Turkey’s main draws are the colourful metropolis of Istanbul, the spectacular rock formations of Cappadocia, the ancient ruins of Ephesus, and the glistening Mediterranean and Aegean coastlines, but each region has something unique to offer. Those who have never been beyond holiday resorts and the beach will be surprised by the diversity of landscapes, heritage, and culinary culture. Even though getting throughout Turkey is simple, there is far too much to see and do to fit it all into a single trip. Spend at least a few days in Istanbul before travelling to one of our other top destinations to visit in Turkey, as most domestic flights pass through this bustling global metropolis. Without more ado, let’s dive in the best places to go in Turkey for families
The Picturesque Landscape of Cappadocia
Cappadocia, in the heart of Turkey, is a geological paradise. The Göreme Open-Air Museum, as well as the other cave churches and underground cities strewn around the valley, bring the history of early Christians in Anatolia to life. The area’s intimate cave hotels and restaurants, as well as sunrise balloon rides with a champagne toast, are ideal for romance. Hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners will find adventure among the verdant valleys and undulating rocks.
♦ Daily Istanbul Tours- 1-2 or 3 days Private tours
Istanbul’s Ancient and Modern Sites
Istanbul, one of the world’s most beautiful cities, should be on every traveler’s bucket list. The vast Byzantine church Aya Sofya, often known as Hagia Sophia in English, and the opulent Topkap Palace of the Ottoman sultans testament to the city’s centuries-long past as the capital of powerful empires. However, set aside some time to see Istanbul as it is now. Wander the backstreets of more conservative Fatih or examine modern art in Beyolu, or go café or bar hopping in the lively Kadköy area. This city is undoubtedly one of the best places to go in Turkey for families.
Yes, the Mediterranean coast of Turkey between Fethiye and Antalya is full with gorgeous spots for sun, sea, and sand holidays, but it’s also littered with relics of the ancient civilizations that previously inhabited the region. The beachfront ruins of Patara (which also has one of Turkey’s best beaches) and Phaselis, as well as the rock tombs of Myra, are particularly beautiful. The Antalya Museum is a fantastic place to learn about the region’s history. Explore the region by boat on a gület cruise, on foot along the Lycian Way hiking trail, or by driving along the picturesque (but winding!) coastal roads.
The Culinary Delights of Southeastern Anatolia
One of Turkey’s cultural – and culinary – gems is the often-overlooked southeastern Anatolia area. Gaziantep and Antakya (Hatay) are known for their cuisine, and both cities have museums with extensive collections of Roman mosaics. Mardin’s attractive, well-preserved ancient town also serves as a fantastic base for seeing the nearby monasteries and Roman sites. Göbeklitepe, the world’s oldest holy site, is located just outside of Anlurfa, which also boasts a wonderful archaeology museum and bazaar.
Cemeteries dedicated to the tens of thousands of troops who died in violent battles on the Gallipoli Peninsula during WWI are strewn across bucolic rolling hills, making their sacrifices all the more tragic in such serenely lovely surroundings. Gallipoli, one of the best places to visit in Turkey, also serves as a gateway to Turkey’s North Aegean coast, a more relaxed alternative to the Mediterranean where you can take a leisurely tour of pleasant seaside towns like Ayvalk and Foça, the island wineries of Bozcaada, the ancient city of Troy (with its standout new museum), and the spectacularly sited hilltop acropolis of Bergama.
The Mineral Waters in Pamukkale
Pamukkale’s bright-white terraces are unquestionably one of Turkey’s most photographed sights, glittering incongruously above the rural town like newly fallen snow. The ancient spa city of Hierapolis, whose huge ruins sprawl out along the hilltop close to the famous travertines, was founded on the warm mineral water that runs through them. Pamukkale, one of the best places to go in Turkey for families, is also a wonderful starting point for seeing surrounding ancient monuments such as Laodicea, Tripolis, and, most notably, the beautiful ruins of Afrodisias, which house an extraordinary collection of Roman marble statues.