and Bursa, two antagonistic cities in Turkey
In the case of Antalya, it is not one of the biggest cities in Turkey, but it is one of the most touristic Turkey cities. This is due to its paradisiacal beaches, whose waters are crystal clear. It is a well-kept city that breathes modernity, although you can also see an old wall dating back to Roman times and some wooden houses from the 18th century, which are now prepared to accommodate tourists.
Bursa is the opposite, being one of the largest cities in Turkey. In fact, it is one of the most industrialized and main Turkish cultural centers. One of the most interesting monuments of the city includes the mausoleums of the Ottoman sultans.
This region is known as the heart of all religions because it has places of reference for all the Abrahamic religions, such as the Sumela Monastery (Trabzon), the House of the Virgin Mary (Izmir) and the Monastery of San Nicolás (Antalya).
Göreme, one of the cities in Turkey to explore
This incomparable locality is situated between mysterious and varied rock formations, many of which emerge from the ground. There are also many interesting churches, houses and other buildings to visit in one of the most special cities in Turkey.
Oludéniz, another of the cities in Turkey great for sunbathing
Sailing, swimming or walking among its forests and lagoons is wonderful. It is true that in the summer the noise and the partying multiplies, but the rest of the year it is a paradisiacal place.
Hisarlik, you might know it as Troy
Although not as glamorous as in Brad Pitt's film, the city of Hisarlik is closest to the old Troy, which makes it a unique choice for visiting Turkey cities.
The archaeological remains are a World Heritage Site according to UNESCO. To enjoy them to the fullest, it is better to experience them with a good guide.