Major Tourist Attractions: Hagia Sophia, Pamukkale, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar
From landscapes, to people, and culture; Turkey is a country that is hard to beat when it comes to diversity. The Turkey we see today was formed by countless invasions, rebellions, and waves of immigration, which has in turn made the country into this giant melting pot that mixes east with west, Europe with Asia, and several empires throughout history.
Istanbul is the only city in the world split between two continents, and it clearly shows in how distinct the city is on both sides of the Bosporus. Istanbul is also home to some of the most impressive mosques in the world, including the famous Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, to name a few. History here exists in all forms and strata, buried deep like the Basilica Cistern or showing proudly atop a hill like the Galata Tower.
But history and natural beauty is not reserved only to Istanbul. Cappadocia will easily charm you with its natural fairy chimneys, eroded landscapes, and cave houses; Ephesus will take you back in time with its ruined Greco-Roman city; and Bodrum will show you what beautiful beaches are like in this part of the world.
Now, lets jump to food, which is the perfect combination of culinary traditions from their nomadic past in Central Asia with the current Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Sounds delicious? Try it in a Köfte, Shish Kebab, Pide, Lokum (Turkish Delight), and Dolma, among other dishes.
Here’s more of what you shouldn’t miss when traveling around Turkey:
- Visit the Mediterranean Old Town of Antalya and tour its surrounding historic sites.
- See the sunrise from a hot-air balloon as you fly over the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia.
- Enjoy the beach in Bodrum and Fethiye.
- Go trekking in the wild Kaçkar mountain range on the northeast of Turkey, close to the Georgian border.
- Tour the WWI battlefields and memorials in the Gallipoli Peninsula.
- Look for fragments of Noah's Ark, which are said to have washed up here, in Mount Ararat.
- Watch the Whirling Dervishes perform the famous whirling dance known as Sema.
- Relax and have a scrub and massage in a steamy Turkish bath, known as a hammam.
- Go “mosque-hopping” in Istanbul by visiting Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, Yeni Cami, Rüstem Pasha, and Sehzade Mosque, among others.
- Get away from the crowds and enjoy Turkey like a local in the small Black Sea coastal towns of Ünye or Giresun.
Address: American Embassy Ankara
110 Atatürk Blvd
Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara - Turkey
Phone: (90-312) 455-5555